Krung Thep Maha Nakhon or Bangkok to us westerners is the notorious capital city of the Land of Smiles – Thailand. In recent years it has become infamous for the apparent debauchery and lawless entertainment taking place each and every night when the sun sets upon this concrete jungle.
Don’t believe the hype. Whilst Hollywood portrays Bangkok as the preferred party destination for the fearless tourist, there’s more than meets the eye to Asia’s Sin City. We’ve brushed away the dirt so you don’t have to – here are 8 reasons why you shouldn’t shun Bangkok.
1. Rooftop bars –
To really get a feel for the enormous body that is Bangkok you must look down upon its bone-like buildings and gaze at the roads which connect its streets. There’s no better place to do that then the various rooftop bars nested above the city. Situate yourself in the sky in the late afternoon and you’ll see one of the most memorable sights Bangkok has to offer – the sun setting behind Chao Phraya River.
2. Maeklong Railway Market –
Located just outside the city, Maeklong Railway Market is a popular tourist attraction and like the title suggests, it is located near a railway – one which actually passes right through the market walkway. And yes the track is still used by trains. You’ll find yourself in awe as the steel mammoth glides through the flimsy market stalls. A once in a lifetime sight.
3. Lumpinee Boxing Stadium –
Sports fans begging for something new need look no further. The diverse fighting style associated with Muay Thai kickboxing can be viewed from the Lumpinee Boxing Stadium and offers something different to boxing and mixed martial arts. Onlookers will witness acrobatic swinging kicks, fierce elbows and bullet like punches as competitors go toe-to-toe for the spectator’s entertainment.
4. Cuisine –
Indulge in the culinary delights of this fascinating city and dig into some creamy curries, spicy noodles and soup dishes you’ll be yearning to imitate when you’re back in your own kitchen. Thai food has a particularly well known heat, but you’re sure to find something delicious to suit everyone.
5. Relaxation –
Much to the disappointment of Hollywood directors we’re going to paint you a completely different picture of Bangkok to the one currently on show. Imagine mellow temples, traditional massages, meditation centres, Buddhist teachings, monks strolling around dressed in orange, indigenous and imported therapies and even a Swiss spa. Bangkok has it all and more. You can return home feeling recharged and revitalised.
6. Siam Square –
If you’re familiar with Camden in London, Manchester’s Northern Quarter or Albert Dock in Liverpool (and even if you’re not, we can still guarantee) you’ll love Siam Square. Just like those British centres of diversity, Siam Square is a liberal powerhouse where you’ll find hipsters and students alongside bankers and everything in between.
7. Royal City Avenue –
Bangkok is of course no stranger to partying. The crazy stories and movie plots may only focus on this side of the city but there’s a reason for that – it’s amazing. Royal City Avenue, known across the world as RCA, is a complex of clubs, pubs and cafes catering to a wide variety of genres and people. Entry isn’t expensive and there’s something for everyone. Don’t expect many locals here though – around about half of those partying here will be foreigners.
8. Find yourself –
Bangkok isn’t your traditional holiday destination. For many, it’s an opportunity to find themselves, gain enlightenment and move closer to their chosen path. Tattoos in Thailand are common practice and if you find yourself lured in to getting it could well be an ancient Yantra design, usually etched onto the bare skin by monks through traditional bamboo technique and said to bring luck, protection, prosperity, healing and love.