World's Greatest City: 50 reasons why Bangkok is No. 1

40. The most innovative way to pump iron

The outdoor gym at Lumpini Park (MRT: Lumpini) is full of ancient, rusting, laughably outdated gear, which apparently doesn't bother the hugely muscled dudes sweating buckets in the midday heat.
To your muscles, 50 pounds is 50 pounds. Try your hand at the bench-press station, with tractor tires on the bar instead of weights.

41. No walking allowed at 8am or 6pm

Many an unwitting tourist has been caught outside at the aforementioned hours and experienced a slight Twilight Zone twitch when everyone else around them simply stops moving.
Have no fear, they're just paying respect to the national anthem, which is played twice per day. Continuing to move isn't illegal -- but you'll get the frowning of a lifetime from the people around you.

42. Best crab curry in all of Asia

At Somboon Seafood on Surawong Road, you'll find a plate of their famous crab curry on every table in the joint. Surrounded by a thick, sweet sauce, the juicy chunks of crab ensure there's hardly anything for the waitress to clean up.
According to legend, one fan from Singapore actually jets up to Bangkok just to get his monthly fix.
169/7-11 Surawong Road, Silom. Tel+66 (0)2 233 3104

43. Most ornate palace

Chakri Mahaprasad Hall at the Grand Palace.Chakri Mahaprasad Hall at the Grand Palace.

Filled with over 54 acres of spiky temple spires, gold-plated walls and overly elaborate painting, sculpture and metalwork, the Grand Palace was once the private home of the Thai monarch, but is now Bangkok's most-visited attraction.
Check out the mural of the Ramayana along the inner wall, the longest wall painting in the world.
Tha Chang Pier. Tel: +66 (0)2 623 5500 ext 3100

44. We worship football -- literally

On Rama III soi 30 there's a temple called Wat Pariwat, whose abbot was such a fan of football that he agreed to the placement of a David Beckham statue alongside the usual divine effigies during the 1998 World Cup. No word on any plans to add Posh to the altar.

45. World's creepiest museum

Think you've seen it all? Bangkok's Forensics Museum at Siriraj Hospital is filled with the freaky, grisly stuff you hear about, but rarely see.
Some of the highlights: a scrotum with a diameter of 30 inches taken from a victim of elephantitis; the wax-filled body of infamous Thai child-eater Si Quey; and various victims of gunfire, road accidents and industrial mishaps. It's kind of like the anti-Disneyland.
2 Prannok Road, Siriraj, Bangkok Noi. Tel: +66 (0)2 419 7000

46. Double-take t-shirts

From brilliant non-PC slogans and cuss-heavy diatribes to rhymes that don't make sense, the young and trendy sport a variety of shirts for every taste. Many of them are juvenile and silly, but once in a while you'll find one that borders on brilliant(ly out of place).

47. Hippest monks

Many people think that monks spend all day sitting on the ground praying, but in Thailand they're significantly cooler than that. While always remaining true to their spiritual calling, the perpetually saffron-robed holy men can be seen at various spots around the city riding the subway, chatting on iPhones or updating blogs in internet cafes.

48. Color-coding of ... everything

In Bangkok, colors help define and separate everything, from ideas and zones to political movements. In fact, each day is assigned its own color; you'll likely see a lot more blue shirts on a Friday, pink on Tuesday, yellow on Monday and so on.
It's even spilled over into politics, with the disparate factions turning up to mass rallies in "their" color. After the recent political turmoil in the capital, a popular joke suggested changing the traditional Thai greeting from "Have you eaten yet?" to "What color are you?"

49. The police are actually Boy Scouts

"Be prepared" is a motto many of us know, and the Bangkok police live it everyday. An example: because of the city's legendarily bad traffic, being stuck in a car while, oh, say, giving birth, can really put a damper on things.
That's why many of the police are equipped with special clippers that they can use to cut an umbilical cord. Back-seat births happen more often than you'd think.

50. Dinosaurs!

Don't miss the Lumpini lizards.Don't miss the Lumpini lizards.

It may not be Jurassic Park, but Bangkok's version of Central Park -- Lumpini -- has reptiles big enough to give you a fright if you're not expecting to see one. The Varanus salvator (water monitor), which can grow up to nearly three meters (nine feet) in length, usually just ambles along the mud and grass around the water, but sometimes scrambles across a pathway to another pond. Don't worry, most of them are only about a meter (three feet) long. Most of them.

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