Once known as Siam, Bangkok has been the capital city of Thailand since 1782. Now known for its eclectic and heady mix of spicy food, neon signs, robed monks, bustling markets, traditional architecture and chaotic traffic, Bangkok is a popular destination for tourists from all around the world.
Drawing visitors for its fascinating history, warm climate, magnificent architecture, cultural monuments and world-renowned cuisine, Bangkok is also the jumping-off point for travellers visiting other parts of Thailand.
Opened in 1991, the port of Laem Chebang is located on the south-eastern shores of the Gulf of Thailand. The largest port in Thailand, Laem Chebang is the main port for passenger cruise ships that service Bangkok. The terminal is located around 2 hours’ drive south of the city of Bangkok. With no height restrictions, this deep-water port can accommodate some of the largest ships in the world.
- souvenir shops and massage service in the terminal
- easy access to Harbour Mall shopping centre
- shuttle bus to Pattaya beach town
- close to the Laem Chebang International Country Club.
How to Get Around
A private transfer to Bangkok should cost ฿2,000 to ฿2,800 (A$65-$90) per car. Alternatively, the public bus from the port to Bangkok will cost around ฿100 (A$3) per person.
Once in Bangkok there are various transport options. Taxis are abundant and fares are metered, although surcharges apply in heavy traffic. Tuk-tuks are popular and fast, however not the cleanest or safest option. You’ll need to negotiate a fare with the driver before accepting a ride.
The subway is efficient and clean, and fares range from ฿14 to ฿36 (A0.45c to $1.20) depending on the distance travelled. City buses operate on more than 100 routes and fares range from ฿7 to ฿22 (A0.23c to 0.80c).
The Bangkok Skytrain operates between 6am and midnight, and unlimited passes are available at all stations. The Chao Phraya Express Boat ferry service stops at tourist attractions and riverside hotels. Fares start at around ฿10 (A0.33c).
- Currency - the currency in Bangkok is the Thai baht (THB). Coins come in ฿1, ฿5 and ฿10 denominations. Notes come in ฿20, ฿50, ฿100, ฿500 and ฿1,000 denominations.
- Time Zone - Bangkok uses Indochina Time (ICT), which is 7 hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).
- Weather - Bangkok has a tropical monsoon climate and the highest average temperature of any city in the world. The average temperature is 33° Celsius year round, getting slightly warmer in April and slightly cooler in December.
- The Grand Palace - in 1782, the Grand Palace was built as the official residence of King Rama I, and still serves as a royal palace today. Most interesting for its unique Thai architecture, visitors are welcome to wander the grounds but are not permitted to enter the government buildings. The grounds are also home to Wat Phra Keo, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha.
- Jim Thompson’s House - the ‘best known foreigner in south-east Asia’, American architect Jim Thompson founded the Jim Thompson Thai Silk Company and built an exquisite Thai-style home in Bangkok throughout the late 1940s to 1960s. In 1967, he mysteriously disappeared in Malaysia’s Cameron Highlands. These days his home is open for public tours.
- Damnoen Saduak - located in Ratchaburi Province about 90 minutes’ drive from Bangkok, the Damnoen Saduak floating market is a must-see. Set in a narrow river and accessible only from the water, long-tail boats piled high with fresh produce and locally made souvenirs make up this unique market.
- Wat Pho - one of the largest temple complexes in the city, the Temple of the Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho) is famous for its titular giant reclining Buddha. Measuring 46 metres long and 15 metres tall, the statue is covered in gold leaf.