Religion in an urban environment: from gilded temples to towering skyscrapersBangkok is a city of contradictions. It proudly presents itself as a major centre of commerce, a modern and energetic metropolis where temples and sacred monuments can be found at every turn. The capital city is a fascinating spectacle, a whirlwind of monks and businessmen, shopkeepers and other local residents, all of whom coexist naturally. Between the ostentatious gilding and emeralds of the Royal Palace and the beauty of Wat Pho temple and its reclining Buddha, the city is a true haven of peace. In this birthplace of Thai massage, the spirituality of the temples is intermingled with the energy of the modern city and of Silom, the central business district with its immense towers offering exceptional views of Bangkok.Asian gastronomy at the heart of the capital cityBetween its legendary street food and excellent restaurants, Bangkok is the vibrant capital of Asian cuisine. From the stands scattered throughout the city to the dishes prepared at local markets, you won’t lack for occasions to taste the delicious local cuisine. You will find excellent restaurants preparing innovative, modern cuisine, such as Bo.Ian, which serves updated versions of classic dishes. More curious travellers can try their hand at a unique experience with a Thai cooking class at Pink Chili. You’ll come out with your head full of delicious local recipes. What an enjoyable way to learn about the flavours of the country.Nature in the heart of the city: the Chao Phraya River and its many canalsBangkok also has a lighter, more peaceful side. Enjoy the fresh air from a boat on the Chao Phraya river. This “lord of the water” plays an essential role in Bangkok life. On this thoroughfare of transport and commerce, you will discover the city’s extraordinary natural landscapes. Floating past Rattanakosin Island is a truly magical experience. From the river, you have a unique view of the old town’s historic sites. Wat Arun temple is most beautiful when seen from the water. The current carries you gently along, letting you discover the capital at a tranquil pace. The Venice of the East is also beautiful in the evening - the perfect occasion to enjoy a marvellous dinner cruise while you watch the play of light on the water. Your exploration continues around the city and its picturesque canals, the Khlongs.Shopping in Bangkok: traditional markets and modern shopping centresBangkok revolves around trade and commerce. The city offers a true sensorial experience through the emblematic sites of this capital of commerce. Shopping is a way of life here, and the Thai people have it well and truly mastered. The lively covered markets, floating markets and mobile shops exemplify the day-to-day life in this commercially-oriented city. The gigantic market of Chatuchak presents a labyrinth of colourful aisles where you can cheerfully lose yourself for a couple hours. In this almost-surreal maze of products, you’ll find shopkeepers and locals cheerfully negotiating prices for a variety of goods. Cosmopolitan Bangkok also offers shopping in the comfort of its shopping centres, which feel like large cities. A temple to modernity, the immense Siam Paragon welcomes visitors for a unique experience. The shops are surrounded by relaxation areas and restaurants, the famous food courts where visitors can enjoy the best of Asian cuisine.
After your shopping trip, it’s time to go upwards. From atop the skyscrapers, observe the Bangkok cityscape with a cocktail in hand. Give in to the sense of amazement you feel when gazing down upon the city. Passionate and full of life, Bangkok offers intense experiences and moments of tranquility that make for a truly unique holiday sure to satisfy any visitor.
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