An incredible river city where vibrant modern life and ancient temples exist in perfect harmony, Bangkok is without question one of the world's most exciting destinations. With something new to see and do around every corner, every visit to Bangkok is like your first.
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From the iconic floating markets and ornate royal palaces to the annual water fight of Songkran (the Thai New Year), Bangkok is a city of wonder. Whether you're planning to stay for a night or a month, you'll never run out of new ways to experience this incredible city.
What are the must-see attractions in Bangkok?
In a city like Bangkok it can be easy to become overwhelmed by the sheer choices available, so here are some hints on must-see Bangkok attractions to get you started.
With over 30,000 Buddhist temples in Thailand, you'd be forgiven for thinking that if you've seen one, you've seen them all, though you couldn't be more wrong. Wat Arun, on the banks of the Chao Phraya river, quickly puts paid to the notion that all Thai temples are the same. Standing an incredible 79 metres tall, there are few sights quite as spectacular as this stunning temple caught in the early morning light.
Be sure to also see the magnificent Reclining Buddha at Wat Pho. Covered in gold leaf and 46 metres long, this Buddha is one of the largest Buddha statues in the world. Any serious visitor must also spend time visiting the Grand Palace, once home to Thailand's revered royal line and an architectural masterpiece of incredible scale and beauty. Wat Traimit, the Temple of the Golden Buddha, houses what is to be believed to be the world's largest solid gold Buddha - an incredible 5.5 tonnes of solid gold.
"One night in Bangkok and the world's your oyster…" - so goes the line from the famous 1980s Musical 'Chess'. What it doesn't say, however, is that the longer you stay, the greater the feast. And what a smorgasboard it is - there really are few places on earth where you can find such an incredible variety of fresh and tasty delicacies than the streets of Bangkok.
With food stalls aplenty on every main road, do as the locals do (there is not a strong eat-at-home culture in Thailand, so you are literally eating as the locals do) and find a thousand cheap versions of your next favourite Thai dish.
If you find yourself in Bangkok between April 13-15 each year, be sure to have a change of clothes handy. Thai New Year, or Songkran, is traditionally a Buddhist festival where sprinkling water signifies the washing away of sin. In reality, this means the whole city devolves into a massive, joyful water fight, so bring your togs and be prepared to have fun!
Although not recommended for swimming, a tour on Bangkok's famed waterways lets you see the city from a whole new perspective, and lets you experience such floating markets as Damnern Saduak, where vendors still buy and sell fruit the traditional way - from their boats. Stop and smell the roses at Paklong Talad, the massive flower market, or find a souvenir at Yaowarat (Bangkok's Chinatown). Bangkok is also known for its nightlife, so be sure to head out and find some of the best rooftop bars and nightclubs on the planet.