More than 5 million tourists annually arrive in Bangkok, the capital of Thailand. It's a city of contrasts with an incredible splash of life: tuk-tuks passing by sparkling temples, Chinatown and long-tail boats. Here, boutique shopping malls try to compete with local markets, and luxury hotels - with inexpensive apartments. But you will see the same Thai hospitality everywhere.
Find out with Travellizy Team what Bangkok is actually called and what to do in the capital of Thailand.
The main things about Bangkok
Bangkok is included in the Guinness Book of Records for its long name. After all, the real name of the capital is the City of Angels, the great city, the residence of the Emerald Buddha, the impregnable city of Ayutthaya of God Indra, the grand capital of the world endowed with nine precious gems, the happy city, abounding in an enormous Royal Palace that resembles the heavenly abode where reigns the reincarnated god, a city given by Indra and built by Vishnukarn.
And the short “Bangkok” means “the Village of the Wild Plum”, this is the name of the settlement before the formation of the capital. This is what most of the world call this city. And the locals like to live in the City of Angels.
Bangkok is located on the banks of the Chao Phraya River, which divides the capital into 2 parts. Despite the pretentious name of the city, it is very young, only 200 years old. And nevertheless, it is a national treasure, spiritual, cultural, political, commercial, educational and diplomatic center of the country. That's where the most important scientific and administrative institutions, offices of world international organizations are located.
How to get to Bangkok
Travelers arrive in Bangkok by plane, car, bus and train. The plane will have to fly with transfers in Zurich, Helsinki, Hong Kong, Abu Dhabi, Doha, Singapore, Dubai, Istanbul, Guangzhou, Beijing.
The international airport of the capital is located 30 km from the city. It is connected to the center by a train line that takes 30 minutes to the city. In January 2021, a ticket from Kiev with two transfers can be purchased from €350. Flight duration is 35 hours.
People come to Bangkok by train from Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore and Laos. It takes tourists to the main railway station Hua Lampong Station. The station is connected to the main destinations of Thailand and the islands. Thus, you need to purchase a combined ferry&train ticket.
Laos and Cambodia are connected to Bangkok by bus services. Four bus stations in the capital operate international routes and domestic transport.
Where to stay in Bangkok
Tourists are offered a huge selection of accommodation during their stay: guesthouses, hotels, apartments or hostels. The best rooms can be rented on the banks of the Chao Phraya River. The windows and open terraces offer enchanting views. The most expensive accommodation options are in the historical part of the city, near the central station and popular attractions. Budget guesthouses are located on Khaosan Road, the western part of the Old City.
The benefits of civilization and proximity to nightlife can be found in the new areas of Bangkok. Travelers can find here both fashionable rooms and budget hostels. For atmospheric and more tranquility, head to the Thon Buri District. A night at a hostel will cost € 14. In a 4* hotel, a room can be rented from €19.
The best time and season to travel to Bangkok
There are 3 main seasons in Bangkok: rainy, hot and cool. But the capital is warm all year round. The heat starts in spring and lasts until June. The temperature rises to +42C, precipitation is rare or almost never occurs. The rainy season lasts from June to the end of October. Temperatures are from +31C, most often with tropical storms and hurricanes. Even after a short rain, the heat is felt more strongly.
From November to February, temperatures are from +26C, there are short rains. This is the most favorite time to visit the city.
- Take a walk through the central quarters of the Old City.
- See the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, visit the Royal Palace, visit the Temple of the Reclining Buddha and visit the center of traditional Thai massage. By the way, massage is an obligatory part of the trip (!).
- Find the ancient quarters of Tonburi, go to the Temple of the Morning Star.
- Don't miss Bangkok's unique floating markets. Try to get up early to see the colorful Pak Khlong Talat (Flower Market). Go for amazing shopping. And don't forget to visit at least one sky-bar with non-trivial views of the city.
You should move around Bangkok by Sky Train and river ferries. A single ferry ticket costs €1.2; a full day ticket - €2.8. A three-hour yacht rental costs from €700 for 20 people. A 40-minute boat tour through the city's canals costs €42 and can accommodate up to 8 people.
What you shouldn't waste your time in Bangkok on
Experienced travelers assure that there is no point in wasting time on these attractions. Soi Cowboy Street is the local red light district. Perhaps, it will be very interesting for young and single. But for intelligent people, it will be very unpleasant to watch girls harassing everyone, even without being embarrassed by the men's companions.
Many tourists agree that there is no need to visit the Erawan Museum. The journey takes a long time, the ticket is expensive - €11, and the territory is very small, although well-groomed and beautiful.
The Vimanmek Mansion is called dubious to visit. The area around is small; antiques and period furniture are collected in the palace building. Entrance is strictly in modest clothing.
What to try in Bangkok
There are approximately 50,000 different cafes, street food outlets and Michelin-starred restaurants in Bangkok. Local authentic eateries are called chicken holes. At the heart of all dishes are chicken, seafood, rice, vegetables, fruits and noodles. The dishes are initially spicy, if you want a softer taste, let the cook know right away.
Most often on the menu, you will find white fish: baked or stuffed. It is usually served with rice or noodles. Fried insects are a local exotic and delicacy.
You are very likely to enjoy tom yum soup with a spicy-sour taste, fish, shrimp, chicken, ginger and garlic. Pad Thai rice noodles with fresh or dried shrimp, tofu, bean sprouts, spices and eggs. Som tam salad with carrots, papaya, legumes, nuts and seafood. Chicken pad Thai guy with oysters, fish and sweet and sour sauce. Rice paper spring rolls with noodles, vegetables and sauce.
For dessert, choose sweet rice with coconut milk and mango, coconut ice cream with banana, caramel, spring rolls.
For the record
With only 1 day in Bangkok, don't try to go around the whole city and sights. Choose a couple of interesting locations, and devote the rest of the time to walking around the city or boating. By the way, don't forget to take a sightseeing map for free at the airport or hotel.
When visiting temples or houses of local residents, take off your shoes. Shrines also require modest clothing to cover shoulders and legs.
Be vigilant when walking around the city, keep an eye on your belongings and wallet. Making new acquaintances - beware of fraud.
During a pandemic, 10 days of quarantine are required upon arrival in the country. Get insurance covering COVID-19 treatment. And at least 3 days before departure, make the appropriate test.
Asian countries attract all tourists with their exoticism. Bangkok will treat you to grasshoppers with honey sauce, fried cockroaches with garlic, scorpions with vegetables, silkworm pupa soup, caterpillars with salt and pepper, termite eggs in banana leaves and crickets in chocolate. And Travellizy's experts wish you the courage and determination to taste at least a tenth of the city's dishes. Take your fellow travelers with - it will be more fun together!