DESTINATIONS

BANGKOK

Bangkok the gateway to Thailand Wedding Destinations

Thailand’s capital ‘city of lights’ draws literally millions of visitors each year to its vibrant nightlife, historic architectural gems, amazing choice of restaurants and endless shopping opportunities. Exotic and unique, the huge city is a fascinating mix of high-rise luxury and traditional residential districts all crammed around the banks of the mighty Chao Phraya river and its estuary. IT may not be the first name of place to get married when you hear getting married in Thailand, but it is also the location that most people must get their paperwork started to do their legal marriage registration. It is also the place to enjoy the Bachelor party of all parties. Truly your gateway to Thailand destination wedding locations.

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Transportation in and to Bangkok

Bangkok has two airports, Suvarnabhumi International and Don Muang Airport, with the latter mostly serving budget airlines’ routes to Thailand’s ever-popular beach resorts. Unfortunately, the main international Bangkok Airports lies 30 kms from the city centre, as does Don Muang in a different direction. Those arriving on international long-haul flights and heading for the islands or coastal resorts via the secondary airport often face up to four hours’ travel between the two, dependent on Bangkok’s notorious traffic.

If you arrive at Savarnabhumi there is a raised train to the city center and with links to the main BTS Skytrain system.

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Cross-town transportation between the airports for those with several items of luggage is admittedly easiest by taxi, although the service is comparatively expensive by Thai standards. Suvarnabhumi’s Airport Rail Link serves central Bangkok, as do a number of private bus companies based at the airport. Public bus travel between the two air hubs is had via bus no.554, running every 20 minutes during the day and less frequently at night, and the non-stop, free shuttle service links the two complexes hourly between 05:00 and 23:00.

Getting to Bangkok from other parts of Thailand is best by air or VIP bus, as the country’s train service is limited as regards routes as well as extremely slow. Many favourite visitor destinations have their own small airports or are within an hour or two’s reach of a regional airport. Budget airlines such as Air Asia and Nok Air, loin Air are reasonably priced, especially during their regular online bargain sales but, for seriously cheap travel, the bus wins every time.

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What Bangkok Has to offer

The Bangkok experience is unlike that in any other part of Thailand, ranging from raunchy and risqué to top-dollar hi-so luxury via exotic sightseeing trips to royal palaces, glittering temples containing huge, gilt-bronze Buddha images, bustling local markets and tiny, winding lanes with traditional shops and homes. The massive modern malls sell everything from traditional crafts to the latest in high fashion, and their food courts offer a huge variety of Thai dishes at great prices.

Accommodation here suits all pockets, with prices varying between Platinum Amex card levels to basic guesthouse. The world’s most famous hotel chains are represented here in all their upscale glory, but those with less than magnificent means can find comfortable accommodation at budget prices. Getting around by road is by motorcycle taxi, local bus, songthaew or taxi, but is perhaps better done via the city’s Metro and BTS Skytrain. Both services offer stations close by the majority of Bangkok’s tourist attractions, and both are easy to use.

Sampling all of the city’s sights and delights would take longer than the average visit, but there are plenty enough must-sees to guarantee the holiday of a lifetime. Old Bangkok lies between the Chao Phraya’s banks and is densely packed with best-known attractions including the Grand Palace and Wat Po, home to the ancient Jade Buddha. If you’re looking for vibrant nightlife, head straight for Sukhumvit Road, Bangkok’s world-famous hub for clubs, restaurants and the infamous Soi Cowboy with its girlie bars and strip joints.

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The city’s canals with their traditional floating markets are a major visitor draw, with a long-tailed boat trip the best way to sample the atmosphere. For a glimpse into Bangkok’s backpacker mecca, Khao San Road is the place. Still thriving after several decades as a centre for rooms for the night, massage parlours, street food stalls, warrens of discount designer gear and everything you’d ever need at a budget price, it’s a riot of colour and noise.

Yaowarat Road is home to Bangkok’s huge Chinese community, and borders with Phahurat Road’s sizeable Indian district. Here you’ll find shrines, Chinese and Indian temples, traditional street markets and some of the best seafood restaurants in the entire city. For a contrasting upmarket stroll through leafy avenues past tropical gardens, imposing palaces and fine examples of European-style architecture, head for Dusit district’s political heartland.

Shopaholics will adore bargain-hunting in and around Phahonyothin Road for its endless Chatuchak Weekend Market boasting over 8,000 stalls crammed with the latest gear at amazingly low prices. The famed market and its warren of surrounding shophouses isn’t just for clothes, shoes, bags and accessories as it’s also home to traditional crafts, homewares, DVDs and just about anything else you didn’t know you needed as a wedding or honeymoon souvenir.

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