On 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.