Planning My First Trip to Bangkok

After planning for weeks, I’ve begun to finalize my first trip to Bangkok. With that in mind, I still have so much to organize for my trip, such as booking my flight; finding my hotel; and researching places to shop, eat, and drink.

Book My Flight

First Trip to Bangkok
Image via Flickr by kamsky

I spent the better part of this past week researching airfare for my trip. Do I choose an airline that I have a relationship with so I can earn miles or do I fly with another airline for less money but without earning miles? Regardless of what I decide, I don’t want to wait until the last minute or I’ll end up overpaying for a flight.

Where to Stay

First Trip to Bangkok
Image via Flickr by Nik Cyclist

With a population of 8 million and an area of about 606 square miles, Bangkok is pretty big. Choosing the right hotel from 2,500 options might be a challenge. Or is it? All I have to do is understand the different districts of Bangkok.

Siam Square is Bangkok’s modern commercial center, while Sukhumvit is popular with expats and great for shopping. For those who like to party, Silom is Bangkok’s business district by day and turns into a party area at night. If you want to be near all of the major sites, then stay in Old Bangkok or Rattanakosin. If you’re a backpacker or budget traveler, then Khao San Road is for you. Some like the feel of Chinatown in Yaowarat and Phahurat, while others prefer the European style of Dusit, home to mansions, museums, and palaces.

You’ll need a boat to access Thonburi on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River, while Pratunam is the fashion center and garment market area of Bangkok. Looking for entertainment like bars, clubs, or cinemas? Consider Ratchadaphisek. A visit out to Bangkok’s suburbs, Phahonyothin, or the mostly residential area of Ramkhamhaeng could work for some. Lastly, Lat Krabang is an area close to the airport.

Once I narrow the areas down to a few where I want to stay, finding a hotel becomes easier. I’m thinking Sukhumvit because I want to squeeze in as much fun as I can in a few days before I see all the sights with my private tour guide. That means finding something central with great views and close to shopping. I’m considering the Hotel Indigo in downtown Bangkok because it fits all my criteria, especially since it’s close to Lumphini Park, the Central Embassy mall for great shopping, and many restaurants. With an infinity pool on the 24th floor and great views of the city, this hotel could work for me.

Where to Shop

There’s no end to the number of places to shop in Bangkok. If I’m staying in Sukhumvit, then I need to try a few interesting places to shop like K Village, the Sukhumvit Market, or maybe the Terminal 21 shopping mall. With all the shopping I have planned, I might need to buy another suitcase before I leave Bangkok.

Where to Eat and Drink

First Trip to Bangkok
Image via Flickr by NeilsPhotography

Whether I’m looking for street food, fast food, or a sit-down restaurant, I’m definitely going to look for all things vegetarian. There’s tons of information to point me in the right direction on sites like Happy Cow, Travel+Leisure, and Eater. With these resources in hand, I won’t ever have to settle on anything once I’m there.

I’m so excited about my trip to Bangkok, Thailand. With stunning temples, world-class shopping, and great food, you definitely need to consider taking a trip to Bangkok, too.

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