Whatever your pleasure, Bangkok, nicknamed the Big Mango, will indulge it: whether you’re seeking cultural highs at Buddhist temples, retail hits in shiny malls or getting lost among the labyrinthine back sois (streets). In Bangkok you can book into a sumptuous day spa for THB3,000 and find a foot massage for THB300; you can eat fancy cuisine at award-winning restaurants, and graze on the most delicious street food you’ve ever tasted.
With no distinct centre, the layout of Bangkok is chaotic to the uninitiated. Choose a hotel close to the BTS skytrain or MRT station and you will soon navigate your way with ease. Once you’ve ticked off the temples and the malls, head to the city’s oldest areas to get a slice of the real Bangkok. Chinatown, with its bustling markets and ubiquitous street food is the city at its most intense, while the district of Dusit offers genteel, tree-lined boulevards and quaint Sino-Portuguese architecture. Backpacker haunt Khao San Road is by no means authentic Thailand, but its permanent holiday vibe means there’s always fun to be found.
In Bangkok, the key is to let go. Adhere to the Thai saying of mai pen rai (what will be) and attitude of sanook (easygoing fun) and you won’t fail to enjoy this sprawling, bewildering and utterly alluring city.