There is nothing you can do to stop yourself falling in love with Bangkok. The best course of action is to just go with the flow; it can be slow, meandering and relaxing, or frantic, full-on and great fun. Whichever it happens to be, it is guaranteed to be an enjoyable ride.
As the capital city of Thailand, Bangkok is home to eleven million people. Widely regarded as being the most cosmopolitan city in all of South East Asia, Bangkok welcomes all-comers to enjoy the spectacle and savor the spice of life in this tropical hotspot. With fantastic international travel connections, flights to Bangkok are widely available, and Suvarnabhumi Airport is an easy 19 miles to the east of the city.
Look upwards and Bangkok’s skyscrapers reach high into the blue sky; hard evidence of the commercial punch that this city packs. Look downwards onto the streets, and food vendors selling their wares jostle alongside snaking traffic jams; everyone in Bangkok seems to be on an urgent mission to get somewhere.
Bangkok is a city of contrasts, and once that is understood, it starts to make a lot more sense. A sultry city that seems to power along on an effortless, fizzing energy that beams from every welcoming Thai smile, it really is hard not to love it.
So what are our options?
In Bangkok it is possible to relish the peace and quiet of ancient temples, take a calm dinner cruise along the Chao Phraya River and marvel at the tranquility of the city canals. You can dine on spicy Thai green curry, stroll around historic palaces and enjoy a famous Thai massage.
Sound a bit too sedate? Hoping for something more lively?
Well, in the same city it is possible to get immersed in the hustle and bustle of the markets; brave the humidity and take a trip to Chatachuk Weekend Market for a traditional Thai shopping treat. These places are noisy, strongly aromatic and crazily busy, and can launch a total assault on the senses. A calmer option is the floating markets that give an insight into a unique way of life on the water.
For nightlife Bangkok has every base covered, from sophisticated rooftop cocktail bars to go-go joints and naughty nightclubs where anything goes. The variety on offer is huge, so be sure to explore – don’t just stick in one place. Move around the city courtesy of the famous Tuk-tuks that thread their way through the congested traffic; sometimes the ride is bumpy, but the views are pure Bangkok. The sophisticated area of Sukhumvit hosts a variety of upscale clubs and restaurants attracting both international and Thai crowds.
Alongside the cutting edge and contemporary character of Bangkok, visitors cannot fail to notice ancient Thai culture everywhere. Top places to visit for a heavy dose of history include the temples, Wat Pho, Wat Arun and the Grand Palace. Museum buffs should call at The National Museum, the Museum of Siam, and the King Prajadhipok Museum to receive a thorough grounding in the historical evolution of this fascinating country.
People rarely visit Bangkok just the once. This city has an addictive allure and vitality that gets under the skin of all who come here. Falling in love with Bangkok is the easy bit. Leaving? Now that’s another matter.