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The Ancient Soul of Thailand

Aug 17, 2007
The biggest city in Thailand is Bangkok. It is also the most mesmerizing. It has some of the countries most beautiful temples and shrines. Even people with no interest in history will be impressed with the Grand Palace.

An estimated population of over ten million in a country of only sixty million Bangkok is the urban and cultural heart of the land. The city is also the financial capital of one of the fastest growing economies in the world.

The cities energy is palpable especially at night when traffic opens up a bit its famous markets get going and everything seems lit up from its proudest monuments to its seediest streets.

Its hot and humid and the pollution is so bad that the traffic cops often wear gas masks to protect themselves from the fumes.

The Sky train opened in 1999 and the subway opened in 2004 are the biggest improvements to the city.

It is a shoppers heaven with anything from name brand luxury items to fine local handicrafts, antiques, silk, and jewels. For nightlife, the proverbial One Night in Bangkok still delivers the same old kick.

Many are disappointed that the city is less mysterious less Asian than they might have expected. However there are still gems to find in and among the new construction and suburban sprawl and exploring Bangkok is still a highlight of any trip to Thailand.

It has a concentration of luxury hotels in the region and visitors can find anything from the most basic to a ritzy high rise suite. Whatever your budget, lodging is affordable and Bangkok is a good place to splurge for far more comforts than the same prices afford you back home.

The food is great they got it all in the Thai capital. Fine dining on par with any large city as well as great atmospheric local joints.

In respect of safety visitors should take care to guard valuables from pickpockets as anywhere, but you are unlikely to come against the kind of anonymous crime so common in the West. You can wander in a day from busy luxury shopping districts to quiet temple compounds cacophonous markets to tiny alleyways. Get lost and explore.

There are two Bangkoks, the ancient soul of Thailand with its long and fascinating history and the frantic modern metropolis that embraces the latest trends both Eastern and Western. The two blend together remarkably well. Even the most jarring of old and new will start to make sense after a few days and shrines in front of car dealerships or monks on all manner of public transportation will be sights soon taken for granted.
About the Author
Douglas Scottwrites for The Cheap Car Hire Specialist. and is a free lance writer for The Spanish Villa Rental Site
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