Wat Pho, April 2015. Bangkok’s oldest and largest temple is an absolute must-see, chiefly due to its world famous forty-six meter reclining Buddha. Built in 1832 during the reign of King Rama III, the statue shows the passing of the Buddha into final Nirvana following death.
The Grand Palace, April 2015. No visit to the Thai capital would be complete without a trip to The Grand Palace, Bangkok’s most famous landmark. Built in 1782 and home to a succession of Thai kings for almost 150 years, this stunning palace complex has come to symbolize the very heart of the Thai kingdom. This shot takes in the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, known locally as Wat Phra Kaew. Located in a corner of the outer court, the temple houses a greatly revered emerald Buddha dating back to the 14th century. Interior photos are not permitted.
The Golden Mount, April 2015. There are more temples in Thailand than you can shake a stick at. With over a thousand structures peppered around Bangkok alone, it can be tricky deciding which ones are particularly worthy of your time. One temple that should definitely make the cut is Wat Saket. Dating back to the Ayutthaya era, this is one of the city’s most ancient temples and is best known for its 80-meter hill The Golden Mount.
The Ghost Tower, April 2015. I was having breakfast in the hostel one morning when I overheard an American guy telling a mousey South African about his top picks in Bangkok. “Dude, you haven’t done the ghost Tower?” he exclaimed, a forkful of egg suspended at the entrance to his mouth. “Dude… The Ghost Tower!!!” So I listened in and learned about this abandoned skyscraper near Saphan Thaksin BTS metro station. It was supposed to have become a five-star hotel, but the company had run out of funds mid-construction. “You can’t miss it”, said America, giving South Africa the street address, “big-ass Coca Cola poster!”
Songkran, April 2015. Mid April is an excellent time to visit Bangkok, with the city transforming itself for Songkran, Thailand’s huge New Year festival. In many districts this annual celebration has morphed into little more than an almighty water war, with locals and tourists alike attacking each other using buckets, balloons and high-powered water guns. Having done my research, I understood the necessity of being able to defend myself. So I headed down to my local toyshop and picked up this bad boy.
Lumpini Park, April 2015. Anyone looking for a break from Bangkok’s unrelenting urban buzz need look no further than the peaceful Lumpini Park in Silom district. Named after the birthplace of the Buddha in Nepal, this 142-acre city oasis is the perfect place for jogging, Tai Chi, or simply sleeping under the giant palm trees.
Khao San Road, June 2015. I very nearly didn’t bother with Khao San Road, Bangkok’s most famous street. In fact, the more I read and heard, from delirious recommendations to stark warnings, I just couldn’t figure out why so many people would fly halfway across the world to get really pissed and hang out with lots of other westerners. Couldn’t they just do that back at home? Even after I’d drawn up my extensive Bangkok to-do list, Khao San Road found itself rooted firmly to the bottom of the league table.