Thailand is a popular destination for tourists for various reasons. Personally, I love the weather, friendly people, delectable food and amazing attractions such as the temples. I spent a few days in Bangkok and a day in Hua Hin District.
Located in the old city section of Bangkok, the Grand Palace is a spectacular sight to visit. It was initially the official residence of the King of Siam and later that of other Kings to follow; up to the end of the 19th Century.
Today, the Palace is used for Royal ceremonies, State events, banquets and other functions. It is made up of several buildings, courtyards, beautiful gardens and majestic monuments.
The vast complex consists of an outer court, middle court and inner court.
- The Outer Court has royal offices and it used to house government departments.
- The Middle Court is the largest court, and as the name suggests, it is located in the central part of the Grand Palace.
- The Inner Court used to house the King’s royal consorts and daughters. Today it is closed off to the public.
Middle Court of the Grand Palace
The Middle Court is further divided into several Throne Halls. This is also where the Temple of the Emerald Buddha is found.
- One of the Throne Halls is the Phra Maha Mothien group of buildings. The area, found right at the center of the Middle Court was once the sleeping quarters of the Thai Kings.
- The Phra Thinang Amarin Winitchai is the northern-most throne hall in the court. It was made to be a chamber for receiving foreign ambassadors.
- The Phra Thinang Chakri Maha Prasat Group is made of nine major and minor halls, that reveal a mix of Thai designs and 19th Century European architecture.
Temple of the Emerald Buddha
The temple is considered one of Thailand’s most sacred sites. Also known as ‘Wat phra kaew’ in Thai, is a marvelous attraction to visit. Although visitors are not allowed to take photos inside the temple, but you can still capture breathtaking pictures of the exterior.
The Temple was built to house a Buddha image, by King Rama 1, as a symbol of Siam’s nationhood. The Emerald Buddha is thousands of years old and is actually made of green jade.
2. MBK Center
The MBK Center is one of Bangkok’s most popular shopping malls. With a total of 8 floors, the mall is bustling with both shoppers and curious tourists. You can get almost anything here, from handbags to video games and essential oils. I actually ended up picking up a bottle of lavender oil here.
Although you can find some authentic goods in the stalls, a majority of them sell good quality ‘knock-offs.’ It is also a good location for wholesale buyers from all over the world.
Siam Paragon Mall Among Others
For more authentic items, you can head over to the nearby Siam Paragon and Siam Discovery malls. I loved the fascinating architecture and interior design of the mall, even more than the actual shops.
Siam Paragon has a number of specialty stores and popular brand stores like Chanel and Valentino. The mall also features a world-class 16 theater multiplex cinema and a 52-lane bowling alley.There are also numerous luxury stores such as the car showrooms found on the 2nd and 3rd floors, such as Aston Martin, Maserati, Ferrari and Lamborghini.
Terminal 21 Mall
Another interesting mall I visited was Terminal 21. It has a unique world cities’ theme throughout the vicinity. One of the floors is designed to look and feel like an enchanting mini-Paris. A sign for ‘Champs-Elysées’ points towards the fashion brand stores ahead.
Another floor represents Tokyo while the following ones are designed to look like London, Istanbul and Rome among others.
The food court in this mall is definitely worth a visit for lunch or dinner. You can find a variety of international eateries and Michelin Star restaurants like Hawker Chan.
Hua Hin is Thailand’s oldest town holiday resort. Situated about 200 km away from Bangkok, it is easily accessible by car/taxi. It has a number of luxury resorts and holiday homes, that offer accommodation to hordes of tourists each year.
The town features a fantastic, white sand beach, a variety of restaurants, affordable shopping stalls, markets and golf courses. It can be considered one of the more ‘calm’ tourist destinations in Thailand, which makes it a great family getaway location.
Have you been to Thailand? Where did you explore while there?