10 Beautiful Places in Bangkok and Bali

by Ed Forteau /
Ed Forteau's picture
Feb 23, 2012 / 0 comments

There are so many beautiful places in Southeast Asia that it is difficult to decide where to go. I love both Thailand and Bali for their beauty.  If you're intent on Bangkok holidays, you'll be amazed at the beauty in this capital city of Thailand (also the largest city in Thailand). Need some tips on where the most beautiful places are? Take a look:


1. Wat Arun

The Temple of the Dawn, Wat Arun Rajwararam (commonly known as Wat Arun) is a Buddhist temple (wat) in Bangkok. Wat Arun is one of Thailand's most recognizable landmarks. The central tower (called a prang) is covered in porcelain, seashells, and other porcelain statues. There's a large Buddha statue and many smalle Buddha images. Wat Arun is located on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River. Watch the sunrise glistening on Wat Arun from across the river. What a sight! Wat Arun is open daily. Hours are 7:30am-5:30pm. Admission is 20 baht.


Photo courtesy of flickr creative commons: flickr.com/photos/vasenka

Photo courtesy of flickr creative commons: flickr.com/photos/vasenka



2. Chao Phraya River

Take a dinner cruise on the Chao Phraya River. Or take a cruise along the river and canals, and see a plethora of temples in a new light. If you choose a daytime river cruise, be sure to hop on and off at the nine piers and explore each new area.



3. King Rama IX Royal Park

This park encompasses a large compound (200 acres!) where you can walk amongst the botanical gardens, and learn about King Rama IX. Dine in the lakeside restaurant, take a boat out on the lake, or explore the different areas of the park. Definitely an urban oasis! Open daily from 5am-5pm. Admission fee is 10 baht.



4. Pak Khlong Talat

Originally a floating market (during the reign of Rama I, 1782-1809), Pak Khlong Talat is a beautiful open market that sells flowers, fruit, and vegetables. Wander the aisles and be amazed at the cornucopia of colors (and varieties) before you. The market is not a tourist attraction, but it IS worth a visit. Free, and open 24 hours.



5. Grand Palace

Located on the Chao Phraya River on Rattanakosin Island, the Grand Palace is a large complex that is still used for official royal and state events. The Palace had been the official residence of the Kings since 1782. The Grand Palace has many buildings, pavilions, gardens, and courtyards. The skyline, architecture, and colorful design of the Grand Palace make it a favorite for photographers and travelers alike. When you visit, please note that there is a strict dress code. Men must wear long pants, sleeved shirts, and socks. Women must be modestly dressed.  Admission to the Temple of the Emerald Buddha and the Central Court is 350 baht. The Grand Palace is open daily from 8:30am-3:30pm, except for rare state functions. Do some research before you head there!



If you're combining your destinations and heading a bit further south for Bali holidays, you will truly enjoy the beautiful scenery, great food, and beaches. Bali is an island in Indonesia known for its natural beauty. It's a little over 2,000 square miles, so you can easily get around the island in a day - but why do so? Note - if you're a scuba diver, you'll be very happy with the reef systems in Menjangan Island and Candidasa (among other places). If you're a surfer, well, you'll be happy almost anywhere in Bali (including Kuta).



1. Beaches

Bali is known for its beaches! From the gorgeous beaches on the southeast (Sanur Beach) to the Bukit peninsula (head to Balangan, Padang Pagang, and Jimbaran beaches) to beaches on the east (Klungkung, Amlapura and Amed beaches) and all beaches in between, you'll be happy if you're a beach person. And if you're not, you just might turn into one. It's tropical paradise!



2. Ubud

Known as the cultural capital of Bali, Ubud is a beautiful village, surrounded by rice paddies. It's also the center of Balinese painting, and hosts several art galleries and residences of famous artists. You can see ceremonies or attend dance performances, or attend a shadow puppet show. It has been said that many of the best restaurants in Bali are located in Ubud.



3. Tanah Lot

Located on a rocky island on the southwest coast of Bali, Tanah Lot is a small temple that is very picturesque. This is one of the most visited spots in Bali - it looks like it is floating when the tide is high. When the tide is low, you can walk to the island.

Tickets will increase on April 1, 2012. Foreign adults will be Rp. 30, foreign children Rp. 15.



Photo courtesy of flickr creative commons: flickr.com/photos/38314728@N08/

Photo courtesy of flickr creative commons: flickr.com/photos/38314728@N08


4. Bali Bedugul Botanical Garden

The Bali Bedugul Botanical Garden is an enormous tropical garden in the Bedugul plateau. Located in the mountain lake resort of Bedugul, the Botanical Garden is an award-winning tourist attraction. There are more than 2,000 plant species in the garden - including over 320 orchid types! The garden is located above the lake in Candikuning. It's a perfect place to relax, bring a picnic, and enjoy nature.

Admission fee Rp. 7,000 per person, parking fee Rp. 12,000 per car



5. Gunung Batur

If you need some time away from all the beaches, head to Gunung Batur, a still-active volcano! You can take an organized tour - or even stay overnight. In the caldera you will find villages, a lake, hot springs, lava flows, and ofcourse forests. There's a cemetery in Trunyan that many visitors like to visit. You can climb Gunung Batur in a day. Be aware that there is a climbing cartel which sets prices for guides, etc. - not a cheap backpacker's destination.