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Bangkok at a Glance
- Country: Thailand
- Time zone: UTC + 7 hours
- Currency: Thai Baht (THB)
- Language: Thai (official) and Tinglish (a mix of Thai and English)
- Power & standard plug type: 230 V, 50 Hz, Types A and B (USA standard), Type C (Europlug), Type F (Schuko plug), Type O (unique for Thailand).
- Weekend days: Saturday, Sunday
When is the best time to book flights to Bangkok?
One of the world’s top five most visited cities, Bangkok, the Thai capital, welcomes over 38 million guests annually. It attracts both luxury travelers and backpackers who crave a year-round beach season, exotic foods, impressive architecture, and gorgeous tropical landscapes.
Consider flying to Bangkok during the off-season
If you don’t mind heat and humidity, visiting Bangkok from April to October will be a bargain. April, May, and June feel intolerably hot for most people, while June to October is usually the monsoon season when it rains cats and dogs. During this period Thailand draws fewer tourists, so you may save on airfares and accommodations. The best deals on airline tickets are available in July and August, which are considered to be the low season.
Book tickets on the weekend, travel on weekdays
To increase your chances of cutting expenses, plan your departure on any day from Monday to Thursday. As for booking, Saturday and Sunday are best for seeking discount flights.
Reserve your flight in advance
Book your ticket to Bangkok at least one month in advance. This will save you up to 30% on a ticket. The last-minute purchase is likely to be the most pricey.
What should you know about Bangkok airports?
Visitors come to Bangkok through one of two international airports, which are 29.5 miles (47.5 km) away from each other. The hubs are linked by public bus routes. There is also a free shuttle bus running between them from 5:00 a.m. till midnight at the 12-30 minute intervals. The trip takes nearly an hour.
Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK)
BKK, also called Bangkok Airport, is the major airport of the Thai capital as well as the whole Samut Prakan Province. Welcoming over 60 million passengers a year, Suvarnabhumi is the 11th busiest airport in Asia.
BKK hosts over 100 airlines and serves as the main hub for Bangkok Airways, Jet Asia Airways, Thai Airways, and Thai Smile. Hong Kong’s flag carrier Cathay Pacific and Eva Air, a Taiwanese international airline, use Suvarnabhumi as their focus city.
Bangkok Airport boasts the world’s fourth largest single-building terminal and two parallel runways, with the third additional runway to be completed by 2021. Once put into service, it will expand the capacity of the airport from the current 64 arrivals and departures per hour to 94.
How to get from BKK to central Bangkok
Located nearly 19 miles (30 km) east of Bangkok, Suvarnabhumi offers excellent transport connections to and from the Thai capital as well as nearby towns and beach resorts.
By Airport Rail Link (ARL)
Transfer time — 30 minutes
Trip cost — 45 THB (around 1.50 USD)
ARL is the cheapest and one of the fastest ways to reach downtown Bangkok. Trains leave every 10-15 minutes from the airport's basement floor and get passengers to the city center in half an hour, making 6 stops in between.
The service is available from 6 a.m. till midnight, and the tickets can be bought from vending machines. The price of a single ticket starts at 15 (0.50 USD) and reaches 45 (1.50 USD), if getting off in the central part of Bangkok.
By S1 Bus
Transfer time — 90 minutes
Trip cost — 60 THB (around 2 USD)
The S1 route connects the airport directly with central Bangkok from 6:00 a.m. till 8:00 p.m. Air-conditioned buses pick up passengers on the first floor of the airport terminal every 30 minutes on average. Drivers accept fares in cash only and often lack change, so it’s best to have smaller bills.
Transfer time — 45+ minutes
Trip cost — 350 THB (around 11 USD)
Taxi services are available 24/7, making them the only convenient option to get out of the airport at night. To order a certified cab, go to the terminal’s first floor where taxi stands are located. A clerk will assign you to the next available metered car.
Depending on your destination, the fare will range from 350 to 400 baht (11 to 13 USD) including 50 baht (around 1.50 USD) for the airport service charge and tolls en route.
Don Mueang International Airport (DMK)
Asia’s oldest airport, DMK has two runways and two passenger terminals, with Terminal 1 operating international flights and Terminal 2 catering to domestic flights. The maximum capacity of the gateway is 30 million passengers per year. It hosts mainly low-cost carriers including Nok Air, NokScoot, Thai AirAsia, Thai AirAsia X, and Thai Lion Air.
How to get from DMK to central Bangkok
DMK, 15 miles (24 km) away from Bangkok, is well-connected to the city by public transport and convenient taxi.
Transfer time — 40+ minutes
Trip cost — from 30 THB (around 1 USD)
From 7:00 a.m. to midnight, orange and blue public buses are waiting for passengers just outside the airport’s Arrival Hall, serving several routes to Bangkok. The trip to the city center lasts 40 minutes to 1,5 hours, and tickets are as cheap as 30-50 THB (1 to 1.50 USD).
Transfer time — 30+ minutes
Trip cost — from 300 THB (around 10 USD)
Similar to Suvarnabhumi Airport, DMK offers licensed and metered taxis which can be ordered at the taxi desk. A 30-minute ride to the city center will cost 300 to 400 THB (10 to 13 USD) including the airport service charge and expressway tolls.
What is the best way to get around Bangkok?
Bangkok, ranked as the most congested city in Southeast Asia, is infamous for its long traffic jams. The best way to avoid gridlock is to use one of two rail systems, the above-ground Skytrain (BTS) or the underground Mass Rapid Transit (MRT). Also, you can take advantage of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) service which runs along the dedicated lane.
All three transit systems operate from 6:00 a.m. till midnight, charging from 15 baht (0.50 USD) to 55 baht (1.80 USD) depending on your destination. You can purchase tokens from vending machines or ticket offices at the stations.
Keep in mind, that BTS and MRT accept different tickets. To pay Skytrain fares, you can buy the rechargeable Rabbit Card that is also valid for BRT and the network of partner stores, restaurants, cinemas, etc.
Apart from ground transport, Bangkok offers water bus services. Passenger boats run up and down the Chao Phraya River and along some canals carrying tourists to the attractions in Bangkok's old center, where you can’t get by train.
What’s the weather like in Bangkok?
The monsoon tropical climate rules the weather in the Thai capital. Despite the fact that temperatures always hang around 86°F (30°C), the year is officially divided into three seasons: hot, wet, and cool (dry).
The hot season runs from March through June, with temperatures reaching highs of 95°F (35°C) in April. The wet or monsoon season falls between July and October bringing heavy, yet usually short downpours.
During the cool season, November through February, the rain stops, and temperatures drop to an agreeable range of 79-82°F (26-28°C). That’s when the weather is most comfortable, resulting in an inrush of tourists.
What is the average hotel price in Bangkok?
The cheapest places to stay in Bangkok are guesthouses and hostels that offer beds in mixed dormitory rooms for 6 to 12 guests. A one-night stay will cost you next to nothing, with rates starting at 100-120 baht (3-5 USD). At this price, you can count on a nice location near the city center, free WiFi, and shower. But be ready to deal with messy toilets, dirty bedding, air-conditioning problems, and paying extra for towels.
The average price of double-rooms in 2-star hotels ranges from 450 to 100 baht (15 to 30 USD) depending on the time of the year, location and available services. Seasoned tourists recommend sticking to a budget of 1000 baht (30 USD) per day for accommodation. This will guarantee you cleanliness, comfort, and air-conditioning.
If you want to experience luxury at a reasonable cost, Bangkok is just the place to do it. World-class 5-star hotels here are more affordable than anywhere else in Asia. You can enjoy superb service, outdoor pools, spectacular views from windows, and other attributes of a pampered lifestyle for under $100 per night.
What are the must-try dishes in Bangkok?
Thai food is popular worldwide, but in Thailand, it tastes better than anywhere else, due to the availability and freshness of local ingredients. Keep in mind that almost all authentic dishes in Bangkok are really spicy and not adapted for Western palates.
In Bangkok you’ll find the world’s best Tom Yum (hot and sour soup with shrimp), incredibly aromatic Tom Kha Gai (coconut soup with chicken), crispy Pad Thai (fried rice noodles with vegetables and sauce), mouth-watering Yam Nua (spicy beef salad), delicious Gaeng Daeng (red curry with coconut milk and bamboo sprouts), just to name a few options.
A meal for two costs no more than 450-600 baht (15-20 USD) in an average Thai restaurant and around 120-150 baht (4-5 USD) at a food court.
You can eat for even less when you buy from street vendors. Bangkok is crowned as the world’s street food capital, and for a reason. Fried chicken, grilled pork, different types of noodles, sweet potato balls, banana pancakes — the choice of fresh and tasty meals to try as you go is almost endless, while the prices start at ridiculous 15 baht (0.50 USD).
What are the must-see places in Bangkok?
The heart and soul of Bangkok is its temples. There are over 400 pagodas in the Thai capital, but three of them are true icons. Their beauty makes tourists fall in love with Thailand and its culture.
The first landmark every visitor rushes to is the Grand Palace. The most popular Bangkok landmark is glorious with its spectacular architecture and amazing grounds. Among other gorgeous buildings and glittering statues, the complex is home to the famous Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew). The admission fee is 500 baht (16 USD).
Within a ten-minute walk of the Grand Palace, there is the Temple of the Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho). Apart from the 150 foot (46-meter) long gilded statue of Buddha, the complex hosts the Thai Traditional Massage School, one of the best in Bangkok. You can enter the complex for 200 baht (6.50 USD).
The Temple of the Dawn (Wat Arun), the most photographed pagoda in Bangkok, is located just across the river from Wat Pho, and you can get there by boat or ferry. The Buddha’s house charges 50 baht (around 1.50 USD) for admission.
To get inside the temple complexes, you must wear clothes that cover legs and shoulders. Shorts, mini-skirts, and sleeveless tops are prohibited. You can rent long pants and shirts at the Royal Palace for 200 baht (6.50 USD). The best time to visit sacred sites is early morning when they are not packed with crowds.