With millions of people traveling to Thailand each year, there is no doubt that the Southeast Asian country is the region’s primary travel destination.
Beach bums love it for its pristine white sand beaches and warm tropical weather, gastronomy go-getters flock every corner to sample international and local cuisines, while heritage hunters simply cannot get enough of the land’s ancient ruins and ornate temples.
It is no wonder that Thailand, coupled with its trademark warm hospitality, is famed for being the “Land of Smiles”.
That said, one can never say he or she has been to Thailand unless if they have visited the bustling Thai capital city of Bangkok.
Bangkok, an ultramodern cityscape rising next to quiet canalside communities and the iconic temples of Wat Arun, welcomed nearly 24 million visitors last year, about 60 percent of the record 38.27 million tourists who visited Thailand the entire year.
With these figures expected to spike in 2019, it comes as no surprise that Bangkok has retained its status as the world’s second-most visited city for three years running, according to global market research firm Euromonitor National’s Top 100 Cities Destination report.
Packed to the brim with culture, an abundance of heritage and history, round-the-clock entertainment, world-class retail options, streets lined with a variety of food options, and beautiful architecture, no matter your travel style or purpose, you will see that the world comes together in Bangkok.
The history of Bangkok represents the history of Thailand as many of the country’s defining moments unfolded here.
Over 100 years ago, Bangkok functioned as a Chinese trading port, with adept merchants trading goods between China and Thailand (then known as Siam). Over time, these Chinese merchants settled and became a large part of the country. In fact, the present Thai royal family, the Chakri dynasty, was founded by King Rama I who himself was partly Chinese.
Today, the city has its very own Chinatown and the largest overseas Chinese community in the world outside of China and Taiwan.
But it is not just the Chinese that is deeply ingrained in the elements of the Thai society.
The Thais are warm and inviting but also deeply spiritual people and the stunning, golden-domed wats (temples) dotted around the metropolis are a reflection of the Thais’ unwavering spirituality. Although there is no official Thailand religion, Buddhism is the most common faith, with approximately 95 percent of the population practicing Theravada Buddhism.
Theravada, the most ancient branch of extant Buddhism, was developed in Sri Lanka and subsequently spread to Thailand and the rest of Southeast Asia. Thus, Thailand’s wat architecture all adhere to similar principles as those in Sri Lanka. In Bangkok, the Wat Pra Kaeo, which houses the 15th-century Emerald Buddha, and the nearby Wat Pho, famous for a larger-than-life reclining Buddha statue, stand out among Bangkok’s sea of famous landmarks.
Of course, these are not the only landmarks which will have you whipping out your camera and feverishly taking pictures.
Bangkok is certainly dressed to impress, boasting skyscrapers and head-turning architecture, from a collection of old warehouses reminiscent of the bygone era of Siam to the Tetris-like MahaNakhon tower and the iconic Elephant Building. These buildings are where a plethora of activities take place, from getting your dose of retail therapy at ICONSIAM to scoping out art and creative spaces along the calm Chao Phraya River, and even putting on your dancing shoes to rooftop bar hop till late into the night.
And if you want to take a break from the city-slicking lifestyle, getting off the beaten track is as easy as jumping on the BTS or MRT to explore equally exciting areas outside of the metropolis, such as Ratchada.
The true taste of Bangkok, Ratchada is the Thai capital’s new thriving business and entertainment district. Like the rest of Bangkok, is it contemporary, but still retains its out-of-town feel as it is less hectic. It is where modernity and tradition seamlessly blend, with a flourishing business hub by day and vibrant markets by night. Here, travelers will love getting lost in the crowd of both friendly locals and curious expats, sampling authentic Thai street food, and picking up quirky souvenirs.
Ratchada also boasts an array of charming hotels at which you can call your home away from home, but perhaps none as impressive as Swissotel Bangkok Ratchada. Situated in the center of Ratchada, just a two-minute walk from Huai Khwang MRT station, the 22-story Swissotel Bangkok Ratchada is a luxurious five-star hotel with 407 spacious and elegantly-appointed rooms to suit your every need. Its strategic location means you are never too far away from all the action but at Swissotel Bangkok Ratchada, you may just want to stay in.
With four delectable dining facilities serving up Cantonese, international, and Japanese fare, as well as deli delights, you will never go hungry so remember to pack along an empty stomach. Guests are also more than welcome to kick back with a cocktail at Swissotel Bangkok Ratchada’s impressive 204 Bistro & Bar, which offers a relaxing shelter from the lively hubbub of Bangkok.
Those looking to unwind after a long day will appreciate Swissotel Bangkok Ratchada’s Spa De Concorde, which offers a wide range of traditional Thai therapy techniques which will revitalize your tired muscles from top to toe as you soak in the soothing ambiance. For everything else you need, simply approach any one of the hotel’s friendly, well-trained staff, who will be more than happy to attend to you because that is what Thai hospitality is all about.
It is without a doubt that Swissotel Bangkok Ratchada will lure you in and give you another reason to fall in love with Bangkok.
Tempted to get on the next flight out already? Book your stay with Swissotel Bangkok Ratchada here today.