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Take a trip to Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok is a city which provides holidaymakers with a perfect harmony of cultural sites, historic monuments and modern amenities. It has become a firm favourite with British tourists with over 800,000 travelling there each year and looking at what it has to offer it is not difficult to see why. Whether you're searching for five-star luxury or the ultimate backpacking experience Bangkok is the place to do it.

Making history come alive

The riverside district of Bangkok allows culture lovers the chance to visit some of the world's most impressive templesincluding Wat Arun, the temple of dawn, and Wat Phra Kaew, the temple of the emerald Buddha.

Wat Phra Kaew is situated inside one of the city's most famous landmarks, the Grand Palace. It was built in 1792 and with its truly stunning architecture it is one site which no visitor to Bangkok should miss.

Another popular feature on the tourist trail is Jim Thompson's house. Thompson was an architect and US intelligence officer who moved to Thailand after the Second World War and his house has become a shrine to Asian culture.

Alternatively if you fancy a drop of nature there are a number of parks around the city, including Benjasiri park which is famed for its Thai sculptures.

Getting around the city

Travelling to the different areas of Bangkok is not so much a necessity as an experience in itself.

In the late 19th century the Italian nobleman Salvatore Besso christened Bangkok the Venice of the east because of the manmade canals which crisscross the city centre. They are still used daily to ferry tourists to the different sites on the river banks and are a feature in themselves. River boat tours coasting between ten and 15 baht run every ten to 15 minutes all day.

Traffic in the city centre is notorious but the sensible traveller can rise above it on the Bangkok Skytrain. Day passes cost just 120 baht (approximately £2.20). The city also has an urban rail link and subway system which are reasonably priced.

The modern face of BangkokBangkok is a city renowned for its nightlife. Sukhumvit road is the longest in Thailand and is lined with bars, restaurants and shopping, including the Emporium mega mall.

For shopaholics Siam is the place to be. The area comprises a number of mega malls and Siam square, the most expensive area of the city. Bangkok pulls in a number of flagship designer stores including Omega and fashion designer Issey Miyake.

Backpackers have flocked for years to Khao San Road for a selection of budget hotels, internet cafes, market stalls and bars. Its proximity to the major sites makes it ideal to set up base and explore the city on a budget. Not to mention that cheap flights to Bangkok are available.

Bangkok is one of the cheapest places in the world to stay in a five star hotel and boasts such big names as the world famous Four Seasons chain and the Mandarin Oriental.

Festivals and events

No matter what time of year you visit Bangkok you are almost sure to find a festival taking place. The Thai new year, known as Songkran, takes place between April 13th and April 15th next year and involves three days of traditional celebrations culminating in an impressive firework display on the banks of the river.

For those who enjoy a bit more of a challenge the Bangkok marathon is run in November along the banks of the Chao Phraya River. If that's still too tame the annual Yara Bangkok challenge involves teams of two cycling, running, swimming and kayaking across the city. Both offer fitness fanatics a unique way to take in the city.

Every November sees crowds descend onto the river banks for the annual Loi Krathong celebrations. Traditional Thai boats take part in an illuminated procession along the River of the Kings and the city's main attractions play host to cultural performances.

The International Festival of Dance & Music is held each autumn, bringing together more than 800 performers from around the world to perform in a number of productions.

It is safe to say that as a city which straddles culture, time and budget so perfectly, Bangkok is guaranteed to have something for everyone.

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