A huge and modern city located in the southernmost part of central Thailand, Bangkok is a hotspot for travellers from all walks of life who are looking to get to grips with the diversity and naughtiness of this controversial destination.
Known for its high-rise buildings, heavy traffic congestion and intense heat, the urban metropolis welcomes millions of visitors from around the world every year – all of whom are hoping to take something different from the Thai capital.
Finding cheap flights to Bangkok from the UK gives tourists the chance to set their sights on this incredible location, but fitting in everything that you want to experience in just a few days is near-impossible.
Read on for five of the must-do opportunities that will ensure you familiarise yourself with Bangkok at its most authentic.
Visit the Buddhist temples
A visit to Bangkok would not be complete without immersing yourself in the beauty of the Buddhist temples. Known in Thailand as wats, the structures typically feature crown-like windows, ornate gables and roofs constructed from green and orange tiles.
Among the best to marvel at include the Wat Arun, which is situated on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River. Known as the Temple of Dawn, this marvellous attraction is a photographer’s dream, with the best views captured from the other side of the river at sundown.
Sample the local cuisine
If you are looking to get to know a different side of Bangkok’s cuisine, why not stray away from the tourist hotspots and look a little further afield? In the city’s various authentic restaurants, visitors will get a real feel of the fusion between Indian and Asian cooking that makes Thai food so delicious.
As with many other Asian food styles, detail and variety are of great importance to Thai cooks – with sour, salty, bitter and sweet flavours usually the most important elements in any meal.
Going one step further and sampling dishes from the street and local markets will leave you wanting more, as the mouth-watering flavours encourage visitors to try their own hand at Thai cooking long after they return home.
Head to the market
Bangkok’s various markets give tourists the perfect place to explore, browsing through stalls that sell a range of items from food to souvenirs. A truly unique experience is offered through the hustle and bustle of thousands of stalls.
Among the most popular is the Chatuchak Weekend Market, which is the largest of its kind in Thailand and the largest of its kind in the world. Affectionately referred to as JJ, it covers 35 acres of land and contains a massive 15,000 stalls.
On average, the unique retail experience attracts 200,000 visitors every day, offering a wide variety of products including collectibles, religious artefacts and even live animals.
Feel the music
Visiting Bangkok will likely give you the chance to hear the unusual rhythms of a Phiphat Wong – or a Thai classical orchestra. Although traditionally associated with the country, this genre is often difficult to find, except at tourist dances. Elsewhere, you can sample morlam – upbeat folk music from the north-east – or heavy metal at some of Bangkok’s very own rock clubs.
Sample some Thai dancing
Dance is considered the main dramatic art form of Thailand and is usually split into one of two categories – classical or folk.
Whichever you prefer, tourists are urged to seek out a performance of this nature while travelling to Bangkok in order to get to know a different side to this ancient culture.
No matter what you’re looking for, we’re certain you’ll find it in Bangkok!
For more information on travelling to Thailand, check out our Guide To Backpacking Thailand.