Bangkok Travel Guide
Thailand’s cosmopolitan capital Bangkok can be a chaotic, complex and confounding city – until you cruise the Chao Phraya River, discover the Old City and its glittering pagodas and gleaming spires, and explore the quiet canals. For many visitors Bangkok is little more than a shopping stop punctuating a beach holiday. Yes, there’s cheap accommodation and dirt-cheap street food, but there are also beautiful boutique hotels, heady cafés and buzzy bars, and brilliant restaurants serving inventive Thai food – not to mention new art and design destinations, a rejuvenated riverside, and a rapidly gentrifying Chinatown. Go now.
Stay in Bangkok
Best Bangkok hotel swimming pools range from rooftop infinity pools atop luxury towers boasting dazzling panoramic vistas of the Bangkok skyline to garden swimming pools in the grounds of historic…
The best Bangkok Old City heritage boutique hotels and bed and breakfasts offer an intimate, personal experience, a quaint taste of the past, and a step back in time, as…
Eat in Bangkok
The best restaurants in Asia for 2023 according to voters of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants List were announced in Singapore this week. At #1 is Le Du restaurant in Bangkok,…
This Thai grilled eggplant salad recipe makes a delightful dish of smoky pieces of creamy eggplant with sweet red shallots, aromatic mint, the umami of fish sauce, a sublime soft-boiled…
Drink in Bangkok
Silom Sathorn district of Bangkok is one of the Thai capital’s buzziest areas right now. Home to a spate of new cocktail bars, sunny cafés, seductive speakeasies and two of…
We love eating street food on the footpaths of Bangkok. But if there is a downside, it’s the sweltering heat and often stifling humidity that nearly constantly hangs over the…
Koh Kret – or Koh Kred – a tranquil Mon island on the Chao Phraya River that remains something of a secret to most Bangkok visitors, and even to some…
A Bangkok riverside renaissance in the last six years has seen an abundance of new boutique hotels, restaurants, cafés, and bars sprouting along the banks of Bangkok’s Chao Phraya River,…
From Klong Toey markets in Bangkok it’s a quick drive and a short stroll through Klong Toey slum to Saiyuud Diwong’s modest kitchen where we’re going to try our hand at, um, Cooking with Poo at…
“Isaan people eat everything!” Poo tells our small group as we negotiate the muddy paths of frenetic Klong Toey market on a walking tour to purchase ingredients for our Cooking…
Book Bangkok Tours
The best Bangkok street food tours offer immersive experiences with expert culinary guides with a deep knowledge of Thai cuisine, dishes, ingredients, and Thailand’s culinary history and culture. They give…
We sighed with relief – and salivated too – when a trio of young Thai foodies set up Bangkok Food Tours and started offering foodie walking tours in Bangkok, one…
I will always choose savoury over sweet, spice over sugar. My ideal dessert is something like this traditional chocolate Catalan treat, because it includes salt and olive oil. I’ll eat –…
The much-maligned shopping mall makes sense in steamy Bangkok, especially during monsoon season – just as it does in the oppressive heat of Dubai. Whereas the gritty streets of both…
Festivals & Events in Bangkok
Celebrating Songkran in Thailand means getting absolutely soaked. The traditional Theravāda Buddhist festival to mark Thai New Year has turned into one big water fight over the years. While you…
When there are 12,600 Buddhist monks from southern Thailand in one street of Bangkok at once, where, as a photographer, do you start trying to document the mass alms-giving that…
Bangkok Local Knowledge
Where David Thompson eats in Bangkok is a local guide to eating out in the Thai capital for food lovers. With hundreds of chefs, restaurateurs, gourmands, and food media converging…
We believe great food should be celebrated in its many forms, whether genuinely old and authentic or the good old-fashioned bastardised cuisines of the kind we grew up on in…
Chef Deepanker Khosla of Haoma Bangkok is feeding the hungry. Inspired by chef José Andrés his #noonehungry campaign will provide 1,000 meals a day for the jobless. Launching the initiative…
How to eat like locals when you travel? There’s an abundance of advice out there: slurp soup from a street food stall, sample home-cooked food at a local home, savour…
WHEN TO GO
Nov–Feb The temeratures in Bangkok don’t vary much, it’s the humidity and change of rain that varies, this is the best time to travel and it’s crowded.
Mar–Jun Weather This shoulder season is less crowded but the chance of rain is higher.
Jul–Oct Wet season commences and while it’s a little less crowded, the storms can be ferocious.
Bangkok has excellent healthcare facilities, in fact it’s where most people in Southeast Asia head for medical treatment if they can afford it and is a medical tourism destination. It’s still of great importance that you get full medical insurance for your visit. Recommended Vaccinations
Nationals of most countries can get a free tourist visa on arrrival in Thailand, it’s the length of the visa that varies and can range from 15 days to 90 days. Overstaying visas incurrs daily fines and rules can change overnight so be aware. Some visas can be extended, check the Thai Immigration website.
CURRENT EXCHANGE RATES
$1.00 USD = 35.54 THB
$1.00 AUD = 22.73 THB
€1.00 EUR = 38.08 THB
£1.00 GBP = 44.36 THB
The Thai currency (THB) is called the ‘Baht’, and it’s the only currency used in the country. In touristy areas they may acccept USD but and give change in THB but you’ll suffer an unfavourable exchange rate. It is, however, easy to change most major currencies into THB.
THAI IS THE OFFICIAL LANGUAGE OF THAILAND.
ELECTRICITY IN THAILAND IS 220 VOLTS. 50 CYCLES/SEC.
LOCAL TIMETime in Bangkok:
Bangkok’s Time Zone is (GMT+7) Bangkok has never utilised daylight saving.
CURRENT THAILAND WEATHER
There are direct international flights to Bangkok from major international destinations. Domestic flights cover major tourist destinations. Less expensive is bus travel covering all of Thailand, but for major routes minivans are becoming more popular – not great for tall or large foreigners. Within towns and sections of cities, besides taxis and motor-taxis are pick-up trucks with benches in the back that run specific routes.
Bangkok Daily Costs
Daily Budget Up To:
- Guesthouse dorm room: US$3–10
- Cheap restaurants, street food: US$0.5–3
- BTS Daily Ticket: US$3:60
Daily Budget From:
- Air-con hotel room: US$20–45
- Good local restaurant meal: US$5–15
- Medium distance taxi ride: US$4:50
Daily Budget From:
- Boutique hotel or resort: US$80–500
- Degustation meal without drinks: US$50+
- Private airport transfer: US$80+