Paris versus Bangkok ? 2 very different towns. Here are some advices if you visit one of them. Packing, shopping and food tricks – What to visit in Bangkok. The Arc de Triomphe is dedicated to the soldiers who fought in the French armies of the Revolution and the First Empire (Napoleonic Wars). Napoleon commissioned the building of this mighty structure in 1806 but did not live to see its completion in 1836. Designed by JF Chalgrin, the massive 50-meter-high arch features bas-reliefs with larger-than-life-size figures, which depict the departure, victories, and glorious return of the French armies. Particularly noteworthy is the bas-relief by Francois Rude on the Champs-Elysees-facing side: Departure of the Volunteers of 1792, also known as The Marseillaise, illustrating the troops led by the winged spirit of Liberty. On the inner surface of the arch are the names of more than 660 generals and more than a hundred battles. From the top of the monument, a viewing platform affords panoramic views of the 12 avenues that radiate from the Place de l’Etoile, including the route from the Champs-Elysees to Place de la Concorde and the Louvre. It’s possible to see all the way to La Defense, Montmartre, and the Eiffel Tower.
Sitting at the highest point in Paris like an ornamental decoration, the Basilique Sacre-Coeur has a special aura. Its alabaster facade blends Romanesque and Byzantine styles, and from far away, it looks like a wedding cake (which is its nickname). Inside the Basilica, the striking mosaic of Christ with a flaming heart gives the sanctuary an emotional and spiritual intensity, fitting for a church that was created as a symbol of hope after the Franco-Prussian War. The sanctuary is illuminated with many candles, which provide a contrast to the dark, somber space. Visitors can spend time on the terrace admiring the views of Paris or climb the tower for an even higher perspective. The Esplanade that leads up (by a staircase of over 200 steps) to the Sacre-Coeur church is a popular area for people to hang out and is often animated by street musicians. See more info on Paris shopping guide.
Paris restaurant pick : It’s been a while since an outstanding restaurant opened in the historic Latin Quarter, which is why Cambodian-born Tomy Gousset’s new place has been such a hit. Here, the chef — who spent time in the New York restaurant scene — preps a first-rate small-plates menu that will please both vegetarians and carnivores. Standout dishes include the savory pancake with guanciale; a breaded free-range pork cutlet with a fried egg, black rice, red cabbage, and curry sauce; and a black chocolate tart with puffed buckwheat and cappuccino ice cream. It’s an instant local favorite.
Paris shopping pick : Grand Magasins on Boulevard Haussmann, Rue Tronchet & La Madeleine Start exploring this shopping area in Paris by strolling around the Place de la Madeleine. The streets surrounding the church—with its stately neoclassical temple design—are lined with trees and elegant shops, cafes and gourmet food shops such as Fauchon. Follow Rue Tronchet from La Madeleine and you’ll head directly toward the huge department stores Printemps and Galeries Lafayette on Boulevard Haussmann (See Department Stores section below for more details). Along the way you’ll pass lots of neat shops. Keep your eyes out for a super handbag and luggage store called La Maroquinerie Parisienne on the right as you approach Boulevard Haussmann. The streets here are lined with shops all along Boulevard Haussmann leading toward the beautiful Opera Garnier. Stop in the huge Monoprix store near Galeries Lafayette for a uniquely Parisian shopping experience. This area is a shopping haven all day long and also after dark when the Opera creates a dramatically beautiful backdrop.
Bangkok travel tips
Wat Suthat, adjacent to the Great Swing, is one of the oldest and most beautiful of Bangkok’s Buddhist temples. Three kings had a hand in its construction: it was begun soon after the coronation of Rama I (founder of the Chakri dynasty) in 1782, continued by Rama II, and completed ten years later by Rama III. Apart from its delightful architecture, the temple boasts some exceptionally interesting wall paintings. Wat Suthat is less popular than some of the other temple complexes in the city, so you’ll enjoy a more peaceful and intimate experience here. Read extra details on Bangkok food guide.
Wat Pho, or the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, is known for the giant Buddha that sits at its core. The religious image is massive, coming in at 46 meters in length and 15 meters tall. The temple, however, is equipped with so much more to see besides this huge sculpture, even if it is the focal point of the temple grounds. In addition to the Buddha, visitors will find colorful murals illustrating over 400 images of Buddha. Also on the grounds are notable chedis, a colorful Chinese pavilion, and a traditional Thai massage school. There is a B100 entrance fee.
Bangkok shopping pick : Talad Rot Fai Srinakarin Night Market : A shopping paradise for fans of vintage stuff: If you are into things in vintage style, then you will find your place at the Warehouse Zone and Rod’s Antiques areas. Products are impressive in variety and quantity. And shoppers can get more inspiration for their love from many fellow vintage stuff lovers and hunters there. Genuine vintage and antique items available: Collectors can rest assure that items showcased at Rod’s Antiques section like French chandeliers, classic cars, motorbikes, cameras and kitsch furniture are all real things. Some comes from Thailand while others made their long way from all over the world (American, Europe, China and Myanmar) to shine their beauty at the market.
If you think Siam Paragon is gargantuan, wait till you know about Central World right next to Siam Paragon. Overall, its area size is a whopping 830,000 square metres dedicated to the retail shops, restaurants and entertainment. This makes Central World the largest shopping mall in the country and one of the world’s biggest. With a size this big, one only ought to say that it has everything from luxury boutiques, the newest technology, gourmet restaurants, entertaiment and so much more. It also houses an ice-skating rink and an outdoor venue for big events such as Bangkok’s New Year countdown celebration. I actually stood here celebrating the New Year in 2014, what an experience!
A short etymology on the name is that this mall stands where the British Embassy was located in the early days and therefore has given the shopping mall its name Central Embassy. But enough talk of history, let’s fast forward the mall’s present. Central Embassy emphasises its classy touch through a white and neat minimalist interior and futuristic design. It is actually dubbed as the most luxurious mall in Bangkok for its expansive designer boutiques, fine-dining restaurants offering world-class cuisine, high-end movie theatres and a planned 6-star hotel. Your luxury shopping feel starts as you enter and see the swanky displays of Gucci, Givency, Prada, Vivienne Westwood, Michael Kors and so much more. For more please visit Travel tips , a complete travel blog.