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Bangkok with its cultural phenomenon, shopping heaven and tourist treasure is one of the most cosmopolitan, contrasting and, above all, compelling of Asian cities . A steamy, pulsating, yet smiling metropolis of more than ten million – intense at first, but addictive as anything. Come find your niche among dazzling temples, hotels of every breed and size, eclectic markets, gleaming palaces, ritzy shopping malls, a famous nightlife and the many things in between.
Enjoy a memorable dinner cruise adrift the Chao Phraya River. Bask in the city’s warm, affluent glow at a skyscraping rooftop bar. Experience all the things – tuk-tuk ride, ladyboy show, Muay Thai (kickboxing) match, Thai massage – everyone always comes home talking about.
Area of City
* City of Bangkok: 626 sq mi/1,622 sq km. Bangkok is the largest city in the country and more than 10 times larger than the second-largest city, Nakon Ratchasima.
Bangkok is its own province. There are 38 districts in Bangkok Province.
Food is very much a part of your Bangkok experience, and luckily you don't have to walk very far to find something to eat. Shop-house restaurants and food carts can be found on almost every street corner, at pavement eateries with fold-up tables and chairs, and in the smallest of sois (lanes). In fact, the smell of food is omnipresent in this sprawling metropolis.
There’s a lot more to it than Phad Thai or red, yellow and green curries. For starter, the variety is vast – be prepared to see some strange-looking dishes. Absolutely nothing goes to waste, pork innards, chicken feet, even creepy looking insects included. All in all, Thai food is not just a culinary feast, but an unrivaled adventure.
Shopping in Bangkok is an experience to thrill and delight the most discerning of shoppers - whatever it is you're looking for. From the gleaming chrome and towering size of modern, air-conditioned malls, to the hustle and bustle of its famously buzzing street markets, Bangkok has all kinds of places to blow your baht. With everything from antiquities and the latest pair of trainers to designer jewellery available, Bangkok has an equally exhaustive, and potentially exhausting, variety of things to buy.
Hot climate with little variation in temperature. High temperatures combine with humidity May-October. Heaviest rain in September and October. Average temperature
Jan 68-89 Fahrenheit/20-32 Celsius; Feb 72-91 F/22-33 C; Mar 75-93 F/24-34 C; Apr 77-95 F/25-35 C; May 77-93 F/25-34 C; Jun 76-91 F/24-33 C; Jul 76-90 F/24-32 C; Aug 76-90 F/24-32 C; Sep 76-89 F/24-32 C; Oct 75-88 F/24-31 C; Nov 72-87 F/22-31 C; Dec 68-87 F/20-31 C.
What to wear
Light, loose cotton clothing is best. Nylon should be avoided. Sweaters are needed during cool season evenings or if visiting mountainous areas or national parks. Jackets and ties are required in a very few restaurants and night clubs. Neat clothes are required for entering temples or palaces
Monday-Friday 9:30 am-3:30 pm. Banks do not close for lunch.
- The baht used to be a very stable currency. From 1987-1997 it was pegged to a U.S. dollar-weighted basket of currencies, hovering around 25 baht to the US dollar. No longer. If Thailand continues to follow the regime prescribed by the International Monetary Fund, analysts forecast that by the end of 1998 the baht will settle somewhere between 38 and 42 baht to the dollar. Tourists need to check the rate daily and change money when their currency is on the upswing. Keep receipts of all exchanges.
- Banks and currency exchanges can be found in all major tourist areas, as can automated teller machines (ATMs). Most ATMs accept such international connecting systems as Cirrus, Plus and NYCE. Rather than carry large amounts of cash or traveler's checks, you may withdraw between 20,000 baht and 40,000 baht per day using these cards.
- Note: While ATMs at some of the major banks have 24-hour service, many shut down after 9 or 10 pm.
- American Express offers a full range of services. Monday-Friday 8:30 am-5:30 pm. For stolen or lost cards, call 273-0044, 24 hours a day. You can report thefts, renew a card, replace damaged checks and get travel advice. You cannot, however, secure traveler's checks or cash them. Offices are in the north part of town, past the Victory Monument, 399 Phaholyothin Rd., phone (24 hours) 273-0033, 236-0376 or 235-0990.
- All banks and currency exchange booths will issue cash advances on your Visa or MasterCard. (Given the prevalence and variety of credit card fraud, it's probably a safer bet to interact with a person than with an ATM.) If carbon paper is used in the transaction, be sure to take the paper with you. Most kiosks are open 9:30 am-7 or 8 pm, and are closed on many holidays. (However, the booths on Kaosan Road -- the Banglampoo area -- are open until 9 pm and also on holidays.) Hotels will change money around the clock, but the rates won't be as advantageous.