Energetic, chaotic, and majestic, are just a few words that come to mind when describing Bangkok. The heart and capital of Thailand, Bangkok is one of the most sprawling and metropolitan cities in Asia, and a popular gateway into the country. A city that has deeply rooted traditions and cosmopolitan attitudes, Bangkok has abundant cultural fascination to captivate travelers from all over the world.
Located close to the Gulf of Thailand, Bangkok is a city of waterways with the Chao Phraya River flowing through it. Back in the 19th century, as most of the city’s residents lived near or on the water, the city is known as the “Venice of the East.” While the history of Bangkok dates back about 600 years, it didn’t become the capital city until the 18th century. Through trade and commerce, the city expanded to its current scale. Today tourism is one of the major sources of revenue in Bangkok.
With a tropical monsoon climate, the capital is hot and humid year-round. The most pleasant months to visit are from November to March when the heat and humidity are at their lowest. But this also means crowds are at their peak in late Fall and Winter, and this is particularly true around the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. If you don’t mind the monsoon season, July and August are the off-peak seasons when many good deals are available on hotels and flights.
There are so many first-rate scenic spots on offer in Bangkok, it is impossible to see them all if you only have a few days. For major tourist attractions in Bangkok, most are historical or religious sites. Make sure you admire the amazing architectural design of the Grand Palace and Wat Arun, pay homage to the sacred Jade Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew) or the Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho), or cruise past the temples and mansions on the Chao Phraya River (River of Kings). It is worth noting that, as many sites are sacred, there are strict rules which all visitors must follow. For instance, in dress codes at the Grand Palace and various temples, men must wear long pants, and shirts with sleeves, and no bare feet are permitted. Women must wear modest clothing that covers their knees and shoulders.