The fascinating city of Bangkok

More than 6 million people are crowded into the city’s 560 square kilometers. The city has everything for the visitor including historic sites, museums, and temples, as well and restaurants featuring nearly every kind of food imaginable. The city also features nightclubs, discos, and modern art galleries.

The city is on the eastern bank of the Chao Phraya River (Mae Nam Chao Phraya).

Old Bangkok can be found between the river and the main north-south railway. This area contains the old temples, old palace, and the Chinese and Indian districts. To the east of the railway is the much larger new Bangkok, with its business, residential, and tourist areas. On the west bank of the river is Thonburi, which served as Thailand’s capital for a decade and a half before Bangkok was founded.

National Museum

The National Museum, the largest in Southeast Asia, has collections representing all periods of Thai art. There are also displays of musical instruments, clothing, ceramics, woodcarving, and weapons. The museum also contains a restored 18th-century chapel which includes one of Thailand’s most sacred Buddha images. Literature is available in English, and tours conducted in English, French, German, and Japanese are given at least once per week.

Dusit Palace

There are a number of attractions here, including the Vimanmek Teak Mansion, said to be the largest golden teak building in the world so better be prepared and bring a power bank if you only have your phone as your camera to take lots of picture around. The 81-room structure was formerly the royal residence. There are daily tours conducted in English. Near the Teak Mansion are the Abhisek Dusit Throne Hall, built in 1904, and the Royal Elephant Museum, which contains stables that once housed three white elephants. The museum has exhibits explaining why white elephants are so important to the Thai people. Nearby is the Dusit Zoo, once a private royal botanic garden, now one of the best zoos in Southeast Asia. A small circus performs here on weekends.