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
The large Bangkok Hotel Lotus Sukhumvit - Managed by Accor offers plenty of rooms. The 3-star rating promises an enjoyable stay in Bangkok. Nearby Grand Palace is an enjoyable diversion. This property offers a convenient location near The Queen Sirikit National Convention Center.
With a plentitude of rooms, Gardengrove Suites provides abundant choices. The 4-star rating ensures a memorable stay here. This lodge is great for those planning to visit Grand Palace. Nearby The Queen Sirikit National Convention Center is a big draw for business travelers.
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.
3331/25 Sut Prasoet 4, Bang Khlo Bang Kho Laem, Bangkok
With no more than 20 rooms, Kama Bangkok - Boutique Bed & Breakfast is a small boutique establishment. Offering 2-star rooms, this is a great option for good quality at a low price. Highly recommended Grand Palace is just a short distance from here.
The friendly O' Nidra House offers cozy and welcoming accommodations. These guestrooms are in the 2-star(s) category. Public transportation is plentiful, thanks to the nearby Hualamphong Train Station. Lumpini Park is one of many landmarks in the area. Highly recommended Grand Palace is just a short distance from here.
113 Trok Sin, Dinso Road, Borvornnivate Pranakorn, Bangkok
The small Baan Dinso Hostel offers warmth and hospitality. These guestrooms are in the 2-star(s) category. This location provides easy access to popular attractions such as Wat Arun and Wat Pho/Wat Phra Chetuphon. This lodge is great for those planning to visit Grand Palace.
335/1 Soi Ratchaprarop 12 Ratchaprarop Rd, Makkasan, Ratchathewi, Bangkok
Its 2-star rating makes The Bangkokians City Garden Home a good option for budget lodging. Anusawari Chai Samoraphum, just 1.0 km (0.6 miles) from here, is something you should definitely see during your stay. Grand Palace is an entertaining option for your Bangkok visit. Here for business? The MBK Centre is nearby.
131/19-20, Soi 7/1, Khlong Toei Nua Watthana, Bangkok
With fewer than 20 rooms, Best Value Inn Nana is more intimate than many Bangkok lodgings. These guestrooms are in the 2-star(s) category. Grand Palace is an entertaining option for your Bangkok visit.
235-239 Sathorn Tai Road Yannawa, Sathorn, Bangkok
With no more than 20 rooms, THE MYTH-SUD SATHORN is a small boutique establishment. A good option for those who seek a greater degree of comfort in Bangkok. Grand Palace is just a short distance from here.