Thailand is a predominantly Buddhist country with about 90% of population subscribing to Buddhism. Their faith and the love for their King may be the reasons why Thais are generally honest, kind and disciplined.
Bangkok is like a big marketplace where you can buy almost anything. Their street economy provides employment to hundreds, if not thousands, of vendors. The advantage of Bangkok is the cost of living which is comparatively much cheaper than other Asian countries.
When going to Bangkok, it is recommended to book in a hotel located near the Baiyoke Tower because that is the most convenient area for a tourist. The streets are abuzz from morning until night with vendors and their wares ranging from food and drinks, clothing and footwear to souvenir items.
In the early morning, Buddhist monks from distant monasteries are roaming the area in search of food. Donors are not lacking because most of the faithful offer something to those barefooted monks. In return, donors receive prayers from the monks who are dressed in saffron robes.
Thai food is kind of unique. You can sample the dishes with noodles or fried rice that goes with beef or chicken. Just be warned that Thai food is usually spicy so be ready with a bottle of cold water.
The streets are full with all kinds of fruits in season, from dragon fruit to maprang, a yellow fruit that is a cross between mango and plum. A favourite is durian which is ready to eat in packs covered with cellophane. All fruits in Bangkok are of high quality and naturally sweet.
At night, you can snack on their street food or challenge yourself to sample the fried insects sold in carts and know the taste of a scorpion or a beetle. Before bedtime, a good Thai massage can relax your tired body. Surely there’s a massage parlor near your hotel.
In going to tourist spots outside of Bangkok, it is best to arrange a packaged tour with the hotel concierge. The distance of most tourist spots from Bangkok requires a taxi which is very expensive as transportation.
Quite expensive entrance ticket, but it’s worth the visit to Kanchanaburi Safari Park Open Zoo. The van goes inside the open zoo where you see the multitude of birds and animals close up (you are not allowed to get out of the van though). Definitely your camera will be satisfied with the showcase of fauna.
A real theme park, the zoo also has some shows to offer. Catch the humour of the boxing orangutans that is rated H for hilarious. There’s also the cowboy show which is a live drama that is full of action like what you see in the movies. Do not miss the giraffe feeding area where you can buy plantain for those hungry long-necked creatures.
Not to be missed is the elephant show in Samphran Elephant Ground and Zoo. It is a live show with many elephants in participation to tell a bit of Thailand’s history.
In another section of the zoo is the crocodile show where 2 caretakers wrestle with live crocodiles. Undeniably thrilling, but surely dangerous particularly when one caretaker puts his head inside the open mouth of a crocodile. The performers earn not only applause but also tokens in cash from the audience.
The buffet lunch in Samphran is filling so take a little rest before proceeding to the elephant camp for the desired elephant ride. Just take note that the short elephant ride is a bit expensive but the once in a lifetime experience is worth cost.
For a cultural walk, you can visit the temples starting with Wat Pho to see the giant reclining Buddha that is made of brass. A long walk will bring you to a boat ride to reach Wat Arun, another Buddhist temple with antique displays. If you have the budget, you can buy a ticket entrance to the Grand Palace which is magnificent.
There are several floating markets and you can just let your tour guide pick the best place for you. The floating market looks like a flooded road with a scattering of small boats that sell food and other flea market items. It is another unique experience so do not miss this.
Bangkok is a city that comes complete with everything. An enjoyable stay is guaranteed!