If you are thinking of traveling to Bangkok, Thailand, you are in the right place. Bustling nightlife, rows of skyscrapers and hot Bangkok are the things that come to mind. Although the words dirty, chaotic and hot are used a lot for Bangkok, the city is always energetic and lively. It is Thailand’s largest city and also its capital.
The city’s official name in Thai has the longest place name in the world: Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Yuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Piman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit. It is also known colloquially as Krung Thep, the City of Angels, or the Venice of the East.
Due to the tropical climate of the country and the abundance of skyscrapers, Bangkok is very hot. So much so that it was chosen as the hottest metropolitan city in the world by the World Meteorological Organization. Many people see Bangkok as a fusion of the traditional and the modern. While skyscrapers and luxury residences rise on one side of the city, there are slums on the other.
The city, which has an official population of 8,280,925 – and this number increases even more when the fugitives are taken into account – is one of the places where the temperature is high, the majority of the population lives on the border of hunger and world-famous companies set up their factories to make their products cheap. According to estimates, the city, which has a population of more than 11 million, is considered too active and tiring due to its heavy traffic.
In addition, the city is home to many ethnic groups. People of different faiths belonging to Buddhist, Muslim, Christian and local religions live in different regions of this city. The group that has the majority in terms of population in the region can put pressure on people who are in minority status. In this respect, the concept of gangs is quite developed.
In addition, one of the negative aspects of Bangkok is that sex for money is uncontrolled and women’s trafficking is carried out openly on the streets. However, Bangkok is still a very safe city for tourists. The people of Bangkok, like the rest of Thailand, are helpful and tolerant of tourists.
Where Is Bangkok?
Let us share with you some of the things you need to know when traveling to Bangkok. Bangkok is located in the south of Asia, next to the Gulf of Thailand.
When To Go To Bangkok?
In Thailand, which is in the tropical climate zone, the seasons are divided into three as cool season, hot season and rainy season. The cool season between November and February is the ideal time to travel. Temperatures generally vary between 20-27 degrees. During this period, the monsoon rains are over and the sweltering heat leaves its place to a mild weather.
March and June correspond to the hot season. This is the period when the country reaches the highest temperature, and these temperatures are above 35 degrees. Due to high temperatures and urbanization, a very heavy, polluted air occurs. In this season, your trip may not be as pleasant as you hoped. Finally, the rainy season runs between July and October.
The effect of monsoon rains is seen in this period in the country. It rains almost every day. During this period, the number of tourists is less and the city is less crowded, so it can be a suitable period for your trips. The rainy season also comes after the hot season, so the rains lower the air temperature by a few degrees.
Where To Stay In Bangkok?
Bangkok is the capital and also the largest city of Thailand. Choosing where to stay in Bangkok can make your vacation a whirlwind or a disgrace. It will be worth a few minutes to take a look at the pros and cons of each region. After deciding which area to stay in, choosing a hotel will be quite easy.
If you want to pack your backpack and see the colorful Bangkok, you can visit China Town, if you want to shop on a budget, Pratunam, Silom for lively nightlife, Siam for shopping with your family, the most romantic place in Bangkok. You can choose Riverside to visit.
Places To Visit In Bangkok
When you explore the places to visit in Bangkok, you can see more Buddha statues than you have ever seen. Buddha statues sitting cross-legged in the streets, avenues and squares… High buildings reminiscent of New York, entertainment venues, Buddhist temples, palaces and many other places waiting for you to explore. The distant culture of the Far East, which you can’t get enough of, will call you again and again. While this warm and crowded city has become one of today’s metropolises, it keeps its own culture alive in different corners.
While walking on a crowded street full of skyscrapers, you may come across traditional wooden houses of Thailand when you turn the corner. You will notice that the locals, who are also famous for their tolerance, are helpful towards tourists. It is necessary to spare a few days to visit Bangkok, which is lively at all hours of the day.
The historical part of Bangkok lies along the Chao Phraya River. The Great Palace, which was the residence of the royal family for nearly 150 years, is also located on the river bank. Wat Phra Kaew, located right next to the palace, is Thailand’s holiest temple. Home to the Reclining Buddha Statue, Wat Pho Temple is also considered the birthplace of Thai massage. Wat Arun is also one of the most beautiful temples in the city.
The place that houses the Golden Buddha Statue is Wat Traimit Temple. The home of the American Jim Thompson, who revived the silk industry in Thailand, is also located in Bangkok. Lumpini Park, one of the few resting places in Bangkok, is an ideal spot to unwind. Dusit Palace is also a palace where Thai and Western arts are blended. The largest museum in the country, the Bangkok National Museum houses valuable objects.
The Suan Pakkad Palace Museum, which consists of traditional wooden Thai houses, is also worth seeing.
Wat Pho Temple
Wat Pro is known as the birthplace of Thai Massage. This is one of the most famous Buddhist temples in Bangkok. It is easier to get around here as it is less crowded compared to Wat Phra Kaew Temple. The Buddha statue in the temple is called the Reclining Buddha because of its position. The statue is 15 meters high and 43 meters long and depicts Buddha with his right arm stretched out. There are 108 symbols under Buddha’s feet and on the bowls in the corridor. This symbolizes the Buddha’s 108 auspicious states.
The temple is also considered Thailand’s first educational center and first university. The medical school, which was established here in the 1950s, still provides education. The temple was built before King Rama I declared Bangkok the capital. It is estimated that the temple dates back to the 16th century, but when King Rama moved its capital status from Thonburi to Bangkok on the other side of the river, he ordered a more beautiful temple to be built in its place.
Since the land where the temple is located was swampy, it was first dried and then the construction was started. In 1832, King III. Rama had the temple renovated for 16 years.
- Grand Palace
- Wat Phra Kaew
- Wat Arun
- Jim Thompson House
- Wat Traimit
- Lumpini Park
- Dusit Palace
- Bangkok National Museum
- Suan Pakkad Palace Museum
Transportation In Bangkok
When you travel to Bangkok, you should also know how to get there. The public transport system in Bangkok, consisting of bus, subway, train and boat services, is highly developed. The most effective means of public transport are buses. With bus connections, you can reach every point in the city. The metro, on the other hand, serves only in a limited area. Blue buses operate in the normal system and yellow buses have the express feature.
There are air trains (BTS Sky Train) in the city. This system, which is established over viaducts, provides a significant time saving. The two-track ferry system on the Saen Saep Canal is also under public transport. It offers a romantic trip to the east and west, similar to Venice. As of 2013, Bangkok has 2 skytrain (BTS) lines and an airport subway called MRT. Others are under construction. All of these can be used with cards or coins. For tourists, there are also options such as daily or longer-term tickets.
The first rule of thumb for urban transport in Bangkok is to understand that the system is modular. In other words, you cannot easily go to your destination with a single vehicle. Of course, although you can do this with a taxi, this mode of transportation depends on traffic density, construction works that sometimes block the roads and other factors. Those who know Bangkok well always use the most suitable combination. This may be where you want to go first by taxi to the metro, or from the metro by motorcycle taxi.
There are two airports in the city. In transportation from the airport to many points of the city, buses under the body of public transportation serve 24 hours a day. There are also taxis available. Taxi prices in Bangkok are very cheap compared to Turkish lira. It is recommended to travel by taxi whenever possible.
After going south 6.5 km from Mo Chit station, the BTS Sukhumvit line turns east and ends at Bearing station after 15 km. BTS Silom line starts from National Stadium station, goes 1 km east, then turns south, crosses the river, and ends at Talat Phlu station after about 9 km. (Wutthakat and Bang Wa stations will open soon). The Sukhumvit and Silom lines converge at only one point: Siam Square. You can transfer from this point.
The MRT metro is a little easier as it consists of only one line. It starts from Bang Sue station near Chatuchak Market and ends at Hualumphong station near Chinatown. You can transfer to the BTS line at three points: Sala Daeng/Silom, Suhkumvit/Asok, and Chatuchak/Mo Chit.
Similarly, the SARL Airport Link consists of a single line starting from Phaya Thai and going 20 km east to Suvarnabhumi Airport. Honestly, unless you’re going to the airport, you won’t use this line much.
Motorcycle taxis and tuk-tuks: It is recommended to bargain before boarding these alternatives, which are frequently preferred due to heavy traffic. There is no fixed price policy.
Khlong Ferries: The Saen Saeb Khlong Ferry departs from the largest canals in Bangkok. It’s cheap, it’s loud and it smells bad! However, it allows you to progress very quickly along the canal that divides the city in half. It is the best way to get through Bangkok without getting stuck in traffic.
River Boats: This is the route you should take to explore the city or get to your destination. Unlike tourist boats, these ‘water taxis’ stop at different points along their route. It also changes according to the color of the flag on this boot. These can be yellow, orange, green, or no flags at all. The stop varies according to the flag of each port where the boats dock and rarely costs more than 20 THB.
The prepaid card system is valid in all public transports.
Your trip to Bangkok continues, if you can’t decide what to eat, then it’s time to talk about what to eat in Bangkok. Thai cuisine has gained an international reputation over the past 50 years. Thai cuisine is a synthesis of Southeast Asian culinary cultures in general. Table balance is based on sweet, salty, bitter and sour with the help of spices. Spices are very important in Thai cuisine. So much so that even fruits are consumed with spices.
Rice and seafood have an important place in Thailand, as in many countries of the Far East. In Thai cuisine, which does not vary greatly between regions in general, special sauces also add a different flavor to the dishes. There are 50,000 restaurants in Bangkok, the capital of the country. In addition to the fact that the majority of them are occupied by local restaurants, there are also many restaurants of international cuisine.
In addition, peddlers in the city streets are also quite common. Here, people cook their dinner on the street and sell the leftovers. You can also experience these different flavors.
The Sukhumvit region is one of the areas with the highest concentration of restaurants and there are places that serve international cuisine. However, prices are generally high in this region. More affordable restaurants are available on Khao San Road. No matter the price, it’s possible to have a delicious Thai meal in Bangkok. Krua Apsorn, Likhit Kai Yang, Nang Gin Kui, Jay Fai, Nahm are just a few of the dozens of restaurants that can be recommended.
Shopping In Bangkok
Wouldn’t you like to beautify your Bangkok trip with shopping? Bangkok has some of the best shopping in Asia. There are hundreds of shopping malls and markets in the city. In the Siam Square area, there are shops of the world’s most famous brands and boutique shops. The largest market in the city is the Chatuckak Weekend Market. Here you can find all kinds of products, from vintage items to food. Since the market is among the largest markets in the world, its map has also been made.
Using this map, you can visit the sides with the products you are interested in. It has sections such as clothing, accessories, food and beverage, home decoration, antiques, souvenirs, handicrafts and gardening. It is a good idea to come early in the day, as the weather is hot in the city and not to be caught in the crowd.
Opposite Chatuchak Market is Or Tor Kor Market, the best fruit and vegetable market in the city. It is possible to find the freshest exotic fruits here. Talat Mai is a Chinese market in every way. This market mainly sells food items such as spices and dried foods. Taling Chan Floating Market is also quite an interesting market. Here merchants sell on their boats.
Apart from these, there are many other markets in Bangkok such as Amulet Market, Khlong Toey Market, Pak Khlong Talat, Saphan Phut Night Market, Nonthaburi Market. MBK Center, the largest shopping center in the city, is also a frequent destination for Bangkok residents.
It is a meeting point for vendors for souvenirs, ornaments, local crafts, food, drink, clothing and more. In addition, many stalls in the city squares offer shopping opportunities. You can also buy many electronic gadgets at a cheap price in Bangkok. While shopping, one should not forget to bargain at places other than chain stores.
The most attractive aspect of Bangkok for many people is its nightlife. Just like in Las Vegas and Amsterdam, there is an endless nightlife here. Pattaya, the center of nightlife, has dozens of nightclubs, pubs and go-go bars. Bangkok is one of the best cities for nightlife lovers. Every year, thousands of tourists come to Bangkok for the nightlife as well as the city’s historical and natural beauties. It is possible to experience all kinds of activities in Bangkok nights, from cocktail lounges to night markets, from crazy nightclubs to cabaret shows.
However, the Thai government has imposed some restrictions on this vibrant nightlife. Indoor smoking is prohibited, many venues close after 02:00 and frequent passport/ID checks. It is useful to always have your passport with you in order not to have problems with the Thai police.
Smalls is a cocktail bar with a light Parisian cafe vibe, weekday jazz and weekend DJ performances. Located in Thong Lo area, WTF Bar, Cafe and Gallery is a popular bar for its delicious snacks. The owners of the venue also organize Bangkok’s poetry events at the bar. The Adhere 13th Blues Bar is one of the best live music bars in Bangkok. It is very enjoyable to listen to the band performing here. It is a very popular bar, especially on weekends, both by Thais and tourists. Maggie Choo’s is a preferred lounge.
Drink prices are a little high, but it is a place that is considered among the stylish places of the city. The people who prefer this place usually dress smart casual. Sirocco Sky Bar is located on the 64th floor of Bangkok’s second tallest building. You can enjoy live jazz music by eating oysters with your drink at the bar, which has a wonderful view.
Silom region is one of the most popular areas in terms of nightlife. There are many nightclubs and many go-go bars, especially Patpong. Besides the Sirocco Bar located here, Vertigo is also a bar with a beautiful view. The Sukhumvit area is also very lively, and the Thong Lo area in Sukhumvit is home to some of the city’s classiest bars and nightclubs. Examples of these are Q Bar and Narz. Iron Fairies is a nice bar that makes delicious cocktails as well as local beers.
Ce La Vi is one of the popular clubs in the city and plays EDM, R’n’B and pop. With a capacity of 2,000 people, Onyx is the city’s largest nightclub. It is one of the liveliest spots of Bangkok nightlife with its moving EDM tracks, dance shows, laser shows and confetti. Route 66, Levels Club&Lounge, Sing Sing Theater, Live RCA are also popular nightclubs.
Also, Bangkok residents do not discriminate against LGBTI+ individuals. LGBTI+ individuals in the city can enter any place without any problems. In addition, DJ Station, Expresso, Freeman are nightclubs where LGBTI+ individuals are concentrated. When you travel to Bangkok, do not leave without tasting the nightlife!
Chinese New Year Celebrations: Organized by the Chinese living in Thailand, the arrival of the new year celebrations are held according to the lunar calendar between the last week of January and the last week of February.
Kite Festival: The Kite Festival is held every two years between February and April. Sanam Luang and Lumphini Park will be the scene of a colorful sky at the kite festival, which is held with international participation.
World Thai Martial Arts Festival: This festival, which takes place every year in March, lasts for a week. Alongside the fighting performances, the Waikru Muay Thai ceremonial show reflects the spiritual side of the festival.
Rice Season Start Ceremony: In Thailand, which is an important rice producer, this festival is celebrated every year on the occasion of the beginning of the rice planting period. The festivals that start in May take place with the participation of the king or prince.
Festival of Lights: The Festival of Lights is all about Buddhism. On this day, which is of great importance for Buddhists, one enters the water in the morning and spiritual purification takes place, the city is covered with colorful lights, the Festival of Lights (Loi Krathong) is held with the participation of large crowds in many countries where the Buddhist faith is widespread, especially in India. Celebrations begin in the middle of November, according to the Gregorian calendar, on the full moon of the 12th month of the lunar calendar.
Bangkok Practical Information
- Police / Ambulance: 191
- Tourism Police: 1155
- Fire Brigade: 199
Bangkok Public Holidays
- January 1 – New Year
- March 4 – Maka Bucha Day
- April 6 – Chakri Day
- 13-14-15 April – Thai New Year Songkran Festival
- May 1 – Labor Day
- May 5 – Coronation Day
- 13 May – Royal Farming Ceremony
- 1 June – Visaka Bucha Day
- 30 July – Asalha Bucha Day
- July 31 – Buddhist Lent Day
- 12 August – Queen’s Birthday and Mother’s Day
- October 23 – King Chulalongkom Day
- 4-5-7 December – King’s Birthday and Father’s Day
- December 10 – Constitution Day
- 31 December – New Year’s Eve