Bangkok’s markets are one of the city’s biggest attractions, offering everything from cheap souvenirs to handmade paintings, surprisingly high quality clothes, and more. No trip to Bangkok, especially your first time in the city, is complete without a visit to one of the city’s busy outdoor markets for some shopping.

Markets in Bangkok range from touristy and overpriced to authentic and affordable. Most of the time, the best markets fit into the middle: they’re easy to navigate as a tourist and packed with great products, but not so overexposed that the products cost too much. Choose the right ones and you’ll have a great shopping trip; choose the wrong ones and you’ll end up spending too much for low quality products.

Touristy and best avoided

Patpong Market

Located just off Silom Road, near the Sala Daeng BTS station, Patpong Market is a tourist shopping hotspot. Open at night, this seedy market is mostly surrounded by strip clubs and other seedy hangouts. Products are usually low quality imports from China with aggressive pricing, meaning you’ll need to haggle a lot to get anything even approaching a good deal.

MBK Center

The MBK Center is technically a mall, not a market, but its carnival-like atmosphere and huge range of shops makes it feel more like a market than most of Bangkok’s other shopping malls. MBK is only worth visiting for its gigantic cellphone and tablet selection; for clothes and accessories, you’ll find better quality products and better deals elsewhere.

Just right

Chatuchak Weekend Market

Open from Friday evening to Saturday night, Chatuchak Weekend Market is the world’s biggest outdoor flea market and one of Bangkok’s best places to shop for, well, anything. The market is divided into different sections, each of which specializes in a certain type of product. The art section is one of the market’s best spots to shop for unique souvenirs.

Union Mall

Located close to Chatuchak Market, Union Mall is like a more local version of the MBK Center. Ideal for teenage or 20-something girls, Union Mall offers a good range of fashion products and accessories. Men’s clothing, ranging from white t-shirts to casual leather belts, is also available. Since this mall is more aimed at locals than tourists, prices are on the fair side but English isn’t always spoken by shop owners.

Underground and fun

Klong Thom Market

One famous for stolen goods, Klong Thom Market has cleaned up its act and is now one of Bangkok’s most exciting markets. Products here range from second hands goods to hi-fi, electronics, clothing and more. One of the most eclectic mixes of stands and stalls in Bangkok, Klong Thom is open from late Saturday evening to midday on Sunday. Visit at night for the full experience.

Bangkok is one of the world’s hottest cities (in fact, based on the average temperature, it’s the hottest city in the world), making comfortable clothing an essential for any visitor. If you’re coming to Bangkok for the first time, packing the right clothes will help you avoid the city in any season without feeling too hot, sweaty and uncomfortable to see its best sights.

Bangkok has three seasons:

  • The cool season, which lasts from November until February
  • The hot season, which lasts from March until May
  • The wet season, which lasts from June until October

It’s worth noting that the “wet” season doesn’t mean continuous rain. Expect 2-3 hours of rain per day during the wet season, usually in the early evening and late afternoon. You’ll want to pack the same clothes for each season, but there are a few things you should know:

  • Even the “cool” season is quite warm, with temperatures of around 25-30°C during the daytime.
  • The temperature in Bangkok changes very little from day to night, so you’ll need some light, comfortable pajamas.
  • Bangkok is very sunny, so pack a hat and a pair of sunglasses if you plan on visiting temples and outdoor attractions.

As for what to pack, you’ll have the best experience by bringing the same type of clothes you’d wear during summer at home. Pack t-shirts, a button-down shirt or two, shorts and some comfortable sandals. For temples, pack a shirt that covers your shoulders and shoes that cover your toes, since the dress code is more formal in this kind of environment.

If you plan on visiting Bangkok’s skybars, bring a pair of jeans or slacks and leather shoes, as many of these establishments have strict dress codes for visitors.

In the south of Thailand, microfiber t-shirts like this Jockey shirt are a good choice, as they won’t absorb sweat like pure cotton. Many women use silicone nipple covers in the hot tropical climate of Thailand for improved comfort. Because of the humidity, any clothing that removes unnecessary layers is a plus.

Thailand is a hot country, and Bangkok is by some measures the world’s hottest city. Pack the right clothes and get used to wearing light, highly breathable outfits and you’ll have no problems with the heat, letting you spend your time exploring this fascinating city.

Visiting Bangkok? If you plan on going out while you’re in Bangkok, you’ll struggle to find any part of the city with better nightlife than Sukhumvit.

Sukhumvit is Bangkok’s commercial and residential center. It’s a long street that runs east to west throughout most of Central Bangkok, ranging from shopping malls at one end to bars and nightclubs, then residential areas. Sukhumvit is also the main home of Bangkok’s foreigner-focused nightlife areas, including red light districts like Nana Plaza and Soi Cowboy.

Here are our recommendations for a fun night out in Sukhumvit:

  • If you’re searching for Bangkok’s most exclusive and upmarket nightlife, take a taxi or the BTS to Thong Lor (Soi 55) and make your way down to Soi 10 or 13. SeenSpace has a great collection of international restaurants and some of Bangkok’s best bars.
  • Royal City Avenue, located north of Sukhumvit Road, is where you’ll find Bangkok’s biggest clubs. You’ll need to take a taxi, since this area is quite far from the BTS.
  • Sukhumvit Soi 11 is where you’ll find Bangkok’s most popular bars and nightclubs for foreigners. Highlights include OSKAR, which attracts a mix of expats and moneyed Thais, and Levels inside the ALoft hotel.
  • Sukhumvit Soi 22 offers a mix of cheap beer bars and fun nightclubs, including one of Bangkok’s best ice bars.
  • Nana Plaza and Soi Cowboy are Sukhumvit’s two red light districts. Nana is the seedier and larger of the two, while Soi Cowboy tends to attract a mixed crowd of tourists and pleasure seekers. If you plan on spending any time at either, make sure you book into a hotel that allows you to bring guests back without any extra fees. GuestFriendlyHotelsBangkok.com has a great guide to nightlife friendly hotels.
  • Traffic on Suhkumvit Road can be killer, and you’ll spend hours waiting in taxis if you rely on them to get from one end of Sukhumvit to the other. Use the BTS Skytrain to get around quickly without wasting any time sitting in traffic.

Ready for a fun night out? Sukhumvit is undoubtedly one of Asia’s best streets for partying, and the tips above will help you get the very best of its bars, nightclubs and restaurants. Have fun and be awesome!

Although Krabi is quite far from Bangkok, getting there is easier than you’d think. You can get to Krabi from Bangkok in one of three ways:

  • By flying from Don Muang or Suvarnabhumi Airport to Krabi Airport, then taking a taxi
  • By catching a bus from Sai Tai Mai bus station in Bangkok
  • By catching a train from Bangkok to Surat Thani, then taking a van onwards to Krabi

Since Krabi is on the Andaman coast of Thailand, there’s no direct rail link. If you’d like to travel by train, buy a ticket from Hualamphong Station to Surat Thani. This is the provincial capital near Koh Samui. From here, you can take a van across the southern Malay Peninsula part of Thailand to Krabi. It’s a 2-3 hour trip, depending on traffic and weather. This is probably the least convenient way to get to Krabi, but it’s an enjoyable journey that lets you see a lot of the countryside.

The easiest way to get to Krabi from Bangkok is to fly. Flights are available on AirAsia, NokAir and other low-cost airlines. Most flights to Krabi leave from Don Muang Airport (the older of Bangkok’s two airports). It takes about one hour to get to Krabi by air. Flights arrive in Krabi Airport, which is a short 20-30 minute drive from Ao Nang. A taxi from the airport to Ao Nang shouldn’t cost more than 500 baht.

If you’re on a budget, the cheapest way to get to Krabi is to take a bus. Buses leave from Sai Tai Mai terminal in southern Bangkok and take about 14 hours to get to Krabi. It’s a long, slow and uncomfortable journey, but it’s by far the cheapest way to get there. Book a night bus so you can sleep most of the way and avoid spending 14 hours feeling bored in the bus.

Once you’re in Krabi, book into a hotel and enjoy your stay. There are three main areas to stay in Krabi. Krabi Town, which is a somewhat boring provincial capital city, Ao Nang and Railay. Railay is the most scenic part of Krabi, with famous limestone cliffs that protect the beach from the nearby town of Ao Nang.