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154: Bangkok (Revisited)

Tips For Travellers

Release Date: 09/15/2014

In this episode of the Tips for Travellers show Gary Bembridge shares observations, advice and tips for visitors to the capital of Thailand: Bangkok.

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The show covers the following and more:

Observations:

  • Bangkok is capital of Thailand (Thai = free so Thailand means land of the free)
  • Never been colonised unlike so many other Asian countries - sided with Japanese in WWII and supported USA in Vietnam war.
  • Monarchy which is highly respected and revered  offence to say negative against the monarchy.
  • Bangkok used to be "Venice of the East" as so many rivers and canals - but now mostly filled in.
  • Lots of traffic and traffic jams.
  • Relatively safe despite political troubles and street demonstrations - more likely affect by tourist scams !


Getting there
Major gateway and also connections hub with most international Travelelers coming in via Suvanathmi international airport

Getting around

  • Sky train
  • Underground Metro
  • River rides - express boat up  and down Chao Phraya river
  • Buses harder to navigate as most routes in Thai
  • Taxis - metered but ensure is switched on
  • Motorbike taxis - ensure you given a helmet
  • Tuk-tuk - 3-wheeled open sided - most drivers focus on where they want to take you to..!


Must see things to do
Sights are fairly concentrated in one area close to each other

Wat Phra Kaew and Royal Grand Palace Complex

Grand Palace
Including some key buildings:
Borombhiman Hall
Amarin Vinitchai Throne Room
Chakri Maha Prasat
Dusit Maha Prasat

Emerald Buddha temple - Housed inside the Wat Pra Kaeo

Royal Thai Decorations and Coin Pavillion

Wat Pho
Close by is oldest and largest temple in Bangkok - contains country's largest reclining Buddha

Golden Buddha
Housed in Wat Traimit - 5,5 ton Solid gold Buddha - 3 metres high

Wat Arun
Temple of Dawn named after Indian god of dawn

Museums:
Dolls museum
National museum
Jim Thompson House
Royal Barge Museum

Shopping
Bargaining expected in markets
Chinatown and Little India
Bangkok floating market
Central World Market

Patpong
Red light district