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Golden Temple
Bangkok

Fast, fresh and not for the faint-hearted, Bangkok is filled with unrivalled food, charming locals and jaw-dropping ancient temples. Our travel guide is packed with tips on where to visit including the best market stalls, shopping centres that champion Thai talent or a daring tuk-tuk ride to experience this bold and buzzing city.

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Places to stay

From old-world luxury by the river to up-and-coming areas filled with boutique accommodation, Bangkok is one of the best places in the world to find incredible hotels for less than you’d pay in other cities. Just pick the area of this sprawling city that suits you.

After a true Thai neighbourhood? Eclectic galleries, outdoor eateries inspired by international flavours and crowd-free streets; Ari is a trendy local area without a hefty price tag. For regal surrounds and elevated luxury, the grand hotels along the Chao Phraya River are lovely sanctuaries away from the buzz below.

The famed backpacking area of Khao San is full of cheap eats, affordable markets and bars with never-ending happy hours to keep those on a budget content. If you prefer craft cocktail bars mixed with creative restaurants and chic cafes, ThongLor is filled with shiny new hotels and Airbnbs that maintain the area’s charm. To be in the centre of things, you’ll find shopping paradise in downtown’s Sukhumvit and Siam areas.

Things to do

Whether you’re looking to keep up with its fast-paced streets or seek out tranquil spots to take it slow, Bangkok is bursting with tradition and trendsetters. Beat the bustle by waking up early for the Pak Khlong Talat, the 24-hour flower market in Old Town, or grab sweet pancakes for breakfast off the side of a long-boat at the Taling Chan floating market.

Be sure not to miss The Grand Palace, Jim Thompson’s Museum and Wat Arun, each have earned their place on every must-see list in Bangkok. For a chilled afternoon our tip is to take afternoon team at the Authors Lounge in the iconic Oriental Hotel. For a cruisy way to take in the temples and European-style architecture, jump on the Chao Phraya Ferry and spend a day sailing down the river.

If you’re looking to shop til you drop, Chatuchak Weekend Market is a maze of trinkets and vintage treasures or visit the EmQuartier shopping centre in Sukhumvit for a mix of local Thai designers and luxury fashion.

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Where to go

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Food and drink

For a cheap eats you can’t beat the food courts in Terminal 21 and Siam Paragon, night markets or street vendors for authentic Thai food. Venture down Soi Nana Lane in Chinatown for a hidden laneway of bars or visit the main road of Ekkamai - the caffeine capital of the city.

Gourmets needn’t worry, Bangkok is full of fine dining, Michelin star restaurants, world-class cocktail bars and trendy cafes. For an introduction to Thai cuisine join a food tour or a take a cooking class.

Plan where to eat in Bangkok
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Sathorn and Bangkrak

South of Chinatown are the neighbourhoods of Sathorn and Bangkrak around Silom, Surawong, Sathorn and Si Phraya Roads – the main business and commercial district.

This is the original tourist area and there are a number of hotels here including the famous Oriental Hotel on the river. Patpong, the original tourist nightlife area, continues to draw crowds to the lively street stalls and bars.

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Getting around

From the airport: flights to Bangkok on Qantas arrive at the Bangkok Suvarnabhumi International Airport, from which you can catch the Bangkok Airport Train into the city or take a transfer.

In and around the city: Bangkok has excellent transport options from scenic water taxis, the modern BTS Skytrain and underground subway (MRT) which connects key parts the sprawling city. A Thai tuk-tuk is a fun way to get around or book a taxi.

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Disclaimer: ^ You must be a member of the Qantas Frequent Flyer program to earn and redeem Qantas Points. A joining fee may apply. Membership and Qantas Points are subject to the Qantas Frequent Flyer program terms and conditions.