April 3, 2012

Cultural attractions in Bangkok  although Bangkok is known as one of the party capitals of the world, the cultural attractions on offer are a match for any other city in the world. A prime example of this is the Ancient City in Samut Prakan which is an extraordinary creation located on the outskirts of the city. The Ancient City is contained within 320 acres of landscaped gardens and contains scaled down replicas of Thailand’s most important structures. There are more than 100 monuments within the Ancient City with some depicting buildings that no longer exist. This homage to Thai architecture and history is one of the most remarkable projects ever carried out in the country and must be visited by tourists.

Great Swing
The Wat Sutat temple in Bangkok is the home of the ‘Great Swing’. The huge swing still stands proudly in front of the temple but it has not been used since 1932. When it was in use, the swing was where young men celebrated a successful harvest. Brave (and foolhardy) men sat on the swing which took them as high as 80 feet in the air before they tried to grab a bag of coins with their teeth. As one might expect, accidents, injuries and fatalities occurred which led to that aspect of the ceremony being cancelled. Nonetheless, the harvest ceremony is still celebrated in less dangerous fashion in December. (more…)

 

February 21, 2012

The people of Bangkok take every opportunity to celebrate life and have a number of festivals throughout the year. The Songkran festival is the most famous example of this. The term Songkran comes from the Sanskrit language and literally means ‘astrological passage’. The significance of this festival is that it celebrates the Thai New Year. It is celebrated throughout the nation beginning on April 13 and concluding on April 15 after three days of jubilant celebration. Such is the magic of the Songkran festival that it is also celebrated in Laos, Cambodia and Burma though Thailand and in particular, Bangkok, plays host to the most memorable celebrations annually.

If you happen to be in Bangkok during the Songkran, we hope that you don’t mind getting wet because the throwing of water is the chief method of celebration. Of course, tourists are likely to revel in the soothing relief of water because Bangkok is extremely warm in April. The public see Songkran as a time of cleaning which means old and useless possessions must be disposed of lest they bring misfortune to their owner. (more…)

 

February 13, 2012

Although the precise date of Bangkok’s existence is unknown, it is said to have been formed in the 15th century. At this time, it was part of the Siamese kingdom known as Ayutthaya which was created in 1350 and lasted until 1767. Bangkok quickly grew in stature because of its close proximity to the Chao Phraya River.
The Ayutthaya Empire fell when Burmese forces defeated it. Phraya Tak was the strongest Burmese general and he declared himself king. In 1768, he made Bangkok his empire’s capital though the region was known as Thonburi at that time. He became known as King Taksin but was to be overthrown in 1782 by the general Chao Phraya Chakri. The city of Bangkok was formally created on 21 April of that year when it became known as Rattanakosin.
Since the late 18th century, the majority of Bangkok’s history has been dominated by the creation of new Buddhist temples and the renovation of old ones. This is because the ruling King of Thailand has a divine responsibility to keep the Buddhist religion alive. Bangkok was almost unknown to foreign visitors until the middle of the 19th century when North American and European traders and missionaries arrived. The city became more modernized by the end of the 19th century with city roads, tramways and a railway line created. (more…)