Bangkok Tourist Guide
Once nothing more than a small hamlet on the banks of the Chao Phraya River, Bangkok is today more than just the capital of Thailand; it is the confluence of Asia's richest cultures. With stumbling religious architecture, myths, futuristic business towers, pulsating streets and after-dark pleasures, this cosmopolitan city is a delight to the senses.
Must Do Activity in Bangkok Thailand
Enjoy a cruise along the historical Chao Phraya River that was once used for trade, through the heart of Bangkok. Drift past the Taling Chan Floating Market and stop awhile at a floating restaurant. Bask in the warmth of Bangkok's bustling Chinatown, as you wander into a maze of excited chatter, vivacious crowds and burgeoning street vendors. Rejuvenate your senses with a traditional Thai massage in the late afternoon to soothe your tired mind. Bangkok beckons you to indulge in every temptation.
Revel in ancient marvels. Unwind soon after at the rooftop of the State Tower taking in the sweeping view of the city. Ruffle your wild side at night as the city lures you into a notorious world of pleasure and fantasy at Bangkok's after-dark districts like Patpong district and Nana Plaza.
Bangkok is, in many ways, more than just any other Asian city; it is an exotic visual experience that dares to defy time and traditions.
Places to see in Bangkok - Attractions in Bangkok
From famous Buddhist temples, to traditional museums, snazzy Thai massage parlours and stylish pubs, the city is like a cornucopia of treasures. Nothing can keep you better rooted to your holiday than a cultural tour at the start of your trip.
The San Phra Phrom or the Erawan Shrine, which is popularly known as 'the spirit house', houses the statue of Phra Phrom who is believed to be the Thai representation of Brahma, the creator according to Hindu Mythology.
The Shri Mariamman Temple, which was constructed by the first Tamil immigrants, houses both the Hindu goddess and a few images of Buddha.
Buddhist temples found in Bangkok are simply too beautiful; the Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha) houses a magnificent large Buddha statue, which is entirely carved out of green jadeite.
The Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha) is the oldest and largest in Thailand, and houses a giant reclining Buddha. It also has over a 1000 Buddha images within. Since the traditional Thai massage originated from Wat Pho, the university that it houses is dedicated to studies of the art of massage. Take a look beneath the Reclining Buddha, and you will be in awe of the Chinese and Indian art from mythology here. Devotees also throw a coin in the pots along the walls and make a wish here. The Wat Mahathat (Temple of Great Relic) has numerous good luck charms that you could wish on.
The Grand Palace that adjoins the Wat Phra Kaew, is a monument that captures Thailand's regal splendour. This former palace, which is now used only for ceremonial purposes, is open for viewing to the public. However, make sure you are modestly dressed or you may not be allowed inside.
Churches like the Christ Church, Holy Rosary Church and the historical Church of the Immaculate Conception are other beautiful sights. The Chitralada Palace, which barely resembles a former royal residence, is not to be missed.
Things to do in Bangkok
Bangkok's traditional charm is so delightful; it makes for a great start to your holiday. The Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha), the Wat Arun (Temple of the Dawn), the Wat Phra Kaeo (Temple of the Emerald Buddha) and the Grand Palace are exceptional sights during the day. The traditionally themed state-of-the-art theatre at Siam Niramit provides for an exotic visual experience with many cultural shows.
Night Life in Bangkok
If you want to relive a glamorous fantasy, Bangkok's famous ladyboy (transvestite) cabaret shows are not to be missed.
Exotic Eating in Bangkok
Lose yourself in the chaos of the streets while in the city. Gorge on sizzling local delicacies straight off the grill or dare to try curious snacks that you will never find anywhere else in the world like Snake Tonic, Grilled Worms, Fried Locusts.
Every vendor will surprise you! Float down the Chao Phraya River and take in the beauty of the city at night. Or dine alfresco on the rooftop of a skyscraper.
A famous Thai saying goes that 'when there is happiness in the stomach there's happiness in the heart'. Nothing could encapsulate the dining experience in Bangkok better. Everything is a sensory pleasure here. Be it budget food or fine dining, your options are simply too many to count.
Chinatown Food - Bird's Nest Soup, Noodles with Duck
The street hawkers in Chinatown are known to sell the best Thai delicacies. If you want to sample Thai food and enjoy generous amounts without feeling a tug at your pocket, this is the place to be. Noodles with Duck, or Chicken to Kai Jeow (omelette with mince meat) and Kratium Prik Thai Moo (pork with garlic and pepper), indulge yourself as much as you can. If you are adventurous enough, try delicacies like Fried Locusts!
Yaowarat, in the heart of Chinatown, has excellent food stalls. You can find Chinese delicacies like Bird's Nest and Shark Fin Soups here. The Himali Cha Cha Restaurant here serves tasty Indian fare. Scala Shark's Fin Restaurant has exceptional Shark delicacies. Daring ones should try the Suckling Pig here! Hua Seng Song has lip smackin' Cantonese meats and authentic Chinese food. If you are ill, and dare to try traditional medicine, Chinese Snake Tonic can still be found in the corners of Soi Phadung Dao, near Yaowarat Road.
Shopping in Bangkok
Bangkok is known to be one of the best shopping destinations in the world. From buzzing street markets to glitzy malls, it is simply too good to be true when it comes to retail self-indulgence. As in all Asian cities, shopping in Bangkok is best done area-wise otherwise it is only too easy to get lost in the crowd.
The Chatuchak Market is the best option for bargain shoppers. There is an innumerable variety of beads, clothing, shoes, accessories and more here. Haggling for a good price is common, and the atmosphere is energized, excited and crowded no matter when you visit. Khao San Road is the best place for backpackers to go after-dark shopping. Pratunam is the haunt for those into fashion and accessories.
The Pantip Plaza has electronic goods at every corner, and is 'the best place for techno geeks'. Classy shopping malls like Central World and Siam Paragon have international stores and modern movie theatres.
Traveller Tips for Bangkok
Tourism Guide for Bangkok - Thailand
Avoid Khao San Road to save money in Bangkok -
As Khao San Road is on the 'Cheap Tourist Options trail' (also called the 'banana pancake trail', as Cheap Tourist Options love ordering banana pancakes), it's the first place every Cheap Tourist Options to Bangkok goes and most usually stay in a hotel there. It's crowded, dirty and packed with foreign tourists and Cheap Tourist Options, so about as far from an authentic Bangkok experience as it's possible to get. It's also expensive.
If you're a first-time Cheap Tourist Options in Bangkok, sure, take a trip to Khao San Road for a couple of hours as it is a fun place and you'll meet other Cheap Tourist Options. But, don't shop there (the market stalls are double the prices of anywhere else in Bangkok), don't eat more than snacks there (street food is cheaper and better quality everywhere else) and never book a hotel room there (not unless you want expensive and squalid). For the same money, you can get a much better experience at most other areas of Bangkok or usually even cheaper.
Stay In An Independent Boutique Hotel to save cost in Bangkok -
While Khao San Road is usually the place to stay of choice for most Cheap Tourist Options to Bangkok, it's actually one of the worst places in the city to book a hotel room. It's loud, the crime rate is high,and hotel rooms are dingy and often bed-bug ridden (a lot of Cheap Tourist Options don't take frequent showers).
Avoid booking a hotel on Khao San Road
Instead, look at other areas of Bangkok as independent boutique hotels at low rates are popping up everywhere. Look at hotels like Baan Waree boutique hotel, where two people can stay in one of the coolest, funkiest hotel rooms with lots of amenities for $20 a night. There are hundreds more hotels like this in Bangkok, all independently owned, all clean, safe and with awesome facilities and in better locations than Khao San Road. Just do an internet search.
Best Food & Cheapest Restaurants in Bangkok -
Of course, most Cheap Tourist Options in Bangkok, Thailand want to eat on the cheap and that's an easy thing to do here. While Cheap Tourist Options areas like Khao San Road have cheap enough street food, it's not the cheapest nor the best street food. Other places are better.
The best secret for cheap food for Cheap Tourist Options in Bangkok is to eat at one of the food courts in the city, which is where Thais eat. The best food court is on the sixth floor of Mahboonkrong (MBK) shopping mall. It's enormous, with more than 50 stalls selling everything from noodles, to rice dishes, Indian food to American and prices starting at 30 baht ($1) for a huge plate of food. It's air conditioned too.
At night, don't miss eating at one of the food stalls on Sukhumvit Soi 38.
It's the most famous street food stall area in Bangkok for Thais and offers incredible Thai food at dirt cheap prices. The street stalls here serve food until 2am, so it's a great place to eat after a night in Bangkok's bars or clubs. Take the sky train to Thong Lor station before midnight and it's at the bottom of the sky train steps. After midnight, take a taxi.
Cheap Transportation in Bangkok
Don't Take Tuk-Tuks -
While many Cheap Tourist Options to Bangkok are under the assumption tuk-tuks are cheap, they're not. Unfortunately, in the last few years many tuk-tuk drivers now see a foreigner and it's an instant opportunity to make money. Where a Thai will get a tuk-tuk for 40 baht, a foreigner will pay 100-200 baht or more. If you know your destination and the normal cost in a taxi, and the tuk-tuk driver quotes you the same price or less, take it. But, if you have no idea where you're going, a metered taxi is usually a much cheaper deal and it's air conditioned.
Prefer The Boat in Bangkok to save cost -
If your destination is close to the Chao Praya River, take the boat. The regular passenger boats go up and down the river with average fares around 10-15 baht (33-50 cents), far cheaper than the sky train or taxis and it's the authentic Thai experience too.
Cheapest Shopping Options in Bangkok -
Avoid shopping at Khao San Road, anywhere on Sukhumvit, and in most of the downtown shopping malls (Mahboonkrong is okay), if you're looking for a cheap deal. Instead, go shopping where the Thais shop.
For clothing or gifts shopping in Bangkok:-
shop at Pratunam Market - t shirts, shorts, designer jeans, kids clothes, Thai traditional clothes, sports wear, you name it they sell it and, as it's a wholesale market, it's dirt cheap.
For teenagers or young adult women and men, shop for clothing, jewelry, and bags at Platinum Mall. An enormous shopping mall catering to young Thais, here you'll find t shirts as cheap as 75 baht ($2.25) each and the more pieces you buy, the cheaper they become.
If you're looking for cheap Thai handicrafts, clothing, gifts, Thai silk, secondhand jeans, backpacks, bags, jewelry, wallets, pottery, hemp products - just about anything - avoid the tourist spots like Khao San Road and Sukhumvit and instead shop at the weekly Chatuchak Weekend Market. Open on Friday evenings, and all day Saturday and Sunday, with more than 15,000 stalls, you'll find everything you want and more besides.
If you need to buy cheap electronics, computers, computer games or DVDs is your thing, don't go to Pantip Plaza - as it's a place where Cheap Tourist Options and tourists are targeted with rip-off prices and shoddy quality.
For Cheap electronics in Bangkok, take the underground train to Rama 9 station and shop at Fortune Mall right next to it.
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