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Written by Beverley Lennon
Edited by Dawn Pillay

Everyone loves Bangkok, even the kids! There are endless things to do and sadly never enough time to experience it all.

  • Does it take too much time to research and plan your own travel itinerary?

  • Are you drowning in the amount of information available on the internet?

  • Is it difficult to decide where to stay, what to do or even the best places to eat?

If you answered yes to all of the above, then you seriously need some help! Whether it’s your first time to Bangkok or 12543 time visiting – make your travel planning easier with our curated content.

Bangkok is hyped up with incredible night-market shopping (yes even weekday night markets!) – the coolest cafes and restaurants, an array of must-shop shopping areas and unique bars and so much more.

If you’re lost and wondering what next? We have everything you’ll need, whether you’re a couple, group of friends, family, or digital nomads.

From A to Z, this ultra convenient guide to Bangkok will help you to prepare – enjoy an awesome trip… for the first time, or over and over again!

Also read:

Your one-stop guide to the ultimate girls’ trip to Bangkok with 18 of the best shopping spots, cafes, and activities!

16 must-try authentic local food in Bangkok you will never find out if you don’t have Thai friends!

4D3N shopping guide to maximise your time in Bangkok

Where to stay in Bangkok: 6 best areas and 12 budget hotels near BTS (under $40!)

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Here’s an overview of our ultimate guide to Bangkok

1. Where to be based and explore in Bangkok?
2. Useful Travel Apps
– Chill at the airport before your flight! – Priority Pass
– TripCanvas’ tricks to getting around – Grab, Google Maps, NEXT-Station Bangkok
– Cheat your way around the communication barrier! – Google Translate
3. Recommended Local SIM Cards
4. Bangkok Activities
5. Eats (and cafes for work!)
6. Best Stays
7. Emergency Information (Police, embassies, hospitals)

1. Where to be based and explore in Bangkok?

Here are our 6 recommended areas in Bangkok to stay at and/or explore.

1. Siam, Pratunam – Centralised location to be based in Bangkok, great for shopping. (click here for hotels near Pratunam)
2. Silom, Lumphini Park, Sukhumvit – Good to be based at for business, nightlife and Lumphini Park’s greenery! (click here for hotels near Silom, Lumphini Park and Sukhumvit)
3. Chao Praya Riverside – Romantic riverside location for honeymooners and historical junkies (click here for hotels near riverside)
4. Ekkamai, Thonglor – Plenty of cafes to cafehop at, and boutique shops for the hipsters (click here for hotels near Ekkamai, Thonglor)
5. Chatuchak – If you’re here for the weekend and love exploring Chatuchak’s weekend market! (click here for hotels near Chatuchak)
6. Chinatown – This is the go-to place for foodies to explore Bangkok through her food and heritage. (click here for hotels near Chinatown)

 

2. Useful travel apps

These apps will make travel so much simpler!

There’s much you can do with that smartphone you are holding, and especially more so when you travel.

We highly recommend downloading this list of practical and our most-used applications before your trip to Bangkok. They’ll fully change the way you travel!

a) The best place to chill while waiting for your flight! – Priority Pass

Ever dreamt of unlimited beer refills?

If you’re travelling with family and friends, or travel frequently – Priority Pass gives us a great deal of convenience and value for our money. You might be travelling on a budget flight, but now you’ll get to enjoy exclusive lounge access!

Photo via oillorkitikoon, engkrog

With Priority Pass, we didn’t have to worry about finding a place to eat before our flights – or even finding a comfortable place free of crowds to relax at, while waiting to board the plane.

From free-flow drinks (including beers!!!) and complimentary meals and desserts – to shower facilities and sometimes even complimentary spas (at selected lounges)…

Once you experience the beauty of airport lounges, you’re sure to embrace the lounge culture with both arms wide opened too. 😛

Our personal tips:

If you travel at least 3 times a year with friends and family, or travel more than 5 times a year, your Priority Pass membership would give you good savings on airport lounge access! (We enjoy our airport lounge access and in our opinion, if you are a frequent traveller, there’s really no going back after you experience it.)

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Tap here if you are interested to know the math

1. A Priority Pass membership is USD $249 for 10 visits, which is USD $24.90 for one visit (and friends and family get to enjoy this with you).
2. Without a Priority Pass membership, Bangkok’s airport lounge access will cost USD $31, while Singapore’s Changi Airport lounge access will cost USD $39 for 2hours, or USD $55 for 5 hours.
3. On top of that, enjoy an up to 15% off lounge access with Priority Pass memberships signups now.

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b) Getting around is so much easier with these must-have apps – Grab, Google Maps, NEXT-Station Bangkok

Grab is super convenient for ensuring you get around with lesser waiting time. Here’s why

Our personal tips:

1. No need to haggle with taxi and tuktuk drivers over using the meter or an agreed price. This means no getting scammed.
2. If you’re going to lesser known places, the taxi/tuktuk driver won’t understand where you’re going, and chances are, they’ll drive off. Over, and over again. (We experienced this personally.) Grab ensures the driver knows the destination before picking up your trip!

PS: Motorbike taxis are available in Bangkok. Look out for the men in orange vests, they are licensed motorbike taxi riders. (Grab also has motorbike taxi services available too, do check!)

PPS: Tuktuks are no longer the most convenient way to get around due to the Bangkok traffic. Take it if you’re looking for a novelty ride, or if you’re only riding it for a short distance. The fare can be as low as 30-100 Baht. Anything beyond 150-200 Baht for a short distance ride, you’re getting scammed.

Google Maps will show you how long it takes to get to your destination and the best routes there.

Our personal tips:

1. Did you know you could download the offline map too? Simply choose “local” or “custom” and download the map when you have WiFi.
2. You will never have to worry about getting lost even if there’s no WiFi or reception.
3. You can also use it to check traffic conditions so you can decide on the best route or way to travel before heading out, whether by Grab or heading to the nearest BTS!

NEXT-Station Bangkok is the best way to check your public transportation options

Download via App Store | Download via Google Play

Our personal tips:

Easily find the nearest train and bus station to you. BTS, MRT or BRT (public bus).
This app will help you to navigate around Bangkok’s public transportation system! Useful for travellers like us who aren’t that familiar with the train lines especially.


c) Letting the locals know what you want in Thai is easy – Google Translate

We’ve had a hard time finding places we needed to go, and the best cheat trick we’ve used to getting around Bangkok and Thailand is Google Translate.

Our personal tips:

1. You can type into Google Translate to let the local you’re speaking to understand what you’re saying.
2. Likewise, remember to enable your Thai keyboard so locals are able to type back and communicate with you.
3. Otherwise, press the microphone icon and record what the locals are saying. Google Translate will translate that automatically, and you’ll be able to read what they’re saying.
4. You can also download the translation file for use offline!

3. Local SIM Cards

Want to know which is the best local SIM card to get in Bangkok?

There are 3 main telcos in Thailand – Truemove, DTAC, and AIS.

Our personal tips:

If you’re travelling beyond Bangkok to more remote places, we highly recommend your group to get local SIM cards from different telcos. It’s one of the tricks the locals shared with us, that will help with making sure you have reception wherever you are. XD

4. Bangkok Activities

a) For Couples looking for romance

Every romantic escape requires hand-in-hand activities for the both of you. Bangkok is blessed with a series of romantic things to do.

Photo Via Pearly_twin,Fay_chpth

Whether its an indulgent onsen and spa experience together…

Photo Via Jeepett.pettricia,Woonsarocha

or if you’d like to adventure your way through Bangkok’s weekend getaways.

Photo Via Art8290

Romance and adventure just happen to go so well together…

Vertigo TOO: We can all agree that a swanky afternoon tea with great views = romance. Right?! (Website | See more photos here)
Kashikiri Onsen & Spa: Enjoy intimate quality time soaking at this Japanese onsen & spa! (Website | See more photos here)
River Kwai Jungle Raft Resort: Go on a weekend trip and rediscover romance while in an exotic floating eco-resort. We loved this place! (Website | See more photos here)

b) For Families excited to bond

Let’s face reality, you can’t always shop when you’re traveling with kids, since they’ll obviously get bored eventually – so do plan some days for them to have fun! There are so many fun family-friendly things to do with kids in Bangkok and you should definitely check them out!

Photo Via Minseo.kwon_.9,Kitkpop, annlukmee

It will be hard for them to choose between a day at Flight Experience, one at Kidzania – where they get to be little adults, or even at Fantasia Lagoon Water Park to beat the famous Bangkok heat with splish-splashing fun!

Flight Experience Bangkok: There’s nothing more unique than learning to fly a plane with your kids! – this is what we call edu-tainment. (Website)
Kidzania: Let your kids explore being little adults by trying their hand at different occupations! (Website | See more photos here)
Fantasia Lagoon Water Park: Have a fun family day at the waterpark full of giggles and splishsplashing. (Website | See more photos here)

c) For Friends/Shoppers out for a good time

This is going to be a hard task for you as there are uncountable incredible things to do with friends in Bangkok. There’s even a series of amazing free things to do if you’re on a budget and challenging yourselves.

Photo Via Kittisak,Ryankit,Thiengwong,Justin_lim88,Phoebe_boutique

And if you like us are taking leave from work to travel with your friends, and can only visit during weekdays; we’re coming to your rescue with night markets that open during the weekdays! No excuse not to shop till you drop…

Photo Via Lexialexisbijib3tik,Zacksufi01

Nothing new, but you need to hear it again – Bangkok is shopping heaven and that also means… its a favorite destination for ladies to let loose (shopping-wise) with its amazing shopping malls.

Photo Via Supatjan,Spacestoriesbygift

For some good night-fun with the guys and gals, you can always head to rooftop bars with great views for a hearty drink and conversations.

Photo Via Superfluously_Ailsa

The Proud Market RCA: One of the newest markets in town, we had a blast shopping here and you will too. (Website | See more photos here)
Union Mall: Where the locals shop – great prices, great designs! (Website | See more photos here)
Above Eleven: This bar is where you’ll get one of the best views of Bangkok from high above. (Website | See more photos here)

d) For Digital Nomads who want to take a break from work

There are plenty of things to do and activities to experience during your free time in Bangkok. Once work is done for the day, you can always make the best out of your stay. First, experience one of these workshops available in the city of Bangkok. It’s a great way to interact with locals and pick up new skills/hobbies to relax with.

Photo Via Milk_krajew,Pabaja

And while working and traveling might get pretty overwhelming and stressful; take some time to unwind with super affordable massages in Bangkok!

Craftsmangus: Ever wanted to try your hand at making your own leather something? Here you go! (Website | See more photos here)
Olive Creative Laboratory: Tap into your creative side and learn how to watercolour, do calligraphy and more. (Website | See more photos here)
Watergate Spa: Sink into pure bliss and get those overworked shoulder/back muscles relaxed! (Website | See more photos here)

5. Eats (and cafes for work!)

a) For Couples looking for romantic places to dine

Food and romance… our two favorites! Bangkok is home to charming little garden cafes for you to chill at and escape the heat with your sweet lover! They ooze romance and are perfect for adorable couple pictures!

Photo Via Poyploy54

For meals accompanied with aphrodisiac views, these romantic restaurants with a view to dine in at Bangkok are perfect to steal your lover’s heart! You don’t have to wait for special occasions to enjoy incredible food choices, featuring a view to die for… Can’t get any better!

Photo Via Axeanon23

Misstar Cafe: Walk through wonderland with a water fountain and cherubic statues! (Website | See more photos here)
Wood Cafe: Dreamy bohemian cafe shrouded in greenery and romance… (Website | See more photos here)
Riva Floating Café: Hang out over a lazy river and enjoy the watery view (Website | See more photos here)

b) For Families hunting down kid-friendly cafes

Eating with kids can end up to be a pretty… embarrassing event – especially if tantrums are involved in the whole dining experience, and you’ll have other restaurant guests staring at you and probably “shushing” your kids too!

Nobody wants that on holiday and that’s why we believe that the unique themed cafes and restaurants in Bangkok will be great for parents with kids!

Photo Via Nn.nont,Adventurefaktory

Little Zoo Cafe: Enjoy a cute-fest with the animals! (Website | See more photos here)
Rabbito’ Cafe: Bunnies are so underrated and you’ll have fun cuddling up to there here. (Website | See more photos here)
Unicorn Cafe @ Sathorn: Unicorns are here to stay, make it a day of magic! (Website | See more photos here)

c) For Friends/Shoppers looking for great food

It’s time to stroll through the city streets and tickle your palates. There’s something for everyone – but first, have a taste over these must-try authentic local food in Bangkok

Photo Via Panat_Pookpho,Hugo.atip_,Boy_pisanu

… or go on a foodie tour in Chinatown!

Pick up your best finds among the stalls, and share them with your group of friends for an ultimate Thai feast! And when shopping and visiting gets tiring, and you’re craving a good sugar rush – how about these delightfully sinful instagrammable desserts?

Photo Via Ouypaleerat

Nhong Rim Klong: You’ll find unforgettable crab dishes here. True story. (Website | See more photos here)
Ah Yi Wan Yen: Try traditional old-school Thai desserts. Delicious experience we can’t forget! (Website | See more photos here)
Mo & Moshi: This is the biggest ice-cream you’ll ever find… in Bangkok! (Website | See more photos here)

d) For Digital Nomads looking for cafes for work

We know how tough it can be to find the perfect work space. There are many cafes in Bangkok, but how do we know which ones have reliable WiFi, power plugs to charge up our laptops or tablets, or even great coffee?

These cafes for work might just be what you’re looking for. You’re welcome!

Photo Via Woft,S_ndyyyyy,Oiforgotmynameo

Too Fast to Sleep: There’s several branches, open 24h with nicely brewed coffee! (Website | See more photos here)
Wanderlust Coffee and Eatery: Excellent roasted coffee, fast Wi-Fi, power sockets, all-day breakfast and more. (Website | See more photos here)
Growth Cafe & Co: Not just a café, they also have co-working spaces for rent with a snack bar – free-flow drinks and biscuits! (Website | See more photos here)

6. Best Stays

a) For Couples who want a little romance

For this, you will need comfortable nights of lodging and romantic views… such as these hotels with amazing infinity pools and bathtubs with a view for lounging together in water.. Our favourite? Hilton Sukhumvit Bangkok with its luxurious feels – perfect for every king and queen!

Photo Via Ferntastisch,Zhara_nilsson

But if you’re looking for romantic riverside hotels in Bangkok for under $100, nothing compares to the 360° views and magical infinity pool at Millennium Hilton Bangkok.

Hilton Sukhumvit Bangkok

Tap to expand for more info

Rates: From USD $460 / approx. 14680 Baht (for Suite King Bed with bathtub with a view)
Address: 11 Sukhumvit Soi 24, Khlong Ton, Bangkok- Thailand (Coordinates here)
Contact: +66 2 6206666
Website

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Millenium Hilton Bangkok

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Rates: From USD $114 / approx. 3645 Baht
Address: 123 Charoennakorn Road, Klongsan, Bangkok Riverside, Bangkok, Thailand 10600 (Coordinates here)
Contact: +66 2 442 2000
Website

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b) For Families who need family-friendly rooms

Hotel living with little ones in Bangkok is easier than you think with these 2-bedroom suites and family rooms in central Bangkok.

Photo Via Zenylau

Besides being spacious and with the coolest all-ages playrooms, like the one at Somerset Park Suanplu (Sathorn) which happens to be located in the vicinity of Dreamworld Theme Park too… Some like Rembrandt Hotel’s funky bunk beds (I’ll sleep on the top one please!!)

What else is good? How about Royal President Hotel Bangkok that is centrally located next to the Nana BTS Station and MRT Sukhumvit line. Few family-friendly hotels offer heartfelt luxury but Royal President Hotel Bangkok is a decent option!

Somerset Park Suanplu (Sathorn)

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Rates: From USD $ 159 / approx.  5000 Baht (for 2-bedroom)
Address: 39 Soi Suanplu, South Sathorn Road, Sathorn, Bangkok, Thailand (Coordinates here)
Contact: + 66 2 679 4444
Website

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Rembrandt Hotel

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Rates: From USD $  115 / approx. 3680 Baht
Address: 19 Sukhumvit Soi 18, Klong Toei, Sukhumvit, Bangkok, Thailand (Coordinates here)
Contact: +66 2 261 7100
Website

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Royal President Hotel Bangkok

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Rates: From USD $ 100 / approx. 3198 Baht
Address: 43 Sukhumvit Soi 15, Sukhumvit, Bangkok 10110, Thailand (Coordinates here)
Contact: +66 2 253 9451
Website

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c) For Friends/Shoppers looking for central stays

Bangkok is one great trip to take with your friends and you can make it memorable with a comfortable stay! Get ready for big laughs, new adventures and happy memories. There are several unique hotels located near the BTS metro station

… as well as hotels in Pratunam under $40 – talk about convenience, and saving money so you can spend more on shopping!

These hotels are not only centrally located but they also have a funky touch to them…We like all things quirky at The House of Phraya Jasaen but you will surely also be considering Beat Hotel by Hi-Residence for its hip mural arts…

If you don’t mind being called a Khao San Road lover, you might consider a stay at Siam Champs Elyseesi Unique Hotel which is a bear 10 minutes’ walk away from the famous party street! It is a really great location for exploring other attractions of the city as well.

The House of Phraya Jasaen

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Rates: From USD $38 / approx. 1215  Baht
Address: 57, 168 Charoen Krung Rd, Bangkok 10120 (Coordinates here)
Contact: +66 2 675 919
Website

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Beat Hotel by Hi-Residence

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Rates: From USD $34 / approx. 1088 Baht
Address: 69/1 Sukhumvit Rd, Khlong Tan Nuea, Watthana, Bangkok 10110 (Coordinates here)
Contact: +66 2 178 0077
Website

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Siam Champs Elyseesi Unique Hotel

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Rates: From USD $ 47 / approx. 1503 Baht
Address: 160 Ratchadamnoen Klang Tai Road. Wat Bowon Niwet, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10200, Thailand (Coordinates here)
Contact: +66 2 224 0141
Website

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d) For Digital Nomads looking for good locations to be based

Shout-out to this incredible upmarket hostel that’s perfect for digital nomads out there. Nomads’; we’re pleased to introduce you to Oneday Hostel Sukhumvit 26.

It’s a comfortable and affordable hostel that also features a space for you to work at. The whole building and rooms are equipped with excellent Wi-Fi. What else is needed?!

Another good option is Lamphu House Bangkok – if you are traveling on a budget and totally don’t mind being in the vibrant party scene of Khao San, while having proper Wi-Fi in your room. The resort-like guesthouse is also well-known among digital nomads, as a superb location to network with like-minded folks.

We also like the fact that comfort (and luxury) comes with a higher price at Somerset Lake Point Bangkok by offering serviced apartments for travel-holic workers like us, that can be rented for extended stays!

Oneday Hostel Sukhumvit 26

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Rates: From USD $20 / approx 640 Baht
Address: 51 Sukhumvit Soi 26, Khlong Tan, Khlong Toei, Bangkok, 10110 (Coordinates here)
Contact: +66 2108 8855
Website

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Lamphu House Bangkok

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Rates: From USD $14 / approx. 460 Baht
Address: 75-77 Soi Rambrutri, Chakkrapong Road, Chanasongkram Phranakorn Bangkok 10200 Thailand (Coordinates here)
Contact: +66 2629 58612
Website

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Somerset Lake Point Bangkok

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Rates: From USD $78 / approx. 2494 Baht
Address: No 41 Sukhumvit Soi 16, Sukhumvit Road, Khlong Toei, 10110 Bangkok, Thailand (Coordinates here)
Contact: +66 2663 1234
Website

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7. Police, Embassies, Hospitals

If you’re ever in trouble and need emergency information

During our last road trip to Bangkok and beyond, we experienced an emergency situation and found ourselves frantically Googling for a reputable hospital.

To ensure no one has to stress over finding important information during emergencies, we’re sharing this list of emergency contact info!

If you need the police, ambulance or want to report a crime…

Police, Ambulances, etc

▶ Tourist Police – call 199
▶ Ambulance and Rescue – call 1554
▶ General Emergency – call 191
▶ Crime – call 1195
▶ Fire Brigades – call 199

Requiring help from your embassy?

Contact your ambassies below.

 

Malaysia Embassy: +66-87-028 4659 (for emergencies only)
Opening hours: Mon-Fri, 8am to 4pm
Singapore Embassy: +66 2 348 6700
Opening hours: Mon-Fri, 9am to 12pm, 1pm to 5pm
US Embassy: +66 2 205 4000
Opening hours: Mon-Fri, 8am to 4pm
UK Embassy: +66 2 305 8333
Opening hours: Mon-Thu, 8am to 4.30pm; Fri, 8am to 1pm

Note: For free-visa entry, visa-on-arrival, or visa prior to your trip to Thailand, here is where to check your visa eligibility.

Don’t panic, here are 3 recommended hospitals in Bangkok with international standards, and an amazing team of English-speaking doctors and nurses:

Our Top 3 Recommended Hospitals

Bumrungrad International Hospital: +66 2066 8888 / +66 2011 5222 – for ambulance service (Coordinates here)

Bangkok Hospital: +66 2310 3000 (Coordinates here)

BNH Hospital: +66 2 022 0700 (Coordinates here)

Still wondering how to get ready for and make the most out of your time in Bangkok? With this guide in hand, you should be all set!

If you have further questions, feel free to ask us in the comments section below. 😀

Brought to you by Priority Pass

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PLEASE NOTE: All the above information is correct at the date of publication. If you come across any changes or updates, please let us know and we will update the information accordingly. Thank you!
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