:: City Attractions
Thai Traditional Massage This therapeutic and highly soothing form of massage purportedly evolved from rishis (forest-dwelling Brahmin hermit asetics) who relieved the physical stress of extended periods of meditation by adopting certain postures. Wat Pho is the best known centre for massages and massage tuition. Major hotels also offer Thai massage services. Modern Spas

Thai Cooking The Thai cuisine gains increasing international favour. Visitors wishing to learn how to cook Thai food can contact the Modern Housewife Institute (Tel: 0-2279-2831, 0-2279-2834), or the UFM Food Centre (Tel: 0-2259-0620-30) for full details. A Thai cooking class is also arrange by many hotels including Dusit Thani Tel: 0- 2236-6400 , Delta Grand Pacific Tel: 0-2255-2400 , Imperial Queen's Park Tel: 0-2261-9000 , Mariott Royal Garden Riverside Tel: 0-2476-0021 , Landmark Tel: 0-2254- 0404 , Oriental Tel: 0-2437-6211 , Shangri-la Tel: 0-2236-7777 , Sol Twin Towers Tel: 0-2216-9555 and Tai Pan Tel: 0-2260- 9888.

Meditation is one of the most popular aspects of Buddhism, practiced regularly by numerous Thais, and laymen as a means of promoting inner peace and happiness. The following are meditation centres which offer a class in English for foreign visitors who wish to find out more about Buddhism and Buddhist meditation.

The International Buddhist Meditation Centre Wat Mahathat, Tha Phrachan. Tel: 0-2623-6326.

The World Fellowship of Buddhists 616 Sukhumvit Soi 24. Tel: 0- 2661-1284-7.

House of Dhamma 26/9 Soi 15, Lat Phrao Road. Tel: 0-2511- 0439.

Spas, traditionally, were towns where public baths, hospitals or hotels were built on top of mineral springs so that people could come and make use of the healing properties found in the water and its mud for medical purposes.

These days, a spa doesn't have to be a town built on natural thermal springs. It can be a place anywhere that anyone can go to, to relax in tranquil surroundings with a variety of treatments administered to recontour and rejuvenate the body and mind.

Modern spas usually focus on a holistic approach - tending to the mind, body and soul and promoting quality in terms of lifestyle. There are four such places in Bangkok.

Banyan Tree Spa , 51 st to 54 th floor of Thai Wah Tower II, South Sathon Road. Tel: 0-2679-1052, 0-2679-1054. www.banyantree.com.

Grand Spa & Fitness Club , Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit Hotel, 250 Sukhumvit Road. Tel: 0-2653-0282.

JW's Health Club & Spa , JW Marriott Hotel, Soi 2 Sukhumvit Road. Tel: 0-2656-7700.

Oriental Spa Thai Health & Beauty Centre , 48 Oriental Avenue. Tel: 0-2439-7613-4. www.mandarinoriental.com.

Swiss Perfection , in the Regent Bangkok Hotel, 155 Ratchadamri Road. Tel: 0-2255-5519, 0-2255-8218

Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaeo This inner-city riverine landmark contains several buildings with highly detailed architectural features. Wat Phra Kaeo within the same compound, is a treasure house of Thai arts, and houses the Emerald Buddha, the most revered Buddha image in Thailand.

Open: Daily from 8.30 a.m. to 3.30 p.m.(except during special royal ceremonies)
Admission: 200 baht. (including a ticket to Vimanmek Royal Mansion)
Proper attire is essential
Personal Audio Guide in English, French, German, Spanish, Russian, Japanese and Mandarin: 100 baht
Tel: 0-2623-5500,0-2222-0094, 0-2222-6889