Thailand attracts millions of tourists from around the world each year. Some head to the beaches and find a luxurious rental in thailand along the coastline whereas others head north to Chiang Mai. But one thing is for sure, the vast majority of tourists spend at least part of their time in Bangkok. Bangkok is a great city that’s loved by many. Here’s your guide on how to have an excellent trip to Thailand’s capital.
First, Bangkok’s food is delicious. If you’re a fan of spicy Tom Yam or street food, you’ll find yourself in paradise. Lots of restaurants sell inexpensive Thai food, and street vendors have an array of snacks and bites. The adventurous can even try eating different types of insects including crickets, scorpions and beetles in Khao San.
The nightlife in Bangkok also has a reputation for late nights and cheap drinks. Some want to party until the early hours while others sit content with watching the chaos pass by in front of them. Most of the bars are along Khao San Road and are always full of backpackers and tourists. But you can find more sophisticated places around the city too. Favourites include rooftop bars and lounges.
Sightseeing is easy in Bangkok. There are lots of temples, the Royal Palace, river cruises, night markets and beautiful train journeys to choose from. And something is always happening in Thailand’s capital, which adds to the travel experience.
Where to Stay
The cheapest and more popular spot for tourists to stay is around Khao San Area. Khao San Road is the backpacker area with noisy bars, endless tourists and masses of vendors hawking their goods at all times of the day and night. Lots of hotels, hostels, guesthouses and homestays are in this area with most having an affordable price tag. If you want to meet other travellers and have a good time, this is the best place to stay in Bangkok.
For a more upscale experience, head to the Bangkok Riverside. The district hugs the edge of the river and has lots of five-star hotels and resorts. Most of the best Bangkok rentals and places to stay are around here. You’ll find lots of fine dining opportunities in this part of the city along with lounges and exclusive bars.
Sukhumvit neighbourhood is in the centre of Bangkok and a little further away from the noise and chaos. Accommodation choices tend to be in the mid-range but still very affordable. Shopping malls and spas are a short walk from most hotels. You’ll find endless Thai and international restaurants along the streets including Italian, Arabic and thick juicy Australian steaks. If you want to get away from the backpacker zone and don’t have the budget to splurge, find a place to stay in Sukhumvit.
Things to Do and See
First-time visitors may feel overwhelmed when they arrive. There are so many things happening and new things to see in Bangkok. Wandering around the street and sampling local food is a highlight for some whereas visiting temples and museums are more important to others.
Regardless of what you want to do, the must-see attractions in Bangkok include the Grand Palace, Wat Pho, Emerald Buddha inside Grand Palace and joining a river cruise. You should also visit the National Museum if you have the time to learn more about the history and culture of Thailand.
The most important travel tip is to remember when sightseeing is to pack something to cover your legs. Anyone who visits the Royal Palace or any temple needs to dress respectively, which includes no shorts, mini-skirts or singlets. If you don’t meet the requirements, you don’t go inside.
For someone who visits Bangkok for the first time, the sheer number of Tuk Tuks racing around is a fascinating site. Colourful carriages attached to the back of a motorbike speed and wind their way through traffic. And most drivers speak a word or two of English. But, you may also notice that it’s only foreigners inside. And that’s because they tend to charge a much higher price. Locals rely on taxis because they’re cheaper.
Taxis are a pain, especially in and around Khao San. Taxis should use a meter, but most don’t. In the touristy areas, drivers collude with each other and say a fixed price. Tourists ask a few drivers and get the same amount wrongly assuming it’s the standard price. But it’s not. The cost will likely be up to five times higher than if they use their meter. Don’t use a taxi if they don’t switch it on. And don’t listen to their excuses either.
Get a good map of the city. If you’re using your phone or tablet, make sure you’re connected and can see exactly where you are. More traditional travellers may buy one from the shop. Bangkok is a large and complicated place with alleys, roads and highways in all directions. Getting lost is all too easy, especially after dark. The city is confusing to locals, let alone jetlagged tourists!
Bangkok makes an excellent destination for a few days to enjoy the attractions and visit some of the temples. If you’re on a budget and want to enjoy the famous nightlife, find a place near Khao San. Others may find better accommodation along Bangkok Riverside in Sukhumvit. Enjoy the food, culture and cheap drinks and avoid relying on Tuk Tuks and taxis refusing to use their meter. Follow our suggestions, and bustling Bangkok will quickly become one of your favourite cities in the world.