Sunday, 28 November 2010

Ten free things to do in Bangkok

Bangkok is, in many ways, a cheap city for the average tourist to survive in. But everyone appreciates getting something for free and Bangkok has plenty of freebies, here are the top ten:

1. Visit a park. Lumpini Park is Bangkok's most famous, located conveniently in Bangkok's commercial heart. Lumpini Park is an oasis of green and a haven for Bangkok's joggers and early morning yoga and tai chi enthusiasts.

2. Just take a walk! Bangkok is a maze, the best way to explore it sometimes is just to walk and get yourself a bit lost! You never know what will lie around the next corner and I often find some of the best adventures are to be had when you are just....well, walking!

3. Visit a temple. Many of Bangkok's temples are still free to visit. Wat Indrawihan houses a spectacular standing Buddha and Wat Patum Wanaram is impressive because it manages to remain so peaceful despite it's location in downtown Bangkok.

4. The Bangkokian Museum. Located on the corner of Surawong and Sriphaya Roads, this museum offers an interesting snapshot of 1950s Bangkok.

5. Take in an exhibition at the Goethe Institute. Nestled in a quiet Soi off Sathon Road is the German Cultural Centre and restaurant, the Goethe Institute. There is always an interesting and thought provoking photography exhibition on display and the house itself is worth a look. If that doesn't float your boat, the food is also very good (although not free!)

6. The Royal Elephant museum. The elephant is still a hugely important symbol for Thailand, you can see why at this former royal stable which once housed white elephants.

7. People watch at the Paragon. Or anywhere for that matter in Bangkok. But the Siam Paragon shopping centre attracts the hi-so and wealthy upper classes of Thai society. Come here to witness some big hair, over the top make-up and shoulder pads!

8. The Corrections Museum. Located in Romaneenart Park in the Old City, this museum is home to some grisly exhibtions of instruments of torture and execution used in Thailand in the past.

9. Bangkok Butterfly Garden and Insectarium. This is a great place to take the kids, just opposite the Chatuchak Weekend Market, in Rot Fai Park.

10. Take a stroll around Chatuchak Market. Even if you don't intend to buy anything, this is a fascinating place to while away a few hours. The sheer size and array of things on sale here is incredible. Be warned though, this place gets hot....and it probably won't end up being free!

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