Thai, English is widely spoken
Hot, vibrant and delightfully chaotic, Bangkok exudes energy and is an exciting starting point to any luxury holiday in Thailand. The sightseeing, the shopping, the food, the hotels and the people are all matched in their excellence, captivating visitors like nowhere else on earth. The city will dazzle you with its unique combination of old and new, east and west; trendsetting rooftop bars and swanky restaurants sit side-by-side with authentic sizzling street-food stalls, magical temples and mammoth buddhas. For eclectic shopping, discover upscale boutiques, selling exquisite silks, and high-end designer malls, as well as traditional markets laden with flowers and bustling night bazaars.
Soak up the atmosphere and experience the day-to-day life of this truly dynamic capital, touring gridlocked streets by tuk tuk, wandering neon-lit lanes in old Chinatown, and cruising in elegance along the Chao Phraya River, before a moment of reflection in one of Bangkok’s gleaming temples.
Richly embellished with glimmering gold, Wat Phra Kaew is a show-stopping temple of huge proportions set within the mesmerizing Grand Palace complex, particularly famous for its colossal Emerald Buddha, flawlessly carved from jade. Another opulent temple and Bangkok’s biggest, Wat Pho is home to a colossal reclining buddha shrouded in gold – its gigantic feet are astonishing! Others temples to note include Wat Saket for fantastic city views, Wat Benjamabophit for striking architectural feats of marble and bronze, and Chinatown’s Wat Mangkon, topped with an intricately tiled roof and fearsome Chinese dragons.
With its glittering golden rooftops and majestic pagodas, the Grand Palace is Thailand’s greatest architectural symbol and a must-visit on any trip to vibrant Bangkok. Explore the grounds of this sprawling and hugely sacred site, admiring the craftsmanship of the towering buildings, dating back to 1782 and originally built for King Rama I. Vimanmek Mansion is another gem, thought to be the world’s largest golden-teak building. Dismantled piece by piece and relocated from the south of the city, King Rama V lived here when the Grand Palace was being restored in the early 1900s. Additionally, why not explore Suan Pakkard Palace’s beautiful antique teak-houses and sparkling lotus pools?
Shopping & Entertainment
Exercise your haggling talents at the Chatuchak Market, one of the largest in the world, or at the Damnoen Saduak , a chaotic collection of longtail boats jostling for position, and featured in the Bond film “Tomorrow Never Dies”. Alternatively the modern, air-conditioned, easily navigable, multi-story shopping malls (MBK, Emporium, Siam Discovery and Central World Plaza) - accessed via the Skytrain - house fashion stores, book shops, speciality stores and accessory stands alongside luxury designer lifestyle goods and global brands.
Classical Thai dance - the main dramatic art form of Thailand – has been entertaining spectators since ancient times. The uniquely delicate movement of performers dressed exquisitely in traditionally embroidered costumes creates a beguiling form of dance-drama, not to be missed. Daily cultural shows including Thai dance, sword fighting and Thai boxing can be watched at the Sampran Riverside, whilst the Siam Niramit, a world-class stage show featuring 150 performers, depicts Thailand’s historical and spiritual heritage. Many restaurants in Bangkok also include a classical dance performance as part of a traditional Thai style dinner.
Built upon water, Bangkok’s river and canals (khlongs) formed the city’s main thoroughfares, connecting rice farms, towns, temples and floating markets (until roads were constructed in 1851), earning it the moniker, the ‘Venice of the East’ and visitors often regard a boat trip as their most rewarding city experience, as it provides a completely different perspective of this fascinating city.
Bangkok claims to be the hottest city in the world and its tropical monsoon climate, making it both hot and humid in equal measures, can certainly trick you into believing it. On average, the temperatures are always high, with a lot of rain falling from May to October.
Between April/May and September/October, the city is at its steamiest.
These figures show monthly average maximum temperatures and monthly average rainfall for Bangkok.
British Airways and Thai Airways from London Heathrow to Bangkok. Etihad Airways from London Heathrow and Manchester (via Abu dhabi) to Bangkok. Emirates from London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle and Glasgow (via Dubai) to Bangkok.
London Heathrow to Bangkok, 11 hours, 40minutes.
Travelling With Children or Without an Adult
Children travelling without both parents should be aware that some countries require documentary evidence of parental responsibility before allowing lone parents to enter the country (for example, South Africa) or, in some cases, before permitting the children to leave the country. Please contact the relevant Embassy for the county you are travelling to for further information.
Visa and Advance Passenger Information
All passengers must ensure they have a valid, acceptable passport, any required visa and any other documentation for both the final destination and any stop-off points en route. Please make sure that Advance Passenger Information is submitted in advance to travel for all destinations. Failure to hold correct documentation or submitting incorrect details with Advance Passenger Information or Visa applications may result in refusal of carriage or entry into a country. Please check with the relevant Embassy regarding visa requirements well in advance of your travel date. Charges may apply for some visas.
Passengers not travelling on a British Passport are advised to contact their relevant Foreign & Commonwealth office for individual Visa requirements.
For up-to-date resort information, visit www.fco.gov.uk
Health facilities, hygiene and disease risks vary worldwide and you should take health advice about your specific needs from your general practitioner or a specialist clinic as early as possible before travel. Those planning to become pregnant should discuss their travel plans with their healthcare provider to assess their risk of infection with Zika. For information about Zika, other mosquito-borne diseases (such as Dengue fever and Chikungunya), Lyme Disease (caused by tick bites), and to receive advice on mosquito bite avoidance measures, please visit http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/insect-tick-bite-avoidance/
In addition, we highly recommend that you seek specialist advice from your doctor and, where recommended, obtain vaccinations or tablets for protection against, for example: Malaria, Hepatitis A, Polio and Typhoid. In some cases, treatments for Malaria should begin well in advance of travel. Travellers may also be required to show Yellow Fever Certificates on arrival in certain destinations ie, some African countries. Please note that you are strongly advised against scuba-diving for 24 hours before travelling by air. We would also like to draw your attention to the risk of DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) and recommend that you consult with your doctor before travelling.
Visit the FCO website and select your destination country for the very latest travel advice: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.
Additional sources of information include: www.hpa.org.uk, http://nathnac.net,
www.fco.gov.uk, www.hpa.org.uk and www.nathnac.org, your General Practitioner or a specialised clinic.