Why go to Bangkok
Is there another Asian capital where the latest progress and traditional lifestyle blend in such a harmony as in Bangkok? Bold skyscrapers pierce the skies, golden temples adorn the city; chic shopping malls host top world brands while the vibrant street markets tempt with delicious flavours of the yummiest and spiciest local dishes. State-of-the-art skytrain cuts through the city, flying high above the street bustle, clumsy ferries ply the muddy waters of the Chao Phraya River and it seems that real magic helps speeding cheerful pink, yellow and green taxis find their way through the labyrinths of incredible Bangkok spaghetti junctions.
As centuries ago, the stately prangs of Wat Arun catch the first rays of sun dawning over the capital and the dazzling chedis of Wat Phra Kaew shine bright. Austere giant Yaks guard the capital while the Bangkokians and the guests of the Land of Smile alike dine and wine in the vertigo rooftop restaurants, work, party and picnic. Steel and concrete have not yet taken control over leafy parks and squares, and quaint khlongs embraced by wide modern thoroughfares are reminiscent of the times when the Bangkok of today was only a newborn.
From Singapore to Bangkok
The easiest, quickest and most obvious way to get from Bangkok to Singapore is undoubtedly by plane. There are a lot of flights of different airlines connecting the Thai capital with the world’s only island city-state. But the real adventure-seekers may opt for an overland travel, too. If you have enough time at your disposal and enjoy travel as a process and not only as a mere necessity for getting from point A to point B, you may make your trip from Bangkok to Singapore an amazing quest.
From Singapore to Bangkok by plane
If you need a quick transfer from Singapore to Bangkok, the best option is to fly. It saves not only your time, reducing a several-day overland journey to mere two and a half hours, but money, as well: travelling overland the whole way from Singapore to Bangkok will obviously cost you more, taking into consideration overnight stops in hotels and guesthouses. There are a lot of airlines serving the route, but due to its popularity the best deals sell out well ahead of the departure date.
For budget air-tickets from Singapore to Bangkok check Thai Lion Air, Thai AirAsia and *Jetstar Asia in the first turn. All of them fly from Changhi Airport, but in Bangkok the two first use Don Mueang Airport, where the majority of the low-cost airlines base now, and the latter arrives to Suvarnabhumi Airport. Arriving to Suvarnabhumi may prove more convenient if you want to catch a bus to certain destination in Thailand, including Pattaya, Koh Samet, Koh Chang or Hua Hin directly from the airport. From Don Mueang you can catch AirAsia flights to many destinations throughout Thailand. If heading to Bangkok proper, there is no difference to which airport to arrive.
Note that Sunday evening flights from Singapore to Bangkok are often full as the Bangkokians head back home after the weekend in Singapore.
Tickets are normally priced between THB2200 and THB3000 one-way, though on certain dates you will be lucky to get a ticket for as much as THB5500, too.
In Singapore Changi Airport is located in the eastern part of the island. One of the best airports in the world, Changi – regardless its size – is easy to navigate and has all possible facilities a traveller may fancy.
Getting to the airport from the city is straightforward – just catch public bus #36 which stops at all the three terminals of the airport. The estimated travel time from the city centre to the airport is about one hour. Note that you have to pay the exact fare to the driver (SGD2.50) as no change is given. A quicker transfer is provided by private taxi (from SGD20 to SGD40, depending on where you start your trip; add SGD3-5 of the airport tax and 50% night surcharge between midnight and 6am). Estimated travel time from the city centre to the airport by taxi is about 30 minutes. Changi airport can be reached by MRT train, too. The train station is located right below the terminals 2 and 3. Trains for the airport leave from the Tanah Merah station and take only 7 minutes to bring you to the airport. To get to Tanah Merah station from the centre, take any of the eastbound trains and then transfer to the airport link.
Don Mueang International Airport in Bangkok is located to the north of the capital. It is connected with the city by airport shuttle buses (routes A1 and A2). A1 terminates at Morchit bus terminal calling en route to Morchit BTS. A2 heads to Morchit BTS first and then proceeds to Saphan Kwai BTS, Ari BTS, Sanam Pao BTS and finally reaches the Victory Monument (THB30). Travel time depends on traffic and is from 60 to 80 minutes. There are commuter trains between Don Mueang airport and Hua Lamphong train station, too. Trains take about 50 minutes to get from the railway station to the airport and are always a secure bet. Operating time is from 3.10am till 10.15pm.
To find out the best ways to get to city from Suvarnabhumi Airport, check our suggestions here.
From Singapore to Bangkok overland
If you are not limited with the time you can spend on your journey, then an ordinary short flight from Singapore to Bangkok can be transformed into a great overland adventure. Choose cities and places en route which you would like to visit and split your journey into shorter parts. Land transport connections between Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand are well-established and you can mix train rides with bus rides to see quite a few of interesting destinations on this route.
You can follow our suggestions for getting from Bangkok to Singapore in the opposite direction or opt for a different itinerary. Here is an idea to start with.
Let a historical city of Malacca (Melaka) be your first port of call on the way to Bangkok. It takes about four hours by bus to get from Singapore to Malacca (SGD30/MYR80). A wide choice of departures throughout the day let you comfortably spend from a couple of hours to several days in Malacca. A real wealth of attractions – an outstanding Baba and Nyonya Peranakan Museum , a replica of the Portuguese Flor de la Mar ship, arguably the best zoo in Malaysia, just to name a few – make it an enjoyable and a rewarding stop.
Take a morning bus from Malacca to Butterworth (six hours, MYR50) and let yourself savour the island of Penang, a melting pot of Malay, Indian, Chinese and European cultures and a culinary capital of Malaysia. Spend the night in Georgetown to catch the next day morning train or afternoon to Padang Besar (7.20am or 1.25pm, two hours; MYR30) to change onto #36 train which goes from the Thai side of the border straight to Bangkok (5.40pm, 17 hours; THB1200).
To do some island hopping en route, get off in Suratthani (6 hours, THB950) and enjoy crystal clear waters on Koh Samui or venture inland from Suratthani to explore the unique Khao Sok National Park teeming with abundance of wild life.
Cover the remaining distance from Suratthani to Bangkok by train, by bus (from THB600 to THB1500) or by tourist charter (from nine to 12 hours). Look back and say: ‘Wow! That’s been a great trip!’
Where to stay in Bangkok
It is easy to get lost in the sprawling neighbourhoods of Bangkok and become totally confused by the endless accommodation options on offer. First thing to do is to define the budget you are going to spend on accommodation and take into consideration the activities you are planning to be engaged in while in Bangkok.
A perennial backpackers’ favourite, Khao San Road and a couple of adjacent streets, including Soi Rambuttri, Soi Phra Atit and Soi Samsen, is the realm of budget accommodation in the capital with all the traveller-oriented services readily available. Chinatown, known as Yaowarat, possesses infinite charm for any city explorer and boasts very decent budget guesthouses. Silom and lower parts of Sukhumvit Road both have solid mad-range hotels normally located within a walking distance from BTS stations. For a shopaholic paradise head to the centrally located Siam but be prepared to pay no less than THB2000 for a simple room. The atmospheric Riverside is famous for its luxury hotels but for budget digs Thanon Charoen Krung is worth browsing.
Things to do in Bangkok
Time spent in Bangkok is never enough as the city offers virtually endless opportunities for exploring, sightseeing, dining and wining. While everyone will surely find an activity and a destination within Bangkok to their tasting, no visit to the Thai capital is complete without:
- Checking-in at the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew where the most revered image of Buddha in the whole country is hosted.
- A heavenly massage session at Wat Pho, the national headquarters of preservation of Thai medicine.
- A drink in one of the glamorous rooftop bars with an outstanding city view in a company of beautiful crowd.
- A river boat ride along Chao Phraya elbow to elbow with other commuters and unexpected water splashes into your face.
- Browsing the narrow twisted aisles of the crazy Chatuchak weekend market selling a wealth of souvenirs, cheap closes, local designer creations and exotic animals.
- A relaxed afternoon at Jim Thompson House, a leafy little oasis of peace and tranquillity by the side of a khlong.
- A strenuous ascend to the main prang of Wat Arun or to the top of the Golden Mountain.
- A ride on a skytrain for a bird’s eye view of the city.
Have a pleasant stay in Bangkok. Relax and enjoy – we know, you will!