Bangkok, a city full of unique entertainment, awe-inspiring temples and colourful markets. Be prepared for hot, humid and crowded spaces, but know that there are many places to cool down and relax to take in the wonder of Thailand's capital city.
Whilst it's short and skirt wearing weather year round, you can't enter the temples dressed this way, so opt for light clothing that covers your legs and arms and carry a fan and cold drink with you.
You have several ways to get around Bangkok, and some options are better than others depending on where you're going. Exploring Bangkok by Skytrain (BTS) can get you from one side of the city to the other, bypassing the notorious traffic jams in comfortable air conditioning.
If you take a taxi, make sure you insist that the meter is on, otherwise you may find yourself receiving a much bigger fare than you anticipated. A similar rule applies to a tuk tuk ride – agree your price first and don't let them take an unnecessary detour! For a handy list of travel hints and popular scams visit www.bangkok.com/magazine/5-scams.htm.
Bangkok is a city full of temples, and there are so many to see. We've highlighted just a few of the more popular ones that are on many 'must see' lists.
Temple of the Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho)
This temple, as the name suggests, has a giant reclining Buddha measuring 46 metres long and is adorned with gold leaf. It's one of the largest temples in the city, and it's worth taking a walk around the whole temple complex. You can even get yourself a relaxing traditional Thai head, shoulder or foot massage whilst here.
The Grand Palace & Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew)
You can't go to Bangkok and not visit the spectacular Grand Palace. Within the palace walls are the government offices, royal residences and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew).
The Emerald Buddha is carved from one piece of jade, and is one of the most respected spiritual objects among the people of Thailand.
Temple of the Golden Buddha (Wat Traimit)
Inside the beautiful marble temple of Wat Traimit is the remarkable solid gold Buddha image. It's the world's largest, weighing an impressive 5.5 tonnes and sitting at 3 metres tall.
There is also an exhibition and heritage centre with multimedia exhibits on the history of Chinatown where the temple is located.
Temple of Dawn (Wat Arun)
Located opposite the reclining Buddha and on the Chao Phraya River is the stunning Temple of Dawn. Despite its name, viewing the temple from across the river at sunset is a sight to behold.
The central prang is 80 metres tall and intricately decorated with seashells, coloured glass and bits of porcelain. You can climb up the steep steps if you wish, and you may also see practicing Buddhists around the grounds.
Visit an authentic Thai market, either by taking a long tail boat tour alongside the floating market boats, or wandering along the banks. Fresh produce and friendly haggling make for a memorable experience.
Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market
One of the closest floating markets to Bangkok city is surprisingly not as touristy as many others. Here you will find traditional Thai street food aimed at locals, so if this is what you're after, then the food reward will be worth the trip.
There are many stalls located on land as well, but if you want to extend your trip on water, you can take a boat tour to see the more rural parts of Bangkok's outskirts.
Chatuchak Weekend Market
This market is one of the world's largest, selling everything from antiques, food, home décor, plants, clothes, books, and even pets!
Very crowded and very hot, make sure you wear light clothing and perhaps carry a fan with you. Also, be prepared to haggle to get a bargain.
Pak Khlong Talat (Flower Market)
Situated between Chinatown and the Reclining Buddha Temple, enjoy the sights and smells of this flower market.
Watch the making of flower garlands and decorative displays for various occasions. You could stop here as part of your day visiting the nearby attractions, with the early morning or late evening being the most lively times.
There is an endless amount of nightlife entertainment choices in Bangkok, ranging from the sophisticated rooftop bars, to bustling night markets and cabaret shows. Whatever your taste, you're bound to have a night to remember.
The Sky Bar in Bangkok is one of the highest rooftop bars in the world. Take in the breathtaking city lights as you sip on one of their delicious specialty 'Poptail' cocktails. A great place for a special occasion, take advantage of the photo opportunities. Just be aware there is a smart dress code, and cocktails are on the pricey side, but the view makes the visit worth it.
Vertigo and Moon Bar
For a once in a lifetime alfresco dining and bar experience 61 floors in the sky, put on your best shirt and trousers or cocktail dress and head to Vertigo and Moon Bar.
You'll be able to enjoy uninterrupted 360 degree views as this rooftop has been specially designed to have no building structures above the level of the restaurant and bar. Plan ahead to make sure traffic jams or rain don't spoil your evening.
Rod Fai Night Market
For a unique shopping experience, head to Rod Fai and uncover amazing vintage wares, unique fashion items and kitsch collectables.
You'll also be able to grab dinner at one of the many restaurants and food stalls open until midnight, making for a great night out.
Khao San Road
A bit of a backpacker's playground, there is never a dull moment on Khao San Road. The area is packed with bars, live music, shops and street food. Weird and wonderful entertainment is the theme for a night out here, so if you're looking to party, this is where you need to be.
Ladyboys, or katoeys, are celebrated in Thailand, and some families believe they bring them good luck. There are many ladyboy stars located in Bangkok, and their shows are some of the best in the world. Showcasing glittering costumes, cabaret-like performances, over the top glamour and even some comedy, it's a unique and entertaining night out.