Things to do in Bangkok
Get Your Bearings in Bangkok
Hot Tips: Tuk tuk drivers and anyone who tells you that sights are "closed" or who want to give you a free ride; they are just out to scam you.
Hot Tips: River cruises sound romantic, but other than a couple, most are loud, disco barges, often with bad food.
Hot Tips: Don't miss Wat Phra Kaew and the Emerald Buddha, if you only have time for one temple, this is the grand daddy of them all.
Hot Tips: Book ahead for Christmas and New Year, the most crowded time here.
Hot Tips: Hotels not on the Skytrain line or with access to the river ferry system, as you will spend a lot of time in traffic
Hot Tips: Last-minute Internet booking can yield some great finds with all the hotel competition in Bangkok.
Hot Tips: Michelin-starred restaurants mostly require booking well in advance
Hot Tips: Don't be scared of street stalls or restaurants with Formica tables and metal stools; they often serve the best food in town!
Hot Tips: Som tam (papaya salad), grilled chicken, and sticky rice.
Hot Tips: Rooftop bars have great views but you pay for the view, not the drink taste
Hot Tips: The bars at Patpong and offers from touts for "no cover charge." The famed ping pong shows here can lead to some really bad scams
Hot Tips: Don't confuse Soi Nana in Chinatown, site of a happening artsy new bar scene, with Nana, the red light area on Sukhumvit
Hot Tips: Pirated goods are illegal in most countries and you can get in trouble with customs back home, so avoid the fake watches, clothes and other goods that are hawked at the night markets and elsewhere here.
Hot Tips: Most of the goods sold by vendors on Sukhumvit or Silom are not genuine
Hot Tips: Bargaining is de rigeur here, but don't expect to knock off more than 20% of the quoted price.
Hot Tips: Head to the malls on hot days, not only is there plenty of cold air-con, they often have festivals and shows taking place every weekend.
Hot Tips: Thai pillows, cushions, and silk products are all worth bringing home.
Things to do in Bangkok
Bangkok is known for...
From bottom to top, Bangkok is one of the best places to eat in the world. It has some of the tastiest and cleanest street food one will find anywhere on the planet. In fact, a large majority of Thais buy their meals from street vendors rather than cook, as the dishes are delicious and very inexpensive. Everyone has their favorite stall, just ask around. On the other end of the spectrum, fine dining in chic and luxurious surroundings also abound, in 5 star hotels, on rooftops, and in relaxing gardens. And in between, well, maybe the best of both worlds!
2. Wats (Temples):
Throughout time, the images of Bangkok most renowned are those of wats, or temples, whose slanting roofs and gables are gilded in gold and replete with mythical naga serpents. Famed temples like Wat Arun, also known as the Temple of Dawn, rise gracefully from the Chao Phraya River. The wats are not only tourist attractions, but living pilgrimage spots, and thousands of locals visit daily to make merit, burn joss sticks, and ask for luck in the coming year. The most famous temple is Wat Phra Kaew, home to the Emerald Buddha statue, but there are hundreds more to choose from, each with their own colors, history, and stories of interest.
Bangkok has always been infamous for its naughty nightlife, and the entertainment districts of Patpong and Nana are still going strong. However the City of Angels has truly diversified and gone very chic and modern in setting the trend for a night out. New wine bars and imported beer pubs are springing up weekly, the city now boasts champagne bars, as well as the greatest collection of rooftop drinking spots to be found in Asia. There is retro, rock and roll, jazz, blues and plenty of live music, and there are also huge discos and clubs with live DJ’s spinning world beats, and if this doesn’t appeal, plenty of local whiskey drinkers at cozy corner stalls.
Bangkok’s congestion and massive traffic jams are legendary, but visitors can escape most of them by making use of all the shiny new transport options. The BTS Skytrain is probably the most useful, running through most of the downtown business and entertainment districts along Silom, Siam, and Sukhumvit. There is now also the MRT Subway, which connects to the Skytrain in several points and covers other key areas of the city. And last but certainly not least is the new Airport Link, which runs from downtown to the international airport in an astonishing 15 minutes. The local version of the Link stops along Petchaburi Road, and is far faster than a taxi.
Bangkok sprawls, and from ground level can be overwhelming in the heat, traffic, and general chaos. However it is a fantastic city to be seen from above, with tremendous sunsets, rainstorms, and views of the various temples dotting the landscape, Chao Phraya River, and the sleek modern architecture that engulfs the central city. There are dozens of rooftop bars, restaurants, hotels, and other sky high spots to choose from, which all get plenty of cooling breezes and are a great spots to chill out, watch the sun go down, and watch the lightshow over the metropolis begin. Many of the high rise hotels have rooftop pools for sunbathing and swimming so even hot afternoons can be escaped.