The first city that my cousin Kristi and I visited during our Southeast Asia trip last year was Bangkok, Thailand. We decided to go to Bangkok as our first stop of the trip as it is a hub in Southeast Asia that provided us with more flight options for traveling to the next country in our trip, Cambodia.
In the last twenty years or so, Thailand has become a major tourist destination in Southeast Asia. The city of Bangkok itself has its charm with its palaces and temples, as well as the river and canals (that gave it a nickname ‘Venice of the East’). Many westerners (from Europe and America) come to Thailand also to visit its pristine beaches (Phuket, Ko Samui, Pattaya) and mountainous region (Chiang Mai). It is also rich culturally and historically, being the only country in Southeast Asia that was never colonized.
When we were planning our trip, we knew Bangkok was the most convenient gateway city to come into Thailand from Indonesia. We did consider visiting other parts of Thailand (particularly Chiang Mai in the north), but after considering the time that we had available, we decided to visit only Bangkok for this trip and leave the other places in Thailand for future trip when we can spend more time in this country.
Kristi had been to Bangkok before with her friends, but her experience before was limited mostly to accompany her friends shopping. For some, Bangkok is a choice destination for shopping as you can get some goods (garments, electronics) for lower price than elsewhere. In this trip, we decided to focus our time exploring the cultural aspect of the city, so it’s also a new experience for Kristi.
The photo below was taken at the Grand Palace in Bangkok. The stupas, spires, and statues are very distinct and recognizable landmarks in the city.