Bangkok is full of intoxicating aromas, exotic eats and captivating sights. To get the most out of your Bangkok holiday, you’ll want to make sure you see, hear, smell, touch and taste as much as you can while you’re there. Be sure to make time for the following attractions when planning a Bangkok holiday for a complete sensory experience.
No trip to Bangkok would be complete without a visit to the Grand Palace. As one of the most popular tourist attractions in Thailand, this complex of pavilions is located in the heart of the city. The palace once housed the kings of Siam and Thailand; although it’s no longer home to royalty, royal ceremonies and state functions are held within its walls each year. What makes it such a sight to see? Its beautiful architecture and intricate detail are a testament to the craftsmanship and creativity of the Thai people and are what continue to dazzle Bangkok’s residents and visitors year-round.
The Grand Palace is considered a sacred place, so visitors must be properly dressed before entering. Men must wear long pants and shirts with sleeves, and women must appear modest. Bare feet are also not allowed and sandals must be worn with socks, so keep that in mind when packing for your trip.
Home to the Bangkok Symphony Orchestra, the Thailand Cultural Centre is a national-level performing arts venue with two auditoriums and an outdoor stage. The venue also features many visiting dance and music performances, including the International Festival of Music and Dance. Here, you can listen to the unique sounds of Bangkok culture.
Also appealing to the sense of sight, the Bangkok Flower market is the largest fresh flower market in the city. The sweet, intoxicating smells of jasmine, chrysanthemum, orchids, lilies and roses in full bloom 24 hours a day will tantalize your nose. The best time to visit the market is from 3 a.m. to 4 a.m.
Also known as “Little India,” Pahurat offers an array of exotic items to peruse, including fabric and textiles. The site is most famous for the Pahurat Textile Market, where you can buy cotton, silk, tweed and cashmere at very low prices. Even if you don’t sew, this place comes highly recommended as a must-see tourist attraction. But, who wouldn’t jump at the chance to buy discounted cashmere? You could always take it to a tailor back home and have a sweater or a scarf made. Either way, the textile market is a great place to get a feel for the exotic culture of Bangkok. Walk around, feel the soft cotton and cool silk, and make memories that will last.
Much of the cuisine in Bangkok originates from the Chinese, and it’s said that the sidewalk is one of the best places to find it. It’s also one of the cheapest. For a unique feast, avoid the fancy restaurant at your hotel for one day and pay a visit to one of Bangkok’s street food vendors. Many foreigners are intimidated by the food stalls on the street, but if you’re willing to step outside the box and overcome the fears most people have, you will truly experience Bangkok like a local. Some of the most popular neighbourhoods for street food in Bangkok are Chinatown, Thong Lor, Lumphini Park and Victory Monument. Most dishes are served with rice or noodles. As long as you don’t have food allergies, you should be open to trying everything to enhance your experience.
If you use these suggestions for your upcoming trip, you will get the most out of your Bangkok experience and find something for all five of your senses.
About the Author: Toni Parks is a travel agent and self-proclaimed Thai food lover. She books a flight to Bangkok every year just so she can try a new dish at one of the many street vendors.
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