If you’re looking for excitement and an excuse to warm up in the winter months, go to Bangkok. The capital of Thailand, BKK is home to busy streets, temples, and palaces fit for a King. And we’ve got to tell you, you haven’t had Pad Thai until you’ve tasted it from a street vendor in Bangkok. Food aside, the city has so much to offer that we’ve written this post to help you narrow it down to the best of the best.
The Best of Bangkok Travel Guide Quick Links
- Best Time of Year to Visit Bangkok
- Best Coffee Shops and Cafés With Free Wifi in Bangkok
- Best Places to Grab a Drink in Bangkok
- Best Side Trips from Bangkok
Best Time of Year to Visit Bangkok
Bangkok may be the escape from the cold that you’re craving this winter. Not only is the best time to visit right in the thick of the coldest months in most of North America, but the city also comes alive for the holidays.
The temperature in Bangkok is relatively similar all-year-round, it’s hot. We’re talking lows of 72°F (22°C) and highs of up to 95°F (35°C), only differing by a few degrees month to month. There’s a reason some call Bangkok the tropical savanna. While you can’t escape the humidity, you can escape the rain in the cool season, which starts in November and ends in March.
Of course, this is when the city is the busiest and therefore most expensive. You can make the best of the situation by booking early (at least three months before your trip), to save a little cash.
If you don’t mind sweating 24/7, you can brave the hot season from March until June. But a trip in mid-April is well worth the smoldering heat. One of the biggest festivals of the year is Thai New Year, Songkran. The celebration centers around Buddhism and acknowledges the passing into a new year. At this time of year, you can witness some of the most special ceremonies at the many temples scattered around the city. Plus, there’s a huge water fight on the 13th, so expect to get soaked!
No matter the time of year, Bangkok is built with its weather in mind. There are always plenty of malls, shops, and cafes you can duck into for some AC and shelter from the rain.
Best Coffee Shops and Cafés With Free Wifi in Bangkok
Watch out Chiang Mai, Bangkok is coming for the top spot when it comes to becoming Thailand’s next nomad hub. Whether you’re seeking wifi to map out your next attraction or need to get a little work done, Bangkok scores high for connectivity and cafe-work culture. It has earned 4.52/5 on Nomadlist, which takes a bunch of factors to assess the liveability of a city for digital nomads. They’re no stranger to being asked, “do you have wifi?”.
- Hello Strangers Cafe. This cozy cafe is an Instagram dream with exposed brick, unique drinks, cool artwork, and free wifi. It’s even got a vinyl records corner.
- Wanderlust. If you’re missing the taste of western cuisine, this beautifully minimalist spot was inspired by Melbourne-style brunch.
- Artís. Coffee is the number one priority at this bright cafe features live-roasting, so you can experience the freshest cuppa you’ve ever tasted.
- Storyline. A spacious cafe with “work” in their tagline, you know this spot’s got good wifi. If that’s not enough, you can surf while you eat. Their tables are big and meant to mimic working from home, with snacks all around.
When cafes and coffee shops just don’t do the trick, you can always check out a coworking space. From more corporate spaces like E88, to start-up hotspots like Hubba, to creative hives like, well, The Hive, you can find a space for whatever kind of work environment you like.
Best Places to Grab a Drink in Bangkok
You can find almost any kind of environment to enjoy a drink in Bangkok. When it comes to bars, the big city doesn’t disappoint. They go to lengths to create environments and experiences that will delight and surprise. But don’t be fooled, not every establishment’s got five stars. Here’s a list of our top picks.
Fancy a cocktail? Vesper has earned five stars from Time Out for its award-winning cocktails and breathtaking atmosphere. Think vintage European with an eclectic twist. They even have a cocktail collection inspired by modern art.
A hidden gem. Rabbit Hole is a three-story bar with an impressive cocktail menu. It’s not quite a speakeasy but is definitely hidden like one. With no signage, the only way to find it is to look for a big wooden door. Don’t leave without trying their signature Old Fashioned.
Rough around the edges. Backpackers unite, Khao San is the place to be for dingy bars, loud clubs, and cheap drinks. Pop into Brick Bar for live reggae and ska music, a lively crowd and a good time.
Sunset stunner. The best views come from high places. The name explains it all, Vertigo and Moon Bar is located on the 61st floor of a 5-star hotel. You pay for the 360-degree view, but boy does it take your breath away.
Best Side Trips from Bangkok
Take a break from the noise of the city and take a day trip to one (or more) of the spectacular sights just a few hours from Bangkok.
- Damnoen Saduak. The famous floating market is a 2-hour drive from Bangkok. Get there early because the market is bustling between 8 am and 10 am. Fresh fruit and vegetables are sold from wooden boats along the canal.
- Khao Yai National Park. Escape the busy streets of Bangkok and get some fresh air at this nature preserve. With over 30 miles (48km) of hiking and biking trails, it’s an adventure lover’s paradise. Watch out for elephants. One recently tried to sit on a car. Talk about an experience.
- Ayutthaya. Head over to the old capital of the Kingdom of Siam and be prepared to see jaw-dropping temples. One of the most stunning sights is Wat Mahathat, where there is a Buddha head nestled in the winding roots of a big tree. Don’t forget to pack a sarong in your daypack to cover your legs and shoulders so you don’t get denied entry.
No matter where you’re going, keep an eye out for pick-pockets. Keep your stuff close to you with a sling so you can focus on taking in the sights.
Bangkok is a magical city, full of life. It’s the perfect mix of traditional and modern culture. With a booming business scene, stunning temples and natural wonders just a few hours away. It’s no wonder it is one of Thailand’s most visited cities.