Overview of Bangkok

The capital of Thailand, Bangkok is the largest city in the country with a population that totals over 11 millions.
The capital of Thailand, Bangkok is the largest city in the country with a population that totals over 11 millions.

The capital of Thailand, Bangkok is the largest city in the country with a population that totals over 11 million. Within the city there are many skyscrapers, heavy traffic, an active nightlife, and intense heat, but while these features may not sound instantly impressive, it is quite entertaining once you immerse yourself in the greater attributes of the city.

For instance, within the great cosmopolitan city you will also find canals, street markets, many historical Buddhist temples, and a brilliant nightlife with something to offer all age groups. It is truly a national treasure of the country and a mixture of the cultural, spiritual, and commercial pursuits.

Bangkok is one of the most tourist friendly cities in Asia and despite the press stories is actually a very safe city outside of petty crimes such as pick-pocketing. Due to the high heat and humidity, you will find a great deal of exotic plants and tropical fruits that are available at many different street market vendor stalls. The cuisine can also be found at many street markets as well as within the traditional diners and is very affordable making meals a favorite part of many travelers holiday plans.

While the street system can be confusing within Bangkok as the naming system is uniquely Thai and compass directions are not widely used by the locals, transportation is plentiful and it is easy to navigate around the city using public transportation options.

Most people use public taxis but there are express bus services, the metro, and a skytrain monorail system that is fairly new and will take you to most of the central locations. Be aware however that many taxi drivers are out for a quick buck from the tourists so be sure to only travel on metered taxis that are parked under public taxi signs.

Grand Palace is one of the Bangkok's most iconic landmarks.
Grand Palace is one of the Bangkok's most iconic landmarks.

For sightseeing many tourists head to the Chao Phraya River and take the Chao Phraya Express Boat, which offers a great view of the many attractions such as the Temple of Dawn and the Grand Palace. You can purchase either an express or basic service ticket along the river edge or use it to transfer along the major piers as another additional transportation option if you are exploring the outside of the city. Canal boats, also known as water taxis, are also a great way to explore the neighborhoods and districts of the city.

While in Bangkok enrich your experience by trying out the local ways of life, which is easy enough to do. Some popular tourists’ activities include taking a bicycle tour of the city or simple hiring a bicycle for the day, watching a Thai boxing match at the Lumpinee Boxing Stadium, or taking an elephant ride. Massage shops and horse races are also popular activities within Bangkok as well as the various night markets that allow you to shop the night away if you are not in the mood for the nightlife.