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Top five things to do in Bangkok

Friday, June 3, 2011
Another city that doesn't sleep, Bangkok has so much to see and do it can be hard to know where to start. To give you a hand, here are Getaway's top five picks.

BTS Skytrain

Cheap and air-conditioned with 23 stations across the city, BTS Skytrain is the best way to beat the city's heat and crazy traffic. It will take you pretty much anywhere you want to go. It's safe and comfortable and has transformed the face of transportation as passengers are lifted above the crowded streets in modern, electrified trains. They enjoy 100 percent punctuality and run between 6am and midnight.

MBK Shopping Centre

A shopper's dream, MBK is eight storeys high with 2000 stores, including the four-storey Tokyu department store, restaurants and entertainment. Prices are pretty much the same as at the open-air markets and you are expected to bargain. Shopping in air-conditioned comfort is more pleasurable as you ogle the goods on sale — but many of them are counterfeit. It's connected to the Siam Discovery and Siam Paragon shopping centres by elevated walkways, both upmarket and with authentic merchandise.

Floating markets

A tourist must-see, hire a long tail boat and join vendors with their craft piled high with tropical fruits, vegetables, cold coconut juice and local food prepared on floating kitchens. These days it is pretty much slanted towards tourists, but you still get the idea of how people once shopped. It's a cultural experience with Damnoen Saduak the biggest. Smaller markets such as Tha Kha and Amphawa offer a less touristy experience and more local flavours.

Wat Arun Rajwararam

Bangkok has much more to offer than shopping. Thailand is 95 percent Buddhist and Wat Arun Temple is one of the city's best known landmarks. Known as "Temple of the Dawn" as morning's first light gives a pearly iridescence, it was built in 1809. It features a central prang — a Khmer-style tower — and is decorated with bits of broken porcelain that were used as ballast on Chinese trading ships. The Buddha image from the reign of Rama II watches over his ashes which are buried at the base.

Khoa San Road

Closed to traffic at night, Khoa San Road is a place where everything and anything can happen. It's cheap, buzzing and crammed with market stalls, food stands and bars. Everyone's out for a good time and it's where your bargaining expertise can really be put to the test!

User comments
currently on my 39th holiday in Thailand, have been to most parts off the world ,but the people here make the country,smiles,happy,casual,and the peo ple are very happy to help and the food well come and see. I live in Sydney but this is my 2 nd home ,The mixture of tourists from around the world make the place.For people who complain about smells ect. look in you rbackyard and see what are our things are that tourists dont like. Currently laying in a 6 star hotel a quarter off Australian prices.With shops surrounding us more modern than any westfield,I love Australia but we are spoiling it and outpricing most holiday places for families. If u like markets,warm climate,good mixture of foods and clothing and elec.goods cheap than look no futher,
Bangkok, i live here and love it... give me the chaos, quirkiness, culture, contradiction and cuisine any day...
As a frequent traveller and now resident of Thailand I disagree with some of the items listed above as the Top 5 things to do. I recommend anyone travelling to Bangkok to visit, The Grand Palace, Wat Pho (The sleeping Buhda), Thailand National Museum all within 5 minutes walk to each other. Then I would recommend The Vinamek Mansion (Previous Kings Residence) and off course the weekend markets where just about everything is sold at very cheap prices. I would not recommend buying anything at the floating markets while it is good to see and nice to go around the canals in a boat all of the items are grossly overpriced and nothing short of a tourist rip off. the tiger, elephant and snake shows are also excellent for the thrill seekers. Also avoid travelling there in the hot season from May to August it is very hot and humid with heavy rain. Hopefully this advice will make your holiday in Thailand more enjoyable.
If you like getting off a plane at Bangkok Intl airport at 3am and from leaving the aircon of the plane to walking into the main airport building you finding your shirt saturated in perspiration due to the ultra high heat & humidity then go for it. The air could do with some purification and scrubbing as well as the smells that hit you in the last 30 secs of landing are not pleasant. Some one definately left more than the cake out in the rain I can tell you. Phheeewwwweeee, very pongy. Must have landed 6 days BEFORE national bath day. If one doesnt shower 6 times a day you'll end up stinking the joint out or blending in with the rest of the populace. Give me the cooler climes & more civilised atmosphere of Europe, with a few exceptions, any day.

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