Bangkok offers a fascinating blend of traditional and modern, bursting with vibrancy and making for the perfect stopover destination.
A trip to the city wouldn’t be complete without a spot of shopping; from swanky upmarket boutiques to authentic market stalls, there’s something for everyone. We recommend visiting one of the floating markets and immersing yourself in the chaos as the locals cook and sell you various treats as they paddle by. Another great way to see the city is by Tuk Tuk; hire a driver and spend a few hours hopping between the many stunning temples. For the best view in the house, head to a roof top bar and take in the sparkling scenes of the city at night time.
Add to your city break by visiting nearby Singapore, or for something more relaxing, head to Pattaya, just an hour’s road trip away for some fun at the beach.
Bangkok’s dry season stretches from November to April. Temperatures are slightly more comfortable at the start of the season, and rise from mid February. April is usually the hottest month of the year, just before the start of the rainy season.
Our favourite time to visit Bangkok is between November and March, when temperatures are a little lower and there is less rain and humidity. For a true taste of Thai culture, April’s Songkran festival (Thai New Year) is also popular.
The rainy season starts in May and peaks in September and October. Humidity is high during the peak of the rainy season, and showers are usually short but heavy.View all hotels in Bangkok
The city of Bangkok is bursting with great places to eat all your favourite Thai dishes. Look out for the restaurants that are preferred by the locals — even ask them and they’ll be more than happy to direct you to a delicious meal.
A big advantage of eating in Bangkok is that it won’t cost you much at all. Cheap and cheerful is sometimes used negatively — but inexpensive food served with a side of bustling Far East ambience and lashings of charm on top can only be a good thing. This is Bangkok to a tee.
The city has an amazing range of local restaurants serving up delicious food, often on plastic plates. Unassuming, fresh and totally delicious, with recipes that have been handed down through generations. If you want to taste authentic Thai cuisine, that has that home cooked feel, then look no further than the streets of Bangkok.
With bold colours, floral patterned walls and occasionally hanging plants inside, you’ll know you’re in Bangkok just from the décor. This incredible city has every kind of dining experience you can imagine, including rooftop bars, revolving restaurants and street eateries. Once you’ve eaten at the Banyan Tree Bangkok’s rooftop restaurant you might never want to go anywhere else.
Of course you cannot go to Bangkok without trying the fare served up by street vendors. Spicy, deeply flavoured, yet deceptively simple; this is Thai food as it was intended.
Bangkok has to be one of the best cities for food lovers. Affordable, tasty and with so much variety, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to sampling the best of Bangkok’s street food.
Head to the floating markets on the outskirts of the city to enjoy freshly cooked seafood or noodles on the edge of the river, or venture to the giant food markets in the heart of the city for what could be the best food experience you’ve ever had. Head to the stall, point at what you want and within seconds you’ll be eating sweet or sour, salty or spicy food straight off the wok.
If you’re feeling particularly adventurous you can even get hold of some deep fried crispy locusts if you find the right stall! Head to Khao San Road, Klong Toey market or Chinatown, should you dare, and sample bamboo worms, silk larvae or even spiders.
Here are some of our favourite street dishes, sans-bugs.
A light, healthy option to start with. Som tam is green papaya salad, topped with anything from salted crab, to peanuts, to shredded pork.
Goong ob woonsen
An absolute must for anyone with a penchant for prawns. Sticky, glass noodles are flavoured with garlic and served in a clay pot, usually on top of an open, giant prawn. This dish really showcases the simplicity, yet punchy flavour, of Thai cooking.
This is a soothing dish with a rich broth, focusing more on the fish than the spice. When you order this you’ll be served a big bowl of rice soup with seafood or fish mixed in. Simple and delicious.
No street food list is complete without pad Thai, which has become a global favourite. It is flavoured with a number of ingredients, from eggs and tofu, to fish sauce, shallots and hard-hitting chillies. This is a classic dish for good reason — and you can’t get it better anywhere than Bangkok.
Even though Bangkok is Thailand’s busy capital, it still has wildlife both within the city and the surrounding area. Find a quiet park in the city centre or spend some time around the canals and you might spot some of Bangkok’s animal residents.
Reptiles and amphibians
The most likely animals you will come across are reptiles who love the humidity and canals. Water monitor lizards are large and always make for a great photo to take home — a reliable place to see one is at Lumphini Park, where you can spot them walking across the footpaths and in the grass.
Elsewhere in the city, you might see yellow-striped caecilians, black marsh turtles in the ponds and tree-frogs.
About a two-hour drive from Bangkok is the Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand, a wildlife rescue centre and elephant sanctuary. Here, you can volunteer for full- or half-day experiences to find out how the animals are looked after and learn why wildlife conservation is so important in Thailand.