Bangkok, officially known in Thai as Krung Thep Maha Nakhon and colloquially as Krung Thep, is the capital and most populous city of Thailand. The city occupies 1,568.7 square kilometres in the Chao Phraya River delta in central Thailand and has an estimated population of 10.539 million as of 2020, 15.3 per cent of the country’s population.
Over 14 million people lived within the surrounding Bangkok Metropolitan Region at the 2010 census, making Bangkok an extreme primate city, dwarfing Thailand’s other urban centers in both size and importance to the national economy. Here are the reasons why you should visits Bangkok once.
The floating markets are a must-see
The floating markets in Bangkok are an incredible experience for any traveller, you need to make sure you visit one whilst you’re in the city.
There are a variety of markets to choose from, but each one is full of life. If haggling and shopping isn’t your thing, you can enjoy the experience by doing a guided tour instead.
The most popular floating markets in Bangkok are Damnoen Saduak, Klong Lat Mayom, and Amphawa.
You can explore Bangkok’s rivers in more ways than one
The rivers in Bangkok are great for many more reasons than just the floating markets. The rivers also play an important role in transport around the city – boat taxis and high-speed tours can take you around the city, and show you some of the city’s sights from a slightly different angle.
If you want to take in all the beauty at Bangkok at once, you have to do it from high above. Fortunately, Bangkok offers plenty of rooftop bars that offer stunning views and rich culinary experiences. From the rooftop bars, visitors can see everything from skyscrapers to beautiful temples and green parks to the different canals and rivers.
Amongst these places is the iconic Sky Bar at Lebua State Tower – it’s featured in The Hangover Part II for a reason! From this spot you’ll have incredible sights over Chao Phraya River as well as surrounding skyscrapers.
You can make your Bangkok visit much better by appreciating its beautiful chaos from a rooftop bar!
Bangkok is a food paradise, and according to a 2019 survey, has more than 320,000 restaurants. Some 30 of these restaurants were awarded Michelin stars in 2022, including the famed street hawker Jay Fai, one of only two street food vendors in the world to hold a Michelin star. Everything from Chinese and Indian to modern European cuisine can be found on the city’s streets.
When it comes to Thai food you’ll find an array of regional Thai dishes to sample, along with royal Thai cuisine, which dates back to the ancient Ayutthaya period.
The city offers some of the most unique dishes anywhere in Asia. During a recent trip to Bangkok, I ate at a family-owned restaurant that served soup that had been continuously boiling for 50 years — and it was nothing short of delicious.
“If you love food, you will love Bangkok,” Puacksumran said. “You can also find all the different kinds of Thai cuisines in the city, from Isan food to royal cuisine,” she added.
Bangkok is Asia’s party capital
Bangkok is world-famous for its parties: It offers everything a tourist could want on a night out, including massage parlors, go-go bars, and high-end clubs.
Some of the most famous nightlife districts include Khao San Road, Royal City Avenue, and Nana Plaza, each drawing in different crowds of party-goers, from backpackers to young locals to those seeking sex tourism in one of the city’s red-light districts.
“For those who like to party, of course, Bangkok is a great to place to holiday,” Puacksumran said. “Bangkok, Phuket, and Samui are all popular for parties,” she added.
Puacksumran explained that nightlife in Bangkok tends to be “relatively safer” than other party capitals in the region like Manila, Philippines, and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
According to the online database Numbeo, Manila scored 64.72 out of 100 in the 2022 Crime Index, while Kuala Lumpur scored 63.40. In comparison, Bangkok registered a rating of 40.98. The database aggregates surveys to evaluate the crime index of a city.
Having a higher crime index suggests that the city is more dangerous, per the database. Bangkok, Manila, and Kuala Lumpur are regarded by Numbeo as moderately safe cities.