In And Around Bangkok

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Day Trips: When in Bangkok

200 years ago Bangkok was just a small trading center and a thriving port community on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River.  Today, Bangkok has evolved into a modern city but still retains traces of its glorious past.  If you are a tourist in Bangkok, taking day trips to nearby places inside and outside of Bangkok is a must.  Taking a trip to the Rose Garden is a nice way to spend your day near this capital.  It is not really a botanical garden as some may think but a center that gives you a good glimpse of all things related to Thailand.

At 2:45pm you can see any one of these shows: Thai folk dancing, Thai boxing (Muay Thai), sword fighting and elephant show.  If you are not interested in seeing these shows you can always engage in hands on art and craft activities spread throughout the Rose Garden complex.  By the way, the Rose Garden covers 70 acres of resort which is an hour’s drive from Bangkok.  This cultural garden has a hotel, restaurants and spa.  Most of the tour packages also include a trip to the Damnoen Saduak floating market too.

Going back to the things that you can do when you are at this cultural center you can spend some time looking at these:

  • Dancing and Musical Instrument
  • Garland Making
  • Fruit Carving
  • Traditional Pottery Making
  • Thai Martial Arts
  • Silk Processing
  • Traditional Weaving
  • Umbrella Painting
  • Thai Country Kitchen
  • Orchid Nursery
  • Thai Herbal Pavilion
  • Bamboo Dancing
  • Rice Farming

At each of these sites you will be given a personal demonstration.  You can even plant rice in the rice farming area. If you don’t want to have wet feet you can grind the rice instead.  If you are artistic by nature you can always try carving a flower out of a carrot.  You can also try out bamboo dancing instead if you are full of energy.  This dance originates from the performances given to royalty in the ancient Thailand.  You can still see these performances during festivals and ceremonies when in Bangkok.  Most of the dancers wear beautiful costumes and they dance to the tune of traditional Thai music.  The complexity of the finger and hand movements are made more beautiful with the use of 6 inch finger nails made out of gold material.

If you are athletic and into sports you can always try the sword fights (krabi krabong).  This is where Muay Thai originated from.  Since this is not a real sword fight you will use wooden sticks instead leaving the use of real swords to professionals.  Thai silk is made out of cocoons of silkworms.  The process begins when the cocoon is taken from the mulberry plant and boiled to separate the silk from the worm.  The Rose Garden has their rice barge which you can use to tour up the river to one of the local temples.  You can rent a bike for 60 baht an hour.  You can hire a boat to the lake for 40 baht for 30 minutes, unless you want to extend your boat ride to an hour’s worth of tour.

If you plan on visiting Damnoen Saduak Floating Market it would be better to go there in the early morning to avoid the heat.  Most of the transactions of the Floating Market are geared towards tourists rather than the locals.  It is not just tropical fruits and vegetables that you can find on these floating boats but also floating kitchens as well where you can buy cooked Thai dishes.  If you are joining the bus ride to go to the area of this market you will pass by interesting sights.  There are plenty of salt farms and lush countryside sceneries to see and enjoy.

For bus tours, you will pass by the Orchid Farm which also produces coconuts. After this brief tour of the Orchid farm you will just wait for ten minutes more and arrive at the pier where you will hop into a decorated long tail boat that are waiting to take you to the location of the market.  When you step inside the boat you will see commercialized stalls selling similar products that are sold at Chatuchak weekend market.  One good thing about Damnoen Saduak is there are still a lot of fruit sellers rowing their boats across this narrow canal.  You will be given plenty of time to wander around, taste the local produce and of course take lots of pictures with your camera.

If the heat of the day is too much for you take a ride on the Chao Phrya Express boat and enjoy the breeze coming from the river.  You can always visit the underwater world beneath the Siam Paragon shopping mall.  This aquatic wonderland is equivalent to the size of 3 Olympic swimming pools.  The underwater habitat has 30,000 curious looking sea creatures coming from various aquatic regions of the world.  Some of the sea creatures come from the Amazon River.  See rare and bizarre looking marine animals.  If you like diving you can swim amidst the sharks and rays without the danger of being eaten or electrocuted.  You can also take a hike in the Rain Forest section.  They also have a petting pond instead of the usual petting zoo since you will be touching starfishes.

A day trip around Bangkok will never be complete without a visit to one famous landmark: The Grand Palace.  This spectacular palace is Bangkok’s famous landmark that was built in 1782.  For 150 years this was the home of the Thai King and his Royal court.  The intricate design and the beautiful craftsmanship of this palace is what draw tourists to this place.  Inside the palace complex there are several impressive buildings which include the Temple of The Emerald Buddha.  The Buddha dates back to the 14th century.  Today this palace is still use for ceremonies but is no longer the residential address of the King.  The succession of Kings has stopped living in it during the 20th century.  There are still plenty of wonderful things to see during the day in Bangkok.  Taking night tours is another story but no one can deny the pleasure that you will get while visiting these wonderful sites in Bangkok.