Home to 10 million people and covering more than 1,500 square kilometres, Thailand’s largest city is a feast for the senses. Bangkok is a 24-hour city and its crowded markets, outrageous nightlife and congested roads exist harmoniously alongside peaceful temples, orange-robed monks and historic monuments. You’ll never be far away from the delicious aroma that emanates from the food carts cooking up scrumptious Thai food.
Scratch the surface of the city’s bright lights and modern ways and you’ll discover a gentler Bangkok. One where religious faith plays a big part in the daily lives of its people. Incantations and incense drift from Buddhist temples and mix with the Muslim call to prayer, and people from all walks of life take time to pray or pay a visit to a shrine.
Bangkok is home to some of the best food in Thailand. Street carts jostle for space outside internationally-acclaimed restaurants, and vendors sell fresh produce in markets all over the city, day and night.
The locals know their city as Krung Thep, which translates as City of Angels. It is actually made up of the two former capitals of Thonburi and Rattanakosin. Rattanakosin is Bangkok’s historic home where you’ll find the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, the National Museum and the impressive reclining Buddha at the Wat Pho temple.
When you’ve spent enough time visiting temples and shrines, head to the famous Khao San Road in the Banglamphu district. A favourite with budget travellers, hippies and backpackers, you can bargain for fake designer goods, sample a portion of fried grasshoppers from one of the street vendors, or simply find a roadside bar, grab a beer and watch the show.
Lumphini Park offers some respite from all the inner-city madness. Take a free yoga or tai chi class or if even that’s too much effort, walk into a hotel for a relaxing Thai massage or spa treatment. North of Bangkok, there is the cultural haven of Ko Kret, a tiny river island.
Considering its size and population, Bangkok is remarkably easy to get around. The fast and efficient Skytrain (BTS) and underground (MRT) rail networks run through all the major districts of the capital, and cheap and cheerful tuk-tuks are available at every turn. Don’t miss a trip down the Chao Phraya River on the Express boats which run from early morning until dark.
shopping, temple and culture
A beautiful Asian-European style palace complex with stunning intricate architecture and jaw-dropping details at every turn. A must-see for every visitor to Bangkok.
Famous for its huge Reclining Buddha and home to more Buddha statues than any other temple in Thailand, Wat Po is one of Bangkok’s most visited attractions.
Located on the other side of the Chao Phraya River to the Grand Palace complex, the beautiful Wat Arun offers fantastic views at sunset.
The most sacred and revered object in the Kingdom of Thailand, the Emerald Buddha sits on an oversized golden throne inside Wat Phra Kaew.
A hot spot for backpackers, budget travellers and revellers, this street is crammed with raucous bars, cheap hostels, bargain clothing and party people.
Bangkok is not renowned for its green spaces, but Lumphini park is a lovely exception and the perfect place for time out away from the city's bustle.
Take an unforgettable boat tour on a peaceful canal that weaves through Thailand's picturesque countryside. Experience the lifestyle of locals who live and work on these interconnected waterways, and take in the daily bustle at Damnoen Saduak, popular floating market selling colorful handicrafts and fresh produce.
Discover the rich history, fascinating architecture, and iconic buildings of Ayutthaya, an ancient royal capital. Visit the former royal residence at Bang Pa-In Palace, marvel at the Wat Mahathat and Wat Na Phra Men temples, and cruise the waters of Chao Phraya River while enjoying a delicious lunch.
Feast your senses on the sights, sounds, and tastes of Thailand. Savor a delectable Thai dinner and a renowned theatrical production of otherworldly proportions telling Thailand's legendary heritage.
Spend a day exploring historic sites throughout the Mueang region as you learn about WWII and POW labor camps. Travel by road, river, and railway as you visit a prisoner cemetery, examine exhibits at the JEATH Museum, and see the span made famous by Bridge on the River Kwai.
Hop aboard a tuk tuk, an automatic rickshaw, and enjoy rides between some of Bangkok's top attractions. The elegantly simple Tuk Tuk Hop app allows you to book a tuk tuk at numerous locations across town, meaning that you don't have to worry about transportation between the top spots in the city.
Discover the Royal Grand Palace, an astonishing 60-acre (25-ha) Bangkok landmark that features spectacular Thai architecture. Tour the complex's temples and pagodas, including magnificent Wat Phra Kaew—the Temple of the Emerald Buddha.
Celebrate Father’s Day by giving your old man an experience he won’t forget.
Finding Bangkok's uptown vibe for downtown prices
Explore the sights of the Chao Phraya River canals of Bangkok