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Enjoy a Grand Time in Bangkok

Oct 19, 2007
The capital as well as the largest city in Thailand, Bangkok is a mesmerizing destination, situated in the central region of the nation, on the low flat plains of the Chao Phraya River, near the northern tip of the Gulf of Thailand. Known as Krungthep in Thai, literally meaning the 'City of Angels,' Bangkok is the cultural, economic, educational, and political center of the nation. Bangkok is credited to be the only metropolis in the country.

Further, it serves as Thailand's main port. The history of Bangkok as a modern city dates back to 1782 when it was declared capital of Thailand by King Rama I of the Chakri Dynasty. Since then, Bangkok has grown steadily to become one of the world's prominent cities, consisting of 50 districts stretching up to an area of 1568 sq mt. Above all, Bangkok is one of the most visited cities in South east Asia. Perhaps for these reasons, Bangkok is sometimes acknowledged as the 'Venice of the East.'

Bangkok offers a feast of attractions to the visitors to the city, ranging from ancient temples and magnificent palaces to modern as well as classy malls and multiplexes. Of the attractions of the city, perhaps the most popular is its more than 400 dazzling Buddhist wats or temples of incredible beauty and fascination.

Few among the prominent Buddhist shrines in the area are the Temple of Dawn, decorated with numerous Chinese porcelains; Wat Benchamabophit, which is much favored for its main chapel erected in white Carara Italian marble; Wat Phra Chetuphon, with a huge Reclining Buddha of 46 m long and 15 m high; and Wat Traimit, whose focal point is a -metre tall, 5.5 tonne solid gold Buddha image, erected more than 700 years ago during the Sukhothai period. Apart from these, a good number of Hindu shrines such as Erawan Shrine can also be seen here, apart from fantastic churches and mosques.

The city also abounds in splendid palaces. Among which, most noteworthy as well as spectacular is Grand Palace - an architectural splendor which served as the royal residence as well as the administrative seat of the government for more than 150 years.

One of the specialties of the palace is Wat Phra Kaew, (the Temple of the Emerald Buddha), whose highlight is an Emerald Buddha dating back to the 14th century. Also, included in the highlights of the palace are seven elegant royal buildings and a stunning chapel. Vimanmek Mansion, King Taksin's Palace, The Front Palace, Tha Phra Palace, Bahn Moh Palace, and Sra Pathum Palace are the other significant palaces in the area.

Bangkok's attractions also include Snake Farm, also known as the Queen Saovabha Memorial Institute, which is one of the leading producers of anti-venom Serum in Asia; Crocodile Farm -the largest of its kind in the world, where you can see more than 60,000 fresh as well as sea water crocodiles; and Rose Garden, a well-manicured area where cultural shows are conducted.

Further, don't miss any of the fantastic museums in the area, while your stay at Bangkok. Museums in Bangkok are categorized into palace museums, special museums, and Kings' museum. Prominent being Suan Pakkad Palace Museum, the Bank of Thailand Museum, Thai Labor Museum, the Museum of Buddhist Art, and King Rama VI Museum. Let it be any type of museum, each of the museums in Bangkok is considered a rich tapestry of Thai history and ethnicity. In addition, Bangkok is home to the world's largest outdoor museum, Ancient City, exhibiting gigantic-sized replicas of renowned monuments and temples found across the nation.

Bangkok also renders superb options to enjoy a variety of leisurely activities. For instance, for golf freaks, the city comes with some of the top-rated golf courses in the world, including Royal Thai Air Force, Royal Bangkok Sports Club, and Royal Thai Army Sports Center. If you love to be pampered, then head to any of the city's superb spa facilities, offering rejuvenating massages and relaxing natural treatments. For those looking for something different, one of the best options would be to spectacle Thai boxing, which is conducted on the two main stadiums of Bangkok, such as, Ratchadamnoen Stadium and Lumpini Stadium.

Further, the city is a venue for a variety of interesting festivals, including Songkran Festival, the International Festival of Dance and Music, Vegetarian Festival, and Loy Krathong - also known as the Festival of Lights.

Gastronomically, the culinary delights of the area are simply amazing, with thousands of world-class restaurants and eateries. Bangkok is also a shopper's paradise, boasting of some of the best shopping facilities in Asia. Above all, Bangkok is renowned around the world for its lively as well as exciting nightlife.
About the Author
The Accor Group manages Hotels with the Sofitel, Novotel, Mercure, All Seasons, Ibis, Formule 1, Grand Mercure brands and offers services to corporate clients and public institutions: 23 million people in 35 countries use a broad range of services engineered and managed by Accor Services.
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