Visiting Bangkok – A City Guide
With its colourful tuk-tuks, soaring skyscrapers and golden temples, Bangkok is a feast for the senses. The Thai capital’s exhilarating mix of neon-lit shops, colourful street markets and tranquil monastery courtyards offers an endlessly fascinating balance of old and new.
Bangkok: City Layout and Top Attractions
Much of today’s Bangkok lies east of the Chao Phraya river, with Thonburi district to the west. Most major sights, including the City Pillar Shrine, are in central Rattanakosin, once a moated royal compound.
Stretching east and south from the old city are modern Silom and Sukhumvit. IHG® Rewards Club members benefit with the exclusive “YOUR RATE” at all of our hotels; stay at one of our central Bangkok hotels and you’ll be minutes from Sukhumvit’s vibrant nightlife and the shopping malls around Siam Square.
To the north, Banglamphu is a tourist hub, where you'll find the famed Khao San Road backpacker district, while waterside Yaowarat is also known as China Town.
Guests who chose a Bangkok hotel in Silom are within a 30-minute drive to the Grand Palace, a royal residence built in the 18th century and the city’s top attraction. Across the river, the vertiginous pagoda at Wat Arun (the Temple of Dawn) is covered in glittering glass and porcelain.
Eating Out in Bangkok
As evening begins, night market stalls all over the city fire up their woks, filling the air with mouthwatering smells. For sophisticated Bangkok regional specialities from renowned eateries, ranging from Thai-Chinese restaurants to typical street food vendors, visit the locals’ favorite dining district of China Town.
Home to modern hotels in Sukhumvit, Sukhumvit and Silom are the places to head for more upscale restaurants, serving some of the world’s finest Thai food, and global cuisines from French to Middle Eastern.
Shopping in Bangkok
Redeem your IHG® Rewards Club points and you can use the savings to buy something special at sprawling Chatuchak Weekend Market, where approximately 15,000 stalls sell everything from antiques to herbs and spices at reasonable prices.
Sukhumvit’s glittering air-conditioned boutiques are the place to look for designer fashions, leather and silk. InterContinental® Bangkok hotel guests are on the doorstep of Siam Square’s many shopping malls, including Siam Paragon and CentralWorld, with almost 1,000 outlets between them.
Culture & Nightlife in Bangkok
For a general overview of Thailand’s culture and history, you can take a tour of the Bangkok National Museum, opened in 1874 to showcase the country’s art treasures. The Bangkok Art and Cultural Centre offers contemporary art exhibitions, classical concerts and avant-garde performing arts.
After dark, Khao San Road has many lively bars, some with live music. Those looking for nocturnal diversions should try the exclusive clubs and rooftop cocktail bars of Silom and Sukhumvit.
Leisure in Bangkok
To be right next to scenic Lumpini Park, where you can enjoy a picnic or rent a boat on the lake, redeem your IHG® Rewards Club points for a stay at a Bangkok hotel in Lumpini Park.
Alternatively, unwind with a sunset cruise down the Chao Phraya river, or ride a glass-bottomed boat through a shark tank and gaze up at turtles from an underwater tunnel at SEA LIFE Bangkok.