October 2012
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Bankok – Capital of Thailand … Part 1

Bangkok is the capital of Thailand and its largest city.

Overview of Bangkok

• It is one of Asia’s most cosmopolitan cities with magnificent temples and palaces, authentic canals, busy markets and a vibrant nightlife.
• It was only a small trading post at the banks of the Chao Phraya River for many years.
• This was until King Rama I, the first monarch of the present Chakri dynasty, turned it into the capital of Siam in 1782, after the burning of Ayutthaya by Burmese invaders.
• Bangkok has turned into a national treasure house and functions as Thailand’s spiritual, cultural, political, commercial, educational and diplomatic center from then onward.

Districts of Bankok

• Bangkok’s fifty districts serve as administrative subdivisions under the authority of the BMA.
• Thirty-five of these districts lie to the east of the Chao Phraya.
• Fifteen of them are on the western bank, known as the Thonburi side of the city.
• Bangkok is a huge and modern city humming with nightlife and fervor.
• Administratively, it is split up into 50 districts.
• These are further split into 154 sub-districts.
• These are more often used in official business and for addresses.
The fifty districts are:
– Rattanakosin
– Lumphini
– Vibhavadi
– Chao Phraya
– Thonburi
– Taksin
– Phra Nakhon Nuea
– Burapha
– Suwinthawong
– Sinakharin
– Mahasawat
– Sanam Chai
– Phra Nakhon District
– Dusit District
– Nong Chok District
– Bang Rak District
– Bang Khen District
– Bang Kapi District
– Pathum Wan District
– Pom Prap Sattru Phai District
– Phra Khanong District
– Min Buri District
– Lat Krabang District
– Yan Nawa District
– Samphanthawong District
– Phaya Thai District
– Thon Buri District
– Bangkok Yai District
– Huai Khwang District
– Khlong San District
– Taling Chan District
– Bangkok Noi District
– Bang Khun Thian District
– Phasi Charoen District
– Nong Khaem District
– Rat Burana District
– Bang Phlat District
– Din Daeng District
– Bueng Kum District
– Sathon District
– Bang Sue District
– Chatuchak District
– Bang Kho Laem District
– Prawet District
– Khlong Toei District
– Suan Luang District
– Chom Thong District
– Don Mueang District
– Ratchathewi District
– Lat Phrao District
– Watthana District
– Bang Khae District
– Lak Si District
– Sai Mai District
– Khan Na Yao District
– Saphan Sung District
– Wang Thonglang District
– Khlong Sam Wa District
– Bang Na District
– Thawi Watthana District
– Thung Khru District
– Bang Bon District

Siam Square
• The area around Siam Square, including Ratchaprasong and Phloen Chit Road, is Bangkok’s modern commercial core.
• This is full of glitzy malls and hotels.
• The Sky train intersection at Siam Square is a nice attraction.

• The long Sukhumvit Road is an exclusive district that is popular among expatriates and upper class locals.
• It is filled with quality hotels, restaurants and nightclubs.
• Part of its nightlife represents Bangkok’s naughty image which is particularly with Soi Cowboy and Nana Entertainment Plaza.

• The area around Silom Road and Sathorn Road is Thailand’s sober financial center by day.
• It is Bangkok’s primary party district by night when quarters like the infamous Patpong come alive.

• Between the river and downtown lies the densely packed “Old Bangkok”.
• This is home to Bangkok’s best-known sights, such as the Grand Palace and Wat Pho.

Khao San Road
• On the northern part of Rattanakosin, is the Bangkok’s backpacker mecca Khao San Road.
• The surrounding district of Banglamphu have everything for a budget traveler.

Yaowarat and Phahurat
• Along Yaowarat Road, you will find Bangkok’s Chinatown.
• Phahurat Road is the home of the city’s sizable Indian community.
• This multi-cultural district is filled with temples, shrines, seafood restaurants and street markets.

• This leafy, European-style area is the political center of Thailand.
• It is home to numerous political institutions and the monarchy.
• Its breezy palaces, lush gardens and broad avenues give this district its distinct character.

• This is the quieter west bank of the Chao Phraya River.
• Most visitors explore this district with a canal tour.
• One can take in Wat Arun, the Royal Barges National Museum and one of the floating markets.

• Pratunam is a large garment market with hundreds of fashion stores which sell both retail and wholesale.
• It also includes Baiyoke Tower II and Victory Monument.

• The area around Phahonyothin Road and Viphavadi Rangsit Road is a large suburb in northern Bangkok.
• In weekends, it is the best place to go hunting for bargains.
• The Chatuchak Weekend Market has more than 8,000 stalls which sell anything and everything under the sun.

• Ratchadaphisek Road has developed into an entertainment mecca for the locals.
• The sois of “Ratchada” are popular clubbing spots, as is Royal City Avenue (RCA).

• Along Ramkhamhaeng Road lies a vast residential area with big shopping malls and amusement parks.
• Hua Mak and Bang Kapi stand out as lively areas with many students from the universities.

Provinces around Bankok

• Nakhon Pathom to the west
• Nonthaburi to the northwest
• Pathum Thani to the north
• Chachoengsao to the east
• Samut Prakan to the southeast
• Samut Sakhon to the southwest

Best time to visit / climate

• The most pleasant time to visit is the cool season that lasts from November till February.
• It is both the coolest and driest period.
• Daytime temperatures still hover around 30°C (86°F), but it does cool down into the lower 20’s as it gets dark (lower 70s in Fahrenheit).
• March and April represent the hot season.
• The temperatures are 35°C (95°F) on average.
• This is the worst season to visit Bangkok, so plan in a lot of air-conditioned shopping mall visits and get a hotel with a swimming pool.
• The wet season that runs from May till October.
• Expect massive downpours resulting in floods all over the city.
• Extreme rainfall happens in September and October, so these months are best avoided.
There are two main seasons:
• Dry season equates to high season and any rates associated with travel are much higher than low season.
• For those who can not take extreme heat, Dec – Feb is milder than Mar – May and air quality is poor.
• May – Nov there are less tourists, fresher air, greener foliage, and if you like white water rafting, this is the time.

Location on Google Maps

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Or click and paste the URL below on your browser:

How to get there?

1. By Plane
Bangkok is served by two airports:
• Suvarnabhumi Airport.
• Don Muang Airport.
• Suvarnabhumi Airport is used by all airlines in Thailand, except for domestic flights on Nok Air and Orient Thai
• These still use the old Don Muang Airport.
• Both these airports are about 30 km (19 mi) from the city center.
• Allow at least three hours to connect between them, as they are far away from each other and there is heavy congestion on the roads.
From suvarnabhoomi airport, The BMTA public bus lines are:
– 549: Suvarnabhumi to Min Buri
– 550: Suvarnabhumi to Bang Kapi
– 551: Suvarnabhumi to Victory Monument
– 552: Suvarnabhumi to On Nut
– 552A: Suvarnabhumi to Sam Rong
– 553: Suvarnabhumi to Samut Prakan
– 554: Suvarnabhumi to Don Muang Airport
– 555: Suvarnabhumi to Rangsit (using the expressway)
– 558: Suvarnabhumi to Central Rama 2
– 559: Suvarnabhumi to Future Park Rangsit (using the outer ring road)
Don Muang Airport
• Don Muang Airport (IATA: DMK) (ICAO: VTBD) (or Don Mueang) is about 30 km (19 mi) north of downtown.
• It was Bangkok’s main airport until 2006.
• The airport currently handles Nok Air and Orient Thai domestic flights.

2. By Bus
• Bangkok has three public bus terminals.
• These buses are cheaper, safer, faster, more comfortable and won’t scam you.
• The largest, busiest, and most modern terminal is the Northern Bus Terminal, ? +66 2 936-2841(-3), also known as Mo Chit.

3. By Train
• The State Railway of Thailand, ? +66 2 222-0175, serves Bangkok with railway lines from all four directions of Thailand.
• Hualamphong Train Station is the most important station.
• It is located close to Yaowarat and served by its own MRT station.
• It is a big and surprisingly convenient station built during the reign of King Rama VI.
• It was spared from bombing in World War II at the request of the Thai resistance movement.

4. By Car
• Getting into Bangkok by car is not a good idea.
• The best way to get to Bangkok from Northern Thailand is driving on Phahonyothin Road (Route 1), which comes from Mae Sai near the Myanmarese border.
• Sukhumvit Road (Route 3) comes from cities inEastern Thailand, such as Trat, Pattaya and Chonburi.
• Phetkasem Road (Route 4) must be one of the longest roads in the world, as it comes all the way from the Malaysian border serving Southern Thailand.

Some Travel Books about Thailand

Lonely Planet Discover Thailand Thailand PhotoMazing Thailand

Places to stay (hotels / restaurants along with website / contact numbers)

Hotels at wikitravel.org
Hotels at hotelscombined.com
Hotels at bangkok.com

Blogs / Sites about Thailand – Bangkok

Blogs at smartbangkoktravel.com
Blogs at bangkok-city.com
Blogs at travelblog.org
Blogs and reviews at lonelyplanet.com

Images and photos of Thailand – Bangkok

Images at google.com
Images at travel.nationalgeographic.com
Images at tripadvisor.in
Images at bangkok-photos.com

Videos of Thailand – Bankok

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