Gauss-Telegraph: World trip from home in 30 days – Bangkok
by Alexandra Wolf
My impression of the city
Bangkok (officially Krung Thep Maha Nakhon – กรุงเทพมหานคร) is the capital of Thailand (formerly known as Siam) and the political, economic and cultural centre of the country. The city is home to countless temple complexes and many modern skyscrapers towering between them. The streets are full of scooters, taxis and Tuk Tuks. Everywhere tourists are gathering. Bangkok is one of the most visited cities in the world. Backpackers in particular like to linger in Bangkok for a while before continuing their routes through the north or through the south. The most popular corner for young travellers is the area around Kaosan Road and the parallel Rambuttri Road. In those streets many hostels, small restaurants, bars and street vendors are lined up. Especially in the evening those two streets become alive due to night markets, street food, live music and hundreds of tourists.
Most important sights
From 1782 to 1925 the Grand Palace was the official residence of the Siamese king and is one of the most important sights in Bangkok. The palace complex includes various royal buildings, courts and the country’s most famous temple: Wat Phra Kaeo, “Temple of the Emerald Buddha”. Those who do not want to invest a lot of time in temple visits can take a boat trip on Chao Phraya passing by two further important temples: Wat Pho, “Temple of the Reclining Buddha” and Wat Arun “Temple of Dawn”. The boat tour is also recommended in the evening during sunset.
Bangkok also offers various markets worth visiting. On the Taling Floating Market merchants sell their goods, mainly food, from small boats. The weekend market Chatuchak is one of the biggest markets with over 10.000 small shops and stalls. Some of the most popular markets are the night markets e.g. the Patpong Night Market on Silom Road or the already mentioned Kaosan Road.
Furthermore, Thai culture is strongly influenced by China and India. Therefore, you can find one of the world’s greatest China Towns called “Yaowarat” and the so-called Little India, also known as “Phahurat Market”. Those culture influences are also reflected in Thai cuisine.
Best tip for a day trip
Ninety minutes to the north of Bangkok lies the city of Ayutthaya. Its historic park is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site and contains many temple ruins. After the arrival from Bangkok, you can find many possibilities to rent bikes or scooters right next to the train station in order to explore the area. The most important sight is the palace complex Wang Luang. It was the residence of most of the Siamese kings during the Kingdom of Ayutthaya (1351-1767). Besides, the royal temple Wat Phra Si Sanphet, “Temple of the Holy, Splendid Omniscient” is located on the palace grounds and considered to be the landmark of Ayutthaya. Another special sight is Wat Lokayasutharam, “Temple of Earth” with a 42m x 8m lying Buddha statue.
Favorite local food
Street food in Bangkok is very popular, very cheap and highly recommended. The national dish “Pad Thai” is offered everywhere. It consists of fried noodles with chicken/shrimps, tofu, egg, sprouts and chives, is seasoned with cane sugar, chili and fish sauce and served with fresh lime and peanuts. Other popular dishes are “Khao Pat” (fried rice), “Phat Kaphrao” (meat fried in Indian basil, chili, garlic and soy sauce), “Som Tam Thai” (spicy papaya salad) and “Khao Neeo Mamuang” (sweet sticky rice with coconut and mango). If you need a small refreshment in between, you can order freshly squeezed juices or buy coconuts at every street corner.
Note: Due to the spread of the coronavirus, we don’t recommend to travel until the all restrictions have been lifted.