Welcome to Bangkok, the City of Angels

Bangkok Timelapse. The skyscrapers of Bangkok from day to night

Bangkok, the capital of Thailand is the most populous city of the country with a population of around 8.5 millions. Bangkok is the capital’s official English name. In Thai, it is known as Krung Thep Maha Nakhon ( กรุงเทพมหานคร) or simply Krung Thep ( กรุงเทพ), which is the short form of the ceremonial name that was used during the reign of King Mongkut. The meaning of Krung Thep is “City of Devas”, this is the reason it is also called as City of Angels ( เมืองแห่งเทวดา).

Full name of Bangkok
Full name of Bangkok written in front of Bangkok administrative building. Suasysar [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The ceremonial name of Bangkok is listed in Guinness World Records with 168 characters (not including spaces), in its romanized version, as the longest place name in the world.

It’s the most visited city in the world. Around 21 million people visit this beautiful capital of Thailand every year. It is known for its vibrant street life, lush shopping malls, and the beautiful architectural design of the temples. It is also famous worldwide for the delicious foods it offers which you will not find anywhere else. 

What to do in Bangkok

Here are some top sites that you must visit in Bangkok:

The Grand Palace

Guards in The Grand Palace
Guard Parade at the Grand Palace. Photo by Discovering Bangkok

The Grand Palace ( พระบรมมหาราชวัง) is the most sacred site of Thailand and the most prominent tourist attraction in Bangkok. The palace was once the king’s home and several Thailand’s kings have resided here. The Palace has some beautiful buildings inside it including The Temple of the Emerald Buddha, Phra Mondhop, and Prasat Phra Debidorn.

Wat Pho

Reclining Buddha
46-meter long gold covered statue of the reclining Buddha. Photo by Discovering Bangkok

Wat Pho ( วัดโพธิ์) or also known as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha is a must-see place for every traveler. You will get to see the 46-meter long reclining Buddha image. The temple also has the 108 bowls placed in the corridor that represent Buddha’s 108 positive actions. 

Wat Arun

Wat Arun. The Temple of Dawn
View of Wat Arun from the eastern side of the river. Photo by Discovering Bangkok

Wat Arun ( วัดอรุณ), also known as the Temple of Dawn has a solid cultural and historical relevance. It was named after the Indian God Aruna, God of Dawn, and it is settled on the Chao Phraya River’s western shore. The historic site can be seen from the eastern side of the river, making it a beautiful place to visit at sunset.

Chatuchak Weekend Market

Chatuchak Market
People walking down the busy main street on a Saturday afternoon. Photo by Discovering Bangkok

Chatuchak Weekend Market ( ตลาดนัดจตุจักร) is the perfect place for all shopping lovers. It’s the largest market in Thailand with over 15,000 stalls. You will find everything you need in every one of these stalls. But, you may feel a little crowded as more than 200,000 people visit this market every weekend. 

Lumphini Park

Lumphini Park. Statue of King Vajiravudh (Rama VI)
Entrance to Lumphini Park with the memorial statue of King Vajiravudh (Rama VI) who created the park in the 1920s. Photo by Discovering Bangkok

Lumphini Park ( สวนลุมพินี), named after the birthplace of Lord Buddha in Nepal, with an area of 57 hectares is considered the green lung of Bangkok. The park has a number of exotic plants and flora and is a perfect location for outdoor recreation activities like jogging, aerobics or other open-air exercises. The park also hosts concerts at The Band Stand Lumphini Park.

Chao Phraya River

Pier at Chao Phraya River
Pier at Chao Phraya River. Photo by Discovering Bangkok

Chao Phraya River ( แม่น้ำเจ้าพระยา) is the reason why Bangkok is called the “Venice of the East”. More than 50,000 people in Bangkok use this river to get to work every day. If you take a boat ride on the Chao Phraya River you will be able to see the best tourist attractions. You will see hotels, shopping malls, and also the Grand Palace, Wat Arun, and Wat Pho.

Chinatown

Chinatown Bangkok
Yaowarat Road in a busy day. Full of vehicles and street vendors

One of Bangkok’s biggest tourist attractions is its Chinatown ( ไชน่าทาวน์). Founded in 1782, Bangkok’s Chinatown has since then attracted many visitors from all over the world. It is situated in the vicinity of Yaowarat Road. This location is fused with special and inspiring Chinese and Thai cultures. Also, Chinatown is well recognized for the food variants it has.

Pathum Wan

Siam Paragon
Luxury shops at Siam Paragon. Photo by Discovering Bangkok

Pathum Wan ( เขตปทุมวัน) is one of the 50 districts of Bangkok, and it is famous for a lot of things such as shopping. There a lot of shopping malls such as MBK Center, Siam Paragon and CentralWorld among others where you can buy everything that you need. It is also famous for its festivals such as Christmas and New Year and has a lot of places important as tourist attractions such as Scala Cinema, Jim Thompson House, Bangkok Art and Cultural Center, Sea Life Ocean World, Madame Tussauds Museum and Erawan Shrine.

Moving around Bangkok

Traveling from one place to another in Bangkok is really easy and there are numerous transport means.

Sky Train

Sky Train or BTS provides a lot of conveniences if you want to travel around the inner city. It’s really comfortable and keeps you away from the traffic problems. 

Sala Daeng BTS
Platform at Sala Daeng BTS station. Photo by Discovering Bangkok

Taxi

You will see a huge number of taxis on the roads of Bangkok. It’s one of the cheapest ways of traveling in Bangkok. You just have to make sure that the meter is on. 

Taxi Bangkok
One of the colorful taxis in a Bangkok street. Photo by Discovering Bangkok

Tuk Tuk

Bangkok is known worldwide for its tuk-tuks. You’re going to see them all over the city. There are some safety-risks involved with tuk-tuks but if you want to get the best view of the city you must travel to them, at least once.

Taking a ride in tuk-tuk
Taking a ride in a tuk-tuk. Photo by Discovering Bangkok

What to eat

Bangkok is a food lover paradise. It unarguably provides the best street food.  Whether you love spicy food, salty, or sweet food, you will get the best dishes here. You can eat a variety of noodles from different vendors on the street. If you are in Chinatown you will find some tasty food there, with a mix of Thai and Chinese Dishes. If you want to eat braised pork you can eat it from Charoen Saeng Silom. 

Once in Bangkok, you will find a lot of restaurants that provide the best and traditional quality food at great prices. One such restaurant is Mezzaluna which is famous for its fine European Cuisine and a 180-degree view of the city and river. Famous for their own specialties, other restaurants are Canvas Restaurants Thonglor, Urbani Truffle Bar and Restaurant, Pagoda Chinese Restaurant, and Tealicious Bangkok.

Where to stay

If you are in Bangkok and you have decided to spend the night here, there are a lot of places that you can select such as Luxury hotels which can be easily found in many locations such as Riverside, Silom and Sathorn, and Pathum Wan.

Choosing where to spend the night or stay in Bangkok will make or break your tour. You can select one hotel to stay from a long list of hotels such as Shangri-La Hotel Bangkok, Siam Kempinski Hotel Bangkok, Banyan Tree Bangkok, InterContinental Bangkok, The Peninsula Bangkok, lebua at State Tower, and many others.