Bangkok Tourism and Travel Guide

Bangkok (English pronunciation: /ˈbæŋkɒk/) is the capital and most populous city of Thailand. It is known in Thai as Krung Thep Maha Nakhon (กรุงเทพมหานคร, pronounced [krūŋ tʰêːp mahǎː nákʰɔ̄ːn]) or simply Krung Thep . The city occupies 1,568.7 square kilometres (605.7 sq mi) in the Chao Phraya River delta in Central Thailand, and has a population of over 8 million, or 12.6 percent of the country's population. Over 14 million people (22.2 percent) live within the surrounding Bangkok Metropolitan Region, making Bangkok an extreme primate city, dwarfing Thailand's other urban centres in terms of importance.Bangkok traces its roots to a small trading post during the Ayutthaya Kingdom in the 15th century, which eventually grew in size and became the site of two capital cities: Thonburi in 1768 and Rattanakosin in 1782. Bangkok was at the heart of Siam's (as Thailand used to be known) modernization during the later 19th century, as the country faced pressures from the West. The city was the centre of Thailand's political struggles throughout the 20th century, as the country abolished absolute monarchy, adopted constitutional rule and underwent numerous coups and uprisings. The city grew rapidly during the 1960s through the 1980s and now exerts a significant impact among Thailand's politics, economy, education, media and modern society.The Asian investment boom in the 1980s and 1990s led many multinational corporations to locate their regional headquarters in Bangkok. The city is now a major regional force in finance and business. It is an international hub for transport and health care, and is emerging as a regional centre for the arts, fashion and entertainment. The city is known for its vibrant street life and cultural landmarks, as well as its notorious red-light districts. The historic Grand Palace and Buddhist temples including Wat Arun and Wat Pho stand in contrast with other tourist attractions such as the nightlife scenes of Khaosan Road and Patpong. Bangkok is among the world's top tourist destinations. It is named the most visited city in MasterCard's Global Destination Cities Index, and was named 'World's Best City' for four consecutive years by Travel + Leisure magazine.Bangkok's rapid growth amidst little urban planning and regulation has resulted in a haphazard cityscape and inadequate infrastructure systems. Limited roads, despite an extensive expressway network, together with substantial private car usage, have resulted in chronic and crippling traffic congestion. This in turn caused severe air pollution in the 1990s. The city has since turned to public transport in an attempt to solve this major problem. Four rapid transit lines are now in operation, with more systems under construction or planned by the national government and the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration.
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Best Time to Visit Bangkok

Bangkok tourism is good for a vacation most months of the year. Being a tropical location, the weather is generally warm. The coolest months are November to February, which is considered to be the best time for Bangkok tourism. The temperature during these months ranges between 20 and 31 degrees Celsius, ideal to hit the beaches. You are likely to encounter rainfall between July and October. As the advent of monsoon makes the weather unpredictable, the months of July and August constitute the off season for Bangkok tourism. On the flip side, you can finish your trip without spending much if you explore Bangkok tourism during this period. As March to June are the hottest months, with the temperature ranging between 25 and 35 degrees Celsius, very few travellers plan a Bangkok tourism trip. If you can handle the hot weather and want to escape the crowd, summer might be a good time to enjoy what Bangkok tourism has to offer.

Visa Information For Bangkok Tourism

Bangkok tourism has had a boom in recent years, and it seems like the city intends to keep its tourism revenue high. If you have an Indian passport, not only do you get a visa on arrival, but you also do not have to pay a fee. Bangkok tourism has waived off the visa fee for 21 countries and India is one of them. The duration for the permitted stay is only 15 days. Aside from the Bangkok airports, Suvarnabhumi International Airport and the Don Muang Airport, you can avail a visa on arrival at Phuket International Airport, Samui Airport, Chiangmai International Airport and Hatyai International Airport.


In case you are planning a trip longer than permitted by a visa on arrival, the alternative is to apply for a regular visa. You can send your application to the Royal Thai Consulate in New Delhi, Chennai or Kolkata. For a visa extension, tourists can apply to the immigration office for a fee of about Rs.4500. If you overstay your visa, the penalty is a fine of about Rs.1200 per day, with a Rs.47,000 limit.

Top Bangkok Tourist Attractions

Bangkok tourism represents a mix of Asian cultures that attracts travellers from all over the world. The striking contrasts between the old and the new and the familiar and the unknown blend effortlessly to present a unique experience that sets apart Bangkok tourism from all others. There are a plethora of attractions that can be added to this Bangkok travel guide, but the following are some of the best places to visit for you to add in your Bangkok tourism itinerary.


The Grand Palace

The royals’ abode, the Grand Palace, is one of the high-ranking spots under Bangkok tourism. Still the ceremonial residence of the sovereign, the palace continues to be used to host official functions. When you enter the complex, you will realise that this tourist attraction consists of a number of courtyards, lawns and structures. It is not only popular among those with an affinity for historical locations, but it is also a revered place for people of faith as inside the premises is one of the most sacred Buddhist temples – the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. The precious dark green statue was installed in 1782 to denote the advent of the Chakri Epoch. Besides that, a museum displaying how the country has changed since the 18th century is also present here. The architecture of the palace also narrates its story – while being distinctly Thai, it also incorporates western influences. 


Wat Pho

Among the oldest edifices that Bangkok tourism boasts, Wat Pho is one of the most renowned temples in Thailand. It was constructed even before Bangkok became the capital of the country. At a short walking distance from the Grand Palace, the temple is a famous tourist spot, mainly known for the statue of the Reclining Buddha that is so large, you cannot see it all at once. You will also find a comprehensive selection of Buddha’s images. Another reason as to why this temple is well known is because it is believed to be the place where the Thai massage originated. It is still taught here along with lessons on Thai medicine. 


Wat Arun

Wat Arun is a place of worship that also doubles up as a war memorial. Built by the surviving warriors after the devastating battles between what once was known as Siam and Burma, this temple was intended to symbolise dawn for a hopeful resurgence of the capital at the time. This temple was finished in the early 19th century. Upon closer inspection, you will observe the intricate patterns made up of Chinese porcelain that makes the temple so visually appealing. Among the most attractive things to see in the temple are the murals portraying the life of Prince Siddhartha. Other than that, it is known for its vertiginous stairs. However, after climbing them, you are blessed with a mesmerizing view of the Chao Phraya River, best enjoyed at sunset. 



If you want to experience the best of Bangkok tourism experience in one area, head to Chinatown. A predominantly Chinese centre of cultural and commercial activities, the place comes alive at night. Streets bright with neon lights, the air infused with the smell of a motley of cuisines and stalls full of eye-catching souvenirs – every moment in Chinatown will leave an indelible memory in your mind (unless you find yourself in a situation like the protagonists did in ‘The Hangover 2’). The eclectic variety of food here is unmatched and the markets are some of the most affordable in the world. Although it is situated in a fast-paced city, Chinatown retains its antique allure. The kaleidoscope of colours bursting through every nook and cranny of this place make Chinatown worth adding to your Bangkok tourism itinerary. 


Terminal 21

Looking for a strikingly different shopping experience in Bangkok tourism? Terminal 21 is your best bet! Imitating an airport, the shopping mall aims to bring you shopping experiences from all over the world. – in a few steps, you can go from Tokyo to Paris. Across six floors, with over 600 stores and 50 restaurants, Bangkok tourism ends up giving you a taste of several cities under a single roof. The display boards here resemble the announcement boards at airports. Even the information desks have attendants dressed up as air hostesses. Opened up for Bangkok tourism in 2011, the building consists of the longest elevator in the city. There may be nothing unfamiliar about shopping at high-end brands or dining at a food court, but this mall itself is based on a refreshing concept that demands a visit while you explore Bangkok tourism. 


Jim Thompson’s House

This house, which currently operates as a museum, belongs to an American businessman whose memory has become immortal in Thailand. The several feathers in his cap make him an integral historical figure, but he is best known in Thailand for helping revive the silk industry. During his stay in Bangkok, he constructed a mansion that is an architectural marvel and a sight to behold. Within his property, he put together six houses, built in authentic Thai style. Situated amidst lush gardens, a trip to his property is unmissable. After the construction was complete, he put his splendid collection of artworks that he picked up over his years across the world, especially Southeast Asia. The permanent exhibitions here consist of fascinating items, some even dating back to the 13th century, such as the dining table of King Rama V, Ming porcelain from China, glass from Belgium and carvings from Cambodia. 


Sea Life Bangkok Ocean World

This place is ideal for those intrigued by aquatic life. Beneath the Siam Paragon Mall lies this underground aquarium, which is the largest in Southeast Asia. The aquarium houses exotic marine species from different corners of the world, such as octopuses, penguins, sharks and a wide array of fish. The inhabitants are segmented into themed sections such as Tropical Ocean, Rocky Shore, Seahorse Kingdom, Coral Reef and Shark Walk. This is where you can make another distinctive Bangkok tourism memory too! At the Aquatic Quarantine as well as Nursery Centre here, you can have a live ocean experience. Visitors also attend the awareness events organised by Sea Life Bangkok in large numbers, such as Turtle Fest and Shark Week.


Damnoen Saduak Floating Market

A major attraction for Bangkok tourism, when you arrive here, you will be amazed by farmers and traders, dressed up in their local attire, selling fresh vegetables, fruits and fully prepared meals on boats floating on narrow canals. You can closely take a look at the produce yourself and buy some too if you wish by interacting with the sellers from your own boat. This is a great way to get to know the locals personally and the vibrant place is also adored by photographers. This is not the only floating market in the world but it is probably the most popular of them all. Every year, throngs of tourists – both domestic and international – pay a visit to this market which was made open to the public in 1971, but has been in existence since the late 19th century.

Activities and Things To Do In Bangkok

A city of interesting contradictions and vibrant chaos, Bangkok tourism seamlessly blends the old with the new. The glaring contrast of ancient temples and swanky malls, of old markets and glittering night clubs, and the familiarity of Thai cuisine that effortlessly blends with world cuisines makes Bangkok everything that travellers dream of and more. For a memorable experience, prepare your things to do in Bangkok itinerary and then just go with the flow. All that’s worthy of your list of things to do in Bangkok shall come to you without you having to make an effort. We call it, traveller’s luck.


Embark on a heritage tour

The best way to learn about the city’s past is not by reading a Bangkok travel guide but by actually paying a visit to places of historical eminence. Thailand’s capital is dotted with various temples, structures and museums, much to the delight of history buffs. It is recommended to take a whole day to tick off the historical sites offered by Bangkok tourism. The most well known of them have been mentioned above. If time permits, driving about 80 kilometre north of Bangkok will bring you to the historical city of Ayutthaya, the former capital of Thailand. 


Take a ferry ride on the Chao Phraya River

The Chao Phraya River is the most important river in the country, owing to the abundance of fish one can find there along with how it makes the surrounding plains extremely fertile. It is no wonder why the current and former capitals of the country are settled on the banks of this river. While many locals take the ferry to cross the river as part of their daily routine to get around the city, it has become a popular activity under Bangkok tourism as well. You can board the regular ferry which functions throughout the day or book a cruise for a luxurious experience. From the lake, you get a spectacular view of some of the popular temples and monuments too, such as the Grand Palace, Wat Pho and Wat Arun.


Shop at the street markets

Among Bangkok tourism’s alluring offerings are its street markets. In the busy streets of Bangkok, it will seem as though you are thrust into an authentic life of a localite. And there are many such markets in the city where you will find amusing knock-offs as well as genuine items, all at an affordable price. Some of the most notable markets under Bangkok tourism are Chatuchak Weekend Market, Patpong Night Market, Chinatown, Srinakarin Train Market, Ratchada Train Market, Neon Night Market, Sampeng Market, Artbox Night Market, Pak Khlong Talat Flower Market, Klongsan Market, Klong Toey Fresh Market, Bangkok Farmers Market, Pratunam Market and Sukhumvit. 


Enjoy a Thai massage

Thai massages are not just a speciality of Bangkok tourism but are famous worldwide. This is one of the top things you can try when you are in the city. Influenced by Ayurveda, this form of massage was developed over 2,000 years ago. It is believed that the massage helps in releasing stagnant energy trapped in one’s body that can be the cause of diseases and stress. The focus is on muscular flexibility and regulating circulation through pressure points. A massage therapist will use his or her hands, elbows, feet, knees and forearms for this. You can enjoy a Thai massage at resorts as well as standalone parlours. 


Experience the nightlife

The nightlife in Bangkok tourism is one of the things that makes the city such a popular tourist destination. As the sun sets, an electrifying energy takes over the capital. Neon lights, funky music and a devil-may-care vibe make the party scene here one of the best in the world. Some areas, in particular, reflect this party attitude perfectly and are always frequented by new travellers exploring Bangkok tourism. For example, Khao San Road, Sukhumvit, Silom, Royal City Avenue and Asiatique Riverfront are some of the most visited places in Bangkok tourism.

Where To Stay In Bangkok

The thriving Bangkok tourism has ensured that there is no dearth of accommodation in the city. Whether you are a budget traveller or are on a full-fledged luxury trip, you do not need to put in much effort to find myriad hostels, hotels and resorts. However, make sure you are well researched about the several areas where you can put up and choose the one that is most suitable to your preferences.The areas in and around the following locations are highly praised by travellers on a Bangkok tourism journey for having the best hotels in Bangkok. 

  • Khao San/Banglamphu
  • Bangkok Riverside
  • Sukhumvit
  • Silom
  • Siam
  • Chinatown
  • Pratunam
  • The International Airport Suvarnabhumi


Within these areas, it is possible to find accommodation options ranging from cheap hotels in Bangkok to top-end places. Try to do some research about the place you decide to stay at to ensure the quality of the accommodation. Some of the top Bangkok hotels are listed below.


Luxury hotels under Bangkok tourism

  • Riva Surya 
  • Okura Prestige 
  • SO Sofitel 
  • Siam Kempinski Hotel 
  • Shanghai Mansion
  • Amari Watergate Hotel


Mid-range hotels under Bangkok tourism

  • Novotel Bangkok Platinum Pratunam 
  • The Unforgotten B&B
  • Siam@Siam Design Hotel
  • Baan K Managed by Bliston Hotel
  • Hotel Sib Kao
  • AVANI Riverside Hotel


Budget hotels under Bangkok tourism

  • Vera Nidhra
  • Thanabhumi
  • Bedstation Hostel
  • Matchbox Hostel
  • Chao Hostel
  • Norn Yaowarat Hotel

Cuisine And Best Places To Eat In Bangkok

Lightly prepared dishes loaded with striking flavours describe the Thai cuisine. It is among the most favoured cuisines in the world – in a survey conducted by CNN to determine the world’s best 50 foods, Thai dishes were featured more than from any other cuisine. Thai cuisine can be further ramified into several sub-cuisines based on region, one of which corresponds to Bangkok. While the food reflects some royal characteristics, the cuisine over time has also incorporated foreign influences, notably Chinese and Portuguese. Even the presentation of the food seems to have altered owing to external influences. Some of the best dishes you can savour while making your way through Bangkok tourism are khao phat, pad Thai, massaman curry, som tum, tom kha kai, tom yam goong, som tam, Thai fried rice, green curry and mu nam tok.  


An interesting aspect to trying the cuisine offered by Bangkok tourism is that you can have delectable meals in the most lavish restaurants or fill up on the equally palatable street food. Khao San Road and Chinatown are the most distinguished areas where you can find both. We have included some of the high-rated places to eat in this Bangkok travel guide. Check out the following eateries in Bangkok.

  • The Sixth
  • Charoen Saeng Silom
  • Boonsap Thai Desserts
  • Krua Apsorn
  • Thip Samai


As Bangkok tourism has observed an increase in the influx of Indian tourists, it is unsurprising that many Indian restaurants have cropped up in the city too. If you are feeling homesick, you can indulge in some familiar Indian food at restaurants such as Saravana Bhavan, Taste of India and Eros Restaurant.


This Bangkok travel guide only mentions a few of the popular dishes and restaurants. When you travel across the city, you will come across several hidden gems on your own.

How To Travel In Bangkok

It may seem overwhelming to make your way through Bangkok tourism, but this Bangkok travel guide intends to educate you about the several ways you can get around the city. Taking a taxi is one of the easiest and obvious choices. You can find one any time of the day or night. Most taxis have a metre and it is recommended to not take one where the driver refuses to switch it on. Trust your instincts and do not get into a taxi if the driver makes you feel iffy. Bangkok tourism allows people to book cabs via mobile apps such as Grab, AllThaiTaxi and Line Man. Other than taxis, you can choose to travel in tuk-tuks, which are the same as auto rickshaws in India. As these are not metred, make sure to be aware of the fair price. It can be a cheap way to travel within the city if you can bargain well. Keep in mind to negotiate the fare with the driver before the ride begins. Another alternative is to ride pillion on a motorbike taxi. You can spot them through the distinct orange vests that the drivers wear. By taking these, it will be easy for you to escape the traffic but they can be a bit risky. Most people prefer travelling via the BTS Skytrain. Although during rush hours, it can get extremely congested, its air-conditioned coaches and speed make it a top choice among travellers. Currently, the Skytrain only has two lines, but they connect a lot of the major stops within Bangkok tourism. These trains start operating at 05:15 am and continue services till midnight. Travelling this way can cost you approximately between Rs.35 to Rs.130, depending on how far you are going. One-day passes for about Rs.300 are also available. Otherwise, you can also recharge a prepaid card – this will allow you to skip the lines at the ticket machines and also receive small discounts sometimes. The MRT Subway can be used too, but it is not as well connected. The Bus Rapid Transit system is also good and cheap for seeing the city. It will not cost you more than Rs.50 to get around. A different way to travel within Bangkok tourism is to take the ferry across the Chao Phraya River.

Typical Costs In Bangkok

Bangkok tourism is one of the top choices in the world among backpackers. Accommodation, travel, food and sightseeing – all of these things can be arranged easily at an affordable price. If you are looking for a luxurious holiday instead, even that will not cost you as much when you compare it with other destinations as popular as Bangkok. Refer to the cost breakup in this Bangkok travel guide to plan your budget for your trip. 


For budget travellers: Rs.600 to Rs.1500 a day

Accommodation in hostels and guesthouses: Rs.400 to Rs.500

Food in beach shacks and street eateries: Rs.200 to Rs.500

Public transport (Skytrains, trains and buses): Rs.20 to Rs.300


For mid-range travellers: Rs.1000 to Rs.3500 a day

Accommodation in mid-range hotels, villas and homestays: Rs.600 to Rs.1900

Food in mid-range cafes and restaurants: Rs.500 to Rs.1000

Local transport (tuk-tuks, boats and local taxis): Rs.50 to Rs.400


For luxury travellers: Rs.6000 and upwards a day

Accommodation in 4-star or 5-star hotels: Rs.4000 and upwards

Food in upscale restaurants and bars: Rs.1000 and upwards

Local transport (cabs): Rs.500 and upwards

Activities (scuba diving, kayaking, etc.): Rs.3000 and upwards


How many days do I need for Bangkok tourism?

To make the most of Bangkok tourism, you should at least plan a trip for three to five days. That will allow you to go to the must-visit places in the city easily, like the ones mentioned in this Bangkok travel guide. 


Should I visit Bangkok first in Thailand?

Most travellers choose Bangkok tourism to begin their Thailand trip. As it is the capital of the country, you do not face many issues to figure out your way through it. There are no language barriers here as well. Besides, the city has a number of significant places to visit that should not be missed. Therefore, Bangkok tourism is your top contender to begin a Thailand trip. 


Can I opt for Bangkok tourism if I am travelling alone?

Bangkok tourism is popular among solo travellers and backpackers. There are a number of hostels in the city where tourists from around the world come so it is easy to meet new people. Besides this, locals are friendly too. Additionally, there are so many things to do and see here that you will not feel bored or regret having a lack of company. 


Is Bangkok tourism suitable for vegetarians?

Bangkok tourism’s popularity has ensured that it offers food for all kinds of travellers. You do not have to worry about facing difficulty in finding good restaurants as a vegetarian. There are several vegetarian Thai dishes that you can devour. Otherwise, there are Indian vegetarian restaurant chains also present in Bangkok. 


Do I need to purchase a Bangkok travel guide while going to tourist places?

You should go through Bangkok travel guides online as part of your pre-travel research. Other than that, travelling within Bangkok is fairly simple and does not cause much hassle. You are likely to figure things out on your own or with the help of locals, but if you wish you can keep a Bangkok travel guide handy to be on the safe side.


After exploring Bangkok tourism, where can I go?

Thailand is packed with a multitude of wishlist-worthy destinations. After  experiencing Bangkok tourism, you can head to other popular tourist places depending on how much time you have for your trip. A few of our recommendations are Phuket, Phi Phi Islands, Chiang Mai, Pattaya City and Krabi.

Written by Shruti Mishra, an in-house Tripoto writer. She feels most at home on the road and finding intriguing stories in the mundane is her forte.