Bangkok is the royal and religious heart of Thailand. The Grand Palace was home to the King and his government until 1925. Nearby are the main Buddhist temples including the gilded and finely carved buildings of Wat Phra Kaew, home of the Emerald Buddha. There is also some gorgeous domestic architecture to be seen, including the Jim Thompson House.
Take a boat trip to explore the river and canals and visit the Taling Chan Floating Market, where fruit, vegetables and fish are sold on weekends. On land, why not explore the huge Chatuchak Weekend Market? It has more than 15,000 stalls, selling everything from antique wood carvings to fashion.