The Thai capital of Bangkok provides a feast for the senses. Here you'll witness a collision of the hypermodern and the ancient, with the golden peaks of serene temples set alongside slick intertwining highways thick with traffic and the imposing modern structures of the financial districts. Get ready to explore the heady old city, wonder at the carved Buddhas and rest up in a palatial hotel. With Bangkok holiday packages to suit all budgets, it's time to discover this fascinating place.
Things to do
There is lots going on in Bangkok. Key sights include the Grand Palace set in the atmospheric old city and the Floating Market. You can gaze at the impressive spires of the Khmer-style Wat Arun temple, decorated with porcelain and glass, and reflected in the Chao Phraya River. The alleys of Chinatown are good for wandering, and there's a fabulous collection of Thai art at the Jim Thompson House.
Food & restaurants
The best restaurants in Bangkok stick with Thai flavours. The three branches of Baan Khanitha offer slightly milder dishes, including soft-shell crab and green curries. Ruen Urai is the place for an authentic spicy mouthful, with dishes like pomelo salad and roasted crab curry. Drinking options range from epic rooftop affairs, like Sirocco Sky Bar, to streetside shacks like Cheap Charlie's.
For a touch of nostalgia, book a suite at the 19th-century Eugenia Hotel with its signature palms, antiques and old-school library. Dream Bangkok is the best choice if you want futuristic décor and a city-centre location convenient for the best of the local nightlife. For the ultimate luxury treatment, there's the regal Sukhothai Bangkok, or there's the Arun Residence for something quiet and low-key near the Grand Palace.
Shopping in Bangkok is a joy, as long as you're prepared to take your time. There's the famous Floating Market with its wooden boats laden with fresh produce, and the huge Chatuchak Weekend Market for clothing, accessories and more. Shop your way around the globe at the eclectic Terminal 21, where shopping mimics the likes of Tokyo, London and Istanbul.
From noon to three on a week day, lunch doesn't come cheaper or better than in one of the low-key food tents catering to office workers in the business districts. Keep your eyes peeled in the Asok area for these covered areas, some of them quite large, where locals feast on hot meals at communal tables.
Bangkok Holiday Deals
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