Holidays in Bangkok 2013/2014:
Jewel-adorned temples, flower-festooned waterways and more pineapples on sticks than you’d ever dare to imagine, welcome to Bangkok. Regarded by many as the gateway to the hillsides of the north or the white sands of the south, the capital of Thailand deserves much more of your time than simply one night.
Whatever your heart desires you’ll find it here and from chaotic markets to peaceful parks, the diverse range of activities and attractions is as mind-boggling as it’s enchanting. Getting around is as easy as a Sunday morning massage with inexpensive taxis, passenger ferries and the BTS Skytrain transit system all providing comfortable transportation to anywhere you want to visit. The above-ground rail system is clean, cheap and very efficient too. Of course, tuk-tuks have to be experienced at least once during your stay so hold onto your sticky rice as a trip to the shops doesn’t get any more exhilarating than this.
Bangkok just does not sleep and you’ll discover hotels, restaurants, bars and nightclubs all open until dawn, especially in the ever-popular areas in and around the Sukhumvit Road and the Khaosan Road. If you’re intent on unearthing some of the city’s more cultural charms then look no further than the numerous temples, palaces and museums that provide fascinating facts and jaw-dropping architecture to ensure your stay is as enlightening as it’s exciting.
Things to do/Attractions
Holidays in Bangkok can be as boisterous and loud or as peaceful and serene as you wish and the wide choice of things to do reflects the diverse nature of the city. Temple tours, park strolls and visits to opulent palaces allow you to really delve deeper into the Thai culture whilst neon nightclubs, bustling bars and glitzy malls provide a completely different experience altogether. This really is a beautiful and exciting city and often just a walk around the market, floating or otherwise, can leave you feeling exhilarated and alive like nothing else on earth.
As you’d expect from a city that boasts over 50,000 places to eat, if you’re into your food then you’ve come to the right place. Everything from 5-star hotel grandeur to deep-fried things on sticks, if it’s edible, it’s on the menu. The romance and adventure of watching the world go by from a street food stall is only matched by the views from dining on a rooftop restaurant. Multicultural districts such as Phahurat Road have a huge range of choice as this is where Chinatown and the Indian community meet to totally tantalise your taste buds. Local Bangkok favourites: green or red Thai curry, bbq’d pork or sticky rice and mango – mmmm!
Evening activities in Bangkok are just as eclectic as the days and areas such as the Sukhumvit Road district present a high-quality alternative to the more back-packer-friendly bars and clubs along the Khaosan Road. Often some of the best entertainment can be found safely secreted within the confines of your hotel however, the chance to visit a local theatre to watch traditional Thai folk dance or elaborate puppet shows is often an opportunity not to be missed. Ratchadaphisek Road has plenty of after-hours fun for all and if you’re looking to hang-out with the locals and dance until dawn then this is the place to be.
Not to be missed
It’s often the case with a trip to Bangkok that you get so caught up in haggling for bargains and grazing on street food that you barely have time for anything else but if you can find the room for the following then you won’t be disappointed. The Grand Palace, which houses the Emerald Buddha Temple, is well-worth at least half-a-day while Taling Chan Floating Market offers an altogether more agricultural, although none-the-less colourful, approach to life. Wat Arun is an accessible and inspirational Buddhist temple and shouldn’t be missed although the same could be said for the vast Chatuchak weekend market, the choice is yours.
Best for families
Bangkok maybe an electrifying city but it’s still totally accessible for families with younger children and teens. Many hotels have swimming pools, international restaurants, sports facilities, family rooms and baby-sitting services and the Millennium Hilton Bangkok is packed-full of things to do for all the gang. Away from your base you’ll find plenty of wide open green spaces to let off steam and a trip to Lumphini Park gives you the chance to picnic, pedal boat or try your hand at Tai-chi with granddad. The BK Art & Culture centre is considered a cool hang-out for young artists with loads of interactive exhibits and zones just for the kids.
Best for couples
Honeymooners are naturally drawn to Thailand thanks to the idyllic island retreats of the south but don’t discount Bangkok when it comes to romance because there are lots of secluded spots and intimate nooks from where to enjoy each other’s company. All of our Bangkok hotels offer the latest in luxury with the Aloft Bangkok - Sukhumvit 11 and the Shangri-La Bangkok both vying for top spot on the lovers’ list. When you do finally leave the comfort of your room you’ll be able to indulge in some truly romantic experiences including: spa days, temple tours, summer nights dining in one of Bangkok's romantic rooftop restaurants while enjoying award-winning cuisine. Younger couples may choose to see in the morning at a trendy Bangkok nightclub, many attract International DJs spinning the latest dancefloor fillers.
Exotic, unique and utterly romantic; weddings and honeymoons in Thailand are exactly how you’d imagine and from traditional Thai ceremonies to top hat and tails with all the trimmings, this is your chance to get hitched in style. Riverfront hotels in Bangkok such as the Shangri-la Bangkok and the Royal Orchid Sheraton present an exceptional base from where to explore the city and when combined with beach resorts like Centara Grand Beach resorts in Phuket, Koh Samui and Krabi, and the Sarojin you can have the best of both worlds no matter where you wish to tie the knot. Gorgeous tropical sunsets on the beach combined with luxury accommodation in the city, this is what dreams are made of.
No matter when you visit there’s always something exciting going on and 2013 is no exception with full moons, kites and the crazy Songkran water festival all being celebrated during March and April. As this is the year of the snake you can expect to find plenty of serpent symbols flying about and if you’re into jazz, literature and dance then June’s a great month to visit Bangkok. During mid-Autumn candles, cakes and incense feature more frequently than usual to celebrate the Moon Festival whilst November promises Krathong where waterways become covered in decoratively adorned floats in respect of the water spirits.
Weather/Best time to go
Thai temperatures average around 31/32°C throughout the year and you’re practically guaranteed over 5 hours of sunshine no matter when you’re travelling. As Bangkok is blessed with such a rich variety of attractions and gorgeous hotels there’s never really a down season although September and October can be a tad on the rainy side which offers a great excuse to test out the spa and massage facilities. If you’re looking for a best time of year to go then choosing a festival or particular event is a great idea and a combination of city break and beach resort ensures you’ll have a fab time whatever floats your boat.
There are plenty of chances to unleash your inner-adventurer whilst in Thailand and leaving the city sights behind, as you head to the hillsides and rainforests of the north, is a great option for starters. Grab your rucksack and sturdy boots and head off on a trekking trip that will leave you in no doubt as to why Thailand rocks when it comes to adventure. Elephant experiences and staying overnight with hill tribes are incredible experiences.
Getting around is now easier than ever. Bangkok’s new Skytrain transit system is the pride and joy of the city. This above-ground rail system is clean, cheap and very efficient – ideal for exploring this vibrant city.
So, if a city break in Bangkok sounds like your perfect getaway, have a look at our fantastic Bangkok hotels and package holidays! We can also arrange your holiday to Bangkok as part of a multi-centre trip too. Book online or call us now to discuss your perfect holiday.
- Grand Palace
- Emerald Buddha Temple
- Exciting Nightlife
- Floating Markets
- Fantastic Hotels
Jan - Bangkok International Film Festival
Feb- Chinese New Year
Mar – 11th Makha Bucha – celebration of Buddha’s first sermon to his disciples. (National Holiday)
Apr – 13/14/15th Songkran – Traditional Thai New Year, generally celebrated as a water festival. Celebrated on the 13th when the streets downtown are full of revellers, prepare to get wet.
May – 1st Labour Day (National Holiday), 5th Coronation day celebrating the day in 1949 when the current king was crowned. 24th Visakha Bucha Day which is the holiest Buddha day and celebrates the birth, enlightenment and entry into Nirvana of the Buddha.
Jul – 22nd Asanha Bucha Day, 23rd Khao Phansa, this day marks the beginning of the Buddhist ‘lent’ period.
Aug - The Queen's Birthday
Oct – 23rd Chulalongkorn Day (One of Thailands most revered Kings). This is a Public Holiday. 14th Ork Phansa marks the end of Buddhist Lent.
Nov – 18th Loy Kratong (Not a National holiday) but an evening when Thais pay respect to the goddess of the waters by floating candlelit offerings on any of the waterways around the Kingdom.
Dec - 5th The King's Birthday
Please note: All events listed are for helpful information only and many are subject to entrance fees and/or prior reservation, and may be cancelled at any time. Please check with the relevant tourist office if you need further information on these or any of the other events in this region.
Important Dates 2013
Jan - 1st New Year (National Holiday), 14th The Coming of Age festival is celebrated on the second Monday of January. Its Japanese name is Seijin no hi. All young people who turn twenty years old in that year are celebrated on Seijin no hi. Twenty is the age considered as the beginning of adulthood. It is also the minimum legal age for voting, drinking and smoking.(National Holiday
Feb- 11th National Foundation Day (kenkoku kinenbi) According to the earliest Japanese history records, on this day in the year 660 BC the first Japanese emporer was crowned. (National Holiday)
Mar – Cherry Blossom Seasons starts. 3rd The Hina Matsuri or Doll Festival or Girl's Festival is celebrated on March 3. On this day, families with girls wish their daughters a successful and happy life. Dolls are displayed in the house together with peach blossoms. The doll festival has its origin in a Chinese custom in which bad fortune is transferred to dolls and then removed by abandoning the doll on a river. On Hina Matsuri, sweet sake is drunk and chirashi suchi is eaten. Around the 20th Spring Equinox Day (shunbun no hi), (National Holiday).
Apr - April 29th Showa Day (Showa no hi) The birthday of former Emperor Showa. Showa Day is part of Golden Week. A collection of 4 National Holidays within 7 days, becoming one of Japan’s three busiest holiday seasons, beside New Year and the Obon week.
May – 3rd Constitution Day (Kenpo kinenbi), 4th Greenery Day (Midori no hi) A day dedicated to the environment and nature because the former emperor love plants and nature. 5th Childrens Day (Kodomo no hi), The Boy’s Festival, Families pray for the health and future success of their sons by hanging up carp streamers and displaying samurai dolls, both symbolizing strength, power and success in life.
Jul – 7th Tanabata Festival or Star Festival. takes place on the 7th day of the 7th month of the year, when, according to a Chinese legend, the two stars Altair and Vega, which are usually separated from each other by the milky way, are able to meet. Because the 7th month of the year roughly coincides with August rather than July according to the formerly used lunar calendar, Tanabata is still celebrated on August 7th in some regions of Japan, while it is celebrated on July 7th in other regions. 15th Ocean Day (umi no hi) A day of celebration that marks the return of Emperor Meiji from a boat trip to Hokkaido in 1876. (National Holiday). - 27th Tokyo Sumida River Fireworks , Originally used to ward off evil spirits, fireworks (Hanabi) have a long history in Japan and are an integral part of Japanese summers.
Aug - Obon is an annual Buddhist event for commemorating one's ancestors. It is believed that each year during Obon, the ancestors' spirits return to this world in order to visit their relatives. Obon is observed from the 13th to the 15th day of the 7th month of the year, which is July according to the solar calendar. However, since the 7th month of the year roughly coincides with August rather than July according to the formerly used lunar calendar, Obon is still observed in mid August in many regions of Japan, while it is observed in mid July in other regions.
Sep - 16th Respect for Aged Day (National Holiday). 23rd Autumn Equinox (National Holiday).
Oct – 13th Formula 1 Grand Prix at Suzuka. 14th Health and Sports Day. (National Holiday).
Nov - 4th Culture Day (National Holiday). 23rd Labour Thanksgiving Day (National Holiday).
Dec - 23rd Emperor’s Birthday (National Holiday). 25th Christmas Day (not a National Holiday.
Please note: All events listed are for helpful information only and some may be subject to entrance fees and/or prior reservation, and may be cancelled at any time. Please check with the relevant tourist office if you need further information on these or any of the other events in this region.
Most of our customers stay in Bangkok as part of a multi-centre package. The prices featured on the following pages are designed to give you a guide as to how much a stopover could cost in addition to your package price. The prices shown are only applicable when booked as part of a package. If you would prefer to book a single centre stay, please see our website or call us for a quote