Bangkok is the capital of Thailand. From the 18th century on, this city was the center of the political, economic and social life in South East Asia and Indochina. It also had an influence on arts and culture of this area. Because of this, today the city is considered a world city.
The fact that the city and the surrounding area is inhabited by people originating from Thai, Indian, Buddhist, Chinese, Muslim and Western cultures made Bangkok extremely attractive to foreigners and today it is one of the top holiday destinations of the world.
It was so attractive that many tourists became residents of the city. These days its population reaches nearly 8 million. You can find more Japanese here than in any other Asian city – excluding of course Japanese cities. In addition, here is the largest European population in Asia after Singapore. Besides these, Chinese, Indians, Americans, Australians and New Zealanders are also present in large numbers.
Despite the fact that the majority of the residents are Buddhist, you can also find churches and temples of other religions. If you add to the 400 Buddhist temples the 55 mosques, ten churches, two Hindu temples and synagogues, as well as the Sikh guru ware you will get many places to visit. Each one of these shows another side of the city.
Beside the rich cultural life, another property of the city made it very attractive for international tourism. This is the climate of this area. Like any other major city with tropical monsoon climate, Bangkok is a popular winter holiday destination. It is typical for this climate that the temperature varies just a few centigrade over a year. The average temperature in April, the hottest month in Bangkok, varies between 26 and 35 °C and varies between 21 and 31 °C even in December, which is the least hot month; it can’t be called the coldest, with such temperatures.
The growing population required more and more homes. To avoid the further congestion of the center first the city expanded horizontally. Over the years, the outskirts of the city became crowded, too. There was nowhere for the city to grow but vertically. Because of this, Bangkok is the 17th city in the world with the tallest buildings having over one thousand registered skyscrapers.
The city’s dramatic changes could have had as a side effect the disappearance of green areas, like parks. In case of Bangkok, both the Department of National Forestry and the designers of the modern districts avoided this. As a result, there are large green areas in the city, perfect places for recreation. Moreover, the city is famous for its green areas in the heart of the city. The most frequented one is situated between the Yan Nawa district and the Samut Prakan Province.
If you visit the Yan Nawa district, you can’t miss the Central Plaza Rama 3. This six story mall has everything you need from numerous shop and multiplex to food court and arcade games. The owner company also operates several other malls in Bangkok. The biggest one is the Siam Paragon, which is among the largest shopping centers in Asia. The Krung Sri IMAX is also located here, being the only IMAX Theater in Thailand. Here you can find cinemas like nowhere else. Beside the IMAX, a member’s only cinema with its own lounge is also situated here. Additionally, six luxury cinemas are open to the public, complete with reclining seats. The famous chain of hotels, Kempinski is also represented in the mall with a five-star 13-acre complex, built in 2008.
Since 2006, the Siam Paragon hasn’t been the largest mall of the city. After years of renovation, the finished Central World bared from this title. As its main rival, this shopping center will also feature a five-star hotel, Centara Grand and Bangkok Convention Center. Those who are looking for great shops this is the best place to try first. It has six different zones, each with a particular style of shops. Entertainment is also home at Central World: the SF World Cinema, the Centerpoint and the TK Park offer everything you need to enjoy yourself.
After hours of shopping, you will surely appreciate the beautiful green grass and numerous events held in the parks throughout the city. It is important that after long hours spent in gigantic structures built from millions of tons of concrete to have the opportunity to relax on a bench or simply on the grass. The paved trails are ideal for long walks, while the pond with fountain refreshed the air in the Chatuchak Park.
The Lumphini Park is frequently referred at as the Central Park of Bangkok. Boat renting is also available on the lake of this roughly half square kilometer park. While in the park, mounted police officers are taking heed of your quietude. The Concert in the Park is also held here during winter.
In 2007, around fifteen million tourists arrived to Bangkok. According to an American magazine specialized in luxury traveling, Bangkok is the best city in Asia. This was confirmed by a New York travel magazine, which ranked Thailand's capital the third best holiday destination in the world.
If you are looking for a real good club where you can party all night long, than you have a lot to choose from. This city has everything you need starting from small bars to ultra-luxury sport clubs. One of the best places to start your search is the Khao San Road. Large neon signs are turned on as the sun sets, but the real parties start after 11 pm. Immortal, The Club and Lava are among the most popular places and are filled with people dancing to hip-hop, house, reggae and rock. The DJs here play everything the crowd needs. The Café Democ is a little restaurant serving several types of coffees and food during the day. However, once the Moon appears, it becomes one of the most defining clubs in the city.
The numerous reviews praising the quality of services and the diverse cultural life of the city are guarantees that everyone will spend a great time in Bangkok. While the numerous bars and clubs are important for the younger ones, the parks with beautiful buildings and sculptures are interesting for every age.