For sheer excitement and entertainment, few cities evoke the magic and mysticism of Bangkok – the ‘city of Angels’. As the capital of Thailand, Bangkok is one of the most modern and thrilling holiday destinations in the world. Whether you’re looking for a family holiday package, a stag or hen party or a backpacking adventure; Bangkok is the ideal destination for all travellers. Previously Bangkok had a reputation for a slightly disreputable nightlife and appealed largely to stag parties or ‘sex tourism’. Whilst this is still an important part of the Bangkok experience, there are many more activities to enjoy and the city has now moved towards a more sophisticated and diverse outlook with high-class jazz bars alongside luxury shopping. The Bangkok of today is a vibrant and modern capital city which offers unique experiences for visitors; combining the ancient spirituality of its temples with the up-to-the-minute hedonism of go-go bars.
The current economic climate has caused many tour operators to reduce their prices for and many now have deals and offers across their packages. This has led to some real bargains being made available for travel to Thailand, and has made the prospect of low cost trips to Asia becoming more of a reality. When travelling long haul, many find it cheaper and more practical to pay a little extra in order to be all inclusive at the resort; some online travel agencies are now beginning to offer luxury breaks at some of the cheapest prices seen in recent years. All inclusive deals give tourists the opportunity to reduce their dining costs, and ensure that drinks and meals are paid for in advance. If this is not an option, then there are still many ways to make a break to Bangkok attainable on a tight budget.
The city of Bangkok has a rich cultural heritage, and the surrounding area has many historical monasteries, temples, museums, art galleries, palaces and mansions. The architecture of Bangkok is absolutely stunning and the city’s skyline remains one of the most iconic sights in modern travel. The gold-clad Buddhist temples of Wat Pho and Wat Arun are amongst the most famous in the world, and many visitors flock to the sites in order to experience the unique atmosphere. Worshippers still congregate at these ancient temples and there are often services and festivals, to which travellers are always made welcome. Religion and spirituality are central to the way of life in Bangkok, with most Thai people still subscribing to traditional Buddhist beliefs and practices. This approach has led to a growth in visitors becoming interested in retreats, meditation and yoga – all of which can help to calm and relax the mind and body, perfect for a holiday.
Many people travel to Bangkok in order to experience the city’s legendary nightlife. From the exotic to the familiar, there are many unique experiences to be had in the city’s bustling streets. Whilst the city has a reputation for some of the sleazier aspects of social life; Bangkok has worked hard to offer other opportunities to tourists. The city now has some of the best jazz and live music bars in Asia, and many exclusive clubs now cater to more sophisticated tastes including high class wine and whisky bars. Of course there will always be lots of fun activities for stag and hen parties, as well as being a naughty underside to Bangkok’s nightlife; but this is not all of the Bangkok experience. If you’re interested in seeing the flirty side of Bangkok, then a trip to the Nana district is ideal – with themed go-go bars to suit all tastes. Sex tourism remains a large part of Bangkok’s appeal, and although it’s possible to avoid these experiences; those who wish to immerse themselves in the go-go clubs and seedier districts can still revel to their heart’s content.
Bangkok is the only city in the world to have pink taxis, and this is due to their commitment towards ensuring equality for homosexual people. Bangkok has one of the largest, safest and liveliest gay scenes in the world; with many bars and clubs catering for the gay market. Silom is famous for being the ‘gay capital of Asia’ and is an excellent place for an evening’s entertainment, flirting or drinking. The region’s clubs are some of the largest and most vibrant in the world, with everyone’s individual needs catered to through an abundance of themed bars and clubs. The transsexual and transvestite communities are also well represented and very welcome in Bangkok, with an open and non-judgemental attitude pervading the district. Gay pride festivals have become a huge annual event in Bangkok – providing the city with yet another excuse to party!
Food and Drink
Thai food is famous throughout the world for its diversity and depth of flavour. Visitors will find many familiar dishes in Bangkok, as well as a wealth of restaurants catering to international cuisines. The city has many world class restaurants, including several which were founded by celebrity chefs. Those who are more adventurous may try local delicacies such as deep-fried grasshopper; however if this is not your scene then there are also many more palatable options. Tourist favourites are often spicy Tom Yum soup, red curry andPad Thai fried noodles.