BangkokBangkok is one of the world's great cities. Also known as Krungthep, or "City of Angels", it was founded only two centuries ago.
Amidst its traffic and commercial hubub lie some of the most spectacular temples and exotic treats in the world: spicy dishes, open air market and glimpses of a culture that is strictly Thai..
The riverside plot occupied by the Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha offers a glimpse of royalty along with Thailand's most sacred image.
The Temple of Dawn rising from the bank of the Chao Phrya river is actually most beautiful at sunset. Nearby the King's barges are docked, awaiting a celebration with their serpent heads and brilliant colors.
The Temple of the Reclining Buddha is famous for its great image stretching 138 feet. One wat nicknamed the Marble Temple has floors of Italian marble. Another, Wat Tramit, enshrines a Buddha made from five and a half tons of 18-carat gold.
The National Museum contains an excellent survey of the country's history.
The home of Jim Thompson, the American who founded the Thai silk industry is filled with works of art.
Short trips outside of Bangkok include the floating market at Dam Noen Saduak and a boatride to Ayutthaya, which was once the grand capital of the Kingdom.
Jewels of the Mekong
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