Explore Bangkok

Bangkok Travel Guide

Chaotic, carnal and congested, Thailand's capital is divided by the Chao Phraya River and is nestled in one of the world's most fertile rice-producing deltas. Bangkok's 605 square miles (1,568 sq km) are criss-crossed by a series of canals carrying passengers and cargo, its roads clotted with endless traffic jams, while the city sprawls in all directions with a hodgepodge of urban, commercial and industrial buildings. A new overland metropolitan railway speeds above the city, providing visitors with a relaxed and efficient way to observe the hustle and bustle below.<br /><br /> Despite its pollution and overcrowding, Bangkok is undoubtedly one of Asia's most exciting cities, and one of the world's largest, promising to reveal to each traveller the wild and untamed mysteries of the east. Khao San Road is one of the city's most vibrant streets, and is probably one of the best examples in the world of a backpacker's 'ghetto'. Day and night the short stretch of road is abuzz with activity. On the banks of the Chao Phraya visitors will find the Grand Palace as well as Wat Phra Kaew, the palace temple housing the Emerald Buddha, constructed entirely from translucent green jade. Slightly upriver are the exquisitely ornamented Royal Barges, still used today for special floating processions.<br /><br /> Of the 30 or so temples in Bangkok, the largest is the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, which houses an impressive statue of the deity. The famous Floating Market is a delight to visitors and well worth a visit. As the sun lurches towards the horizon in the west and the sweat cools, this city of royalty and religion comes alive with a palpable decadence. Music and dazzling neon advertise a plethora of trendy bars and nightclubs, as well as the notorious 'girlie joints' that have ensured the Patpong district its reputation for hedonism.<br /><br /> Though the city's frenetic pace and infamous congestion can be overwhelming, a holiday in Bangkok is a must for anyone travelling in Thailand.<br /><br />

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market

Address: Bangkok

The Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is an escape from the Western-style shopping malls of Bangkok and a glimpse into the past, revealing the centuries-old way of life of the residents whose stilt-houses perch on the canals and make their living selling fruits, vegetables and flowers. Visitors can explore the market with boat trips and sample the wares of local farmers as they do so. They can also enjoy the experience of floating through one of Thailand's many river villages.<br /><br />

Royal Grand Palace

Address: Na Phralan Road, Phra Nakhon Bangkok

Admission: THB 500 Open daily 8.30am - 3.30pm

The Royal Grand Palace is a popular Bangkok attraction. Construction of the palace began in 1782 and was completed in time for the coronation of King Rama I, and opened in 1785 to signify the end of the Burmese invasion of Thailand. The palace itself is made up of a complex array of smaller buildings, most notably the Wat Mahatat (the Palace Temple) and the Wat Phra Keow (the Royal Chapel), which houses the famous Emerald Buddha sculpted from a single piece of jade, one of the most revered objects in Thailand.<br /><br />

Royal Barges National Museum

Address: Arun Amarin Road, Bangkok Noi Bangkok

Admission: THB 200 in order to take photos, otherwise THB 100. Open Saturdays and Sundays 9am to 5pm

The Royal Barges National Museum houses several decorative royal barges, the earliest of which dates back to 1357. Most of the barges served as War Vessels at one point, and were subsequently used on royal or state occasions on the Chao Phraya River. Due to their age, the barges are now rarely used, but their intricate designs reflecting Thai religious beliefs and local history are of great importance to the country's heritage. The barges were last used at the end of 1999 to celebrate the king's 72nd birthday.<br /><br />

Temple of the Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho)

Address: 2 Sanamchai Road Bangkok

Situated adjacent to the Royal Grand Palace, Wat Pho is Bangkok's oldest, largest and most famous temple, recognised by the UNESCO Memory of the World Programme. The grounds of Wat Pho contain over 1,000 statues of Buddha, and the temple houses one of Thailand's most spectacular sights, the Reclining Buddha: a 151-foot (46m) long and 49-foot (15m) high statue that is gold-plated and inlaid with Mother-of-Pearl on the soles of its feet. In the 19th century King Rama III turned Wat Pho into a centre of learning and it is considered the birthplace of the traditional Thai massage. Visitors today can still have a massage and learn about the ancient art of Thai Medicine.<br /><br />

Jim Thompson’s House

Address: 6 Soi Kasemsan 2, Rama 1 Road Bangkok

Admission: THB 150 Open 9am - 6pm daily.

American silk entrepreneur Jim Thompson deserves most of the credit for the current popularity of Thai silk around the world. Having travelled to Bangkok with the US Army in World War II, Thompson was struck by the beauty of Thai silk and began marketing it to US buyers in 1948, establishing the Thai Silk Company Limited. His fame increased when, in 1967, Thompson disappeared in the Cameron Highlands of Malaysia under mysterious circumstances. He has never been heard of since. The house itself is an excellent example of Thai residential architecture, and inside is a display of his Oriental art and antique collection, as well as an array of his personal belongings.<br /><br />


Address: Bangkok

Eighty miles (130km) west of Bangkok, the town of Kanchanaburi has secured its position of infamy as the original site of the Bridge Over The River Kwai, where during World War II allied prisoners of war were used by the Japanese to build the Death Railway, killing thousands in the process. With its modern hotels and welcoming air, Kanchanaburi seems an unlikely setting, but the bridge is still in use and the graves of the Allied soldiers are testament to the town's unfortunate past. Worth a visit is the JEATH (Japan, England, Australia/America, Thailand and Holland) War Museum in Kanchanaburi, which recounts experiences in the Japanese POW camps during the War. The Sai Yok Yai Waterfall in the Sai Yok National Park is a place of idyllic beauty and makes a good excursion from Kanchanaburi; the falls are widely celebrated in Thai poetry and songs. The turquoise waters of Erawan Falls are also reachable from Kanchanaburi as an interesting day trip.<br /><br />

Koh Samet

Address: Bangkok

The T-shaped island of Koh Samet is within easy distance of mainland Thailand, and at only 124 miles (200km) from Bangkok a great weekend excursion to get out of the city. A popular island for both foreigners and locals on holiday in Thailand, Koh Samet is a small island known for its white sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters.<br /><br /> Koh Samet has just one (rather bumpy) main road, and getting around the island is accomplished either by songthaew (a pick-up truck-style taxi), or by hiring a motorcycle or ATV. This way tourists can visit the stunning beaches on Koh Samet, including the busy Hat Sai Kaew, quiet Ao Hin Khok, and romantic Ao Wai.<br /><br /> Most of the activity is centred on Hat Sai Kaew, where holidaymakers can enjoy activities like swimming, windsurfing, jet-skiing, yachting or just sunbathing. There are also nightly fire-twirling shows at 6pm and 10:30pm. The tourist centre of Koh Samet, tourists can also enjoy excellent Thai seafood restaurants and lively bars, and take classes in Muay Thai boxing or fire-spinning.<br /><br />

Temple of the Golden Buddha (Wat Traimit)

Address: Traimit Rd Bangkok

Dating back to the 13th century, the buddha at Wat Traimit stands nearly 10 feet (3m) tall, weighs over five tons and is believed to be solid cast gold, the largest gold statue in the world. It was discovered by accident in 1957 when an old stucco image was dropped by a crane, shattering the plaster shell to reveal the brilliantly shining gold underneath. The statue is breathtaking and is thought to have come from Ayutthaya covered in plaster to hide it from the Burmese invaders.<br /><br />

Bangkok National Museum

Address: Na Phra That Rd Bangkok

Admission: Wednesday to Sunday 9am to 3.30pm

Originally built in 1874, the Bangkok National Museum is located within the grounds of the Royal Palace, just a 15-minute walk from the palace of the Emerald Buddha, and displays thousands of artefacts ranging all the way from Neolithic times to present day. It is known as Thailand's central treasury of art and archaeology. Many of the actual buildings are works of art themselves, surrounded by brightly-coloured pavilions and boasting some of Southeast Asia's most ornate jewellery and historical treasures. A visit to the museum is a must for anyone who wants a better understanding of Thailand's rich culture and history. Guided tours are conducted on Wednesdays and Thursdays in various international languages.<br /><br />

Wat Suthat and the Giant Swing

Address: Sao Chingcha Square Bangkok

Wat Suthat is among the oldest and largest temples in Bangkok and is home to the beautiful 13th-century Phra Buddha Shakyamuni, a 25-foot (8m) tall bronze Buddha image that was brought from Sukhothai and containing the ashes of King Rama VIII. It is also known for its exquisite wall paintings, done during the reign of Rama III. The enormous arch made of teak outside the wat is all that remains of an original swing which was used to celebrate and thank Shiva for a bountiful rice harvest. Teams of men would ride the swing on arcs as high as 82 feet (25m) into the air, grabbing at bags of silver coins with their teeth. The swing ceremony was discontinued in 1932 due to countless injuries and deaths, but the thanksgiving festival is still celebrated in mid-December after the rice harvest.<br /><br />

Wat Benchamabophit (The Marble Temple)

Address: Si Ayutthaya Rd Bangkok

Wat Benchamabophit, also known as the Marble Temple, is constructed of white Carrara marble (even the courtyard is paved with polished white marble) and is known as one of Bangkok's most beautiful temples. The temple's name literally means 'The Temple of the fifth King located nearby Dusit Palace'. Built of Italian marble and designed by Prince Naris, a half-brother of the king, it is unique in that, unlike older complexes, there is no wihaan or chedi dominating the grounds. The temple houses many Buddha images representing various regional styles. Inside the ornate Ordination Hall (Ubosot) is a Sukhothai-style Buddha statue named Phra Buddhajinaraja, and buried under this statue are the ashes of King Rama V. The site also contains the Benchamabophit National Museum.<br /><br />

Vimanmek Mansion Museum

Address: 192 Ratchavitee Rd, Dusit Palace grounds Bangkok

Built by King Rama V in 1901, the exquisite golden teakwood mansion, also known as Vimanmek Palace, is located in the Dusit Palace complex. It was restored in 1982 for Bangkok's bicentennial and King Rama IX granted permission to transform Vimanmek Mansion into a museum to commemorate King Rama V by displaying his photographs, personal art and handicrafts, and to serve as a showcase of the Thai national heritage. The informative hour-long tour takes visitors through a series of apartments and rooms, a staggering 81 in total, in what is said to be the largest teak building in the world. It is now a major tourist attraction and a definite must for anyone visiting the intriguing city of Bangkok. Visitors to the Vimanmek Palace are required to dress modestly, meaning men must wear long pants and women must wear skirts or pants below the knee and have their shoulders covered. Sarongs are available to hire if you need to cover up, but they occasionally run out. *This museum is currently closed for renovation.<br /><br />

Chatuchak Market

Address: Bangkok

Admission: Free Weekends 9am-6pm.

The Chatuchak Market (also known as the JJ Market) is said to be the largest flea market in the world. 'Organised' along narrow grid lines under tin roofs, this enormous market is packed tight with all of Thailand's wares. Around 15,000 stalls are loosely categorised into clothing, crafts, food, and animal sections and it is easy to become disoriented quickly. Some of Thailand's illegally-traded animals are sold here and vendors are quick to spot signs of oncoming raids. However, a host of legal but bizarre goods are also traded; cock-fighting roosters, monkeys, fake designer gear and antiques are just the tip of the iceberg. The market is only open on the weekends from 8am to 6pm and on Fridays for wholesalers. It is easily reached by the sky train from the Mo Chit station and by subway. Visitors should keep the import restrictions of their home countries in mind when shopping at Chatuchak Market, and buy accordingly.<br /><br />

Muay Thai

Address: Rajadamnern Stadium, 1 Rajadamnern Nok Rd Bangkok

Fight fans will get a kick out of Thailand's national sport, Muay Thai. The matches can be best watched at the Rajadamnern stadium but be warned, the prices for foreigners or farang are much more than local's. Usually fewer than 10 matches are arranged for a night but the brutality of the style means that some of these result in quick knockouts. The events are a mix of traditional Thai music and traditional pre-match customs before the hard hitting fight that utilises elbows, knees, fists, and shins to knock out the opponent. Several types of tickets are available, the more expensive fight floor, and the more rowdy informal gambling area on the second tier. Tourists should watch their hand movements as they can be interpreted as willingness to bet. Fights can be seen on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays in the evening. Lumpini Park also showcases fights to a more touristy audience.<br /><br />

Lopburi Monkey Temple

Address: Lopburi, 93 miles (150km) north-east of Bangkok. Bangkok

An easy day trip out of Bangkok is the two and half hour, 100-mile (150km), train ride to the Monkey Temple in the town of Lopburi. Legend has it the temple was founded by a fallen arrow of Hanuman, the Hindu Monkey God. The animal kingdom hierarchy is reversed here as the temple gives the monkeys free roam and food. Often novelty turns into nervousness as visitors are followed by crowds of the impolite inhabitants. Visitors can buy packs of sunflower seeds for THB 10 to feed the monkeys, but keep watch of loose items like glasses, purses, and especially food as the monkeys are keen pickpockets and they bite. November is the Monkey Festival in Lopburi but it is interesting to visit year-round.<br /><br />


Address: At the junction of the Chao Phraya, Lopburi and Pa Sak rivers Bangkok

Ayutthaya is the former capital of Siam, from 1350 until mid-18th century, and at one time was one of the largest cities in the world. The capital was relocated to Bangkok in 1768 when the Burmese army destroyed much of Ayutthaya. Today tourists needn't imagine too much to experience splendour of the old capital as many of the enormous structures are still there, and the ruins of Ayutthaya have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Multiple buses (a trip that takes a bit over an hour) and trains arrive daily from Bangkok and a boat up the Chao Phraya River to Ayutthaya can be organised through travel agencies. Although many organised tours in Thailand can be a frustrating experience, a tour guide here can give some fascinating history to the already impressive wats. This is an easy way to experience some of the ancient history of Siam as Bangkok is relatively new.<br /><br />

Bangkok Children’s Discovery Museum

Address: Chatuchak Park Bangkok

Admission: Free Open daily 10am to 4pm

Featuring eight different sections, the Children's Discovery Museum in Bangkok encourages hands-on experience in science, nature, culture and society. Featuring galleries themed Body and Mind, Culture and Society, and Technology, children can learn about a multitude of sciences in an interesting and enjoyable way. The best times to visit are in early morning and late afternoon, in order to avoid large school groups.<br /><br />

Dusit Zoo

Address: Rama V Road, Dusit Bangkok

Built by King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) as his private garden adjacent to the royal palace, the Dusit Zoo is Thailand's oldest zoo. The zoo boasts an animal hospital, zoo museum and educational centre, sightseeing train, activity ground and cafeteria. Kids will love exploring everything that the Dusit Zoo has to offer and meeting rare animals like the White Bengal Tiger and Albino Barking Deer, along with others such as monkeys, penguins and camels.<br /><br />

Siam Ocean World

Address: Basement floor, Siam Paragon Shopping Centre Bangkok

Admission: THB 990, concessions are available. Open daily 10am - 9pm.

Located in the Siam Paragon Shopping Centre, the Bangkok Sea Life Ocean World is one of the largest aquariums in Southeast Asia and features seven different zones; from weird and wonderful and deep reef, to living ocean and rocky shore. The aquarium features 30,000 marine animals, including Oriental Small-Clawed otters, ragged-tooth sharks, stingrays and giant groupers. Children will simply love Siam Ocean World, where they can watch live shows, have a shark encounter, ride in a glass-bottom boat, or enjoy a 4D cinema experience.<br /><br />

Snake Farm (Thai Red Cross Farm)

Address: Corner of Henry Dunant and Rama IV Roads Bangkok

Admission: THB 200 for adults. Monday to Friday 9.30am to 3.30pm, Saturday and Sunday 9.30am to 1pm.

Originally set up to for research to extract the venom from snakes to make anti-venom, the Snake Farm is a great place to take the kids if they're interested in these slithering creatures. Featuring Malayan Pit Vipers, King Cobras, Banded Kraits and Russell Vipers, the Snake Farm educates the public on snakes and safety surrounding them. Venom-milking and snake-handling shows are held daily at 10:30am and 2pm on weekdays, and 10:30am on public holidays.<br /><br />

Bangkok Butterfly Garden and Insectarium

Address: Rod Fai Park, BTS Mochit Bangkok

Located between the Queen Sirikit Gardens and the Children's Discovery Museum, this massive enclosure with rockeries, plants, ferns and a waterfall features some of the most dazzlingly beautiful butterflies in Thailand. Boasting dozens of species, including rare butterflies, looking up at the dome at any given moment, visitors to the Bangkok Butterfly Garden and Insectarium can see more than 500 types of butterflies, such as the Golden Birdwing or Siam Tree Nymph. The Queen Sirikit Gardens are a wonderful place to take a walk and feature magnificently coloured flowers, mazes, ponds and shady trees. Visitors who come here can enjoy a wonderful day of stunning gardens and scenery, butterfly spotting and even picnicking. *Note: the Bangkok Butterfly Garden and Insectarium is currently under renovation.<br /><br />

Songkran Festival

Where: Citywide in the streets, temples and wats,Bangkok

When: 13 - 15 April 2018

The traditional rites of Songkran involve dousing everyone around you in water as a symbol of cleansing and purification at the start of the Thai New Year. Songkran is celebrated nation-wide around Thailand with great gusto, and equally enthusiastically in the capital city, Bangkok. The fun-filled festival is held for about three days, centred on wats and temples where images of Buddha are bathed and the elderly in the community are symbolically washed by the youngsters. After the ceremonials, most people take to the baking hot streets for a merry, wet free-for-all. In Bangkok the best places to experience the festivities are on the square in front of the Grand Palace where the Phra Buddha Sihing is bathed; the Wisutkasat, where a Miss Songkran Beauty pageant is held; and Khao San Road in Banglampoo where jovial water-throwing reaches new heights in battles between locals and tourists.<br /><br />

Bangkok Marathon

Where: ,Bangkok

When: 5 February 2017

The Bangkok Marathon is one of the toughest races in the world due to the heat and humidity the runners have to endure. No record times here unfortunately, but it still attracts plenty of serious runners. The race is divided into three categories: the 26 mile (42.195km) marathon, the 13 mile (21.10km) half marathon and the 6.5 mile (10.55km) quarter marathon.<br /><br />

Silom Soi 4 Halloween

Where: Silom Soi 4,Bangkok

When: 31 October annually

There's nothing Thais love more than a good festival, and what better way to celebrate Halloween than with a street party in Bangkok's trendy pedestrianised bar strip, Silom Soi 4. Many of the bars, clubs and restaurants along this strip combine themed decorations with promotions, resulting in a great night out!<br /><br />

Chinese New Year

Where: Chinatown,Bangkok

When: 16 February 2018

Bangkok boasts one of the world's largest Chinatowns and the best way to experience its cultural legacy is take part in its annual celebration. Each new lunar year, usually starting in February, the Chinese celebrate its arrival as tens of thousands tightly pack into Chinatown shoulder to shoulder. Seas of red clad people, worn to bring luck in the new year, drift with the current of the crowd between attractions. Papier-mâché lion dances, moon cakes, firecrackers and general merriment are all part of the fun but the biggest event is a visit from a royal family member which is to the great pride of the city's Chinese. A pickpocket's paradise, tourists should be careful.<br /><br />

Phranakorn Bar and Gallery

Address: 58/2 Soi Damnoenklang Tai Bangkok

Food Type: Thai

Across the Ratchadamnoen Klang road from Banglamphu district is a popular but low key hangout for the local trend setters. Most come for the ambiance rather than the food as the first floor usually hosts a live band, the second an art gallery, the third a pool hall, and the fourth an open air terrace with beautiful views, all filled with cheerful diners and drinkers.<br /><br />

Le Banyan

Address: 59 Sukhumvit Soi 8 Bangkok

Food Type: French

This upscale restaurant epitomises elegance with white clapboard walls adorned with Thai carvings, old photos, and prints of early Bangkok. The flagship dish is pressed duck with goose liver, shallots, wine and Armagnac to make the sauce. Other fine choices include a rack of lamb a la Provençal and salmon with lemongrass. Open daily for dinner from 6pm to midnight. Reservations advisable.<br /><br />

May Kaidee

Address: 33 Samsen Road, Soi 2, Bang-lam-phu Bangkok

Food Type: Vegetarian

A firm favourite in Bangkok's dining scene, May Kaidee is really informal, but serves some of the most mouth-watering vegetarian and vegan food the city has to offer. Known for serving the best massaman curry in Thailand and an array of dishes, from sweet green curry to good stir-fries and black sticky-rice with mango for dessert, this eatery is a must! May Kaidee is also a Thai cooking school, so if you love the cuisine you can come back and learn to make it yourself. Open daily from 7am to 11pm. Cash only.<br /><br />

The Mango Tree

Address: 37 Soi Tantawan, Surawongse Road Bangkok

Food Type: Thai

This 80-year-old Siamese restaurant house features its very own tropical garden and offers a quiet retreat from Bangkok's chaotic Patpong area. The food may not be the most authentic, but it's delicious and the diverse menu with choices such as mild, green chicken curry and crispy spring rolls won't leave guests disappointed. Live traditional music and classic Thai decorative touches create a wonderfully charming atmosphere. Open daily for lunch and dinner. Reservations advisable.<br /><br />

Somboon Seafood

Address: 169/7-11 Surawongse Rd Bangkok

Food Type: Seafood

This restaurant may not have the most charming atmosphere, but the food is simply delicious and well worth it for those who are willing to make the sacrifice. A popular eatery, Somboon Seafood is regularly packed with friendly staff and with such a vast menu, guests will find themselves coming back time and again. The restaurant also features a large aquarium full of live seafood such as prawn, fish, lobster and crab. The house specialty, chilli crab curry, comes highly recommended. Open daily from 4pm to 11pm. Credit cards not accepted.<br /><br />

The Rain Tree Café

Address: 61 Thanon Witthayu Wireless Road, Lumphini, Pathumwan Bangkok

Food Type: International

The Rain Tree Café offers a buffet of Thai and international food for breakfast, lunch or dinner and is ideal for family meals. Their Vodka Oyster Bar has four kinds of imported oysters, and special seafood buffets are offered on Fridays and Saturdays. Come on Sunday between 12 and 3pm for a Champagne Sunday Brunch.<br /><br />

The Wave

Address: 199/1 Rat Burana Bangkok

Food Type: Thai

This vibey Bangkok restaurant has live music and karaoke in addition to spicy Thai food at reasonable prices and a Japanese sushi corner. The large restaurant has good views from its position on the riverside, and the lavish décor of waterfalls and springs add to the festive atmosphere.<br /><br />

Dosa King

Address: 153/7, Sukhumvit Rd, Soi- 11/1 Bangkok

Food Type: Indian

The very popular South Indian aromatic cuisine known as is a Punjabi dish traditionally eaten with the hands. Consisting of a rice and lentil pancake, crepe or tortilla, folded with a potato curry or other savoury filling, and served with a vegetable and lentil broth called . A purely vegetarian restaurant in Bangkok, Dosa King is ideal for a quick and healthy meal for those exploring Sukhumvit. Open daily for lunch and dinner.<br /><br />


Address: 18 Th Phra Athit Bangkok

Just around the corner from the bustling backpacker district, this quiet coffee shop is a great stop for breakfast or early lunch. The dark wooden interior transports diners to old Siam, although omelettes and baguettes are often welcome tastes of the west. Ricky's recently moved down the street, and the new location has added Mexican food to the menu. Open 8am to 11pm.<br /><br />


Address: 5/1 Sukhumvit Soi 24 Bangkok

Food Type: Local

Popular with Westerners and just a short walk from the skytrain, Lemongrass serves some of Bangkok's finest Nouvelle Thai cuisine. Favourites on the menu include pomelo salad and chicken satay. The (a spicy sweet-and-sour prawn soup with ginger shoots) is delicious and comes highly recommended. Open daily for lunch and dinner. Bookings are advisable.<br /><br />

Neon lights, go-go bars, ladyboys and mysterious cocktails: Bangkok's nightlife enjoys an international reputation for wild abandon.<br /><br /> Go-go bars in Soi Cowboy, Nana Plaza and in the strip clubs surrounding Pat Pong night market aren't only the territory of the unscrupulous but also expat hangouts with cheap drinks and an open air feel. The bright lights, cat calls, costumed patrons and scandalous behaviour will make one's head start to swim.<br /><br /> Hip clubs around Sukhumvit and Silom with hip-hop beats and electro rhythms (often at the same place) vie for hot spot coolness. Ratchadapisek (RCA) sports a block of trendy and densely packed clubs for young party goers. Khao San road is known more as a backpacker hangout but underneath (again, literally) are popular Thai clubs with a cavernous appeal and trance music mixing with the Billboard's top ten.<br /><br /> Up and down Bangkok there are also the standard assortment of pubs, chic hotel lounges and bars. Many foreigners prefer sections closer to Sukhumvit Road but parts of Banglamphu (Khao San excluded) and Ratchadeaphiseck have more trendy local bars. Giant beer gardens are always a fun way to sample the local brew and entertainment.<br /><br /> Whatever your tastes, Bangkok has something for you, as a new nightly adventure is never far away in the 'city of angels'.<br /><br />
Anyone who's been to Thailand will know that the shopping in Bangkok is second to none - you can literally shop 'til you drop! Prices are cheap, markets line the streets touting everything from fake designer wares to cheap leather sandals and tourist t-shirts, bargains are endless and haggling is a way of life. Many of the items for sale are the same throughout all the markets in Thailand so it's best to scout around for some original-looking buys.<br /><br /> Patpong night market is a must and great fun to wander through on a balmy Bangkok evening, though bear in mind this market is situated in the red light district of the city so don't be alarmed at the touts and half naked ladies outside the bars. Khao San road is also brimming with stalls selling all kinds of counterfeit clobber. Plenty of snacks and eats can also be found on the side of the road stalls, but watch out for some of the more unconventional Thai delicacies, such as deep fried locusts. The biggest market in Bangkok is the Chatuchak Weekend Market, with over 15,000 stalls selling spices, leather goods, and practically everything under the sun that can fit inside a tourist's backpack.<br /><br /> The MBK Shopping Centre in Bangkok offers more expensive and better quality wares than the markets on the sides of the streets and prices here when converted are not much cheaper than in other countries. Other popular shopping malls include Central World, Erawan, and Panthip Plaza. Sukhumvit Road is the place to go for fashion, designer goods and custom-made suits.<br /><br /> Many shops are open seven days a week and 12 hours a day, while street markets have longer hours, often staying open until 11pm. VAT in Thailand is seven percent and this can be refunded on goods bought to the value of THB 2,000 (including VAT) in shops labelled 'VAT refund for tourists'. Forms must be completed at the point of purchase and your passport must be shown. Shoppers can obtain their cash refunds on goods of the minimum total value of THB 5,000 in the airport departure hall.<br /><br />
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