A Quick Guide to Bangkok

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So you’re after a quick guide to Bangkok? You’ve come to the right place! The city can be quite overwhelming, and not only because the population exceeds a whopping 11 million! The sights, sounds and smells are sure to invigorate your senses. But there’s so much to see and do in the city of Bangkok that you don’t want to miss out on any of the offerings.

So here’s our no-nonsense guide to Bangkok to help you have a great first-time visit to the Thai capital!


Population: 6.355 million +
City Motto: “Glorious as if created by angels…”
Climate: Tropical monsoon climate (July-October is rainy season)

The WOW Quick Guide to Bangkok

Prior to Arrival

International visitors to Thailand will be delighted to learn that most nationalities do not need a visa for stays of up to thirty days. See here for a full list of countries exempted from a visa in Thailand.

On Arrival

There are two airports in Bangkok: Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) and Don Muang Airport (DMK). The former is the main airport in Bangkok and used by almost all airlines except for budget airlines like Air Asia (who use Don Muang Airport). Both airports are approximately thirty kilometres from the city and transport time to the city will be highly dependant on traffic (so allow for delays).

The two most popular ways of getting to the city are by Airport Rail Link or by taxi (taxi prices in Bangkok are very reasonable). If you are arriving during peak hour traffic, the Airport Rail Link will allow for an express commute to the city.

If at any time you are passing through Bangkok briefly en route to another destination, there are quite a few airport hotels that offer free round-trip airport shuttle and given that there is no visa requirement, it is quite easy to exit the airport and take a good night of rest before your flight the next morning. You will find a reasonable hotel from around $30 per night (nothing fancy!)

Getting Around

The Bangkok Metro system is quite easy to use and efficient, making it the best form of transport around the city if covering large distances. Walking around the city is also quite enjoyable if you’re staying in a centrally located hotel. However the warmer months tend to be quite humid and icky if you’re walking longer distances. Tuk-tuks are also another popular way to get around for travellers, though expect to pay tourist prices! Don’t forget to always barter for a better price.

Getting By

If this is your first visit to a Southeast Asian country, be prepared for a culture shock! Nearly everything will be different and exciting – including the culture, food, language, customs and more. Thai is the official language and locals speak limited English. To show your respect, try memorising the following phrases:

Hello: Sa-wa-deee

Excuse Me, Sorry: Kha-Toor

Thank You: Ka-cup-kun

Bye: Bye

What to See

Interested in the Thai Culture? Head to:

Grand Palace & Wat Prakeaw; Wat Arun (The Temple of Dawn); Floating Markets; Chinatown; and Wat Pho (Old Town).

Interested in getting Off the Beaten Path?

There are some great markets around Bangkok to find hidden gems and local goods, including: the Rod Fai Market; Flower Market; and Papaya Vintage shop.

Interested in Shopping? Here are the top shopping malls:

Central World Siam; Siam Paragon; MBK; Terminal 21 (WOW FAVE); and Central Embassy. The university district also has some great cheap quirky and vintage finds!

What to Eat & Drink

Thai cuisine is one of the most flavoursome and exciting palettes on earth, with their unique blend of spicy, sweet, and sour. There are great Thai restaurants throughout the city, but also many great international restaurants. The best restaurants can be found in the Sukhumvit neighbourhood. For budget eats, head to Khao San Road or try some of the various street food offerings!

Get Out

If you’re spending more than a few days in Bangkok and looking for some great day trips, there are many that depart daily from Bangkok. Some of the most popular include:

Amphawa (floating market that is also popular amongst locals)

Bang Pa-In (the Summer Palace makes this a popular day trip)

Hua Hin (nearby beach resort town)

Nakhon Pathom (Thailand’s oldest city)

Phetchaburi (historic town with many colourful temples)

Bangkok_at_night_01_(MK) Bangkok city Peninsula Bangkok

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    November 23, 2015 at 7:18 pm

    Your blog is so interesting:).I like how you describe i think it’s useful between in Thailand there many places to visit such as islands if u interested can come visit Phuket it’s really have good view and there have many seas,waterfalls there u will enjoy.I’m thai (I live in the south of thailand > Songkhla).I feel happy that u guys feel Thailand it’s good place to visit.I want to travel too, hope one day.

    between i think this will help
    sorry in thai read : kho thot // if more polite for boys will plus kab ,girls use ka in the end so it’s be kho thot kab (boys ver) kho thod ka(girls ver) and thank you can say : cup khun ,more polite (girls ver) :cup khun ka, (boys ver):cup khun kab

    Stray Asia
    November 23, 2015 at 10:27 am

    Yes Bangkok is huge and it can be overwhelming! One of the best ways to put it into perspective and get your bearings is by seeing it from above with a refreshing drink in hand. Some of our favourite roof top bars include: Moon Bar (a completely open air bar at the top of the Banyan Tree Hotel on the 61st floor), the Rooftop Bar (Baiyoke Sky Hotel) and the Sky Bar on the 63rd floor of the Lebua Hotel, best known for it’s role in The Hangover 2 (get yourself a hangovertini!). Come and visit our Stray Asia shop when you’re in Bangkok; we’re always happy to give advice about where to go and what to do in Asia!

    Enni Maria
    November 22, 2015 at 11:09 pm

    Bangkok seems like a perfect city destination! I’d love to visit it one day!

    Jessica (ourgloballove)
    November 22, 2015 at 9:15 pm

    This is an excellent starting point into planning our Thailand trip. Thanks for the tips!

    November 22, 2015 at 4:13 am

    I’m heading to Thailand for the first time in January! Thanks for the great guide to Bangkok, I’ve definitely heard that it can be a little bit overwhelming!

    Kasidit Vongvatanapuntu (Kay)
    November 22, 2015 at 3:36 am

    Lovely guide Brooke!

    I’m so glad you do a post about my hometown!

    Please do check out my version of Bangkok Guide – by local (me!)

    Thank you so much,
    Kay 😀

    November 21, 2015 at 7:36 pm

    simply a delight to watch & read!

    November 21, 2015 at 7:07 pm

    Such a great post! I hope you have a lovely day.

    Natalia Wojtowska (
    November 21, 2015 at 11:48 am

    Very nice post Brooke;) One night in Bangkok and the world’s your oyster!!:D
    I think that trying street food is a must in this city;) Especially Pad Thai. I would even say that you will find the best food in the worst looking places- the ones, you would definitely avoid in Europe… but it’s Bangkok- oriental settings;)

    November 21, 2015 at 6:47 am

    Thank you very much for the useful guide. I am personally soon visiting Bangkok with my boyfriend and will definitely be using your advice.

    November 21, 2015 at 1:21 am

    Great tips! I think Ayutthaya should definitely be added to the list of day trips 🙂 Also, the bayioke sky tower is great for some amazing views over the city 🙂

    November 21, 2015 at 1:02 am

    Bangkok is among top 5 on our bucket list for 2016.

    Priscilla Eidson
    November 20, 2015 at 11:22 pm

    Great jobs with this post. It really highlighted what you need to know when visiting Bangkok. The pictures of the city are captivating. I will be adding Bangkok to my bucket list!

    Leonie Parker
    November 20, 2015 at 10:37 pm

    Im heading out the Bangkok for the first time in March and I cannot wait!!

    Leonie ♥

    Milana I The Backpackers
    November 20, 2015 at 9:01 pm

    Thanks for this great post!
    I’ve been there 2 years ago and can’t wait to go back again. It’s been one of the best travel experiences for me. I admire their culture and history, not to mention the incredible architecture.
    I enjoyed visiting the Grand Palace and the temples of the city – no words to describe!
    I went to Ayutthaya too and that was probably my favorite in Thailand, at least of the places I visited, and I think too that it definitely should be on the list.

    Posh, Broke, & Bored
    November 20, 2015 at 8:30 pm

    I love Bangkok, I go every other year for the shopping and the food! Foodie tip: you MUST go to Sra Bua by Kiin Kiin at the Kempinski Hotel: it’s Bangkok’s first molecular gastronomy restaurant inspired by Thai street food! x

    Jasiminne: Posh, Broke, & Bored

    November 20, 2015 at 6:52 pm

    Beautiful post.

    November 20, 2015 at 5:14 pm

    I would love to travel to Bangkok one day! It looks and sounds beautiful x

    Rebecca @ Klook
    November 20, 2015 at 12:49 pm

    Good introductory post – you should add Ayutthaya to the list of day trips, it’s amazing!

    Clipping Path
    November 20, 2015 at 8:30 am

    really this very beautiful place of Bangkok of Thailand. And here come more travel every year.

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