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The Never Ending Summer along the river

Bangkok heritage: riverside rebirth

Legendary modern day Bangkok has evolved into a city of lush urban grandeur, startling contrasts, and sophistication.

Chao Phraya River

The area around Chao Phraya River is a hotbed of cultural renaissance, where its rich heritage is reinvented by visionaries.

Legendary modern day Bangkok has evolved into a city of lush urban grandeur, startling contrasts, and sophistication. It’s winding rivers and canals help lay out a signature skyline with panoramic views that tower over character driven neighbourhoods, bustling markets, neon-lit nightlife, and a delicatessen of steamy street fare. Enter a tropical metropolis that harbours many hidden gems.

Just behind modern skyscrapers, you will discover Zen-like parks, between first-class shopping malls, quiet temples, under a modern sky train network, traditional heritage buildings, and a thriving art and culture scene. Hot, cool, spicy, soothing, rich, humble, frantic and at peace with itself, it’s Bangkok; the city of contrasts where modern design meets heritage buildings!

The Jam Factory
The Jam Factory

Not so long ago, Bangkok thrived with travellers and traders from China, India, and Europe, who witnessed life on Chao Phraya River and major canals filled with riverboats, rafts and rice barges. Countless visitors then compared the Thai capital to Venice and nicknamed Bangkok the ‘Venice of the East’.

Fast forward to present days, and another similarity with Venice; the Venice Art Biennale is one of the oldest and most prestigious international exhibition of its kind. It’s also in Venice that the first Bangkok Art Biennale was officially announced last year in May 2017 at The Europa & Regina Hotel. The upcoming international Bangkok Art Biennale (B.A.B.) will put Bangkok (Krung ThepMaha Nakhon) back into the international spotlights and position it onto the worldwide art biennale circuits. Over 75 international artists will be shown at various sites and famous landmarks along the Chao Phraya River, at the historic East Asiatic Company building, Bangkok Art and Culture Center (B.A.C.C.) and Lumpini Park; while ancient temples like Wat Pho (Temple of Reclining Buddha), Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn) and Wat Prayoon (Temple of Iron Fence) will be the sites for cultural encounters.
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© This article was first published in Aug-Sept 2018 edition of World Travel Magazine.

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