Bangkok Thailand – 12 Best Attractions and Sights

For travellers of Bangkok who can look beyond the tangled mess of electric wires above their heads and who can put aside the honking of car horns, overpowering smells and pollution, the capital of Thailand offers far more than what is initially perceived and expected. Alongside the spectacular views from the city’s looming skyscrapers, Bangkok offers must-see attractions even at ground level for those who know where to look. Neighbouring the glittering high-rises and boarded up slums lie exquisitely ornate and magnificent temples; driving alongside the hand-painted food-carts and patchwork mopeds, cruises top of the line BMWs; and the stark contrast of the diversity of the city is what makes it so special.

Top 3 Ways to See Bangkok

Before discussing the sights of the city themselves, there are three very interesting and unique ways to see the grit, splendour and contradictions of Bangkok up close and personal. Bangkok offers its sights to visitors in the form of bicycle tours, canal tours or tuk-tuk tours proving that occasionally, the journey is in fact the destination when exploring.

Cycling Tours – Pedal Your Way Around

Cycling around the city is a fun, exciting and gloriously independent way of unearthing Bangkok’s hidden local gems, tucked away alleyways and countryside.

Many tour companies offer bicycle rental and although not a safe option for the chaotic streets of Bangkok itself, cycling leisurely through temples, parks, markets and the more residential areas makes for an excellent afternoon. A few companies offer various packages, some with a meal included and as well as guided tours.

For those who are looking for self-directed freedom, 'Go' Bangkok Bicycle Tours, offers full day, half day and hourly bike rental for self-guided exploration. Bicycles are rented at THB 300 for the day or THB 50 per hour including a helmet, lights, lock and carry bag.

Canal Tours – See the City from Water

Canal tours of Bangkok city are also fun ways to see the city from a different vantage point and take in the scenery while being gently transported down the Chao Phraya River.

Although somewhat expensive at around THB 1000, visitors can also hop in a public express boat for a much cheaper rate. The majority of the canal boat trips begin on the eastern bank and journey along the currents of Thonburi. Passengers will be able to see Wat Arun, a floating market as well as the Royal Barges National Museum from the water and can even head all the way to Nonthaburi on a morning trip.

Tuk-tuk tours – Go Local Style

The much-loathed and much-adored iconic tuk-tuks are also a fine means of sightseeing while in Bangkok.

Visitors can easily arrange a city-tour in a rattling tuk-tuk by negotiating a price with any tuk-tuk driver on any street corner. Alternatively, many of the tour operators will usually own a tuk-tuk themselves or know a friend who has one, who can take you on a tour.

Top 3 Local Experiences in Bangkok

While in the capital of Thailand it would be a pity to miss out on the rich culture, captivating tradition and customs that make Bangkok such a unique and diverse travel destination. Our top three must-see local experiences include a sweaty and exciting Muay Thai show, watching a cultural performance such as Siam Niramit in Ratchadaphisek, and visiting the Amphawa Floating Market.

Muay Thai – Enjoy the Ancient Martial Art

Combining electrifying entertainment with an ancient martial art, Muay Thai (Thai boxing) is an exhilarating means of diving into one of the multifaceted dimensions that make up authentic Thai culture.

Muay Thai is the country’s national sport and being a cheering (or cringing!) spectator at one of the 90-minute shows is an excellent experience for sport enthusiasts or visitors looking for a thrilling night out in Bangkok. The electric atmosphere of a jam-packed stadium with a cheering crowd and loud, rhythmic music is a truly unique experience.

While there are many stadiums all across the city, the biggest fights where the Thai champions compete, take place at the Lumpini and Ratchadamnoen stadiums in Bangkok. Each night several fight competitions occur in either of the stadiums with different age and weight classes competing. Doors open from 6pm onwards and tickets cost between THB 1000 and THB 2000 depending on closeness to the boxing ring.

Cultural performances – Learn the Fascinating History of Thailand

Conducted in the massive 2,000-seat Ratchada Theatre, Siam Niramit in Ratchadaphisek features the world’s highest stage and it is here that over 100 performers portray the fascinating history of Thailand in a breathtaking and dazzling performance. An artistic masterpiece and a true depiction of the vibrancy, history and legacy of the different regions in Thailand, this show is astoundingly magical and makes for a beautiful night out in Thailand’s capital.

Located on Tiamruammit Road, opposite Thailand Cultural Centre, tickets cost between THB 1500 and THB 2,850 depending on the class of seat and whether dinner is included.

Floating markets – Traditional Way of Shopping

The final must-see local experience in Bangkok is hands down the weekend Amphawa Floating Market on the picturesque Amphawa canal.

Although increasing in popularity over recent years, this market still boasts a beautiful air of authenticity and with the traditional wooden boats floating merrily down the river with fresh produce piled in, this spot is a photographer’s paradise. Boat trips to nearby temples are on offer as well as evening firefly boat rides. With the local food stalls and affordable and local cuisine, this is an excellent opportunity to people-watch and get a true sense of the everyday culture.

Top 3 Temples to Visit in Bangkok

For those who want to pay homage to the temples within the scorching capital, Wat Arun, Wat Pho and The Grand Palace are at the very top of the must-see list.

Wat Arun – the Temple of Dawn

Engraved on the back of all the 10 baht coins, is easily our favourite temple in all of Bangkok – Wat Arun, also known as Temple of Dawn.

Located on the west bank of the famous Chao Phraya River the stunning Buddhist temple’s spires are adorned with exquisite pieces of fragmented Chinese porcelain, and with its riverside location Wat Arun possesses an air of grandeur across the water. Temple-goers will need to hop into a riverboat headed to Pier 8 at Sapphan Taksin pier. From Pier 8 a shuttle boat will take you across the river for a very meagre fee. Wat Arun is open daily from 8:30am until 5:30pm, entrance into the temple is charged at TBH 100 per person.

Wat Pho – the Temple of the Reclining Buddha

Across from Wat Arun lies another beautiful Buddhist temple, Wat Pho, home to the largest reclining Buddha statue in the world and Thailand’s greatest collection of Buddha images.

Wat Pho is one of the oldest temples in Bangkok, a school of Thai medicine and is also known as the leading school of massage in the whole country. With the impressive 46 meter, gold leaf covered Buddha and tranquil atmosphere of the temple complex, a visit to Wat Pho is a wonderful way to while away an hour or so away from the busy city. Open from 8am until 5pm, entrance costs TBH 100.

Wat Phra Kaeo – the Temple of the Emerald Buggha

The last of the must-see Bangkok temples, is the world-renowned Wat Phra Kaeo and the Grand Place situated at Na Phra Lan Road in the heart of the capital.

The palace was the former home to King Rama I to King Rama V but in recent years is used to host royal ceremonies. The whole complex is divided into two main sections, namely, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaeo), which contains a Buddha statue carved from solid jade, and the royal home consisting of the Outer, Middle and Inner Court. Arguably the most spectacular temple in all of Bangkok, Wat Phra Kaeo is open from 8:30am until 3:30pm with a rather steep entrance fee of TBH 500.

Top 3 Viewpoints in Bangkok

In a city that scarcely manages to extend higher than sea level, it is no surprise that the best viewpoints in Bangkok are manmade towers of reinforced concrete rather than mist-capped mountains.

Despite the fact that the viewpoints are manufactured, they are in no way any less magnificent than the views offered by nature. Getting as high as possible in Bangkok is the best way to observe the sprawling beauty of the capital. The aerial vantage points also allow for a rare moment of cleaner air and peace and quiet in which to take in the magic. As the saying goes, ‘Distance makes the heart grow fonder’ and with the city lights twinkling in the far expanse while you stand on a skyscraper above the capital, you cannot help but fall in love with Bangkok.

While there are many numerous beautiful spots to take in an urban sunset atop the bustling metropolis, our top three viewpoints in Bangkok are Park Society or SO Sofitel Rooftop, Sky Bar Rooftop at Lebua or River Vibe.

Park Society Terrace at SO Sofitel Bangkok – Sathon Road

Overlooking the gorgeous Manhatten-esque Lumphini Park, lives Park Society Terrace on the 29th floor rooftop of the SO Sofitel Bangkok on Sathorn Road.

This exquisite open-air restaurant and bar is as sophisticated as they come. For those with generous entertainment budgets and an appreciation for the finer things in life, this is the ideal spot to soak up the splendor of the city.

Sky Bar at Lebua – Silom Road

Boasting the glory of being one of the highest open-air bars in the world is the swanky Sky Bar at Lebua on Silom Road.

This spot is known famously as being a key feature in the Hangover Part 2 movie, has won numerous awards and gained worldwide recognition. With the sunset glinting off the glass and metallic skyline followed by twinkling city lights and starry skies, the phrase ‘the high life’ will take on a whole new meaning.

River Vibe at the River View Guest House

For those with smaller budgets and catering more for the backpacker crowd, River Vibe atop the River View Guest House is a gorgeous spot to take in the city surrounds without any bothersome dress code with very reasonable priced drinks.

River Vibe overlooks a lovely stretch of the Chao Phraya River and with its cheerful atmosphere and friendly crowd, this open-air restaurant and bar gets two big thumbs up.

Bangkok station guide

Hua Lamphong - train

To get to this station the easiest way is to take the MRT subway to Hua Lamphong. It's the last station down the line (opposite to Bang Sue).

Once you arrive just follow the signs to the railway station. It is about 5 minutes walk underground and you will get back to the surface right in front of the station.

  • From Khao San Road or the Southern Bus Terminal you need to take a taxi.
  • From Mo Chit Bus Terminal you should take a taxi to the MRT station Khamphaeng Phet
  • From Ekkamai Bus Terminal you can take BTS Skytrain to Sukhumvit, then change to MRT. 40 min.
  • From Don Mueang Airport the easiest way is to take a taxi. Mind the tolls.
  • From Suvarnabhum Airport you can take the Airport Link to Petchaburi station, then walk a few minutes to MRT. Takes 1-1.5 hr.

You can search Bangkok MRT, BTS and Airport Link connections in 12Go system, with fares and times.

Hua Lamphong Station is also a walk away to Bangkok's Chinatown. Around Yaowarat Road you will see many shops that sell almost everything.

Hua Lamphong station or more familiar as Bangkok Railway Station to foreigners, is the main railway station in Thailand. It was first opened on June 25, 1916 after six years of construction and was built in an Italian Neo-Renaissance inspired architecture.

The Station is mother to Thailand's four railway lines: Northern, Northeastern, Southern, Eastern. The establishment has 14 platforms, 26 ticket booths and serves over 130 trains each day.

Mind the "helpers" without uniform trying to "help" you find a hotel. However station staff is very helpful. There are no lounges inside but the air is usually fresh enough and food is abundant so just grab a coffee while you waiting. Backside from the station there are a few massage salons and internet cafes, well, just like anywhere else.

Please keep in mind that trains in Thailand are subjects to delays. Really. If you plan a connecting train+bus or ferry - allow some time for the train being late.

You can choose from

  • 1st class VIP (that will normally be a compartment)
  • 2nd class aircon (very cold! but they give blankets and fresh linen)
  • 2nd non-aircon (same, but fans instead of aircons - 12go choice!)
  • 3rd class aircon (don't. seriously, don't. you will turn into a icicle)
  • 3rd class nonaircon (take the bus instead. only plus is that you can walk).

Best resource on train in Thailand is Mark Smith, the guy at the seat 61.

12Go suggestion: take the train if you can book in advance. You will be able to sleep and have great experience of good old 70's. But please do keep in mind that we book train berths manually for you, unlike buses, so allow us and yourself some space for changes. Like, if you must catch the flight from the destination - take the bus.

PS Do not forget to share your experience with fellow travelers. You'll get your link by email.

Morchit - Bus

Morchit Bus Terminal Bangkok is the gateway to Northern Thailand and its largest city, Chiang Mai. The complex also serves several northeastern and northwestern destinations and a few routes to southern resort destinations including Phuket and Koh Samui. Located north of downtown close by Chatuchak Market, the recently-built complex is Bangkok’s largest hub for bus transportation, offering comprehensive city bus routes in addition to long distance trips.

From Morchit Bus Terminal, air-conditioned buses run to Chiang Mai around the clock, taking an average of nine hours at a cost of between 469 baht and 907 baht for the VIP service. Pre-booking online is recommended due to high demand, especially in the high season between November and February and on public holidays. The service continues on to Chiang Rai in the far north, adding up to four hours’ travel time and costing around 100 baht more.

Other northern long-distance routes from Morchit Terminal 1 include Bangkok to Uttaradit, Khon Kaen, Phitsanulok, Lampang and Lamphun, Phrae, Chiang Saen and the Golden Triangle and Nan. Buses run to the northeastern cities of Surin, Ubon Ratchathani, Roi Et, Nong Kai, Si Saket and Buriram. Morchit’s Terminal 2 serves southerly beach destinations such as Pattaya, Koh Samui, Phuket and Hat Yai, with all except Pattaya some 12 hours by VIP bus from Bangkok.

The new, air-conditioned complex offers comfortable seating, food courts and stalls selling snacks and drinks. Ground floor ticket offices serve the northern region, with the two upper floors taking care of the rest of the long-distance routes. The complex is easily accessible via the Skytrain to Morchit station followed by a 10-minute taxi ride.

For arrivals, there’s a wide choice of public buses heading to all districts including the downtown areas home to the majority of Bangkok hotels and guesthouses. Alternatives include motorcycle taxis and tuk-tuks as well as metered taxis for those with considerable amounts of luggage.

Morchit - Bus

Morchit Bus Terminal Bangkok is the gateway to Northern Thailand and its largest city, Chiang Mai. The complex also serves several northeastern and northwestern destinations and a few routes to southern resort destinations including Phuket and Koh Samui. Located north of downtown close by Chatuchak Market, the recently-built complex is Bangkok’s largest hub for bus transportation, offering comprehensive city bus routes in addition to long distance trips.

From Morchit Bus Terminal, air-conditioned buses run to Chiang Mai around the clock, taking an average of nine hours at a cost of between 469 baht and 907 baht for the VIP service. Pre-booking online is recommended due to high demand, especially in the high season between November and February and on public holidays. The service continues on to Chiang Rai in the far north, adding up to four hours’ travel time and costing around 100 baht more.

Other northern long-distance routes from Morchit Terminal 1 include Bangkok to Uttaradit, Khon Kaen, Phitsanulok, Lampang and Lamphun, Phrae, Chiang Saen and the Golden Triangle and Nan. Buses run to the northeastern cities of Surin, Ubon Ratchathani, Roi Et, Nong Kai, Si Saket and Buriram. Morchit’s Terminal 2 serves southerly beach destinations such as Pattaya, Koh Samui, Phuket and Hat Yai, with all except Pattaya some 12 hours by VIP bus from Bangkok.

The new, air-conditioned complex offers comfortable seating, food courts and stalls selling snacks and drinks. Ground floor ticket offices serve the northern region, with the two upper floors taking care of the rest of the long-distance routes. The complex is easily accessible via the Skytrain to Morchit station followed by a 10-minute taxi ride.

For arrivals, there’s a wide choice of public buses heading to all districts including the downtown areas home to the majority of Bangkok hotels and guesthouses. Alternatives include motorcycle taxis and tuk-tuks as well as metered taxis for those with considerable amounts of luggage.

Southern Terminal - Bus

The Southern Bus Terminal Bangkok is found on Phutthamonthon Sai Road in the city’s Thonburi district on the western banks of the Chao Phraya River. Although it’s between 30 minutes and an hour’s taxi trip from downtown dependent on traffic, all taxis and songthaews know its location.

Buses leave from the complex to all western and southern provincial towns and resorts, including Phuket, Krabi, Surat Thani and Kanchanaburi. The complex is air-conditioned, comfortable and has English language destination boards and timetables, a KFC and several bank outlets.

Public VIP buses run long-distance from the terminal to all favourite tourist destinations in the far south and west of the city, giving reliable, regulated and safe travel. Although bus companies located in Bangkok’s Khao San Road may quote lower prices, they’re not recommended, as thefts have occurred during the journey and the buses are less well maintained.

Booking online in advance is the best way forward, especially in the high season if you’re heading to southerly destinations such as Hua Hin, Koh Samui, Hat Yai, Trang, Phuket, Krabi or remote offshore islands. Travel time to Phuket, for example, is 12 hours, with buses leaving in the evening or early morning.

For arrivals, getting from the Southern Bus Terminal to Bangkok’s Old City district is easiest by metered taxi, although the local air-conditioned bus 511 runs to Khao San Road and on to Rachatewi BTS station and Pratunam district. Bus 515 runs to Victory Monument in the downtown district, and average bus fares are 17 baht. Local white minibuses leave for downtown when full, every 30 minutes or so, and charge around 30 baht.

The Southern Bus Terminal, converted from a shopping mall in 2007, offers modern facilities as well as a good number of shops, stalls, restaurants and fast-food outlets. The ticket counters are located on the first floor to the right of the main retail and refreshment area.

Rom Klao - Bus

Rom Klao is situated in Bangkok’s Lat Krabang district in the east end of the city. It is just north of Suvarnabhumi Airport and less the two kilometres from the Lad Krabang airport link into the city centre. Many buses that depart the airport for the city make a stop at Rom Klao’s bus station.

The bus station in Rom Klao sits off of ICD Alley just north of Motorway 7 and there is an ATM close by as well as two 7-Eleven stores on Lat Krabang Road. Places of interest in the area include The Royal Golf and Country Club, Prasat Museum and Pattaya Pak Pet Fishing Park. Due to its proximity to Bangkok’s main air hub there are a number of places to stay, such as Queen’s Garden, Convenient Resort and Mariya Boutique Residence.

Chatuchak Bus Park - Bus

Chatuchak Bus Park sits in the Chatuchak area of Bangkok, north of the city centre and less than one kilometre from Bangkok’s Mochit bus station. A plethora of buses depart from Bangkok Mochit to destinations north of the city, while buses in and around Bangkok leave from the Chatuchak Bus Park.

Don Mueang International Airport is connected by public transport or a taxi to Chatuchak Bus Park, which is only a 10-minute drive away. The Bangkok Metro’s Chatuchak Park MRT station makes arriving in the area by metro simple, with tuk-tuks, motorbike taxis and regular taxis available to take you to the bus park.

Chatuchak Bus Park is situated on Kham Phaeng Phet 6 right under the Sirat Expressway at the eastern end of Chatuchak district. It is an open air bus station with a snack vendor who also acts as a ticket agent.

There are a number of places of interest close to Chatuchak Bus Park, such as the famous Chatuchak Weekend Market, Chatuchak Park, Queen Sirikit Park and Elephant Tower. There is also a good selection of accommodations, including the Sofitel Centara Grand Bangkok, Elizabeth Hotel, G9 Bangkok and Lat Phrao Hotel.

Thon Buri - train

Thonburi Rail is the main departure point for trains bound to Kanchanaburi Province, all other trains going beyond on the southern route should leave from the Hua Lamphong Station in Bangkok.

Southern Thais used to occupy nearby lands along the train station's vicinity and then settle down permanently as trains coming from the South used to arrive here constantly.

The Wang Lang Market, a destination for cheap local food, is the most popular landmark to get to Thonburi Station.

Bang Khae BMT 6 - Bus

Bang Khae BMT 6 is a bus station in Bangkok’s Bang Khae district, west of the Chao Phraya River and just a stone’s throw away from the Bang Waek Canal. Over 10 local bus lines connect Bang Khae BMT 6 with the rest of the city.

Bus 79 connects Bang Khae BMT 6 with the Bangkok Sai Tai Taling Chan Southern bus terminal, with departures every 10 minutes. The nearby Bang Wa BTS station makes it easy to arrive in the area by Skytrain, and there are three bus lines that run from the station to Bang Khae BMT 6 every 5 to 10 minutes.

Bang Khae BMT 6 is on Thanon Bang Pnai, which runs between Motorway 9 and Thanon Phuttha Monthon Sai 2. There is a 7-Eleven within short walking distance or a motorbike taxi ride away, while Big C Supercentre and Future Park Bang Khae are great options in the area for shopping and dining.

Wat Bunya Pra Dit is within walking distance of Bang Khae BMT 6, while other places of interest close by include Wat Pai Liang, Samphran Crocodile Farm and Wat Wisit Bun Ya Wat. There are a few good places to stay, such as Chakrabongse Villas, Sandra Inn and Diamond Sweet Home.

Sun Bus Vibhavadi Soi 17 - Bus

Vibhavadi Soi 17, also known as 17 Vibhavadi Rangsit, is situated north of central Bangkok in the lively district of Chatuchak, best known for its namesake park and weekend market, which is the biggest weekend market in both Bangkok and the entire country. The Mochit BTS station, conveniently located next to Chatuchak Park, is among Thailand's biggest and busiest bus stations and is also the Bangkok Skytrain's northern terminus.

Bus connections to all northern Thai provinces begin at the Northern Bus Terminal.
Chatuchak also contains four Bangkok Subway (MRT) stations and a variety of hotels ranging from the five-star Centara Grand at Central Plaza Ladprao Bangkok to the unique boutique penthouse of Sasha House. Pannapat Place is a more modest three-star option on Ratchadapisek Road.

Khlong Rangsit - train

Rangsit is a suburb in the north of Bangkok along Phahonyothin Road. The distance to Don Muang Airport is about 20 km. Near the train station you will find several boat noodle shops in stationary boats floating in the canal along the road.And there is the Future Park Shopping Mall, one of the biggest shopping centers in Asia. You won't find any tourists here, but maybe some expats who live nearby. There is also Talad Thai, one оf Asia's largest fresh produce markets. This market іs quite different to other markets and it sells about 15,000 tons of produce frоm farmers frоm аll оver the country. The market іs а place to buy all kind оf food (vegetables, fruits, beef, pork, duck, chicken, fish, seafood), flowers and OTOP handcrafted products.

Bang Sue - train

Bang sue Junction is located at Thoet Damri Road, Chatuchak District.The junction has 2 station buildings with 3 railway lines: North line, Northeast line and South line. About 1.5 kilometers away from the junction is Phahonyothin Cargo Yard, the largest rail yard in Thailand.

Northern line is bound to Chiang Mai while the Northeastern is toward Ubon Ratchathani or Thanaleng. Southern line is off to Su-ngai Kolok Railway Station.

Bang sue Junction transport links also include Bangkok MRT and BMTA transit. Bang sue MRT station is the subway terminal station opposite Hua Lamphong.

Bus routes from Bang sue Junction:

50 Rama VII - Lumphini Park
52 Pak Kret - Bang sue
65 Wat Pak Naom - Sanam Luang
70 Prachaniwet 3 - Sanam Luang
97Ministry of Public Health - Buddhist Monks' Hospital

Lak Si - train

Lak Si Railway Station is located at the northern part of Bangkok City and is near the Immigration Office at Chaeng Wattana. From Hua Lamphong Station in Bangkok, there are over 30 trains that would do stops in Lak Si.

Bang Khae BMT - Bus

Bang Khae BMT is a Bangkok Mass Transit stop that, when completed in 2016, will be along Bangkok’s Blue Line. The area sits on the west side of the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok and is accessible by local bus from numerous points throughout the city. Buses also depart from Bangkok’s Taling Chan railway station for Bang Khae BMT every 10 minutes.

The Southern bus terminal is around nine kilometres away, making it easy to arrive at Bang Khae BMT from a destination in southern Thailand. From the bus terminal local buses and taxis make the trip to the area, as do local tuk-tuks. Both Don Mueang and Suvarnabhumi airports are just a taxi ride away, making flying another option.

The Bang Khae BMT stop will be on Thanon Phetkasem Road between Future Park Mall Bang Khae and Big C Supercentre. There are a number of ATMs and restaurants in the area as well as in the nearby shopping malls where passengers can grab a snack or a meal.

Places of interest in and around Bang Khae BMT include the Thai Boat Museum Taling Chan, Wat Bang Bon, Samphran Crocodile Farm and Wat Nimmanaradi. There are a few places to stay in the area, including Sandra Inn, Diamond Sweet Home and Venezia Resort & Hotel.

News

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Thai Airways, the flag carrier airline of Thailand, is going to launch direct flights between the capital city of Bangkok, Thailand and Sendai, the capital city of Miyagi Prefecture, Japan.

22 June 2019

Construciotn of New Dual Track Railway Bangkok–Deep South Underway

A new dual track railway line currently under construction will reduce significantly travel time between Bangkok and southern destinations of the country – from Hua Hin to Chumphon, Suratthani, Hat Yai and Badang Besar on the border with Malaysia.

11 June 2019

Sakura in Bangkok? It's High Time to Enjoy It Blooming

No, it is not famous sakura trees we are speaking about. Rosy trumpet tree, or Tabebuia Rosea, is often dubbed 'Bangkok sakura' for its branches covered all over with gentle pink flowers – from almost white to saturated pink – during the blooming period. And it can be observed right now!

04 April 2019