Joyfully exuberant, Bangkok embraces modern development and present an initial picture of thrusting office towers; of world-class hotels offering deluxe comforts; of glittering shopping plazas; of restaurants serving Thailand's acclaimed spicy specialties, as well as virtually all other great cuisines East and West; of entertainment spots where the fare ranges from classical Thai dance to modern jazz.
Amazingly, in the midst of this dynamic modern world, Bangkok miraculously manages to preserve its cultural heritage to a marked degree. In the soaring roofs and gleaming spires of the Grand Palace and the city's many historic temples - Temple of the Emerald Buddha, Temple of Dawn and other evocative shrines - the visitor is presented with a picture of classical oriental wonder. In addition, contained within Bangkok's monuments and sights are treasures of the nation's artistic and cultural endeavor that typify the land and the people.
The influence of the past is not limited to major monuments and it continues to color daily life. Files of saffron-robed monks making their early morning alms round, for example, present a scene essentially unaltered by the passing of time. Today's backdrop of high-rise buildings only adds wonder to this and other traditional sights from which the city continues to draw definition.
Ultimately, it is from the people that Bangkok derives its unique flavor. Fun-loving and easy going, the people possess a rare tolerance which imbues the city with a real sense of freedom. It may appear at times hectic, yet what finally comes across is Bangkok's good natured acceptance of life with all its idiosyncrasies.
Thailand's "City of Angels" is, indeed, a ... place where possibilities are limited only by the imagination. You'll marvel at the glories of the past, and delight in the golden opportunities of the present.
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