NEWS: Since october 2012 the old international airport Don Muang has been reactivated due to capacitiy problems of Suvarnabhumi. AirAsia, Orient Thai and Nokair are operating from Don Muang now. A shuttle service between the two airports has been installed.
Arriving in Bangkok
Many people say, Bangkok is probably the most exciting city in the world. They may return every year as a traveller, decide to live there or even find a place to work. Others complain about the heat, the smog, the noise and the chaos. Undoubtfully Bangkok is exciting and tropical. Bangkok offers entertainment, fun, leisure and freedom to do what ever you desire.
Every journey to Thailand starts at Bangkok with its 8 million people, even if you only stop-over on your way to the islands.
In Bangkok (see map)
Landing at new Suvarnabhumi airport, you will easily find a well organized Taxi transport to the city. They charge you 400 Baht plus cost for the expressways. The drive to your hotel, which you should book in advance by internet (you can book it here), is about 30 to 45 minutes, depending on where you want to stay (Chinatown, Banglamphoo, Sukhumvit, Pratunam,…)
In Bangkok you can find a taxi or a Tuk Tuk very easily. More than 40.000 taxis try to make their business. Before you enter, you should fix the price or better insist on going by taximeter. If not, you may pay more then double or triple for a short drive, what however is still cheap. A one hour drive by taxi should not cost more than 200 baht, a short trip by Tuk Tuk should be only 20 Baht. If you choose the Tuk Tuk, you must be aware of driving through Bangkok open air, what means, that you will breathe huge amounts of waste gases and noxious fumes from hundereds of cars, trucks and motobikes. Having 35-40 degrees Celsius and more than 90% humidity, the choice of an airconditioned taxi is the better way to drive around. Beware (!): never ask a taxi driver for a good restaurant advice. He will surely drive you to an expensive and bad one, where he earns commission money.
An excellent alternative to street traffic is going by boat on the Chao Phraya River. For a few bahts you can easily reach many places along the river without traffic jam.
And we recommend the BTS Skytrain (map), that connects most of the important places in Bangkok quite quick for cheap money too. You will find out, that staying near a skytrain station, will make your living in Bangkok more enjoyable.
Since august 2010 the new Bangkok Airport Train is operating. The fee is 100 baht per person from Suvarnabhumi airport to Phaya Thai BTS station.
Places to see (see Bangkok slide show
Looking out for the peace and silence of the islands, you may leave Bangkok after a short stay. But you will miss a lot and should eventually come back to visit Bangkoks amazing and fascinating secrets. There is so much to discover, that even a 10 days stay or more can be worthwile. A must see is the Kings Palace, the Wat Phra Kheo (Temple of the Emerald Buddha), the Wat Pho, The Wat Arun, the Golden Mount, the Marble Temple (Wat Benchamabophit), Chinatown and the Sampeng Lane, Banglamphoo and the Khao San Road, the Sukhumvit district, the many market places, shopping malls or delicious restaurants. Very special is a so called dinner cruise on the Chao Phraya River at sunset, dining on an traditional bargeboat while slowly boating along the river.
Worth seeing is Chinatown with its traditional and crowded Sampeng Lane, the flower and fish markets and of course the night market Patpong in Silom district. Sukhumvit Road and its many sois offer a large number of restaurants, malls and entertainments and of course nightlife.
The best shopping malls are located at Sukhumvit Road, Petchburi Road, Rama I Road, Ratchadamri Road and Siam Square. Good restaurants are hidden in the many sois along the big roads and not always easy to find. There are some very nice seafood restaurants and a very special experience is Seafood Market (”if it swims, we have it”) in Soi 24 Sukhumvit Road, where you can check and select your choice of fresh seafood from a huge frozen desk, before you pay it and the kitchen cooks it right in time.
If you are in Bangkok on a weekend and you enjoy walking on a market, you should not miss Chatuchak market. Every saturday and sunday the biggest market of Thailand opens its ‘doors’ and more then 1.000 shops, where you can find nearly everything. The market is located at the last station of the BTS skytrain near the northern bus terminal Morchit.
The best hotels (best locations) in Bangkok
Downtown Bangkok offers a huge number of good and unexpensive hotels. We recommend the following because of their value for money and good location: Bayoke Sky (Pratunam), Anantara (Sathorn), Sofitel Bangkok (Sukhumvit), Hilton Millenium (Thonburi), Landmark (Sukhumvit). A very nice value for money ratio offer the Kingston Suites (Soi15, Sukhumvit), Royal Benja (Soi5, Sukhumvit), China Princess in Chinatown or Asia Hotel near Siam Square with direct access to the Skytrain BTS Station (see map). If you want to spend a little more money and feel the old tradition and history of one of the most famous hotels in Asia, you should book at the Oriental Hotel on the banks of the Chao Phraya River. But there are more hotels available in Bangkok. Check out our list of hotels and find yours to have a great stay in this exciting tropical mega city. We are looking forward for your booking with our partner in Thailand.
List of Bangkok hotels for online booking (see map)
Good to know
- Exchange rates:
- Time zone: Eastern time plus 12 hours / Pacific time plus 15 hours / CET plus 6 hours / CEST plus 5 hours
- Mobil phone: triband possible
- Voltage: 220 Volt with euro plug or US-adapter plug
- Internet: cheap and available nearly everywhere
- Vaccinations: not mandatory
- Visa: 30 days on arrival by plane, 15 days on arrival by land; Passport with min. 6 months validity for most of european countries and US; max. 90 days with tourist visa, reentry possible
- Most important holidays: Songkhran (thail. New Year 13-15.4.); Loy Khratong (first full moon in November, end of rainy season); the King’s birthday (5.12.); the Queen´s birthday (12.8.)
If you have any questions about your Thailand trip, please don´t hesitate to ask us.