Welcome to Bangkok, the oriental city that does not sleep. Bangkok is the capital city of Thailand but as Bangkok Metropolitan Area (BMA) also a kind of province of Thailand. There has been many things written about Bangkok so I will leave the details to Wikipedia and others. Following I will write about my own experience about Bangkok city since the first time in 1985. Bangkok is actually the river delta of the Chao Phraya River and long time ago Bangkok was know as the "Venice of Asia", but nowadays most canals (klongs) are closed and turned into roads. Bangkok is a huge city with about 10 to 12 million people, with some super modern area's as Sukhumvit road and Silom road but also traditional China Town and still a kind of Thai village neighbourhoods. If you like cities you could stay here for weeks or even months to explore Bangkok. If you are planning to travel in Thailand and need help with planning then send me a email at The Little Elephant Traveling in Thailand.
Bangkok is connected by train to
Read more about other destinations at DESTINATION TRAVEL GUIDES.
The name of Bangkok
The official Thai name of Bangok is :
- Krungthepmahanakhon Amonrattanakosin Mahintharayutthaya Mahadilokphop Noppharatratchathaniburirom Udomratchaniwetmahasathan Amonphimanawatansathit Sakkathattiyawitsanukamprasit
But never mind as Thai people will call it Krunghthep and international it is called Bangkok (what comes from a once small village Ban Kok). Bangkok the city of angels.
One night in Bangkok and the world's your oyster
The bars are temples but their pearls ain't free
You'll find a god in every golden cloister
And if you're lucky, then the god's a she
I can feel an angel sliding up to me
How to get to/from Bangkok?
Bangkok has 2 International Airports, Survanabhumi Airport (BKK) and Don Muang Airport (DMK). The latter is the old airport of Bangkok and when the new airport was openend the idea was to use Don Muang Airport only for domestic flights. But that did not work out so now both airports are used for domestic and international flights. International Bangkok can be reached from almost all major cities in the world. And domestic Bangkok can be reached from almost all major cities in Thailand like Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Nan, Khon Kaen, Udon Thani, Khorat, Ubon Ratchathani, Phuket, Koh Samui, Trat, Hat Yai, Krabi, etc.
Until December 2021 the main train station of Bangkok was Hua Lampong but since January 2022 officially this has been replaced by the new Bang Sue Grand Station. But until July 2022 Hua Lampong is still used as train station and the new Bang Sue Grand Station is only used for the local Red Line train. Besides the main train station there is also Thonburi train station. For more information about trains in Thailand see State Railways Thailand.
Bangkok is connected by train to
- South Thailand with Hat Yai and from there to Malaysia and Singapore
- North Thailand to Chiang Mai
- Northeast Thailand Nong Khai (and from there theoretically to Laos) & Ubon Ratchathani
- West Thailand to Kanchanaburi
There are 3 main bus-stations in Bangkok :
- Ekmai (East)
- Mochit (North)
- Sai Mai Tai (South).
There are busses going to all major cities in Thailand and even to Laos, Cambodia and Malaysia.
By Car or Motorbike
All major highways to/from Bangkok are good to very good and you can drive or ride to any major city in Thailand and even to Laos, Cambodia or Malaysia. At both airports of Bangkok are good international car-rental companies and self-driving is easy and safe.
How to get around in Bangkok?
- By taxi by the meter or fixed-price, but agree on a price before leaving.
- Take the Express-boat on the Chao Phraya.
- Or use a Longtail-boat on klongs (fixed route).
- Of course you can use Motorbike-taxi for short distances.
- Skytrain (BTS) or MRT (subway).
- Try the busses (if you understand the route system).
- Songtheauw for fixed routes.
- Train (very slow).
- You can rent car and drive yourself but within Bangkok that seems useless.
- Riding a motorbike or bicycle as transport-mode is not a good idea.
Where to stay in Bangkok?There are many totally different area's in Bangkok to stay, there is no real center in Bangkok. If you are for the first time in Bangkok I would recommend to stay along the Chao Phraya River or the area of Sam Sen or China Town. If you want to party I would recommend to stay at upper Sukhumvit road. If you are in Bangkok for business I would recommend to stay at Silom road or Suriwong road. I did stay in a few hotels in Bangkok and made a review of all the hotels where I stayed, have a look at Hotels in Bangkok.
My personal choice is to stay near any station of the BTS or MRT. Most times I stay somewhere along Sukhumvit road or totally different near the Chao Phraya River. Personally I dislike the area the Khao San Road.
Where to eat in Bangkok?There are so many restaurants that you should ask yourself first "What do I want to eat?". OK probably Thai, but there are restaurants from all over the world in Bangkok. I also like the food courts in many shopping malls, you can see & choose what you want to eat. I did eat in a few restaurants in Bangkok, have a look at Restaurants in Bangkok.
What to do?
- Get lost in China Town
- Take the express-boat on the Chao Phraya River.
- Go bicycling along the klongs or on at the green "island" of Bang Nam Phueng.
- Have dinner on or along the Chao Phraya River like a diner-cruise.
- Join a cocktail party at one the rooftop-bars of Bangkok.
- Go to Asiatique Riverfront along the Chao Phraya.
- Have a Traditional Thai massage or a less traditional massage if you are in the mood for that.
- Just sit somewhere for 1 hours and watch street life.
- Have a drink in a Thai pub.
- Go to Klong-toey market.
- Make a short ride with a Tuk-Tuk.
- Visit A-Go-Go Bar at least once in Soi Cowboy, Nana or Patpong.
- Take the Skytrain and watch the hectic city Bangkok
- Get scammed at least once but do not buy rubies.
- Make a food-tour.
- Wake-up very early and go walk in the small soi's or visit a park.
For more travel tips about Bangkok have a look at Travel Tips Bangkok.
Where is the nightlife?Thailand and especially Bangkok is famous (or should I say infamous) for nightlife. Of course the so infamous nightlife is at Patpong (Silom road), Nana Plaza (Sukhumvit road Soi 4) and Soi Cowboy (Sukhumvit road Soi 23). Around this area's there is of course a development of other nightlife with pub's, restaurants and disco's. As of Sukhumvit road that is mostly the upper-part, lets say from Soi 2 to Soi 45. But Thai nightlife scene is actually everywhere like at RCA, Ari, Thong Lor, Ekmai and even Klong Toey.
More informationLooking for shops, markets or other things in Bangkok? Read my postings at All about Bangkok
Map of Bangkok (BMA)
|Map of Bangkok (BMA)|
50 districts of Bangkok (BMA)
|The 50 districts of Bangkok (BMA)|