Country: Thailand
Currency: Baht (THB)
Peak Season: November-March
Shoulder Season: May-August
Median Temperature: 30.00 C / 86 F
Main Languages: Thai, English
Primary Modes of Transportation: train, rapid transit, bus, motorbike taxi, taxicab
Recommended Duration of Stay: 7 days
Recommended Pocket Money: $100.00/day
Tourist Passes: Skytrain (BTS)
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Thai capital and urban jungle extraordinaire—Bangkok—offers a pleasurable, exhilarating retreat from the mundane world. The city is a culmination of the consumerist agenda seamlessly intertwining with Buddhist architecture, tradition and beliefs. Here, you can shop, socialize, and eat to your heart’s content—all without breaking the bank. The city remains one of the most visited destinations in Asia due to it being a shopping paradise and not to mention its close proximity to Phuket, which is famous for its many sandy beaches.

Bangkok has been touted in the media as both Asia’s nightlife capital. Being densely populated with over 9 million people, the city is the epitome of an urban jungle: markets, traffic jams, nightlife and all. Recurring tourists often visit Bangkok bringing nothing but cash and plastic thanks to the ubiquity and cheapness of merchandise. Whether traveling solo or bring your buddies along with you, it’s relatively easy to get by Bangkok without worrying too much about your budget.

Packing List

  • Light, cottony clothes and sandals for day-long adventures; if hiking, tug along your best walking shoes, first-aid kits and anything to protect you from the disheveled, muddy hiking
  • An umbrella, sunscreen, sunglasses and anything to protect you against the sun—temperatures become very unbearable during summer; bring hydration tablets and plenty of fluids
  • An umbrella, sunscreen, sunglasses and anything to protect you against the sun—temperatures become very unbearable during summer; bring hydration tablets and plenty of fluids
  • Essential medication and toiletries, including insect repellants and anti-diarrheal medication (for street food); bring bottled water if you’re not complacent with Asian tap water
  • A point-and-shoot camera, film rolls/memory and batteries; gadgets should be brought sparingly, since day activities will prevent you from staying inside a hotel room unless its sleep time

Things to Do

  • Shopping at Chatuchak Weekend Market, the country’s largest market, covering roughly 35 acres of space allocated for thousands of stalls selling everything from live chickens to authentic jewelry
  • Boarding a daytime and/or dinner cruise running along the Chao Phraya River running through the city; the 231-mile river offers an ideal and peaceful retreat from the bustling metropolis
  • Visiting the Grand Palace, the former official residence of the Kings of Thailand (while a few still lived in their own palaces; the Chitralada Palace is now the residence of current King, Rama IX
  • Mediating at the Wat Pho, famous for its Reclining Buddha, stretched at 151 feet and having a base of 49 feet; there are at least a thousand more depictions of Buddha inside the wat (temple)
  • Reliving the city’s humble origins by purchasing commodities at the Amphawa Floating Market; there’s probably not much to experience here, other than the history shrouding the place

DON'T

  • Purchase jewelry and other “purported” authentic items from street merchants or otherwise legit-looking dealers; be accepting of the fact that most Bangkok merchandise are knock-offs
  • Mention any dissenting comments about the country’s King, or against the government for that matter—a majority of the Thai revere the Royal Family and will show hostility against critics
  • Ignore manners and etiquette; Bangkok is relatively lenient on tourists, but older generations still expect foreign visitors to be well- informed about table manners and social conduct
  • Leave important belongings inside your hotel room, and look for good hotels near beaches—those that have no history of robbery; leave valuables in your home country if possible
  • Ignore ordinances: don’t board meter-less taxis, don’t smoke inside restaurants, don’t occupy bus sections reserved for monks and pregnant women, and look both ways before crossing