Thailand’s steamy, spicy capital has always been one of Asia’s most sense-assaulting cities, with more than six million locals co-existing in a metropolis that blends temples, traffic and street food with markets, nightlife and luxury hotels. Its sheer size can seem daunting at times, but among the careering tuk-tuks and grand Buddhist architecture is an enthralling city waiting to be explored.
Wander the wats
Bangkok’s temples (known as wats) are legendary. Among the best of them, Wat Pho (Sanam Chai Road) is the home of Thailand’s largest reclining Buddha – not to mention being a great spot for a well-priced massage – while the beautiful Wat Benchamabophit (69 Nakornpathom Road), also known as the Marble Temple, is considered so significant that it appears on the five baht coin. To get a memorable view of the famous Wat Arun (34 Arun Amarin Road), head to the opposite bank of the Chao Phraya River at sunset.
Treat your taste buds
The heat and flavours at play in Thai food have made the country’s cuisine one of its most effective selling points. The street food of Bangkok is world-renowned, with the Chinatown/ Yaowarat area a top option for fresh and inexpensive food stalls, and if you choose to eat at the vendors with the biggest queues of locals, you’ll be onto a winner.
Delve into the past
When you travel to Bangkok from Glasgow Airport, you’re arriving somewhere that’s been the capital city of Thailand for close to 250 years. It means there’s much in the way of tradition and through-the-ages history – call in at the Jim Thompson House (6 Soi Kasemsan 2) for an insight into the city of the 1950s and 1960s, or take a weekend trip to the Amphawa floating markets, an alternative to the more tourist-centred Damnoen Saduak version.