Experiencing Bangkok’s Exotic Culture

Perhaps one of the most interesting places to visit in Asia is Bangkok, Thailand. Although it is a city less well-known compared to cities like Tokyo and Beijing, it is a city where you can see beautiful architecture, taste exotic food, and buy colorful hand-made crafts. Bangkok is especially a great city for Koreans to visit during the winter because the warm weather makes visitors feel experience summer contrasting to the freezing cold back in their home country.

So here are some places to look for in Bangkok:

The Grand Palace

If you could visit only one place in Bangkok, Grand Palace is the place to go. The Grand Palace, which has been the official residence of the king since 1782, has breathtakingly beautiful decorations in every building. The gold used in most of its paintings and the roofs creates an enchanting look. Although gold is often used in western and other oriental architecture as well, the gold used in these buildings embodies a unique and slightly different feeling. Another interesting cultural aspect was that since the Palace is regarded as the most sacred place, all visitors wearing short pants are requested to borrow long traditional skirts to wrap around their waist.

Wat Pho (Temple of Reclining Buddha)

Near the palace is Wat Pho, the Temple of the Reclining Buddha. The Reclining Buddha is a sight that cannot be found elsewhere, because instead of sitting upright, the statue is lying down with its right arm supporting the head. People often throw coins and make a wish. Its great size made me feel like it was protecting the country.

The Jim Thompson House

Jim Thompson was an American who went to Bangkok after the Second World War. Mesmerized by the silk produced in Thailand, he introduced Thai silk to the world. His house, located in Bangkok, exhibits not only the art he collected when he was alive, but also the beautiful silk that he was so fond of. His house itself is a work of art, because he combined the traditional culture and house form with western architecture (for example, his house was two-stories high although most traditional houses in Thailand weren’t). It is the perfect mixture between Eastern and Western culture, and one of the most fascinating places to visit.

BY Suzy Park ’18

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