BangkokThailand

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Visit Bangkok

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!(259 area reviews)

Street markets and sparkling malls, parks, nightlife districts and museums await at this bustling boulevard, which is one of Thailand’s longest roads.

Sukhumvit

Top hotels in Bangkok

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
 iSanook Bangkok
iSanook Bangkok
3.5 out of 5
118, Soi Songphra, Siphraya Road, Kwang Maha Pruttaram, Khet Bangrak, Bangkok, Bangkok
NZ$70
per night
Feb 7 - Feb 8

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 MBK ...

4.4/5Excellent! (2,898 reviews)

"This hotel Is amazing. Situated in a quiet area, with tons o public transportation. You can catch bus #1 to china town, grand palace, the pier, and shopping center. This hotel Is perfect for those looking to save money while Enjoying Bangkok. The breakfast buffet is amazing! We had tons of choices ..."…"

Reviewed on 18 Jan. 2020

iSanook Bangkok
Shangri-la Bangkok
Shangri-la Bangkok
5 out of 5
89 Soi Wat Suan Plu, New Road, Bangrak, Bangkok, Bangkok
Free CancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
NZ$305
per night
Feb 9 - Feb 10

Located in Bangkok City Centre, this luxury hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Bangkok Riverside and Iconsiam. King Power MahaNakhon and Patpong Night Market are ...

4.6/5Wonderful! (3,298 reviews)

"Beautiful hotel would definitely recommend and definitely stay there again"…"

Reviewed on 10 Jan. 2020

Shangri-la Bangkok
lebua at State Tower (The World's First Vertical Destination)
lebua at State Tower (The World's First Vertical Destination)
5 out of 5
State Tower 1055/111 Silom Road, Bangrak, Bangkok
NZ$228
per night
Feb 4 - Feb 5

This family-friendly Bangkok hotel is located on the riverfront, within 1 mi (2 km) of Sri Mariamman Temple and Iconsiam. Asiatique The Riverfront and Siam Paragon ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (8,116 reviews)

"Loved staying at this hotel. Staff was super friendly and helpful. Checking in was a breeze. Concierge was super helpful in having my luggage transferred to my next hotel. Though the other hotel did not allow Lebua to deliver our luggage (which I understand), they went out of their way to call the ..."…"

Reviewed on 16 Jan. 2020

lebua at State Tower (The World's First Vertical Destination)

Popular things to do in Bangkok

Khaosan Road
Image for Khaosan Road

Khaosan Road

4/5(188 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
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Grand Palace

4/5(222 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(110 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

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

NZ$45

Take an unforgettable boat tour on a peaceful canal that weaves through Thailand's picturesque countryside. Experience the lifestyle of locals who live and work on these interconnected waterways, and take in the daily bustle at Damnoen Saduak, popular floating market selling colorful handicrafts and fresh produce.

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

NZ$80

Discover the rich history, fascinating architecture, and iconic buildings of Ayutthaya, an ancient royal capital. Visit the former royal residence at Bang Pa-In Palace, marvel at the Wat Mahathat and Wat Na Phra Men temples, and cruise the waters of Chao Phraya River while enjoying a delicious lunch.

Siam Niramit Show
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Siam Niramit Show

NZ$75

Feast your senses on the sights, sounds, and tastes of Thailand. Savor a delectable Thai dinner and a renowned theatrical production of otherworldly proportions telling Thailand's legendary heritage.

Bridge on the River Kwai with Speedboat, Train Ride & Lunch
Image for Bridge on the River Kwai with Speedboat, Train Ride & Lunch

Bridge on the River Kwai with Speedboat, Train Ride & Lunch

NZ$115

Spend a day exploring historic sites throughout the Mueang region as you learn about WWII and POW labor camps. Travel by road, river, and railway as you visit a prisoner cemetery, examine exhibits at the JEATH Museum, and see the span made famous by Bridge on the River Kwai.

Tuk Tuk Hop – Central Bangkok Hop-On Hop-Off App
Image for Tuk Tuk Hop – Central Bangkok Hop-On Hop-Off App

Tuk Tuk Hop – Central Bangkok Hop-On Hop-Off App

NZ$17

Hop aboard a tuk tuk, an automatic rickshaw, and enjoy rides between some of Bangkok's top attractions. The elegantly simple Tuk Tuk Hop app allows you to book a tuk tuk at numerous locations across town, meaning that you don't have to worry about transportation between the top spots in the city.

Off the Beaten Path Thai Cooking Class
Image for Off the Beaten Path Thai Cooking Class

Off the Beaten Path Thai Cooking Class

NZ$68

Join us for a trip to the local market, exploring the ingredients used in Thai cooking most often. We'll finish our time in the market with street food snacks, and then head back to cook. The cooking class takes place in a small Thai home, where each guest will have their own cooking station.

Reviews of Bangkok

4.2

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
388
5 - Excellent 38.6839481555334%
4 - Good
484
4 - Good 48.25523429710867%
3 - Okay
112
3 - Okay 11.166500498504487%
2 - Disappointing
16
2 - Disappointing 1.5952143569292123%
1 - Terrible
3
1 - Terrible 0.29910269192422734%

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Jan 16, 2020

I clicked didn't go there as I have been before, and this was a rest a crook knee trip

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Jan 9, 2020

First time to bkk, its a clean city and have enjoyed being here.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Jan 8, 2020

Bangkok is a concrete jungle. Lots to do but very spaced out with shopping and attractions l.

4/5 - Good

Susie

Jan 7, 2020

Always on.

3/5 - Okay

Verified traveler

Jan 6, 2020

A bit overwhelming but great fun.

3/5 - Okay

Verified traveler

Jan 5, 2020

Good city, language is big problem. transportation available, use grab application to book private car etc. food easily available, ate Coconut a lot in very cheap price. Grande place, What pho, What Arun, Asiatuie market, Safari World, Marine world g

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