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Travel Guide for Bangkok

Bangkok, Thailand's capital city, has long been a favorite among travelers. From its ornate temples and shrines to its animated city life, Bangkok combines the charm of the old with the thrill of the new. The official language in Bangkok is Thai, but due to years of tourism, the city is ready for foreign guests, and English-speaking travelers will have no trouble navigating the city. The official currency of Thailand is the Thai Baht.

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Top Attractions in Bangkok

Wat Arun in Bangkok, Thailand

One of the main reasons travelers flock to Bangkok is to witness the incredible architecture and ornate decor of the Thai temples. Bangkok abounds with such beauties, and one could spend a full day exploring the endless temples in the city. But if you are only going to see one, Wat Arun should be at the top of your list. This extravagant Buddhist temple was completed in 1656 B.C.E. and continues to be one of Bangkok’s shining jewels. For just 100 Baht (about $3), you can explore the temple yourself. Wat Arun is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Just across the Chao Phraya River from Wat Arun is the Grand Palace. The Grand Palace has been home to Thailand’s royal family since 1782 and has recently been opened to the public. Between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., you can explore certain wings of the palace, the museum, and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. Entrance is 500 Baht (about $15), plus an additional 100 Baht for a rented audio guide. Be prepared! The Grand Palace observes a strict dress code, and visitors are not allowed to wear shorts, mini-skirts, tight-fitting trousers, see-through tops, quarter-length trousers, sleeveless shirts, vests, flip-flops, rolled-up sleeves, sweatshirts, sweatpants, pajamas, wind-cheaters, or tights.

the Grand Palace at Bangkok, Thailand

Another one of Bangkok’s top attractions is Safari World. This family-friendly entertainment park includes animal enclosures, safari rides, marine attractions, stunt shows, and live feedings. Open from 7:00 a.m. to 7 p.m., Safari World is the perfect way to spend a whole day with the family. Entry costs for Safari World are 1,000 Baht ($30) for adults and 900 Baht ($27) for children. If you combine it with a Marine Park ticket, costs are 1,400 Baht ($42) for adults and 1,100 Baht ($33) for children. Once there, you can enjoy a full day of getting up close and personal with the wildlife of Thailand.

That’s only the beginning! Bangkok is famous for its canals, and canal tours and river taxis are a great way to explore the city from the water. Other popular attractions include the famous flower market (featuring endless rows of exotic flora), the Jim Thompson House (where you can buy stunning Thai silk), and King Rama IX Park (a lush garden, ideal for a picnic).

Beyond Bangkok

Beaches at Phuket, Thailand

While Bangkok itself is incredible, it also serves as an access point for the rest of Thailand. When visiting Bangkok, don’t limit yourself to the city streets! Head south and enjoy the pristine beaches of Phuket. Or go north to Chiang Mai and get to know the more rural side of Bangkok. If you’re interested in getting up close and personal with rescued wildlife, then the Wildlife Friends Foundation of Thailand is the perfect day trip for you.

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Eating Out

Thai food in Bangkok

The food in Bangkok alone is worth visiting this bustling city. For a hip meal in a relaxed environment, head to Bangkrak, where you won’t only enjoy delicious Thai food, but you’ll likely catch a live music performance or an art exhibit, too. If you are looking for a more upscale option, check out La Table de Tee. Every night, the chef at this gourmet restaurant creates a set menu, giving you the option to pick between one of two starters, mains, and desserts. For some of the best pad thai, make sure to stop at Thipsamai. This small restaurant is famous for having the best pad thai in the city!

Bangkok is famous for its out-of-this-world street food, and with good reason. In Old Town, you’ll find endless rows of traditional Thai meals that won’t disappoint. Sukhumvit, an upscale neighborhood popular among expats, is famous for its unbelievable soup noodles and chicken rice. Other neighborhoods known for their street food include Saphan Lueng, Chinatown, and Silom and Sathorn.

Nightlife and Entertainment

Nightlife and entertainment in Bangkok, Thailand

Nightlife has always been one of Bangkok’s biggest draws. From endless clubs and bars to dinner cruises galore, you will never run out of ways to fill your nights in Bangkok. Head to Calypso Cabaret for an evening of entertainment, or seek out one of Bangkok’s Go-Go Bars where you can enjoy dancing and other adult-only entertainment. A dinner cruise on Chao Praya River is a wonderful way to take in the shimmering city and night, then enjoy the evening shopping at Patpong Market and get some souvenirs from your adventure. For an unforgettable drinking experience, make sure to enjoy a drink at the Sky Bar, where you can see the entire city from above. No matter where you end up, Bangkok is sure to give you a night you’ll never forget.

Transportation

tuktuks in Bangkok, Thailand

Getting around Bangkok could not be easier. The well-developed and efficient Skytrain will carry you just about anywhere you need to go in Bangkok. Tickets range from 15 Baht to 42 Baht (45 cents to $1.25) depending on how far you are traveling. Taxis, river taxis, motorcycle taxis, and tuk-tuks offer more transportation in and around the city.

Climate

Bangkok is a tropical city with three main seasons: hot (March to June), rainy (July to October), and cool (November to February). The temperature in Bangkok averages around 87 degrees, rarely dropping below 79 degrees or rising above 95 degrees.

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When to Go

While Bangkok is nearly a year-round destination, thanks to its warm, consistent climate, the best time to visit is during the cool season (November to February). Tourism hits a peak in the months of November and February, so make sure to book your hotel in advance!

Flying to Bangkok

Flying to Bangkok, Thailand

Most international flights to Bangkok arrive at Bangkok International Airport. Bangkok International Airport has two terminals and boasts the world’s tallest air traffic control tower, directing traffic from Delta, JAL, SkyWest Airlines, EVA Air, and other major carriers. Taxis and buses take visitors from the airport to central Bangkok. With cheap flights to Bangkok from almost every major city, there’s nothing stopping you from visiting today.

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