For a relatively young capital, Bangkok is home to a plethora of sights, sounds and smells. Walking through the streets and soaking up its non-stop life is an attraction itself. Spread over 330 square km, its 9 million inhabitants make Bangkok the vibrant city that it is.

Immersed in culture and history the capital offers all types of sightseeing activities. The pace of life does not stop at night and Bangkok boasts one of the world’s most colourful nightlife scenes.


As Thailand is often referred to as 'The land of Wats' there is no better way than to spend the day 'Wat-spotting' in Bangkok. Although there are many to choose from, here are the most famous.

  • Wat Phra Kaeo and the Grand Palace. Originally built as a private royal temple, this Wat is the holiest in the country. It is home to the Emerald Buddha, which is Thailand’s most important Buddhist image. Without any monks in residence, it has managed to maintain a newly-built look. The Emerald Buddha itself is in fact tiny, but still manages to attract thousands of Thai pilgrims every year. The King does not reside in the Grand Palace but it is still used for state receptions and official ceremonies. To enter the Palace and its gardens you must make sure that you are appropriately dressed. However, additional garments are available to borrow as long as a small deposit is left.
  • Wat Pho – Spread over 20 acres, this temple is Bangkok’s oldest. Aside from its stunning architecture, the main attraction is the enormous gilded Reclining Buddha which it houses. At 45 metres long with feet covered in mother-of-pearl, this is an unmissable Bangkok treat. The Wat is also home to Thailand’s first University of Traditional Medicine. Thai massage dominates here and you can queue for a discounted massage from one of its trainees. Alternatively courses of varying lengths are also available.
  • Wat Arun – Located almost opposite Wat Pho on the other side of Chao Phraya River, Wat Arun is one of Bangkok’s most memorable landmarks. Its prang structure is covered in broken bits of porcelain donated by Bangkok’s residents in exchange for good merit. This spectacular Wat is best viewed when illuminated at night, and most of the cruises that run up and down the river incorporate this.

Floating Markets – The Chao Phraya River has sustained Bangkok for hundreds of years. There is a network of canals that stem from the river which the city is built around. Ferries and longtail boats offer transport around the river and city. The morning floating markets at Damnoen Saduak and Tha Ka are a popular attraction, and a great way of seeing the city in action. Fruit, vegetables and other seasonal produce are available to buy, or you can just float through the markets taking in the scenes.

Khao San Road – Thailand is famed for its travelling scene, and there is no better place to experience this than on the Khao San Road. Lined with guesthouses, bars and street stalls this is the first port of call for all backpackers when they arrive in Thailand. Thai Boxing – Being the national sport, muay Thai is greatly revered in Thailand. Although it contains spiritual and ritual elements, this is a particularly violent sport which may be disconcerting to some. However, the atmosphere of the game is as much of a reason to visit a stadium. Bangkok’s two major stadiums, Rajdamnoen and Lumphini, hold regular fights for a relatively low cost.


Shopping Downtown consists of malls and department stores selling tourist handicrafts and designer goods. The Khao San Road is lined with shops and stalls selling anything from shoes to spices. You can pick up many bargains here, and haggling is the only way to trade. Forged goods make up the majority of Bangkok’s trade, especially that of the street vendors. Chatuchak Weekend Market is an enormous, open-air market which specialise in traditional and eastern textiles and handicrafts.

Nightlife and Eating Out

Although Bangkok is notoriously known for its sex bars in Patpong, in the last decade its nightlife has advanced past this. The Khao San Road, with its many bars and restaurants, caters for the backpackers. Street vendors transform their fare to all kinds of snacks and beverages, and the road turns into a nightly street party. Downtown bars attract both Western and Thai drinkers, and nightly live music can be found.

With over fifty thousand places to eat, you will never be caught hungry in Bangkok. From street vendors to gourmet Thai restaurants you will never be far from something to suit your taste. Again the Khao San Road and its surrounding streets offer cheap and cheerful travellers’ fare, as well as some more expensive Thai restaurants. Chinatown offers something different to eat if you become tired of Pad Thai, and Downtown Bangkok offers a variety of restaurants at a slightly more expensive price.

Tourist Information

Tourist Information1600 New Phetburi Road, Makkasan, Rajatevee, Bangkok 10310.Tel. +66 22 505 500Fax. +66 22 505


Currently all flights to and from Bangkok operate from the Don Muang Airport located 23 km north of the city. However, the new Suvarnabhumi Airport is set to open on 28th September 2006 and flights will be redirected to this airport, which is 20 km east of Bangkok. All international flights will fly to and from the Suvarnabhumi Airport, meanwhile the Don Muang Airport will adopt all domestic flights.