What was once an idyllic village along the banks of the mighty Chao Phraya River, Bangkok has today grown into a sprawling metropolis, full of life, colour and culture. Declared as the country’s capital in the 18th century by King Chakri, Bangkok was transformed into a thriving commercial city and is one of the main economic hubs in the region today.
Also known as the “City of Angels”, Bangkok’s proud and rich heritage can be seen even today; ancient monuments and temples sit side by side with sprawling skyscrapers and shopping malls, reflecting the changing face of this vibrant capital. Also featuring lively markets, exotic local cuisine and of course one of the most happening nightlife scenes in Asia, the Thai capital offers an experience like no other and our travel tips Bangkok will help you better prepare for a visit to the city.
Bangkok Travel Tips
The Suvarnabhumi International Airport is Bangkok’s main airport and is situated around 36km from the city’s downtown area. One the major transport hubs in the region, this modern airport is served by a majority of international airlines and offers easy access to the city centre via the efficient rail link system. Metered taxis, airport express buses and car rental services are also available at the airport.
The Don Muang Airport is mainly reserved for domestic flights and is situated around 24km from the city centre.
One of the most popular modes of transport is the Skytrain (BTS) that provides connections to some of the city’s major shopping, commercial and entertainment venues. Another quick and effective transport method is the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) network which has 18 stations across the capital with trains arriving regularly.
Colourful taxis can also be hailed along the streets, near main shopping destinations and tourist attractions and provide a spacious and hassle free mode of transport.
Travellers looking for a distinctive mode of transport should definitely try the famous tuk-tuks or three wheeled vehicles. Offering a somewhat thrilling ride, weaving in and out of traffic, these vehicles provide a unique way to travel around Bangkok. Since the city lies along the Chao Phraya River, ferries and river boats are also used as modes of transport and offer a fascinating sightseeing experience.
What to pack:
The tropical monsoon climate in Bangkok means that the city generally experiences hot and humid weather most of the year. The hottest periods are usually between March and May when temperatures can sometimes reach 40 degrees and it is advisable to pack light clothing if you plan to visit during this time.
Southwest monsoons take place between May and October and carrying an umbrella comes in handy for the sudden downpours than can occur. December to January sees temperatures drop and is one of the best times to visit the city. Those planning to visit the city’s religious attractions should also pack clothing that covers the skin as certain sites follow a strict dress code.
What to do and where to go?
Bangkok is a multicultural city that offers something for young and old alike. History buffs will love exploring the city’s ancient temples and palaces, while to truly experience local culture nothing beats exploring the metropolis by foot where you will come across lively markets, eateries serving exotic Thai cuisine and the famous nightlife that lets you party the night away. Shopaholics are also spoilt for choice with malls offering floor upon floor of retail therapy. Our city guide Bangkok Thailand provides a list of the few main sites in the city one can visit.
Arts and Culture:
National Gallery of Thailand
Bangkok Metropolitan Museum of Contemporary Art
Jim Thompson's House
MR Kukrit's Heritage Home
King Prajadhipok Museum
Phra Sumen Fort
Parks and Recreation:
Area: 1,568 sq km