Holiday Adventures in Bangkok

Ever wanted to visit Thailand, but always thought it was far too expensive? Now that cheap flights to Bangkok are a reality all year round, this is a great time to start planning that exotic trip.

Bangkok is the capital city of Thailand, and has grown from a small trading port to the bustling home of around 12 million people today. With an average daily temperature of over 25 degrees centigrade throughout the year, the city is a perfect tropical destination at any time. March and April are the hottest months, whilst the summer months are often very rainy, although it is of course warm rain, which can be a nice relief from the heat!

The Grand Palace

Bangkok’s most popular tourist attraction, the Grand Palace, is a must-see for many reasons. Located on the island of Rattanakosin, usually referred to as the “Old City”, the Grand Palace was built in 1782 and was for 150 years the administrative seat of Thai government as well as a Royal Palace and home of the Thai Kings.

Within the grounds of the Grand Palace lies the most important Buddhist temple in the country, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. Housing a figure of Buddha carved from a single piece of jade, the Temple consists of elaborate statutes, pagodas and other holy buildings, with only the King himself allowed near the unique Buddha.

Angkor Wat

Nearby is a model of the Cambodian temple complex Angkor Wat, as well as The Balcony, a wall on which the entire ancient Sanskrit epic Ramayana is inscribed. A strict dress code applies for visitors to this sacred centre of Thai culture; long trousers and shirts with sleeves are the order of the day – no bare shoulders or short skirts please.

Other attractions

The famous floating market in Bangkok is not to be missed. James Bond film fans will recognise the Damnoen Saduak market, with its plethora of small canals (or “klongs”) chaotically filled with the instantly recognisable flat-bottomed trader boats. Trade is aimed at tourists rather than local housewives these days, but it’s still a classic taste of a traditional Bangkok experience.

One of the most iconic images of Bangkok, the porcelain-encrusted towering spire of Wat Arun (The Temple of Dawn) dominates the skyline. Around the base there are many figures of ancient animals and soldiers, whilst the second level houses statues of the Indian god Indra. The Temple illustrates and epitomises a complex mythology, incorporating elements devoted to the wind god, the Trident of Shiva and Mount Meru, a sacred mountain.

A relaxing way to see this manic city is to take a cruise on the canal system, which gives a welcome breather in what can sometimes be an overwhelming bustle of people and noise.  It also provides a unique insight into the local traditional water-focused way of life.

Where to Stay

Accommodation in Bangkok is cheap which means you can go 5 star all the way without the guilt!  Try the VIE Hotel Bangkok, a sumptuous design hotel where you can laze by the rooftop pool or enjoy cocktails in the jazz bar.  With prices starting from £64 a night, it’s steal.

If all this has whet the appetite, why not investigate Bangkok, and take a step nearer that dream holiday?