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Know Before You Go
- If you visit Chatuchak Weekend Market, feel free to barter away. However, it is the general rule of thumb to aim for 10% - 40% off the price, respect the local culture and don't haggle too aggressively.
- Thailand is a popular destination for animal lovers, but you need to do your research. Spend time investigating any animal attractions you want to take part in to make sure your interaction is ethical and responsible.
- Bangkok is known for its stifling heat. To stay hydrated, carry a water bottle with you and make sure you drink enough water throughout the day to replace what you sweat out.
- If a taxi driver asks if you have been to Thailand before, always say yes. It will mean that you know what a taxi ride should cost and help you avoid getting the "tourist price".
- Bangkok's street food is renowned around the world and should be tried at least once. Not only is it possible to feed yourself on as little as THB 30 a day, but it's also a delicious cultural experience.
Getting Around Bangkok
Bangkok may be notorious for its traffic, but with a little bit of planning, it's easy to get around this bustling metropolis.
- The BTS Skytrain is the quickest and easiest way to get around Bangkok. It's two lines cover almost all of the city making it a convenient choice for travellers who want to explore the city on foot.
- Explore Bangkok by boat, get a different view of the city and avoid the gridlocked traffic. The extensive canal network makes it easy to get around to major tourist attractions and at THB 40 per ride is far cheaper than a metered taxi.
- If you are staying in the northern part of Bangkok, the MRT is the most convenient way to travel around the city.
- Don't feel like haggling with metered taxis? Grab an Uber from the airport or anywhere else in the city and have peace of mind you won't be ripped off.
- Tuk Tuks are an iconic form of public transport in Bangkok but should be avoided unless there are no other options. Expensive and uncomfortable, it's more a fun experience than a reliable transport option.
- Other options include taking one of the many buses to get around or walking to your destination.
The Best Time to Visit
The best time to book flights to Bangkok is for travel between November and March. The city’s high temperatures start to cool off, and the lower humidity levels make it much more comfortable for exploring the city on foot. The only downside is that its high season for Bangkok and you’ll have a harder time finding cheap flights to Bangkok. You’ll need to book your airfare to Bangkok well in advance if you want to lock in prices before they increase.
For cheap return flights to Bangkok, plan your trip between April to October. While it is the start of the city’s monsoon season, you’ll be travelling on flights to Bangkok in time for one of Thailand’s biggest celebrations – Songkran. The festival takes place over three days in April and is a massive water fight that celebrates the Thai New Year. While Songkran does cause the price of airfare to Bangkok increase, you can still find cheap flights to Bangkok if you travel before or after the festival.
The neighbourhood of Banglampoo is easily reached with the BTS Skytrain from Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK). It’s where you’ll find some of the city’s most famous attractions such as the Grand Palace and Wat Pho.
If you’re looking to use flights to Bangkok as your way to shop ‘til you drop, stay in the Siam neighbourhood. This area features an endless supply of mega shopping malls and markets that cater to bargain hunters and upscale shoppers.
Chinatown is one of Bangkok’s most popular neighbourhoods. It’s an excellent spot for travellers that want to soak up the local culture and indulge in some of the city ’s best street food.
Sukhumvit is where a lot of travellers end up staying in Bangkok. It’s a long stretch of road that caters heavily to tourists. You’ll find plenty of hotels here as well as eateries and shops catering towards foreigners. It’s also where you’ll find some of Bangkok’s best nightlife.
Bang Bak / Silom
Bang Bak is where you’ll find the heart of Bangkok’s business district. Stay here if you’re searching for swanky hotels, rooftop bars, and upscale restaurants. You’ll also be close to Lumpini Park if you want to escape to the city’s urban oasis for a few hours.
Public Transport and How to Get Around
One of the best and quickest ways to get around Bangkok and from Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) is with the BTS Skytrain. The service covers most of the city’s neighbourhoods and it’s an affordable option for every kind of traveller.
For a unique way to see the city, take one of the regular boats that sail across the canals. Trips cost as little as 40 THB (less than $2 AUD), making it a more scenic and cheaper alternative to Bangkok’s metered taxis.
If you’re on-board flights to Bangkok and have plans on staying in the north part of the city, use the underground. It’s an easy way to move around the city quickly and get to Bangkok’s top attractions.
If you’re landing on flights to Bangkok at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) or Don Mueang Airport (DMK) with a lot of bags, the best way to get to your hotel is with a taxi. You can find metered taxis waiting outside of the arrivals hall, or you can use the city’s ride-sharing service Grabr.
No trip to Bangkok is complete without a tuk tuk ride. While it’s not as cheap as some of the city’s other public transport systems, it’s an iconic way to get around Bangkok.
Top Things to Do and See
The Grand Palace is one of the first attractions people visit after their flights to Bangkok land. The royal compound is home to the famous Jade Buddha and is still used for important ceremonies. For trips to the palace, you want to make sure you’re dressed modestly. Make sure your knees and shoulders are covered to show your respect to Thai culture.
For an epic sunset spot in Bangkok, climb to the top of Wat Arun. The temple boasts incredible views of the city, and you can watch the sun dip over the Chao Praya River. The temple is open every day from 8:30am to 6pm and costs 20 THB (less than $1 AUD) per person.
There’s no better place to shop for souvenirs in Bangkok than at Chatuchak Market. It has more than 25,000 stalls with vendors selling everything from clothes to food and everything in between. The market is also right by Mochit Skytrain station, making it an easy attraction to visit after your flights to Bangkok lands at Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK).
Khao San Road
Khao San Road is the city’s famous backpacker district and is where most young travellers stay after booking their tickets to Bangkok. The neighbourhood is full of dirt cheap hostels, flashy bars, and clubs. At night, the streets come alive, and it’s not uncommon to find large crowds of people bar hopping into the early hours of the morning.
Airports in Bangkok
Suvarnabhumi Airport is one of the biggest and busiest international airports in South East Asia. It serves all international flights as well as popular domestic routes, handling 55 million passengers in 2016. The airport is a hub for Thai Airways, Bangkok Airways and Thai Smile Airways as well as a focus city for Emirates.
Getting To and From Suvarnabhumi Airport
The quickest and easiest route to get to and from Suvarnabhumi Airport is the ARL Link. It connects the airport with downtown Bangkok and will only set you back 45 baht at most. The trains run from 6 am to 12:30 am daily, leaving every 12-15 minutes.
For an even cheaper option, you can take a public bus to and from the airport. Prices start as little as 5 baht and also have routes to other cities in Thailand.
If you have too many bags to lug around on public transport, you can take a metered taxi to your hotel. However, check with your accommodation beforehand to see if they offer a complimentary airport shuttle service.
Don Mueang International Airport
Don Mueang International Airport is a 40-minute drive from the centre of Bangkok. It mainly serves domestic routes and is a hub for low-cost airlines such as Nok Air and Thai AirAsia.
It is considered one of the oldest international airports with commercial flights starting in 1924 and is the 14th busiest in the world serving 35 million passengers in 2016.
Getting To and From Don Mueang Airport
There is a train service that runs from Don Mueang to Bangkok's central railway station Hua Lamphong. From here it's easy to get to other parts of the city using the metro line or to catch a train to a destination outside the city.
Travellers can catch a bus from and to the airport during the day. The ideal route is to get off at Mo Chit Skytrain Station and take the metro for the rest of your journey. Bus fares will set you back 5 to 100 baht depending on your route.
If you arrive at Don Mueang after midnight, your best option would be to take one of the metered taxis outside the airport to your hotel.