As one of the most visited cities on the global tourist trail, it is likely that you may find yourself passing through Bangkok, the sprawling capital city of Thailand. Instead of finding yourself holed up on the Khao San Road for the whole time you’re there, follow some of these great tips to get the most out of this action packed party city.
Staying in Bangkok:
Most visitors find themselves staying on or around Khao San Road, for good reason too as it is packed full of 24hr cafes and bars, pharmacies and travel agents. However it is very lively so try and avoid staying on the road itself and aim to stay in one of the surrounding areas. Soi Rambuttri is a better and quieter option as are the streets off Phra Athit – both just a few minutes walk from the hubbub. Alternatively, consider staying in either Siam Square, Hualamphong (near the train station) or the areas near Lumphini Park or Ratchetewi.
Eating in Bangkok:
There are options in every corner of Bangkok for exceptional global cuisine so don’t be afraid to venture away from Khao San Road. Sukhumvit is a packed full of eateries as is Chinatown and the area near Hualamphong Station. Siam Square is home to huge mega malls, MBK and Siam Paragon, both of which have great dining options from budget to premium. Check the food court in MBK for some great Thai food or wander Sukhumvit for global fare from Indian to Italian.
Shopping in Bangkok:
The best shopping in Bangkok is definitely in Siam Square. The previously mentioned MBK Mall is a budget hunters paradise, packed full of label clothes, electronics and all manner of bargains. For the more high end shopper there is Siam Paragon and Siam Center – twin malls with premium labels and cool Thai kids hanging out. There are also some amazing markets such as Chatuchak – weekends only – in the north near Mo Chit subway station.
Relaxing in Bangkok:
There are plenty of ways to relax in Bangkok, with one of the best options being a genuine Thai massage. You can find one of these (of the non dodgy variety) all around Khao San road as well as Sukhumvit and in fact everywhere. Many premium hotels have spas as well, so if you fancy a swim and a bit of pampering you can always pay for the services there. If you have aching feet then get a foot spa with a difference at one of the many fish spas around the city.
Sightseeing in Bangkok:
The Golden Temple is the most popular postcard picture from Bangkok but don’t forget to check out Wat Arun, further down the river. Chinatown is also an excellent spot to explore, mainly for the hustle and bustle and exceptional streetfood. Jim Thompson house near Siam Square is the former home, now museum, of an American silk trader who went missing in Malaysia and is very much worth a visit. Make sure you ride the riverboat and if you’re feeling like a more personal option you can grab a riverboat taxi to take you there! Take in the view of the city a some of the excellent skybars – Cloud 47 in Silom is one of the best options.
Nightlife in Bangkok:
One thing you’re sure to get a blast of in Bangkok is the excellent nightlife. Khao San Road is also a haunt for cool Thais so there are plenty of options along the road. The main areas away from here are Sukhumvit and Silom, which also have a big reputation for being a bit sleazy. Don’t let the sleaze scare you off however, as nestled amongst the go-go bars are some excellent clubs and bars. Head for venues such as Insomnia, Glow and Bash for some serious dancing with Thais, tourists and expats. Entry is often around 300-500 Baht but usually includes a drink or two. A popular haunt is RCA – out near Phaya Thai, a huge complex of noisy nightclubs full of cool and sexy youngsters letting their hair down. If you are looking for sleaze then wander (and wonder at) the streets of Soi Cowboy or Nana complex on Sukhumvit or head to Patpong in Silom.
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