An unusual metropolis full of hidden gems
Abandon the throng of glassy-eyed farang watching “The Beach” on Khao Sarn Road and get to know the real Bangkok, or Krung Thep, as the Thai call it. This massive city of 6 million (conservatively) can feel overwhelming, but it’s got more than a few riches in store for those who care to break away from the confines of backpackerdom. Public transportation will take you to most of the sites you’ll want to see, while an aimless stroll might lead you to the unexpected—like a ramshackle restaurant that presents the best, hottest curry you will ever sweat your way through. For a cultural crash course, visit the enormous golden Buddha towering on its perch in Wat Intharawihan or take in a traditional Thai marionette performance at the Joe Louis Puppet Theater. Glimpse the golden spires of the Grand Palace and purchase an amulet from a saffron-robed monk. Experience the latest in Thai fashion by browsing the handicrafts of Bangkok’s top designers at Gaysorn Plaza. There aren’t many places where you get your legs wrung out like towels during a yoga massage, and then cringe with empathy at the wicked bodily contortions of the night’s kickboxing match. Bangkok is a city with limitless offerings. Let your sense of adventure lead you, and there’s no limit to what you might find.