Bangkok, Thailand
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Bangkok Introduction

Bangkok is the proverbial melting pot, a city where western culture is fully embraced but doesn't erase the distinctive elements of Thai culture. The contrast and the chaos can be exciting to witness. You'll see a skyline filled with ancient temples sharing space with glittering skyscrapers. Street hawkers selling authentic, mouthwatering Thai food compete with globalized restaurant chains. You can blow cash on high-end goods at air-conditioned shopping malls and haggle for treasures at maze-like night markets within the same day.

Hotels in Bangkok

As one of the most visited cities in the world, Bangkok has hotels aplenty. Whether you're traveling solo or with family, in style or on a tight budget, you'll easily find accommodations to suit your needs. There are many luxury hotels in Bangkok that offer every amenity you can imagine, from high-thread-count sheets to gourmet food to personal butlers. There are just as many backpacker hostels offering only the most basic amenities, such as bed space in a dorm and a shared bathroom. Bangkok also has a healthy share of discount hotels, where you can have a comfortable stay for a reasonable price.

Where to stay

If you're traveling to Bangkok with family in tow, including small children, one of the best places you can stay in is Siam. Siam is the heart of Bangkok and where you'll find many of its popular shopping malls. Here you'll find plenty of dining choices as well as entertainment options that will keep the kids occupied. If you're in Bangkok for a mix of business and pleasure, Silom is a great option for lodging. Silom is an important financial district as well as the home of Bangkok's famous nightlife. If you're in Bangkok with a special someone, Riverside will provide you the romantic atmosphere you need.

Things to see

Any trip to Bangkok won't be complete without a visit to the Grand Palace. The Grand Palace is the home of the King of Thailand, a complex full of ornate, European-inspired buildings and gardens. Within this palace complex is Wat Phra Kaew, considered to be the most important Buddhist temple in Thailand and where the Emerald Buddha resides. For a taste of Bangkok's heady local color, go to the Damnoen Saduak floating market. There you'll find authentic Thai food and other goodies sold from boats. The Chatuchak weekend market is another must-see shopping destination. Its 8,000 stalls have almost everything, and you can haggle there to your heart's content. The Jim Thompson House and Museum is a tribute to the man who helped revive the dying art of Thai silk production. The house, maintained in its original form, contains Jim Thompson's collection of priceless Thai art and antiques.

How to get to Bangkok

Don Mueang and Suvarnabhumi handle all domestic and international flights in Bangkok. The older and smaller Don Mueang serves low-cost regional carriers, while Suvarnabhumi caters mostly to full-service airlines. You can get into Bangkok from Vientiane in Laos, Penang in Malaysia, and Singapore using the railway network maintained by the State Railway of Thailand. Long-distance buses also ply routes to Bangkok from bordering countries. Within Bangkok, you can get around using the BTS Skytrain, the Airport Rail Link, and the MRT. Buses, water buses, and motorized carriages called tuktuk also serve Bangkok commuters daily.

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