BangkokOn the west bank of the Chao Phraya River in Thailand lies the famous city of Bangkok. Beginning life some six hundred years ago as a farming community, the desirable location of Bangkok soon led to it becoming a prominent trading post.

Throughout the modernisation of Siam from the nineteenth century Bangkok grew rapidly, becoming the largest city in Thailand by the twentieth century. Heavily bombed by the Allies during World War Two, Bangkok underwent something of a revamp in the mid-twentieth century. Today the combination of ancient temples, traditional marketplaces and modern amenities make Bangkok one of the most popular holiday destinations on the planet.

Visitors to Bangkok are drawn by all manner of fascinating sights, including many examples of spectacular architecture. The Temple of the Dawn, known locally as Wat Arun or Wat Chaeng, is one of the most instantly recognisable examples in the whole of South East Asia. Towering spires stretch skywards on the scenic banks of the river, while the dazzling Chinese porcelain and coloured glass which decorate the temple catch and reflect the early morning light. There has been a Buddhist temple on this site since at least the early seventeenth century, although the iconic spires were added during the reign of King Rama II who restored the temple in the nineteenth century.

For those looking to experience some traditional Thai culture there is the Damnoen Saduak, or Floating Market. Although these days the traders sell more to tourists than to locals there is still an impressive array of local produce available, including fresh coconut milk drinks, tropical fruits and variations on ‘boat noodles’ which are meals cooked directly on floating kitchens right on board. The riverside is one of the busiest and most scenic areas of the city, with all-night water taxis available to ferry tourists and locals between banks and around the many attractions.

The Khao San Road is perhaps one of the most famous streets in the entire world. A collision of the Eastern and Western cultures which pervade modern Thailand, Khao San Road is a bustling street near the Grand Palace that originated as the rice district. In fact, Khaosan literally translates as ‘milled rice’, reminding locals of the history and to this day the area offers cheap food and accommodation, making it hugely popular with backpackers from across the globe. For those seeking slightly more luxurious chambers, Travelup have affordable holiday packages to Bangkok including three-star hotel accommodation just seconds away from the Khao San Road.

Bangkok is more than just a big city filled with shopping malls, bars and restaurants. Although many people do not realise when they first arrive here, there are actually a large number of parks scattered around Bangkok, which are perfect for picnics or a long walk.

Overlooking downtown Bangkok’s most spectacular views, Benjakitti Park spans more than 210,000sqms, and sits just across the way from the Queen Sirikit National Centre. Swathed in lush greenery and home to the vast Lake Ratchada, with dedicated jogging and bicycle paths, this is a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. In the middle of the lake, Travelup adds, there is a magnificent fountain, along with a large stage which is used for light performances at New Year’s Eve. If you don’t feel like taking a stroll or going for a cycle around the park, you can always rent a paddle or a row boat and enjoy the views of the rest of the park from the lake.

Another park, which is relatively new in comparison to Bangkok’s other green spaces, is Benjasiri. Travelup ReviewsTravelup reviews of this park say that its one of the best places in the city for those with an interest in art and sculpture, as some of Thailand’s most impressive pieces can be found here. The park’s centrepiece is a fountain, created by Mesium Yipinsoy, the master sculptor, which features a beautiful water display three times each day. Whilst you cannot take paddle boat out on the water here, Travelup explains, there are plenty of other activities which you can entertain yourself with; you can take a dip in the outdoor swimming pool, go rollerblading in the rink, or join in a game of tennis on the court.

For those who prefer a more peaceful park environment, there’s nowhere better than Chatuchak Park, located in the northern part of downtown Bangkok. You can simply relax and soak up the beauty of the gardens here, or take a refreshing walk along the tree-lined paths. Just recently, the old golf course which sits next to the park was added as an extension to Chatuchak, and is now home to both soccer fields and tennis courts. With its abundance of benches which are shaded by trees, Travelup says, this is the ideal spot if you want to cool down on a hot day in the city.