Bangkok factsheet


Bangkok factsheet
Guidebooks will tell you Bangkok is a compelling mix of modern materialism and the
traditional way of life. But on first appearances its hot, noisy, and a little crazy. With the help
of his trusty tuk tuk driver, a giant Buddha and squirrel in a pink coat, can Chris find the
serenity in this heaving metropolis?
In Thai, Bangkok is known as ‘Krung Thep’ which translates to City of Angels.
Bangkok’s ceremonial name is incredibly long: “Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon
Rattanakosin Mahinthara Yuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom
Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Piman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya
Witsanukam Prasit”.
The city’s population is over 10,000,000.
Thailand is a Kingdom and its head of state is King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX).
The best time to visit most of Thailand is between November and February when it
rains the least and is not too hot.
Originating from an old-fashioned rickshaw during the Second World War, a tuk tuk is
essentially a rickshaw with a small engine fitted in. This traditional mode of transport can be
found all over Thailand and there are said to be over 10,000 tuk tuks in Bangkok alone. They
are a great way to see the sights, but don’t forget to barter for the price of your journey
before departing.
Contact details:
Hail them from the side of the road.
The gleaming spires of the Grand Palace are an impressive sight. The palace, built in 1782,
shares its grounds with one of Bangkok’s most spectacular and busiest temples Wat Phra
Kaew or ‘Temple of the Emerald Buddha’. Both attractions are two of the holiest places in
Thailand. Although the palace is no longer home to Thailand’s Royal Family it is still their
major architectural symbol. Visitors are required to follow a dress code to enter the palace –
be sure to dress conservatively and wear closed shoes. Opening hours are from 8:30am to
4:30pm daily.
Contact details:
Grand Palace & Wat Phra Kaew
Na Phra Lan Road
Pranakhon District, Bangkok
Phone: +66 2 623 5500
Wat Pho is definitely not to be missed when exploring Bangkok. It features an enormous
reclining Buddha, a whopping 46m in length with its huge 3m feet inlaid with magnificent
mother-of pearl. The temple is also home to the first Thai Traditional Medical & Massage
School. You can indulge in a massage at an incredibly cheap price, or if you have more time
why not learn the art of Thai massage by enrolling in a course. Wat Pho is Bangkok’s oldest
and largest founded during the 16th century. The temple is open daily from 8:00am to 5pm.
Make sure you dress conservatively to adhere to their dress code.
Entry fee:
Approx $1.50
Massage School:
A one hour massage is approx $12
5 week massage courses are approx $1300
Contact details:
Wat Pho
2 Sanam Chai Road
Pranakhon District, Bangkok
Phone: +66 2 225 9595
Thai Traditional Medical & Massage School
2 Sanam Chai Road
Pranakhon District, Bangkok
Phone: +66 2 221 2974
If you are after a shopping experience with a twist make your way to Damnoen Saduak,
around 100km south west of Bangkok. Totally chaotic, small 'klongs' or canals are filled with
little flat boats laden with wares, jockeying for position and expertly paddled by locals ready
to stop and bargain at a moment's notice. The traditional Thai supermarket is over 100 years
old, and although it is popular with tourists it is still colorful and great fun. It’s open every day,
generally from 8am. Hire your own canoe and paddler and get in amongst the action
Contact details:
Floating Market
Damnoen Saduak
Ratchaburi province, Thailand
Lumphini Park is an inner-city haven of tranquility, fresh air and shade, offering city dwellers
the perfect connection to nature. Named after the birthplace of the Lord Buddha in Nepal,
the park is more than half a million square kilometres big. Also known as Bangkok’s ‘green
lung’, historically it dates back to the 1920s and over the years has grown into a centre for
outdoor leisure activities. Locals convene in the early morning or after sunset to enjoy a jog,
light workout, aerobics and a host of other recreational activities. The park is open from 5am
to 8pm daily. The park is at its best at dawn.
Contact details:
Lumphini Park
Rama IV Road
Pathum Wan, Bangkok