• On my first trip to Thailand recently, I fell in love. I fell in love with the country and with the people.  It was love at first sight. Below, I share all the reasons Bangkok is now one of my top holiday destinations.

    Written by Imka Webb

    6 Reasons you must visit Bangkok

    1. The people. The Thai people are some of the friendliest people I have ever met. Whenever I had a question about anything, someone was willing to help. The language barrier didn’t stop anyone from communicating with me. It was so refreshing to see how much everyone loved their friends, families and even their work. It didn’t matter if it was the street vendor selling the most delicious mangoes I have tasted, or the man with the suit and tie from Bangkok Insurance sipping on his Starbucks – everyone had a passion for life.
    2. The food. Don’t even get me started on the food. I have to admit, I was a skeptic at first. Eating food from a street vendor? I would NEVER. But, in Bangkok, almost everyone buys food from a street vendor. And, trust me, you won’t regret it. I couldn’t help but stop at almost every friendly face I saw selling something delicious to eat. Whether it was fresh fruit on a stick, crispy spring rolls, prawns on a stick or just a Thai iced tea, every meal was fabulous. Don’t miss out on visiting a local restaurant for your daily lunch of Pad Thai or mango sticky rice either. A real favourite restaurant of mine? Organika Café in Bangkok. Every dish was made with the freshest ingredients and beautifully presented – a true feast for the senses!
    3. Shopping. Everyone I spoke to prior to my trip to Bangkok said I must do a lot of shopping whilst I am there. And boy, did I shop! While shopping at the local malls was fun, I much preferred visiting the markets. Not only because the locals are so fun, but because markets are everywhere you turn! I came back home with a suitcase filled with stationery, food and trinkets I bought at markets – and everything is so affordable too. Make sure you visit at least 3 markets while you’re in Bangkok. You won’t regret it.
    4. R&R. There are spas on every corner in Bangkok! And they are so affordable too! If you’re tired of walking, eating and shopping, settle in for a relaxing massage. Divana Nurture Spa is a must for tired travellers.  Before your massage, you are offered a refreshing tea and cold towel (so welcoming in the blistering heat). Then, your therapist sits down with you to explain the different techniques and oils you can choose from for your massage. After your massage, you are then served a warm tea with a delicious selection of fresh fruit and sent on your merry way to see what else Bangkok has to offer. This was the same at several other spas I have visited during my time in Thailand.
    5. Get creative. My mind rests when I am creative. It’s my way of escaping the daily grind and it’s so rewarding seeing and touching what you have created. If you like making things with your hands, then make sure you head to Ban Don Kai Dee in Krathum Baen for a ceramic painting workshop. Nestled in a beautiful garden setting, you start your workshop with an explanation of the different paints and then you are left to paint your own design on a cup and saucer. It is extremely relaxing and a fun way to escape the heat and humidity. Afterwards, you can wander through the gardens or enjoy a stroll through the beautiful ceramic shop on the property.
    6. The religion and culture. Even if you are not religious, or interested in religion, it is worth it to visit at least one temple while you are in Bangkok. I have fond memories of visiting a local temple during their service and meeting. It is considered polite to offer food to the monks, so I purchased some ready-made food packs to offer to the monks. The language barrier didn’t matter, as the experience was so enlightening. You don’t have to attend a service while you are there. There are several beautiful and extravagant temples around Bangkok, my favourite being Wat Saket (Phukhao Thong).

    Whether Thailand has always been on your bucket list, or you’ve been wondering where to go on your next holiday, definitely make Bangkok your next stop.

    Contact the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s Johannesburg representative office on tel: (011) 463 8195 or email: [email protected].

    Contact Marmalade Toast on [email protected] for assistance with your tailor-made package to Amazing Thailand.

    Imka Webb

    Imka Webb is a freelance digital marketing expert and the digital editor of Food & Home Entertaining magazine.  www.imkawebb.com