ROL Cruise recommends...
1. Explore Bangkok’s Buddhist temples
The island of Rattanakosin, also referred to as the ‘Old City’, is home to Wat Pho and Wat Arun, two of Bangkok’s most famous Buddhist temples amongst the hundreds scattered through the city. After visiting Wat Pho, which holds the world’s largest reclining Buddha statue, covered in gold leaf and with feet inlaid with mother of pearl, a short ferry ride takes you to the beautifully intricate Wat Arun, detailed with blue and white ceramic. Climb to the top of Wat Arun before sunset to experience a stunning view across the river!
2. Pay your royal respects at the Grand Palace
The expansive royal compound was once the home of Thailand’s ruling family members for generations; nowadays the palace is used for important ceremonies and events. Comprised of many different buildings, pavilions, gardens and courtyards which have been built at different times over the years, it’s worth allowing a full half-day to explore properly. Don’t miss the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, which holds a small and very sacred statue of the Buddha in a yoga posture, whose clothes are changed at the turn of each season by the reigning monarch.
3. Tickle your tastebuds with Thai food
The street food in Bangkok is some of the best in Asia, and exploring the open air markets and street-side stalls with just your nose to guide you is an essential experience. Watch the vendors sizzle fish, slap down noodles onto hot woks, and expertly scoop curries into plastic bags for their customers to take home. Alternatively, join one of the communal plastic tables and enjoy eating Pad Thai and spicy green papaya salads amongst tourists and locals alike.
4. Cruise the Chao Phraya River
If the heat and crowds of Bangkok get too much, wander down to the Chao Phraya river. This waterway runs through the middle of Bangkok, meaning water taxis throng the banks to ferry passengers around the city via a different mode of transport. Jumping on a commuter boat feels like anything but, as you gain both a cool breeze and a fresh perspective on a city which was once called the ‘Venice of the East’.