Thailand is very popular among holiday-goers as a budget destination known for its street food, cheap shopping and massage parlors. Bangkok, the Thai capital, is most visited by tourists but is still touted as a male holiday destination. While Bangkok is a cheap vacation option, ideal for a short break, it also has a rich culture and heritage that many tourists miss out on.
“While Bangkok is a cheap vacation option, ideal for a short break, it also has a rich culture and heritage that many tourists miss out on”
During my recent visit to Bangkok, I decided to explore the richness this country has to offer. And no place spells opulence and magnificence more than the Grand Palace.
This dazzling landmark, built in 1782 and part of a huge palace complex that contains many spectacular buildings, was previously the home of the Thai King. This fantastic structure with its amazing architecture, intricate designs and abundance of gold is extremely impressive and is a testament to the creativity and craftsmanship of the Thai people
The Temple of the Emerald Buddha
The most important Buddhist temple in Thailand, the structure is an architectural spectacle with colorful wall murals depicting folklore. The Emerald Buddha is actually made of jade and is enshrined inside the temple and raised high on a series of decorative platforms. The cloak of the Buddha, made of gold and precious stones, is changed three times a year to correspond to the summer, winter and rainy seasons.
The Queen’s Gallery
“A visit to this museum is an important reminder of how Thailand has evolved over the years while still nurturing its core traditional values and crafts”
Established by Queen Sirikit of Thailand, the gallery provides a permanent space to exhibit the works of young Thai artists. It brings together the different fabrics and art forms from the hill tribes of Thailand. You can also watch live demonstrations by Thai artisans of various crafts including weaving hemp, basket making, embroidery and fabric design. A visit to this museum is an important reminder of how Thailand has evolved over the years while still nurturing its core traditional values and crafts.
Arts of the Kingdom
The Arts of the Kingdom is a permanent exhibition inside the Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall, where you can see a display of masterpieces by the finest artists from all over the country. The exhibition of fine Thai handicrafts includes silver and gold artifacts, enamel techniques, pottery, leather work, elaborate woodcarving and delicate needlework on Thai silk. You will be totally amazed by the impressive quality and variety of art to be seen inside the Hall. One of the most fascinating rooms here is where an entire room is decorated using only the beautiful, iridescent wings and exoskeleton of the Sternocera beetle.
When you plan a holiday to Bangkok, don’t spend all your time at shopping markets or spas, instead take some time to explore its rich heritage, artistic treasures, opulent crafts and glorious history and you are sure to come back amazed.
This article is from BQ Plus’s Issue 7 – January 2017.
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