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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)

Sukhumvit

Top hotels in Bangkok

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Novotel Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport
Novotel Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport
4.5 out of 5
999 Suvarnabhumi Airport Hotel, Moo 1 Nongprue, Bang Phli, Samut Prakan
NZ$257
per night
10 Apr. - 11 Apr.

Situated near the airport, this luxury hotel is 11.5 mi (18.4 km) from Siam Park City and 12.1 mi (19.5 km) from Samitivej Srinakarin Hospital. Rajamangala Stadium ...

4.2/5Excellent! (4,633 reviews)

"Easy access from the airport is a bonus. Had a choice of walking to the hotel or catching a convenient shuttle. Staff were friendly and helpful in explaining their safeguards against spreading Covid-19."…"

Reviewed on 2 Apr. 2020

Novotel Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport
 iSanook Bangkok
iSanook Bangkok
3.5 out of 5
118, Soi Songphra, Siphraya Road, Kwang Maha Pruttaram, Khet Bangrak, Bangkok, Bangkok
Free CancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
NZ$52
per night
15 Apr. - 16 Apr.

Located in Bangkok City Centre, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of River City Shopping Complex, Si Phraya Pier and Patpong Night Market. Lumphini Park and Iconsiam ...

4.4/5Excellent! (2,994 reviews)

"All good as expected as the hospitality was commendable"…"

Reviewed on 29 Mar. 2020

iSanook Bangkok
Grande Centre Point Hotel Terminal 21
Grande Centre Point Hotel Terminal 21
5 out of 5
2, Sukhumvit Soi 19 (Wattana), Sukhumvit Rd., Klongtoey Nua, Bangkok, Bangkok

This family-friendly Bangkok hotel is located in the business district, within a 10-minute walk of Terminal 21 Shopping Mall, Embassy of Argentina and Embassy ...

4.3/5Excellent! (7,610 reviews)

"Really enjoyed my stay it was exceptional! The location was fantastic close to transport and literally on top of the shopping mall. We felt safe and I really liked the fact that there no bar located at the property."…"

Reviewed on 23 Mar. 2020

Grande Centre Point Hotel Terminal 21

Popular activities in Bangkok

Khaosan Road
Image for Khaosan Road

Khaosan Road

4/5(207 reviews)

With cheap hotels, diverse food, and cut-price clothing to bring in the back-packers, this street also offers fun, noise and eclectic cultural mix.

Grand Palace
Image for Grand Palace

Grand Palace

4/5(242 reviews)

A city-within-the-city, this palace is a fabulous concoction of temples, halls, pagodas and royal residences that took two centuries to build.

Lumphini Park
Image for Lumphini Park

Lumphini Park

4/5(122 reviews)

Young or old, to keep fit or kick your heels, if you want to breathe easy in Bangkok, you come to Lumphini Park.

Top activities in Bangkok

Bangkok Night Lights Tuk Tuk Tour
Image for Bangkok Night Lights Tuk Tuk Tour

Bangkok Night Lights Tuk Tuk Tour

96% of travellers recommend
NZ$110
Per adult
Floating Market & River Kwai with Speedboat and Lunch
Image for Floating Market & River Kwai with Speedboat and Lunch

Floating Market & River Kwai with Speedboat and Lunch

86% of travellers recommend
NZ$119
Per adult
Grand Palace, Emerald Buddha & Reclining Buddha Morning Visit
Image for Grand Palace, Emerald Buddha & Reclining Buddha Morning Visit

Grand Palace, Emerald Buddha & Reclining Buddha Morning Visit

80% of travellers recommend
NZ$83
Per adult
Shangri-La Hotel's Deluxe Buffet Dinner Cruise
Image for Shangri-La Hotel's Deluxe Buffet Dinner Cruise

Shangri-La Hotel's Deluxe Buffet Dinner Cruise

74% of travellers recommend
NZ$124
Per adult
Ayutthaya Ancient Capital with River Cruise, Lunch & Palace
Image for Ayutthaya Ancient Capital with River Cruise, Lunch & Palace

Ayutthaya Ancient Capital with River Cruise, Lunch & Palace

88% of travellers recommend
NZ$80
Per adult
Floating Market Tour with Long-Tail Speedboat Ride
Image for Floating Market Tour with Long-Tail Speedboat Ride

Floating Market Tour with Long-Tail Speedboat Ride

78% of travellers recommend
NZ$46
Per adult

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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