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Bangkok

Flights to Bangkok

Sophisticated yet street, and busy yet beautiful: welcome to Bangkok, the beating heart of Thailand.

Over 22% of Thailand’s population live in Bangkok and the outer suburbs, making it the most densely populated area in the country. The Asian investment boom in the 60s and 90s led many major companies to base their head quarters here, so now you can find skyscrapers next to the Grand Palace and Buddhist temples around the city. Since then, it’s become a multi cultural hub for both residents and tourists.

You’re probably going to be pretty blown away when you first arrive, so we’d recommend checking out some of the famous Thai hospitality in one of their spas – the city is home to the Wat Pho Thai Traditional Medical & Massage School, so you know you’re in good hands. Literally.

After that you need to get cracking on sampling as much of their street food as you possibly can during your trip, and the stalls on the Khao San road are a great start for any traveller. For brekkie, you can stay safe with some coffee and doughnuts, or get out there and try their savoury pork porridge, Joke. You could probably eat pad thai every day here but tom yam goong and kuay tiew are also popular dishes. Prepare for hot, spicy, sweet and sour flavours all at once.

During the day, there are heaps of things you can do. Continue the culinary theme with a cooking class, or branch out and see some proper Thai boxing. MBK is the major shopping centre in Bangkok, but the proper bargains are to be found hidden in the markets and bazaars in the city. Thanon Sukhumvit and Chatuchak literally sell everything under the sun, including those tailored trousers everyone seems to bring back from Thailand.

If you fancy a bit of R&R after the market hustle, the temples can be a serene escape – depending on the amount of tourists present. The Golden Mount, War Arun and Wat Pho are popular options, but you could also get some meditation in at Wat Mahathat. Alternatively, you could relax with a Chang beer before hitting up a few of Bangkok’s best bars – not everyone emerges the next day with facial tattoos and broken teeth!

What you need to know

There are no direct flights to Bangkok from Ireland. Routes tend to go via London Heathrow, Amsterdam, or Paris Charles de Gaulle. Etihad fly from Dublin, stopping over in Abu Dhabi, and land in Bangkok.

There are 2 international airports in Bangkok. Don Muang is the Old Bangkok International Airport, the New Bangkok International Airport is named Suvarnabhumi.

There’s a 24 hour bus service to the city centre from Suvarnabhumi, taking approximately 30 minutes per journey. The trains from Don Muang aren’t the most reliable, however you’re able to get a taxi or bus for cheap as chips into the city centre – or to the nearest metro station, Mo Chit. From here, you can catch the metro into town.

Best time to visit

Thailand is a hot and humid country, but the least humid months are November to January. From March til May, it’s unbearably hot, and from May onwards it’s monsoon season. However, even if it is scorching hot, the Songkran Festival is a spectacle in Bangkok, as is Chinese New Year.  

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Images by Flickr/emilio labrador

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