October 2012
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Bankok – Capital of Thailand … Part 3

Bangkok is the capital of Thailand and its largest city.

Places to see in Bankok

Rattanakosin’s museums are mostly dedicated to history and culture. These include:
• National Museum (about Thai history and archaeological remains).
• Museum of Siam.
• King Prajadhipok Museum.

Bangkok has a small, but vocal art community.
• Visit the National Gallery or The Queen’s Gallery, or one of its numerous smaller galleries that spread over the city.
• Siam Square features the recently opened Bangkok Art and Culture Center.
• This center has temporary art exhibitions throughout year.
• Lumphini Park in Silom is the largest park in central Bangkok.
• Backpackers around Khao San Road can head for Santichaiprakarn Park.
• It is a small but fun park along the Chao Phraya River with a breezy atmosphere.
• It is built around the 18th-century Phra Sumen Fort with a nice view on the modern Rama VIII cable-stayed bridge.
• Zoos and animal farms are some of the more popular tourist attractions in Bangkok.
• At the Queen Saovabha Institute Snake Farm in Silom, the staff takes good care of their snakes and they have a job of informing the public about the risks associated with them.
• Another nice family attraction is Siam Ocean World in Siam Square.
• Here you get to see the largest aquarium in Southeast Asia.

Different Activities to do in Bankok

1. Cycling
Co van Kessel
– ? +66 2 322-9481
– Co van Kessel offers many cycling tours through Bangkok, taking in Chinatown, the canals of Thonburi, the “Bangkok Jungle” and many other places in between.
? 950-1,950 baht.
Follow Me Bicycle Tours
– 126 Sathorn Tai Rd
– ? +66 2 286-5891
– Follow Me offers half-day bicycle tours through Bangkok’s residential streets.
– There is a fish spa and a barbecue meal after the tour which is included in the tour.
– 1,000 baht.
Grasshopper Adventures
– 57 Ratchadamnoen Klang Rd
– ?+66 2 280-0832
– Grasshopper Adventures operates tours through the historic Rattanakosin district of Bangkok, to the outskirts of Bangkok and one that takes place at night.
– 1,000-1,600 baht.
Recreational Bangkok Biking
– Baan Sri Kung 350/127, Soi 71, Rama III Road, Yannawa.
– ? +66 2-285 3955.
– Recreational Bangkok Biking, operates daily bicycle tours in small groups only (a maximum of 8 participants).
– Timings: 08:00 & 13:00.
– THB 1,000.
– ? +66 2 712-5303
– 1,000-2,500 baht
– They offer one day and multi-day cycling trips in and around Bangkok. There are trips to the Bangkok Jungle, Ko Kret, Yaowarat, and Thonburi.
Thailand Green Ride
– ? +66 2 888-9637
– These are “green rides”, half-day, 1 day and home stay overnight cycling trips through the green countryside of Bangkok.

2. Canal tours
– Another great way to see the Chao Phraya River and the original canals of the city is by canal tour.
– Most of these special boat trips start at the eastern bank of the Chao Phraya and head through the backwaters of Thonburi.
– These take in Wat Arun, the Royal Barges National Museum and a floating market.

Festivals of Bankok

All of Thailand’s major festivals are celebrated in Bangkok.
1. Chinese New Year Festival
• Time: January or February
• The obvious place to visit is Yaowarat, the Chinese district of Bangkok.
• Yaowarat Road is closed for cars and many stores as food stands crowd the road, with grandiose and colorful Chinese lion and dragon processions.

2. Bangkok China Town Festival 2003
• The area around Yaowarat road is known as “Chinatown” in Bangkok.
• This comes alive to celebrate Chinese New Year festival.
• The one-kilometre stretch of road will be decorated with flowers and Chinese lantern.
Activities include:
– Golden Dragon Light
– Sound Presentation
– International Dragon and Lion Parade
– Chinese Food Stalls
– Chinese Opera
– Cultural events

3. Songkran Festival Nationwide
• The traditional Thai New Year usually falls around 13-17th.
• Local people pay homage to Buddha images, clean their homes, and sprinkle water on their elders as a mark of respect.
• This has developed in recent years into open water warfare.
• Everything from hoses to ten gallon tubs used to guarantee a thorough soaking of the target.
• This is particularly popular in the tourist areas of Khao San Road, Bangkok, and Chiang Mai.
• The latter also holds colorful parades and religious ceremonies.

4. Royal Ploughing Ceremony
• Presided over by the King and Queen at Sanam Luang in Bangkok, this ancient Brahmin festival marks the beginning of the rice-planting season.
• Predictions are made about weather and harvests for the coming year.

5. Loy Krathong – Nationwide
• River spirits are placated for another year with gifts of Krathongs floated on rivers, canals and lakes on the night of the full moon.
• Made of banana leaves, and decorated with incense and candles, thousands of these beautiful boats light up the night.

6. Trooping of the Colors
• Time: December
• The King and the Queen preside over this impressive annual event, held in the Royal Plaza.

7. HM The King’s Birthday Celebrations
• Time: December 5
• At this day, Ratchadamri Road and the Grand Palace are elaborately decorated and illuminated.
• In the evening, hundred thousands of locals line the route from Sanam Luang to the Chitralada Palace to get a glimpse of the King.

Best time to visit / climate

• The most pleasant time to visit is the cool season that lasts from November till February.
• It is both the coolest and driest period.
• Daytime temperatures still hover around 30°C (86°F), but it does cool down into the lower 20’s as it gets dark (lower 70s in Fahrenheit).
• March and April represent the hot season.
• The temperatures are 35°C (95°F) on average.
• This is the worst season to visit Bangkok, so plan in a lot of air-conditioned shopping mall visits and get a hotel with a swimming pool.
• The wet season that runs from May till October.
• Expect massive downpours resulting in floods all over the city.
• Extreme rainfall happens in September and October, so these months are best avoided.
There are two main seasons:
• Dry season equates to high season and any rates associated with travel are much higher than low season.
• For those who can not take extreme heat, Dec – Feb is milder than Mar – May and air quality is poor.
• May – Nov there are less tourists, fresher air, greener foliage, and if you like white water rafting, this is the time.

Location on Google Maps

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How to get there?

1. By Plane
Bangkok is served by two airports:
• Suvarnabhumi Airport.
• Don Muang Airport.
• Suvarnabhumi Airport is used by all airlines in Thailand, except for domestic flights on Nok Air and Orient Thai
• These still use the old Don Muang Airport.
• Both these airports are about 30 km (19 mi) from the city center.
• Allow at least three hours to connect between them, as they are far away from each other and there is heavy congestion on the roads.
From suvarnabhoomi airport, The BMTA public bus lines are:
– 549: Suvarnabhumi to Min Buri
– 550: Suvarnabhumi to Bang Kapi
– 551: Suvarnabhumi to Victory Monument
– 552: Suvarnabhumi to On Nut
– 552A: Suvarnabhumi to Sam Rong
– 553: Suvarnabhumi to Samut Prakan
– 554: Suvarnabhumi to Don Muang Airport
– 555: Suvarnabhumi to Rangsit (using the expressway)
– 558: Suvarnabhumi to Central Rama 2
– 559: Suvarnabhumi to Future Park Rangsit (using the outer ring road)
Don Muang Airport
• Don Muang Airport (IATA: DMK) (ICAO: VTBD) (or Don Mueang) is about 30 km (19 mi) north of downtown.
• It was Bangkok’s main airport until 2006.
• The airport currently handles Nok Air and Orient Thai domestic flights.

2. By Bus
• Bangkok has three public bus terminals.
• These buses are cheaper, safer, faster, more comfortable and won’t scam you.
• The largest, busiest, and most modern terminal is the Northern Bus Terminal, ? +66 2 936-2841(-3), also known as Mo Chit.

3. By Train
• The State Railway of Thailand, ? +66 2 222-0175, serves Bangkok with railway lines from all four directions of Thailand.
• Hualamphong Train Station is the most important station.
• It is located close to Yaowarat and served by its own MRT station.
• It is a big and surprisingly convenient station built during the reign of King Rama VI.
• It was spared from bombing in World War II at the request of the Thai resistance movement.

4. By Car
• Getting into Bangkok by car is not a good idea.
• The best way to get to Bangkok from Northern Thailand is driving on Phahonyothin Road (Route 1), which comes from Mae Sai near the Myanmarese border.
• Sukhumvit Road (Route 3) comes from cities inEastern Thailand, such as Trat, Pattaya and Chonburi.
• Phetkasem Road (Route 4) must be one of the longest roads in the world, as it comes all the way from the Malaysian border serving Southern Thailand.

Some Travel Books about Thailand

Lonely Planet Discover Thailand Thailand PhotoMazing Thailand

Places to stay (hotels / restaurants along with website / contact numbers)

Hotels at wikitravel.org
Hotels at hotelscombined.com
Hotels at bangkok.com

Blogs / Sites about Thailand – Bangkok

Blogs at smartbangkoktravel.com
Blogs at bangkok-city.com
Blogs at travelblog.org
Blogs and reviews at lonelyplanet.com

Images and photos of Thailand – Bangkok

Images at google.com
Images at travel.nationalgeographic.com
Images at tripadvisor.in
Images at bangkok-photos.com

Videos of Thailand – Bankok

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