The golden towers of Wat Phra Kaew in Bangkok, Thailand
Photo by xiquinhosilva  –  Link

Bangkok

Thailand

Located in the centre of the country, Bangkok is one of Thailand's major cultural hubs. With its majestic temples, luxurious malls, busy markets, and enticing street food, the capital is sure to awaken all the senses. If you're planning a trip to Bangkok, brace yourself; this city is an explosion of sounds, smells, sights and tastes.

What to see

Wat Pho, also known as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, is one of the largest temples in the city and home to a spectacular 46-metre-long golden Buddha statue. Be sure to also check out the rest of the temple and courtyard while you're there.

Another stop to make, and one of the best ways to experience local life, is at one of the city's vibrant markets. The Chatuchak Weekend Market is a great option, with over 8,000 stalls selling a huge variety of items. Alternatively, head to one of the colourful floating markets to find boats selling fruit and veg, fresh juice and local food.

For street food, take a walk through Chinatown for some satay, visit the Old Town for some traditional Khao gang (curry rice), or head to the Bang Rak area to sample dishes influenced by Bangkok's immigrants.

Other sights to note are the Grand Palace, the shopping malls, and the hopping nightlife on Khao San Road.

Getting around

The best way to get around the city is the Bangkok Skytrain (BTS). Elevated above street level, it's a great opportunity to get from A to B whilst taking in the sights. There are two lines: the Silom line that runs west to south, and the Sukhumvit line that runs north to east. Trains arrive every 3 to 6 minutes and a one-day pass for unlimited travel is 120 baht.

Bangkok also has an underground train system (MRT) which stretches over 18 stations from north to south. Trains arrive every 5 to 7 minutes and prices range from 15 to 40 baht depending on the number of stops you are travelling.

It's also possible to take a trip in a longtail boat or a tuk tuk if you're feeling adventurous!

Best time to go

Bangkok has a monsoon climate, so it's good to be clued up on the best times to visit. There are three main seasons: March to the beginning of June is the hot season, mid-June to October is the rainy season, and November to February is the cool season.

The best time to comfortably explore Bangkok is between November and February when the temperature drops a few degrees and you can avoid the downpours. But be warned - the good weather means more tourists, so be prepared to share the sights!