Welcome to the Far East’s most vibrant city, where Asian tradition meets Western culture in one cosmopolitan, compelling mix. Get past the Thai capital’s initial intensity (the traffic makes Sheikh Zayed look tame!) and you’ll find a warm heart that’s bursting with exotic flavour.
Most people head to Bangkok for its flamboyant nightlife. And you’re spoilt for choice: you can sing karaoke in the bowling lanes at the Major Bowl Hit Hit Track Karaoke; sample the 30 plus wines that Bar @494 in Ratchadamri boasts; chill to live music at Bar Bu Ree in Sukhumvit, or catch one of the more risqué shows that the city is infamous for in Patpong.
Not everything is party-based though. Bangkok is proud to have maintained its heritage, and many historical buildings can be visited within the city. City tours will let you soak up the historical culture – including its awe-inspiring Golden Temple – before you hit one of the many shopping malls.
While you're there...
Grab a bargain
Serious fashionistas should visit Siam Paragon – a gleaming retail mecca with five floors stacked with designer brands. But for the authentic Bangkok shopping experience, head for the 15,000 bargain-filled stalls at Chatuchak Weekend Market, as well as the bustling night markets in Patpong and Suan Lum.
No, not yoga – ZEN, at CentralWorld, is a massive 50,000 sq metre, six-storey lifestyle trend megastore, aimed at the young at heart who appreciate good design. It’s theatrical, with modern furnishings, pop-graphic backdrops and creative displays that’ll make you want to take everything home.
Enjoy sky high cocktail hour
For a bird’s eye view of the city, join the throngs of beautiful peeps at the stylish bar and restaurant The Dome, at the State Tower. The outside terrace – 60 floors up – boasts terrific views. Moon Bar, on the 61st floor of the Banyan Tree Hotel, is another must-visit come cocktail hour.