As one of the most-travelled destinations in the world, Bangkok is a city that has evolved to cater to a tourist population. The city fluctuates between immaculate skyscrapers and seething back-alleys barely wide enough for a tuk-tuk, between spacious shopping malls and an ocean of street-side vendors, between exclusive restaurants and risqué downtown establishments. Among the crowded streets, visitors can find ornate temples and webs of murky canals, known locally as klongs or khlongs. It’s a tangle of contradictions, a puzzle that even the most jaded travellers could lose themselves in for weeks.
With over 400 wats (temples) scattered around the city, temple-hopping is definitely a worthwhile pastime. Ranging from towering constructs like Wat Arun Ratchawararam to more understated buildings like Wat Chakrawatrachawat Woramahawihan, there’s an incredible diversity that will keep you and your camera happy. Visit the big three (Wat Arun, Wat Pra Kaew and Wat Pho) or take a guided tour to go off the beaten track.
If you take temples out of the equation, Bangkok still has so much to offer. Sites like the Grand Palace and Safari World are perfect to go exploring with the kids, while areas like Khaosan Road, Catachak Weekend Market, Yaowarat Road and Patpong are all fantastic for experiencing the local culture. Street merchants regularly offer goods at cutthroat prices, so it’s a good place to stock up on items that might be considerably more expensive overseas.
An aspect of Bangkok life that is often overlooked by outsiders is the role the city’s waterways play in commuting. The Chao Praya River, the Klong Saen Saeb and the Klongs of Thonburi are all frequented by ferries, long tail boats and river taxis, which cater to different needs, and can be used for sightseeing, relaxing or simply getting from A to B.
Bangkok’s charm lies in the fact that there’s always something else to do – it doesn’t matter how many markets you shop at, how many alleys you explore, or how many landmarks you explore, there’s a new adventure waiting around the next corner. Don’t put off visiting any longer. Book today with Club Wyndham.
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