Standing in City Hall square, the Giant Swing (Sao Ching Cha) was originally erected in 1784 as part of the adjacent Devasathan, a Brahmin compound of shrines to Shiva, Ganesha and Vishnu. The Brahmin priests based here still officiate at royal and other official ceremonies (although no longer at the Brahmin New Year rite). In the past, a ceremony, meant to celebrate an exploit of the god Shiva, would require four brave men to swing from this lofty red frame to grab at pouches of coins. However, due to fatal casualties, the ritual stopped in the 1930s. The poles were erected in 1919 by the Louis T Leonowens Company to honour of the son of Anna Leonowens (the contentious governess in The King and I and a teacher in the Siamese court of King Rama IV). In 2006, the rickety timbers were replaced by the structure you see today
We'll call it right now: Bangkok is one of the most vibrant cities in the world. A curious mix of old and new, and East meets West, Bangkok assaults the senses with its majestic sights, exotic destinations, flavorful cuisine and exhilarating nightlife. This city has some of the best restaurants in Asia, the grandest temples and the most energizing massages this side of the world.
There are too many sights to be seen, food to be eaten, and merriment to be made. We zone in on the most memorable experiences this exuberant city has to offer.