Just across the Chao Praya River in Bangkok lies the city's secret garden — Bang Kra Jao. Only accessible by boat, you must cross the river on a small ferry to reach this beautiful area full of small villages, temples and tropical flora.
Witness chanting at Wat Pho
Witness chanting at Wat Pho, Thailand
An early start will get you to Wat Pho in time to experience the monks early morning chanting ritual and avoid the crowds who arrive later (chanting starts at 9am). After this uplifting and often private experience you will visit the temple grounds and the famous 45 metre Reclining Buddha. Later you will continue to The Grand Palace, Thailand's most important landmark, where you will be awed by the grandeur and majesty of the building and its throne halls. Then proceed to the Wat Phra Kaew to marvel at the mysterious Emerald Buddha, the most revered Buddha image in Thailand.
While the Temple of the Emerald Buddha and Grand Palace grounds are open every day when not being used for state functions, the audience halls in the Grand Palace are closed on weekends. You can only gain entrance to see the magnificent thrones on weekdays. The Royal Pantheon in Temple of the Emerald Buddha is only open one day a year, on 6 April.
Whilst much of Thailand has become accustomed to Western tourists, it is important to dress respectfully when visiting religious sites. In particular, the Grand Palace and Wat Pho in Bangkok have a very strict dress code and suitable attire must be worn. Shorts, flimsy or skimpy clothes such as tank tops or vests are strictly not allowed and shoulders and ankles must be covered. Closed shoes are preferred although sandals with socks are permitted and long trousers or skirts are deemed appropriate. It is also considered respectful to remove shoes and hats before entering a religious building.
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Photos of Witness chanting at Wat Pho
Other experiences in Bangkok
These activities are designed to give you the most authentic experiences around where you're staying. We work with local guides, who use their knowledge and often a resident's eye to show you the main sights and more out-of-the-way attractions. Our specialists can suggest tours and activities, such as cooking classes, that will introduce you to the local ways of life.
The Songkran Festival celebrates the New Year. They are colourful and lively celebrations, with music, traditional dance and, of course, water, which symbolically cleanses the body from the sins of the previous year.
You and your guide will walk you through the narrow streets to experience many local sights with various food tastings along the way. Try things like ‘kafae boran’, a classic Thai coffee, or the popular Thai dessert, 'Khanom Thua Paep' (mung bean rice crepe).
Jim Thompson's house is a real highlight of any trip to Bangkok. The house itself is beautifully decorated and preserved and provides a fascinating insight into the life of this mysterious man, who set up a huge empire trading in Thai silk before disappearing whilst walking in the Malaysian highlands in 1967.
An early start will get you to Wat Pho in time to experience the monks early morning chanting ritual and avoid the crowds who arrive later.