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BangkokThailand

Golden temples, buzzing streets, languid rivers and spiritual retreats – Bangkok is a city alive with the meaning of 'contradiction'.

At first glance, Bangkok can overwhelm. It's a city spilling with the bright colours of tacky tuk-tuks, saffron-robed monks and street vendors’ wares. The noise is exuberant, the smells are fragrant and the chaos infectious. It can seem a long way from the spiritual peace that the Thais like to claim as their own.

Delve a little deeper and Thailand's capital city will show you her other, calmer side; a weeping fig in a garden, casting shade from the sun; a monk sitting cross-legged in contemplation; the curl of incense from a temple door. Bangkok has been immersed in Buddhist tradition for centuries, and the trappings of modern society can't distract you from its quest for inner peace, for long.

But this is also a city full to bursting with showy sights that insist on being seen. None more so than the Grand Palace, home to the shimmering golden spires of the Wat Phra Kaew - Temple of the Emerald Buddha. It's also here, in Rattanakosin Island, the historic centre of Bangkok, that the similarly magnificent temples of Wat Arun and Wat Pho are to be found. For the 10 million inhabitants of the 'City of Angels' (as the local name 'Krung Thep' means), the Grand Palace is more than a tourist attraction – it is also the spiritual heart of the city.

The parks of Bangkok are also coloured by the quest for 'higher planes'. See the green splendour of the Lumphini Park, and you'll be very tempted to enrol in a tai chi or yoga class under the sun, or to jog around its pretty lakes. But once you have ridden those spiritual highs, you may want to descend to the material world – and in Bangkok that comes in the form of the cosmopolitan buzz of Khao San Road. A backpacker's paradise, it is home to a noisy profusion of stalls, bars and (allegedly) fabulous merchandise at exceptionally low prices.

Travelling around Bangkok is best done – for fun – in the ever-present tuk-tuks. But for efficiency and comfort, the Thais have excelled themselves in terms of their public transport systems. The Skytrain whisks you over and above Bangkok's swarming crowds, while the MRT underground system will speed you beneath its streets. And don't forget to explore the Chao Phraya river. Boats can quickly take you to many of the city's best locations. And one of the most interesting of those is the quiet river island of Ko Kret. This is home to the Mon people, an ancient culture distinct from the Thai culture. One that has somehow managed to evade Bangkok's endless tussle between bustle and calm.

Bangkok Travel Guide Video

Where to stay in Bangkok

Sukhumvit

Sukhumvit

4/5Very Good!(287 area reviews)

Known for its fantastic nightlife and popular shops, there's plenty to explore in Sukhumvit. Check out top attractions like Emporium and Soi Cowboy, and jump on the metro at Thong Lo BTS Station or Ekkamai BTS Station to see more of the city.

Sukhumvit

Top hotels in Bangkok

Metropole Residence Sukhumvit 39
Metropole Residence Sukhumvit 39
4 out of 5
5/9 Soi Phromsri, Sukhumvit Road, Klongton-Nua, Wattana, Bangkok, Bangkok
The price is NZ$71 per night from 29 Oct. to 30 Oct.

Located in Sukhumvit, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of EmQuartier and Emporium. Soi Cowboy and Terminal 21 Shopping Mall are also within 2 miles (3 km). ...

4.2/5Very Good! (133 reviews)
Central business location

"Very well located in the residential area behind Emporium dept store. Convenient dining and close proximity to BTS and Airport train. Walkable neighborhood."…"

Reviewed on 9 Mar. 2020

Metropole Residence Sukhumvit 39
Galleria 10 Sukhumvit Bangkok by Compass Hospitality
Galleria 10 Sukhumvit Bangkok by Compass Hospitality
4 out of 5
21 Sukhumvit 10 Sukhumvit Road, Klongtoey, Bangkok, Bangkok
The price is NZ$102 per night from 30 Oct. to 31 Oct.

Located in Sukhumvit, this boutique hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Terminal 21 Shopping Mall, Benjakiti Park and Emporium. Benchasiri Park and Erawan Shrine ...

4/5Very Good! (999 reviews)

"lovely hotel with nice staff. the location is amazing. gladly stayed longer than expected, will definitely be returning"…"

Reviewed on 18 Jun. 2020

Galleria 10 Sukhumvit Bangkok by Compass Hospitality
Citrus Suites Sukhumvit 6 by Compass Hospitality
Citrus Suites Sukhumvit 6 by Compass Hospitality
4 out of 5
25/1Sukhumvit Soi 6, Bangkok, Bangkok

Located in Sukhumvit, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Nana Square, Terminal 21 Shopping Mall and Central Embassy. Embassy of the United Kingdom and ...

4.2/5Excellent! (522 reviews)

"What a great property. The facility is new and very well maintained. Stayed in one of their premier suites for four days and found it spacious, comfortable. The stay was during Bangkok's Norovirus shut down, so i had a lot of time on my hands and found the staff fantastic, very helpful."…"

Reviewed on 23 Mar. 2020

Citrus Suites Sukhumvit 6 by Compass Hospitality
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Holiday Rentals in Bangkok

The Residence on Thonglor by UHG
The Residence on Thonglor by UHG
4 out of 5
73 Sukhumvit Soi 55, Sukhumvit Road Klongtoey, Wattana, Bangkok
The price is NZ$35 per night from 3 Nov. to 4 Nov.

Located in Sukhumvit, this aparthotel is within 2 miles (3 km) of Bangkok Hospital, Emporium and EmQuartier. Soi Cowboy and Terminal 21 Shopping Mall are also ...

4.2/5Excellent! (760 reviews)

"Body lotion would have been a great amenity to have in the room"…"

Reviewed on 13 Oct. 2020

The Residence on Thonglor by UHG
Arcadia Suites Ploenchit Sukhumvit by Compass Hospitality
Arcadia Suites Ploenchit Sukhumvit by Compass Hospitality
4 out of 5
15 Soi Nai Lert, Wireless Road, Lumpini, Pathumwan, Bangkok, Bangkok
The price is NZ$72 per night from 15 Nov. to 16 Nov.

This family-friendly Bangkok aparthotel is located in the business district, within a 15-minute walk of Central Embassy, Nana Square and Central Chidlom Department ...

4.2/5Very Good! (756 reviews)

"The service is amazing . The staff was helpful and friendly. Have the most enjoyable sleep"…"

Reviewed on 3 Dec. 2019

Arcadia Suites Ploenchit Sukhumvit by Compass Hospitality
Siri Sathorn Bangkok by UHG
Siri Sathorn Bangkok by UHG
4 out of 5
27 Soi Saladaeng 1, Silom Road, Bangrak, Bangkok, Bangkok
The price is NZ$31 per night from 2 Nov. to 3 Nov.

Located in the centre of Bangkok, this family-friendly aparthotel is within a 10-minute walk of Silom Complex Shopping Mall, BNH Hospital and Embassy of Germany. ...

4.4/5Excellent! (826 reviews)

"Good value for money hotel, good location, nice hotel although a bit aged now."…"

Reviewed on 9 Aug. 2020

Siri Sathorn Bangkok by UHG
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Bangkok

Top activities in Bangkok

Reviews of Bangkok

4.2

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
412
5 - Excellent 38.254410399257196%
4 - Good
523
4 - Good 48.56081708449396%
3 - Okay
120
3 - Okay 11.142061281337048%
2 - Disappointing
18
2 - Disappointing 1.6713091922005572%
1 - Terrible
4
1 - Terrible 0.3714020427112349%

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

23 Mar. 2020

Really enjoyed our stay in Bangkok, I would definitely return to the Grande Centre Point Hotel.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

14 Mar. 2020

Love this city

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

14 Mar. 2020

Bangkok is a great vibe great restaurants and shopping enjoyed my short stay.

4/5 - Good

Babs

11 Mar. 2020

We walked around Wattana area. If you wander out of the shop area into the area where the people live, beware of the dogs. they are agressive.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

29 Feb. 2020

Not so busy this time and i feel sorry for the thousands of sellers standing idle in there stalls or shops everyday of the week. My country's dollar is poor. Many things aren't so cheap anymore. Look around and get away the tourist locations $

3/5 - Okay

Verified traveller

22 Feb. 2020

Its a city in asia when i was younger it was much better now i only go if i have to.

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