Like in hardly any other city on the Asian continent, the Thai capital Bangkok blends historical sites with modern lifestyle. Divided into 50 districts, the city of 11 million inhabitants offers just the right mixture of sightseeing, relaxation, shopping and adventure for every holidaymaker. Especially when it is slowly getting colder and colder and the days are getting shorter and shorter here in Germany, the best time to travel to Thailand is between November and April when the weather is most stable. After that the rainy season begins, which lies between May and October. During this time it is not only hot but also very wet. If you don't mind, this is the perfect time to travel, as it is much quieter during these months, especially in the heavily touristy areas, and hotels and accommodations also attract bargain prices.
The most popular sights
The official name of Bangkok is Krung Thep Mahanakhon and means translated as "City of Angels". Old, gilded temples dot the cityscape of the metropolis in droves and offer a very special kind of retreat in the hectic bustle of the city. Thereby, the many golden statues and roofs radiate a very special atmosphere, especially if one looks at the numerous new shopping centres and high-rise buildings around. The whole thing may seem a little surreal, but it is a testimony to the rapid development Thailand has undergone over the past decades, which has made it one of the most popular holiday destinations in East Asia. One of the most popular sights among Bangkok connoisseurs, and thus an insider tip, is the huge standing Buddha in the Khao-San district, which rises over 30 metres into the air. The special thing about this Buddha is that he is standing and not depicted sitting as is so often the case. A further touristical highlight of the city is the huge royal palace, the Grand Palace, that belongs as a must-see on every holiday list to Thailand. The royal family of Thailand does not live there anymore, but this does not hinder a visit of the palace in any way. On the contrary: almost every corner and centimetre of the palace can be visited, while the surroundings, lined with countless small temples around the imposing main palace, also invite to tours. One of the most popular Buddhist prayer houses is Wat Pho, which is located south of the royal palace. If it was talked about the biggest standing Buddha of the city before, Wat Pho offers one of the biggest lying Buddha. An absolute highlight and very popular photo motif.
Shopping in Bangkok
That many things are generally cheaper in Thailand than in Germany, seems to be self-evident to many. But does the whole thing also refer to a world city like Bangkok? Partly, partly. The street hawkers and smaller shops, which are spread throughout all quarters and residential areas, actually offer their goods at a fraction of the price we would pay in our country. This is mainly due to the fact that even the locals shop there, whose wages are many times lower than in the western world. In contrast, the large shopping centres and areas that are very much geared towards tourists are much more expensive. A visit to the big shopping temples is still worthwhile. Especially around the Skytrain Station Siam, you will find everything a shopper's heart desires: the largest shopping center of the city, the Central World, as well as the MBK Shopping Center, which is also very popular with locals. For those who prefer it more authentic, smaller and more rustic, it is worthwhile to visit the many markets where Thai life is reflected like hardly any other place. On busy little streets and in narrow alleys you can haggle and the tasting of local delicacies is an absolute must. The floating markets of Bangkok are at the top of the list of every traveller to Thailand. There the traders offer their goods on small wooden pontoons or boats. Holidaymakers can easily take a guided boat tour through the narrow canals or walk through the labyrinth of wooden planks and narrow jetties themselves.
Security in Bangkok
Even though Thailand has developed a lot in recent years and Bangkok is becoming safer and safer, holidaymakers should still pay more attention to their belongings. Especially on crowded squares and between narrow market stalls it happens again and again that tourists become victims of pickpockets. All valuables should therefore always be carried close to the body or at best left in the hotel. However, this reference is not only valid for the Thai capital, but for every busy place in the world. Special travel tip: If you want to take a taxi, always make sure that the taximeter is turned on or agree on a fixed price with the driver before you start your journey. If the latter refuses, there are at least 10 other taxis that will gladly comply with the request.
Tours and city tours in Bangkok
To really see everything from a city like Bangkok, most vacationers unfortunately have far too little time. Therefore, a guided tour with a guide to the most important sights and attractions of the city is a good way to get a quick overview, as nobody knows a city as well as the local tour guide who is firmly rooted in his hometown. The varied offer ranges from guided tours through the venerable Old Town, day trips to the most important Buddhist temple complexes such as Ayutthaya or a trip to one of the most bizarre but at the same time most interesting markets in the city: the Talad Rome Hub Market. The special thing: The traders have to secure their goods up to eight times a day, as a train runs across the market area. For the particularly brave and adventurous there is also a very special kind of tour: a trip to Kanchanaburi. There you can experience the perfect interaction between humans and animals at close quarters during a private guided tour: in the Tiger Conservation Centre of Wat Pa Luangta Bua.