First experiences in Bangkok – sightseeing, accommodations and much more
More than 10 years ago, we landed in Bangkok for the first time – as a result, the article “First experiences in Bangkok” was created. It was long overdue to overhaul this article, incorporate the latest tips, and share new experiences we’ve had on countless Bangkok visits ever since.
If you prefer to go to the sea we can recommend the islands of Koh Phayam and Koh Chang. The best travel time of Thailand and all information about the visa Thailand, we have prepared in detail for you.
General information about Bangkok
Bangkok has been the capital of Thailand since 1782 and has about 8.2 million inhabitants. According to a survey by Mastercard, it is the most visited city in the world. At that time she caused quite a culture shock, even today it does not surprise me. On the one hand, there is wealth to the point of dismissal, on the other hand, bitter poverty. You can eat in Bangkok for 50 cents or 500 euros food, for 2 euros the night or spend several thousand euros for a room.
This article is now aimed at travelers and vacationers who want to spend a few days in Bangkok and get to know the city in a pleasant way. Especially for Families with children in Bangkok We also give additional tips along the way to approach the city trip as relaxed as possible.
We recommend that you have an approximate plan for your Bangkok visit, which you absolutely want to see. The city has quite a dimension and you just can not do everything with a visit. Seek out the area in Bangkok, where are the most important sights for you and then book your hotel in this area. The traffic is chaotic in Bangkok and if you have to travel long distances, then you spend more time in the car than at the sights.
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Always unlock Google Maps
Practical tips about Bangkok
If you prefer to get to know Bangkok on a guided tour, we recommend you Green Mango Tours, a provider of German-language tours in Bangkok that has been established for more than 10 years. Although we have not personally participated in a tour, but have received a lot of positive feedback from friends. What appeals to us for our next stay in Bangkok is the China Town Tour – because funny enough we have never gotten there!
Another vendor with an extremely good reputation is Bangkok Vanguards.
For the adventurous among you, we also have a tip. Do a bike ride with Follow Me Biketour or Bangkok My City!
Mode of Transport
We assume that you do not want to explore Bangkok with your own scooter or rental car. Although we drive by car to the hotel, within the city we are always too cumbersome, there are just too many traffic jams and little parking, also you should have a certain routine with left-hand traffic and driving in Thailand, before going into Bangkok itself drives.
In principle, you have the following options:
Taxi, tuk tuk and motorcycle taxis
Taxis are always and everywhere, easy to recognize by the colorful colors. Theoretically, this is the easiest way to get around, since in the air-conditioned car you do not get all the exhaust fumes as in the Tuk Tuk and it’s actually cheap. The only problem is that you often have to discuss a lot before the driver turns the meter on, which they are actually obliged to do, in case of doubt helps to get out again. Also we do that again and again after so many years Thailand.
Nowadays there are alternative apps like Uber and Grab. Especially grave we like in Bangkok very well, because you can also order “normal” taxis for a small fee, but it saves the discussion with the drivers as far as the taximeter. A clear recommendation on our part!
Tuk Tuks are part of Bangkok’s street scene, but we are not big fans. You sit at the exhaust level and often get stuck in the same traffic jams as in your car. Due to the lack of a taximeter, you always have to negotiate and many drivers try to transport you to a shop (jewelery, suits, etc.), from which they receive commissions for customers. One should definitely go tuk tuk and then just watch it more as an experience.
Motorcycle taxis are undoubtedly the fastest option as you can drive past traffic jams. The disadvantage is obvious, the security is not exactly high. For more than 2 people, it also usually makes no sense in terms of price.
Public transport: BTS Skytrain, MRT and buses
There is a huge bus network that is sometimes difficult to understand if you do not speak Thai. The skytrain is very comfortable and you can move fast, but the net is clear with two lines. The “subway” MRT covers more areas and is also a great way for transportation. The stations are easily recognizable on Google Maps and especially at peak times it is a good idea to bridge larger distances if possible with a rapid-transit railway and then to drive the remaining distance to the destination by taxi or Tuk Tuk.
On the water: Boats on the Chao Phraya
Almost every Bangkok visitor would also like to take a ride on the Chao Phraya, in our view this is also highly recommended. Just take the Skytrain to Saphan Thaksin Station on the Chao Phraya River and then take one of the local taxi boats up the Chao Phraya River to the Grand Palace. It is a very authentic experience and only costs a few baht. Alternatively you can rent a private long tail boat and drive through the canals in Thonburi on the western bank of the river – you’ll soon realize why Bangkok is also known as the “Venice of Asia”.
Thailand in general and Bangkok in particular is a paradise for foodlover! You will find food stalls and restaurants everywhere. Which dishes you should try in Thailand, we have already described in this article.
Which restaurants we can recommend in Bangkok?
- You are in the Arabian Quarter, then eat in the restaurant Sharazad a grill plate and fresh naan. It has the best Arabic food we have ever eaten, but vegetarians can save the way.
- Food stall Bees Garden: You really want it authentic? That means noisy, located on the street and with plastic chairs to sit but incredibly good and of course spicy. Under the bridge in the Silom Road there is a food stall that builds up in the afternoon and then should be your choice.
- Blue Elephant: relatively expensive but worth every penny!
- Roots Coffe Roaster: a must for coffee lovers!
- Food courts: In general, there is a food court in Bangkok in almost every shopping center, where there is a wide selection of typical dishes. Usually you get a card on the money is loaded and then you pay with the individual stalls. Our favorites here mostly, Noodle Soup, Moo Krop / Moo Dang and Mango Sticky Rice.
- sushi Lovers beware, there are many Japanese restaurants in Thailand. Especially the chain “Fuji” did it to us. We regularly visit one of the many branches.
Accommodations in Bangkok – Our Tips
Staying in Bangkok is usually not as cheap as anywhere else in Thailand. But it is clearly dependent on your claim and the preferred area.
In the Pratunam area (shopping mecca)
Amari Watergate * Located in the middle of the shopping mecca, beautiful pool landscape and for the often offered cheap deals.
Glow Pratnumam * Modern hotel on the roof of a shopping mall. Perhaps the most comfortable beds in Bangkok!
Located directly on the Chao Phraya River
Chatrium Riverside Hotel *
Just south of the Skytrain at Chao Phraya. Great pool!
Mandarin Oriental *
The perfect combination of history and luxury. Of course it has a high price, but you can also just drink coffee or go to the restaurant.
Close to Khao San Road
Lamphu Tree Hotel * Family hotel near Khao San Road. Popular with families.
LoogChob Homestay * Lovingly decorated and close to Khao San Road.
Close to Suvarnabhumi Airport
At Residence Suvarnabhumi * Inexpensive and plenty of space, due to the proximity to the airport, practically at stopover stays.
Novotel Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport * Right on the airport, within walking distance.
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Bangkok’s sights not to be missed
Everything is not great in a few days, is it clear? But there are hot spots, which drive many and rightly so. We recommend you to do the following:
- Grand Palace: If you only want to look at a temple, then take it. He is truly an experience and very important to the Thai people. Beware, there are many scams and scams around the palace, do not let yourself be led behind the light.
- Boat trip on the Chao Praya, best as described above with the public boats, because then you get really something from life with.
- Skytrain drive, especially children are really to lure it. The payment system is easy to understand and certain routes make sense. Attention, because at rush hour it gets really tight.
- Arab quarter in the Sukhumvit Soi 3, used to smokes everywhere the shishas, today these are unfortunately prohibited. Nevertheless, it is a fascinating own world, which revives especially in the early evening. Not suitable for zarbesaitete children especially not in the evenings.
- Shopping: The shopping market is bad for all Bangkok visitors is certainly the Chatuchak weekend market. But, he is really big and full. Be sure to leave the kids at home or go to a smaller market like the Pratunam Market for shopping or for the experience. Or one of you goes to the neighboring park with the kids.
- Night markets: In principle, it’s just about shopping and eating, but it’s just going to start in the evening. Great we find the Rod Fai night market, it is mainly visited by locals and offers you a real insight into the behavior of the Thais.
- Flowers market: Really nice to walk here in the morning, there are so many flowers to admire and also many other things are offered here. This market is still only for locals and therefore so beautiful authentic.
Attractions near Bangkok
Especially Ayutthaya and the Floating Markets are often sold to tourists as Bangkok’s attractions. Do not be fooled here, both are already a long way away. Do you have some time, then they are well worth seeing.
- Ayutthaya80 km away from Bangkok are the ruins of the ancient capital of the Ayutthaya kingdom. One day is enough for us, who was already in Siam Reap is probably not so impressed. Everyone else thinks it’s great.
- Floating Markets: Approximately 2 hours southwest of Bangkok are the Floating Markets of Ratchaburi and Amphawa, about which we report in detail in a separate article. From this one can make a nice day trip.
Having fun with children in Bangkok
Are you afraid your children will be bored in Bangkok? You want to offer them even more than temples and other classic sights? Sometimes we do a pure children’s day with lots of things that are especially fun for our son. Especially those who travel longer with children, who often know they just have to cooperate. Such a “Auszeittag” is then simply necessary from time to time. That’s why we put together the best tips from us and friends. Everything subsequent has been tested and approved by children.
- Lumphini Park: A large park with a lake where you can pedal boats, playgrounds and meadows to relax and there are also monitor lizards there. Nothing really special, but often a nice break from the stress of the city. If you are around, look over, but it is not for tired feet, because the park is huge.
Accessible by MRT (Silom) or Skytrain (Sala Daeng)
- Children’s Discovery Museum: Older, but still recommended for children between 2 – 6 years. Take change clothes or bathing suits, as there are also water features.
Located next to Chatuchak Market, accessible from BTS Mo Chit Station.
- Kidzania: a great concept for children from 4 to 15 years. You can choose from more than 80 professions here and exercise them under the guidance of yourself. Whether dentist, mechanic, pilot or sushi chef, your kids will love it. For the parents, there is a lounge to wait, because these are not desired. The whole property is centrally located on the 5th floor of the Siam Paragon Center.
- Amped Trampoline Park: As soon as children can walk, they are allowed in, but also for the adults and adults there is a lot to offer.
- Imaginia Playland: similar concept as in the Kidzania, but slightly smaller and more geared towards smaller children. At 18 stations, children can try things out, craft, develop and play. Available in the Emporium Shopping Mall on Sukkhumvit Road.
- Indoor playgroundsMany of the large shopping malls offer large indoor playgrounds with inflatables, slot machines and more, but there are also pure indoor playgrounds such as the Funarium and Playtime.
- Dinosaur Planet: fun for young and old with rides and lots of information about dinosaurs. Recommended rather weekdays, as on the weekend very crowded.
Address: 544/1 Sukhumvit Rd, the nearest Skytrain station is Phrom Phong
- Art in Paradise: great 3D museum where you can take cool photos.
- Rabbito Cafe: Simple but very effective concept for children – coffee or shake drink between rabbits!
- ice rink: The Siam Discovery Center shopping mall has an ice rink on the 6th and 7th floors. If you want it a little cooler, this is the place of yours.
- visit the cinema: Thailand has amazing cinemas, snuggle up on a family sofa and enjoy a movie together, but you should have English language skills. There are also Thai-synced movies, so be sure to watch the movies in their original form.
- Fantasy Lagoon: two water parks on the roofs of two shopping malls.
- Asiatique: A walk through “old” streets where silk and fabrics are made. You walk north over Jim Thompson House over the Klong and you’re already in the middle of it. There are no cars and there is a lot to look at. You can also go ferris wheel and enjoy the great views.
There is so much to discover, let yourself go with a rough plan in your head. Do not worry, exploring a big city is always exhausting. Especially with children, you usually only create half of what you had before (or is that only with us?). That’s why realistic pauses and regeneration phases are planned from the outset. So a few hours in the pool or Spieleland often work wonders.
We also recommend taking some taxi rides instead of exhausting footpaths, get a sim card for your phone to navigate using Google Maps, and if possible, schedule 2 more days than many days at a time. Because when you come back to the city, it is usually easier because a lot is familiar.
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