To the Thais, Bangkok is “Krung Thep” – City of Angels. While there is little angelic about this frenetic, vibrant city, there is certainly a heavenly combination of flavours, sights and experiences that seduces everyone who visits here.
The capital of Thailand since 1782, Bangkok balances its exuberant modern development with a reverent celebration of traditional Thai culture – most evident in the glorious wats and the extraordinary food. The nightlife is legendary, ranging from an evening of kickboxing to a peaceful walk on a warm evening taking in the fascinating street life.
The city is justly famous for its traffic jams and its noisy, uncompromising style. And for European visitors the summer heat can be quite difficult to adjust to. In the end, though, such inconveniences are a small price to pay for the experience of this endlessly intriguing and exciting city.
Bangkok has long been a hub for travellers, offering a winning combination of cheap prices and excellent tourist amenities. Westerners flock here, eager to soak up the essence of the East and visitors are surprised at how cosmopolitan Bangkok can be. Some admittedly fail to see the beauty that endures under the façade of modernity in Bangkok, for this is a city that requires an open mind to reveal its angels.
It’s baking hot, undeniably crazy, chock-full of surprises and utterly unforgettable.
One of Thailand’s best known holiday destinations, Phuket is indeed a magnet for tourists, which may put off some more independent travellers. However, you shouldn’t be too easily dissuaded from visiting, as there are many good reasons for the island being so popular.
The greatest attraction for all are the beaches, and the island certainly has more than its fair share of fabulous swathes of golden sand, which can easily compete with any around the world. But even so, you can still find some idyllic corners of the island with quiet beaches and beautiful turquoise waters, just as the brochures describe them.
The underwater world surrounding the island should not be missed either: there are some beautiful coral reefs, home to tropical fish of various kinds, providing some excellent snorkelling and diving opportunities.
It’s not all sun, sea and sand, however. Phuket Town has some fascinating temples and attractive Chinese colonial buildings as well as lively markets and interesting shops. To get back to nature, you can walk through virgin rainforest in Khao Phra Thaeo National Park. And all this within a couple of hours from the beach.
Phuket is easily accessible via a bridge from the mainland. If you want to venture further afield during your stay, there are numerous possibilities for day trips to nearby islands such as beautiful Koh Phi Phi or Phang Nga Bay, making it the ideal destination for doing as much or as little as you want.
Suggestions for optional tours:
Bangkok Dinner Cruise on the Chao Phraya River
Bangkok’s Grand Palace Complex and Wat Phra Kaew Tour
Phuket to Phi Phi island by express ferry including lunch
Phuket Half-Day Safari Tour