Bangkok is the Capital city of Thailand and is ranked as one of the world’s most popular holiday destinations. The city holds a magical spell over its visitors and is full of beautifully decorated Buddhist temples, Royal palaces, museums, restaurants, and nightlife. Recently, the city has become the gateway to a large number of medical tourists. According to a BBC report, more than 80% of all medical tourists travel to Thailand, aiming to get the best medical attention, of which Bangkok and Singapore remain as the most popular destinations for expats. The trend is increasing by 10% to 15% per year and has been a strong economic driver for the country, next to the tourism industry.
Medical tourism in Bangkok is highly rated within the industry for many reasons, including:
Large selection of treatment options available
The highest standards of health care
No waiting time for patients
Cost-effective treatment plans
High levels of Customer service
Combine treatment with a relaxing Holiday
Popular areas in Bangkok
For starters, Bangkok is a well-developed city. There are plenty of places to stay; shop and explore and deciding where you want to stay can be a difficult decision.
One way to choose the place you will likely stay at is to prioritize your activities. For example, if you want to shop then Sukhumvit may be the right district. This 18-kilometer long road is the commercial center and some of the best shopping malls and retail markets are dotted along this road.
The Siam district would be a great place to stay as the more popular and trendy shopping centers can be found here with a great selection of restaurants. There are various other attractions too, the Siam Ocean World, Kidzania, Erawan Shrine, Madame Tussauds, and the BACC, Bangkok's biggest art gallery, and cultural center.
Other popular tourist locations are Sukhumvit, Pratunam, Silom, Chinatown, Khaosan and the famous Bangkok Riverside.
Weather and climate in Bangkok
Bangkok endures a tropical monsoon climate, it is hot and humid for the vast majority of the year with temperatures reaching thirty degrees centigrade. The best weather for visiting tourists in Bangkok is experienced between December and February as the temperature is much cooler and
There are three seasons in Bangkok –
The hot season that stretches from March to June
The Monsoon or the rainy season, which starts in July and lasts until October
The cool season which is generally late November and ends late February.
Getting around in Bangkok
There are two airports that serve Bangkok. All the international flights land at Suvarnabhumi International Airport and almost all of the domestic carriers, operate from Don Mueang Airport.
It takes sixty minutes to travel between the two airports and you must check with the airlines which airport your carrier is operating out of. You must also remember to check in for your flight at least two hours in advance to avoid the last minute rush.
Within the city, sky-trains and the underground MRT trains are the best ways to avoid heavy traffic. Taxis and tuk-tuks can also be used for shorter journeys around the city. Most taxis have meters, and you should avoid any that don't to protect yourself from scams. Ask your hotel to help you call for a cab, as they often have relationships with trustworthy companies. For a scenic view of the city, try hopping on a riverboat down the Chao Phraya River.
Tourist Visas in Bangkok
If you wish to visit Bangkok, you will have to go to your nearest Thai embassy to get a visa. The Thai government has a bilateral trade agreement with various countries. It allows citizens of fifty-five countries to enter without any visa. They can stay for a maximum period of thirty days before having to leave the country.
If you entered Thailand and received a 30 day stamp in your passport (this is called a 30 day visa exemption) you can also extend a 60 day tourist visa by 30 days to a total of 90 days for the same fee you can extend this stamp a further 30 days at any Thailand immigration center for a fee of 1900 Baht.
When arriving in Bangkok, the immigration officials can insist to see your return ticket. You must also provide proof of having access to at least ten thousand Bahts to fund your stay in the country.
The local currency is the Thai Baht. Before you travel to Bangkok, it is advisable that you arrive with local currency. Your currency is exchangeable at most banks in Bangkok and at exchange bureaus. You will have to look out for specialized signboards that read “Bureau De Change”. One US Dollar is roughly 31.78 THB. Exchange of foreign currency at the airport is also possible and it may not be at the best rate possible.
Bangkok banks and retail outlets accept all types of credit and debit cards. There are ATMs in most of the popular places for the convenience of tourists. Hotels and restaurants also accept credit and debit cards. Tipping is mandatory at ten percent of the value of the goods and services.
Thai is the official language of the country. Nevertheless, a majority of the population will speak and understand English. A big part of the population also speaks Chinese, Lao, Burmese, Japanese and Malay.
Buddhism is the official religion of the city and yet nowhere else in the world will you find a sterling example of cultural diversity. A massive 94 percent of the city’s population practices Buddhism and the remaining six percent follow the other world religions such as Islam, Hinduism, and Christianity.
There are a lot of festivals and holidays celebrated in Bangkok. The Gregorian and the Chinese New Year are the major festivals. A host of Buddhist festivals such as the Makha Bucha Day and the Visakha Bucha Day are also celebrated. Important dates in relation to the royal family are also prominent as the people celebrate the coronation day of the Monarch.