Travel to Bangkok, the cultural, economic and political capital of Thailand
Bangkok is one of the world’s most visited travel destinations, and it’s easy to see why. Vibrant and loud, yet charming in its own special way, Bangkok appeals to visitors from all over the world who are attracted to its temples, culture and cuisine, and its friendly and welcoming residents. A visit to Bangkok should be on everyone’s bucket list!
Thailand’s capital and most populous city sits on the banks of the Chao Phraya River in Central Thailand, just north of the Gulf of Thailand. Since its humble beginnings in the 15th century the city grew in importance and size, serving as a capital for the Thonburi Kingdom and the Rattanakosin Kingdom from 1782, the year in which Bangkok was officially founded as a capital. During World War 2 Bangkok became a popular R&R destination for the American military, helping to boost interest in the city around the world, especially in terms of sex tourism. Today there’s still a large arena for sex tourism, but far larger numbers visit Bangkok for the city’s beautiful temples and other landmarks.
Bangkok is positively brimming with temples, many of which are stunningly beautiful such as Wat Pho and Wat Arun, then there’s the ornate architecture of the historic Grand Palace, or the more refined architecture of the popular Jim Thompson House.
Many backpackers and students visit Bangkok as a sort of rite of passage on their travels through Asia, attracted to the bustling street markets and shopping areas, the low cost of living, and to get a taste of the backpacking culture that has been immortalized by places like Khao San Road, before heading south to Thailand’s beautiful beach resorts. But you don’t have to be a student to appreciate these places.
The sheer size, number of people and amount of traffic in Bangkok can be overwhelming for the uninitiated, and while sitting in a traffic jam may not be every tourists’ idea of a relaxing vacation, it’s all part of the experience. The fact that Bangkok’s residents are among the friendliest you’ll ever come across does help to make a visit to the city more enjoyable, and if you come armed with an itinerary of the top places you’d like to visit, the size of the city doesn’t seem quite so bad. Rather than sit on a traffic filled road though, get around the city as much as you can on water, using the ferries that dart from bank to bank and up and down the Chao Phraya. Traveling by water is lots of fun, cheap, and far more scenic than relying on buses and taxis.