Last Updated on June 22, 2020 by Iris Sinilong
Thailand’s capital, Bangkok was hailed the number one travel destination spot this year, beating London off its prior spot. According to MasterCard’s Global Destination Cities Index, Bangkok is expected to welcome 15.98 million international arrivals this year, while London is trailing behind with 15.96 million expected travelers, followed by Paris, Singapore, and New York. The study, which has been conducted annually since 2010, predicts visitor numbers in terms of scheduled flights and by the estimated amount of money visitors expend in a particular location. This is the first time an Asian city is in the top rank since the Index’s initial launch!
So what is it that brings travelers to Bangkok? Aside from producing vibrant entertainment and having structurally amazing temples, the city has a legion of luxury malls that visitors can choose from. This gives avid shoppers the opportunity to easily snatch up brand name products. In fact, Thai- Chinese Tourism Alliance Association (TCTA president), Kasean Wattanachaopisut stated that, “…this year, the association expects visits from China to reach 3.3 million.” On average, it is found that Chinese tourists – which comprise majority of Thailand’s visitors – tend to stay for a week in the country and spend on average between Bt30,000 to Bt40,000 per trip. So as it appear the boom in the shopping industry has been attracting travelers to this vivacious city.
Other reasons to visit Bangkok:
1. A city with the longest name
Wondering which city has the longest name? Please refer to Bangkok, which goes by the full name of: Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Yuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Phiman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit.
With the English translation of: “the city of angels, the great city, the eternal jewel city, the impregnable city of god Indra, the grand capital of the world endowed with nine precious gems, the happy city, abounding in an enormous Royal Palace that resembles the heavenly abode where reigns the reincarnated god, a city given by Indra and built by Vishnukarn.”
Yes, it’s definitely a mouthful.
2. Statues with the wildest back story
In 1955, a new Viham building was built to house the statue. During the renovation process, the five-ton 13th century statue of Buddha was dropped, cracking its plaster casing. But horror eventually turned to awe when they realized that, underneath, the statue was in fact made of gold and was only covered up to fool the invading Burmese back in the day.
3. A unique variety of street food
Bangkok’s well-deserved reputation for 24-hour street food gets crazier with each corner. From barbequed duck tongues to soup made from bird saliva to some pig brain soup, it is evident that Bangkok does not run out of interesting ideas. If you’re re craving for some food adventure, Bangkok is definitely the city for you!
4. It has a floating market!
The pioneer of all floating markets, Damnoen Sadauk continues to attract tourists all over the world with its unique way of selling fruits and vegetables. Imagine dozens of wooden row boats floating by, each laden with farm-fresh fruits, vegetables, and flowers. You can even go on guided tours so you can enjoy the atmosphere without having to haggle over prices. Isn’t this just a great way to experience a new culture?!
Is Bangkok one of your travel fancies? Share your thoughts with us on the comment section below.