Enriching history and modern convenience tied together in one beautiful city, Bangkok has thrived as a striking center for the innovation of arts, fashion, and entertainment. Born from a small trading post during the 15th century, this capital of Thailand was the site of two previous capitals of the country before this iconic destination became what it is today.
This historic city has everything you could ever wish for in a bucket-list destination – a thriving nightlife, sacred temples, regal palaces and more. One of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, Bangkok is an experience that guests sailing the Mekong River will absolutely love. Add this highlight to your river cruise and land journey through Southeast Asia.
The Grand Palace
A variety of enriching excursions await you in this city of legend. Enjoy a guided tour of the Grand Palace, the official residence of the Kings of Siam from 1782 to 1925. Follow in the footsteps of royalty as you walk these prestigious halls, many of which were constructed during the reign of King Chulalongkorn.
During your tour of the Grand Palace, witness the majesty of structures such as the famed Temple of the Emerald Buddha, home to Phra Kaeo Morakot, otherwise known as the Emerald Buddha. This green Buddha statue is clothed in gold finery and seated in prominent place in this beautifully decorated temple.
Temple of the Reclining Buddha
Another iconic site you will visit is the Reclining Buddha. With the spread of the Buddha’s teachings throughout Thailand, the country became home to a wide variety of Buddha statues. The Reclining Buddha statue stands above the rest as the largest in all of Bangkok, lying at 147.5 feet (45 meters) long and nearly 50 feet (15 meters) tall. The soles of this massive statue’s feet are almost 10 feet (3 meters) high and 15 feet (4.5 meters) long. The posture of this Buddha statue refers to the pose of a sleeping lion, symbolizing the entry into complete spiritual enlightenment. The temple that houses this famous statue is itself a work of art and was notably the birthplace of traditional Thai medicine as well as the region’s famous massage techniques. Students are still being taught these techniques at this temple to this day.
The Khlongs of Thonburi
Many refer to Bangkok as “the Venice of the East,” and you will understand why after a guided tour of the khlongs (or small canals) of Thonburi, the capital of old Thailand that was merged into Bangkok in 1972. This area of the city avoided much of the modernization that can be seen throughout the rest of Bangkok and still retains much of its old-world charm. Many that live along this manmade network of canals still navigate it as part of their daily lives, and you will get to see their authentic way of life as you sail along these vibrant canals on a delicately crafted boat.
Temple of the Dawn
On the bank of the Chao Praya River rests the breathtaking Wat Arun or “Temple of the Dawn,” one of the destinations you will also tour in this magnificent locale. Bangkok is home to many temples, but the Temple of the Dawn is perhaps the most photographed temple in the city. With its 230-feet- (70-meter)-high spire soaring over this alluring building and the entire temple uniquely covered in millions of intricate porcelain pieces, it’s no wonder why its image has been recorded so many times and can be found in so many places – from the logo of the country’s tourist office to the back of the 10 baht coin. Named after the Hindu god of the dawn Aruna, this is the perfect place to watch the ascend over the horizon in the morning and set in the evening. Witness this elegant temple with your own eyes on our fantastic guided tour.
You will also have free time to venture into the city at your own leisure. There are plenty of amazing sights to see in this picturesque destination – from the fascinating three-dimensional art museum, Art in Paradise, to the colorful market called the Night Train, an eye-catching local gathering of tents illuminated by electric lights as the sun sets, and the world-class luxury shopping mall IconSiam. Bangkok offers so much to explore and enjoy, and you will love your time in this destination with us.
Witness the breathtaking temples of Bangkok and more on our 3-night land package as an optional extension connecting with your Ho Chi Minh City (known as Saigon) and Hanoi, Vietnam land packages on your Charms of the Mekong or Riches of the Mekong river cruise and land itinerary.
What’s Included in Your Optional Bangkok Extension
- 3 nights at the Peninsula Hotel Bangkok (or similar)
- Daily breakfast at the hotel
- Convenient transfers between your hotel and the airport
- Guided tours through the Grand Palace, Temple of the Reclining Buddha, Khlongs of Thonburi and Temple of the Dawn
- Local host
Contact your preferred travel advisor to reserve your place on this magnificent extension today!