Flying into Bangkok always fills me with a sense of excitement. I have been coming here for almost 25 years and the city seems to keep growing at a rate that is hard to believe. It is one of the most diverse and energetic places I have ever been to. A city that never seems to sleep, chaotic streets and alleyways bathed in an electric glow and a constant hum of noise.
Bangkok is a central transport hub for Asia so its I very likely you will fly through here if you are coming to this part of the world. The city has some of the best accommodation options of anywhere I have travelled to. From high end super luxurious hotels with sky bars and gourmet restaurants to cheap dormitory beds in backpacker areas. Even the more high-end places are very reasonably priced and its possible to find 5-star hotels for under $40 if you are willing to look around and book last minute.
The main backpacker area is based along the famous Khao San Road and the surrounding streets. Once a chilled out place to watch movies and meet new friends while waiting for onwards travel, the Khao San road morphed over the years into a noisy party centre with rows of bars and cafes selling cheap beer and blaring out thumping dance music until late into the night. More recently there has been a concerted effort to change the atmosphere of the area and the beer bars are slowly converting into cocktail bars and the little cafes are becoming nice restaurants with more of a family vibe.
One of the reasons the area has flourished as a backpacker centre is its location right next to the Royal Palace and other major tourist hotspots. It’s possible to walk down to the amazing China town area and wander through the street food vendors until you are completely lost. The Chao Phraya river runs through the centre of the city and rows of canals run in a grid system making it easy to navigate around town.
Bangkok really is a town you can spend days on end exploring. From the impressive Palace and temples around town to the Museums and art galleries there are plenty of major attractions. If you are a little more adventurous there are river taxis, you can hop on and off and endless covered markets selling everything you can imagine. A particular favourite of mine is the flower market that comes to life after midnight.
There is basically a little something for everyone in Bangkok, you just have to get out and explore.