Perhaps one of the most appreciated attractions in Bangkok doubles as entertainment as well as transportation throughout the city. Sky Train is highly publicized as well worth the effort it takes to figure out the route and engage in its superfluous journey around town. It is recommended to do a little research in order to decide which venues may be the most attractive for the needs or desires of the traveller.
For shopping, mega malls, and cinemas, BTS Siam Station is the place to land. It is the central station and there are many main attractions right at the doorstep. A short walk can take you to some of the greatest shopping available in the city. The malls around Siam Station are Siam Square One, Siam Centre, and Siam Paragon. This station also connects two of the main routes going in different directions. There are two separate levels and it is efficient and accommodating to large crowds of people.
Overlooking the Pathumwan Stadium, the skywalk at BTS National Stadium Station offers a magnificent view. The main stadium used to host the Asian Games can be seen from the station. Other attractions in this area are the beautiful Jim Thompson’s House and Soi Kasemsan 2. These are just a short walk from the station.
Before crossing the Chao Phraya River, the BTS Saphan Taksin Station is the last station on the map. It connects with the Chao Phraya River Express Boat at the Sathorn Pier, along with many other connecting shuttle boats. These boats go to various hotels and other destinations on the riverside. The Lebua State Tower is a must see building near this station. It serves as a hotel and houses Bangkok’s most famous rooftop bar called Lebua Sky Bar. The world famous Sirroco Restaurant is also located in this building. The only Shangri-La Hotel in Bangkok can be found at the Saphan Taksin Station and looks out onto the river.
There are many more stations on the Sky Train which, if time permits, should be explored by the traveller who is interested in the intricacies of this wonderful city. The residential neighbourhoods are fantastic and should be seen in order to absorb the richness of the culture of the region. The business areas are also packed with architectural phenomena and the cultural districts are ablaze with colour and distinct displays of creativity.
There are over 30,000 Buddhist temples sprinkled over Thailand. The Thai name for temple is “wat”. The Wat Arun is named after Aruna, the Indian God of Dawn. A riverside landmark in Bangkok, the Wat Arun is a stunning monument and an incredible climbing challenge for the common tourist. Mixed emotions spring up when the steps are seen from below. Some scream, “climb it I must!”, while others are content with great pictures from across the river.
The Wat Arun is an architectural representation of Mt. Meru. This is supposedly the centre of the world according to Buddhist cosmology. Mt. Meru is a place where all spiritual balance is accomplished and is considered to have four corners representing the gods of four directions. Wat Arun mirrors the spiritual high place recognized by the Buddhist monks.
The Temple of Dawn is climbable. The stairs are very steep and those with equilibrium problems and fear of heights are discouraged. The absolute best view of Wat Arun is from across the river when the sun is setting. The lights accent its silhouette and the sight is incredibly enchanting.
King Rama V started building this Throne Hall in 1907 and it was finished under the reign of King Rama VI. It was built by Italian architects, Mario Tamango and Annibale Rigotti, and boasts the ever classic high, central dome, with several others surrounding the center.
At one time, it housed the first Thai parliament. Today it is used for royal occasions, visiting dignitaries, and state council meetings. The Royal Throne sits underneath the central dome and the upper floors reflect Roman floral patterns and Renaissance art. It adjoins the Vimanmek Mansion with beautiful gardens and stately statues.
The Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall is open to the public. Guided tours are available at 30-minute intervals throughout the day. However, there are strict rules for visiting and if a tour is planned, a little bit of research may help with ease in the endeavour.
To begin with, there is a modest dress code that must be followed in order to be allowed to enter. Sleeveless clothing is not allowed. Women must wear sleeves and appropriate dress or skirt length is required. Men are required to wear long pants and sleeved shirts. No flip-flops or bags or purses are allowed. No food or drink is allowed inside the Throne Hall. Photography is strictly prohibited. There are no animals, weapons, explosives, or chemicals allowed inside. No immoral behaviour will be tolerated. Noise and disturbance of any kind is not permitted in the museum. No commercial activities are allowed and no smoking is permitted.Children may go through, but they must be of impeccable behaviour and no excess noise is permitted. All patrons are asked to keep the museum clean at all times.
The Grand Palace was built in the 1700s and is one of the most popular attractions in the entire world. The size of the palace is overwhelming, boasting over 218,000 square feet. It contains many government offices along with the Chapel Royal of the Emerald Buddha. The palace was built by Rama I to serve as his residence as well as these government offices.
Bangkok Thailand is a booming metropolis of interesting sites. Some of the other sites a explorer might want to search out include: The Temple of the Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho), Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew), Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Flow House Bangkok, Wat Ratchanatdaram Woravihara (Loha Prasat), The Jim Thompson House and many more. Online reviews reflect the appreciation of Thailand’s tourist attitudes toward these enticing locations.