This is a city that is full of architectural wonders, ancient and modern, on both sides of a flourishing river. It is full of rare contrasts. The saffron-robed monks wander along congested sidewalks where ladies of the night ply their trade. The smartly dressed European businessperson towers over the short Thai street trader. It is religious and risque. There is noise in the markets and silence in the temples. This mega-metropolis is the starting point for most Thailand adventures. If you plan properly you can see the best of Bangkok in three or four hectic days and then get going to see to the wonders Thailand has to offer away from its capital. This is a thorough guide to the number-one tourist destination in Thailand, which is the number one destination in Southeast Asia. The finest hotels, with impeccable service, cost a fraction of what you would pay elsewhere, and shoppers will never tire of the vast selections, from silk scarves and designer gowns to exotic jewelery. Try elephant trekking, sea canoeing or Thai massage. Taste the exquisite cuisine, explore mystic temples (30,000 of them!) and sail to unspoiled islands. This guide is about living more intensely, waking up to your surroundings and truly experiencing all that you encounter. Museums, historic sites and local attractions are explored. Places to stay and eat; transportation to, from and around your destination; practical concerns; tourism contacts - it's all here! Detailed maps feature walking and driving tours. Then come the adventures - both cultural and physical - from canoeing and hiking to taking dance or cooking classes. This unique approach allows you to really immerse yourself in the local culture. Details on the best hotels and restaurants are included as well as everything you need to know about Bangkok's surroundings - how to get there, what to see & do, where to stay.
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