Perhaps it is the gleaming temples and graceful pagodas that line the riverbanks, or the colourful Tuk Tuks, flamboyant shopping malls, and wide choice of street food and fine-dining in rooftop restaurants, or just simply the friendly smiles of the people that defines Bangkok. The Thai capital city is a popular destination which has for a long time attracted travellers from all over the world. Let’s explore Bangkok and its latest attractions that will make your holiday even more special.
The Destination of Flavours
There are not many cities in the world where food is served 24 hours a day. Whether it be the locally popular Joke Samyan, the Thai version of congee, which is served as breakfast from 3 am, the Chinese doughnuts and soybean milk that can be found on almost every street corner, grilled pork skewers and sticky rice, a quick breakfast popular with office workers, the wide variety of set lunches at chic restaurants on Sukhumvit Road, or the seemingly endless line of food stalls on Yaowarat Road at night - there really is something for everyone.
Moreover, Michelin Guide 2019 recently announced its list of the best restaurants, awarding 4 restaurants with two Michelin stars, up from three last year, and 23 one Michelin-star restaurants, 10 more than last year. Besides this, there are 59 restaurants in Bangkok (and another 15 in Phuket and Phang-nga) which have been awarded the “Bib Gourmand” (inspectors’ favourite for good value), which serve quality food for less than 1,000 baht, confirming Bangkok to be a foodie’s heaven.
One of the most enjoyable activities when visiting Bangkok is shopping! The capital of the Land of Smiles offers a wide range of shopping experiences to discerning shoppers. Hop on and off the skytrain to indulge yourself in an extravaganza of shopping malls which give VAT refunds for tourists, or opt for more exciting Thai brands of clothes and accessories by young local designers in Siam Square. If IT goods and fashionable, cheap clothes are what you are looking for, Pratunam is a good choice, or if you wish for something a bit more exotic, head to Chinatown and Sampeng Market, wherethe variety of merchandise on offer is mind-blowing!.
Late afternoon is a good time to explore Chatuchak Weekend Market where there are some 8,000 stalls selling literally everything ranging from food and clothes to arts, crafts and plants. In Bangkok, shopping is not limited to the daytime as there are new ‘hip’ night markets constantly popping up across the town, mostly selling bric-a-brac and vintage clothes. Try the easily accessible Rod Fai Night Market Ratchada, or explore as far as Rod Fai Night Market Srinakarin, Liab Duan Ram Inthra Night Market or Chang Chui Market in Bangphlat, where there are also lots of small bars and food stalls selling Thai snacks. It is no exaggeration to say that you would need months to explore them all.
The temples standing majestically on the banks of the Chao Phraya River, may be some of the most familiar Thai landmarks, but there are also plenty of new riverside development projects to enjoy along both sides of the river. Start from Tha Maharaj Mall, a riverside mall with cafes, restaurants, open-air space and a rooftop that boasts fine views across the water. Just downriver is Yodpiman Riverwalk, a community mall with a 300-metre long promenade that gives a closer view of the river. Behind the mall are Yodpiman Fruit Market and Flower Market.
Travel across the river to Charoen Nakhon, ICONSIAM, the newly opened, 75,000 sq metre, riverside development project that features luxury brand stores and SookSiam, a ‘town’ which was ‘co-created’ by local entrepreneurs to showcase local products from all over the country. Travel further to Asiatique the Riverfront, where you can enjoy a bird’s-eye view of the river from the big wheel, or dine and shop at more than 1,000 restaurants and shops. If you are looking for a ‘hip’ atmosphere, Lhong 1919, a restored old Chinese manor dating back to King Rama IV’s reign, offers a heritage attraction. Adjacent to Thailand Creative and Design Center on the other side of the river is Warehouse 30, a restored World War II-era warehouse where you can enjoy coffee and shopping for trendy clothes and knickknacks.
Hub of ASEAN
With Thailand’s central location in mainland Southeast Asia, Bangkok is an aviation hub that provides easy access and connection to other destinations in the region through its two international airports. Suvarnabhumi International Airport, one of the world’s largest and busiest, covers 563,000 sq metres and serves around 60 million passengers a year. More than 100 scheduled airlines use its runways, which see up to 70 flights an hour. Suvarnabhumi is connected by convenient motorways and expressways which allow travellers easy access to the heart of Bangkok in less than an hour. Don Mueang International Airport, Thailand’s first commercial airport and one of Asia’s oldest, is the other gateway to Thailand. It connects passengers to many other domestic and regional destinations, on both regular and budget airlines.
Explore Bangkok with THAI flights from many cities in Asia, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. Book now at thaiairways.com