Right in the midst of a major shopping district is a real piece of Thai-ness - the colourful Erawan Shrine, interestingly dedicated to Brahma rather than Buddha, and complete with incense and Thai dancers. Well worth a detour on the way to the shops. It's open from 6am until 10pm.
Junction of Ploenchit and Ratchadamri Roads (diagonally opposite the Central World Plaza mall); Chit Lom Skytrain station
Both men and women need to be covered up respectfully to visit the Royal Palace. Men must wear trousers and short-sleeved shirts at minimum. Women must have their shoulders covered and wear a skirt below the knees or trousers. Open-toed shoes are also not allowed.
You can hire sarongs and shoes and buy socks at reasonable prices but the queue is huge. It's best to be prepared.
There's only one reason to come to Wat Traimit, but it's a pretty good one: a 5 tonne, 15ft high solid gold Buddha.
There's also a bit of history to interest you - the Buddha image was encased in plaster to disguise it from the invading Burmese several centuries ago and only rediscovered in 1955.
It's 20 baht to see the Buddha and getting there is easy using the new subway.
In Chinatown on Thanon Trimit, a short walk from Hua Lamphong mainline/subway station
Open from 8am to 5pm daily
The Emerald Buddha temple is perhaps the most famous Buddhist temple in Bangkok and features some beautiful art and architecture. It should not be missed if you're visiting Bangkok and you are interested in Buddhism.
Make sure to dress accordingly in long pants for your visit. And always make sure to tell your taxi driver to turn the meter on when going anywhere, never agree to a pre-arranged price.
Entrance off Thanon Na Phra Lan
Set aside plenty of time to visit the Royal palace and Wat Phra Kaew, it’s not just that this is one of the city's major tourist attractions and therefore full of visitors, but that there is just so much detail to take in.Your senses will be crowded with the vivid flood of colour from the fantastically decorated buildings and statues, the sound of bells along the rooflines and the smell of incense.The Emerald Buddha - a figure of great reverence in Thailand – dressed in one of his gold costumes (they are changed dependent on the season) is housed in a wonderfully decorated royal chapel.The palace, by contrast to the classical Thai architecture of Wat Phra Kaew, is almost a Western looking pavilion (it was designed by a British architect) topped with Thai spires. It is currently being renovated so any photo opportunities are rather scuppered by scaffolding.There is a very strict dress code for the Wat and palace complex. You should wear long trousers or skirts that are below the knee and shirts with sleeves (a shawl/wrap over a sleeveless top will not do). If you don’t adhere to the dress code you can borrow suitable wear from an office near the entrance.
Entrance off Thanon Na Phra Lan. Nearest Boat Stop: Tha Change. Open: 8.30pm-3.30pm. Entry Fee: 250 baht.
Tucked away in the shadow of the Thornburi side of the Memorial Bridge, Wat Prayoon is a pretty temple complex surrounding a small artificial hill where model houses – shrines to family members – are perched. As well as being a very peaceful place to wander around, the main attraction of Wat Prayoon are the snapping turtles, which live in the ponds around the temple. For 10 baht (about £0.14) you can buy a plate of fruit or bread, and feed the turtles. The local belief is that doing so gains special merit. The oldest turtles – their shells covered in moss – are old hands at being fed, but it’s the younger ones – trying to keep from drifting off in the current –that’ll have you reaching over the water with your piece of fruit and taking the risk of falling in.
Soi 1, Thanon Thetsaban, ThornburiNearest Boat Stop: Tha Saphon Pier then walk acroos Memorial BridgeOpen: Dialy 9.00am-6.00pm
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