The streets of Bangkok are an exciting mixture of high-rise buildings, ornate palaces, heavy traffic congestion and endless street stalls. The city also has some of the best value shopping options and offers plenty of opportunities to pamper yourself in the city's spas and Thai massage parlours.
Bangkok flights take between 11 and 13 hours from the UK. International flights arrive via Suvarnabhumi International (BKK), while the smaller airport of Don Muang (DMK) is confined to providing internal flights across the country. There are a number of options for getting into the city centre from the airport. The express airport train runs between Suvarnabhumi airport and Phaya Thai station in the city centre. The fare is set at 150 Baht and the journey takes around 30 minutes to reach the city centre. Alternatively a number of bus routes run into the airport with some of the larger hotels offering a shuttle service into the city.
As with every airport, travel by taxi is available from the airport. Taxis can be found on Level 1, near Entrance no. 3, 4, 5, 7, and 8, the fare is run on a meter which is paid at the end of the journey. Tourists and locals alike usually round up the fare to the nearest whole note, avoiding making your driver hand out coins your change.
Once you reach central Bangkok, everything you need is within the city centre. The city is constantly presenting you with tempting food options. From grilled chicken skewers of the street stalls to the upmarket seafood restaurants, Bangkok has some of the best food you will find anywhere, at shockingly low prices.
You can easily spend a good couple of days exploring the temples and palaces of Bangkok, but if you only have time for one, make it The Grand Palace, a spectacular complex of government offices, royal residencies and home to Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha). The palaces and temples are sights of cultural and spiritual significance to the Thai people, so be sure to dress appropriately, no shorts or revealing tops.
Relax in the Lumpini Park, more than half a million square metres of lush parkland, providing tranquillity, shade and a break from city living for the locals of Bangkok. Visit Thailand's tallest building, the Baiyoke Tower II, at 304 metres and with a 360-degree, open-air revolving roof deck the tower is the best place to get a bird's eye view of the sprawling city.
The large air conditioned malls of Siam and Chidlom-Ploenchit offer multiple storeys of clothes shops, home wares and electrical equipment that can usually be bartered down to a price that will leave you feeling very satisfied with your haggling skills. Away from the large department stores the streets of Bangkok are lined with market stalls competing for your attention. If you're looking for a bargain visit the markets of Patpong, Khlong Thom, Saphan Phut or Travel the Chao Phraya River by boat for the legendary Chatuchak Weekend Market.
By night you are spoilt for choice. The nightclubs and cabaret shows of the city offer something for every taste. Heading to the entertainment district of Patpong is a popular choice with its bars and restaurants catering almost exclusively to tourists. Alternatively head to the Lumpini Stadium for an authentic Muay Thai boxing match.
Whether you're just passing through the city or travelling on through Thailand, flights to Bangkok are a great introduction to the country.
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