Nothing I thought I had learned from various sites, pamphlets and friends prepared me for the capital city of Thailand, the mesmerizing Bangkok. I was enthralled by the different facets of the city – the infrastructure and skyscrapers, culture and religion, shopping malls and markets, flyovers and sky trains and yes, the haven for legal prostitution. Bangkok is invariably the ‘Not to miss for the World’ item in your checklist when you plan a trip to Thailand. And man! A day or so is just not enough!
One ought to plan meticulously to explore this city. It has its fair share of fun but can also make you feel totally lost. I did! At least on my very first day in Bangkok. Where do I stay? What do I see? How will I go about from one place to another? It was chaos. But then I realized that this prime city of the world offers a lot of simplicity when it comes to planning.
How to reach Bangkok?
Bangkok is well connected with rest of the world by air, and there are two international airports in the city. The Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) is located 25 kilometers east of Bangkok and the Don Mueang Airport (DMK) is located 24 kilometers to the north. While most international and domestic airlines operate at the Suvarnabhumi Airport, the latter is the hub for most Thai airlines. You can reach the airports by buses and taxis, and the Airport Rail Link -a high-speed train service into downtown Bangkok.
Where to stay in Bangkok
For easy understanding, I have divided Bangkok largely into two – Old Bangkok and Sukhumvit. Old Bangkok upholds Thailand’s culture and tradition for it has the magnificent Grand Palace and temples called ‘Wat’s. Sukhumvit area is where you find a lot of hotels, restaurants, bars, clubs, markets, shopping malls and other attractions. It is also the longest road in Thailand with many sub-streets or Soi. Tourists tend to stay in this area for it is close to many popular attractions, good accommodation, and the Suvarnabhumi airport.
Infrastructure in Bangkok
The roads of Bangkok are well-maintained and well-marked with street signs, mostly bi-lingual. It was like floating on the clouds for there were no bumpy rides. I was always leaning and looking out of the windshield of the car, like a little child in awe, to see the skyscrapers, shopping malls and almost all the top designer labels in the world; be it Prada, Chanel, Dior, Giorgio Armani, Ralph Lauren, Victoria’s Secret, Versace, Boss or Lamborgini. A lot of thought and planning has gone into building these assets and infrastructure for it to match with the aesthetics of the city. Unlike in many countries, you will always find better civic sense among localities as the traffic stream abides by the law.
The nights in Bangkok made me feel as if I was in a fairyland; neon lights, music blasting from the bars, the yummilicious street food including seafood, barbecued insects and delicacies for the tourists.
There are drawbacks too because Bangkok is Thailand’s most growing area in terms of human population as well as automobile population. It is too difficult to cope with this enormous demand on its existing road systems.
Mode of Transport in Bangkok
Tourists usually prefer the Skytrain/BRT (Bus Rapid Transit), the underground train/MRT (Metropolitan Rapid Transit) or the Airport Rail Link to get around in Central Bangkok. It is more efficient and preferred for it is faster and you can bypass the heavy Bangkok traffic. It is better to pick a hotel near any BTS station. We stayed near the Nana BTS and the conveyance has never been easier. Find out which is the nearest BTS station you are headed to and get a ticket from the counter. There are also ticket vending machines, but be sure that you have Thai coins. You can also ask for change from the counters. We did that! We loved putting coins one by one and getting the ticket at last. Crazy! There are maps and directions at all stations and you will not get lost.
If you are somewhere near Grand Palace, you can also opt for the Chao Phraya Express Boat. The cheapest mode of transportation, this ferry service will take you to all major attractions. We had visited the Grand Palace, Wat Pho and Wat Arun and then boarded a boat from the Tha Tien Pier and headed to Sathorn Pier, took a BTS to Siam and went shopping.
I was fascinated by the different colored taxis in Bangkok and had to ask our taxi driver what it signified. There are either one colored taxis like green, pink, red, orange and blue and also, two colored taxis mostly green and yellow. While the former is owned by a company, (each color telling us about the taxi company), the latter are private taxis owned by the individual.
Major Attractions in Bangkok
a. The Grand Palace b. Wat Pho c. Wat Arun d. MBK Mall e. Safari World f. Shopping g. Street food
Bangkok has a variety of options for every budget. Stay tuned as I will be talking in detail about Bangkok’s attractions, shopping, and other things the place has to offer.
Like it? Don’t forget to Pin it!
I am writing all about Thailand this April for the A to Z Challenge 2017. Thanks for all the love you’ve showered on this space! You can also check out my food blog for A to Z Indian Dishes to Die For.
Vidya Sury says
Wow. Sadly I just passed through Bangkok and only saw the airport en route to Shanghai. I promised myself I’d make a leisurely trip to Thailand, especially after the air hostess tempted me with all the lovely things I could experience and see. Thank you for the mini trip, Shalini! Hugs!
Vidya Sury recently posted…Buddha’s Diet #AtoZChallenge #BookReview
Oh! That is sad. But I hope the air hostess has convinced you. If not, I’m sure I will be able to, by the end of this challenge 🙂
Awkward Earthling says
Looks like you really have a done a lot of study before planning 🙂
Like always .. enthusiastic 🙂
& yes.. I.am planning an itinerary in my head !!!
Awkward Earthling recently posted…Seizure – #ATOZChallenge 2017
hihi 😀 Thanks, Sam.
One just have to drop in here to have a virtual tour of the place. Like I commented in your last post… well organised post. Hugs. Thanks for this.
Sheethal recently posted…Wrong B’s
Thank you very much, Sheethal. 🙂
Vinay Leo R. says
Not been abroad. Not sure if I will be. But if I head to Bangkok, I know a post now where I can get some info! 😀 A virtual trip.
Vinay Leo R. recently posted…#AtoZChallenge 2017 – B is for Beauty Lies in the Eyes of the Beholder
Thanks, V. I hope you make that trip soon 🙂
Ohh it looks so culturally rich. The issue with the popular destinations in developing countries is they are barely able to meet the growing demand of tourism. But wih Bangkok’s stunning landscape and architecture, I am sure it makes up for every inconvenience.
Rajlakshmi recently posted…Travel Tales: Big Buddha #atozchallenge
I hope so too, Raj 🙂
Thanks for the virtual trip. Different Colored taxis looks cute. When I read barbecued insects…I was like 🙂
upasna recently posted…Celebrate Minimally
Hehe. Imagine me seeing it everywhere 🙂
Revisiting Bangkok through your post! Isn’t it just lovely!
Mayuri recently posted…B is for… AtoZChallenge
It’s fabulous, Mayuri 🙂
Mocktail mommies says
Nicely written. Very helpful guide for anyone who needs to travel to Bangkok on their own(without the services of a tour operator)….looking forward to more.
Thank you 🙂
Menaka Bharathi says
Two bogs for atozchallenge, wow Shalz, you truly are amazing. I was just wondering if I could finish the challenge without break. Now I am truly impressed. Bangkok has been in my bucket list, planning to make it when the children can begin enjoying travels as we do.
Menaka Bharathi recently posted…Bio-compost – Did You Know You Can Make Your Own Bio-composts From Your Kitchen Cabinet
Just trying my best, Menaka 🙂 Thank you very much.
Revived my memories of Bangkok! Very handy guide for first timers.
Theme: Travel Epiphanies
Boisterous Fruit Bats
Thank you, Natasha 🙂
Roshan Radhakrishnan says
I like how organized it is. You have the old world sections with street foods and all but look at that sky train and as u said, taxis organized by colour.
Roshan Radhakrishnan recently posted…‘Bikers Against Child Abuse’ are a Shining Example of Guardian Angels #AtoZChallenge
Yes, Roshan. The infrastructure, in general, was impressive.
Loved this virtual trip. I’ve heard so much about this bustling city. I almost planned an impulsive trip last year (only to Bangkok, not the rest of Thailand) but chickened out cos I didn’t think I would enjoy it solo.
I’m waiting for your post for C. If it is what I think it is, then I’m gonna do a happy dance 😀
Sreesha recently posted…Bittersweet Memories | #AtoZChallenge
Swathi Shenoy says
I like how organised your post is. It’s like taking a virtual trip. You rock girl 🙂
Swathi Shenoy recently posted…Brother
O yes! When we went to Bangkok, we too stayed in Sukhumvit and explored the area by walking and when our feet refused to walk more, we’d take a halt and get a nice foot massage done and get back to exploring the city again! Isn’t it fun!
This theme is sure giving me throwbacks and making me crave to make new memories as well!
Geets recently posted…B- Beautiful Bride
oh Ditto! All those painful walks were worth it. Wish I could travel to Bangkok again some time soon 🙂
Relived my Bangkok memories through your post. Enjoying your series.
Suzy recently posted…Be like the River … #atozchallenge letter B
Thank you, Suzy 🙂
Nibha Gupta says
I also had covered most of these tourists spots there but due to lack of time I could not explore the local transport but was surely fascinated by the colorful taxis and their special motor Rick called tuk-tuk!
I’m so loving your series, it is bringing back all memories! 🙂
Nibha Gupta recently posted…(B)lind Date #AtoZChallenge
Wow, you’ve been to Bangkok? Superb place, right? I would do anything to visit it again!
Ishieta @ Isheeria's says
I had a very short trip to Bangkok, and I completely agree its a beautiful city with lots and lots to see, do & shop! Your post and pictures have highlighted the best and practical aspects of this place – Thank you for the mini vacation!
Ishieta @ Isheeria’s recently posted…#AtoZofHealing – [B] Bach Flower Therapy – #AtoZChallenge
Welcome, Ishieta. It’s a fantastic place, isn’t it?
Thanks for the mini tour of Bangkok! I am showing your posts to my hubby dear! Pointers for next vacation plans 😉
Neha recently posted…Bewitched and Bewildered
Hehe! That’s awesome. I hope you plan that trip.
Roma Gupta Sinha says
I have worked in Bangkok some years back buddy and it was an absolute pleasure revisiting it through your eyes love. I thorough, exhaustive and an enjoyable post 🙂
Truly Yours Roma
Roma Gupta Sinha recently posted…Brave-heart He Was Not ~ Vol 2 of the Series ‘Lost Love’
You were in Bangkok? Wowww! Thank you, Roma.
Preethi Venugopala says
Seems like a truly amazing place. Thank you for sharing!
Preethi Venugopala recently posted…Importance of Building a Routine, Backstories, Beta-readers and Backup
Thanks for dropping by 🙂
Love your pictures! We just had two days in Bangkok out of which a day when for the Safari World alone. But we did get to explore it a little bit and managed some good shopping 🙂
The only thing that disappointed me about this place was how everything shut down by 8 pm! I mean you are such a famous city and then close before the night is young. What’s that all about?
Soumya recently posted…B: Bookworm & Blossoms #AToZChallenge
By 8? Really? I was out till wee hours of the night! That’s surprising though.
We were there for 3 days – Safari World, the temples and sightseeing and the shopping on the last day 🙂
Reminded me of my own trip over 30 years ago. I will have to visit again and see this place…. it’s much ritzier and glitzier now
Bellybytes recently posted…Beautiful Baluchari and Benarasi Brocades #AtoZChallenge 2017
Yes, you should!
shubhangi srikanth says
These are the tips that you will not get anywhere! Where to stay, the pros and cons , so beautifully done. I kindof loved the colourful taxis too!
shubhangi srikanth recently posted…B – 5 things to know when you make your Bucket list
It looks like a great place and I really feel like planning a trip to bangkok. 🙂
Deepa recently posted…5 Ways to Encourage Creativity in Kids #MondayMommyMoments
Sanch @ Sanch Writes says
Great details on Bangkok…if I know someone who wants to travel there, will surely be referring them to your blog 😀
Sanch @ Sanch Writes recently posted…#Brevette: Stories #atozchallenge
Deepthi P Jugali says
I added this place to the list after reading your blog. Pics are awesome and inspiring to anybody who is a traveller and explorer.
Your pics are just too good, in both your blogs!
I have not been to BKK in a long time but you make it sound more fun 🙂
dew cool says
Amazing and complete review about this place, beautiful pictures
thanks for sharing 🙂 Bloom up Your Motherhood – What to expect during the First trimester of Pregnancy
dew cool recently posted…Bloom up Your Motherhood – What to expect during the First trimester of Pregnancy #Atozchallenge
Ashwini Dodani says
Whoa, this has become now one of my to visit places. Such a brilliant and detailed post 🙂
Modern Gypsy says
This is such a wonderfully detailed post. I almost felt like I was with you, planning and seeing it all! Lovely photos too…the palace looks breathtaking!
Modern Gypsy recently posted…Brush primer: choose the right brushes for your art projects
This one’s great post. Totally loved the virtual tour. The street food looked yum. Bangkok is in my soon to visit list. Hopefully by end of this year. Shall come back to your post once again when I finalize going there.
Reema D'souza says
Thailand looks amazing! Wish I could visit it someday!
Reema D’souza recently posted…#AtoZChallenge : Breathe
Wow! Bangkok sure does look enticing, and the streetfood. Loved the way you’ve strung everything together.
SHALINI BAISIWALA says
I remember passing through Bangkok and seeing a few of the places = loved the grand palace for its gorgeous colours and details. What a treat its been turning out to tune into your blog Shalzzzy
Theme: Peregrination Chronicles (travel)
B is for BodyArt #atozchallenge
SHALINI BAISIWALA recently posted…[B] The Bodyart in Bikaner | #atozchallenge 2017 |
Tina Basu says
Bangkok is one of my favorite cities as well – the perfect place to Shop. EAT. Laze. Repeat. I have visited thrice to do only this!
Tina Basu recently posted…Believe in Yourself – Step 2 to a Meaningful Life – A to Z Challenge 2017
Cathy Graham says
What a well written travel post! So descriptive and well explained. You should be a travel writer, Shalini! You’re so good at it. Bangkok sounds delightful and love your wonderful photos to accompany the descriptions. Great post!
Cathy Graham recently posted…B is for Beauty of the Birds #AtoZChallenge
Looks really beautiful! I’ve always wanted to visit 🙂 I think it would be the street food that would most interest me to be honest. It looks delicious!
Believe In Fairy Stories: Theme – Folklore & Fairy Tales
Anmol Rawat says
Different colored taxis is indeed interesting and can make anybody curious. I have heard before as well that it is heaven for shopaholics. Can imagine most of the girls I know going crazy over there 😀
Another detailed, yet easy to follow post. Keep up! 🙂
Anmol Rawat recently posted…Circle of Life
Nick Wilford says
This brought back great memories of my five days in the city. It was the first stop on my round-the-world trip. Can’t believe it was 15 years ago! It’s one of the most vibrant places in the world, so much noise and colour. I still remember the contrast from the hustle and bustle of the street, with entering the grounds of the Grand Palace where it was instant peace and tranquillity. It was surreal.
Nick Wilford recently posted…A-Z Challenge 2017 – B is for Beth + Learn a Word in 100 Words launch
Debbie D. says
Loving your travel posts! Bangkok is one place I’ve always been fascinated by. Maybe, someday.
Debbie D. recently posted…CHERRY HILL PARK | #AtoZCHALLENGE (C) #MusicalMemoriies
Wow! Such a comprehensive introduction to the city of Bangkok! I am just loving it Shalini 🙂
Radhika recently posted…Alphabet C – Crosswords
I have to visit Bangkok again as there’s a lot that I have missed…
Anita recently posted…Champion of Champions #AToZChallenge
Never been off the North American continent but I have pinned this. “Maybe one day”. What a fascinating city.
Alana recently posted…Computers – #AtoZChallenge