Bangkok’s historical legacies A highlight of any Bangkok city break is the historical Ratanakosin district, west of the centre. The sprawling riverside Grand Palace houses many of Bangkok’s 400 Buddhist temples including the ornate Wat Phra Kaeo, home of the revered Emerald Buddha. See the 46m-long, 15m-high Reclining Buddha at nearby Wat Pho and visit the National Museum for a Thai history tour through artefacts and artworks.
Capital shopping Ever-expanding malls like the famous MBK have transformed Bangkok into a shopping Mecca. West of busy Sukhumvit road is CentralWorld, one of South-east Asia’s largest malls. By night, the nearby covered Suan Lum Night Bazaar by Lumphini Park is the perfect spot to pick up Thai cushions, bags and jewellery. At weekends, barter your way around Chatuchak Market’s 15,000 stalls, selling everything from fashion to furnishings.
Bangkok nights Clubs and bars abound along Sukhumvit road, its most famous haunt the trendy Bed Supper Club with its four-course weekend dinner. The Oriental hotel’s riverside Bamboo Bar is renowned for live jazz in a jungle-themed setting, while Patpong’s night market, near Lumphini Park, hides a hive of Bangkok’s infamous go-go bars. You’ll be more than ready to collapse into your Bangkok hotel bed.
Local dining Bangkok is a 24-hour city. Night markets, street vendors and classy restaurants serve tantalising fare like spicy tom yum gai soup and bowls of green, red and yellow curry. Dinner cruises along Bangkok’s Chao Phraya River and Chinatown’s noodle shops are a must-try, as is Thai fusion cuisine in Lemongrass on Sukhumvit road. Make the most of exotic fruits from mangos to passion fruit.