Bangkok, which means "city of wild plums, founded by King Rama I in the XVIII century, famous for its magnificent monuments of architecture and culture. Hundreds of Buddhist temples, palaces and a peaked roof, thousands of cars and thousands of ships on dissecting the city canals (Klong), the constant stench of exhaust fumes and street braziers, and the small cozy parks in the English style - all are woven together. In a city known as Krung Thai Tep ( "City of Angels"), but the official name of the capital is much longer and completely unpronounceable for "Farang" ( "white foreigner"), as the locals call tourists. The historical center is located on the Rattanakosin Island ( "High Treasure"), which is formed by the Chao Phraya River and its canals, and adjacent areas. The main attraction here - Great Royal Palace (1783) - the residence of Thai kings, with beautiful parks and buildings in traditional Thai style (the area of the palace - 218,4 ths. M, the length of the walls - more than 2 km.). In the royal palace complex also includes many old buildings, which form parts of Duzit-Mahaprasat and Mahamontien - Library and Mausoleum that houses cremated remains of all members of the royal family palaces Chakri (1868-1910 gg.) From the throne room, the personal residence of the monarch - Chakrabardibiman, Dusit, Boromabiman with the famous frescoes, Mahishra-Prasad and reception hall Amarinda, as well as Hall Paysan (Pra Tinang Paysan Takshina), where the coronation of the Thai kings. Here is a favorite residence of King Rama V and the largest building in the world-built entirely of golden teak wood - Vimanmek (1900, now used as a museum). Near the Royal Palace installed giant ceremonial swing Lak Muang - two huge teak pillars with carved crossbar. North of the royal residence is located Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Keo, 1782), connected to the royal residence of the gate. It houses one of the shrines of Buddhism - the famous statue seated on a golden altar of Buddha, carved entirely from one large piece of jade (the first mention of this statue is back as far as 1464!).
The city has about 400 magnificent temples, the most famous of which are Golden Buddha Temple (Wat Trimitir), where the Buddha statue made of pure gold weighing 5.5 tons, a large temple complex of Wat Po with a giant statue of reclining Buddha - the oldest and largest temple in Bangkok , Wat Mabofit Bench (Marble Temple, XIX-XX centuries.), the temple Wat Arun (Dawn or the Rising Sun, located in the former fortress Thonburi) with 79-meter tower, Wat Suthat, Thon Buris Wat and others
As the oldest in the city of New Street can go down to the waterfront, where boat-dlinnohvostke or "sampan" you can go for many hours walking on the "Klong" (channels) through the city. Bangkok used to be called "Venice of the East" as 140 crosses channels and to this day continue to maintain the rhythm of the city. This is a completely different world - a world of poverty and luxury, commerce and fishing, floating markets and the mysterious night life. To the north of downtown - an area Silom, Siam district is Skue, which is trade center of the capital. There are the large supermarkets and small town shops, shopping arcade and just shop, where prices are very low. At the largest avenue in Bangkok - Sukhumvit, which is considered the center of international tourism, there are hundreds of cafes, bars, hotels, restaurants and nightclubs, as well as some of the best malls of the city. In every major hotel has its own nightclub. A wide variety of entertainment focused on Patrong and New Petchaburi-Rhoads, which are located hundreds of shops, bars and restaurants. It is equally well known for its nightlife and restaurants, street Rachada.
In the city a few museums, a planetarium, art gallery and cultural center. The most popular among the guests the National Theater, National Museum with its remarkable collection of Thai art and chapel Buddhaysavan (1795), Thammasat University on the area of Sanam Luang, and the Museum of Science - one of the best science and technology museums in the region. In the house of the architect (and spy!) Jim Thompson Silk Museum is now located, and a permanent exhibition of antiquities, collected by Thompson in South-East Asia. A city parks, like embedded skillful hand of silence in face of ever-bustling city, will rest amidst tropical greenery weary traveler from the hustle. Near from the Sunday market in the northern part of Bangkok is a charming park Chatchuak, and theme park, Magic Land attracts carousels, a room of horrors and other entertainment. The largest park of the capital - Lumpini, located right in downtown. The new park named Rama IX opened the King himself, and the famous Park Safari World - a huge (170 acres) of land on the outskirts of the capital, famous for its nurseries of wild animals, excellent Dolphinarium Marina Park and a huge water park Siam Park.
In Samutprakarne (30 km. To the south-east of Bangkok) is the world's largest crocodile farm with more than 40 thousand freshwater and saltwater crocodiles, as well as with its own zoo and the Museum of the dinosaurs. 30 km south of Bangkok is a vast floating market-Bang Nam Pueng. On weekends from 8.00 am to 14.00 you can buy many different products, including seafood, fruits, flowers, incense and local handicrafts. However the main attraction of the market are the traffickers themselves, deftly plying between rows on their boats. At 33 km. from Bangkok, is a park, Muang Boran (Ancient City), which reproduced the entire territory of the kingdom with the most famous historical monuments.
86 km. north of Bangkok lies the ancient capital of Siam and the modern historical park - Ayutthaya (1350-1767 gg.), famous for its ruins of ancient temples Wat Phra Chao Phanan Choeung (XIV century.) Chao Mongkol, Wat Phra Si Sanphet (XIV century). , Wat Phra Meru, Wat Chai Vattanaram, as well as the ruins of the palace of Bang Pa Ying - the summer residence of the first kings of the Chakri Dynasty. The city declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. To the west of Bangkok, near the town of Nakhonpathom, is the world's largest Buddha statue - the sun shining on the 127-meter high Phra Pathom Chedi, and near the town of Kanchanaburi (130 km. From Bangkok) - the infamous bridge over the River Kwai and the "Road Death ", built prisoners of war during World War II. Nearby is the famous cultural center "Rose Garden" - one of the best ethnographic exhibits of the country. Nearby - zoo and elephant sanctuary Samphran.
Northern Thailand - yet underdeveloped tourist area, but that he is the birthplace of Thai civilization, and picturesque area of forests, waterfalls, bright national holidays, dozens of ancient cities and temples. Chiang Mai (700 km. North of Bangkok) - the second largest city and the value of the country. Located in a valley between the mountains, reaching the height of 2600 meters, "the old city, Chiang Mai (founded in 1296) surrounded by strong ramparts and defensive ditch. In and around the city about 300 temples and historical monuments, which gives it a special charm. Such structures as the Doi Suter Shrine, Wat Phra Singh, Wat Chiang Man (1296, the oldest monastery in the region), Pra satang Mans with its miniature Buddha images, which some 2 thousand years old, Wat Chedi Luang, and a of the shrines of Buddhism - standing on top of a mountain at 16 km. to the north-west of Chiang Mai wonderful temple Wat Phra Doi Suthep (XIII-XIV centuries.), and the summer residence of the Royal Family - Palace Phuping, brought the city international fame.
Nearby is a mysterious city Mehongson the temple Wat Kham Chhong with an ancient wall paintings - one of the oldest buildings of the country. Also interesting temple Wat Prathat Don Kong Mu, keeping the sacred relics of Buddha Temple Wat Kitti Wong, as well as the monastery Wat Chong Klang. In markets Mehongsona can find interesting folk souvenirs from Laos, Burma, or the work of unique northern tribes of Thailand. The district Mehongson lying between Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai, is unique for its natural parks, beautiful waterfalls and hundreds of caves and nearby mountains are rich in hot springs and curative mud. In Forest Park Namtok-Pas-Xia is self-titled six-waterfall in the park Thami Pla - a unique 'Cave of Fishes ", in cave streams where there are billions of colorful fish, but in a small grotto - a huge variety of colors and sizes of snails. National Park Nam Tok Mae Surin is famous hundred-meter Mae Surin waterfall and cave Nam Lot with fantastic "garden" of stalactites and stalagmites. On the road from Mehongsona in Chiang Mai is a unique, orchid farms, as well as the famous village of the elephants, which are bred and trained for these majestic animals for various chores, and for the amusement of tourists unbelievable tricks.
5 km. south lie the ruins of Chiang Mai Viang Kum Kam - the earliest historical settlement in the area (about X-XI centuries.). Sukhothai Historical Park is located 447 km. north of Bangkok and occupies 70 square meters. km. area along the left bank of river. Yom, protecting more than 100 dilapidated buildings of the ancient capital of the country (XIII-XV cc.), Including the famous temple Wat Si Chhum with a statue of a seated Buddha, the distance between the knees which is 11 meters Chiang Mai and the surrounding areas are inhabited by numerous tribes and nations ( "hill tribes", about 550 thousand people), its unique culture which had not experienced the influence of civilization until the twentieth century. One of the most mysterious tribes of the region - Karen (pa dong "," pghano "), the ideal of feminine beauty of one of the tribal groups of whom are women with long necks and big ears, so the girl's neck at an early age wear a heated copper tube and tightening her around the neck. With age, the ring is added, respectively, and the length of the neck increases, giving women an exotic look. Interesting and the northern village of the tribe "fox", where lives hospitable and sociable people, creating a very beautiful and bright national costumes, decorated with plenty of silverware. In many tribes cultivated opium, officially sanctioned by the authorities as part of cultural tradition (this permission does not apply to tourists visiting the tribes).
To the north-east of Chiang Mai and 785 km. from Bangkok is Chiang Rai, the former capital of Lanna Thai (Kingdom of a million rice fields "). And nowadays the city and its environs are known for exceptionally beautiful nature, as well as numerous Buddhist temples. At Wat Phra Keo has been stored Emerald Buddha statue, currently in Bangkok, Muang Ngam Hill is the burial place of the legendary King Mengraya Great, also interesting for its architecture temple of Wat Phra Singh and many other places of worship. To the north-east of Chiangraya, on the banks of the Mekong River, is another ancient capital - Chiangsen (Chiangsaen), famous temples Wat Phra Chom Kitti great Stupa, great Stupa Phra Doi Tung, Chedi Wat Pa Sak and Chedi Luang, as well as its rich local history museum . Just outside the city begins the famous "Golden Triangle" (Sop Ruak) - a mountainous forest area at the convergence of the borders with Burma and Laos, the cradle of Thai civilization, where many centuries ago there were the first independent Thai state. Now the area is notorious as the "capital of opium, but the true charm lies in the edge of picturesque mountain landscapes with waterfalls, herds of elephants in human thick forests and numerous Thai and Burmese temples.
Separate interest to tourists are the famous Thai martial arts - a well-known Thai boxing or Muau-tai ( "sea battle"), Chaya ( "victory"), a school sha-foot-fan ( "five clan fighting cats) and Krabi krabong (pole-pole "), contests in which the country attract thousands of visitors. It is also widely known to Thais passion of gambling sports involving animals - famous cock-fights, competition fighting fish and even exotic elephant fights. Foreigners in such competitions do not allow very willingly, but in the case of "success" the spectacle is worth it to spend on it a couple of hours - so spectacular and original, such traditional entertainment.