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Bangkok has come a long way since the 18th century, when it was just a small village on the banks of the Chao Phraya River. Today it’s a vibrant metropolis that’s home to more than eight million people, and is one of the most visited cities in the world. Fly to Bangkok with Qatar Airways to discover Thailand’s spiritual, economic and cultural capital, a sensory-rich city where centuries-old Buddhist temples coexist alongside sprawling high-rises.
Whether you’re looking for ancient temples, bustling markets, lively nightlife or absolute luxury, you’ll find the Bangkok that suits you. Which is just as well, as it would be impossible to discover everything that such a large and diverse capital has to offer during a single trip to Bangkok.
Many of the city’s best known sights can be found in the historic centre within the Rattanakosin district. The most spectacular is the Grand Palace, which was once home to the King of Thailand and today offers visitors a rich mixture of history and architectural splendour.
Within the palace grounds you’ll also discover Thailand’s holiest temple, Wat Phra Kaew, while other highlights in Rattanakosin include the large reclining Buddha statue at Wat Pho and the Thai-European stylings of Wat Ratchabophit.
Other popular districts worth exploring during your trip to Bangkok include Siam Square with its many modern shopping malls, and Silom for its bustling nightlife. The clothing markets of Pratunam are definitely worth a visit if you’re looking for high quality Thai fashion.
During your trip to Bangkok you’ll also find many activities to indulge in that might be outside of your normal, everyday experiences. During the day you can take a meditation class run by the local monks at Wat Matahat, or a Thai cookery class in Silom.
As evening approaches you can visit the popular night market located next to Chao Phraya River. Other popular activities include browsing through the city’s colourful and atmospheric markets and soaking up the nightlife for which Bangkok is famous.
Thailand is famous for its cuisine, and in Bangkok you can sample all aspects of it. Street food is highly affordable, safe and delicious, and can be sampled in Yaowarat (Chinatown), on Silom Road and in many other places that draw a crowd.
There are also thousands of restaurants where you can sample Thai delicacies like green curry, pad Thai and aromatic Tom Yam Goong.
From the multitude of market stalls in Banglamphu to the designer boutiques of Siam Square, you’re sure to find something to suit your tastes when you travel to Bangkok. The floating market in Taling Chan is a good place to go to get an insight into traditional Thai trade. You can also find just about everything imaginable in the huge shopping centres between Siam and the Chidlom area.
Chatuchak Weekend market is very popular attraction too. It is one of the world’s largest weekend markets covering an area of 27 acres.
Thai culture is deeply influenced by Buddhism, and it is particularly important to show proper respect in temples by dressing appropriately and taking your shoes off before entering. You should also remove your shoes if invited into a local home.
Though Thailand is becoming increasingly westernised, it retains many cultural traditions that might seem alien to visitors. One of the most important things to know when travelling to Bangkok and Thailand in general is that the head is considered sacred, so never touch a local’s head. It is also considered an insult to display the soles of your feet.
Most flights to Bangkok now arrive at Suvarnabhumi Airport.
Visa restrictions for entry into the country will depend on your country of origin, length of stay and whether your trip is for business or pleasure. So before you fly to Bangkok please check the visa and passport requirements.
Currency: Thai Baht (THB)
Voltage: 230 V 50 Hz
Plugs: Type A / C
International dialing code: +66