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BANGKOK

Travel guide & inspiration

Flying into Thailand's capital to kick start your Asian travel odyessy, or two week beach break? Lucky you. Venture through Bangkok's hectic markets, or find your zen in its glistening Buddhist temples and futuristic shopping malls. Come nightfall, get wild with the locals and other backpackers on Khao San Road, sip cocktails atop of skyscrapers, or dive face first into some of the world's best street food.

No matter what side of Bangkok you decide to take a bite out of, you're sure to find a complex city that is as much charming old-world Thailand as it is a modern metropolis. 

What to do in Bangkok

  • The Grand Palace
    The official home of Thailand's royal family since 1782, this huge complex of sparkling monuments, massive temples and golden statues gives most monuments in Asia a run for their money. Only got an afternoon in Bangkok? Be sure to have this at the top of your priority list. 
  • Wat Pho
    This giant buddha lies (literally - he's reclining on his side) right next to the Grand Palace. Cover your arms and legs, take off your shoes, pose for a few photos and pay special attention to the elements engraved into the soles of his feet.
  • Chatuchak Weekend Market
    Hit Bangkok on a weekend, and you'll be lucky enough to be in town for one of the world's largest markets. Prepare to get lost: Chatuchak is home to nearly 10,000 stalls, selling everything from art and food, to piles upon piles vintage clothes for a fraction of the price you'd fine back in Sydney or Melbourne. We're sure they have a whole section dedicated to suitcases too, so you can buy a new one just for all of your new purchases!
  • China Town
    Easily reachable on foot from Khao San Road, Chinatown is home to a huge Chinese population, and some of the best food Bangkok has to offer. Follow your nose down Yaowarat Road and experience some of the best street food Bangkok has to offer, dip in and out of temples and markets, and be sure to keep your camera at the ready to capture all of the colour!
  • The Chaophraya River & canals
    Take a ride through central Bangkok's colourful canals, drifting past fascinating local life and paddling peddlers, waving everything from fruit, to Wat Arun keyrings at you. If you've got the time, Damnoen Market, a short ride outside of the city, brings a certain kind of Southeast Asian magic to the table. Here, the vendors, shoppers and all the wares float entirely on water. Arrive early!
  • Wat Arun
    More commonly known as The Temple of Dawn, this colourful tower sits on the banks of the Chaophraya River. Arrive early to avoid the crowds and take care on the steep climb to the top, where you'll be rewarded with stellar views of Bangkok. A popular nighttime activity is to take a dinner boat cruise past it whilst the walls are illuminated gold.
Bangkok temple

Bangkok neighbourhoods: Three areas not to miss

Grand Palace statues, Bangkok
Banglamphu
The 'Old Town' of this bustling city, Banglamphu is home to Khao San Road, where you'll most likely be staying, as well as monuments like Wat Pho and the Grand Palace. Pull up a seat (usually in the form of a tiny plastic stool) and watch city life play out!
Khao San Road Neighbourhood
Khao San Road
Southeast Asia's most buzzing street and biggest backpacker hub is just a kilometre from the Grand Palace. Full of bars, minature nightclubs, restaurants, shops and hostels, Khao San is the perfect place to check in if you're in need of some creature comforts, new friends, a pharmacy or a wild night out. 
Bangkok night
Sukhumvit
Khao San Road might be Thailand's must buzzing street but Sukhumvit is country's longest. Here, you'll find Bangkok's most futuristic shopping malls, rooftop bars, plushest spas, best value hotels and some awesome drinking spots - such as Soi 11. The traffic is usually at a stand-still along Sukhumvit, so hop on the BTS Skytrain, which runs from one end to the other in minutes.

Bangkok adventures

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Bangkok Adventure Tours

Bangkok
Bangkok Starter Pack | 3 days
We get it. Bangkok can seem a little daunting to first-time visitors. To get your on your feet, we've put together this tried and tested starter pack. You'll get three nights in a central hotel, airport transfers, a city and temples tour, and a free spin around Bangkok's amazing city canals with a Thonburi Klong tour. 
From $288
book now
Northern thailand girl
Northern Thailand Journey | 14 days
Maybe you've already had your fix of Thailand's beaches (if that's possible), or maybe you're a true blue adventurer, an insatiable culture vulture, who wants a fortnight off the beaten track exploring the real Thailand. Starting and ending in Bangkok, you'll float on a river-house in Kanchanaburi, bike around historical Sukhothai, enjoy a traditional cooking class, and chill hard in Chiang Mai. This includes all of your transport and accommodation. 
Now $1,849
book now
Elephant tour on River Kwai
Babysit an Elephant on the River Kwai | 4 days
Culture vulture? Animal lover? Of course you are - you wouldn't be in Thailand if you weren't. This tour departs from Bangkok and lets you feed, wash and care for retired and orphaned elephants at the Elephant World Project near Kanchanaburi. You'll also spend a night in this historical town soaking up the local culture, and visit the famous Bridge over the River Kwai. 
From $609
book now

Is Bangkok safe?

It's estimated Bangkok is now home to over 10 million people. A little hectic, maybe? Yes. But still, the city is relatively safe, and the biggest danger is not crime, but traffic - make sure you look both ways when you cross even the smallest of roads, stay clear of cycling anywhere, and always use pedestrian crossings.

Like in any city, you should stay sober and alert in public places, keep expensive belongings such as phones and jewellery out of public sight, and don’t do anything to attract unnecessary attention to your new iPhone, or prized GoPro. 

It's also a good idea to read up on Bangkok's most common scams before you venture out to explore. Common ones include tuktuk drivers who don't turn their metre on, and charge a vastly-inflated price for a small journey, as well as drivers who'll tell you the attraction you want to visit is 'closed', so they can take you for a spin around gem and fabric shops instead! But even if you fall of these money scams, you're not in any real danger. 

Our favourite Bangkok hotels and hostels

Stay a while

Bangkok hotels

Lub D Silom
Lub D Hostels
Lub D Silom is centrally located in the dibrant Silom disctrict. It's sister, Lub D Siam Square, near to big name stores, market stalls and local food carts. Either way, both hostels are fun, social and friendly with bars, cinema rooms and Backpacker by STA Travel stores on-site to help you with all your travel needs!

Book and travel between now and 31 May 2020.

3 nights from $56 | save 20%! 
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Shanghai mansion Bangkok lobby
Shanghai Mansion 3*
This grand hotel is a short stroll from Chinatown’s main street where there is no shortage of fun, food and shopping. Plus, they have a free tuk tuk service to major attractions... which are only a short journey away. 

Book and travel between now and 31 May 2020.

From $67 per night
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Bangkok Remembrandt
Remembrandt Hotel 3*
Rooftop pool with awesome views? Check? Bar next to it? Check. Just off the super-cosmopolitan Sukhumvit Road? Check! If you're looking for a few nights of luxury at a price you can afford whilst in Bangkok, this would be our biggest recommendation. To the spa!

Book and travel between now and 31 May 2020.

4 nights from $145
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When is the best time to visit Bangkok?

Peak time to visit Bangkok lies between November and March. During this time, Thailand's climate is warm, sunny and dry. Rainy season lasts from May through until October, with the rainist months usually being August and September. Don't worry if you're travelling to Bangkok during these months though - the rain usually comes in sharp bursts for a few hours each afternoon and you'll almost certainly score cheaper room, transport and tour rates!

If you're in the city during April, you're in luck! Grab a water gun and hit up Songkran - Thailand's week-long new year celebration, and the world's largest water fight. 

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