If there is one place in the world where you are always greeted with a smile, it’s in Bangkok – the capital of the ‘Land of smiles’. So it is not unexpected that tourists from all across the globe swarm to the friendly South East Asian Nation. Home to 10 million people, the Thai capital is a traveler’s delight and offers a lot of contrasting experiences all at once.
From cultural pursuits to shopping sojourns and culinary journeys to wellness getaways, Bangkok boasts of an astonishing variety of activities to choose from.
Rich in culture, visitors to Bangkok can travel back in time when visiting the city’s canals that are drenched in history. Go on a memorable cruise on the Chao Phraya River that’s flanked by wooden houses on stilts, along with quaint little shops selling everything from souvenirs to exotic flowers.
Water plays a pivotal part in an agrarian heartland like Thailand, and some of the main events and celebrations all center around it. In mid April during the Thai New Year or Songkran Festival scented water is used to bathe Buddha statue and images, and it is poured over the land of elders to show respect, while the younger generation indulge in some merry making and water splashing!
Another festival where water plays an important role is the festival of lights or Loy Karthong, held on a full moon night in November. As an offering to the goddess of water, people gather at the various waterways that dot the country to float pretty banana leaf vessels decorated with flowers, incense and candles.
Photo Credit: Th4u.com
These timeless traditions and celebrations, such as His Majesty the King’s birthday and Buddhist holy days, make Bangkok a bastion of traditional Thai culture. One can also visit the museums that are both traditional and high tech, combined with galleries exhibiting contemporary pieces and classical work to get a peek into their rich history.
A cosmopolitan metropolis, Bangkok is also a preferred spot for travelers seeking more than just a cultural experience. The city’s mass transit network offers great connectivity and links some of the swankiest malls and night areas. What’s more, the presence of the sky-train and the subway makes it a breeze to get around the city. Bangkok is also a food paradise and presents a dining scene that is appetizingly diverse.
Go on a gastronomical journey and satiate your appetite with everything from delicious Thai fare to Japanese food, and even delectable Italian cuisine. Few cities offer a greater choice of restaurants than Bangkok and you’ll be spoilt for choice. Pluse those who relish street food can indulge in the smorgasbord of economically priced food.
The Thai capital is also the epicenter of medical tourism in South East Asia and visitors seeking a relaxing getaway will be impressed with the assortment of spas and wellness centers here. It is the best way to get pampered and leave the country after feeling rejuvenated, relaxed and completely de-stressed.