BY CHINA WILLIAMS
Review by Barb & Ron Kroll
(Lonely Planet) ISBN 978-1741045703
Lonely Planet's pocket-sized travel guide describes what to see and do, when to go, what to eat, where to stay and how to get to Bangkok, Thailand's capital city.
Bangkok Encounter is easy to read and follow. Color-coded edges designate each section. Sidebars provide information on topics such as the best temples and shrines, best seafood restaurants, hospitals for Western tourists, street food, dinner cruises and buying knock-off and fake brand goods.
For each Bangkok neighborhood, this guide provides information on street addresses, opening times and phone numbers for museums, restaurants, theaters, stores and entertainment (spas, massage centers, Thai boxing, fortune tellers and more).
The Directory has practical advice on business hours, electricity, Internet cafés, money, language basics, telephone charges, tourist information and tipping. Transportation information includes how to get around Bangkok by train, bus, ferry, subway, boat, taxi, tuk-tuk, motorcycle taxi and car.
Suggested itineraries for a three-day Bangkok visit focus on nightlife, meditation and wellness.
Colorful images depict people, street scenes, art and architecture. Detailed colored maps of Bangkok illustrate neighborhoods.
What to see and do
The Highlights section provides information on 15 must-see attractions for visitors:
- Make a pilgrimage to Thailand's princely Buddha at Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew
- Travel with the commoners along the River of Kings, Mae Nam Chao Phraya
- Joss sticks and massage: Bangkok's temple of traditional medicine, Wat Pho
- Perfecting the art of getting lost with the Emperor of Commerce in Chinatown
- Survey the monument of the resurrected Thai capital, Wat Arun
- Shopping at the behemoth of Asian-style markets, Chatuchak Weekend Market
- Escaping hyperactive Bangkok amid a palace of Victorian gems, Dusit Palace Park
- A heavenly view of Bangkok from a hilltop temple, Wat Saket and Golden Mount
- What expats really want: the Thai dream home, Jim Thompson's House
- Bangkok's communal medicine cupboard for the spirit, mind and body, Wat Mahathat and Amulet Market
- Shop like a Thai teen at Bangkok's busiest mall, Mah Boon Krong
- Dining alfresco in the Big Mango, Bangkok's food markets and street stalls
- Beat Bangkok traffic aboard a zippy elevated train (SkyTrain)
- Spend time among the kingdom's arts and treasures, in the National Museum
- Go green at Bangkok's antidote to concrete, Lumphini Park
A detailed, removable folding map helps visitors navigate around Bangkok. The inside front cover is a quick reference guide for currency exchange rates, Thai phrases, business hours and meal costs. The inside back cover has a BTS SkyTrain route map.
A sidebar helps visitors decide when to wai (placing the hands together, prayer-like, in the traditional Thai greeting). Another sidebar provides advice on how to bargain so that neither the seller nor the buyer loses face.
Excursions from Bangkok include Ayuthaya, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Ko Samet, for beaches, floating markets, Ko Kret, known for its pottery, Muang Boran and the Erawan Museum. Just The Facts sidebars provide information on location, accommodations, how to get there and getting around (local transportation).
Don't go to Bangkok without this comprehensive guidebook.
- The author
- This is Bangkok
- Bangkok Diary
- Ko Ratanakosin and Thonburi
- Thewet and Dusit
- Chinatown and Phahurat
- Siam Square, Pratunam, Ploenchit
- Riverside and Silom
- Greater Bangkok
- Ko Samet
- Floating markets
- Ko Kret
- Muang Boran and Erawan Museum
- Arts and crafts
- Bars and clubs
- Shopping and markets
- Temples and shrines
- Thai cooking courses
- Bangkok for kids
- Gay and Lesbian Bangkok
- Parks and gardens
- Spas and wellness centers
- Traditional massage
China Williams taught English in Thailand and visits Bangkok frequently.