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BANGKOK

City Guide

Prepare to be catapulted through a city of amazing temples, awesome nightlife and blindingly colourful street life. Thailand's City of Angels is one of contrast - half old-world Thailand, and half futuristic metropolis. You could be chilling on a corner of Chinatown, sampling dirt-cheap but delicious street food as you watch the city speed past one hour, and living it up on the rooftop of a 61-floor hotel the next...

What to do in Bangkok

  • The Grand Palace
    Head to the centre of Bangkok and allow a few hours to explore this former royal residence. Covered in tons of gold and scattered with colourful statues, shrines and temples, this complex is Bangkok's must-see site.
  • Wat Pho
    After checking out the Grand Palace, head next door to Wat Pho, otherwise known as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. This huge reclining idol is Thailand's most sacred site, so dress conservatively by covering your arms and legs, and prepare to be amazed by his size.
  • Chatuchak Weekend Market
    If you're lucky enough to hit Bangkok on a weekend, dedicate a day to getting lost in one of the world's largest markets. This colossal labyrinth sells everything from cute domestic pets to vintage clothes and trainers at a fraction of what you'd pay back in he U.S. There's also heaps of amazing food to cure even the most vicious of Sangsom hangovers!
  • Wat Arun
    Otherwise known as The Temple of Dawn, this imposing structure sits on the banks of the Chaophraya River. Arrive early to avoid the crowds all competing with one another to climb the super-steep steps to the top, which offers amazing views over Bangkok. The walls are covered in intricate, colourful carvings but post-sunset, Wat Arun is illuminated gold. A popular nighttime activity is to take a dinner boat cruise past it. 
  • Chaophraya River & floating markets
    "Another Asian market?!" You say... But Damnoen Market and Amphawa amongst others in Bangkok bring a certain kind of Southeast Asian magic to the table. The vendors, shoppers and all the wares float entirely on water. Arrive early, as many shut up shop after the morning's up. An alternative to a tour of a floating market is to take a ride through central Bangkok's colourful canals, drifting past some fascinating local life. 
  • Street food
    You won't have to search far, or pay a lot, to find delicious street food in Bangkok. Head over to Chinatown for Chinese dumplings, noodles and seafood, or check out the stalls and alleys around Banglamphu for classic Souteast Asian fare. Pad Thai and fresh spicy papaya salad are amazingly cheap, but there's plenty of interesting options for those who want to be a bit more adventurous. Creepy crawlies, or 'dancing' shrimp, anyone? 
Bangkok temple

Bangkok Neighbourhood Guide

Grand Palace statues, Bangkok
Banglamphu
If you only have a day or two in Bangkok, we recommend you focus on exploring Bangkok's 'Old Town' of Banglamphu. Full of colour, charm, history and famous monuments like Wat Pho, it offers a true insight into the buzzing capital. Khao San Road, Southeast Asia's busiest backpacker spot is here too.
Khao San Road Neighbourhood
Khao San Road
Actually little more than a street in Banglamphu, Khaosan Road is Bangkok's backpacker hub. Just a kilometre from the Grand Palace and Wat Pho, and rammed full of shopping, bars, restaurants, cafes hotels and hostels, its the perfect place to check into when you reach Bangkok.
Bangkok night
Sukhumvit
Cosmopolites world-over flock to this long road (the longest in Thailand, in fact) to eat, party, shop and relax in fashionable hotels and futuristic shopping malls. Here, you'll find Bangkok's crazy red-light districts, beautiful sky bars and spas. Sukhumvit is easily reachable via the BTS sky train that runs the length of it.
Chinatown Bangkok
Chinatown
Take stroll through Chinatown, an area southeast of Banglamphu, to see, smell and taste Asia at its best. Here you'll find a colourful heap of shops, restaurants and mouth-watering food carts selling everything from dim sum to live eels!

Bangkok Tours

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Bangkok Adventure Tours

Northern Thailand markets
Northern Thailand Journey
Soak up Thailand's Indochinese culture with this 14 day tour, which includes a river boat and temple tour in Bangkok, a cooking class in Chiang Mai, Ayutthaya and Sukothai's historical sites, all of your accommodation, transport and breakfasts. Starts and ends in Bangkok.
From $1599
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Bangkok temples
River Kwai and the Ancient Kingdoms
A must for all culture-vultures, this three-day tour takes you from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi, where you will learn about the infamous Thailand-Burma Death Railway and visit the WWII Museum. Throw in a healthy dose of temples, Ayutthaya's ancient monuments, amazing complimentary food and a dip in the seven-tier Erawan Waterfalls, and you're onto a winner.
From $843
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Elephant tour on River Kwai
Babysit an Elephant on the River Kwai
Departing from and arriving back into Bangkok, you'll spend a night in Kanchanaburi learning about local culture and history, before spending the next whole day with sick, retired and orphaned elephants at the Elephant World Project. You'll get to wash and feed these gently giants; an experience we guarantee you'll never forget!
4 nights, from $430
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Our favourite Bangkok hotels and hostels

Navalai Rooftop Pool
Navalai River Resort
Fancy something special whilst in Bangkok? Relax, rest and take in the amazing views of Bangkok from Navalai's rooftop pool and hot tub. This 3.5 star hotel is in walking distance of crazy Khao San Road, Wat Pho and the Grand Palace.
From $71 per night
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Villa Cha Cha Bangkok pool
Villa Cha Cha
With a bar serving drinks that are nearly as fruity as the décor around the gorgeous outdoor pool, Villa Cha Cha is cosy, comfortable, fun and affordable. The guesthouse is located just a few minutes from Khao San Road and the major tourist attractions, but there's plenty of poolside beds and a sauna for those who'd prefer to chill in this mini-paradise.
From $40 per night
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Bangkok Bed and Bike bathroom
Bed and Bike Hostel
Forget tiny bunk beds and smelly lobbys; Bed and Bike is a hostel of the future! Kitted out in seriously cool décor, this central hostel is more like a mini-boutique hotel. Fresh linen, friendly staff and a perfect location makes it a must for flashpackers.
From $13 per night
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Want more Bangkok tips and advice? Read on, dear traveler!

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