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Places to Visit in Bangkok

Shopping

The Floating Market in Thonburi is geared more toward entertaining visitors than a place for Thais to go to the market.  There are boats available to purchase items from, but there are even more boats for tourists.  There are many shops geared to attract tourists, but in spite of the commercialization it's still charming.  If avoiding tourist traps is important, then the Khlong Damnoen Saduak market is the place to go, even though you'll need to get on an early morning bus in Nakhon Pathom to get there.  A "real" market, Pratunam, has many street vendors selling items from produce to everyday necessities and clothes for Thais.  Narayana Phand is a government store that has a wide variety of crafts, but the quality of the items is somewhat lacking.

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Historical Areas

Out of approximately 400 wats, several are worthy of note.  When visiting a wat or mosque, it is important to remove shoes before entering, as well as wearing modest clothing (not shorts).  The Wat Phra Kaeo is the holiest Buddhist spot in Thailand and is home to the Emerald Buddha.  It is the pinnacle of architecture and art in Thailand and is also known as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha.  Part of the Grand Palace complex, the temple was sanctified in 1782.  Another wat, the Temple of Dawn (Wat Arun), is especially beautiful at night when the tower, decorated with porcelain and ceramics, is lit up by spotlights.

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Culture/Entertainment

The National Museum, located on Na Phra That Road, is a great place to go to see examples of Thai culture and art.  The American entrepreneur Jim Thompson has a house situated on a small canal (Soi Kasom San 2, Rama I Road) that is elegant and charming.  The house is now a museum that is open daily to the public with admission.  On Rama IV Road, with admission, a visitor at the Pasteur Institute (Snake Farm) can see snakes milked of their venom every day.

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