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Bangkok

Introduction

Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, is a large, sprawling Asian city with a population of over 10 million people. A common stop-over destination as a city break on the Australia - Europe route, the city is also a great place for an extended city break with heaps to see and do. Bangkok has a reputation for being hot, sticky and congested. That may be the case but this is a prime travel destination and should not be missed!



Getting there

Air: Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) is the newly opened airport for Bangkok. This is a major Asian hub and as you would expect has a vast array of flights as well as all the services of a small city. A trip to the CBD will take around 45 - 90 minutes depending on traffic, and can be done in a taxi or via numerous bus services. There is no direct rail link yet but there is one under construction. For flights to Bangkok click Expedia.co.uk for great flight deals.



Rail: Bangkok's main station in the CBD is Hualamphong. Trains depart from here to numerous destinations across Thailand.

Bus: Bangkok has three main long distance bus terminals serving a wealth of destinations throughout the country.

Accommodation

Bangkok has a wide range of tourist accommodation in all classes. From a flea ridden backpacker joint to the utmost in luxury you will find it here. This is often a great place to get luxury hotels at bargain prices, especially in the off season. Check out Expedia City Break Hotel Deals.

What to See and Do

Bangkok's numerous atttractions include the following:

The Grand Palace: The Grand Palace in Bangkok is an amazing site and should not be missed by any visitor. Long trousers must be worn but these can be hired for a small fee if you are wandering in shorts. Inside see more golden buddhas than will be possible to count!

Wat Po: This temple has the world's largest reclining buddha and entry will cost you 20 baht. Apparently it's good luck to throw money in the little pots so make sure you do! If you are feeling tired there is a nearby massage school where you can relax.

Nightlife: Bangkok is notorious for its hedonistic nightlife. However there is much more to this city than "go go bars" and knocking shops. If that's what you are after you will find them in various areas of the city although the most well known is Pat Pong. Sukhumvit and Silom are home to many trendy pubs and clubs of a more conventional variety.

Getting Around

Traffic in Bangkok is notorious. It can take hours to travel a small distance by road. We recommend using public transport.

Sky train: The Skytrain or BTS is a great service and runs high above the city streets. Two lines which interchange at Siam make this a very pleasant way to get around. A good value all day pass is only 100 baht.

Metro: Another recent transport innovation in Bangkok is the metro. Opened in 2004 the metro includes stops at Hualamphong station and also interconnects with the Skytrain at 3 points. Tickets are not interchangeable however.

Boat: A boat trip on the Chao Phraya River is a must for any visitor as well as being ridiculously cheap. It's a great way to appreciate the skyline and the immense size of the city.

Now a few words on transport options we don't recommend:

Buses and taxis: The main reason for this is the crazy traffic. You could be stuck for hours. (Trust us. We have been there!) If you need to take a cab make sure it is a "Meter Taxi" and make sure he turns the meter on!

Tuk Tuk and motorbike taxi: These are both commonly used but are dangerous and if you are not involved in an accident you will probably end up looking at gemstones or being sold a new suit! Avoid!