When people tell me they hate Bangkok, I understand. When I first went to Bangkok in 2006, I despised the city and couldn’t wait to get out.

It’s not the best tourist city in the world. Outside of shopping and a few temples, there’s not much to do. Plus, it’s dirty and it smells.

Bangkok is everything you’d expect from the capital of Thailand: it’s noisy, crowded, colorful, exciting, infuriating, and smile inducing. There are ancient sites to be visited and modern shopping malls that have a kitschy yet high-end ambience. Bangkok can be overwhelming as its lifeforce smacks you in the face, but it’s a fascinating city that represents Southeast Asia’s tension between the developed and developing worlds tourist place .

Giant Swing:

In the center of the busy square in front of Wat Suthat stands one of Bangkok’s most eye-catching sights, the 27 m high teak frame of the so-called Giant Swing. This used to be the focus of a religious ceremony held every year in December after the rice harvest.

Teams of three took turns to balance on a dangerously narrow board and be swung 25 m or more off the ground “up to Heaven”, at which point they would attempt to catch a bag of silver coins in their teeth. King Rama VII banned the contest in 1932, following a number of fatal accidents.

Lumphini Park:

Lumphini Park is more than just an oasis of nature in bustling Bangkok. Originally designed to house Thai crafts and flowers, it is a serene place where people can stroll paths, take a paddle boat ride or just sit and relax and watch others do their morning and evening exercises tourist place.

Visitors who stroll along the pond may even come across a water monitor lizard, a crocodile-like reptile. Free outdoor concerts take place on Sunday afternoons.

Cruise the river:

Take a tour of the Chao Phraya river, a relaxing and beautiful experience that shouldn’t be skipped for tourist place. Don’t take an overpriced tour, though. You can ride the water taxi up and down the river for around 20 baht (less than $1 USD). Start at the central pier, go to the end, and come back. Presto! Instant tour!

The Grand Palace:

It’s called The Grand Palace but “grand” doesn’t even begin to describe just how stunning this historic complex of buildings really is. It is among the top tourist attractions in the whole of Thailand, and has played an important role in the country’s history, being home to the Kings of Siam since 1782. Although it isn’t the official residence of the present king, King Rama IX, it is still used for official events such as state functions and royal ceremonies throughout the year.

Of the numerous things to do in Bangkok this is a must-visit attraction for its architectural and cultural value. Get past the hawkers outside who will try to lead you away to spend your money elsewhere, then try to forget about the throng of tourists wandering the palace with you and the inevitable din that goes with them. If you can put all these negatives aside you’ll enjoy the artefacts, beautiful Thai art, and exquisite architecture and decoration throughout the palace complex.

Arriving by boat is probably the most stylish way to get to this Bangkok attraction, and you’ll enjoy great views of the palace from the water as you approach. Be sure to wear clothes that cover your legs or you’ll have to rent a gown to be allowed into various parts of the palace. Also consider joining one of the free guided tours as these are the perfect way to see the best bits and to find out more as you go.

 

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