Little can prepare you for the frenetic pace and sensory overload of Thailand’s largest city. Markets are crowded, the traffic erratic and the hawkers relentless in their offers of cut-price clothes and watches. All this activity mixes with the pungent aroma from the hundreds of food carts frying pad thai and other tasty dishes.

Spend a little time in Bangkok, however, and you’ll find spots of serenity among the bustle. This is a city where religion is deeply rooted in daily life. The smell of incense often signifies a nearby shrine where you’ll see people from all walks of life stop to make an offering before they go about their business.

Known to locals as Krung Thep (City of Angels), Bangkok is home to almost 10 million people. It covers more than 570 square miles (1,500 square kilometers) and encompasses two former capitals: Thonburi and Rattanakosin. The latter is Bangkok’s historic center and where you’ll find most of the main attractions. These include the National Museum and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, on the grounds of the showy Grand Palace. Nearby, see the huge reclining Buddha at the Wat Pho temple. Remember to dress modestly when visiting any temple.

In the Banglamphu district, prepare for an onslaught of sights and sounds at the notoriously busy Khao San Road. Haggle for counterfeit clothes and accessories, or simply perch on a stool in one of the many bars and watch the colorful characters pass by.

For some relaxation, join a free, outdoor yoga or tai chi class at Lumphini Park, or indulge with a spa treatment, available at most hotels. A short boat ride north of Bangkok you’ll discover the community of the Mon people. They have made the tiny, artificial river island of Ko Kret a haven for their culture.

While tuk-tuk rides are all part of the Bangkok experience, the city is well connected for those times you feel like traveling in comfort. The excellent Skytrain (BTS) and underground (MRT) rail systems run between all the major shopping and entertainment districts of the city. For a different view of Bangkok, take a trip on the Express boats that constantly churn the waters of the Chao Phraya River.

Known for

Shopping, Temples and Culture

Where to stay in Bangkok

Sukhumvit
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Sukhumvit

Shopping, Bars, Dining

Street markets and sparkling malls, parks, nightlife districts and museums await at this bustling boulevard, which is one of Thailand’s longest roads.

Bangkok City Centre
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Bangkok City Centre

Temples, Shopping, Monuments

A vibrant neighborhood, Bangkok City Centre offers a variety of options for restaurants. The neighborhood's China town and rich culture are just a couple of its charming qualities. Other highlights include the local temples and shopping, as well as the natural splendor of the riverfront.

Pratunam
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Trover photo by Tan Tan Tan

Pratunam

Shopping, Castles, Monuments

A scenic neighborhood, Pratunam offers a variety of options for restaurants. The neighborhood's friendly people and skyline are just a couple of its charming qualities. You can satisfy your cultural palate with the shopping and monuments.

Silom
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Silom

Temples, Shopping, LGBT-Friendly

Silom is a vibrant, romantic neighborhood with convenient options for bars and restaurants. The neighborhood's charm comes through with its rich culture. You can satisfy your cultural palate with the temples and shopping.

Siam
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Siam

Urban, Temples, Shopping

Siam is a welcoming, upscale neighborhood. The neighborhood has many appealing features, among them its friendly people and rich culture. You can satisfy your cultural palate with the temples and shopping.

Don Muang
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Trover photo by Charles DO

Don Muang

Dining, Shopping, Friendly People

A welcoming neighborhood, Don Muang is known for being walkable and upscale, while offering convenient options for restaurants and bars. Broaden your horizons with the local shopping.

Top Hotels in Bangkok

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Image for lebua at State Tower (The World's First Vertical Destination)
lebua at State Tower (The World's First Vertical Destination)
5 out of 5
State Tower 1055/111 Silom Road, Bangkok
¥11,801/night
Jul 28 - Jul 29
4.5/5Wonderful! (7,689 reviews)

"The staff mainly are nice and helpful. They have a kitchen in our room with dining area but don't have utensils and dishes provided. The surrounding area is very old and is next to the hospital. If you don't mind, you may consider this hotel in Bangkok."…"

Reviewed on Jul 16, 2019

lebua at State Tower (The World's First Vertical Destination)
Image for Rembrandt Hotel Suites and Towers
Rembrandt Hotel Suites and Towers
4.5 out of 5
19 Sukhumvit Soi 18, Klong Toei, Bangkok
¥6,553/night
Jul 29 - Jul 30
4.2/5Very Good! (2,614 reviews)

"Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa"…"

Reviewed on Jul 17, 2019

Rembrandt Hotel Suites and Towers
Image for Shangri-la Bangkok
Shangri-la Bangkok
5 out of 5
89 Soi Wat Suan Plu, New Road, Bangkok
¥13,965/night
Aug 21 - Aug 22
4.6/5Wonderful! (2,829 reviews)

"the deluxe room was disappointed while the horizon club room was very good , we got very great help from manager in duty Ms. Mee . breakfast was very good and lobby with singer Ms Lilly was very attractive and real pleasure ,"…"

Reviewed on Jul 19, 2019

Shangri-la Bangkok

Popular things to do in Bangkok

Grand Palace
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Grand Palace

The majestic European/Asian-style complex was once the home of the kings of Siam and is now both a place of worship and a must-see Bangkok landmark.

Wat Pho
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Wat Pho

The “Temple of the Reclining Buddha” is the largest temple in the country and has more Buddha statues than any other Thai temple.

Wat Arun
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Wat Arun

Wat Arun is a well-known landmark worth seeing in Bangkok. Stroll along the riverfront or visit the shops in this culturally-rich area.

Temple of the Emerald Buddha
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Temple of the Emerald Buddha

A small but extremely important Thai religious icon sits on a golden pedestal within the ornate Wat Phra Kaew structure on the grounds of the Grand Palace.

Khaosan Road
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Khaosan Road

This “anything goes” street is a hot spot for budget travelers who want to buy cheap clothes and souvenirs, people-watch or party all night.

Lumphini Park
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Lumphini Park

Known by locals as the “Lung of Bangkok,” this green breathing space provides a quiet haven for rest, sport and recreation to residents and visitors alike.

Top activities in Bangkok

Night Out at Calypso Bangkok Cabaret
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Night Out at Calypso Bangkok Cabaret

¥2,616

Calypso, one of the most popular cabaret shows in Bangkok, has delighted audiences for nearly 30 years with Broadway-style entertainment. Get ready for a vibrant spectacular featuring more than 70 professional transgender artists celebrating diversity and spirit through song and dance.

VIP Fast-Track Service: Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK)
Image for VIP Fast-Track Service: Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK)

VIP Fast-Track Service: Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK)

¥4,535

After a long flight, there is no better way to cut the hassle out of travel than taking advantage of a premium service that offers VIP fast-track service at the airport.

Ayutthaya Ancient Capital with River Cruise, Lunch & Palace
Image for Ayutthaya Ancient Capital with River Cruise, Lunch & Palace

Ayutthaya Ancient Capital with River Cruise, Lunch & Palace

¥5,582

Discover the rich history, fascinating architecture, and iconic buildings of Ayutthaya, an ancient royal capital. Visit the former royal residence at Bang Pa-In Palace, marvel at the Wat Mahathat and Wat Na Phra Men temples, and cruise the waters of Chao Phraya River while enjoying a delicious lunch.

Chao Phraya River Dinner Cruise
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Chao Phraya River Dinner Cruise

¥3,289

Welcome aboard a 2-hour extravagant journey down the Chao Phraya which divides ancient Thailand from the present day metropolis of Bangkok. As you cruise along, delight in a delicious meal of Thai and international cuisine as an upbeat band plays in the background and you pass by famous landmarks.

Guided Ayutthaya Tour with River Cruise & Lunch
Image for Guided Ayutthaya Tour with River Cruise & Lunch

Guided Ayutthaya Tour with River Cruise & Lunch

¥7,547

Stroll through the magnificent ruins of Ayutthaya and witness the remnants of historic temples and palaces that line the shores of the Chao Phraya River. Climb aboard a comfortable vessel to cruise down the river back to Bangkok, and enjoy the sights while you feast on a traditional Thai buffet.

Shangri-La Hotel's Deluxe Buffet Dinner Cruise
Image for Shangri-La Hotel's Deluxe Buffet Dinner Cruise

Shangri-La Hotel's Deluxe Buffet Dinner Cruise

¥8,582

Cruise down the calm waters of the Chao Phraya river as you tuck into a sumptuous buffet of international cuisine. Scope out the illuminated edifices of notable Bangkok landmarks along the way, enjoy refreshing beverages on the open-air deck, and dine in the comfort of an air-conditioned cabin.

Read travel guides and advice on visiting Bangkok

Flying high in Loei
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Flying high in Loei

Exploring off-the-beaten-path Thailand

Mystical tattoos in Thailand
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Mystical tattoos in Thailand

Getting Sak Yants in Thailand

Responsible animal tourism in Thailand
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Responsible animal tourism in Thailand

Practicing responsible animal tourism at Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai

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