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Just about any visitor to Southeast Asia has to pass through Bangkok. Some people loathe it; others swear it is one of the most fascinating, wonderful and exciting places on earth.

Truthfully, Bangkok can be anything a visitor wants it to be; a picturesque Asian postcard crammed with beautiful palaces, and pagodas; a haven with some of the world's finest hotels; a place to let loose and enjoy the most renowned nightlife in the Orient; a chance to savor one of the world's unique cuisines; one of Southeast Asia's best shopping destinations.

And wherever you go in Bangkok, you'll be struck by the friendly, easy way of Thais. Life is sanuk, their word for fun. And with an insider’s view of this fascinating city, you will find it sanuk, too!

Although Thai history reaches back to the Bronze Age, Bangkok is a relatively young city, founded in 1782. It has one-tenth of the country's population, about six million people, half under the age of thirty. The city is embraced by the Chao Phraya River of Kings, a glorious working waterway filled with sampans, rice barges, and boats of every imaginable description.

Buddhist temples (wats), high-rise office buildings, luxury hotels, and shopping malls dominate a kaleidoscopic Bangkok skyline blend of old and new. But get beneath the thin veneer of Western influence, and you'll discover Thais have not lost traditional values. Witness ubiquitous street food vendors, monks on early morning begging rounds, and women stringing jasmine blossoms near shrines, and you'll agree ancient culture has been reserved. READ MORE

Thailand

Monks by a rice paddy in Thailand. Photo by Bill Reyland. Click on photo to return
Doi Chaang, Thailand. Photo by Matthew Kadey. Click on photo to return to Matthew
A boy from the Akha tribe in northern Thailand. Photo by Matthew Kadey. Click on photo
Phi Phi Islands, near Phuket Thailand. photo by Globe Trodden. click photo
Our camp, set up on a terraced rooftop overlooking the sea, Laem Thian, Thailand. photos by Naomi
Leah Welch with her trainers at MMA Phuket Learning to Kick Like a Man in Thailand
Tracing a New River: Doi Saket, Thailand by Antonio Graceffo Ask any of today's
Taggart Thailand, you know I love you. You know that I can't get enough of your springs, waterfalls
An elephant ride in Ayutthaya. Photo by Sarah Cavicchi. Read More about Thailand
, Elephants and Jungle Trekking in Kanchanaburi, Thailand By Joseph Lobo "English?! YouAre a long way from
in Thailand ever since I first heard Murray HeadAs one-hit wonder, AOne Night in Bangkok.A So I wasA
Hangin' with the Hill Tribes in Northern Thailand By Terry Braverman A
Holiday Recreation: Sea Kayaking In Thailand A A By Elaine Jane Sirivong na Ayuthaya
A member of the Akha tribe harvests coffee beans in Doi Chaang, Thailand. Photo
Chiang Mai Thailand: Change in the Air By Terry Braverman Taxiing through Chiang

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