Fascinating, intoxicating and chaotic, Bangkok deserves at least 48 hours to experience its temples, palaces, markets, malls and street food.
Undoubtedly the city’s most famous landmark is the dazzling gold-spired Grand Palace complex, formerly the Thai royal family’s residence but now used for ceremonial events. Other notable temples include exquisite Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn) and Wat Pho, home to the gigantic Reclining Buddha.
The Chao Phraya River adds zest to the city landscape with its backdrop of temples and hotels. It’s a constant hive of activity with water taxis and longtail speedboats whizzing along, or heavily laden barges chugging sedately upstream. A network of criss-crossing canals (klongs) lead off the river and trickle past precariously perched houses, floating villages and markets.
On land, the skytrain and subway are your best way to get around, although no visit would be complete without a hair-raising tuk-tuk ride.
Whether you’re looking to snag a bargain or splurge on designer labels, shopping in Bangkok is a day and night activity not to be missed. Top spots include MBK Centre, CentralWorld, The Emporium, Siam Paragon, Chatuchak Market, Asiatique the Riverfront and Chinatown. In addition, tours to floating markets just outside the city are also recommended.
Another big draw is the food, with over 50,000 places to eat. From humble street stalls with their aromatic aromas to classy fine dining restaurants, there’s always tasty treats on the menu.Nightlife in Bangkok has evolved over recent years with the emphasis now firmly on swanky rooftop bars with panoramic views, chic nightclubs and lively jazz lounges as well as microbreweries and hip cocktail bars.
GMT +7 hours
Bangkok is approximately 11 hours 30 minutes (non-stop flights) from the UK.
Bangkok is hot year round thanks to its tropical monsoon climate with temperatures fairly consistent and usually in excess of 30ºC. It’s possible to experience rain at any time, although usually just a short, sharp downpour, but the driest months tend to be between November and March.
Enjoy the bustling district of Yaowarat (Chinatown). Stroll the main street towards Paklong Talad flower market, then stop along Khao San Road where there are restaurants, pubs and market stalls. Tour not available on Mondays.
A half day tour to see three of Bangkok's most notable temples: Wat Trimitr, the Temple of the Golden Buddha; Wat Pho, the Temple of the Reclining Buddha and Wat Benchamaebopit, the Marble Temple.
This half day tour begins with a drive through Samui Songkram Province to see the timeless lifestyle of people along the canals. Later, travel by boat through the scenic waterways to the floating market. On arrival, continue on foot taking in the bustle and sight of canoes laden with fresh produce and handicrafts.
A 90 minute tour to the stunning Grand Palace complex is a “must-see” landmark for all visitors to Bangkok. Tour the complex's temples and pagodas, including the magnificent Wat Phra Kaew - the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, and regarded as the most sacred temple in Thailand. As you stroll the complex, admire the golden domes, inspirational spires and exotic, richly carved murals.
On this fun half day tour, explore Chinatown on foot, stopping at the massive Sampeng Market. Ride by tuk tuk past Little India and visit Bangkok's biggest flower market. Then, board a boat for a ride on the busy Chao Phraya River to River City Pier.
This full day tour takes you to Ayutthaya, once a thriving capital but today only ruins can be seen. The ruins of the Palace and temples are quite spectacular with many still intact giving some idea of how glorious this capital was.
During this half day tour, learn all about Muay Thai (Thai boxing) which is Thailand’s national sport and a most unique martial art. A professional boxer at Galaxy Gym will take you through the basics as well as focus mitt training, before you also have weight training with a sport science trainer. After the training session, there’s the chance to relax with a Thai traditional massage at the Let’s Relax Spa.