GUIDE: BANGKOK

Bangkok is one of the more exciting cities on the planet. With a population of nearly nine million, it is a city of vast contrast. Ride a tuk tuk along the Chao Phraya river and explore ancient temples and exotic street markets. Then hope on the modern and efficient skytrain back to uber modern Siam square where you can shop at some of the most design savvy stores in Asia. Here is a short list of things that will help make your trip to this fantastic citythat much more fun:

TRANSPORT
Suvarnabhumi airport
This is Bangkok's international airport which opened it's doors in 2006. It is a huge and important hub in Southeast Asia. You can find onward tickets to almost anywhere in the world from this beautifully designed airport.

TIP: the best option to get downtown to your hotel is to book a private car from the counter in the baggage claim area. You simply purchase a ticket from the attendant who will assign a driver to you and then walk you curbside to your private ride. Average cost is around $15-20. If you want to rough it there are a series of public buses which you can catch downtown for a few dollars, but after coming off of a 23hr flight you might want to splurge.
Skytrain
Bangkok has a fantastic mass transit system called the "skytrain" this elevated train whisks you around the city in air conditioned comfort, for only a few dollars.
Taxi's are also very affordable and abundant. However if you want to be a bit more adventurous, make sure you flag down one of the cities
tuk tuks. Remember to hold-on!

Seeing the city by boat is a beautiful way to take in the many sights along the Chao Phraya river. This ancient waterway snakes it way through the heart of the city.

HOTELS:
CHEAP YET VERY CHEERFUL
Le Fenix
This fun and design focused hotel is located in one of the best parts of the city. Easy walking distance to endless entertainment like Bed supper club  and the fantastic shopping of the night market. This hotel has comfy rooms, a small infinity pool and a great restaurant for breakfast.
From $70.
JL hotel from $40
Mac Boutique  from $60
Seven  from $70


MODERATE (affordable luxury):
Sofitel from $120
Luxx from $90
Tenface from $110

SPLURGE (Bangkok has some of the most affordable 4 and 5 star hotel in the world, if your budget can allow you would be a fool not to stay at one of the following. Note that these hotels also share world renowned spas too!)
Mandarin Oriental
The Peninsula
The Four Seasons
The Shangri La

EATS:
Simply some of the best food you will ever eat will be the amazing street food which you can buy from vendors everywhere. From noodles to fresh fruit you can be assured this will be an experience your tongue will not soon forget. One tip is to frequent a stall or vendor which is busy and makes the dishes to order.

Cabbages & Condoms
This restaurant will not only satisfy your hunger, but also your social conscience. It is run by the local Population and Community Developement Association
Breeze
Celadon
Eat Me

SHOPPING/SIGHTS:
-Wat Pho (The Temple of the Reclining Buddha)

Thewet Flower Market
Located close to China town, wander through blocks of Orchids and roses most sold in bushels for around $5!

Chatuchak Weekend Market
If you cannot find it in this market, my friend is simply does not exist. Easy to reach via the Skytrain, this market has stalls and stalls of goods for everyone.
Siam Square
Siam Discovery Center
This western-style mall houses some great stores. Here are a few you don't want to miss
Loft
Habitat
MBK
OTOP Fair traded Thai products.


FURTHER AFIELD:
It would be a shame to visit Thailand and not explore beyond Bangkok. From the lush northern Jungles to the Southern islands, Thailand simply has much to offer everyone. Travel is cheap and easy. Here are a few resources to help make your travels around Thailand a bit easier.

State Railway of Thailand (www.railway.co.th/english/index.asp)

The government bus company, called Bor Kor Sor (BKS), provides the cheapest mode for getting around Thailand


Thai airways
The Thai flag carrier know for outstanding service
Air Asia
Fantastic discount airline serving all of South East Asia
Bangkok Airlines
Self described as Asia's "boutique" airline all passengers are granted access to a private airport lounge with free internet and refreshments.
Nok Air
Fun discount airline owned by Thai Airways (nok means bird in Thai)


 

 

 

Daniel MacKinnon