Wat Benjamaborphit, Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok

Bangkok needs little introduction and is one of the world’s most exciting cities. Wonderful hotels, great shopping – both local and international, where a shimmering Grand Palace sits alongside smaller, hidden temples and colourful markets all jostle for space in this eclectic city. Bangkok should be included for at least a night or two as part of your journey to Thailand.

Amongst the thriving streets are many fascinating temples, Buddhist statues and ancient ruins. Thailand was never colonised and Bangkok showcases the true grit and determination of the Thais and the country as a whole.

A true example of the force of modernisation in the East: a vast metropolis of modern skyscrapers and luxury brands blending with local houses, riverside markets and palaces.

Wat Arun, Temple of Dawn, Bangkok, Thailand
Bangkok, Thailand

A little more about Bangkok

All too often Bangkok is used as a quick stopping point between holidays to other regions of Thailand and South East Asia, however, to not spend a few days exploring is to miss out on the very essence of Thailand. Yes, it is busy, sometimes dirty and always on the go but finding a peaceful temple, a backstreet cafe and a colourful flower market, not to mention some of the best shopping in Asia, make Bangkok a great city for those who enjoy the buzz and atmosphere of city life.

Experiences

What do you really love doing? We’ll tailor your itinerary to suit you.

Lotus Marigold, Temple Flowers, Thailand

Pak Khlong Talat Flower Market

Rise early and visit Pak Khlong Talat. Bangkok’s biggest flower market has a rich history and is a colourful and fascinating place in the early hours when huge deliveries of fresh flowers arrive.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Long Tailed River Boat, Bangkok, Thailand

Cruise Bangkok’s Canals

Explore the canals of Bangkok by long tailed boat – James Bond style.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Kranthong Festival, Bangkok, Thailand

Loy Krathong Festival

Visit Bangkok during Loy Krathong, a time when locals gather waterside to release candle-lit lotus shaped rafts in respect of the goddess of water. A picturesque scenes when canals and rivers across the country flicker with light.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Green tuk tuk driving towards camera on busy Chinatown street.

Explore Chinatown

Spend a few hours exploring the vibrant streets of Chinatown in Bangkok.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Station View, Eastern & Oriental Express, Bangkok, Thailand

Take the Sleeper Train

Journey on the local overnight sleeper train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai or treat yourself to Eastern & Oriental’s journey to Singapore.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Yellow boxing ring ropes with pair of red muay thai boxing gloves hung on them.

Thai Boxing Lessons

Stay at The Siam hotel and have a private Thai Boxing lesson, known locally as Muay Thai.

Suggested hotel

Bangkok street food

Sample Street Food

Spend an evening in Bangkok with a private guide for the chance to sample some of the countries tastiest street food.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Buddha Statues, Ayuthaya, Thailand

UNESCO Ayutthaya

Visit the former capital of Ayutthaya exploring temples and daily river life from a private rice barge, before returning to Bangkok by road.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Where to stay

Some of the wonderful places to stay that we frequently recommended.

The Peninsula Bangkok £££££

  • Thailand
  • City

One of the finest properties in Bangkok, The Peninsula’s riverside location capitalises its position with panoramic views from every room where guests are assured legendary Thai service. Highlighting the best of Thai style and comfort with both traditional and contemporary elements. The Peninsula offers the iconic welcome of a green Rolls Royce, a sublime spa and the best riverside breakfast to be found in this part of the world.

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Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Bangkok £££££

  • Thailand
  • City

The Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok has welcomed guests for more than 135 years and is the grande dame of the city. Overlooking Bangkok’s lifeline – the Chao Phraya River, which runs through the heart of Bangkok yet adjacent to easy transport route into the centre of town, the Mandarin Oriental is perfectly positioned to explore Bangkok. A paragon of contemporary luxury and rich in history, this hotel is filled with stories of the celebrated guests who have considered it home during their world travels. With 368 elegant suites and rooms, two pools and nine choices of restaurants and bars, the hotel is more akin to an urban retreat.

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The Siam £££££

  • Thailand
  • City

The Siam is nestled amongst Bangkok’s historic palaces, temples and museums offering a relaxed and peaceful retreat from the city.

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Eastern & Oriental Express £££££

  • Thailand

The golden age of travel lives on aboard the Eastern & Oriental Express luxury train. Winding through some of the world’s most beautiful and exotic landscapes, it voyages through Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand, and on into Laos. A luxurious private cabin with windows perfect for watching the scenery unfold. A steward is on call 24 hours a day to ensure every need is met. Share experiences with fellow guests over cocktails and dinner. Meet local characters at our exciting destinations, from village elders and elephant handlers to knowledgeable wine experts.

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Ariyasom Villa £££££

  • Thailand
  • City

Ariyasom Villa is a wonderfully personal 24-room boutique hotel, conveniently located in the heart of central Bangkok. The Villa was built in 1942 as a private home and is still owned and run by the granddaughter and her husband. The well-respected, predominantly vegetarian Na Aroon is open for stylish Thai food in the evening and gives a hearty breakfast for guests stetting off on a busy day of exploring before returning to the peaceful pool to cool off. Ariyasom is for those wanting something more unique in a cosmopolitan city.

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COMO Metropolitan Hotel, Bangkok £££££

  • Thailand
  • City

The COMO Metropolitan Bangkok is a fresh city-centre hotel offering style, energy and exceptional service. Locally known as the Met, the hotel has 169 minimalist rooms, away from the urban hubbub of the city. The hotel combines a Thai edge with an Asian flair, an approach reflected in the award-winning cuisine, spa and one of Bangkok’s nicest lounge bars. Typically for COMO there is an excellent spa, a 25-metre pool and daily yoga.

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Meet our experts

A passion for travel runs right through every one of our experts - meaning they're always ready with first-hand insight about their specialist countries.

Paul Craven

Paul is the Conde Nast Traveller chosen Specialist for Central Asia and the Silk Route.

Being from a family with Army connections I can from an early age remember travelling. From camping in Europe and then later being sent to boarding school when we lived in Germany at the age of eight, complete with shorts, long socks, a cap and my suitcase. In appearance not too dissimilar to the children evacuated to the countryside during the blitz.

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