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Bangkok

In the mist of dynamic modern growth, Bangkok miraculously manages to preserve its cultural heritage to a marked degree. The soaring roofs and gleaming spires of the Grand Palace and the city's many historic temples - Temple of the Emerald Buddha, Temple of Dawn and other evocative shrines - present the visitor with a picture of medieval Oriental wonder; the very stuff of Eastern fairytales. And contained within Bangkok's monuments and sights are treasures of the nation's artistic and cultural endeavor that typify the land and the people.

The influence of the past and the enduring threads of the social fabric are not limited to the static. They continue to pervade daily life. Files of saffron-robed monks making their early morning alms round, for example, present an image unaltered in essentials by the passing of time. Today's backdrop of high rise buildings serves only to emphasize the exotic and timeless scene, while the city draws definition from it.

Indeed, there is much to discover, and in addition to the city's most famous monuments there are numerous lesser known sights of great interest. The Chapel of the Emerald Buddha, which enshrines the national palladium, rightly tops the sightseeing list, but Bangkok numbers more than 400 temples, many of which have their own fascination.


A similar selection can be made with museums. The National Museum is excellent and comprehensive but as impressive in their own way are the Jim Thompson House, Vimanmek Mansion and Suan Pakkad Palace, all of which house fine art collections within noteworthy settings.

Not least, cruising the Chao Phraya river and the remaining canals which once made Bangkok the "Venice of the East" offers a glimpse of traditional riverine lifestyles, affording insights into the history and character of this wondrous city.

Capital of Thailand - the largest city, seats of Government and administration, cultural, commercial and social hub. Bangkok has a population of thirteen million - the city offers different exoticness, cultures and history.

Unique-orange roofed temples dazzling with glided carving, ornate Royal palaces, colorful markets, the canals and bustling river like, museums, cultural shows ad so much more - the appeal of the city is considerable. The focal point of Bangkok has always been its river - the banks of Chao Phraya River where unique sights such as Wat Arun - the Temple of Dawn, walled compounds of the Royal Grand Palace can be found.