A short business trip gave me a few hours to enjoy the urban side of Bangkok, which I find fascinating. (In the coming months I’ll write another article in Bangkok, which I was able to properly visit a few years ago – stay tuned 😊)
Bangkok is a sprawling megalopolis. Even some of the main historical sites, including the Royal Palace, the Wat Arun, and the other amazing temples of the area seem engulfed in the concrete jungle – can you spot them in the picture below?

Urban side of Bangkok

The juxtaposition and contrast of the old and the new is striking.

Temple enshrined in urban Bangkok

Skyscrapers are rising, some with daring designs, like the King Power Mahanakhon building (คิง เพาเวอร์ มหานคร).

King Power Mahanakhon building (คิง เพาเวอร์ มหานคร), Bangkok

The Chao Phraya river is the backbone of the city …

Chao Phraya river, Bangkok

… and is still one of the most efficient modes of transportation in this congested megalopolis.

Chao Phraya river, Bangkok

The Chao Phraya also offers the best point of view of some of the most stunning sights, like the Wat Arun temple.

Wat Arun temple, Bangkok

Tourist cruise boats follow one another closely up and down the river. Some are bright and modern…

Wat Arun temple, Bangkok

… others have a more traditional vibe.

Bangkok Chao Phraya river cruise

The Chao Phraya river could also claim to be Bangkok’s most prestigious avenue, its “Champs Elysée”, as the iconic brands of luxury have chosen to settle on its banks …

Luxury boutique shops on the Bangkok Chao Phraya river

… and it is where some of the loudest parties take place.

Party boat on the Bangkok Chao Phraya river

Among the other hip places, the skyscraper rooftop bars, literally dominating the city, are possibly the most striking.

Bangkok open rooftop bar

They have fully integrated the global codes of coolness …

Bangkok open rooftop bar

… and they attract both expats and the well-heeled and hoping-to-be-famous local crowd.

Meanwhile, back down on earth, at ground level, real life continues.

Traditional life on Bangkok street

You liked reading this article? Please share it! Thank you! – and comments are always welcome.

You may also be interested in other articles about the same trip:

More to come, stay tuned!

P.S. Small bonus: some global brands have mastered localization 😅

McDonald promotional statue in Thailand - Bangkok

And the personality cult of the king is still rife, at least in semi-official circles:

Advertisement praising the Thailand king in the Bangkok airport