LITERALLY MEANS “CITY OF ANGELS“

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    Bangkok, the biggest city and capital of Thailand, is a city with a different adventure awaiting tourists around every corner. At the same time it is a major center of culture and trade. Bangkok is also a city of many names.

    Bangkok, the biggest city and capital of Thailand, is a city with a different adventure awaiting tourists around every corner. At the same time it is a major center of culture and trade. Bangkok is also a city of many names. Bangkok literally means "City of Angels". Because of its many canals it's also known as "Venice of the East". Because of its almost 400 temples within city limits, it's known as the "City of Temples". And finally because all of these are found within the same place, it's known as the "City of Contrasts"; New buildings, skyscrapers and shopping centers live side by side with palaces, floating markets and mysterious temples. Visit the city yourself to spend time with the friendly locals and decide for yourself which name best fits the city.

    It's about 30km to get from Suvarnabhumi Airport to the city center. Because the traffic in the city can be crazy, the best way to reach the city is from the terminal's bottom floor and taking the Airport Rail Link fast train. The Express Line takes 15-18 minutes (90 baht), the City Line takes 24 minutes and goes to Makkasan or Phaya Thai stations (35-45 baht). City Line also goes to Ratchaprarop. You can get to your hotel from whichever station you get out at by taking the BTS Skytrain, buses, or taxi. There are public city buses which cost 32 baht and minibuses which cost 50 baht. From the terminal's second floor in front of door 5 there is a free shuttle service which will take you to where you can catch public transportation. Depending on the traffic, buses like this can take 1-2 hours. Taxis on a meter cost in the neighborhood of 300-450 baht. Taxis that have just dropped someone off can be bargained with, but don't forget that you'll also have to pay the highway fee. Bangkok's public transportation system is enough for travel within the city center. Other than the Skytrain, metro (MRT) and rail system, public buses, river and canal boats, tuk tuks and taxis are all perfectly good options.

    Bangkok is very cheap when compared with other cities that form important global tourist destinations. You can find affordable prices for every class of accommodation that exists. The city's historical and touristic center of Rattanakosin has so few hotels you could count them with one hand. For those who want luxury, hotels in Siam Square or the Silom and Sukhumvit hotels are perfect. For those whose budget is slightly more limited, the Khao San Road and Banglamphu regions have quite a few options. Some of the more stylish hotels in the city include: Amari Watergate Hotel, The Dusit Thani, Ariyasomvilla, Mandarin Oriental, Oriental Residence, The Peninsula, Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit, The Sukhothai Bangkok, Shangri-La Hotel and The InterContinental. For mid-range hotels, the Bangkok Loft Inn, Shanghai Mansion or Lamphu Tree House are more than acceptable. For very budget-conscious travelers, the Khaosan Bann Tahi, Smile Society or Suneta Hostel Khaosan are very nice.

    Grand Palace and in its gardens Wat Phra Kaew (the Emerald Buddha Temple), Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha), Wat Arun (the Temple of Dawn), Yaowarak (Chinatown) and Wat Traimit (Golden Buddha Temple), Wat Saket (Golden Mount), the Chao Phraya River and its canals, Lumpini Park, the Siam Niramit show, Jim Thompson House, State Tower and the city's night markets are all must- sees. Some of the more bustling city centers include Siam Square and Kho San Road, Silom Road, and avenues like Patpong. While you stay in Bangkok you should take day tours to visit its old capital Ayutthaya, which is 85km north of city. Or visit Meuang Borang (The Ancient City) in Samut Praka 30km south of the city. Or 104km southwest is Damnoen Saduak Floating Market and the Bridge over the River Kwai in Kanchanaburi. If you've time left over for Bangkok proper, you can visit Ananda Samakhom Thone Hall, Wat Ratchanaddaram (Loha Prasat), Wat Benchamabophit (The Marble Temple), Dusit Palace, Wat Suthat, Wat Mahathat, The International Museum, Siriraj Medical Museum, Queen Sirikit Museum of Textiles, Erawan Museum, Suan Pakkad Palace Museum and Siam Museum. As long as you're going to Bangkok - which as it is actually already needs at least four days to see everything - you'll see that every corner of Thailand itself represents a different part of heaven. Travel inside Thailand is easy and comfortable. For people who enjoy cultural tourism the north of Thailand offers Chiang Mai, Chiang Ria and the Golden Triangle. For those who want the beach there's Phuket, Phi Phi, Ko Samue, Krabi, Hua Hin, Khao Lak or the islands in Rayong and Chonburi with Pattaya. Cambodia's world famous temple Angkor Wat in Siem Reap is also only 5 hours away from Bangkok by car or bus.

    Bangkok is a great city for going shopping. In the east of the city you have original designs and cheap electronic equipment. From modern and stylish shopping malls to designer boutiques, by day markets or night markets and to the floating markets there is no end of shopping alternatives available to you. For instance, things like Siam Paragon in Siam Square, or flashy centers like Central World and Gaysorn are out there. The markets on Rattanakosin and Khao San Road are all much more local and authentic. Here you can even find amulets and other religious items. For electronics, you should go to Pantip Plana and Mah Boon Krong (MBK). For gems, Gems Gallery is the place. If you want some of everything, Chatuchak in Lat Phrao is your best bet and is nice even for those who aren't particularly interested in shopping. If you want to go to a night market you can go to Suan Lum.

    If you come at the right time, you should make sure you don't miss the Bangkok Songkran Festival and (April 12-14) and the King's Birthday Celebrations (December 5th). In the city proper you'll see dance and theater performances, in Satchadamnoen Stadium you'll see Thai box, at Rattanakosin there's meditation, yoga and massage classes available. In the evening take the canal tour. Here you can see Bangkok's parks all behind you while you finally show off your newly mastered skills in Thai massage! In can be quite exhilarating. If you want to head out at night, go to some of the city's stylish bars like Q Bar, Spasso and Met Bar.

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