Buddha and the Girl

Photo: Lisa Loverro

By Lisa Loverro

Upon arriving into Thailand’s capital city of Bangkok I was immediately overwhelmed by two things…the heat and the heat. Spring is not the best time of year to visit Southeast Asia, but once I acclimated to the oppressive humidity (although my pelo never adjusted quite as nicely) I was awestruck by the wonders of the city.

The streets are jam packed with bicyclist, cars, over-crowded buses and motorized, three-wheeled taxis known as the “tuk-tuk.” The first place on my list to visit was the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew complex. Within this Wat (or temple) resides the sacred Emerald Buddha. The sheer beauty and opulence of this royal complex is more than I could have imagined.

Known for its shopping centers and great bargains, I then headed to the “daddy of all markets,” Chatuchak Weekend Market. With close to 15,000 vendors and covering almost 35 acres, I decided to leave the tacones at the hotel and opted for a pair of comfortable walking shoes, grabbed a bottle of water and began to shop ‘til I dropped!

In addition to daytime exploring, the nightlife is filled with trendy nightclubs, bustling restaurants and its infamous red light district. Yes, I soaked in all Bangkok had to offer and returned to the United States with a new amor in my life….Asia

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Places to stay:

Metropolitan Hotel

Chic, sleek and oh-so trendy!
+66 (0) 2625 3322/ metropolitan.como.bz

Oriental Hotel

Located on the Chao Phraya river, this upscale hotel sets the standard for all the rest.
+66 (2) 659 9000 /mandarinoriental.com/Bangkok

Novotel Bangkok on Siam Square

Convenient to shopping and hosts CM2, one of the hottest nightclubs in town.
66 (0) 2 2098888 /accorhotels-asia.com

Chow down:

Ban Khun Mae

Located in Siam Square where locals “in the know” go for authentic Thai cuisine.
02/658-4112

Chote Chitr

Go for the seafood, not the atmosphere!
02/221-4082 (Credit Cards not accepted)

Polo Fried Chicken

World-class fried chicken flavored with black pepper and garlic…yum!
02/251-2772 (Credit Cards not accepted)

Must visit:

Wat Phra Kaew

Located in the Grand Palace, one of the holiest of all temples in Bangkok housing the Emerald Buddha.


PatPong Night Market

A must-visit for night shopping, this market also plays host to Go-Go bars, seedy sex shows and live music.

Ayuttahaya

A day trip from Bangkok, Ayutthaya served as the capital of Thailand before Bangkok. This city was destroyed by the Burmese in the 1700’s and is now filled with amazing ruins and hundreds of Buddha statues.

Best time to visit: November through February when the air is cool and dry.

Click here for the slideshow! 

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