Travel Thailand & stay a while in Bangkok.
Whether you are having a vacation, have business or visiting an area you have not been to previously, Bangkok can make a good base.
Having lived in Bangkok for several years now it is a vast difference to my the country where I was born & grew up & worked for many years – Australia.
Have you visited this city of Bangkok with modern skyscrapers, incredible shopping malls & the unique culture that is Thailand?
There is much to do & see in this city of eight million people.
I must admit that I love venturing into this vibrant city.
As well as the modern city, one can experience firsthand the Thai culture, by virtually walking around the many Sois (streets) in & close to the city centre.
In among this maze of humanity, one can make contact with the locals.
I don’t speak Thai, a bit lazy I guess, however this has never been a problem, as I seem to be able to make myself understood – LOL.
Of course being the hub of SE Asia, a lot of travellers pass through this city on their way to other destinations. It is a busy city with a population of eight million, which can result in heavy traffic & the resulting delays. One thing that has always amazed me is, that one rarely hears a horn from the traffic, as drivers patiently wait at traffic lights for their turn to proceed. It may be Buddhist Karma.
I try to keep out of the traffic as much as possible & rely on the excellent train system which enables one to avoid the congestion, particularly in peak hours.
There are two train systems, one is the above the ground system BTS (The Bangkok Mass Transit System) commonly known as the Skytrain. It is the main train system around the city.
The other system is the MRT underground (Mass Rapid Transit network) which works to supplement some areas with the BTS. Both systems run extremely well & in peak hours the trains operate every few minutes. They are spotlessly clean – smoking is prohibited & I have never seen anything, like paper or other litter on the floor of the train. The cost is very reasonable.
Extensive new development of additional services by the BTS to the outer areas of the city are progressing at a rapid pace. This will greatly assist in the reduction of motor vehicles & the traffic congestion currently experienced.
I drive my car about twenty klms to an MRT station, park in the excellent parking station adjoining the train station & enjoy a comfortable train journey into the heart of the city. As a senior (yes I am an old guy) I get reduced rate for the parking. Combining the train cost (both ways) plus the parking fee (for about six hours) it costs me about $US 4. Quite incredible I believe.
I belong to a Bangkok photography group, & each month a professional photographer from the group organizes a walk through interesting parts of the city. Often we walk through sois where the locals live & see their homes & way of life. We are always made welcome & it is great to see the children & the parents wanting to have their photos taken.
Site seeing in Bangkok can fill many days & nights
Thailand has an incredible history, which includes the Royal Family, & being a Buddhist country, one can spend many days venturing into temples & other areas of the city experiencing the culture.
The Royal Palace has many buildings contained on the site.
A visit to the Palace should be on your itinerary. The incredible artisans create wonders at the Palace & surrounding areas.
The reclining Buddha at Wat Pho is a must see for any first time visitor to Bangkok.
The main street in Bangkok is Sukhumvit Road which actually is extremely long (484 klms) & extends out of the city to Pattaya.
Traffic is always constant in the city – particularly in peak hours.
Image shows the traffic in Sukhumvit Road.
The BTS train line (above right) & the access by the escalator on the left.
Shopping in Bangkok – WOW what an experience.
From the side walk stalls in the streets, to the massive shopping malls in this vibrant city, I am sure you will find plenty to keep you interested.
Are you a shopper ?
There are many shops to cater for your every desire. Of course there are copies of well known brands, usually at very competitive prices. I even have a “genuine” Omega watch, all nice & shiny – one would not know the difference. It is likely it will only last a short time, however it does look quite classy on my wrist.
One huge luxury mall, right next to the BTS train is Siam Paragon. A multi story complex where one may eat in the fast food section, at very reasonable cost, or buy a luxury vehicle on one of the upper floors.
What is your preference ?
Bring your credit card & splurge – LOL.
Ducati & Harley Davidson motor bikes are also available if you prefer two wheels rather than four.
Rolls Royce, Maserati, Aston Martin, Bentley & many other high class vehicles.
Siam Paragon is a wonderful place to browse & see high class merchandise available in exquisite decors.
Of course there are many high class shopping complexes in the centre of Bangkok & the surrounding areas. Central World, Terminal 21, MBK, are just several of the enormous range of shopping malls.
One of the newest & largest is ICONSIAM – on the banks of the Chao Phraya river – with easy access by BTS train & free shuttle boat.
I think this is incredible, & I was amazed at the mammoth high end Mall & entertainment centre.
A few statistics – courtesy of Wikipedia:
- Opened 10th November 2018
- 10 levels of shopping & other facilities
- 54 billion baht (US$ 1.5 billion)
- 525,000 m2 Shopping Mall
- 2 Shopping Malls
- 1st Apple Store in Thailand
- Riverside Park with 10,000 m2 alongside the Chao Phraya River
I visited ICONSIAM not long after the opening & I was amazed at this complex. I have been back a couple of times since.
I show a few photos I took of this incredible mall.
Twin Towers River view from IconSiam
Looking out to the river from IconSiam, one can see the busy waterway with a constant stream of traffic crisscrossing the waterways & also small tugs hauling a line of barges.
The population of Bangkok is over eight million, so it is understandable there are a constant flow of traffic.
It is also spectacular at night viewed from the Chao Phraya River
There is so much more to see in Bangkok city – this is only a brief introduction.
More to come.
Thank you for viewing