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Bangkok travel guide

For many travelers, Bangkok will be the first stop on their Southeast Asian adventure. Sure, Thailand's capital may be seen as a busy transport hub, but stay a little longer and venture beyond the markets and nightspots of Khao San Road; you'll find a complex city that is in part charming old-world, and part modern, cosmopolitan metropolis. Stuff your face in Chinatown, explore Bangkok's temples, canals and water markets, and discover mind-blowing mega-malls in Sukhumvit.

What we love about Bangkok

blue pagoda temple icon THE GRAND PALACE
'Blingin' would be an understatement. This amazing complex of sparkling shrines, mansions and crazy statues has been the official home of Thailand's royal family since 1782.
blue dumpling icon THAI STREET FOOD
You won't have to search far, or pay a lot, to find delicious street food in Bangkok. Head to Chinatown for dumplings, noodles & seafood, or check out the stalls around Banglamphu for classic Asian.
blue camera icon WAT ARUN
The walls  of The Temple of Dawn 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. 
A golden bhudda at a temple

Bangkok Neighborhood Guide

Grand Palace statues in Bangkok


If you only have a day or two in Bangkok, we recommend you focus on exploring Bangkok's 'Old Town' of Banglamphu. Full of color, 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.
A femail seen from behind walking down Khao San Road

Khao San Road

Actually, little more than a street in Banglamphu, Khaosan Road is Bangkok's backpacker hub. Just over half a mile 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.
A view of tall buildings by the river in Bangkok


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.
A busy street seen in Chinatown Bangkok


Take stroll through Chinatown, an area southeast of Banglamphu, to see, smell and taste Asia at its best. Here you'll find a colorful heap of shops, restaurants and mouth-watering food carts selling everything from dim sum to live eels!

Bangkok Tours


Bangkok Adventure Tours

An overhead view of women in large hats in boats selling food at a floating market

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.
Stone Buddha statues dressed in yellow drapes at Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon in Ayutthaya

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.
An elephant spraying water

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!

Our favorite Bangkok hotels and hostels

The ornate bathroom of the Bed and Bike hostel

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.
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 cozy, 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.
Navalai Rooftop Pool

Navalai River Resort

Fancy something special while 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.

Want more Bangkok tips and advice? Read on, dear traveler!

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