For an experience guaranteed to make the senses dance, go no further than the still exotic Bangkok and its countless cultural attractions, shopping, food, and entertainment options.
Step outside the cavernous modernity of Suvarnabhumi Airport and into a whole new world. Nothing can quite prepare the first-time visitor for the whirling, jaw-dropping, delightful organised chaos that is Bangkok, but as every seasoned traveller knows, the only way is to go with the flow and embrace one of the world’s great city experiences.
The capital of Thailand, and its commercial, political and spiritual heart, is less than half a day away by air from Australia but a world away in terms of sights, sounds and cultural heritage. It is all at once a city of great contrasts, a melting pot of historic and modern, a religious heartland and a shoppers’ paradise, within the embrace of a bustling, hustling metropolis of more than six million people.
- Country: Thailand
- Currency: Thai Bhat (THB)
- Offical Language: Thai
- Visas: Australian passport-holders entering on holiday do not require visas for stays of fewer than 30 days, but must be able to provide evidence of return or onward travel if required
- Tipping: Tipping is not customary, but even a small tip for good service will be appreciated
- Electricity: Thai power outlets run at an average 220 volts, and use Type A and C plugs, an adapter is required for Australian appliances
Temperature (max C)
J 31, F 32, M 33, A 35, M 33, J 32, J 32, A 32, S 31, O 31, N 30, D 30
Rainfall (max mm)
J 9, F 30, M 29, A 65, M 220, J 149, J 155, A 197, S 344, O 242, N 48, D 10
Thailand’s capital is a vibrant hub of lights, flavours, sights, and sounds. Come ready to see what Bangkok has to offer.
Marvel at sacred sights like...
- The Grand Palace
- The Temple of the Reclining Buddha (Wat Po)
- The Temple of Dawn (Wat Arun)
You won’t go hungry in Bangkok– even if you have just a few small coins in your pocket one of the ubiquitous street stalls will fix you up. There are more than 50,000 dining outlets in Bangkok, not counting the individual street sellers. Food courts, food markets, family restaurants, fine dining – it’s all here and at all hours.
Thailand’s most regal bites are found at...
- Blue Elephant Restaurant
- Whale’s Belly
- Issaya Siamese Club
In keeping with its reputation as a city of great contrasts, Bangkok boasts some of the world’s finest hotels and some of its cheapest rooms – everything from five-star to backpacker hostels. Bangkok is split into districts, each with its own upside, so think about what you want to get from your stay before you decide on a hotel.
The range of choice for shoppers in Bangkok is quite ridiculous. Whatever your fashion, whatever your fancy, whatever the trend, whoever the designer, Bangkok can deliver the genuine goods or, dare we say it, copies of varying quality. Ditto cameras and electronics, though be aware of Australian compatibility.
Fill your suitcase with...
- Antiques at Chatuchak Weekend Market
- Knock-offs at Patpong Night Market
- Clothes and gadgets at Siam Square
Bangkok Like a Local
When you want a break from all that shopping, eating and sightseeing, or just need to take a deep breath away from the non-stop streets, step into the beautiful green Lumpini Park in central Bangkok. Set over more than 50 hectares, and close to stops on both the MRT and Skytrain, it even comes with a boating lake.
1. Culture within a culture: No visit to Bangkok is complete without immersion in the heartland of a culture within a culture that is Bangkok’s vibrant, bustling Chinatown. You can easily lose yourself by day in the alleyways, gold shops, traditional medicine stores, Chinese temples and market stalls, and by night find yourself in a street food paradise.
2. There’s a tout about: While Bangkok is a haven for tourists, it is the same for touts. Some are obvious. Beware tuk-tuk drivers who offer to take you to “best jewellery store” or cab drivers who don’t start the meter when you get in. Some are less obvious, like the perfectly spoken gentleman who approaches you on the street and offers assistance. Ignore politely, and walk away.
Did you know...? It is reasonably well known that, despite the heat, going shirtless in the street is a no-no and could land you in big trouble. But did you know that leaving home without underwear is also illegal?