Manager Insider Tip—Bangkok’s Hidden Gems
To many people Bangkok is a modern city with a horizon crammed with a dizzying array of skyscrapers and streets lined with posh hotels and acres of gleaming shopping malls.
Bangkok is also regional transport hub, a place to take in the glittering gold of the Grand Palace and several other iconic landmarks that add up a fascinating few days in the Thai capital. Few travelers realize, however, that Bangkok is much more than the city you see from the Skytrain or via online Google searches.
There are some special districts of Bangkok dotted with small communities, historical sites and cultural venues that will give your travelers a much deeper and more rounded appreciation for Thailand’s amazing capital city.
For example, the Klong Bang Luang community is a picturesque Bangkok destination that few know of but which perfectly blends history, art, culture and community. In the wooden shop houses that line the canal of Klong Bang Luang (klong means canal in Thai), a number of artists have taken up residence among the locals. It’s supremely relaxing to meander past the neighborhood homes, cafes and shops chatting with the locals and stopping for a coffee or cold drink.
At the heart of the Klong Bang Luang experience is an ancient stupa. Crumbling and covered in deep green moss, the stupa stands in the middle of a traditional wooden house converted into a café-cum-local arts center. Baan Sinlapin (Bangkok’s Artists House) is the community hangout and a chance to see traditional handcrafted puppet shows depicting stories from the famous Hindu epic, the Ramayana.
Alternatively, dive deep into the alleys and side streets that crisscross Bangkok’s exuberant Chinatown district. Travelers will have a feeling of stepping back in time witnessing sights that seem little changed in the last hundred years. Of course the whole Bangkok experience is punctuated with some of the most diverse and delicious street food to enjoy along the way.
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