3 Reasons We Love Bangkok
If you have a break coming up soon and you're wondering where to go, you should consider Thailand and particularly Bangkok. After all, it is one of the most visited cities in the world with 22.78 million visitors in 2019. It has been a popular destination for the past few years. So why tourists love going to Bangkok you say? Well, what’s not to love about this amazing city? There are many reasons why however we will mention the three top reasons why you should love Bangkok too.
One of the quintessential parts of the Bangkok experience is street food. Thai cuisine is among the most popular cuisines globally and where else to enjoy authentic Thai food than Bangkok. The street food scene is also quite popular and explored widely by most food vloggers for delicious meals and local experience.
Land of Smiles is a well-deserved title for the Thai people. Everywhere you go in the country, you'll always be greeted with a friendly smile. Their humble nature and friendliness are very evident from the taxi drivers to the street vendors, they always get out of their way to lend a helping hand despite the language barrier. This trait is really valuable, especially when visiting a new country.
Last but not least and the most important of all is the affordability of a Bangkok trip. Once you've paid for your ticket, the cost for your trip can be significantly lower and dollars are stretchable. It all depends on your ability to live like a local or go for a luxury experience. However, in comparison to the rest of Asia, luxury accommodation is more affordable in Bangkok than in other cosmopolitan cities.
Popular Districts in Bangkok
Bangkok is the capital and the most populous city in Thailand with around 50 districts. So it is better to know a bit of the city before visiting. While there are endless districts to explore we will narrow down to three most popular districts worth visiting.
Khao San District is one of the popular areas especially amongst backpackers on a limited budget. You won't find many five stars hotels here but there are plenty of budget guesthouses and mid-range hotels.
Another popular district is the Sukhumvit. While it lacks traditional tourist attraction but it makes up for it by offering up Bangkok’s finest hotels and shopping malls. It is also arguably the most popular destination for nightlife.
Riverside Bangkok boasts magnificent scenery in all of Bangkok. It’s considered the best area to visit for first-time visitors as the city can be overwhelming with the traffic and noise.
Commuting in the City
Inadequate road network and substantial car usage have led to crippling traffic congestion and since public transport has picked up the slack and made commuting easier. Nowadays the Skytrain (BTS) and underground (MRT) rail systems are used largely to commute between social hubs, malls and business centers. The train runs from 6 am to midnight daily and charges from 16 to 44 baht which is very affordable. Taxis are also another means to commute and are available in almost every corner with fixed fares starting at 35 bahts and roughly 5 baht per kilometre. For shorter trips, tuk-tuks might come in handy as they are smaller in size and can work their way through jams. However, it is best to agree on a fare and haggle before riding one.
10 Best Places to Visit in Bangkok
The spectacular Grand Palace is without a doubt one of the most popular landmarks in Bangkok. This magnificent palace isn't just a single building but has numerous buildings, halls, pavilions set around splendid lawns, gardens and courtyards. This 237-year-old beautifully designed palace is guaranteed to have you in awe of the architecture and intricate details that shows the creativity and craftsmanship of the Thai people. Take a step into the past and get to know the lifestyle of Thai royalty that lasted 150 years in the Grand Palace. It is important to note that the palace observes strict dress code that requires men to wear long pants and shirts with sleeves and women to wear modestly which means no see-through clothing and no bare shoulders. It is also advised to wear socks as it is prohibited to bare feet. The Grand Palace is open during the day from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm, and entrance fee for tourists is 500 baht which is approximately Rs. 1,188.
The next stop is located behind the Grand Palace, Wat Pho or commonly known as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha. This temple is famed for its giant reclining buddha that is 46 meters long and gold plated. Most visitors to the temple usually purchase a bag of coins at the entrance to drop coins at 108 bronze bowls lined by the walls for good luck. Even if your wishes don't come true, the money donated funds the renovation and preservation of the temple. Wat Pho is well known for traditional medicine and massage, and if you’ve never had a traditional Thai massage this is the place to experience it. It is important to note that strict dress code is also observed here as well as it is expected to remove one’s shoes when entering. Wat Pho is open during the day from 8 am to 6:30 pm and entrance fee for tourists is 100 baht per person which is approximately Rs. 238.
Almost directly opposite Wat Pho is our next destination, Wat Arun is also known as the Temple of Dawn. Even though it’s known as the Temple of Dawn, the best time to enjoy the magnificent view of the temple is at sunset. Wat Arun is considered by many as the most stunning temples in Bangkok. It is also one of the uniquely designed temples owing to the colourfully decorated spikes that stands majestically over the waters. The breathtaking temple’s name is derived from the Hindu god Arun that embodies the radiation of the rising sun. As in most temples, it’s important to note that temples observe strict dress code. You can go visit this magical temple from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm and the entrance fees are 100 baht per person which is approximately Rs. 238.
If you're an animal lover then you'll enjoy going to Safari World, it’s ideal for a family visit. Safari World is divided into two distinctive areas, Safari Park and Marine Park. Safari Park is an open-air zoo where you can drive through your private car or park bus across 8 km of open land. Animals are free to roam around while you're required to stay in the vehicle for safety precautions. The Marine Park is more of a traditional zoo with shows, food stalls and souvenirs shops. The opening hours are from 9 am to 5 pm and the entrance fees for adults are 790 bahts and 670 bahts for kids which is approximately Rs. 1,877 INR and Rs. 1,592 respectively.
Madame Tussauds is a world-renowned wax museum of famous people. It is definitely one of the must-visit places in Bangkok. With 10 exhibit rooms, it feels like you’re walking through a time warp visiting high profile people. Seeing the characters in real life size, snapping pictures and actually being standing next to the lifelike personality is definitely thrilling and worth the experience. You can also learn about the craftsmanship of the waxworks of Madame Tussauds. The opening hours are from 10 am to 9 pm and the entrance fees for adults are 850 bahts and 650 bahts for kids which is approximately Rs. 2,018 and Rs. 1,543 respectively.
Dream World is truly a dreamy experience where you can indulge your inner child fantasies without feeling embarrassed. The amusement park caters to both adults and children. There are many hair raising rides like the Viking Ship and Space Mountain, and thrilling rides like Sky Coaster and Super Splash. Dream World also has lots of scenic picture spots that is Instagram worthy! Not to mention the cut out famous characters like Superman and James Bond. Several shows take place throughout the day, like Animal Shows, Hollywood Action Shows as well as street parades. The amusement park has three food stations that cater to Indian cuisine, Thai cuisine and a global fast-food chain KFC. This destination is definitely one not to miss when visiting Thailand. They open every day of the week, from 10 am to 5 pm on weekdays and 10 am to 7 pm on weekends. Dream World offers three different packages starting from 1,100 baht to 1,300 baht per person which is approximately Rs. 2,606 to Rs. 3,080, this price applies to both children and adults.
Bangkok’s Chinatown is one of the largest Chinatowns in the world and arguably the best to visit. It is a food haven for food enthusiasts and shopping dreams for shopaholics and taking a day getting lost in the markets is truly memorable for those with a sense of adventure. With the mix of Thai and Chinese culture, this area is fascinating to just wander around and take in everyday life. We recommend visiting Bangkok’s Chinatown during major festivals like Chinese New Year to have a memorable time. This area doesn’t have entry fees and is open to the public and usually is bustling from 7 am to shortly after midnight.
Rose Garden gives you a glimpse into Thai culture and the village way of life. It is an ideal place to learn and get to know the beauty of the culture. The garden offers few zones to view and experience Thai farmer’s life, Thai herbal workshop and Thai crafts and delicacies. The Rose Garden also showcases several performances like Thai folk dancing, boxing and sword fighting. The place is so mesmerizing that the place seldom hosts traditional Thai weddings. If you are interested in exploring Thai traditions this place shouldn't be left out in your itinerary. They open from 8 am to 6 pm and entrance fees for adults are 750 baht and 600 baht for children which are approximate Rs. 1,776 INR and Rs. 1,421 respectively.
Floating Markets is a must-visit when you're in Bangkok, this charming experience is not one to miss. The colours, chaos and overall atmosphere are one of a kind, and purchasing snacks and drinks from a passing boat is exhilarating. There are numerous floating markets in Bangkok, we recommend visiting DamnoenSaduak, Amphawa, Taling Chan and Khlong Lat Mayom markets. The best time to visit the floating markets is on weekends and it is best to rise early most preferably at 6 am since it gets packed real quick as noon approaches.
Chatuchak Market is without a doubt the world’s largest and most diverse weekend market with 15,000 stalls, 11,505 vendors and over 200,000 visitors every weekend. They sell every item you can think of, you name it! Antiques, electronics, cosmetic products, pets, food, plants, clothing and home furniture items, the list is never-ending! This market has become a very popular shopping center not only for the locals but tourists as well. You can wander around and enjoy the street foods or go for a shopping spree at a bargaining local price. The Chatuchak Market is open from Wednesday through Sunday however, each day is designated to sell particular items. Wednesday and Thursday are reserved for selling plants and flowers from 6 am to 6 pm. Friday is reserved for selling anything wholesale and they are open from 6 am to 6 pm. Saturday and Sunday are reserved for selling everything else and they are open from 6 am to 6 pm too.
Where to Stay in Bangkok
Bangkok being a popular tourist destination, there are plenty of choices for accommodation. It can be daunting for tourists, having plenty of choices in terms of location and budget. So, seeing this concern we have categorized highly reviewed hotels based on budget to make the choice easier for you.
High End Hotels
Bangkok is well known for its affordable luxury hotels so if there is a time to splurge, it is now! If you have a taste for the finer things in life and want to be pampered in your stay at Bangkok, here are a few selections that may capture your awe. Please note that the prices of the rooms fluctuate and are mentioned here to serve as a price range guide.
Being frugal is not a bad thing after all everyone seeks to experience the culture and wander when visiting a city. It's wise not to splurge on hotels but rather put the expenses on the experiences, purchases and commute. To that end, we skimmed through the best-reviewed mid-ranged hotels for your perusal. Please note that the prices of the rooms fluctuate and are mentioned here to serve as a price range guide.
If you're on a tight budget, there is no need to worry. Bangkok has a wide range of accommodations for every budget and you don't even need to worry that lower budget mean compromised room situations. There are plenty of hotels that are budget-friendly and are clean, safe and in a conveniently located area. Please note that the prices of the rooms fluctuate and are mentioned here to serve as a price range guide.
A Few Tips for a Wonderful Bangkok Trip!
To have a memorable and wonderful holiday in Bangkok we thought to mention a few points for a smoother trip. While there were a few mentioned already nevertheless we made a checklist for you to note.
- Wear modestly when visiting temples and take off shoes when required.
- Bargain nicely, a smile can take you a long way.
- Use MRT and BTS for transportation as it saves time and money better than other commutes.
- Download the map of the city on your phone, Bangkok is a big city, not everyone is familiar with every landmark.
- Be aware of your surroundings when you're carrying valuables, if you are wearing a backpack it is better to wear it in front of you.
- It might be wise to hire a tour guide as they know more about the history of the places you're visiting.
Be Wary of Good Deals
If something seems too good to be true, chances are it is. If a taxi driver tells you a particular temple is closed but is more than happy to take you to another, chances are, this is a lie. If they tell you they cannot use a meter, question why. Oftentimes, foreigners and tourists are seen as gullible and taken advantage of because of this. The best way to avoid getting ripped off is to do your research. Know the entrance fees and opening times of some of the top tourist attractions you want to visit. Invest in a map.
Learn a handful of Thai words. These are all ways you can avoid getting a bad deal while travelling. That being said, the majority of Thai people are honest and helpful, and they want to ensure your trip goes as planned.