What to See in Your First Bangkok Tour – A Glance at Bangkok

Discover the best time, attractions, and cuisine in the city

Bangkok has a reputation for its numerous temples. Its rich history and religious culture catch the eyes of people around the world.

This article helps planning your first Bangkok trip.

When to Go

Bangkok situates in the southeast of Asia – tropical maritime monsoon climate zone, featuring moderate weather. It is hot and wet through the year, with the average temperature 82?/28?. Its weather can be generally divided into three types: hot season (March-June), rainy season (July-October) and cool season (November-February).

Tropical Weather and What to Pack

Cool Season (November- February): Those months are the coolest seasons in Bangkok on which the average temperature does not surpass 26 ?. Several long-sleeved T-shirts are enough.

Hot Season (March-June): Bangkok’s hot season is hot and moist. T-shirts and shorts are enough. Take a hat and a pair of sunglasses to prevent strong sunlight, and sun cream is recommended to protect you from the strong sunlight.

Rainy Season (July-October): Rainy season in Bangkok is damp and sultry. You may be encountered with casual droops in a day so light rain coat and umbrella is necessary. It is recommended to prepare alternative shoes and clothing.

The Best Time to Visit: November-April

This period is the most comfortable time for your visiting since then the weather is cool and the southern island is open. Loi Krathong Festival (December 15th in Thai lunar calendar, approximately in November 15th) is also a charming day on which the Bangkok will become a wonderful place full of light on the Chao Phraya River.

What to See in Bangkok

Bangkok gains its reputation for its religious atmosphere and prolonged history. Along with the river, it spots a number of historical buildings. The city is a live shrine treasure where most of the tourist attractions are connected with temples. The most famous attractions in Bangkok are the Grand Palace, Wat Phra Kae and Wat Pho.

The Grand Palace

The Grand Palace is a complex of royal buildings at the heart of Bangkok. It has been the official residents of the Kings of Siam and long been the typical loyal resident of Thailand since then. Back to Chao Phraya River, the palace covers an area of over 260,000 square meters with wall surrounded. Within the wall is the representative Siam architecture and among which the most famous are four palaces with distinctive characters. Preserved, and majestic considerable, it expresses a glorious of ancient royal picture to tourists.

The Wat Phra Kaew

Located in the northeast part of the Grand Palace, the Wat Phra Kaew is one of the most remarkable example of Thai temples. Inside the Hindu shrine of the god, there is the dark-green Emerald Buddha which is a religio-political symbol and the protective image of Thailand. In the Thai history and legend, emerald Buddha brings prosperity and peace to where it resides. Every summer, winter and rainy seasons, the King performs a special ritual to bless the country-changing the cloak around the status.

Wandering around the palace, tourists have a good chance to appreciate the exquisite wall painting. All the pictures’ themes are from traditional Indian literature Ramayana. Apart from that, the splendid appearance and glittery decoration of the buildings are also extremely impressive.

The Wat Pho

As the most ancient temple in Thailand, The Wat Pho neighbors to the Grand Palace, and at the same time, it also reserves the biggest reclining Buddha. With the whole length of 46 meters and the foot length of 5 meters, the reclining Buddha boast the largest reclining Buddha around the world, all covering with gold and its pedestal is decorated with 108 auspicious patterns. The temple gains such a high reputation, domestically and externally, not only for the fame of largest reclining Buddha but also for its majority of statuses and stupas. It is made up of 99 stupas of which 71 are surpass 7 meters and 394 Buddhist figures in about 80.000 square meters.

Distance from Bangkok city center: the three above are at the Grand Palace District, very close to the city center. It is a good idea to buy a map of Bangkok in a local bookstore as a guide if you want to the city with no guide.

Wat Arun

Wat Arun lays on the west bank of the Pian, in the close distance of the Grand Palace. The temple derives its name from the Hindu god Aruna, often personified as the radiations of the rising sun, so it is also called the Temple of Dawn. It has existed since at least 17th century and it is the biggest Mahayana stupa in Thailand. You can easily take a river boat from one side to the other for only 3 baht.

The Amphawa Floating Market

Almost every tourist has a visit to a floating market in mind on his first trip to Bangkok. Actually, there are more than 5 floating markets in Bangkok among which the Amphawa Floating Market is the most attractive. A branch of the Mae Klong River floats through the market and many little wooden house neatly lined up alone the canal, selling souvenirs and a lot of charming snacks and sweets. It opens at 15 p.m.-20 p.m. every Friday, Saturday and Sunday so you can arrive around 16 p.m. so you would not miss the amazing little temple across the river, and at the same time have an early seafood lunch on the river banks and get a little long tail boat cruise.

Erawan Shrine

The Erawan Shrine features four heads and four pairs of arms towards different sides. Housed in the city center of Bangkok, it is a well-known statue of Hindu god: creation Lord Brahma. Whenever you arrive, you will always meet a great crowd of believers there. More attractive thing is the performance by resident Thai dance troupes which are often operated in festivals by worshippers in return for their wishes coming true.

Tips:

Cover shoulders, legs and stomach when visiting temples in Thailand especially in the Grand Palace, otherwise you may be rejected. It is easy to rent a sari near the Grand Palace.

Obey Customs:

1. When offering prayers to Buddha kneel down with feet pointing away from Buddha.

2. At any time, pointing Buddha with your foot is prohibited.

3. Remove shoes when entering any of temples.

Dining in Bangkok

Thai cuisine is one of the most popular cuisines around the world. Although it has been mutually influenced and combined the merits of over the course of many countries, it features the use of fresh herbs and spices and its sweet-and-sour flavor. The combination of varies spice gives tourists a fantastic and excited taste. And the same with other Asian cuisines, rice is the staple grain of Thai cuisine.

Tom Yum Kung:

Tom Yum is a typical Thai soup, usually cooked with shrimp. It is characterised by its distinct hot and sour flavours, with fragrant spices and herbs generously used in the broth.

Thai Green Curry Seafood:

Thai Green Curry Seafood is a based on coconut milk and fresh green chillies. The curry is not necessarily sweeter than other Thai curries but, although the spiciness varies, it tends to be more pungent than the milder.

Tom Kha Gai

Tom Kha Gai, typical Thai dish, mainly include coconut milk, dill weed, lemongrass, Thai chili peppers, chicken and fish sauce. The main material could be varied according to local flavor, such as seafood, mushrooms, pork and tofu.

Things to do in Bangkok

The profound history of Bangkok nurture the exotic and unique traditional culture here which is rarely found in other part of the world. By experiencing local traditional activities, tourists can have a further knowledge of this city. The UME Travel website offers good tips on your preference.

Thai Kick Boxing

Thai kick boxing is a traditional art of self-defense of the Thais. It originated in Thailand and has a history of over five hundred years ago. It can strengthen the body, mind and heart, as well as show patience and persistence. During this combat sport, competitors are permitted to use their fists, legs, knees and elbows to knock down their adversary.

Apart from brute strength, Boxing is also a test of technique and skill; hence it attracts the attention of many people, home and aboard. With its wide spread throughout the world, it is regarded that Thai boxing is good for women and kids as well since it toughens them up from daily practice and spiritual learning.

Thai Massage

Thai traditional massage can be traced back to hundreds years ago when Buddhist monasteries made it as a form of preventative health care for monks. Currently, a popular forms of massage combines acupressure, assisted yoga postures and ayurveda with oil and lotion.

The recipient wears loose and comfortable clothing and usually on a padded mat or firm mattress on the floor. During the whole practice, giver performs professional twist compound with pure oil. With body compressed, pulled, stretched and rocked, receiver will feel energetic and comfortable that had never been after 45-min service.

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