Bangkok has a fine array of attractions and places to visit that will appeal to any tourist. Bangkok tourism’s main claim to fame is its collection of beautiful temples, of which there are more than 400 in the city, with the Grand Palace complex being particularly special. It sits on Rattanakosin Island (old Bangkok), where many other high profile temples and palaces are, along with the buzzing street of Khao San Road.
The best time for exploring Bangkok is in the morning no matter what time of year you visit. This is to avoid the excessive heat and humidity that inevitably builds up and also to avoid the crowds. Taking a meter taxi (air-conditioned) when the Skytrain or subway is not available is the best bet for sightseeing in Bangkok.
The main landmark in Bangkok, the Grand Palace is resplendent in gold trimming and consists of the greatest collection of temples in the capital. It is pricey to enter for foreigners but is well worth it and can be explored on foot. Wat Phra Kaew is the main attraction inside the complex with the Emerald Buddha.
The Temple of the Reclining Buddha is next door to the Grand Palace and has the distinction of being the largest temple in town. There are Buddha statues in here galore, including that of the massive gold-plated, 160-foot long, 60-foot high Reclining Buddha. It is the main sight in here and features mother-of-pearl soles. The massage in Wat Pho is purported to be the best in town.
The Wat Traimit temple is another of one of the best places to visit in Bangkok, with its five-ton solid gold Buddha that was only discovered by accident in the 1960s. It was hidden from view for centuries owing to the rampaging Burmese.
No sightseeing trip in Bangkok is complete without a visit to the world's largest teak building, which sits in the stunning Dusit Palace area and is a remarkable example of Thai workmanship of old. Be sure to get an insight into the Thai monarchy by checking out the fascinating collection of photographs. The palace is near Dusit Zoo and Khao San Road and is easily reached by meter taxi.
The Temple of Dawn is just over the river from the Grand Palace and you can get there by walking from the palace to the ferry terminal, taking the short hop for a few baht, and then wandering around the ancient structure. It is a 200-foot tall, 17th century structure with great forms and views.
The bohemian backpacker capital of the continent resides north of the Grand Palace and is loaded to the hilt with cheap (and some upmarket) hotels, cafés, shops, and bars. Traffic-free by night, Khao San is a popular attraction in its own right as well as a place to stay. Get here by tuk-tuk or meter taxi.
This was the home of the American entrepreneur who revitalized Thailand's silk industry and subsequently disappeared in the mountains of Malaysia in the 1960s. Jim Thompson's House is a traditional Thai teak house with several structures and is today a fascinating museum.