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A Guide to Bangkok
Know Before You Go
- Barter your way to a good deal. If you are browsing the stalls of the Chatuchak Weekend Market, don't feel bad about haggling. It's part of the local culture, and you can usually get 10% to 40% off the price.
- Don't ride elephants. It's not an ethical wildlife attraction as the animals aren't allowed to live out their natural lives. Instead, visit an elephant sanctuary and support grassroots organisations that rescue these creatures from horrible conditions.
- Stay hydrated. Bangkok is known for its stifling heat any time of the year. Bring a reusable water bottle with you and make sure you drink enough water to replace what you sweat out.
- Avoid the tourist traps. If a taxi driver asks if it's your first time in Thailand, always say no. It will help you avoid getting the "tourist price" or a lengthy sales pitch for a private tour.
- Eat on the cheap. If you're visiting Thailand on a budget, you can get the most bang for your buck by sticking to the street food. Not only is it delicious, but it's cheap with most meals costing as little as THB 30.
Getting Around Bangkok
- Take the BTS Skytrain. It's the quickest way to get around Bangkok and avoid the city's notorious traffic. The two lines cover most of Bangkok and ticket prices are an affordable choice for every kind of traveller.
- Go on a boat. If you want to see a different part of the city, head to the canals and get around via Bangkok's waterways. Rides cost as little as THB 40 making it a far cheaper option than a metered taxi.
- Try the underground train. It's ideal for travellers staying in the north part of the city that need to get around quickly.
- Grab a taxi. Uber, Grab, and metered taxis are all available. The ridesharing services are the more affordable option, and you can have peace of mind that you won't be ripped off.
- Other options include taking one of the iconic tuk-tuks, the many public buses or simply walking to your next destination.
When is The Best Time to Visit Bangkok?
The best time to visit Bangkok is during the cooler months. From November to February, temperatures in the capital city are under
30°C making sightseeing more bearable. You will need to book your tours, flights and accommodation well in advance as it's also high season and prices skyrocket.
For budget travellers, the wet months of June to October are an excellent option. You'll find fewer crowds at the top attractions, hotels slash their prices, and airfare deals are easier to come across.
April is another great option if you want to experience Thai New Year, Songkran. The celebrations include a three-day water fight, which is a welcomed reprieve from the scorching heat.
Airports in Bangkok
Suvarnabhumi Airport is the main airport in Bangkok and one of the biggest in Southeast Asia. It serves flights to international and domestic routes, handling more than 50 million passengers a year. The airport is a hub for regional airlines Thai Airways, Bangkok Airways and Thai Smile Airways.
Getting To and From Suvarnabhumi Airport
The fastest way to get to and from the airport is with the ARL Link. It costs THB 45 for a single trip and runs from 6:00 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. daily, every 12-15 minutes.
Another affordable option is the public bus. Prices start from THB 5, and the service has an extensive network across the city.
Metered taxis and ride-sharing services are also available from the airport. But before you book, check to see if your hotel offers a complimentary airport shuttle service.
Don Mueang International Airport
Don Mueang is Bangkok's second airport. It mainly serves domestic destinations with a few international flights. It's a hub for low-cost airlines Thai AirAsia and Nok Air.
Getting To and From Don Mueang Airport
If you're arriving during the day, you can take a bus from the airport straight to the Mo Chit Skytrain Station. Bus fares start as low as THB 5.
For red-eye flights, the best option is to take a metered taxi or use a ride-sharing service. You'll find the taxi rank outside of the arrivals hall.
Another option is to take the train service that runs from Don Meuang to Bangkok's central railway station Hua Lamphong. From here you can hop onto the metro line or a public bus to your final destination.