The city of Bangkok is the capital of Thailand and by far the largest city of Thailand. In the local Thai language Bangkok is called ‘Krung Thep Maha Nakhon’. It was a small trading post at the mouth of the Chao Phraya River during the Ayutthaya Kingdom and came to the forefront of Thailand when it was given the status as the capital city in 1768 after the burning of Ayutthaya by the Burmese. Today, it’s not only the capital, but it is also the hub to Thailand. From here you can travel on to the provinces by bus, train or plane.
Bangkok has a unique, harmonious blend of old-style Thai temples and residential houses right next to modern skyscrapers that makes this ‘City of Angles’ so interesting and memorable. Another charming characteristic of Bangkok is the magnitude of what the city offers. The capital is bustling with culture, flavors, latest trends, and a booming urban lifestyle. From a dollar meal to a 5-star royal treatment, people from all walks of life can feel at ease and not be confined by the ‘affordability factor’ like most other cosmopolitan cities.
There are always plenty of attractions to see and activities to enjoy. Public transportation is convenient, the cultural elements are intact, the culinary experience is incredible, the shopping is a dream come true, the spas and massages are divine, and all the Bangkok clichés are available to those who relish it. Combine all of these alluring factors, and it may not come as a big surprise that Bangkok was ranked by "Travel and Leisure" as the best city in the world for 4 years, the latest being in 2013.
Bangkok has 2 major airports, the newer and much bigger one is ‘Suvarnabhumi’ International Airport, where most of the international and some domestic flights (operated by Thai Airways or Bangkok Airways) take place. The other airport is ‘Donmeung’ International Airport, where low-cost, chartered and non-connecting flights operate.
Suvarnabhumi Airport offers an airport rail link that conveniently connects you to Bangkok’s downtown area. A transfer service and public taxi services from the airport are also available. As for Donmeung Airport, the most convenient way to get there is by taxi. To travel between the 2 airports there is a free shuttle bus that runs daily from 5am till Midnight.
There are several ways to get around Bangkok by public transportation. The best methods are by the sky train (BTS) and subway (MRT) where the routes connect all the major shopping and business centers downtown. Metered taxis are also another breezy way to get you from point A to point B. Bangkok’s taxis’ fees are very affordable but also keep in mind for extra time needed sitting in traffic. Other public transportation options available are buses, motorcycle taxis, Tuk Tuks (motorized rickshaws,) and the river boats.
Several high class hotels and many nice restaurants are direct by the river, offering a great view over the skyline.
There are numerous river & canal tours for every taste and budget. Visitors have the choice between public ferry boats and private ones. Something really great is an evening river cruise with dinner.
With the ferry boats travelers can easy visit Rattanakosin area, famous for its beautiful temples and Khaosan Road.
Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha)
Bangkok has countless temples and some are a MUST to visit for foreigners who spend their first time in Bangkok.
Thailand’s biggest and most elaborate temple complex is Wat Phra Kaew. Most fascinating is the imperial crown hall, and Temple of the Emerald Buddha. This fantastic Buddha statue was sized from Laos during a conquest by the Siamese army and brought to Bangkok.
Wat Po (The Temple of the Reclining Buddha)
In this huge temple compound was Thailand’s oldest university. Nowadays it houses the famous Wat Po massage institute. Foreigners and Thais can learn the ancient Thai style massage or enjoy a relaxing treatment.
Wat Arun (The Temple of Dawn)
It is also known under the name “temple of dawn”. It stands on the opposite side of the river, in Thonburi area but due to its closeness to the other famous temples we have placed it under the Rattanakosin area. It is one of the most outstanding landmarks of the kingdom. The glittering main chedi will especially during sunset, despite its name, amaze every visitor.
National Art Gallery
This historic building houses one of the most outstanding collections of Thai Art. It includes century-old masterpieces by legendary artists as well as terrific work featuring contemporary art.
A vast collection of antiques and artifacts throughout Thailand is on display, divided into different areas. It features items from the pre-historic time to the old kingdoms of Siam till the current Rattanakosin epoch. It exhibits Neolithic tools, pottery, bronze objects and Buddha sculptures made from different raw material, as well as written and printed material.
Jim Thompson House
The Jim Thompson House is a first class museum. The complex includes a number of old Thai houses. Jim Thomson was an American businessman, collecting in the 1950s and 1960s equipment for the production of silk from various parts of Thailand. It is now one of the most visited tourist attractions in Bangkok.
Museum of Counterfeit Goods
For visitors who are not only interested in culture can have, after registration, a walk through the Museum of Counterfeit Goods. Here are about 1500 of seized counterfeit goods alongside the originals display.
Bangkok has many idyllic parks where the townsfolk as well as tourists taking a break on a bench or doing exercise as jogging and gymnastic. The biggest and most popular one is Lumpini Park.
Shopping & Markets
Bangkok is one of the best places in Asia for shopping and visitors will be spoilt for choice with the huge, glitzy shopping malls, department stores, small shops and bustling day- and night markets. Good buys include Thai silks and cottons, leather goods, batiks, silver and gold, pottery with celandine green glaze, precious and semiprecious stones (in particular rubies and sapphires are indigenous to Thailand), pearls, dolls, masks, painted umbrellas, lacquer ware, pewter ware, bamboo and wood artifacts and bronze ware.
Tailor-made clothes are also good value and can be made in a matter of 1 day, yet the standard is very high.
Duty-free shops are located throughout the inner city and items can be purchased there and delivered to the airport in time for the departure flight.
Chatuchak Weekend Market
The weekend market at Chatuchak is a regular cornucopia with thousands of stalls stocking items ranging from genuine antiques to fighting fish. The market can easily be reached by sky train.
This huge market is another outstanding place for market friends. Literally Thousands of small shops offers incredible price hits. However, the quality does not meet the European standards.
Khao San Road is famous for its cheap guesthouses and countless small restaurants, which serve mostly foreigner dishes. There are convenient stores, bars, 2nd hand book stalls and street markets. The many travel agencies are selling tour tickets to all the popular places up country or beach destinations. For the islands of Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao are combined tickets available, including bus or train and the ferry.
A visit to Chinatown should not be missed. Here you can watch the hustle and bustle. There are plenty of Asian delicacies to try as well. Chinatown is with the subway or taxi easy accessible.
The buzzing Silom neighborhood - an area that is all business during the day, but transforms into a festive party atmosphere by night. During the day on weekdays, there are lots of renowned street food stalls and restaurants which serve the many offices in the area. By night fall, Silom turns into a shopping street selling an eclectic mix of knick-knacks and bootleg DVDs, and the sleepy surrounding bars start to become more energized. Silom nightlife is known for Silom Soi 2 and 4 which largely caters to the gay community, pubs popular with the expat clientele, and the notorious rowdy Patpong redlight district.
Der Benjakiti Park in Bangkok ist ein vor Touristen wohlgehütetes Geheimnis und damit ein wahrer Insider Tipp. Nur ein paar hundert Meter von der großen Asok Kreuzung entfernt, liegt diese grüne Oase mitten im Zentrum der Stadt. Jogger drehen hier von frühmorgens bis abends ihre Runden um den großen 800 Meter langen See in der Mitte, der von leuchtenden Bougainvilleasträuchern gesäumt wird. Der Park befindet sich auf dem Tabacco Monopoly Gelände und bietet einen Fahrradverleih, einen Trimm-Dich-Pfad und ein hervorragendes Seafood Restaurant mit Blick auf die Skyline Bangkoks. In dem See des Parks leben viele Schildkröten und Fische, unter anderem große Welse, die manchmal von den Einheimischen von der Plankenpromenade aus mit Brot gefüttert werden. In dem feuchten Gras umzu finden sich oft Warane und kleinere Echsen. Zu bestimmten Zeiten kann man sich es sich auf den Wiesen gemütlich machen und umsonst kleineren Indie-Bands lauschen. Abends erleuchten die Skyscraper um den Park die Nacht und spiegeln sich in der Seeoberfläche. Für Hobbyfotografen ist dieser Ort ein wahres Paradies, denn es ist wesentlich weniger belebt als manch anderer Park in Bangkok und bietet viele tolle Motive zum Knipsen. Ein erholsames grünes Fleckchen mitten in der Metropole zur Entspannung und Erholung von der hektischen Stadt!
Bangkok has tropical climate all year round. Temperatures can reach up to 42º C during the summer season which is mid-February to April. Following the summer is the rainy season, which lasts from May to October. During the rainy season the heat is milder but temperatures can still reach to the late 30sºC. The best time to visit Bangkok is during the dry season from October – April, however you will enjoy reduced hotel rates during the rainy (low) season. Be ready for the heat and humidity, you will learn how much you can sweat with absolutely no exercise.