Bangkok, Thailand, is a jewel in the crown of Asian cities. This metropolis is home to 7.2 million people, making it a busy, bustling center for commerce, trading, and tourism. Travelers to Bangkok typically fly into either Suvarnabhumi Airport or Don Mueang International Airport and go from there.
Renting a Car in Bangkok
Renting a car in this fine city requires a visitor's passport and driver's license from the traveler's country of residence. Travelers flying into Bangkok have several options for car rental near the airports, including Thai, Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz, and Sixt. These rental agencies offer mostly smaller passenger cars and compact SUVs, but a few have passenger vans, trucks, and cargo vans.
Many of these car rental chains are a few miles from Don Mueang, so travelers can reach the rental offices via taxi. Suvarnabhumi Airport has a rental car service counter on airport grounds and offers a shuttle bus service to the transport center.
Driving in Bangkok
Driving in Bangkok is shocking at first since many local drivers don't adhere to traffic laws like in other countries. Visiting drivers should drive in the left lane, not the right. Crowded with heavy trucks, buses, vendors with carts, other cars, and even cattle, Bangkok roads are chaotic and unnerving. Native drivers tend to ignore lane markings and drive aggressively by nudging into traffic.
By flashing headlights, drivers indicate they're coming ahead. A honking horn is a sign of respect. Most of all, drivers must keep a cool head and stay vigilant driving in this busy city.
Things to Do in Bangkok
Scattered throughout this "Divine City" are many Buddhist Temples and pieces of history. Wat Pro (Temple of the Reclining Buddha) features a reclining Buddha that's over 150 feet in length, while Wat Traimit (Temple of the Golden Buddha) contains a solid gold statue of the Eastern deity weighing over 5.5 tons. Both of these temples are about 30 minutes from either airport.
Just an hour's drive east lies the Grand Palace. Built in the late 1700s, this palatial complex is home to many architectural marvels, including Wat Phra Kaeo (Temple of the Emerald Buddha). This magnificent statue hails from the 14th century.
Visitors can truly experience the daily lives of Bangkok's people by embarking on an adventure with Bangkok Food Tours, located near the Grand Palace. Tourists venture through the Bangrak district sampling foods from a variety of local restaurant owners who've been feeding the masses for more than 30 years. Another tour takes travelers along the canals of Samut Songkram, the last Venice of the East, where they'll learn about coconut farming, savor farm-fresh delicacies, and explore floating markets.
A visit to Queen Saovabha Memorial Institute's snake farm will send shivers up visitors' spines. An exhibition area houses over 35 species, and live venom extraction is viewable. The museum features information on anatomy, reproduction, evolution, and how to treat a snakebite victim.
Once drivers conquer the hustle and bustle of Bangkok's streets, many glorious adventures and memorable experiences await.