Bangkok is a popular tourist destination for many good reasons. Indeed, the capital city of Thailand is on the travel bucket list of visitors from all around the world. Its appeal lies beyond what you will see. The experience you take home with you is what will make you want to return again and again.
Unlike other tourist destinations, the city of Bangkok is alive 24 hours a day. You can find a large amount of things to do even past the hour of midnight So, be prepared for a lot of action – day or night. Rest assured the activities will not leave you broke afterward. As it happens, a Bangkok vacation is cheaper in contrast to most other cities. You can expect to spend less than 70 USD per person, per day.
Here’s a fun trivia: Do you know that Bangkok actually holds the Guinness World Record for the longest name of a place? The city’s ceremonial name is “Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Yuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Piman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit”. With the formalities out of the way, Bangkok seems a catchier nickname to this place of wonder.
Your Bangkok vacation itinerary can cover a range of activities. For the cultural traveler, a trip to the many various temples will give quite the exhilarating experience. Not only are these temples hundreds of years old, but they are also still being tended to as they were back in antiquity. Be ready for a long walk around Bangkok’s countless life-size attractions. You may not be able to see it all in a few days but it will still be a life-long memory.
No trip to Bangkok is complete without going to the many various marketplaces and food stalls that they have littered in the middle of the street. Almost as many as 8,000 stalls selling a variety of goods at any given region, Bangkok is simply a shopper’s paradise. What better way to flaunt your excellent choices than to buy the various Thai trinkets and souvenirs that will bring out the true Far East experience in your trip?
The nightlife in Bangkok is one of the reasons why many people keep coming back. Indeed, the variety of evening attractions offers something for everyone. Sports fans can watch many various Muay Thai shows. This ancient martial art is the national sport of Thailand and continues to enthrall audiences as the action combines culture and entertainment in one. Not only will you be entertained, but you will also get to learn the rigid martial culture that has defined Bangkok to the international level.
No doubt, the action of going around the city, day and night, will leave you tired and hungry. As luck would have it, you are in the homeland of Thai cuisine. Thus, food lovers can expect to have their cravings for refreshing Som Tum, authentic Kuay teow reua, or a hearty Tom yum goong. You even have your choice of fine dining or street food fare. Either way, you are in for a treat as both offers equally delectable meals.
Bangkok is also hugely famous for its Thai massage. Most tourists on a short visit have a massage every day of their vacation. Wherever you are in Bangkok you will not be further than 5 minutes away from a Thai massage shop. While it can get humid and confusing in navigating this elusive city, it only adds certain flair as you explore more of the many various wonders of Bangkok.
People & Culture
In this famous Thai city, the beaches are not the only ones that glitter - the standout culture and traditions in Bangkok will also keep you curious and endlessly interested. Here are some things to know about Bangkok and its people.
The city isn’t only a beach bum’s dream destination. Popular temples in Bangkok also dominate the tourism scene. All over the city, commanding temples - which include Wat Phra Kaew, Wat Arun, Wat Saket, Wat Suhat and Wat Trimitr - bid locals and tourists alike to come in and spend some moments in reflection. These religious landmarks are always architecturally beautiful - solid evidence on how special religion is to Thai people.
The humble people of this booming Southeast Asian nation are easy to love - locals always have smiles on their faces no matter what situation they are in. Adults have simple jobs and not everyone here has the latest gadgets but people from Bangkok always live life as if they have it all. This bright, optimistic disposition can be attributed to their “Ma Pen Drai” philosophy. Ma Pen Drai means “It’s okay. Let’s move on.” Lost some money? Ma Pen Drai. Failed on something? Ma Pen Drai.
People from Bangkok are very hardworking people. To keep up with the fast-paced city scene, Thais in this city have to wake up as early as 5:00 AM for them to finish their tasks for the day. Don’t be surprised if you find noisy streets at 6:00 AM - Thais don’t always sleep in.
The reason for all their hard work is family. Thais are known for their strong family ties and most of their social rules come from family traditions. Locals take respect to a whole new level. When you’re in Bangkok, avoid pointing at strangers with your fingers - this is considered rude. Never use your feet to point at someone - social etiquette in Bangkok indicates that the feet is the dirtiest part of the body and using it to address someone is one of the highest forms of disrespect. Also never touch someone’s head - the head is the most sacred part of the body for locals.
Locals value respect so much that they’re willing to give it even to new tourists. They exhibit this through doing the “wai” - a prayer-like gesture in Thailand where hands are together in front and the head is slightly bowed. Always return a wai - ignoring one means you’re impolite.
For the people in Bangkok, eating is the best time to socialize. Meal time is one, big family affair where everyone is relaxed and laughing. At night, you’ll see various food stalls filled with locals busy eating and chatting together. Some locals go the extra mile by inviting tourists to dine with them. Of course, you can still politely say no if you don’t feel like it.
Southeast Asia has its own share of safety issues that can make one wary. Thailand is also not free from scammers and swindlers. However, not all Thais are going to scam you. In fact, Bangkok locals are one of the most helpful people you’ll ever meet - they’re always eager to assist you whether you are asking for directions or recommendations.
People in Bangkok consider religion an important aspect in life. If you’re planning to visit temples, know that locals expect visitors to show the same amount of respect to these holy places. Wear modest clothes and never disturb those who are in prayer.
Bangkok may have evolved into a very cosmopolitan city but the values, culture and tradition here are still firmly intact. The best secret to getting along with locals is to always treat them, their religion and their culture with respect.
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