Bangkok Travel Guide

Explore Bangkok

Bangkok is a city that everyone hates to love. A megapolis of over six million people, it can be crowded, polluted and hard to handle at first. Spend a few days here and you’ll often find yourself seduced by it.

Ancient stupas and pagodas dot the city, alongside long-tail boats that ply the royal river; streets are fringed with skyscrapers overlooking casual food carts selling deep-fried grasshoppers and mango sticky rice. By night, the city explodes with an infectious sense of energy, that even early birds can’t resist.

Unlike other capital cities in Asia, Bangkok has a strong sense of identity that has withheld even the test of time.


TOP THINGS TO DO

Grand Palace

This complex of royal halls and pavilions has been the official residence of the Kings of Siam since 1782 and is still used for state functions and ceremonies today. It stands in the heart of the city and well worth spending some time exploring.

Wat Pho

Easily the biggest sight in Bangkok, this Buddhist temple complex plays host to the city’s largest reclining Buddha (46m in height) and over 1000 Buddha images. It’s one of the oldest temples in the city and still serves as a place of education for the public today.

The Foundation of Islamic Centre of Thailand

There’s a large number of mosques in Bangkok, but this is the biggest, with capacity for more than 3,000 people. The complex is made up of two main prayer areas, two ablution areas, a large auditorium, a VIP reception hall, a bookstore, library, and food hall.

Banglamphu

Bangkok’s most popular temples, landmarks (including the Democracy Monument), wet markets and shophouses all convene in this neighbourhood. This is also where you’ll find the notorious backpacker’s enclave, Khao San Road.

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market

Hundreds of vendors glide along the waterways to hawk their ware and serve hot steamy bowls of noodles from their tiny wooden boats. At 100km outside of the city, it’s well worth the long trek for its lively atmosphere and vivacious display of colours and smells.

Lumpini Park

This rare green space is the lungs of the city, offering big open public fields, trees, playgrounds and jogging paths as well as an artificial lake where people can rent boats.

Where to Eat and Drink

Tangy flavors mixed with fresh ingredients and piquant spices make Thai food a hot favorite around the world. In Bangkok, you don’t have to go far to find a fulfilling and affordable meal. Halal food especially can be found all around the city, especially on the street side carts. Whether in a rooftop restaurant of an upscale hotel or in food carts of a dark alley, Bangkok’s culinary scene is explosive and always ready to blow your mind.


RECOMMENDED PLACES TO EAT

Chatuchak Weekend Market

Opened since 1942, this is Thailand’s biggest market and has more than 8,000 stalls, divided into 27 sections. Inside its labyrinth of food stalls, you’ll find some of the cheapest and best eats in town.

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Home Cuisine Islamic Restaurant

A local favorite among Muslims, this family-run Halal diner serves a great lineup of Thai-Muslim and Indian cuisine, in a cozy home-style setting. Don’t miss the mutton ribs masala and the Khao Kluk Kapi (rice fried in shrimp paste!

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Nahm

Voted as one of world’s 50 best restaurants, Nahm gives a new spin to ancient Thai dishes like chicken liver, smoked fish curry and cockles with chillies. This restaurant found in COMO Metropolitan Hotel is a place both for serious gourmets and curious travellers.

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Issaya Siamese Club

Inspired by old-school members-only clubs, this concept restaurant is housed in a colourful heritage home. The menu features signature Thai cuisine made with traditional ingredients but international and progressive cooking methods.

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Kaloang Home Kitchen

The laid-back seafood diner is perched precariously on the banks of Chao Phraya River and dishes up cheap, home cooked fare.

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Yana Restaurant

Cheap and casual, this fully-certified Halal diner dishes up Thai staples like tom yam and green curry as well as Western dishes like spaghetti and salads.

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Krua Apsorn

This is a local favourite among foodies and locals, including members of the Thai royal family. Expect to dine on quintessential Thai dishes at pocket-friendly prices.

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Recommended Places to Stay

The Sukhothai Hotel

Named after the ancient kingdom of Sukhothai, the hotel derives much of its style and decor from centuries ago. The luxury hotel exudes traditional elegance with beautiful reflection pools, rich Thai fabrics and quality teak furnishing.

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Shangri-La Hotel Bangkok

This tropical city resort is tucked amidst leafy gardens right along the Chao Phraya River. Every room reveals awe-inspiring river views and features a mix of traditional Thai style and modern comfort.

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Mac Boutique Suites

This all-suites hotel is a great mid-range option for families and those seeking space and facilities. Centrally located in Sukhumvit, it’s just steps from bustling restaurants and bars.

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Rambuttri Village Inn

Located within minutes from Khao San Road, this budget hotel has well-priced rooms designed in modern Oriental-style, and rooftop swimming pools and sun bathing decks.

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Best Time to Go

Thailand is blessed with tropical climate all year round, but the best time to visit Bangkok is during the dry season between November and February. There is less rainfall and modern temperatures of around 25°C. From March onwards, the temperature rises to around 32°C. May to November is the monsoon season, when rain showers hit the city, even flooding it from time to time.

The biggest festival of the year is Loy Krathong, which takes place every November during full moon. Bangkok locals all head to the Chao Phraya River with their krathongs (lotus filled with offerings) to float away their troubles. Another major festival is the Thai New Year, or Songkran, celebrated on 13th April each year with massive water fights on the streets of Bangkok.


Getting There

Many airlines fly from Saudi Arabia to Bangkok, including Oman Air, Philippine Airlines, Qatar Aiways, and Emirates. Direct flights are currently not available, and most flights have one stopover. The total journey is at least 10 hours.

Getting from Airport to City
  • By Train

    There are two rail services between Bangkok’s city centre and the Suvarnabhumi International Airport: the Express Line is a 15-minute non-stop service and costs 150 THB per trip; the City Line is a commuter service that takes 30 minutes and cost between 15 and 45 THB per trip.

  • By public bus

    A number of shuttle buses go from Bangkok Airport to various parts of the city and other provinces. A single fare is 35 THB. Refer to this page for a full list of buses.

  • By taxi

    Catch official taxis from the ground level of the airport. A ride to the city takes should costs only 250 THB each way and takes 35 minutes. Always ask to use the meter to avoid being overcharged.



Extra tips
  • The local language of Thailand is Thai, though most Thai youths also speak English.

  • The currency of Thailand is the Thai Baht (THB). The currency exchange rate is currently 1 SAR to 9.24 THB.

  • The voltage of Thailand is 220 volts.

  • The outlet type of Thailand uses two-prong round or flat plugs.