Located in south-central Thailand, Bangkok is the country's capital and largest city. First settled in the 15th century, Bangkok is now home to more than eight million residents. The city today is a mixture of old and new, the sacred and the secular. More than 16 million visitors come to Bangkok each year to marvel at the sites, savor the delicious cuisine and shop for elegant Thai silks and other handicrafts.
When to visit
The best time to visit Bangkok is November through February. During the summer and autumn months, the average temperatures soar into the 90s (Fahrenheit) and it rains almost daily, making for a humid, oppressive environment. All that changes during the winter, when the air is dry and crisp and the sun shines most every day. The traditional Thai New Year's celebration, the Songkran festival, is held in mid-April each year and features live entertainment, a beauty pageant and a parade through the streets.
As we mentioned, Bangkok has distinct rainy and dry seasons. This is illustrated by the average temperatures and monthly rainfall statistics listed below.
Average high temperature F/C , average low temperature F/C , average monthly rainfall:
• January -- 91/33, 73/23, .5 in
• March -- 94/34, 79/26, 1.6 in.
• May -- 94/34, 79/26, 9.75 in.
• July -- 92/33, 78/26, 7 in.
• September -- 91/33, 77/25, 13 in.
• November -- 90/32, 72/22, 6.3 in.
Situated at the delta of the Chao Phraya River, Bangkok was originally mostly swampland. During the 16th through the 19th centuries, much of these wetlands were drained and diverted into a series of canals (called klongs), earning Bangkok the moniker, the "Venice of the East."
Today, one of the most popular things to do in the city is to take a boat tour along Bangkok's waterways and visit the many floating markets that dot the shores. You can also escape the fumes and heat of the city center by taking a stroll through Lumphini Park, Bangkok's largest green space and home to an artificial lake, lots of hiking trails and even a library.
It's difficult to see all of the important attractions in Bangkok, even in multiple visits. There's just so much to see and do. Among the most popular attractions are the Grand Palace, the traditional home of the Kings of Siam and their court; the many Buddhist temples and shrine, such as Wat Pho and Wat Arun; the Bangkok National Museum; and the Jim Thompson house, the elegant, Thai-style home of the American CIA operative who helped revitalize the Thai silk industry in the 1950s and 1960s.
Tips & Recommendations
• Thai cuisine is delicious and favors rice, rice noodles, complex soups, fresh fish and seafood, and curries. Street food vendors are also popular and offer some tasty and affordable fare.
• Bangkok restaurants serve lunch, generally, between 11:00 AM and 1:00 PM. Dinner is a more leisurely meal, and restaurants are often open between 6:00 PM and midnight or even later. There are also many 24 hour restaurants in Bangkok.
• Most stores in Bangkok are open between 10:00 AM and 10:00 PM, seven days a week. Smaller, independent retailers may close earlier.
• The subway system in Bangkok is modern, clean and efficient. It's one of the best ways to get around this traffic-clogged city.
• A "tuk-tuk" is a unique Thai motorized contraption that runs on three wheels and costs about 30 percent less than a metered taxi. Beware, however, a ride in one of these tiny vehicles is not for the faint of heart.
1 Soi Daeng Udom Sukhumvit 33 Klongton Nua, Wattana, Bangkok
Bangkok Hotel Lotus Sukhumvit - Managed by Accor gives you lots of choices, thanks to the extensive selection of rooms. Expect a bit of extra comfort and service at this 3-star lodging. Grand Palace is not far and offers loads of fun. For events or conferences at The Queen Sirikit National Convention Center in Bangkok, you'll be pleased at how close it is.
You'll enjoy an ample choice of rooms at Sena Place Hotel Bangkok. If you're looking for an affordable rate, 2-star rooms are available here. You may enjoy a visit to Grand Palace, which is easy to reach from here.
If you're looking for a larger property, consider New World City Hotel. Comfort and value are key at this 3-star property. A short distance from Vimanmek Mansion Museum, and easily accessible by foot from Wat Pho/Wat Phra Chetuphon. Children and adults will enjoy a visit to Grand Palace.
22 Sukhumvit Soi 20, Sukhumvit Road Klong Toey, Bangkok
Large and roomy, Rembrandt Towers Serviced Apartments is a popular choice. Comfort and value are key at this 4-star property. You may enjoy a visit to Grand Palace, which is easy to reach from here. One advantage for business travelers is the proximity of The Queen Sirikit National Convention Center.
The friendly Suneta Hostel Khaosan offers cozy and welcoming accommodations. The 2-star rating indicates the price should be right for budget travelers. Wat Pho/Wat Phra Chetuphon is just one of the famous landmarks here. Thrill-seekers should consider a visit to Grand Palace.
Steve Boutique Hostel is one of the smaller Bangkok holiday accommodations. You can save by staying at this 2-star accommodation. A stay here provides walk able access to popular attractions, such as Vimanmek Mansion Museum and Dusit Zoo. Grand Palace is nearby.
39/3 Soi Phetburi 15, Petchburi Road ThanonPhayathai, Rajathevi, Bangkok
The modest-sized Boxpackers Hostel offers attentive service. The 2-star rating indicates the price should be right for budget travelers. Close at hand is the must-see Anusawari Chai Samoraphum. Grand Palace isn't hard to reach from this accommodation. If you come to Bangkok for a special event in MBK Centre, note that it is close by.
113 Trok Sin, Dinso Road, Borvornnivate Pranakorn, Bangkok
The modest-sized Baan Dinso Hostel offers attentive service. The rooms here are rated 2-star(s). Not only Wat Arun, but also Wat Pho/Wat Phra Chetuphon are near this accommodation. Thrill-seekers should consider a visit to Grand Palace.
19/4 Soi Chidlom Lumpini, Pathumwan, Wireless / Chidlom, Bangkok
SAB House – Female Only is a relatively small property. The 2-star rating indicates the price should be right for budget travelers. Lumpini Park is just one of the famous landmarks here. You may enjoy a visit to Grand Palace, which is easy to reach from here. Here for business? The MBK Centre is nearby.
Mon Lodge & Yoga Donmuang is a small, intimate lodge in Bangkok. Here, great value for the money means you'll have more to spend on sightseeing, dining and other travel priorities. The nearest airport is Bangkok International Airport, which is quite convenient.