Bangkok is one of the world’s truly amazing cities. What’s not to like about being in Bangkok? There are very few regular travellers who have never been to Bangkok. As someone once said, “Only the dullest of people ever get bored in the capital of Thailand”. Here is our official guide to Bangkok, Baktrax Style.
The history of Bangkok goes back to the 15th century when nearby Ayutthaya was the capital of Siam. Thonburi was the next capital in 1767 on the west side of the Chao Phraya River opposite current day Bangkok.
Bangkok became the capital of then Siam in 1782 under the reign of King Rama I, the first king of the current day Shakri dynasty when it moved across the river to better defend itself from the Burmese.
Current day Bangkok is known as Krungthep in the Thai language which is a shortened name for the longest official city name in the world of;
“Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Ayuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Piman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit.”
To sum this name up, it means “City of Angels”. Often referred to as The Big Mango.
The population today is over 8 million in a sprawling metropolis.
Main Attraction / What it’s famous for
Bangkok is famous for many things. Some very good and some not so. It has so many tourist attractions it is hard to know where to begin.
The Grand Palace is the big one for most visitors along with the nearby Wat Pho. Too many other great Wat’s (Temples), to mention here such as Wat Arun being one of the more famous landmarks beside the Chao Phraya river.
Other attractions include the Chatuchak weekend market with thousands of stalls, Chinatown, shopping malls en masse and local markets by the bucket load.
For the not so good it is the horrendous traffic jams and often gridlocked roads. Pollution the other infamous result of it all.
Things to do in/around
What to do in Bangkok? Apart from visiting the numerous tourist attractions which would take months to see them all? You can get involved in the local culture with an express ferry ride on the river to nearby Nonthaburi province for a fascinating stroll around local markets with no other tourists in sight.
Jim Thompson silk house is another very popular and worthwhile way to spend some time at.
So much to do in so many ways all day before a cold drink in the evening to cool down.
As above; only the dullest of people could possibly become bored in Bangkok.
This topic is so vast we will keep it simple.
Bangkok possibly has the best array of street food in the world. Then you have everything from local chicken rice restaurants for a dollar or so up to fine 5-star hotel dining costing a $100 or more.
For the most part, a very good meal can be had for less than $5.00.
A large bottle of good beer should be no more than $4.00 even in a tourist restaurant.
Finding somewhere to dine may be difficult though as you may have to choose one from among 100 or so within a 5-minute walk. Decisions decisions. Local or tourist?
Local style food courts in malls are one of the best places to see how the locals eat, being as good a place as any to begin with.
Yet again the vast choices will amaze.
Bangkok has three seasons in general.
- Hot season from March to June.
- Rainy season from June until October.
- Cool season from November until February.
Alas, these should be taken with a grain of salt. It can rain at any time.
As for the oddly named cool season; it rarely gets under 30C during the day year long. Nor under 20C at night Making it one of the hottest cities in the world.
Fans are the best weapon of choice in this regard.
Do not be put off by rainy season though as the rain usually only comes in very short albeit it very heavy downpours of 20 minutes or so. It cleans the air somewhat also and keeps prices down in low season. So our choice as an even better time to visit Bangkok.
According to Forbes.com, Bangkok is the most visited city in the world with over 22 million visitors in 2019.
We think that in itself suggests it is worth a visit.
With the best choice of flights in the region and being the most central capital city geographically in southeast Asia, whether you are visiting neighbouring countries or Thailand itself then a visit is easy to fit in.
Some may say that in a perfect world Bangkok is unfit for human habitation due to the traffic & pollution but for any time up to a week or two, it is a must-go-to for any real traveller. It will always excite and never disappoint whether first time or repeat visitor.
Lastly, the picture that many non-travellers conjure up in their mind of a dangerous city could not be further from the truth.
As safe as any big city anywhere. Once you arrive you will feel very much at ease in regards to personal safety. As always though be aware of your surroundings in any new destination.
And be very careful when crossing the road as things are different in that regard, to say the least.
Great food, friendly people & more sights than you could dream of in so many ways. What’s not to like about a Bangkok experience? Hence why most Baktrax itineraries start and finish in the City of Angels.
Top ten things to do in Bangkok
- Visit the Grand Palace.
- Taste street food as you stroll through local markets.
- Have a Thai massage…
- Visit Chatuchak weekend market.
- Take a boat trip on the Chao Phraya river.
- Experience a Tuk Tuk & a motorcycle taxi.
- Visit Jim Thompson Silk House.
- Visit Wat Pho & Wat Arun.
- Visit Vimanmek Teak Mansion.
- Relax with a cold beer in the Soi Rambuttri Gecko bar or a riverside restaurant.