Bangkok is not only the capital city of the country, but is also by far the largest city in the country, meaning that there is always plenty to do and to enjoy in the city. The main financial district has benefited as much as many other Asian capitals and is now home to a large number of skyscrapers, yet this historic city also has plenty of other attractions to draw the crowd too. The social life in the city is embraced by many of its residents, and it is a true cosmopolitan city where people from all backgrounds and orientations can be seen alongside each other.
Shopping In Bangkok
Along with the financial revolution that has happened in Asia over the last twenty years, the development of a shopping culture has also appeared, and Bangkok is one of the best places on the continent for shopping. Shopping malls have sprung up throughout the city centre, with the districts of Siam and Ratchaprasong being particularly popular because of the series of shopping malls located there.
For those looking for more traditional Thai wares or simply wanting to enjoy and exciting and different shopping experience, there are a number of different markets available. Probably the most impressive, and certainly the biggest market of all is the Chatuchak weekend market which is believed to be the largest weekend market in the world, boasting over 5,000 stalls selling everything from food and household items up to religious artifacts and live animals.
Get Soaked In The Songkran Festival
One of the most fun festivals to be enjoyed in Bangkok happens between the thirteenth and the fifteenth of April every year, and is a celebration of the traditional New Year according to the old Thai calendar. While it may come as a surprise to those unsuspecting visitors, it is traditional on this day to douse others in water or water combined with talc as a wish of good fortune for the coming year. During the festival many locals can be found on the streets of Bangkok armed with containers filled with water or even water guns.
The symbolic act represented on this act is the washing away of the old year, and the hope is that the washing away of the bad aspects of the previous year will bring prosperity and success for the coming year.
Enjoy The Nightlife In Bangkok
One of the most famous (or some may say notorious!) aspects of the culture in Bangkok is the vibrant nightlife, with the fun centered on the districts of Si Lom and Lamsalee being particularly popular. As well as the wide selection of nightclubs, jazz bars and restaurants to be found in the city, there is also a significant culture of ‘Ladyboy Shows’, which does attract many visitors.
The risks of going for a night on the town in Bangkok have reduced significantly over recent years, with a big drop in the crime rate. However, the low cost of alcoholic drinks in the city mean that visitors are likely to continue to flock to Bangkok to enjoy the nightlife districts.
Explore The Grand Palace
Like many other kingdoms in Asia, Thailand has a grand and impressive palace complex that is well worth exploring for the interested tourist. Not content with one ornate palace, the GrandPalace is made up of a large number of accommodation buildings, temples, entertaining rooms and a variety of other outbuildings too. The highlight of the GrandPalace in Bangkok is the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, which has a sacred statue of the Buddha which can only be touched by the King of Thailand. This temple is generally considered to be the most important in the whole of Thailand.
This is another important festival in the cultural life of Bangkok in which the city is lit up by fireworks, and light decorations are released on the water. The festival itself is related to the Thai calendar, and usually falls in November in the western calendar. The original intent of the festival was to honor the Buddha, although it is now a festival celebrated by most people in the city rather than just Buddhists. The tradition of making small decorations that include a small candle sees the river lit up by many small lights, which are said to take away the individual’s negative emotions.