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Bangkok is Thailand’s capital as well as largest city. Located in the west bank of Chao Praya River, Bangkok is bordered by six provinces; Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Chachoengsao, Samut Prakan, Samut Sakhon and Nakhon Pathom.
Due to its local product’s successful marketing all over the world, Bangkok has been listed as one of the cities with the fastest economic growth in Southeast Asia. Bangkok is also recognized as a city that has been building a great number of skyscrapers in a short period. Therefore, Bangkok is often compared with Singapore and Hong Kong.
As a tourist charmer, Bangkok offers various types of attractions, ranging from cultural, culinary, to nightlife. Madame Tussauds Museum in Siam Discovery World is one of the most popular attractions in Bangkok.
The name ‘Bangkok’ comes from Bang Makok. Bang means town or village on the riverbank, while Makok refers to olive. The word ‘Bangkok’ is also derived from Bang Koh which means the city surrounded by rivers and canals.
Between 1351 – 1767, Bangkok was known as a port and trade center controlled by The King of Ayutthaya. After the King’s fall, Bangkok was being controlled by King Taksin, then King Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke. In that time, Bangkok was known as Krung Thep Maha Nakhon, an abbreviation from:
"Krung-dēvamahānagara amararatanakosindra mahindrayudhyā mahātilakabhava navaratanarājadhānī purīrāmasya utamarājanivēsana mahāsthāna amaravimāna avatārasthitya shakrasdattiya vishnukarmaprasiddhi."
The name was recorded in the Guinness Book of Records as the longest town name in the world. The name’s meaning consists of two ancient Indian languages, Pali and Sanskrit, which means the city of angels, the great city, and the city of eternal diamonds.
There are several ways to go to Bangkok:
Flight to Bangkok will arrive at Suvarnabhumi International Airport (BKK) or Don Mueang International Airport (DMK). Suvarnabhumi International Airport is located 25 km from Bangkok’s downtown. Don Mueang International Airport is located 30 km from Bangkok’s downtown.
Flight duration from Jakarta to Bangkok is around 3 hours, 30 minutes.
Transportation to and from Suvarnabhumi International Airport
There are several transportations you can take to/from Suvarnabhumi International Airport:
Bangkok Airport Rail Link
Bangkok Airport Rail Link is an exclusive train taking passengers from the airport to Bangkok’s downtown and vice versa.
Fares start from THB 15 to THB 45.
Taxi can be found easily at the airport.
Fares start from THB 35.
You can go to Bangkok by several transportations:
From Malaysia, overland trip to Bangkok can start from Puduraya Bus Station in Kuala Lumpur. There are several buses to Hat Yai, a border between Malaysia and Southern Thailand. After arriving at Hat Yai Bus Station, choose a bus to Bangkok.
It takes a 10 hour bus ride from Kuala Lumpur to Hat Yai.
Fares start from THB 40 to THB 50.
It takes a 12 hour bus ride from Hat Yai to Bangkok.
Fares start from THB 700 to THB 1100.
If plane or bus is out of your choice, you can take a train from Kuala Lumpur. There is a train from KL Sentral Bus Station to Hua Lamphong Station Bangkok, with one stop in Hat Yai.
A train ride costs around THB 340
Departure hours: 21:00
The journey takes around 24 hours.
It takes around 12 hours from Phuket to Bangkok.
(Prices may change at any time)
Visitors who come to Thailand for business, investment, treatment, study or work must apply for visa through Royal Thai Embassy or Royal Thai Consulate-General.
Thailand has a visa-free policy for 52 countries, Indonesia including, with maximum 30 days if you come through the international airport and maximum 15 days if you come through land border. The visa-free policy is only approved for a short trip.
A complete list of visa-free countries can be found on www.thaiembassy.com.
Thailand also has a Visa on Arrival policy for 19 countries with the following requirements:
The visit is only for tourism purposes.
Visitor must possess a return ticket within 15 or maximum 30 days after arrival.
Visitor must prove that he/she has minimum THB 10,000 funds per person or THB 20,000 per family.
Visa on Arrival costs THB 1,000 per person.
There are several public transportations in Bangkok:
BTS (Bangkok Mass Transit System) is an elevated rapid train system operated in Bangkok. It has 3 different code lines: N (North), E (East) and S (South) followed by number N1, E1, S1, etc.
BTS Skytrain’s ticket can be purchased at any station. Purchasing is only available with coins. If you have no coins, you can exchange your money at the ticket counter.
Single Journey Token (one-way): start from THB 15 to THB 55
Operating hours: 06:00 – 00:00
MRT (Metropolitan Rapid Transit) is an underground rapid transit system in Bangkok. It passes through several stations connected with BTS Skytrain lines such as Asok Station. MRT card cannot be used for BTS Skytrain route.
Single Journey Token (one-way): start from THB 16 to THB 42
Operating hours: 06:00 to 00:00
Taxi can be found easily anywhere in Bangkok. A taxi fare normally starts from THB 35.
Tuk-tuk is a unique and famous three-wheeled public transportation in Thailand. It is almost similar to bajaj in Jakarta.
Fares start from THB 30.
In Bangkok, city bus is as cheap as tuk-tuk and you can find it easily all over the town. Generally, it has no air conditioning.
Fares start from THB 8 to THB 20.
Similar to Jakarta, people in Bangkok also use motorcycle taxi as their daily transportation.
Fares start form THB 20.
Chao Phraya Express Boat
Fares start from THB 10 to THB 30.
(Prices may change at any time)
These are several tourist attractions in Bangkok:
Dare to fight with Jackie Chan or free styling next to Albert Einstein? Madame Tussauds Museum in Bangkok will give you the opportunity. The museum displays wax statues of famous celebrities, musicians and politicians some of which are Brad Pitt, Justin Bieber and Barrack Obama.
Madame Tussauds Museum is located on Siam Discovery Mall, 6th floor, Bangkok.
Online Advance Ticket (saving 20%, available at www.madametussauds.com)
Early Bird Ticket (saving 50%, available at www.madametussauds.com)
Opening hours: 10:00 – 21:00
Similar to Tanah Abang in Jakarta, Chatuchak is one of the largest traditional markets in Southeast Asia. It is known as “one stop market” with 8,000 outlets offering more than hundred thousands of cheap goods. Around 200,000 tourist visit Chatuchak every weekend.
Chatuchak Market is only open on Saturdays and Sundays.
Address: Soi 1, 2, 3 Chatuchak
Opening hours: 09:00 – 00:00
Grand Palace is known as one of the largest and the most graceful place in Thailand. It was built in 1782 and used as the King’s palace, the court noble and the government administration.
Inside this magnificent place, there is a temple called Wat Phra Kaew. The temple was built in the 14th century and known as the most sacred temple in Thailand.
You can see the most sacred Buddha statue in Thailand, inside Wat Phra Kaew. Only The King of Thailand is allowed to touch and change the Buddha’s clothes. Each year, there is a ceremony to change Buddha’s clothes and bring luck to Thai people.
Entrance fee: THB 200
Opening hours: 08:30 – 15:30
Address: Na Phra Lan Road, Old City (Rattanakosin)
Wat Arun is the best place to see the beautiful sunrise or sunset in Thailand. From the top of Wat Arun, you can see the intriguing view of Grand Palace, Chao Phraya River and Wat Pho’s landscape.
Wat Chaeng, that means the temple of dawn, is another name for Wat Arun. The name was created by King Taksin in 1768 when he vowed to restore Wat Arun before dawn.
Wat Arun is located in the west bank of Chao Phraya River. The temple is acknowledged as the most beautiful temple in Thailand.
Entrance fee: THB 100
Opening hours: 8:30 – 17:30
Beside its religious values, Wat Pho is also known as the best place to get traditional Thai massage and medicine. Wat Pho is also called the Temple of the Emerald Buddha.
The temple has a 46 meter length gigantic golden Buddha statue. You can hire a guide if you want to know more about the history of it.
Wat Pho is located behind Wat Phra Kaew, about 10 minutes walking from Grand Palace. Compared to other temples in Bangkok, Wat Pho has the most extensive area.
Entrance fee: THB 100
Guide fee: start from THB 200
Opening hours: 08:00 – 17:00
Massage treatment is closed at 18:00.
(Price may change at any time)
The following tips can help your tour in Bangkok:
Make sure to dress properly when you visit temples in Bangkok. For men, wear shirt, long pants and shoes. For women, dress politely.
Because there is a plenty of non-halal foods and drinks in Bangkok, please look for the information before you go to Bangkok.
If you’re a backpacker, budget accommodations can be found on Khao San Road.
If you cannot speak Thai, make sure to bring Thai dictionary when you travel in Bangkok, especially when you go shopping or use public transportation.