By: Ma. Cristina Arayata | Travel
MANILA — Thailand’s new king and queen have just been crowned. This is probably among the timeliest seasons to visit the country and witness the new beginnings that await its people, at the same time experience its rich culture.
If you are thinking of where to go during your summer break, here are five reasons why you should visit Bangkok this season.
Take advantage of airlines’ promos.
Keep an eye on our local carriers’ promos and seat sale, as these are usually offered on popular routes.
Flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL), for instance, has increased its Manila-Bangkok flight frequency, from 21 to 25 times weekly, this summer. It continues to serve the Cebu-Bangkok route three times a week, too.
According to Kajorndet Apichartrakul, Tourism Authority of Thailand director for Singapore and the Philippines, there were 430,000 Filipinos who traveled to Thailand in 2018. This is 12 percent higher than in 2017, he added.
The key factor in this growth is the airline since airlines carry around 40 percent of passengers in Thailand, Apichartrakul said.
Visit the whole of Thailand in one museum.
If you don’t have time to visit the 76 provinces of Thailand, you can have a glimpse of the whole country by just visiting one open-air museum just outside of Bangkok — the Ancient City.
Also called Muang Boran, it houses many replicas of temples, palaces and ancient cities of Thailand from early history to the modern day. Visitors get to tour around the museum via a tram.
It claims itself as the world’s largest private outdoor museum. The 300 acre- land of the Ancient City was divided into four sections, replicating the map of Thailand.
The museum boasts of architectural designs that depict Thailand’s art and culture.
Muang Boran’s address is 296/1 Moo 7 Sukhumvit Road, Bangpoo-Mai, Samut Prakan, about an hour away from Bangkok city center, or around 40 minutes’ drive from Suvarnabhumi Airport.
Take a dinner cruise along Chao Phraya River.
Like in Manila, it is extremely hot in Bangkok during the daytime. You can opt to go on a dinner cruise to still enjoy the view of some temples while onboard the Grand Pearl Cruise.
The Grand Pearl Candle Lit Dinner Cruise lets guests enjoy both Thai and international cuisine. The cruise ship is spacious enough, suitable to still have good conversations with your family or friends.
It has three floors (the third floor is on the upper deck). Both the first floor and the upper deck feature live bands, and guests could either dance or sing along. The first two floors are air-conditioned, but guests can opt to go outside to have some fresh air and have a better view of the sceneries.
This cruise lasts for two hours.
Visit the recently-opened shopping mall.
ICONSIAM opened to the public just last November. It features a high-end shopping mall, and it is really spacious that the restroom on the ground floor even has an automatic sliding door and some sofas.
This shopping mall not only caters to high-end brands, but to other casual brands as well. It has an indoor floating market, too.
At the lower ground floor, you can find Thai snacks, street foods, and coconut ice cream at affordable prices. You can also find some handicrafts and even watch a cultural performance on this floor.
ICONSIAM is located at 299 Soi Charoen Nakhon 5, Charoen Nakhon Road, Khlong Ton Sai, Khlong San, Bangkok. You can also take the ferry along Chao Phraya River to get there.
Taste the Thai cuisine
Ordering authentic Thai cuisine is definitely a must for Bangkok visitors.
There are plenty of restaurants in the city. Blue Elephant restaurant serves Thai food that really tastes fresh, from the appetizers down to the desserts. Apparently, the chefs use fresh ingredients to their menus.
The setting is unique and is perfect whether you’d like to go on a date, or just chill with your friends. The staff there, which includes at least two Filipinos, claimed that Russian President Vladimir Putin had already dined in that Blue Elephant branch.
Blue Elephant is located at 233 S Sathorn Rd, Khwaeng Yan Nawa, Khet Sathon, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10120, Thailand.
Meanwhile, Thailand and the Philippines are celebrating 70 years of diplomatic relations this year. The two countries have formally established diplomatic relations on June 14, 1949. (PNA)