There is a host of gorgeous temples among the sights of Bangkok – in fact, it is probably impossible to visit them all in one visit. However, three of the must-see temples in Bangkok are Wat Trimitr, Wat Pho and Wat Benjabophit. These three are mandatory if you want to catch a glimpse into the religious side of life in Bangkok. The holiest location in the country is The Grand Palace at Wat Phra Kaew. Here, worshippers come to pay homage to a carved jade statue called the Emerald Buddha. It may be only 46 centimetre high, but it is revered by many and to witness their devotion in action is a humbling experience.
Ayutthaya is an excellent day trip from Bangkok as, although there is much to see, you can take it at your own pace. A recommended itinerary is to spend the morning wandering amongst the war-scarred ruins of what used to be the capital of Siam before spending the afternoon relaxing on board a river cruiser. Your feet may be tired from a few hours of exploring ancient temples, but your mind will be serene as you take in the warm breeze and admire Bangkok’s awe-inspiring skyline.
Siam Niramit is an 80 minute theatre production which tells the story of how civilisations bumped into each other at the crossroads of Siam, how karma connects Thai people together and how they make best use of their time on this earth through religious ceremonies and worship. Hundreds of actors together on what is the largest stage in the world, oozing that famous Thai expertise in what makes a spell-binding show (this isn‘t called the Land of Smiles for nothing), guarantee that this is a must-see show during your time in Bangkok.
Damnoen Saduak is by far the most famous of Thailand’s horde of floating markets. Located approximately 62 miles southwest of Bangkok, it is best to visit during early morning hours, as you will stand a somewhat better chance of having the place to yourself and temperatures will still be bearable. It has become more of a tourist attraction in recent years. However, it still gives the visitor a glimpse of “real” life in Thailand, with countless canoes packed to absolute capacity with all sorts of Thai produce, still fresh out of the ground.
Kanchanaburi, on the border of Thailand and Burma, is infamous the world over for being the site of iconic World War II landmarks such as the Death Railway (amongst Thailand’s most scenic train journeys) and Bridge over the River Kwai, but it has so much more to offer the visitor than history alone. This is a landscape of mountain peaks, tiger temples on the banks of rippling streams teaming with life, lush green forests and vertical cliffs from which waterfalls cascade into clear blue pools. This is the perfect opportunity to experience an elephant ride and take a journey down the river by long-tail speedboat or bamboo raft. This is an ideal day trip destination from Bangkok, as it takes just two hours to get here by bus from the capital.