Generally, a foreign citizen who wishes to enter the Kingdom of Thailand is required to obtain a visa from a Royal Thai Embassy or a Royal Thai Consulate-General. However, nationals of certain countries do not require a visa if they meet visa exemption requirements. Please check the http://www.immigration.go.th/nov2004/en/base.php?page=visa to know about your visa requirement.
Taxis in Bangkok are fixed with a meter and have a sign "TAXI-METER" on the roof. The minimum fare is 35 baht for the first kilometer. The fare will increase According to the distance covered. A toll of 40 - 60 baht for expressway or tollway must be paid by the passenger.
Air-Conditioned City Buses: BMTA air-conditioned buses (cream-blue) cost from 10 to 18 baht, depending on the distance. EURO II buses (yellow-orange), the fares range from 11 to 23 baht, depending on the distance. Metro Bus (white) is a medium-sozed bus using natural gas (CNG). Fares 20, 30 or 40 baht depending on the route and bus type. When boarding the bus, you have to drop the fare into the fare box next to the driver.
Ordinary City Buses: The fares of BMTA buses (red) and non-BMTA buses (blue, pink) are about 8 baht for the whole distance.
Although traveling by bus is the cheapest, you should be careful with your belongings while riding, especially on a crowded ordinary bus.
For more information please contact Bangkok Mass Transit Authority on Tel. 0 2246 0973 or visit www.bmta.co.th
BTS Sky Train
Passengers can change their routes at the Interchange Station at Siam Square. A skytrain leaves the terminal every 5 minutes from 6 am to 12 pm but at shorter intervals during rush hours (7.30 - 9.30 am & 5.30 - 7.00 pm). Apart from being the fastest means of transportation, the skytrain has two more advantages -- it offers a panoramic view of Bangkok and it stops at several prime shopping centers lying along Silom, Ratchadamri, and Sukhumwit roads.
Interchange stations with MRT are also provided at Mo Chit, Sukhumvit, and Sala Daeng stations.
The fares range from 15 to 42 baht based on the distance travelled. There is an extra charge of 10 baht for the extension from On Nut to Bearing. One Day Pass is available at the cost of 130 baht.
For more information please contact BTS Tourist Info Centre on Tel. 0 2617 7340-1 (8 am - 8 pm, daily) or visit www.bts.co.th
Bangkok Metro (MRT)
The route runs from Hua Lamphong (Bangkok Railway Station) to Bang Sue with a total of 18 stations along the over 20 km distance. It connects with the Skytrain at Silom, Sukhumvit and Chatuchak stations. A train leaves the terminal every 5 minutes during peak hours: 06.00 – 09.00 hrs and 16.30 – 19.30 hrs. And it leaves every 7 minute during the off-peak hours. The fares range from 16 baht to 40 baht. MRT 18 stations are as follows:
Hua Lamphong – Sam Yan – Silom – Lumpini – Khlong Toei – Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre – Sukhumvit – Phetchaburi – Phra Ram 9 – Thailand Cultural Centre – Huai Khwang – Sutthisan – Ratchadaphisek – Lat Phrao – Phahon Yothin – Chatuchak Park – Kamphaeng Phet – Bang Sue
For more information please contact Customer Relation Centre on Tel. 0 2624 5200 or visit www.bangkokmetro.co.th
Airport Rail Link
This line provides service between Phyathai Station to the end terminal at Suvarnabhumi Airport within 30 minutes, which stops at 6 stations along the way such as Rajprarop Station, Makkasan Station, Ramkhamhaeng Station, Hua Mark Station, Thab Chang Station, and Lad Krabang Station. It covers a distance of 28 kilometers.
For more information: http://www.srtet.co.th/index.php/en/
This is a three-wheeled taxi without a meter or air-conditioning. Fares must be negotiated beforehand. They are normally a little cheaper than ordinary taxis and are suitable for short trips only.
The Thai Baht is the currency of Thailand. The currency code for Baht is THB, and the symbol is ฿. Currency can be exchanged at airports, banks, exchange booths and most hotels. You can find the most current conversion rates at this link.
Major credit cards including MasterCard, Visa, and American Express, are accepted in big hotels, car rental companies and department stores.
The weather in Bangkok is dominated by a tropical monsoon climate, which means there are three main seasons: hot season from March to June, rainy season from July to October and cool season between November and February. As Bangkok holds claim to being the hottest city in the world, expect daytime temperatures to be in excess of 30 degrees centigrade throughout the year (with the possible exception of late December and early January). The temperature during May is around 35°C / 95 °F.
GMT+7 (GMT = Greenwich Mean Time)
In case of an emergency in Thailand, please call 191 for general emergency services or call 1155 for tourist police.
Must See Places in Bangkok
The Grand Palace: If there is one must-see sight that no visit to Bangkok would be complete without, it's the dazzling, spectacular Grand Palace, undoubtedly the city's most famous landmark. Built in 1782 - and for 150 years the home of the Thai King, the Royal court and the administrative seat of government - the Grand Palace of Bangkok is a grand old dame indeed, that continues to have visitors in awe with its beautiful architecture and intricate detail, all of which is a proud salute to the creativity and craftsmanship of Thai people. Within its walls were also the Thai war ministry, state departments, and even the mint. Today, the complex remains the spiritual heart of the Thai Kingdom.
Bangkok Floating Markets: Even though transactions are more concerned with tourists rather than locals these days, the floating market; boats are still piled high with tropical fruit and vegetables, fresh, ready-to-drink coconut juice and local food cooked from floating kitchens located right on the boat.
To enjoy the atmosphere without haggling over prices, try relaxing on a guided boat tour of Damnoen Saduak market. Floating markets are Taling Chan Market, Bang Ku Wiang Market, Tha Kha, and Damnoen Saduak.
Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall Bangkok: There are two main reasons a single traveler must visit the great Ananda Samakhom Throne Hall. Firstly, this structure is one of the most beautiful Italian Renaissance architectures outside Italy. The construction of this grand mansion was commissioned by His Majesty King Rama V in 1906 to serve as the reception hall. The building was designed by a team of Italian architects, who covered the exterior with white marble imported from Carrara, Italy, while the interior walls are beautifully painted by Italian artists to depict the history of the Chakri Dynasty. The construction was, unfortunately, not finished until 1915, five years after the reign of King Rama V. Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall was later served as Thailand’s first parliament after the political transition from absolute monarchy to constitutional monarchy and is now used for important state’s functions.
Secondly, Ananta Samakhom currently hosts the fifth edition of “Arts of the Kingdom” exhibition that displays sophisticated art pieces and crafts made of precious materials by the craftsmen of Sirikit Institute, an organization under the royal patronage to help raise living standards in rural areas by encouraging them to learn and create traditional crafts. The masterpieces include a model of royal barges made of gold and a 10 meter tall carved teak panels.
Siam Niramit Bangkok: With its rich history that reads like an epic novel, Thailand is undoubtedly one of the most intriguing Asian nations, replete with over 700 years of captivating culture, customs and traditions. But just how Thailand's spawning seven centuries are brilliantly captured into a 90-minute production, Siam Niramit has the answer. Housing the Ratchada Theatre, which has 2,000-seats, the Siam Niramit show boasts an 11.95 metre proscenium - certified by Guinness World of Records as the world's highest stage. A miniature Thai village, Sawasdee Restaurant and a souvenir shop all under one roof, the Siam Niramit compound is decked out in contemporary Thai style, with small 'salas' (gazebos) and sculptures of Kinnaree, a mythical winged creature prevalent in many Thai fables. Here you can also feed the elephants, listen to a 'ranad' (Thai xylophone) band and take pictures with characters from the show.
Wat Pho: Wat Pho (the Temple of the Reclining Buddha), or Wat Phra Chetuphon, is located behind the Temple of the Emerald Buddha and a must-do for any first-time visitor in Bangkok. It's one of the largest temple complexes in the city and famed for its giant reclining Buddha that measures 46 metres long and is covered in gold leaf. It’s an easy ten minutes walk between here and the Grand Palace.
Chatuchak Market: Once only popular among wholesalers and traders, Chatuchak Weekend Market has reached a landmark status as a must-visit place for tourists. Its sheer size and diverse collections of merchandise will bring any seasoned shoppers to their knees – this is where you can literally shop ‘till you drop’.
The 35-acre (68-rai) area of Chatuchak is home to more than 8,000 market stalls. On a typical weekend, more than 200,000 visitors come here to sift through the goods on offer. Veteran shoppers would agree that just about everything is on sale here, although not all at the best bargain rates. But if you have one weekend in Bangkok, squeeze in a day trip to Chatuchak Weekend Market and you will not be disappointed.
Museum Siam: Museum Siam is a museum that is located at Sanamchai road in Bangkok, Thailand. The museum Siam uses interactive storytelling with seven characters as intermediates. It focuses on the national identity of the people in Thailand, which let visitors learn about history of people in Thailand. The museum shows the development of Thailand from the past to present.
MBK Shopping Center: MBK is probably Bangkok's most legendary shopping mall, popular with both tourists and locals, and busy with shoppers every day. There are eight floors packed with 2,000 shops that sell everything from clothing, fashion accessories, handbags, leather products and luggage to furniture, mobile phones, electric appliances, cameras, stationery and DVDs. Launched in 1986, MBK is a beehive of activity, especially on weekends, when half of Bangkok converges to shop for bargains. It's not as up-market or stylish as neighbouring Siam Discovery, Siam Centre and the glitzy Siam Paragon, but it offers a mind-boggling range of goods spread over 89,000 square metres and is considerably less expensive.