Bangkok is a popular city for anyone who is taking their annual HOT Holiday in Thailand and you don’t have to spend long in the capital to see why.
A city where opposites very much attract, Bangkok blends the old and the new together with ancient temples and palaces sitting alongside modern skyscrapers and bustling malls packed with the biggest name designer stores.
Although you will enjoy a trip to Bangkok at any time of the year, for many, the best time to visit is during the winter months when things are slightly cooler. Visit through spring and summer and things will get a lot warmer and also wetter as the levels of rainfall rise.
Bangkok is a city that will appeal to all manner of travellers, with plenty of accommodation options for backpackers who are passing through on their travels right through to the very best in 5* luxury for anyone who is keen to splash out on something extra special.
No matter how long you choose to spend in Bangkok, you won’t be short of things to see or do.
Those who want to embrace the old can head for golden-coloured temples, explore the famous Grand Palace or take a stroll through the many traditional old markets whilst a cruise along the Chao Phraya river opens up the opportunity to explore some of the sights further afield.
But within modern day Bangkok, there is also the chance to enjoy top class cuisine in some of the very best restaurants and also to hit the shops for some retail therapy in search of a bargain to take back home.
When the sun goes down, there are plenty of bars in which you can enjoy some evening entertainment – although you might find some of Thailand’s islands are more to your liking if you are looking to party until the early hours.
Depending on what time of year you visit however, you may well be able to catch one of the various festivals that take place on an annual basis and which are a major draw for those keen to see everything that Bangkok has to offer.
The Grand Palace
The Grand Palace sits in the heart of Bangkok and has been the official residence of the Thai king since the late 1700s. The spectacular complex is made up of various different buildings, some of which remain at use to this day. The impressively intricate design is well worth exploring in all its glory, with the palace being one of the most popular attractions for anyone visiting the city. Guided tours of certain areas are available on a daily basis.
Wat Phra Kaew
Located within the Grand Palace, the Wat Phra Kaew is one of the most important religious sites within Thailand. The sacred Buddhist temple is home to the Emerald Buddha, a small 26-inch tall Buddha image that has been carved from a single block of jade. It should be noted that a strict dress code is in place if you want to visit the temple, with the option to rent clothing if yours is inappropriate.
Another of the main religious sites in Bangkok, Wat Arun is a Buddhist temple that sits on the banks of the Chao Phraya River and is one of the landmark structures of the city. Famous for its porcelain covered tower, the temple is a popular attraction given it is so different in its design to any of the other temples in the city and can be added onto a river cruise if you don’t want to simply explore the temple itself.
There are plenty of markets across Bangkok but if you want to enjoy a unique experience then a trip to one of the various floating markets offers a way to shop that you certainly won’t have tried back home. With traders doing business from their boats moored on the water, you’ll have to sail around the market yourself if you want to make a purchase, with special trips available that will allow you to try and bag a bargain.
Bangkok is home to a huge Chinatown that once served as the main commercial hub of the city. Now, it’s a great place to explore Chinese culture, with shops and markets selling traditional goods and countless places in which you can sample impressive Chinese cuisine.
The Chao Phraya runs through Bangkok and the network of waterways surrounding it led to the city once being dubbed as the Venice of the East. These days, a cruise on the river provides the chance to see Bangkok from a different view – particularly when it includes time spent exploring the Khlongs and canals.
Khao San Road
The Khao San Road is a busy street in the middle of Bangkok that is worth a visit both during the day and into the evening. By day, it’s a busy shopping street with traditional stores selling all manner of goods and then when the sun goes down, it becomes a hive of activity when the bars and pubs open up and people come together to reflect on their day.
Jim Thompson House
The Jim Thompson House is a museum in Bangkok that houses the art collection of the American businessman and architect that give it its name. Having put together the collection before his disappearance in 1967, the house is now open daily for guided tours that provide the opportunity to examine the various examples of Southeast Asian art that he was able to put together.