Flight and hotel Bangkok
Officially known as Krung Thep Maha Nakhon, Bangkok is the majestic capital of Thailand. Situated just north of the equator, Bangkok is a tropical metropolis home to numerous temples, endless stalls of delicious street food, world-class shopping outlets and massage and spa facilities aplenty.
Originally a small fishing village on the banks of the Chao Phraya River, today Bangkok is one of the world's most cosmopolitan cities, where tradition and modernity coexist in perfect harmony. Away from major highways and large thoroughfares are a cacophony of intricate alleys filled with restaurants and shops just waiting to be discovered with a flight to and hotel in Bangkok.
What to know about Bangkok
While Bangkok has two airports, visitors arriving from outside South East Asia on a flight to Bangkok will arrive at Thailand's stunning and efficient Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK). On package holidays in Bangkok, you can reach the city centre either by taxi or by taking the express train and continuing your journey by Skytrain, tuk-tuk or taxi.
Thailand is 7 hours ahead of the UK in winter and 6 hours during British Summer Time. Whereas those with a UK passport can enter Thailand visa-free for 30 days when arriving via plane for city breaks in Bangkok, there are different rules for those who cross land borders.
The Thai baht is the local currency. Remember to check the exchange rate before you start shopping when on package holidays in Bangkok. It's best to take out smaller amounts than carrying around large sums – cash machines are readily available and safe to use.
When is the best time to visit Bangkok?
The weather in Bangkok is hot and sunny year round. However, many people choose to visit between November and March, when the temperature is a little cooler and there is often less rain. April to July is the hot season, and August, September and October are the rainy season – though it normally only rains for an hour or two in the afternoon.
Thailand's major public holiday, Song Kran, falls around mid-April every year. It's a fantastic time to enjoy a festival atmosphere, and it's a three-day holiday weekend in Bangkok.
What to do in Bangkok
Bangkok is a colossal city with ample activities to keep you busy. To soak up some local culture, head to one of the many traditional dance shows, the most famous being Calypso Cabaret. Muy Thai, a form of boxing, is a popular pastime and you can easily catch a match or two while in the capital.
The city is awash with spas and massage parlours, where you can enjoy a relaxing Thai massage. It's often better to pay a little more for the luxury of a formal environment rather than one of the many makeshift setups around town. Bangkok is a shopper's paradise. While the large malls around Siam Square have luxury boutiques and large high-street brands, visitors looking for a bargain should head to the weekend market at Chatuchak. Be prepared to haggle a little when shopping in the markets but keep it light-hearted and always remember to smile.
Bangkok is ideally located for taking day trips to the ancient city of Ayutthaya. A train from Bangkok's Hua Lamphong station takes about 90 minutes to reach Ayutthaya, where you can explore the ruins of the historical park. Checking out Erawan National Park's spectacular waterfalls is another ideal day trip for travellers seeking adventure beyond the city limits.
What are the best places to visit in Bangkok?
Most of the attractions in Thailand are located on the eastern banks of the river in the northeastern quadrant of the city. Take the water taxi from Sapan Taksin Pier, which is close to many Bangkok hotels. It will drop you directly outside the famous Reclining Buddha and across the river from Wat Arun.
There are numerous temples and palaces to see with a flight and hotel in Bangkok. A few of the must-see highlights are as follows:
- The Grand Palace
- Wat Arun
- Wat Pho
- The Giant Swing
- Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall
- Erawan Shrine
What to eat in Bangkok
City breaks in Bangkok are a food lover's paradise. The food you'll sample on weekends in Bangkok is cheap by western standards – be a little adventurous with your choices! Classic dishes everyone should sample include Thai green curry, papaya salad, deep-fried fish cakes, pad thai and tom yum goong (spicy prawn soup).
Food stalls and restaurants are ubiquitous in Bangkok, and all are generally of excellent quality. Locals tend not to have kitchens and eat out for most meals – if lots of Bangkokians are eating somewhere, it's a sure sign of excellent Thai food. Soi Convent off Silom Road is a must during package holidays in Bangkok. The food here is some of the best you'll find, and the lively street atmosphere makes for a truly unique and thrilling dining experience.
What should you bring back from Bangkok?
When visiting this Asian mega-city, finding things to bring back home is rarely a problem. There are many pretty trinkets and souvenirs to purchase. From Buddha statues to wonderful photos and prints, you'll find plenty of things to adorn your home with and recall memories of your trip to Thailand. Trainers, T-shirts, belts and watches are sold everywhere in Thailand, and you can pick up some good bargains if you're prepared to haggle. Just make sure you leave enough room in your luggage on your flight to London or Manchester for all that shopping.