Welcome to Bangkok

Bangkok is impossible to typecast: a disorientating amalgam of old and new unlike anywhere else in Asia. And, as you’ll soon find out, traveling through the city is not a passive activity.

One moment you’ll be dodging hordes of suited businessmen and the next you’ll be swept up by a wave of monks in saffron robes. Motorcycles, cars, tuk-tuks, and even elephants barrel down narrow streets in barely controlled succession, past the city's exceedingly friendly locals, ladyboys, and backpackers.

You’ll see gleaming skyscrapers vie for space amidst worn-and-torn shacks, dazzling old temples, and regal palaces. In the city's ever-evolving residential neighbourhoods, posh luxury hotels, trendy restaurants, and pop-up bars share space with scrappy food stalls and rustic outdoor markets. Then there are the cavernous shopping malls, as vast and frenetic as any in Asia.

All of this takes place amidst a lush, urban jungle that sprouts from every available corner and crevice. With the Chao Phraya River meandering through the city and a series of khlong (canals) criss-crossing it, it's no surprise that Bangkok and its people have a profound connection with the water.

Many of the khlong have been paved over by progress, but parts of the city can still be traversed by taxi-boat. Our suggestion? Take one at night. As you float from bank to bank, past the glittering gold-plated temples and swathes of neon, you’ll understand why Thais call Bangkok 'Home of the Gods Incarnate'.

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Quick facts

  • Inhabitants in Thailand:
    69.5 million
  • Inhabitants in Bangkok:
    Approx 9.1 million
  • Official language
  • Currency
    Thai Baht (THB)
  • Time zone
    UTC +7
  • Emergency number
    Police: 191, Ambulance: 1554, Fire: 199, Tourist police: 1155
  • Constitution
  • Country phone code
  • Country code
  • Local transportation
    Skytrain, Subway, Tuk-Tuk, Taxi