Thailand's bustling capital serves as the premier gateway not only for Thailand, but for all of Southeast Asia. Suvarnabhumi International Airport recently opened here in 2006 and quickly became one of Asia's busiest travel hubs. Hotels in Bang Na are popular with travelers making quick stopovers as this area provides easy access to the airport.
A sprawling city, Bangkok doesn't have a dedicated central district. Instead, the major activity follows Sukhumvit Road through the length of the metropolis. This avenue provides access to most of the accommodation in Bangkok and boasts world-class shopping complexes like Siam Square and Siam Paragon. It also cuts directly through prominent restaurant districts and a few sizzling after-hours neighborhoods.
Bangkok's financial district is bound to Silom and Sathorn roads and many five-star business hotels are located here. By day, Thailand's most successful businesspeople converge on these gleaming skyscrapers, but this part of the city assumes a new identity at dusk. Financial institutions close up and are replaced by neon rows of bars, restaurants and market stalls, culminating in the famous bar and club strip of Patpong.
Getting around Bangkok used to be tricky, but modern infrastructure continues to make transport easier. When booking a hotel in Bangkok, tourists are wise to choose a location close to the Skytrain (BTS) or Metro (MRT) lines. These are fast and inexpensive, and they travel between major districts along Sukhumvit and Silom roads. Express boats ply the canals and Chao Phraya River and for everything in between, motorcycle taxis provide the fastest – and most thrilling – ride from A to B.
The cosmopolitan energy in Bangkok is exhilarating, and it's easy to forget that this city also plays an integral role in Thai culture and history. No sooner do tourists round the corner of a brand-new skyscraper than they come face-to-face with a centuries-old temple or an eclectic open-air market. With unforgettable sites like Temple of Dawn, the Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, Bangkok remains endlessly fascinating and surprising, even to its residents.
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