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
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.