Bangkok is Thailand's capital and its largest city; over 12 million people call it home.
On my first trip here the weather was hot and steamy, and the air was thick with smog. We spent much of our time on the Chao Phraya, Thailand's largest river. That river dissects Bangkok and on that body of water much of the country's commerce moves north and south.
In this modern city, life along the boat-filled Chao Phraya is a real photo opportunity, as its banks are lined with both modern apartments and businesses, plus rickety shacks where thousands of locals still live and work.
We also visited Chinatown, the Golden Reclining Buddha, The Royal Palace and other points-of-interest including the world's largest jewelry store. Bangkok is a very exciting place, and I would certainly place it high on my list of favorite travel destinations. You should too!
The huge feet of the Golden Reclining Buddha.
One of the colorful and functional Bangkok taxis. They're perfect for use in alleys and on narrow streets.
Part of a colorful temple in Bankok.
Bangkok is famous for many things, and possible the most famous one is located within the Wat Pho temple. This huge reclining Buddha is 49 feet (15 m) high and 141 feet (43 m) long. His body is covered in gold plating and he is decorated with mother-of-pearl inlay on his eyes and the soles of his feet (shown left). Although the reclining Buddha is not a pilgrimage center, it remains an object of popular devotion and piety.
Much of life in Bangkok revolves around the Chao Phraya, Thailand's largest river. Covered with boats of all descriptions, it's fronted by countless houses, including apartments and condos, as well as businesses small and large. In short, it's the city's main lifeline.
And speaking of boats on the Chao Phraya river in Bangkok, I spotted this cute little blue tug in a quiet corner.
The Chao Phraya river is used for many purposes, and this little guy uses it as his personal swimming pool.
A Chao Phraya river merchant and her wares, locals and tourists are her customers.
Bangkok has an extensive water transport system serving passengers crossing or traveling along the Chao Phraya River as well as certain canals; water taxis like this one are cheap, quick and very efficient.
While crossing the Chao Phraya river on a rainy day, I passed these 30-foot-high gigantic barges; Bangkok commerce surely depends on that river.
A tranquil scene on one of the Chao Phraya river canals.(Page 1) 1 | 2