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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Bangkok - 2nd visit in 2013

Duration of stay: 28th till 30th June 2013

On Tuesday morning of 28th June at around 10.00am, we arrived at the main terminus of the national rail network, the Hua Lamphong Railway Station. It was the last route of our 1st leg destination, Kuala Lumpur - Bangkok. Thailand's national railway network is operated by the State Railway of Thailand (SRT). In addition to a long-distance services, the SRT also operates a few daily commuter trains running from and to the outskirts of the city during the rush hour, of which many passengers takes them.




We decided to take a tuk tuk to the hotel at a charged rate of THB300, not knowing that it's much cheaper to take metered taxi. We checked in before noon at imm fusion sukhumvit hotel. Our reasonably priced choice of hotel is located at 1594/50 Sukhumvit Rd. (Near Sukhumvit 50), Prakanong, Khlongtoei, Bangkok. Khlong Toei is a district somewhere near the Bangkok Port. There are 50 district altogether in Bangkok city.




No one should have worried much about public transportation in Bangkok. Beside reliable metered taxis and bargaining tuk tuk, Bangkok is currently served by 3 rapid transit systems, the BTS Skytrain, the underground MRT and the elevated Airport Rail Link. The rapid transit, BTS began it's operation in 1999, consists of 2 lines, Sukhumvit and Silom, with 30 stations along 30.95 kilometers  The MRT opened for use in July 2004, and currently consists of 1 line, the Blue Line which runs for 20 kilometers and has 18 stations, 3 of which connect to the BTS system. The Airport Rail Link, more recently opened in August 2010, is operated by the SRT and connects the city centre to Suvarnabhumi Airport to the east. Its 8 stations span a distance of 28 kilometers.

Tuk Tuk

BTS

Bangkok is the capital and the most populous city of Thailand. The city seat adjacent to the Chao Phraya River delta in Central Thailand, and has a population of over 8 million. Bangkok traces its roots to a small trading post during the Ayyutthaya Kingdom in the 15th century, which eventually grew in size and became the site of two capital cities, Thonburi in 1768 and Rattanakosin in 1782. Bangkok was at the heart of Siam's (as Thailand used to be known) modernization during the later nineteenth century, as the country faced pressures from the West. The city was the centre stage of Thailand's political struggles throughout the 20th century, as the country abolished absolute monarchy and underwent numerous coups and uprisings. The city grew rapidly during the 1960s through the 1980s and now exerts a significant impact among Thailand's politics, economy, education, media and modern society. Important to note that the country is never be conquered by any western ruler or any other ruler, the fact that made the Thais very proud off.


As for its tourism, Bangkok is one of the world's top tourist destination cities. MasterCard ranked Bangkok as the global top destination city by international visitor arrivals in its Global Destination Cities Index, with 15.98 million projected visitors in 2013. The city is ranked fourth in cross-border spending, with 14.3 billion dollars projected for 2013, after New York, London and Paris. Bangkok has also been named "World's Best City" by Travel & Leisure magazine's survey of its readers for 3 consecutive years since 2010.



Among Bangkok's well-known sights are the Grand Palace and major Buddhist temples, including Wat Phra Kaew, Wat Pho and Wat Arun. The Jim Thompsom House provides an example of traditional Thai architecure. It's major museums include the Bangkok National Museum and the Royal Barge National Museum. Cruises and boat trips on the Chao Phraya and Thonburi's canals offer views of some of the city's traditional architecture and ways of life on the waterfront.




As for the shopping venues, many of which are popular with both tourists and locals, range from the shopping centres and department stores concentrated in Siam and Ratchaprasong to the famous Chatuchak Weekend Market. Floating market is among the most attracted tourist places beside a night street-side food stalls and restaurants, found throughout the city. 




During our 3 days stay in Bangkok, we have been to numerous places, originated in our itinerary. Though very tired, exhausted with the heavy pack schedule, both Anne and myself compromise our limitations and greediness. It was a wonderful journey with a dear friend. When we were back from our 8 days trip, we both agreed that we can continue to the next leg of the race, earthbound travel by train. In sha Allah, may God permit our small mission in the present world. Ameen.

Stay tune to our adventures in Bangkok in the next entries.

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