Monday, December 19, 2011

Bangkok: The Best Temples and Tourist Destinations

Bangkok is an amazing place to visit but because there is so much to do, it can be easy to miss out on some of the best tourist destinations in the area. Bangkok is known as having an array of stunning temples and structures dotting the landscape. But on a trip, time can be limited an so you’ll have to make some choices. This brief guide will help you in your planning or which sites to see and take some stress from your trip.

There are four temples which I would define as ‘must-sees’ while you are in Bangkok:

Wak Rakhang, Wat Arun, Wat Benchamabophit and Wat Mahathat.

Rakhang is an architecturally beautiful ancient temple. The real beauty of this temple is found in the wonderfully constructed library so don’t miss it when you go there. Also within this temple there is now a museum holding ancient scrolls which are a wonder to behold.

Arun is one of the most famous temples for a reason. It is an amazing structure and magnificent to behold at night. It is renowned throughout Thailand and has an amazing history so spend some time reading into its past before you explore.

Benchamabophit is quite unique and is also known as the Marble Temple. It is the most modern of the four temples mentioned yet it is equally as beautiful. The courtyard is the highlight of this temple with a vast selection of Buddha sculptures to view. Modern Thai architecture is at its best in this temple so make sure you make time for it.

Last but not least is Mahathat temple. This is one of the most visited temples in Thailand. It is the headquarters of Thailand’s largest monastic order and a centre for meditation. In fact, if you visit this temple the trip really isn’t complete unless you enrol yourself in a meditation class. It allows you a glimpse into monastic life and is very enjoyable. If you need to choose what day to go, I’d recommend a Sunday as there is a very interesting amulet and talisman market outside. Also while at this ancient temple, why not have your fortune told inside.

Other than the temples, there is much to see and do in Bangkok. Take time out to visit the floating market. It allows you to delve into the authentic way of life of many in Bangkok. It has become quite a touristy area but this has not intruded on the authentic spirit of the area.

Secondly a trip to ‘Chinatown’ is a must. It is a chaotic area of the city but great fun to visit. The lights and shops are lively and taking a detour through this area is well worth it. Siam Ocean World is a wonderful aquarium with over 30,000 species. It is sure to keep both the old and young alike entertained for hours. There is a beautiful underwater tunnel to stroll through as well as the chance to dive with sharks.

Finally I would say no trip to Bangkok is complete without a visit to the ancient waterways. They are one of the most visited attractions in Bangkok and with good reason. These little canals are wonderful, although it is true many do not remain, it is worth visiting those that do along the Chao Phraya River.

Take the time to read up on the history of Bangkok and the attractions you plan on visiting to make the trip that much more enthralling and entertaining.

This article was prepared by Charlotte of free backpack advice website