Bankok, a city that never sleeps is an amazing luxury holiday destination. For a lot less than many other countries you can experience five-star luxury at reasonable prices.
Bangkok is the perfect destination to experience the hustle and bustle of a Southeast Asian capital that still has character and authenticity. It’s the perfect gateway for the rest of Thailand or other Asian destinations and you can spend two or three days visiting temples, the markets, high-end restaurants and designer shopping.
Travelling on the Skytrain you will see classical Thai temples nestled below towering skyscrapers, the contrast of modernity and history in one exciting city.
Seek out exciting culinary experiences and discover the best restaurants of the capital, visit one of the 12 charming floating markets where you can float down the river whilst enjoying the riot of colour from the fruits and vegetables in small wooden boats, take in the splendour of the royal temples and walk among the orange-clad Buddhist monks in the famous temple Wat Pho as they pay their respects to the giant reclining golden buddha.
Bangkok has everything you could want, whether you’re looking to live it up and enjoy great nightlife or you’re looking for a more laidback break.
This ultimate travel guide to Bangkok will show you all the most beautiful places in Bangkok, what to expect when visiting, where to stay in Bangkok and things to do in Bangkok which will help you in planning a trip to Bangkok.
Here is our ultimate luxury guide to Bangkok!
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The best time to visit Bangkok
Bangkok is a great city to visit year-round, although it attracts tourist in every season. If you want to avoid the crowds, plan to visit in November to early December and then again from March to May.
Mid-April brings the Songkran Festival which is Thai New Year and it’s basically a giant country-wide water fight with water pistols, this is one of the busiest times of year to visit Bangkok and not ideal if you’re travelling with expensive photography or computer gear, but if you want to party this is a great time to literally soak in the atmosphere!
The monsoon season in September and October brings tropical rain and thunderstorms and are best avoided.
Most tourists visit in the months of December to March because the weather is sunny, albeit with lots of humidity and this is peak tourist season when prices are higher and crowds flock to the city.
How to get around Bangkok
Bangkok is sprawling city with excellent transportation infrastructure, there is a metro and Skytrain (a train that travels high above the city) which both provide connections to all major attractions and shopping districts. This is the most efficient way to get around the city.
There are also many taxis available but Bangkok’s traffic is notoriously congested and you will waste a lot of time stuck in traffic jams. If you’re looking for a more exclusive experience and you don’t mind braving the traffic then Blacklane offers chauffeur services that you can hire by the hour or day.
What to expect in Bangkok
Expect a bustling city that is full of tourists, a flurry of activity and a stark contrast between the old and new, rich and poor.
The language spoken is Thai but due to decades of tourism many Thais speak English, especially in tourist areas and attractions. The people are very friendly and eager to help, thus the reputation of Thailand being the land of Smiles. Thailand is a land of etiquette so be respectful, don’t point with your feet or touch any Thais on the head. When visiting a temple you should cover your legs and your shoulders and arms.
ATMs are widely available and you can pay by card in most places, it’s also advisable to have cash on you if you want to pay for street food or purchase things from small shops.
Tipping isn’t necessary for hotels or restaurants as there is usually a 10% service charge included, however, a tip does go a long way and provide you with even better service. The rule is around 50 baht in spas, 10% in restaurants and hotels. It’s not necessary to tip taxi drivers in Thailand.
Water from the tap is not potable, you should always make sure to purchase drinking water and check that the lid and bottle hasn’t been tampered with.
Luxury things to do in Bangkok
Take to the skies
For the ultimate luxury experience you can charter a private helicopter for unrivaled view of the river and cityscapes. A 20 minute sightseeing tour will give you a unique birds eye view of the Bangkok bridge, the Chao Phraya River, Koh Kret Island among other highlights. Prices start at €694 per person.
Learn how to cook Thai food
If you love the spicy and fresh flavours of Thai cuisine you can learn how to replicate them in the comfort of your own home with a cooking class at the Famous Blue Elephant restaurant. The class begins with a shopping trip to the local market to learn about the different traditional Thai ingredients before heading to the restaurant kitchen to whip up delicious, mouth-watering dishes. The class ends with a five-course meal which you can enjoy and skills that will last a lifetime! Price per person starts at €134.
Go designer shopping
Head to the most prestigious shopping centres in Bangkok where you will find all the latest fashions from well-known designers alongside famous Thai labels trying to break into the global fashion market such as Disaya, Senada and Patinya. The best places to indulge in a spot of shopping is the Central Embassy and Siam Paragon.
High Tea at the Mandarin Oriental
For a high-class afternoon head to the Mandarin Oriental in time for their high-tea at their stunning Authors Lounge which is one of the most photographed and luxurious settings which hearkens back to the colonial era with its smooth teal, cream and white décor and rattan armchairs. This place has attracted famous writers and celebrities, and you will feel as if you’ve been transported to another time. You can enjoy high tea every day at 12:00 to 17:30 pm.
Enjoy a Michelin River Cruise
Enjoy cruising down the Chao Phraya River in style with an evening on the Supanniga Cruise, a Michelin-starred 40 seat floating restaurant that is the embodiment of luxury. An evening cocktail or Tattinger champagne cruise on a converted traditional Thai rice-barge is followed by a six-course dinner which will be a feast for the senses, with award-winning food and spectacular views of the city. Watch the sun go down across the water and the lights of the city dance upon the water in this unforgettable Bangkok experience.
Watch a Muay Thai match
Watch the traditional Thai boxing in Lumpini Stadium, an institution which draws both tourists and local alike to their violent and thrilling matches.
Thai boxing is a sport which requires agility, nimbleness and strength. Watch the boxers dodge blows and kicks and dance around the ring up close with a VIP front row seat. Prices for the three hour match start at €58 per person.
Scale the heights of Bangkok
Luxury Bangkok is best experienced from above, head to the top of the many skyscrapers for a glamorous experience in the best rooftop bars the city has to offer, with 360° panoramas. The best rooftop bars can be found at the Cru Champagne Bar, Speakeasy Bar and Park Society. There is no better way to catch the sunset over the city skyline than with a cocktail or champagne flute in hand and rubbing shoulders with the Bangkok’s it crowd.
Don’t have time to hit the beaches? Bangkok has the solution! Flow House is a place where you can surf a static wave where you can practice your surfing skills or just have a laugh. Aside from surfing they have an urban beach club where you can drink, eat and dance, pretending you’re at the beach whilst in the heart of a metropolis.
Where to stay in Bangkok – Luxury Hotels
Banyan Tree Bangkok – The Banyan Tree is a stunning hotel which is located within the business district, within walking distance from MBK Shopping Centre. Rooms are decorated in contemporary style, chic and muted with all the facilities and living space included. The suites also have views and also your own personal whirlpool hot tub. The hotel has an incredible rooftop with restaurants and bars, there is also a floating restaurant too! In total there are 6 different restaurant options that will keep any gourmand happy. There is also a spa offering relaxing massage and beauty treatments, fitness and business centres and an outdoor swimming pool.
Okura Prestige Bangkok – Just a minute away from the Skytrain station, this hotel is ideal for shopping, being within walking distance of MBK Shopping Centre and Pratunam Market. The views of Bangkok skyline are spectacular and the slick contemporary suites have iPod docks, separate living spaces, whilst in-room saunas and steam rooms are available in the upgraded suites. The hotel has internationally-acclaimed Japanese and French restaurants, infinity pool on the 25th floor as well as a spa and gym and business centre.
Peninsula Hotel Bangkok – The Peninsula Hotel Bangkok is situated by the Chao Phraya River and has rooms with both cityscape and river views. The décor of the rooms is classical but elegant and understated, however, upgraded suites have more opulent living spaces wth gold painted ceilings, beautiful balconies with a hot tub included, dining areas and butler service available. The hotel has amazing installations including three gourmet restaurants, a gym and luxurious spa offering treatments and massages and free river ferry service is included in the room prices. For an additional fee, helicopters and limousines can be organised via reception.
Park Hyatt Bangkok – The Park Hyatt is actually connected to a Skytrain station, making it one of the most well-connected hotels, it’s also within easy walk of Central Embassy Shopping Centre, perfect for those who want to shop til they drop! The large floor-to-ceiling windows look onto panoramas of Bangkok city. The Park Hyatt has two beautiful restaurants catering to international cuisine as well as a three-floored entertainment complex, infinity pool bordered with lush garden, spa and a 24 hour gym. Five-star treatment and Thai hospitality make this an ideal hotel for your Bangkok holiday.
Mandarin Oriental Bangkok – This beautiful luxury hotel looks over the Chao Phraya river and is decorated in opulent oriental style, with teak furniture, Thai silk upholstered furniture, floor-to-ceiling windows with views of the river and balconies. An array of famous people from the 20th century have stayed in this very hotel, including Prince Charles and Lady Diana and Neil Armstrong. Rooms are decorated with sumptuous oriental carpets and antiques and have all the modern facilities. There are 9 incredible award-winning restaurants, two swimming pools where pool attendants offer complimentary drinks, snacks, fruits and ice creams, gym and tennis courts and a spa with in-house yoga classes and beauty treatments.
Luxury eats in Bangkok
Bangkok is a hub of fine-dining, with some of the most innovative chefs creating fusions of Eastern flavours with Western influences. There are 7 Michelin-starred restaurants in Bangkok and any foodie will have endless mouth-watering and difficult choices to make whilst in the city.
Bo.lan – This Michelin-starred restaurant is run by a husband and wife and serve up royal Thai cuisine with traditional flavours at its heart. As well as being highly-acclaimed and sophisticated, it also has a zero-carbon goal which makes it the perfect choice for the ethical consumer. The menu is a journey through the culinary culture and heritage of Thailand and a fixed price menu starts from €91 per person for the Balance Menu.
Chim by Siam Wisdom – Set in a traditional styled restaurant decorated with paintings from Thai mythology, you can experience traditional Thai flavours with a hint of foreign inspiration with dishes such as river fish Tom Yum and rich, complex curries and dishes such as duck confit. The highly-acclaimed restaurant has won numerous awards over the years for consistently high-class cuisine, despite its humble appearances. A set menu starts at only €53 per person.
Jay Fai – Visit the Michelin-starred queen of street food at Jay Fai, the first ever street-food chef in Bangkok to win a Michelin star, which she claims has become a curse. With her quirky signature goggles she continues to turn out superb crab curries and omelettes, continuing her father’s business and attracting both foodies and taxi drivers alike with her wonderfully authentic Thai dishes. You can find her street stall with simple plastic chairs and tables, though you may need to battle a long queue, at 327 Maha Chai Rd, Khwaeng Samran Rat, Khet Phra Nakhon, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10200.
Nahm – The fashionable restaurant Nahm was created by the famous Australian born chef David Thompson who has become a legendary figure in Thai cuisine, the quality ingredients and perfectly-balanced flavours won his restaurant a Michelin star. Now the restaurant is under the helm of Head Chef Pim Techamuanvivit, earning the restaurant a Michelin star for a second consecutive year in 2019. Enjoy some superb Thai cuisine from the set menu in the surroundings of the COMO Metropolitan Hotel.
Paste – Enjoy the sumptuous surroundings and superb Thai cuisine offered by Head Chef Bee Satongun and Jason Bailey. The dining area is decorated with a sculpture made from silk cocoons and large glass windows that rise from the floor to the ceiling, offering spectacular views of the city. The tasting menu offers traditional Thai flavours including Hot and Sour soup with crispy pork, rich and flavourful Thai curries and Roasted duck with coriander and nutmeg. A dinner menu starts at €86 per person.
Sirocco – This highly acclaimed iconic restaurant graces the skyline of Bangkok on the 63rd floor. Enjoy 2 Michelin-starred cuisine to the sounds of smooth jazz played live in the evenings and take in the views of the city and the riverside that will take your breath away. Perfect for cocktails or a romantic dinner for two, this restaurant serves up a unique tasting menu with dishes that include Japanese, French and Italian influences such as black truffle gnocchis and seared Muscovy Duck. Dining here is truly an experience, with unrivalled views and fine-dining creating an unforgettable memory. The tasting menu starts at €125 per person and an additional €70 for the wine pairing.
Sunday brunch at VIU – The trend of Sunday brunch has led top restaurants all over the city to compete with each other to produce the best brunch. Situated atop the glamourous St. Regis hotel you can find the restaurant VIU with incredible vistas of Bangkok. The champagne brunch is served with freshly squeezed juices, Moet Chandon champagne, banana mascarpone French toast, eggs made to order and a selection of delicious pastries and Asian breakfast offerings. A breakfast of champions!
Luxury tours to do in Bangkok
Full day floating market tour
Discover the “Venice of the Far East” on this tour that will show you three floating markets in Bangkok. You will be able to observe life, commerce and communication that has existed on these waterways for centuries, since the Ayutthaya Period (1350–1767) where rivers became a mainstay in transporting goods and produce in Thailand.
Visit a coconut farm and savour fresh and local flavours such as Thai sweets and snacks and mackerel fried rice. The colours and atmosphere are a photographer’s dream and you will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture. Finally, you will visit the only market in the whole world beside the railway track at Maeklong Railway Market.
Charter a private luxury yacht for the day
Cruise down the Chao Phraya River in style on your very own chartered yacht. The three hour cruise will allow you to discover life by the riverside, visiting famous attractions as the sun starts to set and the moon rises. See the Grand Palace, Wat Pho and the Temple of Dawn from a different light.
Your private Bangkok photoshoot
Enjoy a guided tour around Bangkok with a professional photographer, customised to your desires, choosing your preferred destination for high-quality photos of your memorable holiday. You can choose your method of transportation such as train, river taxi or Tuk Tuk motorcycle taxi and choose your location from the list of sights including the flower market and Chinatown among others.
Recommend luxury tours in Bangkok
- Private Bangkok City Tour Full Day With The Grand Palace
- Private Tour: Ayutthaya Day Trip from Bangkok
- Private Tour: Floating Market and Rose Garden Tour from Bangkok
- Private Erawan Waterfall, River Kwai, Death Railway Tour from Bangkok
- Bangkok by Night: Private Food, Drink and Shopping Tour
- Private Tour: Hua Hin Day Tour from Bangkok
- Bangkok: Grand Palace & Wat Phra Kaew Day Tour
- 15Day – The Best Cheap Indochina Thailand Vietnam & Cambodia
- Ayutthaya by Helicopter – The Ancient Capital of Siam Tour from Bangkok
- Private Luxury Yacht on Chao Phraya River
- Ranger Wild Jungle Adventure Starts From Bangkok (5 Days)
- 3-Day River Kwai Experience