Bangkok Travel Guide – About this Page
Bangkok travel guide suggests things to do in Bangkok, Various attractions and sightseeing, budget tips to safely stay, travel, and plan your Bangkok trip.
Bangkok Travel Guide – About Bankgkok
Bangkok, Thailand: Famous for its chaotic streets, cheap and delicious street food, wild nightlife, and endless traffic.
It is a city that most travelers love or hate. I used to hate him when I first traveled to Bangkok, but when I met him more, I changed my mind. Most of the travelers just stop by here when they make backpacks or travel around Thailand. But there is a lot to see and do in Bangkok.
When you look beyond the chaos and peel away the layers of Bangkok, the city comes alive with endless things to do, see, explore, eat, and drink.
It is a city that is open to those who are willing to pass all the temples and bars of backpackers.
This Bangkok travel guide shows you that there is more to Thailand’s “City of Angels” than you think by helping you plan the trip of a lifetime.
Bangkok Travel Guide – Top 5 tourist places to see in Bangkok
1. Visit the Grand Palace and Wat Pho
The palace is the official residence of the current monarch. Check out Wat Pra Kaeo, which houses the 15th-century Emerald Buddha, tons of temples, statues, and beautiful works of art. Then head to Wat Pho to see the famous reclining golden Buddha. It costs 500 THB ($ 16 USD) to enter the Grand Palace and 200 THB ($ 6.30 USD) to enter Wat Po.
2. Visit Chatuchak Weekend Market
The weekend market is an ideal place to buy anything. It covers huge territory and is the best place to get gifts, find imitations, exchange, or eat good food. Definitely come here on a Saturday or Sunday to shop around!
3. Explore Lumpini Park
Outdoor enthusiasts will find it difficult to separate from Bangkok’s Lumpini Park. Jogging trails, bike trails, picnic areas, chess tables, Tai Chi classes, fitness equipment, and rowboats for rent on the lakes offer plenty to do. The tall trees and quiet surroundings offer a pleasant respite from busy Bangkok.
4. See Jim Thompson’s house
Jim Thompson was a former American spy and silk merchant in Thailand during the 1950s and 1960s. He built his traditionally Thai house in Bangkok and decorated it with beautiful teak wood. Her house is a monument to traditional Thai architecture. The entrance fee proceeds (THB 150 / $ 4.75 USD) are used to help orphaned children.
5. See the view of Wat Arun
This is a beautiful Buddhist temple on the Chao Phraya River in front of the Grand Palace. It has a main and four small needles and is so iconic that you will find it in Thai money. From the top of the main spire, you can see panoramic views of the city. It is open every day and it only costs 30 THB ($ 0.95 USD) to enter.
Bangkok Travel Guide – Other places to visit in Bangkok
1. Visit the floating market
The floating market is on the outskirts of Bangkok, and although it exists today mainly for tourists, I still like to visit it. The tours that come here are approximately half a day and leave early in the morning. It’s not a great place to shop, but the area is good for taking pictures and eating – two things I love!
2. The Royal Elephant Museum
Elephants have long played an important role in the lives of Thais. The museum is located within the parliament compound and is a visual testament to the value of the largest land animal and the beliefs surrounding its participation in religious ceremonies. The museum is open to the public daily from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is free with a ticket to the Grand Palace (or THB 100 / $ 3.15 USD when purchased separately).
3. Temple jump
Bangkok is full of history, temples, and Thai ruins. There are around ten main temples in the city, and you can easily hire a boy to take you all in one day. They all have different architectural structures and designs. It will take about five hours to see them all. If you don’t have that much time, aside from the Grand Palace and Wat Po, be sure to visit Wat Arun, The Temple of Dawn.
4. Shop till you drop
Bangkok has so many shopping malls that only downtown, you can count 12 within a four-block radius. Bangkok has everything you need and at great prices. Be sure to visit Siam Paragon (for designer clothes), Terminal 21 (to see the stunning international-themed decor), Platinum (for cheap and trendy clothes), Pantip (for cheap electronics), and MBK (for cheap knockoffs).
5. Hang out on Khao San Road
Khao San Road is the famous street for backpackers/tourists in Bangkok. All travel paths lead in and out of here. However, it is more than just a transit hub for travelers. Here, you can find nightlife, good food, great shopping, tons of people watching, and activity all day and all night. Here is a video.
6. Visit the Temple of the Golden Mount
A short distance from Khao San Road, the Golden Mount Temple features a huge chedi (a mound-shaped structure containing Buddhist relics). This is one of my favorite temples in the city due to its beautiful golden temple, its stunning surroundings, and its wonderful views of the city from the top. Admission is free.
7. Take a day trip to Ayutthaya
Near Bangkok, you will find the ancient capital, which houses the Summer Palace, tons of amazingly unique temples. In 1991, it became a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As it is so close to Bangkok, it is a very popular day-trip destination. Many companies offer trips, but it is very easy to get there, you would just go alone by train.
8. See a performance at Patravadi
A Thai actress founded this theater on the river. It is a popular venue offering a variety of performances: stunts, drum performances, theater, and dance.
9. Enjoy the famous Bangkok nightlife
There are plenty of drinking areas with countless street bars (Khao San Road and Silom are the most popular nightlife spots in the city). You will never have a problem finding good bars and clubs to go to. Some of the favorite bars are Brick Bar, Smalls, and Whisgars.
10. Eating in Chinatown
First, stroll among the lilies, birds of paradise, and orchids at Pak Klong Talad, the flower market in the far north of Chinatown. From there, eat something at one of the many food stalls. You can eat your weight on street food here and still not break the bank!
11. Watch a puppet show
A great aspect of Thai drama revolves around puppets. Two types are common: Nang (shadow puppets) and Hun (puppets). If you’re lucky, you can see a show at an outdoor festival; otherwise, head to the Thai Puppet Theater.
12. Spend a trendy night at Thong Lo
In this trend-conscious neighborhood, you will find the best restaurants and nightlife in the city, including many western jazz bars and beer gardens. It is very popular with the young middle and upper classes in Bangkok (the crowd to see and be seen). End a fashionable night.
13. Bangkok canal boat
Known as the “Venice of the East”, Bangkok used to be full of canals and canals. While there aren’t that many anymore, you can still see many of the old bridges and stilt houses that crowd the waterways. You can cruise along the Chao Phraya River to see some of what is left, usually for just THB100 ($ 3.15 USD). Thonburi’s Klhongs offers picturesque views of old wooden houses and colorful flower gardens.
14. Vimanmek Mansion
Built-in 1900 by HM King Rama V, this royal palace is also the largest teakwood mansion in the world. It now houses the National Heritage Museum of Thailand, and it also has beautiful gardens and canals to explore on the estate. It has many collections of antiques, antique photographs, porcelain, and mementos from the King’s reign. Admission is THB 100 ($ 3.15 USD).
14. Rot Fai night market
The Rot Fai Market (or Market Market) is a veritable open-air bazaar that sells a wide variety of collectibles and vintage memorabilia, from antique furniture to hippie fashion and Mao’s kitsch. The train night market is one of the coolest markets in Bangkok. It is open at night from Thursday to Sunday.
15. Head to the Dusit Zoo
The first zoo in Thailand, built more than 60 years ago, is located in the middle of the administrative center of Bangkok and is surrounded by important buildings such as the Throne Room, the Parliament, and the Chitralada Palace. It is a fully functional park, with an animal hospital, an educational center, and a museum. There’s also a tourist train that takes you around the zoo to see the more than 1,600 animals there. Look out for albino barking deer and Bengal white tigers. Admission is THB 100 ($ 3.15 USD).
16. Visit the Lumpinee boxing stadium
This stadium was moved to a new house on Ramintra Road in 2014 and can hold up to 15,000 spectators. If you want to see a Muay Thai fight in the city, this is the place to go. Fight nights are Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 6 pm. Tickets start at 1,600 THB ($ 50.70 USD).
17. See Wat Suthat and the giant swing
Famous for the giant swing that meets you at the temple entrance, Wat Suthat is a very memorable sight. In 1784, the giant swing was built. Then, in 2005, it was replaced by a new one is a completely golden teak. In addition to the swing, the temple is magnificent with a traditional ceiling, antique murals, and hand-carved teak door panels. The temple complex is huge, with multiple large temples on the property, as well as smaller statues and courtyards. The entrance costs 20 THB ($ 0.65 USD).
18. Go to the Bangkok Butterfly and Insectarium Garden
This museum is located around the corner from the Chatuchak Weekend Market. There are over 500 butterflies flying, and the museum also features a wide range of flowers and ferns and even some waterfalls. Admission is free.
19. Visit the Bangkok museum
This museum represents middle-class life in Bangkok during the 1950s with a collection of three wooden houses filled with family items from that period. It is small, so it doesn’t take long. It’s also free!
20. Examine the National Gallery
This portrait museum has some amazing portraits of the royal family that date back centuries, as well as paintings made by the late king, who was an artist and musician in his spare time. They have excellent temporary exhibitions of contemporary art by local artists on the ground floor. Admission is THB30 ($ 0.95 USD).
21. Take a food tour
Bangkok has an incredible food scene, and one of the best ways to experience it is on a food tour. Bangkok Food Tours has a nice variety of tours where you can try everything from street food to exotic fruits. Tours start from 1,350 THB ($43 USD).
Bangkok Travel Guide – Bangkok Travel Costs
Dorm rooms with 6-8 beds start at around 220 THB ($3.15 USD) per night, but smaller dorms in prime locations (with air conditioning) can cost up to 500 THB ($16 USD). Any higher, and you’re being ripped off. You’ll find a great selection of hostels all over the city.
Private rooms at these same types of hostels vary in price. Although there’s a growing hostel scene downtown, I find the rooms expensive – especially when you can get cheaper accommodation and meet more travelers on Khao San Road. Some of the private double rooms in popular rooms cost 1,000 THB ($32 USD).
Budget hotel prices
Private rooms in small guesthouses or hotels, especially those in the backpacker area of Khao San Road, start at 300 THB ($9.50 USD). These usually include hot water and private bathrooms. If you want cheaper, you can find single rooms in other areas from 220 THB/$7 USD (fan, shared bathroom), and double rooms from 320 THB/$10 USD (fan, shared bathroom). If you want a decent hotel room, however, you can expect to pay from 920 THB ($30 USD) for a double.
Quality varies greatly so be sure to look at the reviews online. Most hotels offer free wifi and air-conditioning and many offer free breakfast as well.
As for Airbnb, you can find full apartments for rent at an average of 1,590 THB ($50 USD). Although not a budget option, Aloft Hotel is one of my favorite hotels for redeeming Starwood points. Note: In this city, I recommend getting a private room in a hostel or a guesthouse over a cheap budget hotel room.
Average cost of food
In Bangkok, you can eat from the street vendors for as little as 30 THB ($0.95 USD) per meal (i.e., soup, pad thai, fried rice, som tam, etc), purchase a bag of freshly cut fruit or Thai ice tea for 20 THB ($0.65 USD), or get a grilled chicken, rice, and som tam meal for 150 THB ($4.75 USD). For the best pad thai in the city, go-to Pad Thai Thip Samai. You can get a very filling dish for 45 THB ($1.40 USD).
The sit-down restaurants start at THB50 ($ 1.50) per meal. (Try Aisa Rot Dee, which is hidden on Tanee Road!) Western food starts at around THB100 ($ 3.15 USD) and increases from there. If you are eating downtown, expect a western breakfast or lunch to cost between 150-200 THB ($$ 4.75-6.35 USD). Many of the shopping malls have huge (and popular) food courts where you can get a hearty meal starting at 40 THB ($ 1.25 USD).
Like the rest of Thailand, if you eat at street markets like the local ones, you will have a hard time spending over 200 THB ($ 6.35 USD) a day on food (and maybe not even close to that). When it comes to drinking, going to bars can be expensive, as the cheapest beers cost around THB60 ($ 2) each, and cocktails sometimes cost double or triple. While buying 7-Eleven beers for street drinking can cost THB30 ($ 0.95) per can.
Bangkok Travel Guide – Bangkok Backpacker Suggested Budgets
Bangkok is easy to visit on any budget.
On a budget for backpackers in Bangkok, you will spend around THB 946 ($ 30 USD) per day. This will cover a low-end hostel dorm room, eating at street food stalls for all your meals, drinks, some temples, and public transportation. You can also cut your budget by Couchsurfing. If you want to have more fun, stay downtown and maybe some nicer meals or a massage or two, budget around 1,272 THB ($ 40 USD) per day.
With a mid-range budget, expect to pay 1,890 THB ($ 60 USD) per day. With this budget, you’ll have a private (fan-only) room in a 2-star hotel/guesthouse, eat at more local restaurants, and enjoy a few more drinks, splurge in some taxis, and visit more attractions in the city. With this amount per day, you will not live the high life, but you will not want anything either.
With an even more comfortable luxury budget, you can spend around THB 4,100 ($ 130 USD) per day. This will give you a comfortable 4-star air-conditioned room, any food you want, any amount of drinks you want, as many sights and cooking tours you want, and everything in between. The sky is the limit and anything above this will give you what you want!
Bangkok can be a fairly cheap city if you avoid the highest or western-influenced places. If you stick to Thai places and cheap accommodation, it will cost you a lot to spend a lot of money, but here are some
Bangkok Travel Guide – Tips to save money in Bangkok
Bangkok can be a fairly cheap city if you avoid the highest or western-influenced places. If you stick to Thai places and cheap accommodation, it will cost you a lot to spend a lot of money, but here are some ways to save money in Bangkok
Eat at the street stalls
Food from street vendors in Thailand is one of the best Thai food I’ve ever had and it’s so cheap it’s ridiculous. You can easily have a bowl of noodle soup, pad thai, or fried rice for THB30 ($ 0.95). Locals eat here, you should eat here. Not only is it the best food, but it’s also the cheapest!
Make sure your taxi turns on the meter
All taxis must use a meter when they have passengers with them. However, most will want to charge a higher ‘flat rate’ (instead of using the meter), especially if there is traffic. If this happens, walk away and see if a different taxi will turn on your meter for you.
Negotiate with tuk-tuk drivers
Unlike taxis, tuk-tuk drivers don’t have meters, so be sure to set the fixed price before you take off. They are very friendly, but if you are going to play the naive tourist, they will take advantage of you!
Use public transportation:
Locals use the extensive bus and BTS systems to get where they need to go to Bangkok. To save money, you can do the same. A 20-minute taxi ride can cost you THB120 ($ 3.80 USD), while the same bus ride can only cost THB10 ($ 0.30 USD).
Bonus: By taking the subway instead of a taxi, you can avoid the headache of city center traffic.
Avoid drinking on Khao San Road: While having fun, one night in the Khao San Road backpacker area will leave your wallet empty. And speaking of drinking, stick with the beer. Cocktails and wine are mainly imported with high taxes, so they cost much more than local beer.
Take the Boats:
There is a limited canal system in Bangkok that can get you through parts of the city faster (especially from Khao San Road to Siam Square) and cheaper than taxis or the SkyTrain. Prices range from THB 5-15 ($ 0.16-0.48 USD) depending on the distance.
Nothing is cheaper than free sleep. Couchsurfing connects you with the locals who will provide you with not only a free place to stay but also a local tour guide who can introduce you to all the great places to see.
Stay in hostels
Bangkok has so many hostels throughout the city, including lots that have popped up recently to meet the demand of backpackers. You’ll be able to find fun, clean, well-designed, cheap hostels in every corner of the city. So even if you’ve never considered staying in a hostel before, consider starting here. The competition is high, so the quality of hostels has been pushed to rise.
Take a free walking tour – Free walking tours help you get oriented within a city while picking up some interesting facts and history in the process. Try Strawberry Tours or Bangkok Walking Tours!
Bargain hard – When shopping at the markets, whip out your negotiation skills. The rule of thumb is the more you buy, the cheaper the prices will be. So shop in packs for the best deals.
Save money on rideshares – Grab is Asia’s answer to Uber, which is no longer available in Thailand. It works the same way: you hire a local to take you somewhere via the Grab app, and you can pay via the app or in cash. It’s often more affordable than a regular taxi!
Use a water bottle with a purifier – It isn’t safe to drink the tap water in Phi Phi, and although buying bottled water is cheap, it does add up — pick up a LifeStraw (it’s good for the environment too!)
Bangkok Travel Guide – Where to stay in Bangkok
Accommodation in Bangkok
These are some of the favorite Hostels to stay
- Mad Monkey Hostel
- Green House Hostel
- @Hua Lamphong Hostel
- HQ Hostel
- Bangkok Tree House
These are some of the favorite Hotels to stay
- Shama Lakeview Asoke Bangkok
- Ramada D’MA Bangkok
- Rembrandt Hotel & Suites
- Golden Tulip Mandison Suites
- Compass Skyview Hotel Bangkok
Bangkok Travel Guide – Transportation in Bangkok
Bangkok public buses are the cheapest way to get around the city. They are administered by the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority, whose website has detailed information on various routes. Air-conditioned buses generally start at 10-12 THB ($ 0.32-0.38 USD) and go up based on distance. A daily pass costs THB140 ($ 4.45 USD).
Fares for regular buses (with fans) start at 7–8 THB ($ 0.22-0.25 USD) and also increase based on distance.
Commonly known as BTS or Skytrain, this is an elevated traffic system. Fares are THB 16–50 ($ 0.50-1.60 USD) per trip or THB 140 ($ 4.45 USD) for an unlimited one-day travel pass. If you plan to be in Bangkok for a while, look to buy the Rabbit Card. You can get a day pass for 140 THB ($ 4.45 USD) that covers the entire BTS system.
This Chao Phraya Express boat company is the main ferry service along the Chao Phraya River. The central pier is located at BTS Saphan Taksin, and rates are THB 10–35 ($ 0.32-1.10 USD). There is also a special tourist boat that runs between Phra Athit and Sathorn every 30 minutes between 9:30 am and 6 pm
Canal boats are especially useful for getting to and from Siam Square and the surrounding area during rush hour. This is one of the best and cheapest ways to get from Khao San Road to downtown Bangkok. It only takes 15 minutes and costs 11 THB ($0.35 USD). Prices in general start from 10 THB ($0.32 USD).
The Metropolitan Rapid Transit (or MRT) is the city’s underground train system. It connects most of downtown with some of the suburbs. It uses tokens instead of tickets, but metro cards are available for frequent travelers. Fares cost 16–40 THB ($0.50-1.25 USD) per trip, depending on your destination.
Taxis are my favorite way to get around the city, as they are clean, comfortable and there is no need to haggle over the price. However, only climb into a cabin that uses the meter. The rate for the first kilometer is 35 THB ($ 1.10 USD), with an additional baht for every 50 meters after that; a trip of three miles (five kilometers) runs around 60 THB ($ 1.90 USD).
Motorcycle taxis are another popular way to get around the city, generally costing THB 20-100 ($ 0.65-3.15 USD) per trip. He tells his driver where he wants to go, negotiates a price (haggle hard!), Buckles up, and get out into traffic quickly. They are the fastest (and scariest) way to cross Bangkok.
Tuk-tuks are loud, polluting, and uncomfortable. They require tough negotiating skills and are only worth taking once for the experience. Sometimes I like them for short distances, but generally, I prefer a taxi to a tuk-tuk. Rates vary greatly based on your haggling skills.
Grab is Asia’s answer to Uber. It works the same way: Hire a local to take you somewhere through the Grab app, and you can pay via the app or in cash. It is often more affordable than a regular taxi, although the drivers are a little unreliable.
Bangkok Travel Guide – When to go to Bangkok ?
November to late February is the best time to visit Bangkok if you want pleasant weather. Bangkok is “cooler” during this time, but it still averages 85 ° F (29 ° C) per day. This is also the driest moment. However, because this coincides with Western Christmas and New Year, large crowds and inflated prices are expected.
The shoulder season (April to June) is the hottest time of year to visit Bangkok, with temperatures reaching 100 ° F (40 ° C). If you have to come during this time, try attending the Thai New Year (Songkran) in April. Songkran is the world’s largest water festival, and you’re guaranteed to have a great time.
Avoid July to October if you can. This is the monsoon season and the rains can be intense and unpredictable. I’m not saying it’s going to rain 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, but it varies more frequently and more than at other times of the year.
Bangkok Travel Guide – How to stay safe in Bangkok
Bangkok is a safe place for backpacking and traveling, but it is also an incredibly chaotic and busy city. Minor theft (including bag theft) is the most common type of crime you will face in Bangkok. Some people will try to scam you, including taxi drivers who refuse to turn on their meters.
Overall, there are rarely seen problems here and have been coming here for over 15 years.
Always trust your instinct. If your hotel is seedier than you thought, get out of there. Make copies of your personal documents, including your passport and identification.
If you don’t do it at home, don’t do it when you are in Bangkok.
In some areas of Bangkok, it is about parties, and the biggest incidents occur when people are drunk and stupid. Don’t get too drunk. Avoid illegal substances at all costs. Thailand is very strict on drugs and they will fuck you if they catch you. Have you ever seen that movie Brokedown Palace? Yes, that does not happen!
The most important advice is to buy good travel insurance. Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellation. It is comprehensive protection in case something goes wrong. you should never go on a trip without having good travel insurance.
Bangkok travel guide – Best booking resources
Below are some of the favorite companies to use when traveling to Bangkok. They are included here because they consistently get the best deals, offer world-class customer service, and great value, and are generally better than their competitors.
12go.asia If you’re looking for ferry times and prices to get to Bangkok, this website is the best place to do it. Otherwise, buy your tickets from an agent.
Airbnb Airbnb is an excellent lodging alternative to connect with owners who rent their houses or apartments. Big cities have tons of listings! (If you’re new to Airbnb, get $ 35 off your first stay! )
Hostelworld This is the best hostel accommodation site, with the largest inventory, the best search interface, and the widest availability.
Agoda In addition to Hostelworld and Airbnb, Agoda is the best hotel accommodation site for Asia as it has the largest inventory and offers the best rates. If you want a guest house or a hotel, book it through this website!
Intrepid Travel If you want to take a group tour of Asia, go with Intrepid Travel. They offer good small-group tours that use local operators and leave a small environmental footprint. If you go on tour with someone, go with them. And, as a reader of this site, you will get exclusive discounts by clicking on the link!
STA Travel A good company for under-30s or students, STA Travel offers discounted airfare as well as travel passes that help you save on attractions.
Grassroots Volunteer For volunteerism, Grassroots Volunteer collects a list of good local volunteer organizations that keep money within the community.
Couchsurfing This website allows you to stay on people’s sofas or in free rooms for free. It’s a great way to save money while meeting with locals who can tell you the ins and outs of your city. The site also lists events you can attend to meet people (even if you’re not staying with someone).
World Nomads Here you can buy all World Nomads travel insurance. They have excellent customer service, competitive prices, and deep coverage.
Bangkok travel guide – Bangkok Gear and Packing Guide
What is the best backpack to travel around Bangkok? It is highly recommended the REI Flash 45 package. It is lightweight and comfortable, front-loading, and fits perfectly in the top compartment of an airplane.
Straps: Thick and padded with compression technology that pulls the pack load up and in so it doesn’t feel so heavy.
Features: removable top cap, large front pocket, hydration compatible, contoured hip belt
Bangkok travel guide – What to pack for Bangkok?
Travel List for men
- 1 pair of jeans (heavy and don’t dry easily, but I like them; khaki pants are a good alternative)
- 1 pair of shorts
- 1 swimsuit
- 5 t-shirts
- 1 long-sleeved shirt
- 1 pair of flip flops
- 1 pair of slippers
- 6 pairs of socks (I always end up losing half)
- 5 pairs of boxers (I’m not a boxer boy!)
- 1 toothbrush
- 1 tube of toothpaste
- 1 razor
- 1 package of dental floss
- 1 small bottle of shampoo
- 1 small bottle of shower gel
- 1 towel
- Small medical kit (safety is important !!!)
- Hydrocortisone cream
- Antibacterial cream
- Ear plugs
- Hand sanitizer (germs = sick = bad vacation)
- A combination key or lock (security first)
- Zippered bags (prevents things from dripping or exploding)
- Plastic bags (ideal for washing clothes)
- Universal charger / adapter (this applies to all)
- LifeStraw (a bottle of water with a purifier)
Travel List for Women
- 1 swimsuit
- 1 pareo
- 1 pair of stretch jeans (easily wash and dry)
- 1 pair of leggings (if it’s cold, they can go under your jeans, otherwise with a dress or shirt)
- 2-3 long sleeve tops
- 2-3 t-shirts
- 3-4 spaghetti tops
- 1 light cardigan
- 1 spray of dry shampoo and talcum powder (keeps hair long without grease between washes)
- 1 hair brush
- Makeup you wear
- Hair bands and hair clips
- Feminine hygiene products (you can also choose to buy there, but I prefer not to have it, and most people have their favorite products)
Bangkok Travel Guide – Suggested Reading
The Beach, by Alex Garland
This story about backpackers and their search for an “authentic” paradise out of the ordinary is something that many of us can identify with. Following Richard and his quest to “do something different” in Thailand, he strays off the beaten path in hopes of an authentic experience but discovers that things are not always what they seem. The book is partly an adventure and an exploration of why travelers always seek utopias and the consequences of that search. It was made into a movie with Leonardo DiCaprio in the 90s. However, the book is very different (and much better).
Sightseeing, by Rattawut Lapcharoensap
This collection of master stories from award-winning author Rattawut Lapcharoensap is a must if you visit Thailand. Each story has a different theme, whether it’s a story of family ties, young romance, generational conflict, or the cultural changes that occur in modern Thailand. It will hook you from the first story about a beachside motel owner who falls in love with a young American tourist.
Anna and the King of Siam, by Margaret Landon
Anna Leonowens was a young English woman who inevitably changed the course of Thai history. She was hired in the 1860s by King Mongkut of Siam to help him communicate with foreign governments and also to be the guardian of his children (and his favorite concubines). This book is about Leonowens’ experiences, including mentoring the young Prince Chulalongkorn, who was so impressed by Western ideals that he became one of the most progressive kings in the country. This book is beautifully written and gives an idea of intact Thailand.
Mad about the Mekong, by John Keay
The author’s story traces the journey of Francis Garnier, a historic 19th-century French explorer who sailed down the Mekong River in search of the “back door” to China. Keay describes the modern world of the Mekong River from Vietnam to Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Burma, while recreating Garnier’s failed voyage that included two ships with naturalists, soldiers, artists, and geologists. It is a fascinating read.
The Orchids House, by Lucinda Riley
Julia Forrester, a concert pianist, spent much of her childhood in her grandfather’s greenhouse on the Wharton Estate in England, where she cared for exotic orchids. After losing her son and husband, Julia returns to the greenhouse where she meets Kit Crawford, heir to the estate. When they discover an old diary, Julia sets out to find her grandmother and uncover the truth about the love story that nearly destroyed the property. This book jumps back and forth between the world of Wharton Park and Thailand during World War II, with lots of twists and turns for you to keep reading!
Bangkok 8, by John Burdett
Bangkok 8 is an exciting detective novel based on the murder of a mild marine infantry sergeant under a bridge in Bangkok. There are only two witnesses: two policemen, and in a matter of minutes, one of them is assassinated. His partner, Sonchai Jitpleecheep, embarks on a mission to find the killer. Sonchai is paired with a beautiful FBI agent (who inevitably wins her heart) and soon launches himself into a sinister world of drugs, prostitution, and corruption. This will keep you on the edge of your seat.
Private Dancer by Stephen Leather
Here’s a little insight into Bangkok’s wild go-go scene. Peter walks into a go-go bar and meets the love of his life: Joy, an incredibly beautiful (and young) pole dancer. But Pete soon launches himself into a life of drugs, sex, and deception when he discovers that his private dancer is not who he says he is. This book is a # 1 bestseller in Thailand!
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