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Bangkok tours and excursions

Bangkok tours

Food tours

Foodies can enjoy a culinary tour of the capital, involving visits to restaurants, speciality food shops and numerous tastings. Tours are led by English-speaking guides who also can provide historical and cultural insights. A cycling food tour is also available.

Tel: +66 95 943 9222.
Website: http://www.bangkokfoodtours.com

Boat tours

Bangkok is laced with khlongs (canals) and life alongside them is far removed from the hustle and bustle of downtown Bangkok. An ideal way to see this side of Bangkok is a boat trip, passing tiny temples, orchards, orchid farms and typical houses on stilts. There are several companies offering boat tours, including Pandan Tour.

Tel: +66 2 689 1232.
Website: http://www.thaicanaltour.com

Bangkok excursions

Ayutthaya

This was the Thai capital for over 400 years and one of the biggest cities in Southeast Asia until its destruction in 1767. In its heyday, foreign visitors were enamoured with this glittering, formidable city. Today, ruins of numerous magnificent temples and palace buildings cover a vast area and still manage to convey the city's former grandeur. The beauty of the place is such that it was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It is located 76km (47 miles) north of Bangkok and can be reached by bus, train or boat.

Website: http://www.tourismthailand.org/ayutthaya

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market

Although this market is 80km (50 miles) west of Bangkok, it is far more interesting than the floating market in Bangkok. In the early morning, the narrow canals are full of small boats carrying fruit and vegetables sold by local women. The market is very colourful and atmospheric - but it is all over by 1100, which necessitates an early start from Bangkok. Although it is possible to take a bus from the Southern Bus Terminal to within a mile of the market, it is probably easier to join an organised tour from a hotel.

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Featured Hotels

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The Eugenia

A fine boutique hotel, with just 12 suites, in an elegant colonial house. The suites all have antique furniture, part of a collection belonging to the owner. There is a lounge bar and a restaurant, the D B Bradley, which serves a fusion of east and west. Facilities include an open-air swimming pool and high-speed internet access. Airport transfers can be arranged in one of their fleet of vintage cars.

The Dusit Thani

This is one of the most opulent hotels in Bangkok and is conveniently located off the Silom Road in the business and entertainment district overlooking Lumphini Park. The 500-plus rooms are all sumptuously decorated in Thai style and all have satellite TVs, VCRs and mini-bars.

The Oriental

One of the most famous hotels in the world, The Oriental is located by the Chao Phraya River and is the hotel of choice for royalty and celebrities past and present, such as Somerset Maugham, the Prince of Wales and Elizabeth Taylor. Although the original Author's Wing was built in 1887 and is very much colonial in style, two more modern wings tend to dominate the appearance of the hotel. However, the 393 rooms (including 35 suites) are all sumptuously decorated.

Conrad Bangkok

Stylish Bangkok hotel, close to Lumphini Park, with contemporary, understated Thai design throughout. Silk and wood are used in all the rooms and suites. Superb facilities including several restaurants (Italian, Chinese and Japanese), nightclub, spa, fitness centre, swimming pool, jogging track and tennis courts.

Peninsula

With commanding views of the Chao Phraya River, this hotel in Bangkok has a reputation for excellent service and hospitality. All rooms have a river view, some with balconies, terraces or outdoor Jacuzzis, and are sumptuously decorated. Rooms have marble bathrooms, executive work desk, CD/DVD player, camcorder video playback facilities and Wi-Fi. Diners are well catered for with several restaurants including Mediterranean cuisine at Jesters and Thai home-made style cooking at Thiptara. Leisure facilities include a spa, gym, tennis courts and three-tiered swimming pool.

Dream Hotel

This trendy boutique hotel, where the style is a fusion of East meets West, is now well-established on the Bangkok scene. The 200 rooms have plasma TVs, iPods, Wi-Fi and under-bed lighting. There are even pet-friendly rooms. There is one restaurant, Flava , and a cocktail lounge, spa, health club, swimming pool and business centre.