Our expert tips, ideas & insider info for Thailand
- Stay by the river near the Khao San Road area. Easy to get around by water taxi with great restaurants on the water, night markets nearby and a more serene feel to the hotels, especially those with rooftop pools and waterside bars.
- Taling Chan Floating Market, no trip to Bangkok is complete without a visit to a floating market, and this seafood mecca is a standout.
- Another must do is to go to the Chatuchak weekend market, spend the day and make the most of it. Do a tuk tuk eat repeat night food tour!
- The Rooftop at Sala Rattanakosin a great spot in town to view the dazzling Temple of Dawn and other iconic sights and is a refreshingly relaxed place to unwind.
- See the largest reclining Buddha in Thailand, Wat Pho, a 150-foot-long sculpture occupying nearly every inch of the building. Roam the grounds, or head to the back to the temple to find the best massage school in Thailand. Best of all, you can often book a massage as a walk-in.
- When the hustle bustle gets too much, head to the zoo which is the most tranquil green spot in the city.
- For all the tourist hubs you can also venture to the less discovered northern part, check out Baba Beach Club or the less-developed southeastern coastline (where the Rosewood and Sri Panwa is located). The cliffside peninsulas offer ocean views, flecked with islands and long-tail boats providing a sense of tranquillity and privacy
- Some other quieter options for beaches include Hat Nai Han on the south coast, a small, peaceful spot, with a handful of restaurants set back from the shore. Locals come here in the early evening to enjoy the best sunset views
- To the west of Nai Han, a quick drive through The Royal Phuket Yacht Club and out the other side, is Ao Sane, a very small rocky beach. There are a few bungalows and a restaurant and a prime spot for snorkelling. Facilities are minimal, so pick up a snorkel or chairs beforehand.
- Many visit Phuket Town to experience the museums and Sino-Portuguese architecture but here you will also find art galleries showcasing Thai works and international artists. One of the more unusual is Wua Art Gallery & Studio, run by the mysteriously-named Mr Zen. Its interesting modern art makes you feel like you have stumbled into a trendy gallery in London or Berlin.
- For live music bars try Rockin Angels Blues Bar or Timber Hut.
- Cafe Opera (Soi Malisa, Kata Beach) is one of Katas most elegant bars, serving up excellent food plus dangerously good mojitos
- All taxis to and from the airport are fixed price so no haggling needed but it is still cheaper to book and prepay a transfer with your favourite World Travellers Agent