A bustling, cosmopolitan melting pot with enchanting Buddhist architecture and an outstanding food scene, Bangkok is one of the world's most populous cities. The Thai capital, known locally as Krung Thep, is internationally acclaimed for its flourishing contemporary arts scene and contains some of the most majestic palaces in Asia, if not the world.
This city is famous for the Thai massage, and offers an astonishing variety of lively nightlife venues and very affordable restaurants in the popular backpackers' districts of Patpong and Khaosan Road. Unlike many other global cities, Bangkok has a well-defined centre, the Siam Square, where tourists who do not possess a map are advised to head to if they want to find their bearings again.
The National Museum
For some deep insight into Thailand's profound ancient heritage, explore the National Museum at Na Phrathat Road. This venue, which showcases many fascinating artefacts from the ancient era to the present day, offers regular guided tours in English so you can really get the most out of your visit.
The Wat Arun complex
Officially the Wat Arun Ratchawararam Ratchawaramahawihan, this temple complex was founded well over 3,500 years ago and has been altered on several occasions over the centuries. If you have time, consider climbing the prang just before the sun sets so you can witness a phenomenal view of the Chao Phraya river.
The Chatuchak weekend market
One of the world's biggest weekend markets, the Chatuchak weekend market is a haven for shopping lovers and comprises 15,000 stalls selling all kinds of souvenirs, fresh food, jewellery, and many other items. The market, which has been open for more than 60 years, operates all year round and also organises regular live music performances.
The Grand Palace
One of the highlights of any visit to Thailand, the Grand Palace dates back to the late 18th century and is renowned for its elaborate exterior and fusion of Thai and European architectural styles. The building is one of the most visited tourist attractions in the country and is still the home of the Kings of Siam.
Places to eat
If you're after some tantalising Thai and Asian-themed recipes, dine at the stylish Rock Restaurant and Bar. For some equally delicious vegetarian and Mediterranean-themed food, visit the Sevon Spoons Bar and Restaurant, or choose The Living Room Restaurant for some superb international dishes.
Places to stay
One of the most acclaimed Bangkok hotels is the Mandarin Oriental, the perfect choice for couples looking for the ultimate romantic experience. Another deluxe venue is The Siam, which is known for its exquisite Spa and is also revered for its excellent Thai hospitality. For a more budget-friendly option, choose the well-appointed Century Park Hotel, the Park Plaza Bangkok Soi 18, or the Villa Phra Sumen Bangkok.
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