What to see in Bangkok

Going out and exploring a new city can at times be overwhelming, especially if you are on a tight time schedule and do not know where to spend your time. For those of you making a stop in Bangkok and looking for things to do and see, here is a mix of touristy spots and off the beaten track must-see spots. Hopefully you will have enough time to visit them all!

    Chusak Vijakkhana - Wikimedia

Wat Arun, also known as The Temple of Dawn, is located near Chao Phraya River. It is one of the oldest and most famous tourist places to visit in the city making it very easy to find - simply follow the hoards of people who will already be heading in that direction. The most ideal time to see this temple though is actually in the evening when the sun is setting behind it. Climb to the top of the prang and enjoy the breathtaking view of the river below.

The next major tourist hot spot is the Grand Palace situated in the Old City. The construction of this palace started in 1782 when the capital was being moved to Bangkok and is known as the most sacred Buddhist temple in Thailand. Today, along with being filled with tourists, it is used for various ceremonies throughout the year and even acts as accommodation for a select few when the occasion arises.

Wat Prakeaw, the Emerald Buddha, resides within the Grand Palace. This statue, which is actually made of jade, is clothed in a seasonal costume. When visiting, make sure you adhere to the dress code which involves men wearing long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and shoes while women are to wear long skirts. After visiting the Palace, stop over at the Temple of the Reclining Buddha in Wat Pho, just south of the Grand Palace. Buddha measures in at 46 meters long and 15 meters here high making it rather difficult to capture in one photo so take as many shots as you need!

For those that want to veer off the tourist track, head to the Erawan Museum which includes a gigantic 3 headed elephant statue and beautiful well-kept grounds around the area. Even though it is a little out of town, it is easy to reach. Once you walk inside the elephant you will see a shrine which makes for the perfect escape from the hectic city outside. If you are tight on money, visit this place after 6pm when the entrance fee is half price.

If you want to stay in Bangkok city, take moment to visit the giant swing, Sao Ching Cha right in front of Wat Suthat in the Old City. This swing is a religious structure that was constructed in 1784 and was then moved to Bangkok in 1920. It reaches a height of 27m and used to be used in a religious ceremony where teams of 4 aimed to swing higher than 25m in order to grab a bag of silver coins, that dangled high above, with their teeth. Due to the number of fatalities though, it was banned in 1935 and in 2005 the swing was suggested as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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