You’ve finally made your dream of visiting Thailand come true, and now you’re figuring out where to start planning – booking flights, finding a place to stay, the whole deal. Also, you’re probably wondering if it’s worth checking out Bangkok, considering it might just be a pit stop before you hit the smaller islands. Well, let me tell you, I’m a big fan of this city, and I’m here to persuade you to give it a shot. We’ll talk about snagging good flight deals, picking the right hotel, and why Bangkok’s got its own charm. Ready to make your Thai trip awesome? Let’s dive into the details and kickstart your adventure!

If Bangkok isn’t your only stop, but you dont know where else to go, check out my blog post: Thailand where to go

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Planning Your Journey

Booking Your Flight

Booking flights to Bangkok can be a bit pricey, and the journey might take a while, especially with at least one stop on the way. However, trust me, it’s totally worth it. To make the most of your budget, consider booking your flights in advance. Websites like Hopper,  Kiwi or Omio can help you find good deals, or if you want a hassle-free experience, check out complete packages on Loveholidays. Also, keep in mind that Bangkok has two airports, so double-check your arrival and departure locations to ensure a seamless travel experience

Booking Your Hotel 

When it comes to booking hotels in Bangkok, I personally prefer using Booking.com. I find it handy to read reviews and get insights into the places I’ll be staying. Bangkok offers a diverse range of areas to consider, each with its own distinct vibe

Sukhumvit – Best for: Vibrant Nightlife, Shopping, and Dining

Rosewood Bangkok 

Hyatt Place 

Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit

Hilton Sukhumvit

Old City (Rattanakosin) – Best for: Cultural Exploration, Historic Sites

Chakrabongse Villas 

Arun Riverside

Nouvo City Hotel

Casa Vimaya Riverside

Silom – Best for: Business Travelers, Nightlife

W Bangkok ( read review here )

Pullman Bangkok Hotel G

Lebua at State Tower

Le Méridien Bangkok

Chinatown – Best for: Street Food, Cultural Experience

W22 by Burasari

Asai Bangkok 

Shanghai Mansion

Hotel Royal Bangkok

Khao San Road – Best for: Backpackers, Budget Travelers, Nightlife

Villa De Khaosan

Lamphuhouse Bangkok

Riva Surya Bangkok

Dang Derm Hotel

Riverside – Best for: Scenic Views, Luxury Stays

Royal Orchid Sheraton ( read review here )

Millennium Hilton

Shangri-La Hotel

Anantara Riverside 

Travel Insurance

Let’s shift our focus to an essential aspect of your Bangkok adventure – travel insurance. Navigating the vibrant streets of Bangkok calls for a level of preparedness. For this, I recommend exploring what Visitors Coverage has to offer for your insurance needs. Their policies encompass a range of scenarios, including trip cancellations, medical emergencies, and even coverage for lost luggage. Simplify your insurance preparations with this one-stop solution, ensuring you’re well-equipped to handle any unexpected twists during your time in Bangkok. Remember, it’s always wiser to prioritise peace of mind. 

Vaccine 

While I’m not a medical professional, it’s essential to consider vaccines when planning your trip to Thailand. I strongly recommend consulting a travel clinic before your journey for personalised advice. From my research, certain vaccines are generally advisable, such as Hepatitis A and B or typhoid.  However, there’s currently no mandatory vaccine required for travel to Thailand; the decision is entirely based on your personal preferences and health consideration

Upon Arrival

Getting a SIM Card

When it comes to staying connected in Thailand, relying on your home country’s data can lead to hefty charges. The good news is, Thailand offers affordable SIM cards, readily available at the airport or local convenience stores like 7-Eleven. However, for a hassle-free and instant solution, consider getting an e-SIM from Airlo before your trip. It’s my personal favourite method as it saves time and allows you to use data right upon landing.

Getting to your hotel from the airport 

Touching down in the bustling city of Bangkok, your next adventure begins! Getting from the airports to your hotel is a breeze, with many great options 

  • Pre-book a Car:

Book local driver or consider using services like Kiwi Taxi  where you can conveniently pre-book a car for a smooth transfer to your hotel.

  • Grab or Taxi: 

The Grab and Bolt apps is widely used in Bangkok for ride-hailing, offering a reliable and affordable option. Note that Uber is no longer operational in Southeast Asia. You can also catch a taxi waiting just outside the airport but its always cheaper to use the app.  

  • Catch train

Both airports are well-connected by the Airport Rail Link. You can take the train from Suvarnabhumi to the city centre and transfer to the BTS Skytrain for further connectivity. For Don Mueang, you can take a shuttle bus to the nearest MRT station and proceed with your journey.

Navigating the City

Navigating around Bangkok is an adventure in itself, with various transportation options to suit different preferences. While Tuk Tuks are a fun and iconic choice, they’re often the most expensive. For a budget-friendly and convenient experience, consider ride-hailing apps like Bolt or Grab.

Public transportation is another excellent way to explore the city. The BTS Skytrain and MRT Subway systems efficiently connect key areas. To pay for trains, purchase a fare card at the station. Simply tap in and out at the gates using your card. For an even more immersive experience, you can use river ferries. 

To determine which train to take, use apps like Google Maps or Citymapper. They provide real-time information on routes, schedules, and station details. 

What to do in Bangkok 

  • Explore the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew. – The Grand Palace was the home of Thai kings and is full of golden spires and intricate designs. Inside its grounds, Wat Phra Kaew houses the Emerald Buddha, a tiny but highly revered statue. The buildings are adorned with colourful mosaics and statues, making it a stunning showcase of Thai art and culture. Book a tour here 
  • Marvel at the reclining Buddha in Wat Pho  – is home to a massive reclining Buddha statue, 46 metres long and covered in gold leaf. Exploring Wat Pho provides a deeper understanding of Thai religious traditions and offers a peaceful escape from the bustling city outside. 
  • Watch sunset near Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn): Located on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River, Wat Arun is known for its stunning spires and intricate design. It’s particularly beautiful at sunrise and sunset.
  • Visit the bustling Chatuchak Weekend Market – A market with thousands of stalls selling everything from clothing and accessories to handicrafts and street food, it’s a paradise for shoppers
  • Wander through the vibrant streets of Chinatown– district with vibrant street markets, lively atmosphere, and delicious food. 
  • Step on glass floor at Mahanakhon SkyWalk – observation deck atop the King Power Mahanakhon skyscraper, offering panoramic views and a glass floor SkyWalk experience. Book your ticket here 
  • Watch Muay Thai Boxing –  unique opportunity to witness an integral aspect of Thai culture and tradition. Book ticket here 
  • Shop at one of MANY shopping centres – The largest shopping centres in Bangkok include icons like CentralWorld, Siam Paragon, and Iconsiam, offering an extensive range of retail outlets, entertainment options, and dining experiences
  • Take a boat ride along the Chao Phraya River – relaxing boat ride where you can take in the sights and sounds of Bangkok while cruising past famous landmarks and local neighbourhoods. Book here 
  • Visit Ayutthaya – an old city in Thailand known for its ancient temples and historical ruins. Book a tour here 
  • Take a day tour to the famous Damnoen Saduak Floating Market. – a famous market in Thailand where vendors sell goods from boats. Book a tour here

If you’re looking for other fun things to do in Bangkok, such as cooking classes, night tuk-tuk tours and more, be sure to check GetYourGuide, Klook or Viator.

Where to Eat & Drink ( based on my experience ) 

  • Baan Suan Sathon – a cafe 
  • Nalin Kitchen – traditional Thai cuisine 
  • The Kitchen Table – Steakhouse & Grill 
  • Siam Yacht Club – seafood 
  • Eat Sight Story Deck – rooftop bar/restaurant 
  • Tichuca –  Rooftop Bar 
  • The Cassette – Coffee Bar
  • Cabbages & Condoms – unique Thai restaurant

Useful tips 

  • If you planning to travel anywhere else in Thailand by boat/bus/car check 12GO website, its the best to book your transport 
  • If you planning to see more of the mainland in Thailand, you can rent a car. Check the best deals at rentalcars.com
  • Try street food cautiously; look for vendors with high turnover and cleanliness to avoid food food poisoning.
  • Be cautious of scams, especially around tourist areas; use reputable services for tours and transportation.
  • Electricity and Adapters: Thailand uses 220V electricity with two-pin plug sockets, so consider bringing a universal travel adapter to charge your electronic devices.
  • If you have extra time at the airport and value comfort, convenience, and access to amenities like complimentary food, beverages, and Wi-Fi, get a Priority Pass membership ( UK link ) – ( USA link ), granting you access to a global network of airport lounges regardless of your airline or ticket class.

I hope my guide was somewhat helpful for planning your trip to Bangkok! If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments.

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