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BANGKOK GUIDE

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									                                                                                  BANGKOK GUIDE
                                                                                  YOUR FREE BANGKOK GUIDE
                                                                                  FROM THE ASIA TRAVEL SPECIALISTS                      www.asiawebdirect.com



                                                                                   Cultural phenomenon, shopping haven and tourist treasure. Welcome to
                                                                                   Bangkok; one of the most cosmopolitan, contrasting and, above all,
                                                                                   compelling of Asian cities. A steamy, pulsating, yet smiling metropolis of
                                                                                   more than ten million souls – intense at first, but addictive as anything.

                                                                                   Come find your niche among dazzling temples, hotels of every type and
                                                                                   size, eclectic markets, gleaming palaces, ritzy shopping malls, a famous
                                                                                   nightlife and the many things in between. Enjoy a memorable dinner
                                                                                   cruise along the Chao Phraya River. Bask in the city’s warm, affluent glow
                                                                                   at a skyscraping rooftop bar. Experience all the things – a tuk-tuk ride, a
                                                                                   ladyboy show, Muay Thai (kickboxing) match, Thai massage – everyone
                                                                                   always comes home talking about.

WEATHER

 Bangkok has a tropical monsoon climate and holds claim to being the
 hottest city in the world. Sitting close to the equator, it is both hot and
                                                                                  SIM CARDS AND DIALING PREFIXES
 humid in equal measure, is unrelenting simply because it doesn't cool
 significantly at night.                                                            Pre-paid SIM cards are available for purchase at most convenience
                                                                                    stores (you will find 7-Elevens everywhere) as well as the service
 The period between April and May is the steamiest (avg. 25-35° C).
                                                                                    operators’ shops – DTAC, AIS and TRUE – located inside shopping
 The Southwest monsoons arrive between May and October, and with it
                                                                                    malls. To make a call to a landline within Bangkok, dial 02 then the
 pouring rain and thunderstorms – for many, though, this is a welcome
                                                                                    seven-digit number. Making a call outside Bangkok requires a three-digit
 respite.                                                                           area code, starting with 0, the area code, then the six-digit number. Calls
                                                                                    between mobile phones require the three-digit prefix (08x), followed by
                                             http://www.bangkok.com/weather.htm
                                                                                    the seven-digit subscriber number.


  CURRENCY
   Thai baht (THB). US$1 = approximately THB 30.00
   You’ll find the current conversion rate at the top of the
   Bangkok.com web site.                                                          GETTING AROUND

  TIME ZONE                                                                         Bangkok’s traffic is notorious, particularly during the rush hours when
                                                                                    road transport should be avoided at all costs. Better alternatives are the
   GMT+7 (the same as Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam).                                  Skytrain (BTS) and Underground (MRT) rail systems (06:30-midnight),
                                                                                    together connecting the main shopping, entertainment and business
                                                                                    areas of the city. Consider buying a one-day BTS pass, which may help
                                                                                    save you a few baht, or a store-value Smart Card, for the sake of
  ELECTRICITY                                                                       convenience.

   Voltage is 220 Volts with either two flat blades (NEMA 1-15                      Taxis are ubiquitous, while tuk-tuks – once an icon of Bangkok – are fast
   or JIS C 8303) or round two pin plugs (Europlug CEE 7/16).                       disappearing from the streets; simply hail one from anywhere along the
                                                                                    pavement, but be careful not to block the on-coming traffic. For
                                                                                    sightseeing along the riverside, the river ferries and express boats
                                                                                    (06:00-20:00) come in handy. Start your journey at the Sathorn Pier
IMPORTANT PHONE NUMBERS                                                             (BTS Saphan Taksin), then hop on and off at whichever point you like.

- Police                              191                                                                        http://www.bangkok.com/information-travel-around/

- Tourist Police                      1155

- Ambulance                           1554

- Fire                                199
                                                                                  AIRPORT TRANSFERS
- Samitivej Hospital                  02 711 8000
                                                                                    All road transport to downtown Bangkok is located on the 1st Floor. The
- Bumrungrad International Hospital   02 667 1000                                   Airport Link (06:00 - midnight) is the fastest mode (Express Line takes
- Medical Emergency                   1669                                          only 15mins), while taxis require an additional 50 baht on top of the
                                                                                    meter fee and expressway tolls. Running a fixed route to four downtown
- Operator-assisted overseas calls    100                                           areas, namely Silom, Sukhumvit, Khao San or Hualamphong (Central
- Directory Assistance                1133, 13                                      Train Station), the Airport Express Bus (05:00-midnight) is the cheapest
                                                                                    way to go.
- Airport Flight Schedules            1566
                                                                                    If cost is not your main concern, then why not save the trouble and use
- Traffic Hotline                     1197
                                                                                    the airport limousine service (24 hours)? You can book one in advance
- Immigration                         1111                                          through the Bangkok.com website or, upon arrival, locate the nearest
                                                                                    service counter in the arrival hall (2nd Floor).

                                                                                                                              http://www.bangkok.com/airports.htm
               BANGKOK GUIDE
               YOUR FREE BANGKOK GUIDE
                                                                                                                                            www.asiawebdirect.com
               FROM THE ASIA TRAVEL SPECIALISTS
                                                                                                                       Book online or call us at +66 (0)2 651 9515



BANGKOK AREA GUIDES

Covering an area of 1,500 sqkm, the greater Bangkok Metropolis fits into the ‘big city’ league with ease. Add to that an estimated ten million inhabitants, more
than 30,000 taxis and an ever-increasing number of tourists, and you’ll soon realise that getting to grips with such a vast concrete jungle is no easy feat,
especially if you’re a first-time visitor. This is where our Area Guides come in pretty handy…


 1.Sukhumvit
     The longest road in Thailand, both it and its many adjoining 'sois' (sub-streets) are poor on traditional tourist
     attractions but rich in of-the-minute shopping, eating and nightlife. While there are touches of 'Thai-ness' on
     every corner, the many fashionable restaurants, bars, air-conditioned malls, luxury hotels and hip clubs give
     the area a distinctly modern, cosmopolitan, aspirational flavour. Some of the city's most ‘sinful’ spots, red-
     light districts Nana Plaza (Soi 4) and Soi Cowboy (off Soi 23) are also found here. The elevated Skytrain
     (BTS) helps make exploring its daunting options incredibly easy.



 2.Siam
     Siam is unquestionably the centre of shopping in Bangkok, home to some of the city's most popular and
     important shopping centres like MBK Center, Siam Discovery Center, Siam Center, and Siam Paragon.
     Within Siam Square itself, there is a wide range of shops and services, including restaurants, cafés, designer
     clothing boutiques, record stores, cinemas, bookshops, a Hard Rock Cafe, hotels and banks. Shoppers vary,
     from young-aged school and college students to office workers, trend-setting city dwellers and, of course,
     throngs of tourists.



 3.Silom
     Who would have thought that an empty, swamp-like field with a tall 'silom' (windmill) stuck in the middle would
     somehow become Bangkok's equivalent to New York's Wall Street? Today, Silom (by day anyway) is
     undoubtedly one of the city's most important financial districts with many bank headquarters, financial
     institutions and office buildings. Fine hotels, smaller type malls and great restaurants abound in the area too
     – and then of course there's the infamous nightlife scene of Patpong.




 4.Riverside
     Bangkok's riverside is where its historic roots lie; the traditional heartland of this magical city with origins that
     read like an epic novel – complete with fallen and rising Kingdoms, heroes and traitors. One of the most
     fascinating and scenic areas of Bangkok, the riverside reflects a constantly changing scene day and night;
     water-taxis ferrying commuters and heavily laden rice barges chugging upstream, set against a backdrop of
     glittering temples and palaces, historical landmarks and luxury, five-star hotels. Despite some condominiums
     and corporate towers that have risen from the river banks over the past decade or so, the area has retained
     its unique identity, exclusiveness and seductive charm.


 5.Khao San and Old City
     The Old City (Rattanakosin) is where you'll find Bangkok's most spectacular and revered historical
     attractions, among them The Grand Palace, Wat Phra Kaew and Wat Pho. Not only part of the Kingdom's
     rich past, but intrinsic to it, a day or two spent exploring here will give you a deep insight into the heart, soul
     and psyche of the Thai people. Part of the Old City, Khao San’s 500-metre long strip – dubbed backpacker’s
     street – is jam-packed with budget guesthouses, internet cafés, swanky bars and clubs, restaurants,
     massage parlours, travel agents, bookshops, market stalls, tattoo shops and much, much more.


 6.Chinatown
     Packed with market stalls, street-side restaurants, shrines, Chinese medicine stores and probably the
     greatest concentration of gold shops in the city, Chinatown is an experience not to miss. After sunset, the
     entire strip becomes a food haven for new-generation gourmands who flock here to explore the vibrant
     street-side cuisine. The energy that oozes from its endless rows of wooden shop-houses is plain contagious
     – it will keep you wanting to come back for more. Plan your visit during major festivals, like Chinese New Year
     and the annual vegetarian festival in October, and you will see Bangkok Chinatown at its best.




                                                                                                             More at http://www.bangkok.com/bangkok-area-guide.htm
       BANGKOK GUIDE
       YOUR FREE BANGKOK GUIDE
                                                                                                                          www.asiawebdirect.com
       FROM THE ASIA TRAVEL SPECIALISTS
                                                                                                     Book online or call us at +66 (0)2 651 9515



BEST LUXURY HOTELS

                         1.The Peninsula Bangkok, Riverside
                           There are probably not enough walls in all of this uber-elegant hotel to hang the awards it has reeled in since
                           opening in 1998. At Bangkok’s postcard-pretty Riverside, The Peninsula proudly lives up to the reputation this global
                           luxury hospitality group has earned the world over. The indulging of guests starts from the moment they check in
                           and, frankly, never stops. A well-deserved place for a nothing less than sumptuous treat.
                           http://www.bangkok.com/peninsula/



                         2.Grand Hyatt Erawan, Chidlom-Ploenchit
                           This prestigious five-star hotel is as famous for its exemplary service and culinary offerings as its location right next to
                           the sacred Erawan Shrine and the BTS Skywalk. The hotel’s 380 rooms and suites boast an elegant, modern
                           ambience, complemented by sweeping views of the cityscape or landscaped pool from the panoramic windows.
                           Dining is a big highlight, with seven gourmet restaurants and bars topping the city’s dining hotspots chart. For
                           guests, the resort-style i.sawan residential spa and club is the best part of the Grand Hyatt Erawan experience.
                           http://www.bangkok.com/hyatterawan/


                         3.Sukhothai Hotel Bangkok, Sathorn
                           Renowned for exquisite taste and service that goes far beyond the call of duty, expect beautifully stylised interiors
                           with rare artifacts, reams of exotic silk covering windows, and lily ponds that have been featured as backdrops for
                           fashion shoots. And that’s just a small tease! Enter the guestrooms and you’ll be bowled over by the sheer elegance
                           of this good-taste experience.
                           http://www.bangkok.com/sukhothai/




BEST BOUTIQUE HOTELS

                         1.Hansar Bangkok Hotel, Siam
                           In the middle of a bustling city full of sights and sounds, a haven of elegance, sophistication and exceptional comfort
                           – welcome to Hansar Bangkok. Look up ivy-trimmed edges stretching upwards into the sky, the lights from Bangkok
                           city streets reflecting off flashes of glass and chrome. Unrivalled in architectural elegance and timeless style, Hansar
                           Bangkok is a monument of iconic design rising up through the Bangkok skyline, and your gateway to discovering
                           what this unforgettable city really has to offer.
                           http://www.bangkok.com/hansar-bangkok-hotel/


                         2.Davinci Suites, Sukhumvit
                           This boutique hotel houses just 15 rooms, each elegantly adorned with stylish interiors and equipped with modern
                           conveniences such as Wi-Fi and cable TV. The colonial-style building and its high ceilings are reminiscent of a
                           European hotel, with its distinct warmth and use of Da Vinci art on the walls enhancing the feeling of originality and
                           exclusivity to the property.
                           http://www.bangkok.com/davinci/



                         3.Mystic Place Rooms in Bangkok, Chatuchak
                           Embracing a quirky interior design concept, Mystic Place is a welcome surprise. Vivid colours, street art and free-form
                           furniture pieces all add up to spice up the interiors. Each guestroom is individually decked out in various imaginative
                           themes, including vintage country, boudoir chic, pop art, street graffiti, illusion and wacky art. Exuding an equally
                           artsy vibe, Mystic Café makes for an ideal lounging and dining space. The BTS Saphan Kwai is a short stroll from the
                           hotel, and Chatuchak Weekend Market just one Skytrain station away.
                           http://www.bangkok.com/mystic-place/


                                                                                                   More at http://www.bangkok.com/top10-hotels.htm
       BANGKOK GUIDE
       YOUR FREE BANGKOK GUIDE
                                                                                                                       www.asiawebdirect.com
       FROM THE ASIA TRAVEL SPECIALISTS
                                                                                                  Book online or call us at +66 (0)2 651 9515



BEST BUDGET HOTELS

                         1.Lub d Bangkok, Silom
                           Raw industrial chic – exposed steel and brushed concrete – fills this trendy hostel in Silom. The result is funky and
                           comfy: super clean dorms with big beds and private lockers, twin rooms with bunk beds, double rooms with en-suites.
                           Free public internet, a café and a cosy TV area heighten the appeal of this amiable alternative to the traditional
                           backpacker dive.
                           http://www.bangkok.com/lub-d-hotel/



                         2.Take A Nap Hotel, Silom
                           What happens when you combine 30 basic rooms, a location near Silom and eye-catching pop-art? ‘Take a Nap’,
                           Bangkok’s trailblazing boutique inn, is what happens. Each room and dorm sports a funky one-off wall design, styles
                           ranging from hyper-real evocations of the Grand Palace to kitsch depictions of fairytale forests. Flamboyant and
                           functional.
                           http://www.bangkok.com/take-a-nap/



                         3.Rambuttri Village Inn, Khao San
                           Ideally located a few minutes’ walk from the world-famous Khao San Road and Thailand’s leading historical sites,
                           places of tourism called ’Rattanakosin Island’. Rambuttri Village Inn offers its guests a superb location whether your
                           pleasure be shopping, entertaining, dining or simply exploring Bangkok. One of the latest and most beautiful
                           guesthouses in this area, Rambuttri Village Inn has an enviable modern Oriental-style architecture and landscaped
                           garden. Guests will enjoy staying in the resort-style guesthouse at budget prices.
                           http://www.bangkok.com/rambuttri-village-inn/



BEST SERVICED APARTMENTS

                         1.Chatrium Hotel Riverside Bangkok, Riverside
                           Towering above Bangkok's legendary Chao Phraya River, with sweeping cityscapes from its oversized windows, the
                           five-star Chatrium Suites Bangkok hotel features luxury accommodations designed expressly to meet needs of
                           discerning business and leisure travellers. Its riverside location was carefully chosen to afford ready access to road,
                           Skytrain and boat transport, assuring that all points of the city are within reach, from the major thoroughfares of
                           Silom, Sathorn and Rama III roads to expressway links that make Suvarnabhumi International Airport a mere 45-
                           minute drive away.
                           http://www.bangkok.com/chatrium-hotel-riverside/


                         2.Fraser Suites Sukhumvit, Sukhumvit
                           A landscaped garden in one of Bangkok's most vibrant areas provides a sense of privacy for the urban dweller.
                           Offering a stylish option for modern city living, the luxurious 163 serviced apartments, comprising studio to three-
                           bedroom feature contemporary living rooms, fully-equipped kitchens and expansive en-suite bedrooms. All
                           apartments are enhanced with tech-savvy services from high-speed broadband internet access, online concierge,
                           and MP3 connectivity to a high-end entertainment system for business or pleasure.
                           http://www.bangkok.com/fraser-sukhumvit/


                         3.Rongratana Executive Residence, Chidlom-Ploenchit
                           Set on tree-lined Soi Lang Suan, this 22-unit property exudes an air of European elegance with a contemporary twist.
                           The interiors feature subdued colour tones that feel sophisticated and warm. Rooms are spacious and fully furnished
                           with an equipped kitchen, floor-to-ceiling panoramic windows and plush fittings. Facilities include a rooftop pool,
                           Jacuzzi, coffee shop, and fitness centre. The BTS Chidlom and Ratchadamri are 5-10 minutes away on foot.
                           http://www.bangkok.com/rongratana-executive-residence/



                                                                                                More at http://www.bangkok.com/top10-hotels.htm
                BANGKOK GUIDE
                YOUR FREE BANGKOK GUIDE
                                                                                                                                        www.asiawebdirect.com
                FROM THE ASIA TRAVEL SPECIALISTS
                                                                                                                   Book online or call us at +66 (0)2 651 9515



WHAT TO SEE IN BANGKOK

Bangkok began as a small trading centre and port community on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River some 200 years
ago. Today, while the city is up to speed with modern times, the grandeur and glory of its illustrious past still prevails. Be it
dazzling temples, spectacular palaces, a world-famous floating market or colourful Chinatown, each of these famous places
has an intriguing story to tell.


 1. Grand Palace & Wat Phra Kaew, Old City
     A dazzling site from afar, the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew command respect from all who have walked in their
     sacred grounds. Built in 1782, the Grand Palace continues to have visitors in awe with its beautiful architecture and
     intricate detail. Wat Phra Kaew enshrines the highly revered Buddha image Phra Kaew Morakot (the Emerald Buddha),
     carved from a single block of jade, dating from the 15th century AD.
     Open: 08:30-15:30 Location: Between Wat Pho and the Royal Field How to get there: taxi

 2. Chinatown (Yaowarat)
     Chinatown is a colourful, exotic and pleasingly chaotic area, packed with market stalls and probably the highest
     concentration of gold shops in the city. During major festivities like Chinese New Year and the Vegetarian Festival, the
     dynamism and spirit of celebration spreads across town like wildfire, and if you happen to be around, don’t miss an
     opportunity to witness Bangkok Chinatown at its best.
     Location: Yaowarat Road MRT: Hua Lamphong How to get there: taxi or MRT then walk five mins.

 3. Floating Market, Damnoen Saduak
     The pioneer of all floating markets, Damnoen Saduak continues to offer an authentic experience despite its increasingly
     touristy atmosphere. Imagine hundreds of wooden row boats floating by, each laden to the brim with farm-fresh fruit,
     vegetables or flowers. Food vendors fill their vessels with cauldrons and charcoal grills, ready to whip up a bowl of ‘boat
     noodles’ or seafood skewers upon request.
     Location: Ratchaburi Province How to get there: best to book a tour, call +66 (0)2 651 9515

 4. Wat Arun (The Temple of Dawn), Riverside
     Constructed during the first half of the 19th century by King Rama II, in the ancient Khmer style, the stupa (or ‘Prang’ in
     Thai), showcasing ornate floral pattern decked out in glazed porcelain, is even more stunning up close. Apart from its
     beauty, Wat Arun symbolises the birth of the Rattanakosin Period and the founding of the new capital after Ayutthaya
     fell. Contrary to what its name suggests, the temple appears most beautiful at sunset.
     Open: 8:30-17:00 - Location: Thonburi - How to get there: river taxi to Tien Pier, then cross the river via ferry

 5. Wat Pho, Old City
     There’s more to Wat Pho than the gigantic reclining Buddha and traditional Thai massage. Once a centre for public
     education during the reign of King Rama III, Wat Pho harbours a fascinating collection of murals, inscriptions and
     sculptures that delve into various subjects, from warfare to literature, astronomy to archaeology. The vast temple
     complex contains a landscaped garden with stone sculptures, stupas adorned with glazed porcelain, a souvenir shop
     and the College of Traditional Medicine.
     Open: 8:00-18:00 - Location: Sanam Chai Rd. - How to get there: Taxi or river taxi to Tien Pier

 6. Chao Phraya River & Waterways, Riverside
     The areas from Wat Arun to Phra Sumeru Fortress are home to some of the oldest settlements in Bangkok, particularly
     Bangkok Noi, where you can still revel in the charming ambience of stilt houses and markets flanking the complex
     waterways. One of the most scenic areas, the riverside reflects a constantly changing scene day and night: water-taxis
     ferrying commuters and heavily laden rice barges chugging upstream, set against a backdrop of glittering temples,
     historical landmarks and luxury, five-star hotels.
     Open (river taxis): 06:00-20:00 - Location: start from Sathorn Pier (Central Pier) - Book tour: call +66 (0)2 651 9515

 7. Jim Thompson’s House, Siam
     Jim Thompson’s three decades of dedication to the revival of Thai silk, then a dying art, changed the the industry
     forever. After he mysteriously disappeared into the jungles of Malaysia, he left a legacy behind, which is reflected
     through his vast collections of Thai art and antiques now on display at the Jim Thompson’s House and Museum, itself a
     lovely complex of six Thai-style teakwood houses preserved to their original glory.
     Open: 09:00-18:00 - Location: Soi Kasemsan 2, Rama I Rd. - BTS: National Stadium

 8. Vimanmek Mansion, Old City
     Once the royal residence of King Rama V, Vimanmek Mansion is an architectural marvel – the entire structure is
     fashioned entirely from gold teakwood without using a single nail. The interiors resemble a living museum, where you
     can walk through (under strict guidance) some of the rooms and marvel at a treasure trove of rare arts and furniture
     pieces from the early Rattanakosin Period – all belonging to the late king.
     Open: 08:30 until 16:30 (Tues-Sat), last tickets 15:30 Location: Rajavithee Road How to get there: taxi


                                                                                                                        More at http://www.bangkok.com/attraction/
               BANGKOK GUIDE
               YOUR FREE BANGKOK GUIDE
                                                                                                                                         www.asiawebdirect.com
               FROM THE ASIA TRAVEL SPECIALISTS
                                                                                                                    Book online or call us at +66 (0)2 651 9515



WHAT TO DO IN BANGKOK

Sights, sounds and smells? Does it enlighten, enrich and entertain? The following Top 10 Tours in Bangkok have been
selected based on these factors. When it came to the crunch, the best not only offer insight into what makes Bangkok one of
the most exciting Asian cities – be it culture, history or back-to-nature – but are also … well, fun. And who are we to judge?
Simply put, we’ve tried them all, that’s how.


 1.Bangkok City, Temples & Grand Palace
     Old City – Tour Duration: 3hrs 30mins
     Bangkok has hundreds of temples, each with thousands of reflective surfaces that dazzle. But this particular tour is a
     must-do because it introduces you to three of Bangkok’s most dazzling – Wat Trimitr, Wat Pho and Wat Benjabophit.
     What’s more? It also takes you to Thailand’s foremost religious site: The Grand Palace and Temple of the Emerald
     Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew). Book now, call +66 (0)2 651 9515

 2.Ayutthaya Tour by River Sun Cruise
     Bang Pa-In, Ayutthaya – Tour Duration: 8hrs
     Some tours are jam-packed with facts, sights and history – so much that you barely have a moment to yourself. This day
     trip to Ayutthaya, Siam’s war-ravaged former capital, has plenty of substance but doesn’t test your staying power. A
     morning spent exploring temple ruins is followed by an afternoon on board a luxury cruiser – all that’s left to do is laze
     happily on deck, with only the memories, river breezes and Bangkok’s bristling skyline for company. Book now, call +66
     (0)2 651 9515

 3.Siam Niramit
     Ratchadapisek – Tour Duration: 5hrs
     Packing all the splendour of the Land of Smiles into an 80-minute stage show is no easy task. But Siam Niramit
     succeeds – and spectacularly. How so? Try the world’s biggest stage, a cast of hundreds, and bags of Thai finesse. The
     first act describes how Siam became a crossroads where civilisations met, the second how karma binds the Thai people,
     the last how religious ceremony earns Thais merit in this life. Book now, call +66 (0)2 651 9515

 4.River Kwai Tour including Long-tail Boat
     Kanchanaburi – Tour Duration: 10hrs
     There’s more to the River Kwai than solemn WWII sights. And this tour around Kanchanaburi, a lush, unspoilt province
     bordering Burma, proves it. Visits to the Death Railway, the Bridge over the River Kwai and the memorial museum, are
     tastefully juxtaposed with thrilling doses of back-to-nature: undulating mountains, rugged landscapes, as well as
     activities like elephant rides and tiger temples. Very few tours manage such a gratifying combo, both thought-provoking
     and adventurous. Book now, call +66 (0)2 651 9515

 5.Candle light Dinner by Grand Pearl Cruise
     Riverside – Tour Duration: 2hrs 30mins
     Experience the Chao Phraya River by candlelight. After being welcomed aboard with a cocktail, you'll be in awe of the
     architectural beauty of passing sights like Wat Arun, the Grand Palace and Wat Pra Kaew. After dining on a lavish Thai
     and international buffet, relax under the stars and moonlight. A live band will perfect the mood, before you reach Rama
     VIII Bridge and turn back for one last glimpse at Bangkok's time-honoured temples. Book now, call +66 (0)2 651 9515

 6.Thonburi Klongs combined Grand Palace
     Riverside, Old City – Tour Duration: 5hrs
     Bangkok’s ‘klongs’ (canals) aren’t mere remnants of the past. Many are still functioning transport arteries that play a
     significant role in city life. This morning tour focuses on the more scenic waterways of Thonburi. A long-tail boat glides
     you past floating kitchens, mobile shops and all kinds of colourful river scenery, before stopping at the Temple of Dawn
     (Wat Arun). The trip ends with the Royal Barges Museum. Book now, call +66 (0)2 651 9515

 7.Ayutthaya Day Trip
     Ayutthaya – Tour Duration: 9hrs
     An easy day trip out of Bangkok, this tour kicks off with a visit to Bang Pa-In, the spectacular Summer Palace, followed
     by a lazy boat trip across the Chao Phraya River, and finally to the island of Ayutthaya, the Kingdom of Siam's former
     capital. Visually rich and architecturally astounding, it is an excursion that inspires. It is also a veritable treasure-house
     for photographers. Book now, call +66 (0)2 651 9515

 8.Floating Market and Cycling Tour
     Damnoen Saduak, Ratchaburi – Tour Duration: 9hrs
     A cycle tour is the best way to explore corners of Bangkok that most tourists never know exist, let alone discover. With
     little more than the clank of your bicycle gears, a cool breeze and the waves of locals for company, there’s nothing jaded
     or cynical about a two-wheeled adventure. After the floating market, you peddle past fruit orchards, old temples and
     ancient army garrisons, heading further back in history and culture with each forward turn of the wheel. Where some
     tours can be somewhat limiting, this one is a true revelation. Book now, call +66 (0)2 651 9515

                                                                                                                              More at http://www.bangkok.com/tours/
               BANGKOK GUIDE
               YOUR FREE BANGKOK GUIDE
                                                                                                                                          www.asiawebdirect.com
               FROM THE ASIA TRAVEL SPECIALISTS
                                                                                                                     Book online or call us at +66 (0)2 651 9515


                                                                       Vertigo Rooftop Bar at Banyan Tree Bangkok
                                                                        With sweeping views from downtown Bangkok to the Chao Phraya River, Vertigo and
                                                                        Moon Bar on the 61st floor of the Banyan Tree hotel is one of the best places to end a
                                                                        long day in Bangkok. The bar and the restaurant occupy the entire roof, and the unusual
                                                                        narrow and elongated shape gives the extraordinary impression of being aboard a
                                                                        spaceship amongst the clouds. Pick from a selection of delicious signature cocktails and
                                                                        settle down as the sun sets and the city’s lights sparkle in the night.

                                                                        Opening Hours: 7:00 - 01:00 (weather permitting)
                                                                        Location: Banyan Tree Bangkok - 21/100 South Sathorn Road - Sathorn
                                                                        Tel: +66 (0)2 679 1200
                                                                        Dress Code:Smart Casual (no beach shorts, or flip-flops allowed)



WHAT TO EAT

While Thai food needs little introduction, these popular dishes are must-try while you visit Thailand. The below list spans everything from staple backpacker
favourites to Thai classics. Although some of them may sound familiar, don’t be surprised if they taste nothing like what you usually find back home.


 1.Tom Yum Goong (Spicy Shrimp Soup)
     A bold, refreshing blend of fragrant lemongrass, chilli, galangal, lime leaves, shallots, lime juice and fish sauce. Tom
     Yam is a versatile dish that can fit within virtually any meal – its invigorating sour-spicy-hot taste just screams 'Thailand'!




 2.Pad Thai (Thai style Fried Noodles)
     From Cape Town to Khao San Road, the default international Thai dish. Dropped in a searing hot wok, fistfuls of small,
     thin noodles do a steamy minute-long dance alongside crunchy bean sprouts, spring onions and egg, before
     disembarking for the nearest plate.




 3.Gaeng Daeng (Red Curry)
     Made with morsels of meat, red curry paste, smooth coconut milk and topped off with a sprinkling of finely sliced kaffir
     lime leaves, this rich, aromatic curry always gets those taste buds tingling.




 4.Som Tam – (Spicy Green Papaya Salad)
     Hailing from the Northeast (Isan), this outlandish dish is both great divider - some can't get enough of its bite, some can't
     handle it – and greatly distinctive. Garlic, chilies, green beans, cherry tomatoes and shredded raw papaya get
     dramatically pulverized in a pestle and mortar, so releasing a rounded sweet-sour-spicy flavour that's not easily
     forgotten.



 5.Tom Kha Kai (Chicken in Coconut Soup)
     A mild, tamer twist on Tom Yam, this iconic soup infuses fiery chilies, thinly sliced young galangal, crushed shallots,
     stalks of lemongrass and tender strips of chicken. Topped off with fresh lime leaves, it's a sweet-smelling concoction,
     both creamy and compelling.




 6.Pak Boong Fai Daeng (Stir-fried Morning Glory)
     The leafy plant with hollow green stems and thin fragile leaves forms the main component of this super easy favourite.
     Cloves of garlic and birds eye chilies join it in a wok alongside oyster sauce, fish sauce and fermented bean. A few lazy
     stirs, and it's done!




                                                                                                                        More at http://www.bangkok.com/restaurants/
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                                                                      Parkview Restaurant
                                                                       Located beside the beautiful Benjasiri Park, Parkview Restaurant is the perfect setting to
                                                                       enjoy a fulfilling meal, be it breakfast, lunch or dinner. This all-day dining restaurant offers
                                                                       buffet meals at a highly attractive price. Breakfast varieties include breads and pastries,
                                                                       eggs, sausages, boiled rice, noodles, soybean milk, Pathong Ko and fresh tropical fruits
                                                                       starting as early as 5:00 am.

                                                                       Buffet Breafast: 05:00-10:30
                                                                       Buffet Lunch: 11:30-14:30
                                                                       Buffet Dinner: 18:00-22:30
                                                                       Book your table at dining@imperialhotels.com or 02261 9000 ext. 5001-4




BEST DINING EXPERIENCES

When it comes to what to eat in Bangkok, the sky’s the limit. With a host of eateries mushrooming all over town, dining takes
on a deeper meaning. Why limit yourself to just Thai food, a quick fix at a street-side stall, or an elaborate sit-down meal at a
posh hotel, when you can enjoy dining as an experience here in Bangkok? Each of the below experiences is the best in its
category – give them a try!


 1.Thai Cuisine – Bo.Lan
     Slow food is in, and the atmospheric Bo.Lan is the best place to indulge in the experience. Trained by celebrity chef
     David Thompson of the Michelin-starred Thai restaurant Nahm in London, the two chef owners adhere strictly to the
     principles of freshness and preservation of natural tastes through the use of seasonal ingredients. Despite its innovative
     concept, Bo.Lan is not a fusion restaurant but quite the opposite, as its menu is inspired by ancient Thai recipes and the
     tastes are truly original. Advanced reservation required. Open: 18:00 until late (Tues-Sun) Tel: +66 (0)2 260 2962
     Location: Sukhumvit Soi 26 (next to Four Wings Hotel) BTS: Phrom Phong

 2.Street Food – Chinatown
     Chinatown, or Yaowarat, houses some of the most expensive Chinese restaurants in Bangkok, along with many of the
     tastiest and cheapest food stalls, especially at night. Stroll down the jam-packed pavements for all kinds of culinary
     spectacles, from slicing, dicing and dipping to fire-blazing wok action. But don’t sit down and have one big meal at one
     go – try sharing a dish or two then move on to the next stall. And don’t go too early, rather plan to arrive after 19:30 to
     experience Yaowarat at its best. MRT: Hua Lamphong

 3.Sunday Brunch – Four Seasons Hotel
     Kick-start your Sunday with a sumptuous brunch buffet at the Four Seasons and you will feel happy for the rest of the
     day. For starters, all the gourmet dining outlets inside the hotel participate in the brunch, so you can get a sample from
     all of them, whether imported meat, giant river prawns, jet-fresh sashimi, Sydney rock oysters, cheeses, caviar, kebabs,
     Thai curries, and many more. The best part is the free-flow alcohol – wine, champagne, cocktails, martinis – and a
     delicious array of homey desserts. Advanced reservation required. Open: 11:30-15:00 Sundays Tel: +66 (0)2 126 8866
     Location: Four Seasons Hotel, Ratchadamri Rd. BTS: Ratchadamri

 4.Asian Fusion – EAT ME
     This gallery-cum-restaurant has been casting a magical spell over Bangkok’s contemporary dining scene for over a
     decade. Come not for the art on the wall, though, but for a taste of its head chef’s brilliant culinary creations—a creative
     fusion of flavours, textures and colours from the eastern and western hemispheres. Pair your selection with a bottle of
     wine from the cellar, and do leave some room for excellent homemade desserts. Advanced reservation recommended.
     Open: 15:00-01:00 Tel: +66 (0)2 238 0931 Location: Pipat Soi 2, Convent Rd. BTS: Saladaeng

 5.Sunset Dinner – Kin Lom Chom Saphan
     This long-time riverside dining establishment offers the best value when it comes to tasty Thai-style seafood, charming
     open-air ambience and one of the most picturesque Chao Phraya sunset views in Bangkok. The extensive menu may be
     a little daunting to those unfamiliar with Thai food, so here are a few hints: try salt-baked sea bass, grilled king prawns
     and curried mud crab. Live music entertainment begins after sunset.Open: 11:00-02:00 Tel: +66 (0)2 628 8382-3
     Location: Samsen Soi 3, near Rama VIII Bridge, Old City

 6.International Buffet – Lord Jim’s at Mandarin Oriental
     Lord Jim’s Sunday lunch buffet has a legendary reputation. Named after the seafaring hero in Joseph Conrad’s novel,
     the restaurant invites you to step aboard its ‘pleasure boat’ and indulge in all the finest treasures of the sea. The
     famous Iced Seafood Tower is best known for its jet-fresh rock lobster, tiger prawns, oysters, crab claws, wild smoked
     salmon and a selection of sushi and sashimi. Don’t miss the dessert station, with mouthwatering classics like crêpes
     suzette and Valrhona chocolate fondant. Advanced reservation required. Open: 11:00-15:00 (Sunday buffet lunch) Tel:
     +66 (0)2 659 9000 ext. 7680-1 Location: Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Charoenkrung Soi 40 BTS: Saphan Taksin

                                                                                                        More at http://www.bangkok.com/top-10-bangkok-dining.htm
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WHERE TO GO FOR NIGHTLIFE

“One Night in Bangkok can make a hard man humble”. It’s the old cliché, from the old musical ‘Chess’. What this lyric ignores is the diversity, the fact that
Bangkok now registers a strong steady blip on the global nightlife radar. Raucous, refined or raunchy? Culture, carousing or some clubbing? Forget what
you’ve heard, one night in Bangkok can make man or women not just humble – but happy. Proof can be found in this eclectic blend of old classics and new
school, our Top Ten nightlife experiences.


 1.Dinner Cruises on Chao Praya River
     Thai history, culture and cuisine converge with a journey along Bangkok’s River of Kings. Aboard a luxury cruiser or
     teakwood rice barge, admire sparkling temples and the bustle of river life while enjoying a sumptuous meal.
     Spellbinding. Book a tour, call +66 (0)2 651 9515




 2.Naughty Night on the Go-Go Trails
     For pole-swinging temptresses, exotic boy-meets-girl creations and notorious take-home pleasures, head for one of
     Bangkok’s lust-driven dens of sin. Patpong (BTS Saladaeng), Nana Plaza (BTS Nana), or Soi Cowboy (BTS Asoke) –
     take your pick. Best time to go: after 21:00




 3.Bangkok Ladyboy Shows
     Nothing out-glams a Bangkok ladyboy show! The flamboyant costumes, spectacular sets and crazy musical tributes to
     the female form, will leave you dazzled by the performances, and most definitely smitten by the ‘girls’. Book a tour, call
     +66 (0)2 651 9515




 4.Cocktails at a Rooftop Bar
     Fancy touching the clouds while sipping a cocktail? The city’s handful of rooftop venues has elevated the Bangkok
     nightout to stratospheric new heights. Breathtaking vistas merge with stunning crowds at this higher breed of open-air
     bar. Recommended: Vertigo and Moon Bar at Banyan Tree Bangkok, Sathorn Road (MRT Lumpini, open 17:00 -
     01:00)



 5.Club Night
     Asia’s finest clubs unite with the world’s best DJ’ing talent at Bangkok’s many hip, happening club nights. Find dance
     floors covered in cute creatures, whisky-sipping adolescents and boozy expats. The soundtrack: a storm of dark, twisted
     beats. Recommended: Bed Supperclub, Sukhumvit Soi 11 (BTS Nana, open 19:00-01:00)




 6.After-Dark Shopping Experience
     If you’re not ready to hit the bars and clubs, scratch your shopping itch with some after-dark shopping. Malls do a
     storming trade until late. But its Khao San Road, with its carefree traveller attire, and the bootleg heaven that is Patpong
     Market, that really wow. Best time to go: after 20:00




 7.Siam Niramit Cultural Show & Dinner
     Packing all the majesty and splendour of the Land of Smiles into a spectacular 80-minute stage show, is no mean feat.
     Using the world’s biggest stage and a cast of hundreds, Siam Niramit more than manages it. Show Time: 17:00-22:00
     Location: Tiamruammit Road, opposite Thailand Cultural Centre MRT: Thailand Cultural Centre (exit 1)




 8.Bars and Pubs
     Tatty Euro taverns and hip design bars are just a couple of players on Bangkok’s ever-evolving boozing scene.
     Everything from fine brown ales to head-spinning cocktails and binge-drink inducing deals are yours for the downing.
     Recommended: The Long Table, 25th Fl., Column Building, Sukhumvit Soi 16 (BTS Asoke, MRT Sukhumvit, open
     17:00-02:00)



                                                                                                                         More at http://www.bangkok.com/nightlife/
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WHERE TO SHOP

Shopping in Bangkok is a day-and-night activity that runs parallel with the best in the West, while also giving a flavour of the cultural uniqueness of the East.
Work your way through these experiences, and you’ll soon come to realise why Bangkok is such a famous shopping hub.


 1.Siam Paragon
     From a sporty yellow Ferrari to a pair of Jimmy Choo shoes straight from the set of Sex and the City, Siam Paragon is a
     shopping mall without rival in Southeast Asia when it comes to luxury goods. This gleaming, modern up-market mall and
     entertainment complex offers 500,000 sqm of retail space and is home to more than 250 famed international and local
     luxury brands. Open: 10:00-22:00 Location: Siam BTS: Siam How to get there: BTS Skytrain



 2.CentralWorld
     Siam Paragon’s close rival in terms of retail space and shopping experience, CentralWorld encompasses more than 500
     brand-name stores, 100 eateries, a 15-screen Cineplex, an ice skating rink, two anchor department stores, as well as a
     trendy food court and an outdoor square used for Bangkok's official New Year’s Eve countdown party. Compared to
     Siam Paragon, CentralWorld’s collection of shops has a more youthful and funky personality. Open: 10:00-22:00
     Location: Ratchaprasong Intersection BTS: Siam, Chidlom How to get there: walk about five mins from either Siam or
     Chidlom Skytrain.

 3.More Shopping Malls
     In a city blessed with some of the world’s most sumptuous malls, how do you choose where to go? Do you want bargains
     galore? Go to MBK. After luxury designer labels? Gaysorn is your ticket. How about classy? Make your way to The
     Emporium or Siam Discovery Centre. And if you are a fan of local fashion design brands, there’s no better place to go
     than Siam Centre. Open: 10:00-22:00 Location: downtown Sukhumvit, from BTS National Stadium to BTS Phrom
     Phong. How to get there: BTS Skytrain

 4.Chatuchak Weekend Market
     The market of all markets, Chatuchak Weekend Market is the ultimate. You will be amazed by its sprawling size, but
     perhaps even more so by the unbelievable variety of wares. Stumble across anything from vinyl records, beads, suits of
     armour to a live seahorse! Haggling is encouraged – just do so politely. Possibly the most exhilarating, chaotic and lively
     shopping experience that can be had anywhere in the world. Open: 06:00-18:00 (Sat-Sun) Location: adjacent to
     Chatuchak Park How to get there: BTS Mo Chit, MRT Chatuchak

 5.Night Markets
     In most cities nighttime means closing time. Not so, here in Bangkok. Come dusk, Khao San Road teems with unkempt
     travel wear. And Patpong Market’s tarpaulin covered stalls – each brimming with counterfeits or exotica - don’t even kick
     into life until the area’s office workers are tucked up in bed. Just two examples, among several, of Bangkok’s love affair
     with after-dark shopping. Best time to go: after 20:00 How to get there: taxi (Khao San), BTS Saladaeng (Patpong)



 6.Chinatown
     There is something oddly kitsch, charming and nostalgic about Bangkok’s Chinatown. Walking through the many little
     streets you might find yourself in a market, a shop-house-lined backstreet or a crowded space jam-packed with hawkers
     of every ilk. Along with many gold shops, you’ll also find sacks of roasted chestnuts, sequins, feather boas, eccentric
     virility boosters and martial art weapons. Best time to go: after 17:00 MRT: Hua Lamphong How to get there: taxi, or
     walk about 10mins northwest of the MRT

 7.Pratunam
     Pratunam is well-known among locals as the wholesale fashion district, where street ware meets odd fashion meets
     tomorrow’s trends. Shopping here is fun because there’s a whole gamut of accessories to dress you up from head to toe
     – at a bargain. The original wholesale market is outdoors, around Indra Hotel and Baiyoke Sky Hotel, while the air-
     conditioned malls are located across the main street, from Pantip Plaza to Pratunam Centre. Best time to go: morning
     (for outdoor shopping) BTS: Ratchathewi, Chidlom How to get there: taxi, or walk about 15mins from the two BTS
     stations

 8.Rod Fai Market (Talad Rod Fai)
     Vintage is in at this open-air bazaar set beside an abandoned railroad track. Spread on the ground are all kinds of
     accessories and knick knacks from yesteryear, from wooden furniture to vintage bicycles, hippy fashion accessories,
     offbeat collectibles, Mao kitsch and more. Street food is not lacking either. The overall feel is down-to-earth cool, and
     Rod Fai Market definitely stands out from the hordes of outdoor markets across Bangkok. Best time to go: after 18:00-
     midnight (Sat-Sun) MRT: Kamphaengphet How to get there: take exit 1 (MRT) and walk westwards about 10mins


                                                                                                              More at http://www.bangkok.com/shopping-area.htm
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TIPS AND GOOD TO KNOW
  Carry small change
   Thailand is relatively inexpensive, unless you plan to enjoy all your shopping, dining and nightlife inside a hotel or upscale shopping malls. Taxi drivers,
   food vendors and shop keepers usually don’t carry change for big bills. So, make sure that you break the 1,000 baht notes into a few 100s and small
   coins upon arrival at the airport. The 5 and 10 baht coins usually come in handy when taking a taxi or public transportation.


  Barter, but nicely
   The first rule of shopping in Thailand: if there’s no barcode or set price, get haggling. It’s expected. However, instead of adopting a confrontational “give
   me it for this price, now!” attitude, try the gracious, smiley “what’s your best price, my friend?” approach. Why? Because a smile here goes further than a
   sneer. Aim to chip anything from 10-40% off the quoted price. And by all means, walk away if the price is disagreeable – more often than not you’ll be
   called back for last ditch negotiations!


  Beware scammers
   It begins with a polite stranger offering to take you sightseeing around the city. You thank them and tell them where you’re from. Then, before you’ve
   even had a chance to shake their hand, you’re gripping the sides of a tuk-tuk as it whizzes towards temples your guidebook has never heard of, and
   (drum roll) pushy gem stores. The moral of this all-too-common scam? Savour contact with the locals but, please please, beware the shysters. The
   general, but by no means universal, rule of thumb: a Thai who approaches you in the street is after more than a chat.


  Drink lots of water
   This tip, of course, applies even to the Antarctic. But packing a supply of the wet stuff in Thailand’s sticky, stifling heat is even more crucial to your well-
   being. Our unscientific rule of thumb: drink more than you sweat. Fortunately you are never more than a few paving stones from a drinks vendor. Always
   make sure bottled water is sealed. For a change, take your chosen tipple modern Thai-style, in a small plastic bag with handle and straw. Its quirky but,
   as you’ll find when rummaging around overheated markets, also convenient.


  Carry a photocopy of your passport
   Whether it be an impromptu demand from a local policeman or a request from security at one of the city’s swanky nightspots, carrying ID is a must in
   Thailand. The fact that you are 25 but look like you’re pushing 40 doesn’t matter – proving who you are is a day-to-day formality, something the Thais are
   finicky about. Instead of dragging your passport around with you, and with it the constant fear of losing it, take a photocopy.


  Carry a hotel card with Thai directions
   It’s simple. It isn’t rocket science. But this ingenious device, little more than a piece of card with your hotel’s address written on it in Thai, will save endless
   how-do-we-get-home headaches. Flash it beneath the eyes of your chosen driver and watch how his shrugs of utter incomprehension instantly change to
   reassuring nods.


EASY THAI PHRASES

   Krab / Ka = Words added at the end of a sentence/phrase to add politeness. Krab if you are a male. Ka if you are a female

   Phom / Chan = I (male / female)

   Khun = You (polite)

   Sawad Dee (krab / ka) = Hello (male / female)

   Khob Khun (krab / ka) = Thank you (male / female)

   Phom / Chan Pood Thai mai pen = I (male / female) don’t speak Thai

   Hong nam yuu nai? = Where are the restrooms?

   Tao rai (krab / ka)? = How much does it cost (male / female)?

   Lod dai maak sood tao rai? = What’s your best price?

   Pood len rue plao = Are you kidding?

   Nii khong jing rue khong plom = Is this real or fake?

   Ao ped ped = I want my food very spicy

   Mai ped = Not spicy

   Check bin / Kheb tang = Can I have the bill please?

   Khun lor / suay maak = You are very handsome / beautiful

								
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