Thailand’s capital, Bangkok, is initially a shock to the system for westerners who come here on holiday, but this exotic and eccentric city has plenty of charm to offset its seedier side. Chaotic traffic chokes the streets around temples, bars, strip joints, brothels, shopping malls and the enticing Floating Market. The high humidity and pollutionmore
Unseen Travel scam - Silly. Date of travel: May 2009
I booked three weeks of travel in Thailand with Unseen Travel (accomodation, transfers and trekings). After the first few days we realised that they were charging us more than twice what the hotels really charged and also that the transfers are ridiculously cheap in Thailand. So basically we were ripped-off. A woman called Peak did all the bookings, but we could never contact her. She was extremely nice when we did the booking, but she never answered her mobile and we were told on two consecutive days that she was abroad and would only come back after our holidays had finished. The most astonishing thing was the speed at which she travelled accross the world: one day she was in Korea and the following in Hong Kong! After that I didn't ask, I knew they were taking me for an idiot.
Shopping holiday in Bangkok, Thailand - Hannah Walters. Date of travel: Dec 2008
Our Thailand vacation was amazing – the shopping was really quite therapeutic. Once we arrived, we set our bags down in a Bangkok hotel and hit Chatuchak Weekend Market. Once the day was done, we hit the spa, and were pampered like royalty.
Short holiday in Thailand - Debra Shepard. Date of travel: Dec 2008
A short holiday in Thailand is never enough – nor South East Asia! But flight tickets were given to me, and I could only afford one week in Thailand. The vacation in Thailand was great, and I spent most of my time in and around Bangkok. As a result – it turned into a culinary break. Day and night the streets were lined with every delicacy your heart might desire. Bring on the Pad Thai!
Bangkok is a couple of days - Alex Loeb. Date of travel: Nov 2008
Every time I show Bangkok to friends I condense the city to its highlights and these are what I did the last time I was there. I met the cool under 30 Thai crowd at Prananakorn bar across the main road running parallel to the backpacker haunt Khaoson road. After a busy day shopping at the chaotic JJ market I relaxed with a hookah in Little Arabia...try the strawberry flavor. And on the last night partied like crazy in the sleazy but festive areas of Pat Pong and Nana Plaza. Try the "All you can drink" option at the Cat's Roof bar. It was comparably expensive to the rest of Thailand but a great way maximize "the best of" is a city with so much to do.
Bangkok City break - Mary Bright. Date of travel: Nov 2008
A holiday to Thailand is never complete without a few days in the City. Bangkok, although very modern, still has so much to offer you on your vacation. Lady Boy Cabaret shows are good fun followed by a night out at the clubs. At Lumpini Park (which is easily accessed by the sky train) you can lie on the grass and watch lizards swim lazily in the canals. The Grand Palace was amazing, make sure you bring a shawl along – or else you will be given a manky on shirt by the authorities.
Warning UNSEEN travel - Roskott. Date of travel: Nov 2008
Warning UNSEEN travel agent! We arranged our trip through Thailand in november/december 2008. It was high season, so UNSEEN said it was wise to book transport and accommodation in advance. BUT.... 1. they didn't book transport in advance 2. they charged us at least twice/three times the price for transport 3. we agreed upon a price for guesthouses and then they put us in guesthouses of at least half/one third of the price. So their profit margin is about 200% In Lopburi they put us in a "guesthouse"{Baan Monkey guesthouse} which don't deserve that name. UNSEEN charged us for 1000BAHT and it was at the most worth 200BAHT! We refused to stay there. At our complaints they reacted very crude. UNSEEN isn't a travel agent, it's a money maker!
Elephant Show - Mary. Date of travel: Mar 2008
Went for full day tour (floating market, elephant show and snake show) in Bangkok. Must say that I enjoyed the elephant show the most. Paid RMB1400 for the tour and found out that I was ripped off because some people in my group paid RMB1000 including cultural show. I booked that tour at the hotel (Asia Hotel, while the latter booked outside through a travel agent) so moral of the story DO NOT BOOK FROM HOTEL.
Floating Market - Ludy. Date of travel: Mar 2008
Very disappointed with the floating market boat ride in Bangkok. The boat we've taken (PAEW Boat Service) did not move at all as it was very very crowded. We're so unfortunate to have taken an unskilled boatman. We've decided to get down after 30 minutes stuck at the same place under the sun and requested for refund but the operator refused so goodbye to our RMB150/person. Don't take the boat from the first operator as there are others further down, less crowded so the chance of the boat moving smoothly is high.
Bangkok - Great shopping destination - Susan Green. Date of travel: Mar 2008
Bangkok is the greatest destination for shopping. It's a very cool place for girlish shopping specially. There are many interesting and historic places to visit and the Grand Palace in Bangkok is so amazing. One can also enjoy the fun of cycling here. Bangkok is really a nice place for spending holidays.
Bangkok - Ron Bedford. Date of travel: Oct 2007
I have been to Bangkok about 5 times and will go again. We love the friendly Thais, the city is very busy but easy to get around on the skytrain and there are plenty taxis. We aviod tuk tuks because they want to take to their shops and factories because they get a kickback off the owners. Chaterchuk weekend markets is an eye-opener. I have never seen so many stalls selling everything you could imagine. A trip to the clongs is not to be missed. Also a night at Patpong for first timers.
Great show in Bangkok - John Waterson. Date of travel: Aug 2007
I was in Bangkok recently and a Thai friend took me and my kids to see the new show Siam Niramit. It's put on in an impressive new theatre just off Ratchada (on the same road as the Thailand Cultural Centre) and very easy to get to. We went by taxi but I understand the theatre does minibus pickups from the neaby M.R.T. station. The theatre is big with very comfortable seating and a truly massive stage which they use to full effect - the show is visually stunning with a large cast and lavish scenery and costumes. It starts with a look at some key moments in Thailand's past, then has some imaginative scenes illustrating the Thai visions of Heaven and Hell, and ends with a compilation of Thai merit-making festivals. There's not a lot of dialogue, so language is not a problem - but it does help to read the program in advance to be able to follow what is going on. Traditional and classical dance features heavily and there's a strong musical background throughout the show. Having been to other cultural shows in Thailand and been bored to tears I have to admit I went mainly out of politeness to my friend, but this show confounded my expectations. They've obviously put a load of thought and effort (and money!) into this production to make it a really memorable experience. In fact it starts before the show itself: they have a recreated some traditional villages from the different Thai regions in the grounds, that you can stroll through and watch people in authentic dress doing things like pounding rice in the old ways - a sort of 'living musem'. The kids loved it and the show itself held them spellbound from start to finish - what more can I say! Don't be put off by the fact that it's a 'cultural show' - I'd recommend it to anyone....
Historic, intense, chaotic.. - Jenny. Date of travel: Mar 2007
Historic, intense, chaotic, seedy... there are so many adjectives to describe Bangkok. Most tourists on holiday in Bangkok use the ubiquitous tuktuks to get around, they are quite quick, probably fairly dangerous but a great way to get around quickly while soaking up the atmosphere of the city. Another option to orientate your travel to Bangkok is to take a boat cruise on the canals which criss-cross the city passing old homes and floating markets selling fruit and flowers. The boats stop at Ko Ratanakosin - the old city centre where you will see the Royal Palace , Wat Phra Kaew and the enormous Buddha at Wat Pho. Many backpacers stay at Koh San road, which has lots of cheap (and fairly horrid) hotels and restaurants but it a great place to meet up with fellow travellers. Klong Toey is favoured by expats, here you will find hip bars, clubs and hotels. Some of the best-know hotels are on Silom Road, which turns into the famoust Patpong Road, the heart of the city's red light district. Bangkok's Chinatown is worth visiting, it was settled in the 18th Century and is a maze of market stalls and restaurants. Bangkok is a fascinating holiday destination, even if only for a couple of days before heading off to the North, or for one of the great beach resorts on the Coast or on the Islands. I hope this is useful; we loved our Bangkok holiday.
Cycling trip in Bangkok - Keatlover . Date of travel: Feb 2007
Cycling trip in Bangkok
There are a wide range of activities to do and places to see in Bangkok. Main districts of Bangkok include: -- Sukhumvit: Sukhumvit is Bangkok's modern commercial center which is full of glitzy malls and hotels. -- Silom: To the south of Sukhumvit is the area around Silom and Sathorn, which are today Bangkok's primary district for night party. -- Rattanakosin: Between the Chao Praya River and Sukhumvit lies the Rattanakosin, the “Old Bangkok”, which is home to Bangkok’s best- known temples (wats), Chinatown named Yaowarat and sights worth to visit along the Chao Praya River. Moreover, in this part of Bangkok, there is the famous place at the northern part of Rattanakosin, where most travelers or backpackers to Bangkok meet to chat, drink and even make friends, and shop. That is Khao San Road. -- Thonburi: This is the quieter west bank of the Chao Praya River with many small canals. Travelers can find some offbeat attractions and people living near canals, and of course, boats and ferries that are the main transport means for people’s traveling. -- Phahonyothin: The area around Phahonyothin Road and Viphavadi Rangsit Road is best known for the Chatuchak Weekend Market and Don Muang Airport (one of Bangkok Airports, another one is Suvarnabhumi International Airport). In this part of Bangkok, travelers who want to do shopping are recommended to spend sometimes visiting Chatuchak Weekend Market, where you can find everything from small like clothes and accessories, paintings, plants and flowers to large like furniture, or even animals. Afternoon tea and café shops are open all day. -- Ratchadaphisek: This district is northwards of Sukhumvit. The center of this district is around Ratchadaphisek Road, part of which is called Asoke. From this district you can reach Phetchaburi Road to Lat Phrao. Biking programs in Bangkok allow you to get closer to people living along canals, bustling markets. It is also fun to pedal your bike to explore places on Rattanakosin Island, which is the old charming part of Bangkok, where you can stop to visit the Grand Palace, temples like the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, museums, art exhibitions and galleries, theatres, shopping centers, bustling night markets, flowers markets, and boat piers to see how Thai city people travel from places to places across the Chao Phraya River (the River of King), the main blood of Thai life. Biking tour in Bangkok can be in group or individual. If you ride alone, you know that you may need some information about riding rules, guide book, or even some useful brochures about how to travel and getting around in Bangkok city. There are plenty of travel information counters, including tourist information centers throughout this metropolitan, especially in Bangkok downtown. If you come to Thailand and stop in Bangkok, and if you love biking, find sometimes to take a biking trip to must- see destinations in Bangkok. You will find that Bangkok gives you much more than a feeling of big and bustling city of traffic jam and skyscraper buildings, but a discovery of urban lifestyle, in between old charming traditions and modernity. You can experience cycling trips in this part of Thailand not only within Bangkok city, but also at Ayutthaya Historical Site, or drive to Kanchanaburi, westwards of Bangkok for biking trips to visit Kanchanaburi’ s main attractions, national parks, dams and jungles. For me, it was a great time to experience biking in central Thailand from Bangkok to the green destinations like Kanchanaburi, with Exotissimo Travel. All cycling guides of Exotissimo are the expert guides with local knowledge and experience. Exotissimo can make your cycling adventure trip a part of your life that you will re-tell about for many years. If you get interested in trying a cycling trip in Thailand, soft and difficult (adventure) levels, I recommend Exotissimo. They are quite professional and reliable. They can tailor make your trip upon your request and preferences, one day or more, with a combination of activities and destinations, with a provision of guides who accompany with you during trips. For cycling tour, their guides can perform as both cultural guide and bike mechanic, and vehicles to support you.
Bangkok - Pepe Perez. Date of travel: Nov 2006
Terrific! Monuments, Food, Shopping, People are great. I have been there twice and I will come back. Take a good travel guide as there is such a lot to do.
The hottest city in the world! - Mariska. Date of travel: Jan 2006
We flew into Bangkok and the first thing I noticed looking out the plane's window was the pollution hanging over the city as all the cars and trucks run on diesel. Once we were under the smog, the heat and humidity was quite something. It was almost like being in a sauna. All cars are air conditioned (thankfully) and a lot of the minibus taxis are equipped with their very own DVD player which usually plays endless karaoke videos that the driver and his passengers can sing along to as they drive through the streets of Bangkok. It was highly amusing and we shared many a chuckle with other tourists, regardless of language barriers. The weather is scorching hot and we felt as though we needed a second shower after about 5 mintues of stepping out the doors of our lovely air conditioned hotel. The markets in Bangkok are fantastic and the MBK shopping centre is amazing! It isn't as cheap as the street markets obviously, but since everything in Thailand is so cheap and so much of it is all the same in the markets (there are literally T-shirts you can buy with the words 'same same' printed on them) it is nice to step outside the box and buy shirts without the Chang Beer logo or some modification of the Coca-Cola logo on them. The temples (particularly the Reclining Buddha), and Grand Palace are a definite MUST as well as the floating market. Though dress appropriately for the temples and palace as these are Buddhist places and the culture should be respected by tourists. It can be difficult to remember this as Bangkok is known as the hottest city in the world with the pollution trapping the heat in and making it even more humid. Women should wear closed shoes, long pants and shirts with sleeves. Spaghetti strap tops just won't cut it. We didn't know this but luckily for us you can pay a small refundable fee (around 20 Baht) and your pants/shorts can be covered by sarongs or long pants for the duration of your tour of the palace. The night markets are wonderful and always remember to haggle the price down. Also, in Pat Pong (the red-light district of Bangkok) watch out for touts trying to lure you into their club with promises of a Ping-Pong show. There's usually some catch and they end up trying to make you pay a lot of money. Though the Ping-Pong shows are hysterical to watch and really quite impressive. I recommend seeing one if you have a strong stomach and are comfortable watching women do ridiulous things with sporting goods. Haha! But as they say, "When in Rome"... and this is all part of the Thai culture. Enjoy Bangkok, but don't spend too long here!
The city that never sleeps - Nigel Bragg. Date of travel: Nov 2005
Living in South Africa means that going out at night carries a public health warning. Now imagine a city where you can get reasonably priced food at any time of the night, where transport is available 24/7 for those who don't use cars, and you feel so safe that it is almost scary. Does such a Utopian city exist? The answer is yes, it's called Bangkok. The traders don't try to rip you off exhorbitantly like in the Arab world (a visit to Cairo will cure you of any desire to go to the Middle East), and the people are really helpful and friendly even when there is a language barrier. Bangkok is a great place to be day or night, it is the city that never sleeps Tour Operator: Club Travel
Head for Khao San - Aidan Dunbar. Date of travel: Jul 2005
Head for Khao San
Once you have managed to get through Immigration and Customs, there are the masses of the ticket touts trying to force you into taking their 'special taxi' to their best hotel, or their stretch limo to Thanon Khao San. There may be some trustworthy guys out there touting for such services, but most of the time you end up paying over the odds for a service which can be picked up easier outside. Unless you have a particular place you want to go to in Bangkok, such as prebooked accommodation, it might be a good idea to head for Thanon Khao San, known by many other names including "Backpacker Mecca", "Backpacker Central" and "The place with lots of lights for those on a low budget". It can be easily reached on the Airport Bus (The one with A-2 on it). You won't miss it. Accommodation is relatively easy to come across in this area of town - just try to make sure that you get there at a decent time of day, preferably before sundown to ensure that you can get a room. If not, don't give up just move onto the next one. Unfortunately there are Thais out there who feel that Farang are there to be taken advantage of and they will try to con you out of money. 99% of Thais are not like this though, and are more likely to help you save money than to steal from/blackmail you. Approaching every foreigner with suspicion will get you nowhere. Beware however of tuk-tuk drivers offering to take you on a tour of the city for some ridiculously low price, as they are more likely wanting to take you round to shops which hand out tokens for free petrol when you buy something. This is a problem in Bangkok and is a part of the government's tourism promotion (which has presumably backfired). Interesting things to do in Bangkok include taking a riverboat tour of the city and its backwaters. Taking one of the longtail boats cost us (group of 6) about 500 Baht per person, and although it may seem relatively expensive the tour is definitely worth it, with stops at temples along the way. The amount of fish in the water is immense, just a handful of crumbs bringing writhing masses to the surface. Eating out in Bangkok is easy, especially if you are living near or around Thanon Khao San. If you get a chance, go to Lucky Beer Restaurant; it is amazing value for money and the food is good as well. We managed to feed a group of 11 people with main course and drinks for around 1200 Baht (approximately ÂŁ16 GBP). The smog and haze that seems to descend upon Bangkok during some times of the day may be a nusiance to some, but overall it is worth staying for a few days to experience the amazing markets and overwhelming sights and sounds. Tour Operator: World Challenge Expeditions (Team Challenge)
Amanda. Date of travel: Feb 2005
Go to other countries if you want a relaxing holiday. If you thing Thailand is fantastic, you have not travelled to other nicer countries in Asia. I wasted my time and money going to the country - the people I come accross there are all out to cheat your money and there are also others that are very rude- can't understand why they say Thailand means the Land of Smiles. You feel like you are in the office when you go to Bangkok for a holiday, maybe even the office is better....
TRACY COSTELLO. Date of travel: Oct 2004
City of contrasts, loads to see, loads to buy, loads of markets and shopping malls. If ther eis a space there is a market stall selling anything or everything, or as in all cities people begging. Girlie bars are a rip off. Either extortinate drink prices or get you to buy four girls a vodka but they only serve them squash! Taxis and Tuk Tuks are cheap but agree a price before you get in! Don't miss the river trip and be like James Bond! I was there 2-3 days but that was enough as it is so clammy - you'll go in shops just to cool down! Nightlife for all tastes but for a more western scene head for back packers street. Tour Operator: Kuoni
Hotels in Bangkok User Rating
5-Star Hotels
Banyan Tree | * * * * * |
Conrad | * * * * * |
Dusit Thani hotel | * * * * * |
Four Seasons | * * * * * |
Grand Hyatt Erawan | * * * * * |
Intercontinental Hotel | * * * * * |
JW Marriott Bangkok | * * * * * |
Landmark Hotel | * * * * * |
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4-Star Hotels
Radisson Hotel | * * * * * |
Amari Watergate | * * * * * |
Baiyoke Sky Hotel | * * * * * |
Amari Atrium Hotel | * * * * * |
Ambassador Hotel | * * * * * |
Arnoma | * * * * * |
Century Park Hotel | * * * * * |
Chaophya Park | * * * * * |
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3-Star Hotels
Bangkok Palace | * * * * * |
Narai Hotel | * * * * * |
Sawasdee Khaosan Inn | * * * * * |
Holiday Home Rent Bangkok | * * * * * |
A-One Bangkok | * * * * * |
Asia Bangkok Hotel | * * * * * |
Bangkok Boutique | * * * * * |
Bel-Aire Princess Hotel | * * * * * |
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2-Star Hotels
Prince Palace Hotel | * * * * * |
Ariston Hotel | * * * * * |
Bangkok City Inn | * * * * * |
Buddy Lodge Hotel | * * * * * |
Centre Hotel | * * * * * |
Chaleena Princess Hotel | * * * * * |
First House | * * * * * |
Grand Tower Inn | * * * * * |
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