Looking for a vibrant, exciting location for your next city break vacation? It’s hard to beat Bangkok with all its breathtaking atmosphere and mix of ancient and modern. Bangkok is lively, chaotic, and completely individual – you won’t encounter a city like this anywhere in the world.
Bangkok is an increasingly popular location for a short city break, whether as part of a longer Thailand vacation or a quick break from normal life. Bangkok has much to offer the traveler, whether you are looking for luxury and decadence, or budget backpacker digs. In fact, Bangkok attracts the wealthy and the less-than-wealthy in equal measures. It is surely a city just waiting to be discovered – here’s how and why you need to do it.
Bright Bangkok/ Image via Tore Bustad/ Flickr
Why Visit Bangkok?
The capital of Thailand is one of the most enigmatic and appealing cities in Asia – and the world. It is a full-on experience that displays the ancient and the modern side by side. The billboards, flashing neon lights, epic skyscrapers and modern skytrains appeal to the futuristic side, while the back alleys with traditional shop houses and street food stalls, and the old Thai temples give you are glimpse into the Thailand of the past. Traditional and modern Thai culture are everywhere – and it is an unforgettable mix.
The balance in Bangkok is effectively struck between the clean and pure temples, sparkling public transport and luxury hotels, and the big and bold in the form of clubs, bars, and traditional Thai restaurants. There’s something for everyone in the Thai capital.
What to do in Bangkok
And of course there is plenty to do. Take a river boat trip down the mighty central river, shop until you drop in malls and boutiques, eat, drink, dance, and relax by a luxury hotel pool. It’s all available to enjoy.
Head to the alleys of Chinatown to get a taste and a smell of traditional Thai and Chinese culture, sampling some excellent Chinese dishes and some wonderful Thai street food. And a boat trip down the river is not to be missed, nor is a trip into the canals where you will catch a glimpse of how people used to live in the capital.
Bangkok food/ Image via Juan Antonio F. Segal/ Flickr
In the evening, you are spoiled for choice in terms of entertainment. Start the evening off with cocktails at a sky bar, one of Bangkok’s high-up places for watching the sun set over the sprawling metropolis. Stay for dinner or head to a traditional Thai eatery, or a smart Italian restaurant. Finish the evening with a fine wine, or head to a club to drink and dance the night away.
Where to Go In Bangkok
To get the view of the impressive, opulent Thai capital that showcases its elegance and sacredness, head to the Royal Palace and to Wat Pho and Wat Phra Kaew. You can also visit Wat Arun across the river. When visiting this side of the river you can also take in the impressive Jim Thompson House and do some shopping in the downtown area (although Bangkok does not really have a central main spot.)
If you are a budget traveler, the Banglamphu district offers you cut-price accommodation and there are luxury hotels, if your budget heads in the opposite direction, in the capital’s business district as well as clustered by the river.
When to Go
it is best to visit Bangkok during the cool season, although any time of the year has its appeal. The cool season is from November to February and when you visit at this time you enjoy the city before the high heat settles down over the metropolis and after the monsoons have come. The hottest months are undoubtedly April through June, and after this point the rains usually come to provide some respite. During the rainy season can be a good time to visit Bangkok as you avoid the crowds and between downpours the city is more refreshing and manageable.
If you come in April you get to experience the traditional New Year celebrations, Songkran, which turn the streets into a water fight with everyone soaking each other and generally having a fine time.
For more on Bangkok and Bangkok hotels, visit PhuketOn. The PhuketOn blog gives you all the information you need on Koh Samui, Phuket, Bangkok, Pattaya and Hua Hin, and more.