Houses standing on piles in the water of the canals, the floating market and temples with their glistening mosaics are all living memories from the past, but the skyscrapers standing on the bank of Cho Praya and the luxury cars speeding on the highway are all forerunners of the new century. Old and new, rich and poor, backwards and ultra modern; Bangkok is a place of controversies. In the buzzing of the 8 million metropolis the Royal Palace and the buddhist monasteries are the islands of peace and silence. One can see a 5 and a half ton Buddha statue, temples covered with marble, mirrors and gold, and relics each more beautiful than the previous one. We can take a trip from Bangkok to the ruins of the ancient capital of Ayutthaya, the famous bridge of the River Kwai, but the beaches of Pattaya are not far either.