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    What to see in Bangkok: 10 places not to be missed

    Who I am
    Aina Prat Blasi
    @ainapratblasi
    SOURCES CONSULTED:

    wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

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    After the article / guide on Bangkok with all the practical information on how to reach it, how to move, where to sleep, where to eat, etc., here I want to talk about places not to be missed in the capital of Thailand, especially if you are going there for the first time

    Bangkok is a metropolis and obviously there are so many things to do and see: the places I am talking about here are my personal "must see", the unmissable ones.


    1.Great Royal Palace (Ratanakosin)

    Anyone who arrives in Bangkok for the first time cannot fail to start the visit of the city from Ratanakosin, the artificial island that houses the great Royal complex. Inside is the Grand Royal Palace (with the audience hall, the ancient king's harem, the Wat Phra Kaeo Museum, elephant stables and other royal buildings), the Wat Phra Kaeo (the holiest Buddhist temple in the country that houses the most revered image, namely the Emerald Buddha), and the other royal buildings. The king no longer resides here, but the Grand Palace is still used for official ceremonies and state visits. Appropriate clothing is a must to visit Ratanakosin: no sleeveless or transparent dresses, no flip flops without ankle strap, pants / skirts at least below the knee. If you don't have them, you can rent them near the entrance, leaving a deposit of 200B for each garment. 


    The entrance is from the Gate of Glorious Victory which is located at Na Phra Lan Rd, Phra Nakhon. The Ratanakosin is open every day from 8: 30 to 15: 30. The ticket costs 500 baht (around 15 euros) and also includes access to Wat Phra Kaew and the Queen Sirikit Museum of Textile. You can buy it in advance through this site. With the same ticket you will be entitled to enter the Dusit Park within 7 days. 



    2.Wat Pho: the reclining Buddha

    Wat Pho is the oldest temple in Bangkok (it was built in 1600) and is famous for hosting the Reclining Buddha, a statue of the golden Buddha 45 meters long. Along the statue there are 108 urns that bring luck and long life to those who place a coin in each (the monks know a lot, let's face it!). The Wat Pho is considered to be the first University of Thailand and is still a important center of traditional medicine, in particular of Thai massage. Its courtyards, large chedi (pagodas) and cloisters lined with hundreds of statues of the Buddha are beautiful. The entrance to Wat Pho is on Thanon Thai Wang, it is open from 8 to 18:30 and the cost of the ticket of 200B (about 6 euros). 

    3.Monument to Democracy

    The great Democracy Monument is located on the boulevard connecting the Grand Palace with the new royal quarter of Dusit (Thano Rajdamnoen Klang). It was built in 1939 as a testament to the ideals of the 1932 revolution and the transition to the constitution monarchy and has remained the center of all demonstrations for democracy ever since. The streets around (especially Thanon phra Sumen and Thanon Mahachai) have beautiful wooden and period houses here you will find many restaurants of traditional Thai cuisine (like the famous Raan Jay Dai, street food with 1 Michelin star, and the Thip Samai, so you will have to queue beforehand).


    4.Golden Hill and Wat Saket

    This is one of my places in the heart of Bangkok, and I always go back. As the name implies, the Golden temple of Wat Saket it is located on a hill from which there is a magnificent view over a beautiful piece of the city and is named after Golden Hill. The best time of the day to come is late afternoon, to enjoy the sunset from the terrace of the temple lulled by the sound of the bells. It is a truly suggestive place! The temple is open from 7:30 to 19 and the entrance ticket costs 50B. As with the other temples in the city you will need to have covered arms and legs (no tank tops and shorts). 


    5.Chinatown

    Chinatown is one of the most traditional and authentic neighborhoods in Bangkok, and is one of the places I always try to come to, whenever I'm in the city. You can reach it comfortably by boat, getting off at the Ratchawongse stop; from there you can then enter the labyrinth of market alleys. The streets are divided by "product type": there are alleys where only women's accessories, other household appliances, other stationery shops, and others are sold. The most important temple in the neighborhood (as well as one of the most important in Bangkok) is the Wat Traimit with the large solid gold buddha. The golden spire of the temple can be seen from afar and from the upper terrace you can have a beautiful view over the whole district. Entrance costs 40B and you must have covered arms and legs to be able to enter (in case you are renting shirts / skirts). 


    6. Dusit Park and Wimanmek Palace

    The large green area called Dusit became the royal quarter since 1860, during the reign of Rama V and is an area of ​​clear European inspiration. The most beautiful palace to visit is definitely the Wimanmek Palace, a structure built entirely in golden teak without the use of a single nail. It was the summer residence of Rama V and male guests were forbidden to enter all 81 rooms of the palace, except the king's apartments. The main entrance is located in Thanon Rajwithi. The entrance ticket is included in the Ratanakosin ticket. 

    7.Wat Arun

    Exactly across the river from Wat Pho is the Wat Arun, the temple of Dawn which, with its 5 spiers, is probably the most iconic building in Bangkok. It has recently been refurbished and all of its spiers are covered with pottery from China, shards of porcelain and tiny tiles that draw colorful flowers. The most beautiful view is the one you can enjoy from the river, but also enter the temple because it is really worth it, and climb the highest spire to have a beautiful view of the surroundings. It is open every day from 8 to 18 and the ticket costs 50B. 


    8. Dusit Park and Wimanmek Palace

    The large green area called Dusit became the royal quarter since 1860, during the reign of Rama V and is an area of ​​clear European inspiration. The most beautiful palace to visit is definitely the Wimanmek Palace, a structure built entirely in golden teak without the use of a single nail. It was the summer residence of Rama V and male guests were forbidden to enter all 81 rooms of the palace, except the king's apartments. The main entrance is located in Thanon Rajwithi. The entrance ticket is included in the Ratanakosin ticket. 

    9.Jim Thomson House

    This beautiful Thai-style house was the residence of the famous American adventurer, entrepreneur and collector Jim Thomson. The house is surrounded by skyscrapers and is truly an oasis of peace. Jim Thomson makes a very important character for Thailand because he transformed the Thai silk weaving tradition into a thriving international industry. He died in mysterious conditions and this certainly increased his myth. The house (and the magnificent garden) is open every day from 9 onwards and it is necessary to participate in a guided tour of 30-40 '(they leave all the time). 

    10. The Skyscrapers of Silom and Downtown Bangkok 

    The whole area of ​​Silom and Downtown Bangkok is made up of skyscrapers occupied by large hotels, offices, restaurants and above all, immense shopping centers. One of the largest and most famous is certainly theMBK (the closest skytrain stop is National Stadium or Siam). Here you can buy everything !! In reality you will find shopping malls really everywhere in these parts; moreover, usually the top floors are always dedicated to catering and you will find a huge choice. These are the purely commercial areas of the city and it is here that the highest observation point in Thailand is also located: the most daring (and those who do not suffer from vertigo), can observe the panorama by walking on the glass floor at 74 ° plan of the King Power Mahanakhon from a height of 314 meters! You can buy tickets online from this site.  

    11. The most beautiful rooftop bars in Bangkok 

    Also in the Silom and Downtown Bangkok area there are also the most beautiful rooftop bars in Bangkok, from which to enjoy magnificent sunsets while sipping (at a high price!) A nice drink. In 99% of cases they are the bars / restaurants of 5-star hotels so you will have to dress appropriately, otherwise you will be beautifully bounced. In all the prices they are very expensive: approximately 15 euros for a beer or a glass of wine and 25-30 euros for a cocktail.

     The best in my opinion are these:

    • Sky Bar @ Lebua: undoubtedly the most famous, especially since it was immortalized in the film "The Hangover". 
    • Vertigo Grill & Moon Bar @ Banyan Tree Hotel: probably my favorite. Structured on several terraces, it resembles a ship's hull: the view and the atmosphere are amazing. 
    • Red Sky @ Centara Grand: a little tamarro, with this big bow that changes color, but a little bit of tamarragine never hurts. 
    • Octave Rooftop Lounge & Bar @ Marriot Hotel: the second I prefer, after the Vertigo. Elegant atmosphere and superb view. 
    • Above Eleven: nice bar and excellent sushi restaurant in front of a breathtaking view.
    • Distil Rooftop Bar: the highest bar in Bangkok. Located in a building in front of the Sky Bar, it is a small and refined place that offers excellent cocktails (at prices even higher than the norm).  
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