Strange as it may sound, I haven’t yet visited a single Asian city outside India. During my childhood, about two decades ago, Asia wasn’t a very glamorous hub of holiday destinations mostly due to the political unrest in quite a few countries. The ’90s actually witnessed the boom in economy and astronomical growth of inconspicuous countries like Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore. They built skyscrapers, created records with a few of them, renovated their river banks, embellished their capital cities with a lot of things to attract rest of the world. Since the new millennium, one of these cities has been alluring me with all the past, present and future it can promise of. I’ll keep it easy for you, my dream destination has been Bangkok for the last decade.
While it was very much a foreign country and considered exotic back when I was in school, the last five years have ensured extremely budget airfares for all of us. Air Asia, currently the world’s best low cost airline is hosting the ‘World’s Best Online Travel Fair‘ where we get to pick our dream destinations at cheapest prices. This is a very opportune moment for me to write about Bangkok as I am planning a trip there about next year. Air Asia seems to be my best bet as the return fare from my home city Calcutta to and from Bangkok is actually lower than a domestic trip to Pune! It looks quite feasible and promises to add a zing to my tour planner. Let me share my Bangkok itinerary with you readers.
A little background search..
Bangkok is situated on the banks of the Chao Phraya river delta; established around the 15th century. That’s one of the points I like best, it is even older than my home city Calcutta! The city grew rapidly post 1980s and is on a full bloom now. It serves as the capital of Thailand and is also the economic capital of the country. Bangkok is one of the most attractive tourist destinations in the world.
I’m not a big fan of religion but I like to explore the distributions of different religious monuments throughout the world. Bangkok has a fair influence of Hinduism which is reflected in various nomenclatures and symbols. I love to savour the ancient architectural landmarks strewn round the world by innumerable civilizations, and Bangkok has a few of such opportunities. It seems to be a perfect blend of history and modernity.
Day 1 – I don’t like to scramble around the day I reach a new place. The best way to unwind after a trip is to explore the streets nearby your hotel and look for some good food. South-East Asian food is famed to be delectable with its platter of dim sums, soups, Thai curries, and a selection of meats and rice. Since Bangkok is also a shopper’s paradise, I’d like to scourge through the Floating Market which is one of its kind in the world. I have never experienced any such thing before and it has aroused my curiosity.
Day 2 – The day would be dedicated for sight seeing. I have the following landmarks highlighted in my schedule –
Wat Arun – It is a Buddhist temple which derives the name from a Hindu God, Arun (Sun). The name translates as Temple of Dawn. It is recorded in the chronicles since 17th Century. The temple is a unique stupa-like pagoda and has four statues of the Hindu God Indra riding his elephant Erawan. Sounds pretty interesting to me and is a must watch on my list.
Wat Pho – It is one of the largest Buddhist temples in Thailand, built in the 18th century. The main attraction is the reclining Buddha and its just a ferry ride away on the opposite bank of Wat Arun.
Grand Palace – Well, if a country is still ruled by Kings and Queens, can you afford to miss the sight of Royal Palace? I am always in awe of palaces and their architecture. The Grand Palace also hosts the Wat Phra Kaew temple which is home to the
Day 3 – I’d like to spend the penultimate day of my trip visiting either of the National Museums or the zoo and the Chatuchak weekend market. As evening descends, it ought to be reserved for the throbbing Bangkok nightlife on Yaowarat and Khao San road.
Day 4 – A great long weekend spent, it will be time for home with bags full of lovely memories and souvenirs.
Did you know?
* Bangkok has the longest place name in the world – Krungthepmahanakhon Amonrattanakosin Mahintharayutthaya Mahadilokphop Noppharatratchathaniburirom Udomratchaniwetmahasathan Amonphimanawatansathit Sakkathattiyawitsanukamprasit
* Bangkok has been named ‘World’s Best City’ for consecutive 4 years since 2010 by the Travel + Leisure magazine.
* Bangkok is referred to as the ‘City of Angels’ and ‘Venice of the East.’