Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Cultural Activities in Bangkok, Thailand

Thailand is known for being one of the friendliest Asian countries in the world today. Also known as the land of smiles, Thailand is usually a "must go" for most people who want to visit Asia. Most frequently visited for its mix of modern and tradition would be Thailand's beautiful capital, Bangkok.

Bangkok is a real gem if you spend enough time exploring it thoroughly. Exploring the city through its rivers can be a great way to start the visit. The Chao Praya River, or "the river of kings" is probably the most famous river in all of Bangkok. A lot of Thailand's history can be found on the shores of the Chao Praya River, which makes it an even better way to get to know Bangkok. Unlike the modern city, the river gives you a glimpse of how the people here still stick to their old ways and traditions. Canals, or "Klongs", show the wooden houses on stilts with Sampans and floating kitchens nearby.

Further down the river, you can see the famous floating markets which sell all sorts of knickknacks and Thai craft, popular to tourists but yet as much a part of everyday life as it has been for the locals for decades. And if you're not sea-sick by the time you get through the crowded narrow canals, head for the Royal Barges Museum. Beautiful barges which are a distinct trait of Thailand line the area, reminding you of movies like the King and I.

Back on land there is as much to see as there is to do. One thing most tourists who've frequented Bangkok come back time and time again for is the Erawan Shrine. Adorned by hundreds of locals and tourists everyday, this shrine located at the corner of Ploenchit and Ratchadamri Road is one to not miss out. Though it isn't a temple (Wat), its one of the most famous sights in the bustling streets of Bangkok. Many pay their respects and give offerings in hope that their wishes would come true.

For those looking to see a totally different side of Bangkok and something totally unique to Thailand, head down during the Songkran ( Thai New Year ) or also known as the water festival. Held on the hottest days of the year, the streets of Bangkok suddenly line up with people carrying water guns and water balloons, preparing to aim for anyone and everyone. This festival has been part of even the oldest traditions combined with the Thai's spirit of showing people how to have a good time just like they do.

Orson Johnson writes for Holiday Velvet, a website providing Thailand holiday accommodation & Holiday accommodation.

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