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6th April 2004
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 Holiday | Programmes | 50
Thailand

Bangkok

Best time to go: Best from November to February, with monsoons from June to October and high temperatures from March to May

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Craig Doyle
The contrasts of Bangkok inspired you enough to give the city a number 42 placing.

Wow - this city is hot hot hot, in more ways than one. According to the World Met Office, Bangkok is the world�s hottest city, and with a population of over six million, this is Thailand�s biggest and busiest city.

Bangkok is a city of contrast. Modern office blocks are interspersed with traditional Buddhist wats or temples, and it is not uncommon to see an orange-robed, bare-footed monk walking amongst tourists and commuters.

A compulsory stop off for many travellers, it is to many one of the best place to shop, that is, if you have a taste for all sort of kitsch collectibles and fake designer goods. However, Bangkok is also renowned for its impressive historical and spiritual buildings.

There are 400 wats or temples in Bangkok including the lavish 18th century Grand Palace, an important shrine for Buddhists worldwide.

The Palace is set in a glittering walled complex occupying an area of about a square mile, that contains over 100 buildings representing more than 200 years of royal history.

Although the complex houses Wat Phra Kaeo, the holiest of all Thai temples, where the sacred Emerald Buddha rests, the centrepiece and largest of the palace buildings is the Chakri Throne Hall, also known as the Grand Palace Hall. Now the Grand Palace is used by the King only for certain ceremonial occasions such as coronation day.

   

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Price: About £450 to Bangkok

Approx flight time: London to Bangkok is just over 12 hours

  • Guinness has certified that the true name for Bangkok (Krung-thep-nakorn-boworn-ratant-kosin-mahintar-ayudhya-amaha-dilok-pop-nopa-ratana-rajthani-burirom-udom-rajniwes-mahasatarn-amorn-pimarn-avatar-satit-sakattiya-visanukam) is the longest place name in the world. Most Thais refer to it as Krung Thep, City of Angels
  • 'The King and I' is set in Bangkok�s Grand Palace, but has been banned in Thailand on grounds of cultural and historical distortions
  • in Thailand it is apparently illegal to drive whilst wearing platform shoes
What's your holiday money worth?
"Hi, I'm thinking of doing the Sydney to Cairns trip and back again sometime next year. But it's on a budget, so I'm really looking for a bus company that you pay before travelling and just jump on and jump off it when you want. Something like a travel pass. If anyone can help I'd appreciate it! Ta!"

Can you help Wenny T?
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Country Facts
Time difference
GMT = 7 hours ahead

Visa (with UK passport)
Not required

Thailand Embassy

Inoculations & health
Typhoid, Hepatitis A, Tuberculosis and Hepatitis B sometimes recommended

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NetDoctor

Currency
Baht
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Language
Thai

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