The City of Angels (a translation of its Thai name “Krung Thep”) is a city of contrasts, a sprawling metropolis straddling the meandering Chao Phraya River as it slithers seawards. Founded in 1782 by King Rama I, the past two centuries have seen Bangkok develop into a cosmopolitan metropolis where contemporary living and entertaining lives side by side with traditional constructions and practices.
Glittering skyscrapers rub shoulders with glitzy mega-malls, while luxury hotels jostle for a door-to-door connection with the sleek Skytrain that transports commuters high above the city’s urban chaos. But amid this material world lies a Zen-like core steeped in tradition and custom, where golden ornate temples and shrines jostle for space with colonial mansions and lush green gardens.
Bangkok is probably one the most tourist-friendly cities in the world. It’s also the most populated city in the country, with more than 10 million inhabitants, and it receives over 20 million tourists per year. Bangkok is also the gateway to the rest of Thailand.
Bangkok is the preferred wedding destinations in Thailand for Indian couples due to its exceptional connectivity with cities in India; its hotels that cater to all budgets; its internationally-acclaimed foodie scene; and its wellness culture and luxury spa services.
One thing you can be sure of is that you will never run out of ideas for things to do in this city. From sightseeing and shopping, to fine dining and exciting nightlife, here are some options.
Cruise the Chao Phraya River
Take a cooking class at the Blue Elephant
Take a boxing class at RSM Rajadamnern Singha Muay Thai Academy
Dive with the sharks at Sea Life Bangkok
Take in a cultural performance at Siam Niramit
Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha),
Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha)
Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn),
Jim Thompson House
Flower Market at Paklong Talad
Offering riverside and rooftop dining, night markets, upscale food courts, and World’s 50 Best and Michelin star restaurants serving up dishes from around the world, Bangkok is not only a preferred travel hub in the region, but also a foodie destination par excellence.
Krua Apsorn Samsen
Supanniga Eating Room
Issaya Siamese Club
From fancy rooftop bars featuring acclaimed mixologists to speakeasies offering creative signature cocktails, and from live concerts to cabaret shows, The City of Angels has something for everyone.
- Rooftop bars: Attitude, Vertigo, Octave, Park Society, Three Sixty, CRU Rooftop Champagne Bar, Red Sky, Above Eleven
- Speakeasies: Q&A Bar, Whisgars, J. Boroski, The Locker Room, Rabbit Hole, Oskar Bistro, Havana Social Bangkok
- Cabaret shows: Calypso, Bangkok Mambo
- Clubs: The Club at Koi, Levels, Mixx, Sing Sing Theatre
- Live music: Hard Rock Café, Maggie Choo’s, Apoteka
With central markets – where locals get groceries and home appliances, and tourists clothes – flea markets, street markets, night markets, floating markets, village workshops, wholesale outlets, and luxury shopping malls dotted around the city, Bangkok is definitely an urban shopping paradise.
Ideal for Bargain Lovers
Chatuchak (JJ) Weekend Market
Platinum Shopping Mall
Mah Boon Khrong Centre (MBK)
Shop from Young Thai Designers and Local Brands
Relax and Rejuvenate
Detox your mind, body and soul at world-class spas and health centres. Or, pamper yourself at one of the many leading hair salons and manicure parlours in and around the department stores
- Make Bangkok the first and last stop of your trip to Thailand: when you arrive you’ll be able to enjoy all the entertainment possibilities the city offer and, before you leave, you’ll be able to fill up your suitcases with great shopping deals and souvenirs.
- Rather than getting a taxi ride to the five-star hotels by the Chao Phraya, go to Saphan Taksin BTS station and head to the pier, from where all these hotels provide a complimentary shuttle boat service for a five-star experience of the river.
- To commute within central Bangkok, use the BTS or MRT to avoid traffic jams
Bangkok is a hub for travel in Southeast Asia and the rest of Asia. Suvarnabhumi (BKK) and Don Mueang (DMK) airports receive millions of passengers from all around the world every year, providing easy transfers by train, bus, taxi, and limousine service to other destinations within the country. BKK is also connected to the city through the Airport Rail Link (ARL).
MRT (Metropolitan Rapid Transit) and BTS (Bangkok Mass Transit System)
Taxis starts at THB 35 and you can hail a taxi from any corner in Bangkok. GrabTaxi is also available.
For tuk-tuks, you should always negotiate the price before departing to your destination.
For comprehensive information on bus, MRT, BTS, and boats visit www.transitbangkok.com