What to do and Where to stay in
The first stop on many itineraries, the capital of Thailand is full of contrasts. Few cities can beat Bangkok for sheer excitement and sensory overload. Krung Thep, as it is known to the locals, is a vast city bursting with life, blending modern day sophistication with centuries old culture. The Siamese Capital was built 223 years ago as a small trading centre and port community serving Ayutthaya, which was the capital of the nation (then known as Siam). With a population of approximately 10 million it is considered one of the biggest, fastest-growing and most economically dynamic and socially progressive cities in South-East Asia – as well as being buckets of fun for families!
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Experiences in Bangkok
Bangkok is a great city to explore with kids; teeming with life, colour, modern attractions and ancient traditions. Getting around is easy: the SkyTrain or BTS is efficient and clean while taxis are plentiful, safe and inexpensive. Downtown you will find luxury hotels, some of the world’s finest restaurants, hip bars and shopping to rival any European city. But venture further out and you will be handsomely rewarded; Bangkok is definitely a city for exploring – by foot, car or boat. Discover the resplendent Buddhist Temples, the opulent Grand Palace and the famous floating markets where you can cruise the canals and practice your bartering skills. Lumpini Park is the largest park in Bangkok and offers a little peace after a dose of culture. Swordsmen and Tai Chi experts practice their moves amongst the playgrounds and lovely swan pedal boats, it’s a great stop for families who need a break during the day.
For those with teens, then Siam Paragon is the place to go! One of the largest luxury malls here, it is shopping heaven and boasts a huge IMAX cinema while the biggest draw is Siam Ocean World – one of South East Asia’s largest aquariums. Scuba diving with the sharks is an option for the brave while a glass bottomed boat ride offers a gentler way to get amongst the huge array of species here.
However Bangkok saves its best for the evenings, when it truly comes to light. We suggest a ride on long tail boat at dusk from where you can enjoy the boats glittering on the water and the magical temples slowly coming to life in lights by the water. Don’t miss Asiatique, a huge, bustling nightmarket complete with Ferris wheel – an incredible way to see the city at night.
With fabulous hotels aplenty and with such fantastic value for money, this is a place where you can afford to splurge. Bangkok is also a great launch point for most itineraries to South East Asia. From a quick flight to the jungle of Khao Sok and staying in floating tents at magical Elephant Hills, to multiple internal flights anywhere in Thailand and then beyond to Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam…..the opportunity for adventure is endless.
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