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Sightseeing in Bangkok

Bangkok is a city of temples - more then 400 Buddhist temples sprinkled over the city keep alive the rich traditional cultural heritage of this country. The peaceful surroundings of the temples belies the frenetic pace of an otherwise bustling city.

The Vimanmek Palace in Bangkok is one of the city’s – and in fact, the country’s- most beautiful buildings. Golden in colour, it is the world’s largest golden teak wood building.

It is known as the favourite residence of King Chulalongkorn (Rama V), one of Thailand’s most admired and beloved monarchs. Considered the holiest Buddhist shrine in the country, the Wat Phra Kaeo temple is a beautiful example of classical Thai architecture. It’s splendidly decorated, and houses the famous Emerald Buddha. Within the same complex is the Grand Palace , the royal residence of the kings of the Chakri dynasty.

The Wat Pho is better known as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha. The image of the reclining Buddha is huge, and the temple complex itself is large and ornate. Attached to it is a very highly respected school of Thai massage.

The Wat Traimit is also known as the Temple of the Golden Buddha. It draws its name from the huge solid gold statue of the Buddha (3 metres high and weighing five and a half tonnes), which is its main attraction.

Wat Arun ,the Temple of Dawn is built in the Khmer style with a tall tapering spire, one of the few remaining monuments in the old style.

A visit to the Jim Thompson’s House Museum is a must. Jim Thompson was an American adventurer and silk entrepreneur who mysteriously disappeared, and his house, now a museum, contains one of the best collections of traditional Thai art and crafts.

The Saovabha Institute Snake Farm is another of Bangkok’s well known attractions; here, poisonous snakes are kept and bred; snakes are `milked’ daily for their venom, which helps produce serum as an antidote to snakebites. The National Museum houses a vast collection of Thai art, handicrafts and antiques from all over the country and from all periods- virtually all forms of art are represented, from tribal art to the intricate, refined artistry used to decorate the royal residences. Take a klong (canal) tour to see how the river is really the lifeline of the city and stop by at the Royal Barge Museum on the Klong Bangkok Noi. The Royal Barge Museum on the banks of the Chao Phraya transports visitors to another world with its beautifully decorated, ornate stylized barges once used by the Kings of Siam to wend their way down the river to other parts of their empire.

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