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Bangkok

Bangkok is a hectic city famed for days filled with beautiful and exotic Thai culture and nights filled with colourful neon streets and wild bars. No matter if you’re returning to the city for another visit or you’re a Bangkok virgin, this city guide will get you up to speed on the hottest things to do in Asia’s sin city.

When to Go and Weather: Bangkok is a great place to visit no matter what the season. Although the city experiences fairly hot temperatures all year round visitors should be prepared for some rain as well. If you are planning on traveling during the rainy season from May to September be sure to pack a rain jacket or umbrella to avoid being caught out in a tropical shower. Escape from the rain at the beautiful Buddhist temple of Wat Arun on the banks of the Chao Phraya River or at the Temple of the Emerald Buddha in the city's historic centre. If you find yourself in the city during the spring and summer months, you can beat the heat with a drink at one of the many backpacker pubs on Khao San road located just a kilometre from the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. After a cool drink, head out for a shady walk in Soi Rambuttri. Running parallel to Khao San, this quiet street is lined with leafy banyan trees offering the perfect stroll on a hot day.

Transport: Most people find getting around Bangkok quite easy as the city has a variety of options suitable for short and long distance travel. If you are moving from one neighbourhood to another, hailing a brightly coloured cab is a great and convenient way to get around. However, for longer distances travellers have the option of either taking the BTS Skytrain or MRT underground. The skytrain has two lines, one running north to east and the other running west to south while the MRT has dozens of convenient stations all over the city. Bangkok also boasts a new Airport Link light rail system which transports visitors from Suvarnabhumi International Airport to the downtown core. If you want to experience some old world charm be sure to catch one of the famous Tuk Tuks (motor powered Rickshaw) crowding the busy streets.

Food: Thailand has some of the most amazing, flavourful cuisine in the world so there is no better place to experience traditional Thai food than in the country itself. For a contemporary take on traditional dishes try Basil on Sukhumvit Road. If you’d prefer to take in views of the cityscape from a patio, than Vertigo at the Banyan Tree is a great spot. Known for fantastic steaks and seafood, restaurant goers can enjoy the sunset over the city from 61 storeys up. For those caught up in the whirlwind of the city, than grabbing something from one of the street vendors in Chinatown is a great way to sample lots of different kinds of food without missing a beat.

Fun Facts about Bangkok It is illegal to leave the house not wearing underwear not only in Bangkok but in Thailand itself

The city's ceremonial name currently holds the record for the longest name of a place according to the Guinness Book of World Records.

Every April, Bangkok hosts the world’s largest street water fight known as the Songkran Festival.

Up until 1939, Thailand was known as the Kingdom of Siam

Flights

  • Johannesburg to Bangkok - Economy Return

    Bangkok

    from R6,390*

    Johannesburg to Bangkok - Economy Return
    Return Flights
    Book and pay by - 28 February 2017
  • Cape Town to Bangkok - Economy Return

    Bangkok

    from R6,590*

    Cape Town to Bangkok - Economy Return
    Economy Class Seats
    Book and pay by - 28 February 2017
  • Johannesburg to Bangkok - Economy Return

    Bangkok

    from R6,730*

    Johannesburg to Bangkok - Economy Return
    Economy class seats
    Book and pay by - 28 February 2017
  • Durban to Bangkok - Economy Return

    Bangkok

    from R6,750*

    Durban to Bangkok - Economy Return
    Economy Class Seats
    Book and pay by - 28 February 2017
  • Cape Town to Bangkok - Economy Return

    Bangkok

    from R7,270*

    Cape Town to Bangkok - Economy Return
    Return Flights
    Book and pay by - 28 February 2017
  • Johannesburg to Bangkok - Economy Return

    Bangkok

    from R7,340*

    Johannesburg to Bangkok - Economy Return
    Return Flights
    Book and pay by - 18 March 2017
  • Durban to Bangkok - Economy Return

    Bangkok

    from R7,760*

    Durban to Bangkok - Economy Return
    Return Flights
    Book and pay by - 23 February 2017
  • Johannesburg to Bangkok - Economy Return

    Bangkok

    from R7,830*

    Johannesburg to Bangkok - Economy Return
    Return Flights
    Book and pay by - 28 February 2017
  • Cape Town to Bangkok - Economy Return

    Bangkok

    from R8,100*

    Cape Town to Bangkok - Economy Return
    Return Flights
    Book and pay by - 23 February 2017
  • Durban to Bangkok - Economy Return

    Bangkok

    from R8,280*

    Durban to Bangkok - Economy Return
    Return Flights
    Book and pay by - 28 February 2017

Holidays

  • Bangkok City Stay

    Bangkok - Ibis Bangkok Nana : 3 Star

    from R8,520*

    Bangkok City Stay
    Feel the vibrant energy of downtown Bangkok at your doorstep. ibis Bangkok Nana's prime location puts you in the middle of the city's action, located within minutes from the skytrain, shopping, dining and entertainment attractions on the Sukhumvit Road.
    Book and pay by - 28 February 2017
  • Bangkok City Stay

    Bangkok - Ibis Bangkok Sathorn : 3 Star

    from R8,730*

    Bangkok City Stay
    The unique character of ibis Bangkok Sathorn matches the colorful personality of Bangkok. Young and modern yet also warm and inviting. Right in the heart of the business district and close to subway and sky train stations.
    Book and pay by - 28 February 2017
  • Stay 4, Pay 3!

    Bangkok - Eastin Hotel Makkasan : 4 Star

    from R9,490*

    Stay 4, Pay 3!
    Eastin Hotel Makkasan Bangkok is designed with an emphasis on supreme comfort and style featuring a contemporary interior reflecting our international chain brand essence. Our 4 star hotel in Bangkok provides excellent in-room facilities, various dining options, fully equipped function rooms and all the amenities expected of a deluxe hotel including complimentary Wi-Fi Internet throughout the property. Eastin Hotel Makkasan Bangkok is the ideal destination for both business and leisure travellers.
    Book and pay by - 28 February 2017

Tours

  • Bangkok Day Tour

    Bangkok - City and Temples Tour

    from R490*

    Bangkok Day Tour
    This three-hour tour is the perfect journey to visit some of Bangkok's most iconic temples. Choose from either a morning or afternoon tour to be picked up at your hotel and transported around the grand city, reliving its glorious history. First, visit the glimmering Golden Buddha, the world's largest solid golden statue, housed at Wat Traimit. Next up, explore Wat Pho, one of the largest and oldest temples in Bangkok, and home to more than 1000 Buddha images. The temple is also considered the first public university of Thailand, and known as the birthplace of traditional Thai massage, housing one of the oldest massage schools in the country. Your third and final stop is Wat Benchamabopit, one of Bangkok's most beautiful temples. Also known as the Marble Temple, this structure glistens from the white marble that makes up the entire building's facade, exemplifying Bangkok's ornate style of high gables, stepped-out roofs and elaborate finials. Your tour wraps up back at your hotel, just in time for lunch or afternoon tea.

    DURATION: 3 hours
    DEPARTS: Daily at 8:00am
    MEETING POINT: Hotel lobby
    Book and pay by - 31 October 2017
  • Bangkok Day Tour

    Bangkok - Grand Palace Tour

    from R690*

    Bangkok Day Tour
    Prepare for a day of amazement at what is undoubtedly one of Bangkok's - and Thailand's - most famous landmarks, the Royal Grand Palace. From there, enjoy a tour of the magnificent palace grounds and its expansive complex, home to Thai kings until the turn of the 20th century. Still a seat of power and the spiritual heart of the Thai kingdom, the palace contains throne halls, two of which are open to the public, which symbolise the great historical and cultural significance of the complex. Here, explore Wat Phra Kaew - Temple of the Emerald Buddha - which houses the small, yet greatly revered Emerald Buddha, dating back to the 14th Century. Around the palace grounds, witness six-meter tall statues of colourful demons from the Ramayana, who watch over the Emerald Buddha from every gate to ward off evil spirits. Finally, take some time to check out the vibrant, colourful murals of the Ramayana, which depict the ancient story of the triumph of good over evil, before being transferred back to your hotel.

    DURATION: 3 hours
    DEPARTS: Daily at 8:00am
    MEETING POINT: Hotel lobby
    Book and pay by - 31 October 2017
  • This Bangkok stopover is all about the eccentric city vibes and its tuk tuk filled streets.

    Topdeck : Bangkok Stopover - 3 Days

    from R2,700*

    This Bangkok stopover is all about the eccentric city vibes and its tuk tuk filled streets.
    Whether you're keen to retrace history or ready to fuel your appetite with delicious street food, you're sure to find something in this incredible city.

    Day 1-3 : Bangkok, Thailand
    Book and pay by - 28 February 2017
  • 100% Guaranteed Departures with G Adventures

    G Adventures : Cambodia on a Shoestring - 10 Days

    from R12,350*

    100% Guaranteed Departures with G Adventures
    Marvel at the incredible Khmer ruins of Angkor Wat and the clear turquoise waters at Sihanoukville. This journey packages Cambodia's treasures into ten well-paced days. Brabe Ho Chi Minh City's jam-packed streets with other travellers your own age - you can be sure they'll keep pace with you - and check out the more laid back waterways of Vietnam's Mekong Delta. With your accommodation, transportation, and general trip logistics arranged, you can concentrate on choosing the activities that interest you most.

    Day 1 : Bangkok
    Day 2 : Bangkok/Siem Reap
    Day 3 : Siem Reap
    Day 4 : Siem Reap/Phnom Penh
    Day 5 : Phnom Penh
    Day 6 : Phnom Penh/Sihanoukville
    Day 7 : Sihanoukville
    Day 8 : Sihanoukville/Can Tho
    Day 9 : Can Tho/Ho Chi Minh City
    Day 10 : Ho Chi Minh City
    Book and pay by - 28 February 2017
  • Touchdown in Vietnam amid the chaotic streets of Ho Chi Minh City, travel through Cambodia and arrive in Thailand's vivacious capital.

    Intrepid : Cambodian Traveller - 9 Days

    from R13,070*

    Touchdown in Vietnam amid the chaotic streets of Ho Chi Minh City, travel through Cambodia and arrive in Thailand's vivacious capital.
    In Cambodia, visit the spectacular temples of Angkor Wat and Siem Reap, and reflect on Cambodia's tragic history at the sobering sites of Phnom Penh. This fascinating journey from Vietnam through Cambodia and on to Thailand provides the perfect opportunity to experience the best of Indochina.

    Day 1 : Ho Chi Minh City
    Day 2 : Phnom Penh
    Day 3 : Phnom Penh
    Day 4 : Siem Reap
    Day 5 : Siem Reap / Angkor
    Day 6 : Siem Reap / Angkor
    Day 7 : Battambang
    Day 8 : Bangkok
    Day 9 : Bangkok
    Book and pay by - 28 February 2017
  • 100% Guaranteed Departures with G Adventures

    G Adventures : Thailand on a Shoestring - 16 Days

    from R19,930*

    100% Guaranteed Departures with G Adventures
    Perfect for those looking to experience northern Thailand's cultural treasures and the natural beauty of its southern islands. This 16-day trip will help you get off the beaten path with a trek to the region's hilltribes but remains flexible enough to suit all tastes. From the lush hills of the north, stitched through with the diverse colours of its hilltribes, to the soft sands of the south and the glorious chaos of Bangkok, Thailand will leave you captivated.

    Day 1 : Bangkok
    Day 2 : Bangkok/Chiang Mai
    Day 3 : Chiang Mai
    Day 4 : Chiang Mai/Ban Mae Jok
    Day 5 : Ban Mae Jok/Pa Khao Lam
    Day 6 : Pa Khao Lam/Chiang Mai
    Day 7 : Chiang Mai/Bangkok
    Day 8 : Bangkok
    Day 9 : Bangkok/Surat Thani
    Day 10 : Surat Thani/Khao Sok
    Day 11 : Khao Sok/Ko Samui
    Day 12 : Ko Samui
    Day 13 : Ko Samui/Koh Tao
    Day 14 : Koh Tao
    Day 15 : Koh Tao/Bangkok
    Day 16 : Bangkok
    Book and pay by - 28 February 2017
  • Intrepid offers 3-for-the-price-of-2 on all kids' places, excluding flights. Child prices apply to all kids under 14 and under.

    Intrepid : Thailand Family Holiday - 12 Days

    from R21,390*

    Intrepid offers 3-for-the-price-of-2 on all kids' places, excluding flights. Child prices apply to all kids under 14 and under.
    Want a family getaway that's a little different? The combination of culture, friendly people, exciting activities, yummy food and stunning scenery make Thailand an ideal family destination. Visit the legendary Bridge on the River Kwai near Kanchanaburi, explore ancient ruins at Ayuthaya, shop in colourful markets in Bangkok and visit an Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai. Introduce the kids to a new world and have a great holiday at the same time on this fun-filled Thailand family adventure.

    Day 1 : Bangkok
    Day 2 : Kanchanaburi
    Day 3 : Kanchanaburi
    Day 4 : Ayutthaya/Overnight train
    Day 5 : Chiang Mai
    Day 6 : Village Homestay
    Day 7 : Chiang Mai
    Day 8 : Overnight train
    Day 9 : Hua Hin
    Day 10 : Hua Hin
    Day 11 : Bangkok
    Day 12 : Bangkok
    Book and pay by - 28 February 2017
  • Experience the very best of Indochina on this awesome adventure through Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand.

    Intrepid : Explore Indochina - 22 Days

    from R22,890*

    Experience the very best of Indochina on this awesome adventure through Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand.
    Enjoy a steaming bowl of pho from a street stall in Ho Chi Minh City, relax on a beach in Nha Trang, admire the temples of Angkor and get some insight into everyday Khmer life at a rural homestay. With faded colonial elegance in Hanoi, the rustic charm of Kompong Cham and the urban buzz of Bangkok, there's a lot to dazzle your senses on this exploration through Indochina.

    Day 1 : Hanoi
    Day 2 : Halong Bay
    Day 3 : Hanoi / Overnight Train
    Day 4 : Hue
    Day 5-6 : Hoi An
    Day 7 : Hoi An / Overnight Train
    Day 8 : Nha Trang
    Day 9 : Nha Trang / Overnight Train
    Day 10-11 : Ho Chi Minh City
    Day 12 : Phnom Penh
    Day 13 : Homestay
    Day 14-15 : Sihanoukville
    Day 16 : Phnom Penh
    Day 17 : Kompong Cham
    Day 18 : Siem Reap
    Day 19 : Siem Reap / Angkor Wat
    Day 20 : Siem Reap
    Day 21-22 : Bangkok
    Book and pay by - 28 February 2017

Birds eye view of Bangkok


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TOP 10 THINGS TO SEE AND DO IN BANGKOK

  1. Catch a Tuk Tuk
  2. Visit Wat Suthat temple
  3. Buy lunch from Or Tor Gor Market
  4. Stroll around Wat Po and chill with the Reclining Buddah
  5. Have a real Thai curry in Chinatown
  6. Get a Thai massage
  7. Watch a kick boxing match at Ratchadamnoen Stadium
  8. Take a boat on the Chao Phraya River
  9. Buy exotic fruit at the floating market
  10. Club it up on Khao San Road

Highlights: Despite its start as a small port trading centre, Bangkok today is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city where the exotic east mingles with the wet. The city is filled with lots of amazing sights to take in, neighbourhoods to explore and places to eat if you know where to look. No visit to Bangkok is complete without a visit to Wat Arun the famous riverside temple or a trip to the old city to visit the Grand Palace and Wat Prakeaw. Both temples are equally beautiful as they are fascinating and should not be missed. Head to the weekend market at Chatuchak and browse the endless stalls selling everything from shoes to watches. By night, explore the crazy streets of Soi Cowboy. Similar to the vibe of other famed party districts like Phuket’s Patpong, here you can party until the sun comes up bathed in neon lights.