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Thailand's capital city is a fantastic place to visit. It is the travel hub for the whole Southeast Asian region and a must. Most people come back and forth if they visit the different regions of Thailand, for example Chiang mai, Koh Samui or Phuket or Trang. Its bad reputation for long traffic jams and pollution is no longer justified. At the end of 2000, the new BTS Sky Train went into service and new roads have been built. To get around there is also now the MRT metro (underground railway), which serves a number of locations in the centre of the city. In comparison to other mega-cities, Bangkok is also a very safe city and has one of the lowest crime rates in the world.
In the 'City of Angels', you’ll soon find out that walking, instead of taking a taxi or bus, is often the quickest option. Another good option is the water-taxi (catch it at the end of the Silom sky train line at Saphan Taksin). Besides the fact that it is an experience in itself -defy the polluted canals with the wind in your hair and see the back part of life in Bangkok, many of the city’s attractions are near to the various stops along the river. Make a stop at the Temple of Dawn and tour the klongs in order to find the floating market (sorry to disappoint you, but it has been transferred to solid ground) or just get off nearby Kao San Road. There are three monkeys and a gorilla in the haystack.
Despite the fact that most of them are located in the center of the thriving modern metropolis, Bangkok's sights, temples belong to the finest ones in Asia. The most spectacular are located on the same compound: the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Keo, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. The rooflines and spires are extravagant, ornamented richly and will probably leave you dazzled at the spot...and this is only one compound away from Bangkok's Chinatown.
Other sights in Bangkok include the National Museum (a great introduction to the county’s history and artifacts), the Red Cross Snake Farm (to watch venomous snakes being milked) and the Weekend Market near Chatuchak Park (there’s a little bit of everything, including giant dead roaches neatly arranged for sale in the food section). Also worth a visit is the Suan Lum Night Market at the corner of Wireless Road and Rama IV Road. It is right next to Lumpini MRT station. The Jim Thompson’s House brings alive the era of a U.S. citizen who was almost solely responsible for reintroducing Thailand’s silk-weaving industry. His home is a tribute to Thai art and architecture.
Bangkok offers also an amazing nightlife with bars, discos, live music and even Latin Salsa is becoming popular. A lot is said about and done in Patpong, Bangkok's red-light district. It's not particularly different from red-light districts elsewhere. At night-time, Patpong's brightly and colorfully lit streets are packed with people who parade along the clubs lining the streets —some of which might even shock the most worldly visitors. Maybe there is already enough excitement for you going on Kao San Road and its neighboring area. This is the street to go when you're looking for cheap accommodation, small restaurants and fellow travelers full of good stories (of which one might give you a treasure-map of one of the unknown deserted islands just off the coast...)
If you want to get a personal advice how to get the best out of your one day Bangkok visit, check out the "A perfect day..." section.
By the way, do you know the real name of Bangkok? It's Krungthep Mahanakon Bovorn Rattanakosin Mahintharayutthaya Mahadilokpop Noparatratchatathani Burirom Udomratchanivetmahasatan Amornpiman Avatarnsatit Sakkathattiyaavisnukarmprasit.
The english translation would be something like:
The city of angels, the great city, the residence of the Emerald Buddha, the impregnable city of God Indra, the grand capital of the world endowed with nine precious gems, the happy city, abounding in an enormous Royal Palace that resembles the heavenly abode where reigns the reincarnated god, a city given by Indra and built by Vishnukarn.