New York is the city that never sleeps. Bangkok city, Thailand’s capital, ranks in second place.
The first ruler of the current Chakri Dynasty built Bangkok city in 1782. It’s now the spiritual, economic, and educational center of the country, home to over ten million people, or more than 10% of the Thai population.
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Bangkok, the city of contrasts and surprises
Bangkok city is called Krung Thep in Thai, meaning the City of Angels. It’s an exhilarating, high-energy melting pot where east and west collide. With its bustling expressways, dramatic buildings, and designer-filled retail malls, this vibrant metropolis has embraced technology and modern life. Despite this, it remains a traditional sanctuary of culture, history, and time-honored customs, where elders are revered and family always comes first.
As you travel from the airport, you’ll notice several instances of contemporary architecture dotting the cityscape, including gleaming Buddhist Wats (temples) like Wat Phra Kaew and The Grand Palace. Snaking through the concrete jungle, you’ll see vestiges of old Bangkok below you, including ancient canals and rivers worth exploring on a boat ride.
Every Thai residence and structure, even the most modern, has a traditional spirit house erected outdoors for good luck and to honor the land’s spirit. Every day, modest donations of fruit and drink are left out, frequently adorned with orchid garlands. If you’re an early riser looking to make the most of your time in Bangkok, don’t be surprised to see Buddhist monks in saffron robes making their daily alms rounds, receiving food and contributions from locals young and old.
When to visit Bangkok Thailand
Thailand has a tropical environment with yearly average temperatures ranging from 75 to 92 degrees Fahrenheit, so pack light. When walking and traveling in hot weather, natural fibers are frequently more pleasant. You may get some reprieve from the heat almost anywhere in Bangkok, with blasts of freezing cold air conditioning in businesses and hotels.
The warmest months are March through May, with the maximum temperatures and humidity. The monsoon season lasts from June through October, so bring an umbrella if you’re spending September in Bangkok city. From November through February, the weather is milder and less humid.
Keep in mind that the monsoon season differs across the country and might have an impact on the weather you experience.
Hotels in Bangkok for every pocket
In Bangkok city, you can find anything from luxurious 5-star worldwide brands to tiny backpacker hostels. Book online to discover what exceptional prices you might get to fit your mood and your budget. From tranquil luxury getaways with spas to lively hotels right in the midst of the action, you’ll find it all.
Find excellent deals for some of the best hotels in Bangkok:
How to get around Bangkok city
Rot tip or rot tit literally means cars that stick or traffic congestion. It’s one of the first things you’ll learn when you visit Bangkok city. However, Bangkok’s multicultural transportation system has greatly eased daily snarls and bottlenecks.
- You may now use the Bangkok subway. The Hua Lamphong Bang Sue line, which runs for 12 miles, has 18 stations. It’s quick, quiet, and cutting-edge.
- Take the BTS Sky Train. The BTS sky trains go along Sukhumvit, Silom, and Phahonyothin roads. The lines link the best hotels in Bangkok and the retail districts, including Siam Square, Silom, Ratchaprasong, and Chatuchak Weekend Market.
- Of course, you can’t visit Bangkok city without taking a tuk-tuk ride. These three-wheeled open-air motorized taxis are popular for short distances. Fares must be negotiated in advance but it’s all part of the fun.
Top 5 things to see in Bangkok city
1. The Grand Palace
The Grand Palace is the most popular attraction. To get a sense of this majestic architectural style, everyone visiting Bangkok city should discover the spectacular buildings inside the Grand Palace courtyard.
The Grand Palace has been the principal architectural icon of the Thai Royal Family since King Rama I established Bangkok as the nation’s capital. The Royal Family lives at Chitralada Palace, whereas The Grand Palace is only used for ceremonial occasions.
2. Wat Pho
Wat Pho is probably Thailand’s most intriguing temple. It mixes history and medical science, and it also serves as a meditation and traditional massage training institution.
While you’re visiting Wat Pho, enjoy a massage for a very reasonable fee.
3. Chatuchak Weekend Market
With over 9,000 shops and stalls, you’ll be tempted over and over to discover new things. Nearly everything is for sale at the Chatuchak Weekend Market, including antiques, Buddha amulets, handicrafts, clothes, flowers, and furniture.
You’ll notice that some maps spell it Jatuchak. Many English words have multiple spellings, so if you’re in doubt, ask the hotel concierge to write it in Thai for the taxi driver.
4. Vimanmek Mansion Museum
The Vimanmek Mansion Museum is the world’s biggest golden teak building, located on the Dusit Palace grounds on Ratchawithi Road. The three-story royal residence contains 81 rooms, hallways, and ante-chambers filled with rare relics.
5. Jim Thompson’s House
This gorgeous Thai house and structures serve as a memorial to the man who revitalized the Thai silk industry after WWII. Jim Thompson Thai Silk, the firm he started, is known across the world for its beautiful textiles, home accessories, and fashion products.
The gardens are similarly stunning, with a lush tropical forest emulating nature’s chaotic beauty right in the heart of Bangkok city.
On the shore of Chao Phraya river
The Chao Phraya, Bangkok’s major river, is becoming the place to be. Consider a royal armada that stretches as far as the eye can see. On special occasions, a flotilla of exquisitely carved royal barges gently sails into view, staffed by the Royal Thai Navy in traditional ceremonial costumes. Each sailor rowing in synchronization developed over months of intensive practice.
Shopping in Bangkok Thailand
Bangkok’s shopping is not restricted to one or two streets. Throughout the city, there are hundreds of malls, marketplaces, and luxury shopping establishments. The most popular of them are in the Ploenchit-Ratchaprasong region, Sukhumvit Rd, and Silom-Surawong-Patpong areas, including the great Patpong night market for souvenirs, fashion, and Thai handicrafts.
Don’t be afraid to bargain (nicely) in the market since your dollar may go a long way.
Discover nightlife Bangkok style!
Bangkok is fantastic. There is not one nightlife district in Bangkok but numerous.
Bars may be found all around town, including Patpong, Silom Soi 2 and 4, Soi Sarasin and Lang Suan, Royal City Avenue, Banglumpoo, Soi Cowboy, and Sukhumvit Soi 33.
Thailand’s well-deserved nickname is The Land of Smiles. You’ll be greeted warmly and feel the real kindness of the inhabitants. One thing is certain: the memories of a holiday in Bangkok city will last a lifetime.
More travel blog articles to help you plan your vacation in Bangkok city & Thailand
Bangkok Travel tips for female travelers
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Expat life in Chiang Mai Thailand