Walking tour of Bangkok
Article by www.exotissimo.com - Your travel partner in Indochina, Myanmar and Thailand.
Thai culture and Bangkok attractions cannot be experienced and enjoyed through the glass panes of a moving taxi, or on the back of a loud tuk-tuk.
Put on some comfortable shoes and spend the day on a walking tour of the ancient and bustling city of Bangkok, where many historic temples and monuments are within reach of one another.
Because every journey has a starting point, we invite you to begin at Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha); home to the jade Buddha statue the temple was named for, mural paintings, libraries and bright gold spires stretching towards the clouds. Please remember to remove your shoes before you enter the temples. Wearing short pants or short-sleeved shirts is frowned upon and there are some places that have sarongs and long pants you can borrow.
Right next door is the European-style Grand Palace, where you can go to see Boromabiman, Amarinda, Grand Palace and Dusit Halls and a museum. Then stroll to Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha) to view the largest reclining Buddha in Thailand as well as the largest collection of Buddha images in Thailand. While there, wait in a queue at the massage centre to get an authentic Thai body or foot massage.
f you are interested in visiting Wat Arun (Temple of the Dawn), take a ferry across the Chao Phraya River for a close-up view of the temple's five long towers, its Buddha statue and murals. Then return to the other side of the river to the National Museum, which offers comprehensive information on Thai culture and history through its tours, literature and artefacts. If you are up to some more walking, steer towards the Banglamphu District and you will find Khao San Road, the place to find cheap souvenirs, handicrafts, restaurants and accom-modations, the Democracy Monument, Wat Bowonniwet, Wat Ratchanada and Loha Prasat.
The vibrant Chinatown District, home to Bangkok's oldest commercial buildings and small streets and alleyways, is perfect for pedestrians. Start at the Wat Mangkon Kamalawat, a Chinese Buddhist temple that houses many beautiful courtyards and hosts many festivals and celebrations throughout the year. Walk towards the Cha Phraya River on Soi 16 and turn down Yaowarat Road to visit the many bright gold shops that line this road. Yaowarat Road will lead you to the last stop of the trip the Thieves' Market, called Nakorn Kasem, that offers a variety of wares, from auto parts to musical instruments.
At this end of the journey, now would be a good time to hail a taxi or a tuk-tuk to take you back home.
1. Women and men will not be permitted into a temple wearing revealing clothes, such as tank tops and shorts or skirts that fall above the knees. If you find yourself in this predicament, most temples will have sarongs on hand for you to borrow.
2. Take off your shoes before you enter a temple for they are considered unclean and it is a sign of disrespect to wear them into such a sacred place.
3. Women should never touch a monk or hand him anything directly. When offering alms, place it on a table for the monk to pick up.
4. Do not take pictures of people while they are praying and do not have your picture taken with a Buddha image.
5. If you are sitting on the ground, tuck your feet under you so that they are not pointing at anyone or anything.