Bangkok Basics: Practical Travel Tips for First-Time Visitors



Where to Search:

Where to Buy:

  • It’s recommended to purchase tickets on airline websites.

Bangkok Airports

  • Bangkok has two airports: Suvarnabhumi (BKK) and Don Muang (DMK). To get to the city, you can use taxis, book a transfer, or use public transport. From BKK, the Airport Rail Link is convenient, and from DMK, the red line is available.


  • Bangkok has a large number of taxis. Taxis are required to use meters, but many drivers ask foreigners for a fixed amount. Taxi apps include Grab, Bolt, InDrive, and Lineman. Moto-taxis are also widespread.

Public Transport in Bangkok

  • Public transport is diverse, but tourists are mainly interested in BTS (Skytrain), MRT, boats on the Chao Phraya River (Chao Phraya Express Boat), and canal boats (e.g., Khlong Saen Saep boat service). Transit Bangkok and the Moovit app are useful for route planning, and Google Maps can also be used.



  • Thai banks charge a uniform fee of 220 baht per withdrawal. Foreign cards can withdraw 20-30,000 baht, with Krungsri bank ATMs allowing up to 30,000 baht. In automated deposit machines (CDM) of Bangkok Bank and, according to some reports, Krungthai Bank, you can withdraw up to 100,000 baht. For large sums, it’s better to withdraw at a bank branch (cash advance). The name and surname on the passport and card must match, usually easier at Bangkok Bank branches.

Currency Exchange in Bangkok

Where to Stay in Bangkok

Popular Tourist Areas

  1. Along the green BTS Sukhumvit Line, between the Siam and Ekkamai stations. Each “micro-district” has its own characteristics.
  • Siam, Chit Lom, Asok, Phrom Phong – here you will find large shopping centers (Siam Paragon, Siam Center, Siam Discovery, centralwOrld, Gaysorn Village, Central Embassy, Terminal21, EmQuartier, EmSphere, etc.).
  • Nana and Asok – nearby are the “red-light districts” (Nana Plaza and Soi Cowboy), as well as the popular Sukhumvit Soi 11 street with numerous bars, favored by many tourists and expats.
  • In the area of sois 4-5 — the “Arab quarter.”
  • Near the Phrom Phong station, specifically on soi 33/1, there is also a bar cluster popular among expats.
  • Asok – a convenient transport hub (BTS intersects with MRT).
  • Thonglor — the “Japanese district” with many interesting restaurants and bars.

2. Silom and Sathorn — more business-oriented and less touristy areas, which also have many restaurants and bars.

3. Riverside – for those who prefer to stay near the river. Several expensive, traditional hotels are located here (more on them below).

4. Khaosan Road / Rambuttri Road — for backpackers.

5. Chinatown — a vibrant district of Bangkok with many interesting places.

How to Choose a District and Hotel

To look, compare, find out prices, read reviews, and book:

Google Maps

Bangkok Hotels

Some hotel chains and hotels:

Accor Brands in various segments: Banyan Tree, Sofitel, SO/, Pullman, Mercure, Novotel, Ibis, and others

IHG InterContinental, Kimpton, Indigo, Vignette Collection, Holiday Inn, and others.

Marriott (Aloft, Courtyard by Marriott, Four Points by Sheraton, JW Marriott, Le Meridien, Marriott, Renaissance, Sheraton, St. Regis, W, Westin and others)

Minor Hotels (Anantara, Avani and others)

Hyatt (Hyatt Regency, Grand Hyatt, Park Hyatt)

Centara (Centara Grand, Centara, Centra)

Small Luxury Hotels of the World (Sukhotai, Muu, 137 Pillars)

Kempinski:  Siam Kempinski and Sindhorn Kempinski

One Harmony (Okura Prestige and Hotel Nikko)

Grande Centre Point

Some expensive hotels along the Chao Phraya (Riverside)

Mandarin Oriental
The Siam Hotel
The Peninsula
Four Seasons

Atmospheric hotel in Chinatown:  Shanghai Mansion

What to See in Bangkok

Bangkok is a huge city with many interesting places. It’s very “multilayered.” Of course, everything depends on individual preferences, interests, available time, accustomed pace, and other factors. As the song goes, “One night in Bangkok makes the hard man humble.”

A classic tourist program for 1-3 days usually includes:

✔️ The historical part of the left bank — Rattanakosin Island — a complex of royal palaces and temples, including Wat Phra Kaew (“Temple of the Emerald Buddha”) and Wat Pho (“Temple of the Reclining Buddha”).

✔️ Cruise along the Chao Phraya, canal cruises.

✔️ Wat Arun (“Temple of the Dawn,” “Temple of the Morning Dawn”) — located on the west bank of the Chao Phraya. Known for its 79-meter pagoda, decorated with ceramic tiles and colorful porcelain.

✔️ Jim Thompson House Museum.

✔️ Chinatown (daytime walks, bars in the evening).

✔️ The Portuguese quarter and the Baan Kudichin Museum.

✔️ Bangkokian Museum (Ethnographic Museum of Bangkok).

✔️ MOCA Bangkok (Museum of Contemporary Art).

✔️ Shopping malls.

✔️ Parks.

✔️ Markets (e.g., Chatuchak).

✔️ Night markets, for example:

Srinagarindra Train Night Market

Huai Khwang Market

✔️ Spa and massage salons.

✔️ Many will enjoy the Japanese bath (onsen) — there are many in Bangkok.

Walking Bangkok Guide from TAT Bangkok

Bangkok Bars

The bars are temples, but the pearls ain’t free (c) Murray Head

Bangkok Rooftop Bars

A great selection:   Rooftop Bars Bangkok

Some cocktail bars in Bangkok

(in no particular order)

  1. VesperGoogle Maps
  2. BKK Social Club at Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok at Chao Phraya RiverGoogle Maps
  3. Ba hao 八號Google Maps
  4. Stella at Capella BangkokGoogle Maps
  5. Bamboo Bar at Mandarin OrientalGoogle Maps
  6. Firefly at Sindhorn Kempinski:  Google Maps
  7. Asia TodayGoogle Maps
  8. Teens of ThailandGoogle Maps
  9. Sugar Ray You’ve Just Been PoisonedGoogle Maps
  10. The Key @ Josh HotelGoogle Maps
  11. Honest MistakeGoogle Maps
  12. Tropic CityGoogle Maps
  13. Find The Locker RoomGoogle Maps
  14. Rabbit HoleGoogle Maps
  15. Midsummer Night’s DreamGoogle Maps
  16. J. BoroskiGoogle Maps
  17. PhiltrationGoogle Maps
  18. MahaniyomGoogle Maps
  19. The Bar VagabondGoogle Maps
  20. Lost in ThaislationGoogle Maps
  21. Bar UsGoogle Maps
  22. Eat MeGoogle Maps
  23. DumboGoogle Maps
  24. 2463 SpeakeasyGoogle Maps
  25. Kodo BarGoogle Maps
  26. Key Room 72Google Maps
  27. 008 Bar:  Google Maps
  28. 342 BarGoogle Maps
  29. Sugarray ApartmentGoogle Maps
  30. Copper BarGoogle Maps
  31. After TE TimeGoogle Maps
  32. Ku BarGoogle Maps
  33. Widdershins: Google Maps
  34. Opium Bar: Google Maps
  35. Revolucion Cocktail at Holiday Inn Silom: Google Maps
  36. Thaipioka: Google Maps
  37. Salon Du Japonisant: Google Maps
  38. Villa Frantzén: Google Maps
  39. Midlife Crisis: Google Maps
  40. The Loft at the Waldorf Astoria: Google Maps
  41. TEP Bar: Google Maps
  42. TAX Bar: Google Maps

Useful Links

Visit Bangkok

Thailand MICHELIN Guide

Some tourist route maps

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