This is a great tour for first-timers to Bangkok, or for returning visitors who would like to gain a different perspective. It can be completely adapted should you have any specific interests.

One of the most iconic sites in the city is Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha) and the Grand Palace. We suggest arriving early or late to avoid the crowds. It can get very busy, and so if you would prefer to visit a quieter temple, just let us know.

Despite being the main draw of the compound, the Emerald Buddha statue is only 66cm tall. Its origins are fairly mysterious, although it is believed to have originated from India before being kept in Cambodia, then Laos, before coming to Thailand in the 18th century. The name 'Emerald' refers to the color rather than the composition, and the statue is actually carved out of a single piece of jade. It is housed in the bòht (Ordination Hall); a beautiful building influenced by a range of Asian and European architecture.

Whilst the Grand Palace consists of a number of buildings, not all of these are open to the public. Even though it is no longer the home of the monarchy, some of the halls are still sometimes used for ceremonial occasions. The structures are incredibly impressive, eye-catching for both their architectural variety and their ornate decoration.

Slightly less busy, but equally, if not more beautiful, is Wat Pho. Most famous for its Reclining Buddha statue, this is another large temple complex that we think is a must-see. Not only does the temple have a wonderful range of statues, both of Buddha and some more unusual subjects (Marco Polo for example), there are also chedi decorated in a kaleidoscope of colors, and even two massage pavilions. Whilst massage pavilions might seem like a slightly peculiar addition to a temple, Wat Pho is also the national headquarters for the teaching and preservation of Thai medicine, which includes massage.

Another perhaps slightly unusual, but very dramatic site, is the Golden Mount. This is an artificial hill, originally planned to be a stupa. Due to soft ground soil, the original structure was not viable, but King Rama IV was able to build a smaller stupa on the hill's crest. Visitors can climb the winding steps to the top, and enjoy fantastic views out over the city.

Whilst Thailand is predominantly Buddhist, like most Asian countries, it is also a wonderful mixing pot of religions, cultures and languages. Despite being relatively small in size, the Erawan Shrine is a major draw for both tourists and worshippers. Take a stroll through the Business District to visit the ornate shrine, dedicated to Brahma, the Hindu god of creation.

There is a reason why Bangkok is often referred to as the 'Venice of the East', and no trip to the city is complete without spending some time on the country's largest river; the Chao Phraya. Take a longtail boat to explore the canals that lead off the river, known as khlongs. This, quite literally, provides a different perspective of the city, and also more of an insight into local life.

Please note that this trip is very flexible. There is no fixed itinerary; your guide will take you to the sites in the best order according to weather, traffic and public vacations. Lunch is included, as well as soft drinks, snacks and all transportation costs. At the religious sites, shoulders and knees should be covered, and you will need to remove your shoes to enter some of the temples.

Call us on 858 523 9000 to start planning your holiday

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