Bangkok

Bangkok is a city of extraordinary proportions. It is first and foremost a floating city set in a lush tropical setting and known as the “Venice of the East” to foreigners. Centuries later, its majestic Grand Palais and its sumptuous Buddhist temples compete with the magnificent chimneys of the western West. Chinese immigration and investment, as well as Indian trade, have also marked the urban landscape of the city, where ethnic diversity is represented in the famous Thai cuisine.

The capital of the Kingdom of Thailand, founded and shaped by the Chakri monarchs, was modified with the nationalist monuments built in the new public spaces after the 1932 coup that put an end to the absolute rule. The development plans of the 1960s and the enrichment of the 1980s gave rise to a jungle of skyscrapers on its alluvial plain. Serious urban challenges are plagued by this Asian tiger that oscillates between the First and the Third World. Bangkok combines both the traditional aspect of native life under a layer of modernity, with fragments of intense and sensational beauty that abound in the labyrinthine lanes and alleys that have replaced the canals.

The full name of the city is unofficially Bangkok but her name ‘official’ is the longest city name in the world with forty-three syllables listed by the Guinness Book of Records as the longest place name in the world. The ceremonial name of the city offered by King Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke, and later edited by King Mongkut, is as follows:

Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Yuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Phiman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit

The locals have shortened the name to Krung Thep which means the city of the Angels.

bangkok view

 Getting To Bangkok

The reasons why Bangkok is one of the most visited cities in the world are countless and guarantee you an unforgettable trip. For decades, the Thai capital has attracted backpackers as well as affluent travellers, who come to discover its delicious cuisine, its fascinating culture and its festive setting.

You can get to Bangkok through the following means:

By Bus

It takes some time to familiarise yourself with the bus routes to Bangkok and it is not always easy to get information in English. If you are staying for just two days in Bangkok, do not waste your time, take a taxi. There are different types of buses, mainly those that are air-conditioned and those that are not. Air conditioned buses cost THB 15 ($0.43), buses not air-conditioned cost THB 7($0.20). You have to pay in cash on the bus; there are no automatic teller machines.

By Taxi

They should be the preferred means of transport for most cases. You should realise that a taxi ride to Bangkok is not expensive at all provided the taxi meter is running. A typical trip in the city costs about THB 70 ($1.99) which could be a distance from the Khaosan Road to the MBK shopping centre, for example. If you share a taxi with another person, it could be even cheaper. Often the taxi driver will ask you at the beginning of the race for a high and fixed tariff and will claim that your destination is very far and special. What is needed is to stop as many taxis as necessary until one agrees to operate the taximeter (there are many taxis circulating). There may be rare occasions when the taxi driver will have an advantage in the offer-demand game (such as on weekends), but this does not happen often.
At peak times, you might prefer to avoid taxis and take alternative means of transport, such as boats on the canal.
Take a taxi that rolls in the streets and not those who are parked and who approach you, those usually ask for high rates, for no reason.  Having said all that, it’s nice to leave a small tip to the driver.
Also note:
Taxis will not be enthusiastic to take you for a very short trip, do not be surprised.
The taxi driver also takes into account the destination. If he thinks he will find it difficult to pick up new passengers at your destination for a specific hour, he may not show interest.

By Air

Flights to Bangkok land at Suvarnabhumi Airport (or International Airport).

By Train

There is a train travelling between central Bangkok and the main Suvarnabhumi International Airport. (Called airport rail link). The full journey takes 30 minutes and costs THB 45 ($1.28). The frequency is about every 15 minutes. It does not work at night.
The last station of the train is called Phaya Thai and has a correspondence with the Phaya Thai Skytrain Station. Makkasan train station is fine if you want to go to the Asok area. Ratchaprarop station is convenient if you want to go to Pratunam area and Chit Lom.
If you want to get to the Khaosan area, take a taxi from the last Phaya Thai station, it should cost THB 70 ($1.99).

By Boat

The Chao Phraya River goes vertically on the left side of Bangkok.  There is a public boat service, which operates during the day. Regular boats have an orange flag, they move at a frequency of about 15 minutes, they stop at all stations and they cost THB 15 ($0.43) (regardless of distance).

bangkok river

 Food and Drink in Bangkok

Bangkok food needs no introduction, as its profusion of exotic flavours and the most coveted perfumes of international cuisines gives it a good reputation. As a walk through Bangkok recalls with force, these flavours and perfumes that are seemingly inexhaustible. However, whether it’s juicy grilled pork pieces or a bowl of “Tom Yum” soup, we all have to start with something. But what is the best food in Bangkok cooking?

  1. Tom Yum Goong (spicy shrimp soup)

A refreshing blend of fragrant lemongrass, chilli, galanga, lime leaves, shallots, lime juice and fish sauce make this classic soup a popular food in Bangkok. The succulent fresh shrimp and straw mushrooms give it a taste. A versatile dish that can fit into any meal, the characteristic odour reminds you of exotic fragrance.

Cost THB 63($1.79)

  1. Gaeng Daeng (red curry)

Made with pieces of meat, red curry paste, coconut milk and topped with a pinch of thin slices of kaffir lime leaves, this rich, aromatic curry gets well-known from the Bangkok Cuisine. The best is served with meat.

Cost THB 74($2.1)

  1. Kai Med Ma Muang (cashew chicken)

Tourists in Bangkok are going crazy for this jumping dish. This dish is made with chicken and a lot of toasted cashew nuts, sweet soy sauce, onions, pepper, carrots and mushrooms that constitute it. It’s simple, but delicious, a little tame and yet still totally Bangkok.

Cost THB 59($1.68)

  1. Khao Pad (fried rice)

Fried rice, egg, onions, some herbs – nothing more, nothing less. A popular dish, usually served with a quarter of lime and slices of cucumber, the secret of this unpretentious dish lies in its simplicity. Bangkok people use shrimp, crab or chicken with basil, vegetables and chilli on everything to transform them according to their tastes.

Cost THB 44($1.25)

  1. Tom Kha Kai (chicken with coconut milk soup)

This emblematic soup in Bangkok, made of hot chillies, sliced young galangas, crushed shallots, lemongrass stems and tender chicken strips. However, unlike Bangkok’s more liquid cuisine, the Tom Kha Kai is less spicy. Supplemented with fresh lime leaves, it is an odorous mixture, both creamy and convincing.

Cost THB80 ($2.27)

bangkok food

 Accommodation in Bangkok

As for accommodation, Bangkok offers a wide range of hotels at all prices and the staffs are often friendly, helpful and offer quality services. Nevertheless, the capital is slightly more expensive than the rest of Thailand, but you can always find very cheap addresses. Between the luxurious accommodation choices, this busy city is a subtle blend of soothing comfort. Top on the list include:

  1. The Peninsula Bangkok Cost THB 9568($272) per night.
  2. Hotel ibis Bangkok Nana Hotel. Cost THB 1407($40) per night.
  3. Hotel Pullman Bangkok. Cost THB 3517($100) per night.
  4. Centara Central Station Hotel Bangkok. Cost THB 2075($59) per night.
  5. Hotel Muse. Cost THB 4291($122) per night.
bangkok hotel

 Side Attractions in Bangkok

Bangkok often constitutes the first stage of a trip to Thailand: a disproportionate City, a showcase for the modernity of the country, hyperactive, exotic and exciting, but also polluted, with a chaotic circulation. Most visitors do not fail to describe such an agglomeration! Many will only linger in Bangkok for two days to sail as quickly as possible in the south, find beaches, islands and seaside resorts.However, for the enthusiasts of intense urban life, the Thai capital has an unlimited interest and it is easy to stay for a week without ever being able to “go around”.Bangkok is one of the largest cities in the world with many tourist attractions which include:

  1. The National Museum of Bangkok

The National Museum of Bangkok is dedicated to the preservation of Thailand’s cultural heritage. It exhibits art collections, artefacts and objects found in ruins or during archaeological excavations. Part of the history of Thailand has been restored in the Gallery of Thai History, which is complemented by a Prehistoric Gallery. The museum is spread over several buildings, and it is not necessarily easy to orient yourself without a guide. Fortunately, the museum offers guided tours (by reservation), some are even in French on Wednesdays and Thursdays. One of the museum’s pavilions has a gallery devoted to the history of art. Others exhibit ceremonial objects. The museum is located not far from the Grand Palais, as well as the Khao San Road. It is served by many bus and coach lines.

  1. The Grand Palace of Bangkok

If you want gold and jewels full of eyes, it is the Grand Palace of Bangkok that you must go! This is a building of more than 200 hectares. The King no longer lives there and therefore serves only for great occasions – it is a collection of different buildings including the Palace itself, chedis and several temples among which we find the most famous in the whole country, Wat Phra Kaeo, royal chapel of this great palace that encloses an Emerald Buddha within its walls. The Grand Palace was built in 1867 by Rama IV to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Chakri dynasty. Not to mention that Rama V went there with his little personal touch. The impressive gold chedi that almost immediately appears on entering contains the sternum of Buddha, a model of the temple of Angkor Wat in Cambodia , the painted roofs of a thousand colors fill your eyes whatever the direction that borrows your gaze, impressive monkeys with head of a monkey are there to support arches and columns and adorable bonsais skillfully carved come to give a green note to these places imprinted with magic.

  1. Lumphini Park

To escape the noise and the incessant tumult of the city, the address is good to remember! The Lumphini Park is indeed a very pleasant place where it is possible to rent a pedal boat or a boat to slowly slip on one of its two water points. And if you are tempted by a small sports break, it’s also the place to be: tai-chi in the morning at dawn, collective gym lessons around 6 pm each evening, bodybuilding area, deer handling -volant, there is for all tastes.

  1. Pak Khlong Market

Pak Khlong Market is undoubtedly even more sumptuous than its neighbour the Thewet Flower Market. Here, everything only smells and colours since the flowers covered the vegetables that themselves coalesce with the fruits with a thousand flavours! Hibiscus, lotus flowers, orchids, exotic plants, jasmine, voila for the plants that spread mostly on these displays. As for fruits and vegetables, it is simple; you can almost find everything and be sure that the taste will be at the appointment! The market stretches both day and night and if you want to connect from the Thewet Flower Market, jump into the River Express at the stop Saphan Phut Ferry Pier and back up to Thewet Ferry Pier. It will only cost you a few baths and it will allow you to admire the authenticity of the sprawling Bangkok.

  1. Chinatown of Bangkok

Like any big city, Bangkok has its Chinese quarter, its Chinatown, made of small restaurants, many shops of jewellery and fabrics of all kinds, all bathed in a joyous mess. Here, it is the paradise of the nosy man with all these small stands and stalls of bric a brac! Prefer Sampeng Lane and Itsaranuphap transversal to live and feel the frenzy of this Chinatown. At night, old Asian lanterns light up and give the neighbourhood picturesque pace just a little disturbed by the modern neon signs. For an atmosphere worthy of ancestral China as you can imagine, go to the Leng Noi Yee temple. And to share with the local population a drink or to embark in a balloon with the children, it is rather the alleys on the side of Phadung Dao that you must go: in these gargotes, you laugh, you drink from little glasses and share some stories and singing imported tunes straight from this homeland.

Lumphini Park bangkok
bangkok china town
bangkok palace

Prices to know 

 

Food and Drinks

street coffee THB105 $3
Coffee “Americano” THB 140 $4
Big bottle of water THB 35.1 $1
Soft drink THB 70.2 $2
Soft drink (Restaurant) THB 102 $2.9
Beer (Restaurant) THB 70.2 $2
MiQuang (Noodle dish) THB 94.9 $2.7
Banh Mi (Vietnamese sandwich) THB 52.7 $1.5
Bo Ne (Beef steak) THB 126.6 $3.6
Transportation
Taxi per km THB 140.7 $4
Motorbike taxi (Xe Om) per km THB 70.2 $2
Motorbike rental per day THB 316.6 $9
Motorbike rental per month THB 1758.8 $50
Petrol per liter THB 34.8 $0.99
Motorbike parking fee THB 24.6 $0.7
Shopping and Entertainment
T-shirt from a market THB 70.2 $2
Foot massage (1 hour) THB 281.4 $8
Body massage (1 hour) THB 457.3 $13
Housing
Monthly rent (inexpensive area) THB 21,106 $600
Utilities THB 2,814 $80

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