Welcome to Bangkok, the bustling capital city of Thailand. With its vibrant street life, magnificent temples, and mouthwatering cuisine, Bangkok offers a fascinating blend of tradition and modernity.
Highlights of Bangkok
For any first-time visitor to Bangkok, the Grand Palace is a must-see attraction. Situated on the banks of the Chao Phraya River in the historic Rattanakosin district, the Grand Place complex is home to Wat Phra Kaew, the temple where the revered Emerald Buddha statue resides. At the nearby temple of Wat Pho, the giant Reclining Buddha statue is another of the city’s main attractions. And make the short ferry ride across the river to the iconic Wat Arun (Temple of the Dawn).
Wander around the narrow streets of Chinatown and Talat Noi, admire the street murals and feast on street food. Take a boat ride along the Chao Phraya River and hire a longtail boat to explore the khlongs (canals) and see another side of the city.
Some of the best daytime views in Bangkok can be found at the Golden Mount (Phu Khao Tong). At night, head to any of the city’s numerous rooftop bars and restaurants to watch the sunset and city lights start to twinkle.
Getting around Bangkok
Thanks to a modern transport system, getting around Bangkok is relatively easy. The air-conditioned Skytrain (BTS) and Metro (MRT) make many of the Thai capital’s main attractions easily accessible. Frequent river boats are another great way to travel to or from attractions like the Grand Palace and Wat Arun.
Food and drink in Bangkok
Bangkok is a food lover’s paradise with a legendary street food scene. Whatever time of day, you’ll never go hungry in Bangkok. From early morning food stalls to bustling night markets and Michelin rated restaurants, there is something for every palate and every budget in the City of Angels.
If you’re a shopaholic, Bangkok won’t disappoint. The Thai capital is home to a plethora of shopping malls, markets, and boutiques catering to all tastes and budgets.
Explore the famous Chatuchak Weekend Market where you can find everything from clothing and accessories to home decor and antiques. For a more upscale experience, head to glitzy malls like CentralWorld, Icon Siam or Siam Paragon.
The area around Bangkok is home to a number of floating markets. While some of these can be touristy, they are also a fun experience. The most famous (and the one that sees the most tourists) is at Damnoen Saduak in Ratchaburi province.
Where to stay in Bangkok
If you’re visiting Bangkok for the first time it can be convenient to stay close to a Metro or Skytrain station. If you’d like to be close to the main tourist attractions like the Grand Palace, consider staying in Old Bangkok in the historic district of Rattanakosin. Alternatively, Chinatown is another good choice with handy access via the Metro to Old Bangkok in one direction and the modernity of Silom and Sukhumvit in the other direction.
Many of Bangkok’s best hotels can be found along the river. Most of these riverside hotels also have free shuttle boat services to take you to and from the central Sathorn Pier. From here it’s easy to connect to the Chao Phraya River boats and also to the BTS Skytrain at Saphan Taksin.