Category: International Published on Monday, 17 January 2011 14:47
With a population of over 10 million in a country of only 64 million, Thailand's capital teems with humanity. As the cultural heart of the kingdom, the city keeps many traditions still visibly intact -- yet Bangkok is also a rapidly changing city. If you go beyond the city's new transport systems (the above-road Bangkok Transit System [BTS] and the Mass Rapid Transit [MRT] subway), it can be a challenge. Heavy traffic, excessive heat and humidity, and at certain times of the year, smog, can make Bangkok truly overwhelming. Nevertheless, to find the charm of the city, all you need to do is to be adventurous and explore areas outside the central business district, packed full of skyscrapers and shopping malls.
Founded when King Rama I moved the city across the river from Thonburi in 1782, Bangkok is not a particularly ancient capital, but rather a cool mix of modernity and tradition. Saffron-robed monks mingle in the sois with Starbucks-drinking, cellphone-wielding yuppies or bouffant-wigged socialites known by the abbreviation hi-so. Luxurious, glass-clad condos brazenly penetrate the skyscape, juxtaposed by tin-roofed slums teetering along putrid canals. Amongst the concrete, glittering wats and ramshackle colonial edifices pepper this ancient and vibrant city.
What strikes many upon arrival in the Big Mango, as it's lovingly known, is the highly developed infrastructure, high-end shopping, world-class accommodations, and welcoming people; compared to Hong Kong and Singapore, though, the country is way behind in development, and locals aren't as fluent in English as in these wealthy former colonies. The modernity is often merely a beguiling façade -- underneath there's grit and grime.
The culture here is so gloriously rich, though, that exploring Bangkok should be seen as a highlight of any trip to Thailand. And there are rooms to suit any budget. Bangkok's luxury hotels offer unrivaled rates and visitors can find anything from a basic 300B (US$8.60/£4.60) hostel to a ritzy high-rise suite. The cuisine is itself a worthy adventure; you can choose from fine dining in hip hangouts to simple market stalls.
The city is relatively safe, but unsuspecting tourists can be victims of thievery from time to time -- mostly involving petty theft such as pickpocketing. For the most part, you can wander freely around the shopping districts or giddy markets unhindered. At some point, be sure to escape the frenetic pulse of the concrete jungle by ducking into a serene temple compound.
Rivaled only by Chiang Mai in the north, Bangkok is above all a great place to shop, for anything from name-brand luxury items (and, of course, knock-offs that won't last a week) to fine local handicrafts, antiques, silk, and jewels. And when it comes to nightlife, the endless array of great value night markets, bars, clubs, and eateries makes for a (potentially) sleepless night.
Bangkok / Pattaya - 4D 3N (RM1000)
Last Updated on Sunday, 29 May 2011 14:30
Category: International Published on Wednesday, 12 January 2011 16:57
Sprawling along the northern coast of West Java is JAKARTA Indonesia Capital city and home to around 15 million peoples. Originally the port of Sunda Kelapa, it's potential as a trading post was recognised by the Portuguese, who were thrown out by Sunan Gunung Jati of Demak Kingdom in 1527. In commemoration he named the city Jayakarta: "City of Victory", and changed into Batavia, the old name of this city during Dutch accoupation periode, and named Jakarta after independent. Jakarta city as the biggest city in Indonesia has a long history in the course of Indonesian development. Jakarta offers old heritages or historical places, traditional activities up to modern recreations and shopping for travelers visiting Jakarta Metropolis, with more than 10 millions residents. Now JAKARTA is the capital of Indonesia, but well known as the main gate of the tourism and business of Indonesia, from where you can travel and cacth the direct flights easly from Jakarta to all tour destinations of Indonesia such as: Yogyakarta, Bali, Lombok, Sulawesi, Sumatera, Kalimantan and Papua.
Jakarta / Puncak / Bandung - 4D 3N (RM 1300)
Last Updated on Sunday, 29 May 2011 14:36