In years gone by, Bangkok has held a reputation for being a central hub to the mysteries of South East Asia - a relatively undeveloped and untouched city home to all sorts of wonderful and exciting adventures. The good news is that it is still all of those things, but it’s developed to become a highly modern city with all of the amenities and luxuries that you’d expect to find in any contemporary capital.
What to Expect
Stepping off the plane at Bangkok International Airport, the first thing you’ll notice is the humidity. Depending on what time of year you’re planning on going, it’s either going to be really sticky in the air and hot, or a relatively pleasant warmth that has a relaxing effect.
The next thing that will strike you is the traffic and road systems in this city. It’s recommended that when you first arrive you take a taxi to your hotel, or an airport transfer if one has been organised. This is so that you get a feel for what it’s like being amongst this city. To say the traffic is chaotic in comparison to what you’d find in places like Australia is an understatement. Motorbikes, cars, trucks, bicycles, vans, tuk tuks and all sorts of different vessels carrying loads of varying nature fight for a place on the road. Just watching the traffic is an amazing experience in itself.
Once you’ve had your first taste of what the city streets have to offer, you’ll want to do some exploring by foot. Walking around any part of this city is guaranteed to bring you an experience you won’t find anywhere else. Food, shopping, sounds, sights - everything in Bangkok is a stimulation to your senses! So be prepared to have your eyes wide open.
Where to Stay
With Bangkok increasingly becoming a popular global tourist destination, there are dozens of different accommodation options available to you. No matter if you’re travelling solo, with a partner or with the whole family, there are hotels, resorts and other means of accommodation that are catered to suit every budget.
Depending on your accommodation needs, your best bet is going to be talking with a Hoot travel specialist to organise the best option for you. One of the more popular regions in Bangkok to stay is Siam - it’s not far from the airport and transport around the city from here is easy to find. If you’re looking for the overall best option for accommodation in Bangkok, then you can’t go past the Pathumwan Princess in Siam. It’s an incredible hotel which includes a variety of different room types as well as a large outdoor swimming pool. It’s also connected to the famous MBK shopping centre and across the road from some of the biggest shopping Malls in Bangkok, like Siam Paragon.
Another great area to base yourself in Bangkok is Sukhumvit. This area boasts some awesome shopping options, like Terminal 21 shopping centre where you’ll find almost anything you could ever want to buy - at affordable prices too! Here you’ll also find a decent range of local bars and restaurants so you’ll get the opportunity to sample some of Bangkok’s exciting cuisine. The Four Points by Sheraton in Sukhumvit is a well-priced hotel and being just a few minutes’ walk from Asok Skytrain station, it’s well placed to be your home base for exploring the city.
As we mentioned before, Bangkok’s streets are hectic and at times can be quite dizzying for foreigners trying to find their way out. So it wouldn’t be advisable that you rent a car and try to make your way through the maze of people and vehicles on your own. But with that in mind, there are quite a few different options for getting around the city.
For economy and speed, your best bet is always going to be Bangkok’s Skytrain. These trains run on tracks elevated from the road level so they avoid the bustling traffic. And on top of that, they run at very regular times and stations are located at all of the places you’re likely to want to go. It’s just a matter of buying a day ticket and hopping on and off as you please.
If you want more of a ground level experience in getting around Bangkok, then you also have tuk tuks and taxis. Tuk tuks will give you more of a cultural experience. These colourful motorbike style taxis putt around the city with an open back and sides, so you’ll get all of the sights and scents while riding them. The price you pay is usually dependent on your ability to negotiate with the driver - just make sure you set the price before you get on board!
But of course, if you aren’t going too far, the best way to get around Bangkok is on foot. Put on some sturdy shoes and take to the streets with a mind on adventure. Taste some spontaneous things, buy something colourful or talk with a local fisherman and love this place for being the crazy and beautiful town that it is.