Sometimes known as the Land of Smiles, Thailand just happens to be my home country; I was born in Bangkok, and partially raised there. When reading this section, bear in mind that you're getting a unique perspective of a Thai-American that is fluent Thai, and grew up with both cultures. I have lived in Bangkok on and off for many years, and the rest of my time has been spent living in the United States.
Basics & Cultural Notes
The currency used in Thailand is the Thai Baht. They drive on the same side of the road as the British do; on the left side of the road, with the steering wheel on the right side. Thailand is symbolically ruled by a monarchy, and governed by a Parliamentary System, and a Prime Minister, the same way the British are.
Feet - I put this in bold because it is imperative to know, and many people gloss over it; in Thai culture there is a hierarchy of body parts, and feet are the lowest, both figuratively and literally. Putting your feet up on seats, or chairs, or essentially displaying your feet at anywhere near eye level is considered a sign of disrespect. If I had put my feet up on a table as a child, I would've been slapped by a relative; it is an absolute no. Putting feet near a place where your head might rest is also disrespectful; that means no feet on pillows or headrests. Essentially, the rule of thumb here is, keep your feet to yourself.
Capital of Thailand, and its biggest metropolis, Bangkok boasts a population of around 8 million and some change. There is something here for everyone, whether you'd prefer to eat & drink, dance the night away, see cultural sights, learn how to cook Thai food, or simply relax. Bangkok does not have a true downtown area; tall buildings are scattered far and wide across the sprawled out city.
Eating & Drinking
My absolute favorite roof top bar, arguably, in the world, is the Moon Bar, perched at the top of the 65th floor of the Banyan Tree Hotel. It boasts a 360 degree view of the city, with zero obstruction, and a light breeze. Check the weather before heading here though; it may not be open if it is due to rain. Lastly, because of the upscale nature of this establishment, be sure to dress smart when visiting this rooftop, as they may turn you away if under-dressed. The dress code can be found here.
Clubbing & Partying
Islands & Beaches
Ayutthaya - the Old Capital