Bangkok on your RTW


It’s the gateway to Thailand: There are ways of going to Thailand without going to Bangkok, but chances are that if you’re planning to spend a bit of time in the country, you’re going to have a day or two in Bangkok. So you may as well embrace it rather than fight it. And, whatever you think about Bangkok, Thailand is a fabulous country to travel around.

It’s wonderfully affordable: Compared to other major Asian hub cities – such as Singapore, Tokyo, Beijing, Dubai and Kuala Lumpur – Bangkok is really cheap on the ground. In the other cities, you find yourself watching the wallet. Not in Bangkok – food and drink is marvellously cheap, especially if you avoid flashy air-conditioned strictly-aimed-at-tourists restaurants.

That applies to hotels too: If you want to pick a city to splurge on a good hotel in, Bangkok is probably it. The Thai capital has arguably the best quality to price ratio in the world when it comes to hotels – and even flashy five star joints can be relatively affordable. The good news for the traveller is that there’s an oversupply of accommodation in Bangkok – and that means prices are driven down.

It’s a place that really grows on you: The secret to Bangkok is to stop trying to make it something it isn’t. It’s not the best place in the world for tourist attractions – once you’ve seen the temples and got on a boat, there’s really not all that much to grab your attention. Stop trying to charge around all the tourist attractions, however, and it’s far more enjoyable. Sleep in, stay out late, hit a few bars and generally be a bit lazy – Bangkok’s far more likeable that way. It’s a city that’s at its best when the sun has gone down – and once this is embraced, you warm to Bangkok frighteningly quickly.

It’s people-watching Nirvana: So much of what Bangkok is about happens out in the open. It’s about little street stalls selling food, markets flogging such obviously fake goods that they’re funny, and seedy bald men parading around with recently purchased Thai girlfriends. Bangkok is somewhere you can spend hours sat back bitching about the people that go past – whether the numpty with dreadlocks and a guitar, the hormone-ravaged horny backpackers or the local man trying to sell dodgy watches. It is, as a result, somewhere that is almost always engrossingly fascinating.


You can get Bangkok included as a stopover on your RTW here