Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK)

The capital of Thailand and its largest city (11 million), Bangkok is this country's cultural, spiritual, political and commercial center. A study in contrasts, its skyscrapers rise amidst the backdrop of magnificent palaces and temples, charming canals and a vibrant nightlife fueled by the sultry climate.

Bangkok vibrates with a rainbow of colors. Everywhere you look, lush orchids, bougainvillea and exotic fruits add bursts of color to the cityscape. Monks in their distinctive saffron-yellow robes, bright neon signs, spices in the marketplace — it all adds up to a feast for the eyes.

Getting There is Half the Fun

The city is known for its traffic congestion, so get to your destination on the Chao Phraya Express Boat, an aquatic bus that runs up and down the river — or hop aboard a flower-bedecked, long-tail river taxi. The space-agey BTS Skytrain offers another easy way to see a different side of Bangkok.

Bikes are treated like pedestrians here, so explore the parks, markets, residential areas and the temple complexes on two wheels. For a taste of sporting action, take in the Sunday horse races. If shopping is on your list, the Chatuchak Weekend Market is famous for its 20,000 stands — a lively jumble of animals, art, furniture and food.

Street food has been elevated to art status in Bangkok. From national dishes like pad thai to tom yam kung (a sour soup with prawns, lemongrass and galangal), food from street vendors is cheap, plentiful and delicious. For something exotic, visit Khao San Road to try deep-fried scorpions, crickets and grasshoppers. If an elegant dining experience is more your style, set sail for a dinner cruise on the Chao Phraya River.

Get lost in the ancient and modern mysteries of the Far East. Explore a visit to Seoul and Singapore.

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