Thailand

Bangkok Travel Guide

A hectic mega metropolis in stark contrast to Thailand’s paradisiac island beaches. In place of swaying palm trees and fine white sand are towering skyscrapers, shopping malls galore, and traffic jams as far as the eye can see. 

Never go hungry in the world’s street food capital. Munch on fried insects in Chinatown or pick up bargain phad Thai from a street cart vendor. Luxury dining experiences abound atop the city’s soaring skyscrapers. After dark, the streets come to life in a sea of neon beneath thumping music from epic rooftop bars as seen in The Hangover Part II. 

Shop ‘til you drop in cavernous malls featuring cinemas, bowling alleys, and even an aquarium. Or for a more authentic experience, find souvenirs at a floating market, or clothing and handicrafts at Chatuchak, in the world’s largest outdoor market.

Concealed beneath the frenzied city veneer is a cohesive stillness from centuries of Buddhist traditions. Zen-filled temples offer peaceful respite with ancient architecture, intricate sculptures, and gold-leaf decorations. Narrow streets are lined with tranquil massage parlours like an oasis in an urban desert, for relaxation and restoration after a big night on the town. 

Friendly locals will always greet you with a smile, proving Bangkok’s hustle and bustle is no match for the undercurrent of serenity that can only be found in the land of smiles.

Inspiration

Who Will Like Bangkok

Food Connoisseur

Indulge in exotic food like fried scorpions in Chinatown or a classic Thai green curry in a swanky rooftop restaurant. Bangkok is one of the world’s greatest street food hubs, but there’s also no shortage of fine dining options. A new taste sensation waits around every corner.

Nightlife Star

Create a memorable night with an explosion of music, dance and flashing lights. Head to Khao San Road for backpacker party mode or Sukhumvit for a dash of glamour. Royal City Avenue is the epicenter of Bangkok's clubbing scene while hard-core party goers rock the night away in Sinom.

Retail Therapist

Blow your baht in Siam's mega shopping malls. Chinatown will put a smile on your face if you're into street markets, and don't miss Chatuchak Weekend Market, one of the largest outdoor markets in the world.

Culture Buff

Discover Buddhist traditions at Wat Phra Kaew, Wat Pho, or Wat Arun, to name a few of Bangkok's exquisite temples. The city’s modern development hides fascinating cultural stories that beg to be uncovered. 

Sports Fan

Experience the excitement of watching a Muay Thai fight at Rajadamnern, Lumpinee, or Channel 7 stadiums. Locals love to gamble on fights, so why not try your luck?

Fun Expert

Have a ball in a massive entertainment park, like Art in Paradise, Dream World or Dinosaur Planet Theme Park. Dusit ZOO and its 2000+ species make a special treat for the animal lover.

Entertainment Specialist

Watch a traditional Thai dance performance with elegent moves and fine hand gestures set to Thai music. There won't be a dull moment with live music and caberet shows every evening all over town. 

Top Sights & Attractions In Bangkok

Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew

Palace $$$$$

Na Phra Lan Rd, Khwaeng Phra Borom Maha Ratchawang, Khet Phra Nakhon, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10200, Thailand

Price: ฿500 (USD$15.37) Time spent: 2 hours

Hours: 8:30am-3:30pm, 7 days

A spectacular 18th century palace and former home to Thai royals. Exquisite buildings decorated in mosaic, painted ceramic and carved statues bring thousands of tourists to the complex each day. Also within the complex is Wat Phra Kaew, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, said to be the most sacred Buddhist relic in Thailand.

website email

Full attraction details...

Wat Pho (Temple of Reclining Buddha)

Religious $$$$$

2 Sanam Chai Rd, Phra Borom Maha Ratchawang, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10200, Thailand

Price: Adult: ฿100 (USD$3.07), Children: Free Time spent: 1-2 hours

Hours: 8:30am-6pm, 7 days

Wat Pho is home is home to Bangkok’s 46-meter (150-feet) long golden reclining Buddha statue, one of the most sacred Buddhist relics in Thailand. The operational monastery features several areas worth visiting, including exquisite pagodas known as the 4 kings temple, long hallways lined with intricate paintings of stories from Thai folklore, and a Thai massage school where visitors can receive a massage from students.

website email +66 22259595

Full attraction details...

Chatuchak Weekend Market

Market Free

Kamphaeng Phet 2 Rd, Chatuchak, Bangkok 10900, Thailand

Price: Free Time spent: 1.5-3 hours

Hours: 7am-6pm, Wednesday-Thursday (Plant section only)
6pm-12am, Friday (wholesale only)
9am-6pm, Saturday-Sunday

One of the world’s largest outdoor markets with over 1,500 vendors forming a maze-like grid of stalls each weekend. Items for sale include clothing, souvenirs, homewares, jewellery, curry sauces, street food, and much more.

website email +66 2 272 4813

Full attraction details...

Chinatown

District Free

Yaowarat Rd, Khwaeng Chakkrawat, Khet Samphanthawong, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10100, Thailand

Price: Free Time spent: 2 hours

Hours: 24 hours, 7 days

Dozens of Chinese restaurants and quirky street food stalls surrounded by colourful street lights and lanterns. Several souvenir stores are also available.

Full attraction details...

Bangkok National Museum

Museum $$$$$

Na Phrathat Road, Grand Palace sub district, Phra Nakorn district, Bangkok. 10200

Price: ฿200 (USD$6.15) Time spent: 1-2.5 hours

Hours: 9am-4pm, Wednesday-Sunday

Thailand’s first public museum located in a series of buildings that once formed a regal palace complex. Bangkok National Museum houses the world’s largest collection of Thai art and historical artefacts, from ancient fishing tools and stone statues, to sacred depictions of the life of Buddha, to golden chariots once used in royal funeral ceremonies.

website +66 022241370

Full attraction details...

Food & Drink in Bangkok

El Mercado

Italian $$$$$

490 Phai Singto Alley, Khwaeng Khlong Toei, Khet Khlong Toei, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10110

Hours: 11am-11:30pm, Tuesday-Sunday

Italian market style restaurant selling local and imported cuts of meat, cheese and salads. Primarily Italian menu items like pasta, risotto and pizza as well as western dishes. Extensive wine cellar. Courtyard seating. Ranked amongst top 20 restaurants in Bangkok.

website +66 0 99 078 3444

Full restaurant details...

Savoey River View

Thai $$$$$

26/5 Rama III Rd, Chong Nonsi, Yan Nawa, Bangkok 10120, Thailand

Hours: 11am-11pm, 7 days

The best place to get familiar with Thai food with delicious versions of Thai classics like tom yum goong, spring rolls, and curries. Always fresh and colourful ingredients and bonus riverfront views. Savoey specialises in seafood but sells plenty of meat and vegetarian dishes as well.

website email +66 26815145

Full restaurant details...

Amaya Food Gallery

International $$$$$

847 Petchburi Road, Phaya Thai, Ratchathewi, Bangkok 10400, Thailand

Hours: 12pm-10:30pm, 7 days

Gourmet buffet located within Amari Watergate hotel with international-themed food stations including Thai, Indian, Chinese, Italian, salads, and deserts. Each dish includes a dietary labels specifying features like protein sauce and level of spice.

website email +66 26539000

Full restaurant details...

Cafe Claire

Thai French $$$$$

110 Witthayu Rd, Lumphini, Pathum Wan District, Bangkok 10330, Thailand

Hours: 6am-11pm, 7 days

Boutique-style restaurant located within the Oriental Residence Bangkok serving a fusion of French and Thai cuisines. The elegant interior is only topped by the the mouthwatering food expertly crafted onto plates like a work of art. Dishes include melt-in-the-mouth steaks, vegetables roasted to perfection, and decedent deserts.

website email +66 21259000

Full restaurant details...

Sunrise Tacos

Mexican $$$$$

114/19-20 Silom Corner of Soi 4 and Silom Rd Suriyawong Bang Rak, Bangkok 10500, Thailand

Hours: 11am-2am, 7 days

Bangkok’s most authentic Mexican restaurant with huge servings of nachos, tacos and other Mexican favourites. All dishes are made with fresh, flavoursome ingredients. There's also authentic Mexican drinks, like 3 flavours of brightly coloured margaritas.

website +66 026328588

Full restaurant details...

Sara Janes

Thai $$$$$

88 Naradhiwat Rajanagarindra Rd, Yan Nawa, Sathon, Bangkok 10120, Thailand

Hours: 11am-2pm & 5pm-10pm, Monday-Friday
11am-3pm & 5pm-10pm, Saturday-Sunday

Authentic Thai Food beloved by locals and tourists alike. Outdoor garden area fills up every lunch hour while evenings are a little quieter. Enjoy a spicy curry or nutty phad Thai with softly glowing fairy lights winding through the treetop canopy. Some western dishes like spaghetti and steak are also available.

website +66 026763338

Full restaurant details...

Food Delivery & Discovery Apps:

foodpanda.jpg
Mobile app
Foodpanda
wongnai.jpg
Mobile app
Woongnai
Planning

Areas of Bangkok

bangkok_areas.svg
  1. BanglamphuArtistic backpacker area Younger traverlers are drawn here for the epic parties and budget accommodation. Also a rich historical area home to must-see attractions like the Grand Palace.
  2. SiamCommercial district The beating commercial heart of the city. Streets lined with shopping malls, specialist stores, and street vendors offering shoppers their every desire, from affordable electronic equipment to designer clothes.
  3. Chinatown/YaowaratDistrict that never sleeps A district with a concentrated Chinese population and cultivated culture. Wafting aromas from restaurants, marketplaces, and street food stalls fill narrow laneways and lead to some of the best food in town.
  4. Bangkok Riverside, Chao PhrayaRiverside Romance Avoid Bangkok's infamous traffic jams and get around by boat. Couples will love the watching the sunset over a romantic dinner at a waterfront restaurant. Retro accommodation along the banks of the Chao Phraya River is plentiful.
  5. Old Town/Ko Ratanakosin Historical landmarks The historical centre home to Bangkok's most notable temple's and tourist attractions. This is the place to say if you only have a few days in the city and want to get around on foot.
  6. Sukhumvit RoadPreferred by families The longest road in Bangkok and closest neighborhood to the Suvarnabhumi airport (BKK). Several international hotel chains, shopping malls, and high-quality restaurants, from food courts to fine dining.
Airbnb in Bangkok:
Avg nightly rate
฿49
(USD$1.51)
Avg occupancy rate
63%
Rental demand
63/100

Best Places To Stay in Bangkok

Shama Lakeview Asoke

$$$$$

No. 41 Sukhumvit 16, Sukhumvit Road, Klongtoey, 10110

Conveniences of a luxury hotel blended with the independence of a rented furnished apartment. Apartments range from studio up to 3 bedrooms, suited to any length of stay. Soak up city views from a private balcony or soak in a sensuous bathtub. A fully equipped kitchen, washing machine and dryer make you feel like home. Shama Lakeview Asoke is within walking distance of public transport, shopping malls, restaurants, and the Central Business District. Relax by the peaceful lake at Benchakiti Park or make the most of the hotel’s complimentary buggy service to the supermarket. A perfect location for both business and leisure travellers.

website +66 2663 1291

Full hotel details...

Getting Around Bangkok

Taxi

Convenient to get to a specific location, but allow extra time for traffic jams. Be mindful of scams -always insist the driver uses the meter before getting in and never agree to stop at the dirvers cousin's gem store on the way. Use your phone's GPS to track your route along the way. 

Ride Sharing

A more convenient and less scam-prone alternative to traditional taxis. The most popular rideshare app in Bangkok is Grab. Many Thai's don't read maps so it's handy to pre-populate your destination in the app for the driver to follow the GPS.

BTS Skytrain

Bangkok Mass Transit System (BTS) avoids traffic jams with two elevated train lines lines running between major attractions, nightlife venues, shopping centers, and accommodation hubs. The Silom Line connects the National Stadium and Bang Wa. the Sukhumvit Line passes from Mo Chit (near the Chatuchak Weekend Market) and Bearing. The lines cross at Siam.

MRT Transit

Metropolitan Rapid Transit (MRT) is Bangkok's subway system with two lines - blue and purple. The blue line connects to the Bangkok train station. Use the MRT to check out attractions on the outskirts of the city. 

Bus

Ideal for budget travelers to get between most parts of the city. Be prepared for traffic jams and bus drivers with limited English. Signal an approaching bus if you want to get onboard. Use this guide to select the right bus.

Tuk-tuk

Thailand's iconic transport method that must be tried at least once, although often more expencive than taxis. Most drivers are entertaining and many have a Bluetooth speaker to blare your favorite tuness while weaving through traffic. Tuk-tuk's don't have meters so agree on a fixed price before hopping in. 

Boat

Ferries operate on the Chao Praya river daily and tickets can be bought at piers. Boat services are also available on khlongs (canals) for reasonable prices, with tickets sold on board after embarking.

Transport Apps:

grabcar.jpg
Mobile app
Grab
lineman.jpeg
Mobile app
Line Man
gobike.jpg
Mobile app
GoBike

Shopping

Shopping in Bangkok is a whole-day activity and can vary from bustling street markets to premium luxury shopping malls. Malls are similar to a western shopping experience, but with a unique oriental twist. Use the opportunity to buy authentic Thai silk, natural soaps, wood-carved handicrafts, traditional snacks, and spices. All make for great souvenirs or original presents for your loved ones.

Chatuchak Weekend Market

Market Free

Kamphaeng Phet 2 Rd, Chatuchak, Bangkok 10900, Thailand

Price: Free Time spent: 1.5-3 hours

Hours: 7am-6pm, Wednesday-Thursday (Plant section only)
6pm-12am, Friday (wholesale only)
9am-6pm, Saturday-Sunday

One of the world’s largest outdoor markets with over 1,500 vendors forming a maze-like grid of stalls each weekend. Items for sale include clothing, souvenirs, homewares, jewellery, curry sauces, street food, and much more.

website email +66 2 272 4813

Full attraction details...

Siam Paragon

Shopping Mall $$$$$

991 Rama I Rd, Pathum Wan, Pathum Wan District, Bangkok 10330, Thailand

Price: Free Time spent: 1-5 hours

Hours: 10am-10pm, 7 days

One of Bangkok’s largest and most popular shopping malls, located within the historical district of Siam. This sprawling mega mall features 9 levels of stores covering local and international clothing brands, accessories, precious jewellery, technology, homewares, hair salons, nail salons, toys, luxury cars, and more. Don’t feel like shopping? There’s still plenty of things to do at Siam Paragon including a large cinema, kids’ play centre, bowling alley, and even an aquarium.

website +66 026108000

Full attraction details...

Chinatown

District Free

Yaowarat Rd, Khwaeng Chakkrawat, Khet Samphanthawong, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10100, Thailand

Price: Free Time spent: 2 hours

Hours: 24 hours, 7 days

Authentic local shopping experience suited to adventurous buyers. Even if you’re not going to buy, the atmosphere alone is worth coming for.

Full attraction details...

CentralWorld

Shopping Mall $$$$$

999/9 Rama I Rd, Pathum Wan, Pathum Wan District, Bangkok 10330, Thailand

Time spent: 1-4 hours

Hours: 10am-10pm, 7 days

One of the world's largest malls offering a wholesome experience for the biggest shopping addicts. Hundreds of local and international stores selling a wide range of designer and budget clothing, sportswear, homewares, and many other items.

Tip: Due to the size and popularity of the mall, expect to spend a lot of time weaving between crowds.

website +66 026407000

Best Time of Year to Visit Bangkok

The weather is pleasant all year round.

Dry Season

November-February: average of 30°C, sunshine and blue skies.

Hot Season

March-May: up to 40°C, hot and humid.

Rainy Season

June-October: between 25°C and 35°C, heaviest downpours usually in afternoons.

Best Photo Spots in Bangkok

Wat Pho (Temple of Reclining Buddha)

Religious $$$$$

2 Sanam Chai Rd, Phra Borom Maha Ratchawang, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10200, Thailand

Price: Adult: ฿100 (USD$3.07), Children: Free Time spent: 1-2 hours

Hours: 8:30am-6pm, 7 days

The main temple within Wat Pho is Phra Ubosot which is excellent for close-up shots with its distinctive white columns, intricate rooftop, and small, wall-mounted shrines. Phra Rabiang - the “wall of Buddha” surrounds the complex and offers a gorgeous setting and framing for portraits with several golden doorways and archways.

Tip: Visit early in the morning for the best lighting and least crowds.

website email +66 22259595

Full attraction details...

Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew

Palace $$$$$

Na Phra Lan Rd, Khwaeng Phra Borom Maha Ratchawang, Khet Phra Nakhon, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10200, Thailand

Price: ฿500 (USD$15.37) Time spent: 2 hours

Hours: 8:30am-3:30pm, 7 days

Amateur and professional photographers alike are drawn to the Grand Palace for the marvellous details within its temples and golden stupas. The colours are especially beautiful in the first rays of the morning sun.

Tip: Adhere to the strict dress code by wearing clothing that covers your shoulders and knees.

website email

Full attraction details...

Loha Prasat

Religious

Na Phra Lan Rd, Phra Borom Maha Ratchawang, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10200, Thailand

Price: ฿20 (USD$0.61)

Hours: 9am-5pm, 7 days

Take advantage of remarkably smaller crowds than similar attractions while photographing the distinctive architecture at Loha Prasat. If you're lucky, you may catch a glimpse into a monk's daily routine.

Tip: Use a wide angle lens to capture the temple's roof in one shot.

Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn)

Religious $$$$$

158 Thanon Wang Doem, Wat Arun, Bangkok Yai, Bangkok 10600, Thailand

Price: ฿50 (USD$1.54) Time spent: 30-120 minutes

Hours: 8:30am-5:30pm, 7 days

An elegant Buddhist temple located on the banks of the Chao Phraya River. Wat Arun’s appearance is different to other religious sites in Bangkok, having been inspired by the temples of the ancient kingdom of Ayutthaya. Visitors who brave the spire’s incredibly steep steps are rewarded with views over the winding river and historic old city.

Tip: Got at sunset or blue hour for a classic long-distance shot. The best shots are taken from the platform on the opposite side of the river, but you'll need to pay a fee of ฿100 to enter the platform.

website email +66 028912185

Full attraction details...
Essentials

Money

ATMs are located on every corner, especially in the city cener, and are easy to use. The first screen will prompt you to select your language. Most ATMs attract a fee of ฿200 (USD$6.15) per withdrawal.

Currency exchange stores are also readily availbale. Super Rich is the most common currency exchange chain, but it doesn't always offer the best rates. Check exchange rates at multiple stores to get more baht for your buck. 

Most shops, cafés, restaurants, and hotels accept payment via card. The most commonly accepted cards are Visa and Mastercard.

Budget

Daily Budget

Budget฿200-฿350 (USD$6.15 - $10.76)

Comfortable฿800-฿1,500 (USD$24.59 - $46.11)

Luxury฿1,200-฿8,500 (USD$36.89 - $261.29)

Accommodation

Budget฿90-฿300 (USD$2.77 - $9.22)hostel or 1 star hotel

Comfortable฿260-฿600 (USD$7.99 - $18.44)3 star

Luxury฿750-฿5,000 (USD$23.06 - $153.70)4-5 star

Food

Street Food฿30-฿50 (USD$0.92 - $1.54)

Mid-Range Restaurant฿150-฿250 (USD$4.61 - $7.69)

Fine Dining Restaurant฿700-฿2,500 (USD$21.52 - $76.85)

Transport

BTS฿30 / ฿50 (USD$0.92 / $1.54)Single ride / daily pass

MRT฿30 / ฿150 (USD$0.92 / $4.61)single ride / daily pass

Local bus฿8 (USD$0.25)around Bangkok

Inter-city bus฿106 (USD$3.26)Bangkok-Pattaya

Taxi฿50-฿100 (USD$1.54 - $3.07)short ride

Tuk-tuk฿300 (USD$9.22)short ride

Boat฿30 (USD$0.92)single ride

Activities

Temples฿100-฿500 (USD$3.07 - $15.37)entrance fee

Canals & floating markets฿1,000 (USD$30.74)6-hour tour

Street food tour฿1,300 (USD$39.96)3-hour tour

Muay Thai Match฿1,000-฿2,000 (USD$30.74 - $61.48)ticket price

Typical Costs In Bangkok

  • Meal in inexpensive restaurant: ฿60 (USD$1.84)
  • Small bottle of water in restaurant: ฿9.48 (USD$0.29)
  • Large bottle of water in market: ฿17.78 (USD$0.55)
  • Domestic beer in restaurant: ฿80 (USD$2.46)
  • Domestic beer in market: ฿62.19 (USD$1.91)
  • Bottle of wine in market: ฿700 (USD$21.52)
  • Cup of coffee: ฿74.17 (USD$2.28)
  • Short taxi trip: ฿35 (USD$1.08)
  • 1-way public transport trip: ฿35 (USD$1.08)
  • 1L of gasoline/petrol: ฿30.25 (USD$0.93)
  • Pair of jeans: ฿1,฿852.20 (USD$56.94)
  • Summer dress: ฿1,฿126.62 (USD$34.63)
  • Cinema ticket: ฿250 (USD$7.69)
Close

Internet, Mobile & Tech

Internet

Average Internet speed in Bangkok: 16 Mbps

Public wifi access: Readily available

Mobile

The 3 major mobile providers are True Move, AIS and DTAC. All have websites in English. Buying a SIM card from one of these operators alows you to use their Wi-Fi locations throughout the city. Common SIM card purchase locations include Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang airports, most shopping mall phone stores, and 7-Eleven stores which are common throught the city.  

  • True Move - ''Tourist SIM'' package for ฿299 (USD$9.19) (8 days, 3GB high-speed internet, unlimited 14 social network apps). True Move has “coffee shops” in Bangkok where you can get help with your SIM card.
  • DTAC - "Happy Tourist" package for ฿299 (USD$9.19) (8 days, 3 GB high-speed internet, free ฿100 (USD$3.07) call credit, unlimited calls among Happy Tourist SIM 299 users, special international call rate via 00400).
  • AIS - “Traveller SIM” package for ฿299 (USD$9.19) (8 days, 3GB data, ฿100 (USD$3.07) call credit, free AIS Super WiFi).

Phone country code: +66

Getting Into Bangkok

Bangkok is a major international hub and can be reached by plane from almost any city in the world. Flights into Bangkok from countries within Southeast Asia and cities within Thailand run regularly and take between 1 hour (Krabi) and 4 hours (Bali). Bangkok can also be reached by train, bus, or ferry.

Plane

Bangkok has two international airports, Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) and Don Muang International Airport (DMK). Suvarnabhumi is the larger airport mainly used by full-service airlines and for connecting international flights. Don Muang is mainly used by low-cost airlines and for local flights. 

Always know which of the two airports you are flying into or out of as it takes about an hour to drive between them. A free shuttle bus operates between every 30 minutes or more frequently between 5am and midnight.

There are 3 main ways to get from the airports to the city center: 

  • Bus - runs from the airport to over 10 locations in the city center. Tickets cost ฿35 (USD$1.08). Some locations are accessible via express bus for ฿150 (USD$4.61). Busses may not be available if your plane arrives late at night. 
  • Taxi - via one of 2 taxi stands on the ground level. A taxi ride to the city center should cost between ฿400-฿500 (USD$12.30 - $15.37)
  • Rideshare - via an app like Grab. Rideshare drivers are not allowed in the taxi rank, so check the app for instructions on where to wait or chat with your driver through the app. 

Train

Trains arrive at Hua Lamphong Railway Station from most cities within Thailand and also from nearby countries like Laos, Malaysia, and Cambodia.

The smaller Thornburi Train Station offers limited services into Bangkok from surrounding towns like Nam Tok and Kanchanaburi.

From Hua Lamphong Railway Station, take a taxi or Grab to your accommodation.

Bus

There are three major bus terminals in Bangkok that can be reached from most cities within Thailand:

  • Northern Bus Terminal (Mo Chit). Busses from Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai arrive here. Reach your accommodation via taxi, Grab, or a Skytrain from Mo Chit station.
  • Eastern Bus Terminal (Ekkamai)Busses from Pattaya and Rayong arrive here. Reach your accommodation via taxi, Grab, or a Skytrain from Ekkamai station. 
  • Southern Bus Terminal (Sai Tai) Busses from Ko Samui, Phuket and Krabi arrive here. Reach your accommodation via taxi, Grab, or local bus. 

Ferry

Bangkok can be reached from islands like Koh Samui by a combination of ferry and bus. This option is very cost-effective at around ฿1,400 (USD$43.04) but can take up 12 hours. It's most suitable for budget travelers with time to spare.  

Most ferry companies sell online tickets including the bus journey. Busses usually drop off along the main roads in Bangkok, like Rambuttri Road and Khaosan Road.

Visas

As Thailand's capital city, Bangkok is the embassy or consulate location for most countries, including US, Canada, UK, and Australia, so it's relatively easy to seek diplomatic help should it be required. 

Important: Avoid overstaying your visa at all costs as it may result in a fine or even imprisonment.

Health & Safety

A relatively safe city, however, always use caution and common sense. For example, take a taxi instead of walking alone at night, and only get massages from profesional, hygenic-looking massage palours.

In case of emergency, call the tourist police.

Quite Good69.5 Healthcare Access
and Quality
Index
Fairly Safe71 Safety Index
Very Peaceful98.85% Global Peace Index

Is it safe to drink tap water? Not recommend

Bottled water is cheap and easy to find. Don't risk digestive problems by drinking water that has gone through the old and rusty pipes. Apartment buildings often have a water vending machine for filling large containers at very cheap prices (around ฿5 per liter).

Important Phone Numbers:

Tourist Police: 1155

Thailand’s Tourist Police was created in 2017 and has contributed to Bangkok's increasing reputation as a safe city, compared to similar locations.

Emergency: 1669

Police: 191

Ambulance: 1554

Fire: 199

Doctors:

Bangkok has highly qualified doctors with good English language skills. They are easy to find and offer affordable services.
In case of a minor illness, it's good to know that pharmacies in Bangkok sell some medicines over the counter that would require a prescription in USA or Australia.

Hospitals:

Thailand operates 2 types of hospitals, public and private, which offer vastly different levels of healthcare. While public hospitals are far cheaper, international travellers are better off going to a private hospital for better care and faster service. 

Scams:

  • Grand Palace closed scam. Locals dressed as officials may tell you the Grand Palace is closed and offer an overpriced tour or ride to a friend's shop instead. Check opening hours online before leaving and don't be deceived.
  • Rental scam. Rental companies may try to charge for damage you didn't cause. When renting anything (like a motorbike), take detailed photos of the item when you receive it.
  • Gem shop/tailor shop scam. Taxi drivers may suggest stopping at a "cousin’s" gem store or tailor shop, and wait outside while you shop. They receive commission for each purchase they bring in. The store owner will likely try to pressure you into buying things you don't want. Say no to this kind of offer or find another driver.
  • Taxi scam. Taxi drivers may try to set an extremely high rate for tourists. Always insist on using the meter and walk away if the driver refuses.
Avoid:
  • Drink tap water. Always drink bottled water, it’s cheap and you can buy it anywhere.
  • Hire a tour guide from the street. It's safer to book through an official travel agency.
  • Purchase or use of illegal drugs. Illegal drugs carry strict penalties in Thailand.
  • Overstay your visa. You will be fined and potentially arrested.
Do:
  • Carry a small handbag or backpack close to your body and out of the reach of thieves. Be careful where you carry cash and other valuables.
  • Use mosquito repellent at night to avoid getting bitten.
Travel Deeper

Bangkok Culture & History

The most iconic cultural symbol of Bangkok is the wat (temple). Many of the city's 300+ wats date back to the 18th century and showcase traditional Thai architecture and religious beliefs. Wats were traditionally used as hospitals, schools, libraries and religious centers, but today many lease part of their property for commercial use.

The end of WWII saw rapid growth in Bangkok resulting in planning challenges relating to transportation, drainage, pollution and water supply. Tourism flourished during and after the Vietnam war, when Bangkok became known for an underground nightlife and sex industry.

The city experienced an economic boom during the 1980s, forging itself as the cultural and commercial center of Thailand. Today it is a modern metropolis surrounded by small towns and rural agricultural areas.

Language:

The official language of Thailand is Central Thai native to the Bangkok area. English is taught in most urban schools so the majority of locals, especially the younger generation, can communicate well in English.

A large number of tourists and expats in Bangkok have led to a widespread use of English, ensuring it is spoken modestly troughout the city. Most employees at major tourist attractions, restaurants, and hotels are able to communicate well  in English.

Basic Phrases:

  • Hello / goodbye: Sa-wat dee (khrup/ka)
  • Thank you: Khop khun (khrup/ka)
  • Where?: Tiinai?
  • What?: Arai?
  • When?: Muarai?
  • Sorry / excuse me:  Khor-tort 
  • How much?: Gee baht
  • Can you make it cheaper? Lot noi dai mai? (useful for street markets)
  • Yes: Chai (khrup/ka)
  • No: Mai (khrup/ka)
  • Can you speak English?: Kun pood paasaa anggrit dai mai?
  • Where is the police station?: Sataanii dtamruat yoo tee nai?
  • Where is the hospital?: Rongpayaabaan yoo tee nai
  • Do you use the meter?: Chai meter mai (be sure taxi drivers use the meter in Bangkok)
  • Station: Sataanii
  • Bus stop: Bpaai rot mee
  • Bus: Rot mee
  • Skytrain: Rodfai faa
  • Subway: Rodfai dtaaidin
  • Boat: Rua

Events & Festivals In Bangkok

January

  • Bangkok International Film Festival. Seminars, conferences and exhibitions dedicated to film and accompanied by jazz concerts make a wholesome experience for independent movie fans.

January/February

  • Chinese New Year. Narrow streets of Yaowarat (Chinatown) come to life with teeming crowds, fireworks and dragon dancers in celebration of the year that is to come.

April

  • Songkran or Water Festival. Bangkok's streets turn into a 3-day water fight accompanied by music, dance and 24/7 drinking. Water washing is symbolic of washing away of sins and troubles and starting the new year with a clean slate. 

September/October

  • Tesagan Gin Je or Vegetarian Festival.  A 9-day Taoist celebration where participants abstain from eating meat, seafood and dairy products. Indulge in meatless dishes or watch ritualistic acts of self-mutilation by certain participants.
  • Waterzonic is Bangkok's biggest music festival, and it comes with an interesting twist - water splashing everywhere. It's basically an enormous water party with extra loud music.

November

  •  Loy Krathong Is the picturesque festival dedicated to goddess of water. People gather near lakes, rivers and canals under a full moon and release lotus-shaped rafts decorated with candles and flowers.
Last Bit

Myth Busting

  • Everyone in the city will try to scam you. Most locals are kind and welcoming, and will try to help you even if their spoken English skills are basic. In more tourist-centric locations, there may be scammers at work, but they do not represent the vast majority.
  • Bangkok is dangerous. The city is generally considered safe for travelers of all genders and races compared to other large cities across the globe. However, you should be cautious about the traffic, as it’s routinely chaotic.
  • The ice will kill you. The majority of ice in Thailand is produced commercially in hygienic conditions from clean water. This is used in bars and restaurants, so there’s no need to worry.
  • Bangkok is all about the sex industry. Despite its reputation as the sex capital of the world, there's much more to Bangkok - rich culture, history, delicious food, and many other forms of entertainment. Adult entertainment areas are confined to a few locations and very small compared to the rest of this sprawling metropolis.

After Bangkok, Go Further

It's very easy to travel from Bangkok to most other cities in Thailand via bus, train or plane.

Nearby countries Malaysia, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam can be reached by plane in 1-2 hours. 

Travel & lifestyle blog

Follow us:

Want more stuff like this?

We've got you hooked, hey?

Get the goodies delivered into your inbox weekly plus enjoy all the perks of being a Forever Break VIP member - customized itineraries, earn points and unlock badges.

Joining only takes a minute and it's free!

Let's do this! Nah, I am boring.
Suggestions:ThailandSingaporeGreece

Wait! Before you go...

There's more free goodies at Forever Break!

Simply register a free account to build itineraries, unlock badges, and earn points.
It only takes a minute. And it will instantly make you better looking.

You up for it?

No thanks, I am boring. Yes please!
Searching for llamas...