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Bangkok Escape

Bangkok has become the travel hub for the whole Southeast Asian region with many travellers using it as a base from which to travel to the tourist hotspots of Chiang mai, Koh Samui and Phuket. At the end of 2000, the new BTS Sky Train went into service and new roads have been built which have gone some way to reduce the traffic jams and pollution of the past. To get around there is also the MRT metro (underground railway), which serves a number of locations in the centre of the city.

In the 'City of Angels', you’ll soon find that walking, instead of taking a bus or taxi, is often the quickest option for getting about. Another good option is the water-taxi (catch it at the end of the Silom sky train line at Saphan Taksin). Cruising the canals you’ll get to see the back streets and what life is really like for the local population in Bangkok.

Moreover, many of the city’s attractions are near to the various stops along the river. Make a stop at the Temple of Dawn and tour the klongs in order to find the floating market (sorry to disappoint you, but it has been transferred to solid ground) or just get off nearby Kao San Road. There are three monkeys and a gorilla in the haystack.

Despite the fact that most of them are located in the centre of the thriving modern metropolis, Bangkok's temples still belong to some of the finest religious buildings in Asia. The most spectacular of these are located on the same compound: the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Keo, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. The rooflines and spires are extravagant, ornamented richly and will probably leave you dazzled at the spot and this is only one compound away from Bangkok's Chinatown.

Other sights in Bangkok include the National Museum (a great introduction to the county’s history and artefacts), the Red Cross Snake Farm (to watch venomous snakes being milked) and the Weekend Market near Chatuchak Park (there’s a little bit of everything, including giant dead roaches neatly arranged for sale in the food section). Also worth a visit is the Suan Lum Night Market at the corner of Wireless Road and Rama IV Road.

Bangkok is also a very inexpensive destination for westerners to visit, what with cheap flights and the exceptionally low-cost of food and accommodation once over there.