Home to 6.4 million Thais, Bangkok has undergone some serious modernisation in recent years. It now boasts an incredible array of futuristic shopping malls; air-conditioned sky trains and metro lines; with impressive rooftop skyscraper restaurants and bars. It is a vibrant, exciting city that never sleeps. Thailand's capital city has been continually rated one of the top ten cities in the world to visit, with its eye-popping 21st-century hi-tech lifestyles, while still retaining its traditional Thai culture and iconic places to visit. Magnificent historical sites such as the Grand Palace, Wat Pho and Wat Arun never fail to impress visitors with the profusion of gold leaf, beautiful murals, colourful mosaics and jaw-dropping Siamese architecture. You might think that with all these new shopping centres appearing across the cityscape in recent times that Bangkok's famous traditional markets are on the decline. Not a bit of it. Local markets are still to be found throughout the city: wet markets, flower markets, amulet markets, electronics markets and of course… food markets! Thais are renowned for their superlative cuisine and Bangkok is a treasure trove of great places to eat, with an amazing variety and abundance of street food that is quite unparalleled. Wherever you go in Bangkok, you are never far from good cheap food. Canals (klongs) still criss-cross many parts of the city, and many neighbourhoods still use them as an essential part of their daily lives - living alongside the waterways in ancient wooden houses, so far removed from the shiny new Bangkok. The suburb of Thonburi on the west side of the Chao Phraya River is an excellent example of this. Iconic images of Thai farmers in small wooden boats selling their produce or cooking up fresh food at floating markets still exist. Their popularity with Bangkok locals as well as with foreign tourists means that these days, ‘authentic rustic’ floating markets are a little harder to find. Our article, ‘Best 3 Floating Markets around Bangkok’ can help you here. Nightlife Restrictions on exactly who can operate late night entertainment venues mean that the patterns of nightlife in Bangkok are continually changing. What used to open all night, now closes at 1:00 or 2:00am, with a limited few established venues open until later, and other clubs and street bars that spring up to service the late night revellers, often have short, but eventful lives. In spite of the continual search for new late-late venues, the overall the party scene is still very much alive. The infamous backpacker mecca of Khao San Road is still thriving with bars and clubs, and if you are looking for something a little less raucous, you can try the upmarket cool bars in theSukhumvit area. Bangkok's infamous red light nightlife is still alive in well, and these days the action is more in the go-go bar areas of Soi Cowboy and Nana Plaza (including a lively gay and ladyboy scene), in the Sukhumvit area, than in the seedy bars of Patpong which seem to be in terminal decline. So despite some fundamental changes over the past twenty years or so, Bangkok still offers all the classic things you imagined - and a great deal more besides. Our Coverage Bangkok is so large that we've split it into areas, each with distinct characteristics. For general overview information on getting here, what areas to look for accommodation, etc., look in the Bangkok info section. Each area has its own highlights, along with further information on places to stay and other useful info. Be sure to check out the Blog section as there are some really useful articles on how to navigate the city like a local. Snapshot of the Areas: Khao San Road - The infamous backpacker party mecca. Old Town - Contains some of Bangkok's prominent historical sites. Thonburi - Quaint old residential side. Siam Square - The city's shopping district. Silom - The financial district and home to Patpong. Sukhumvit - The coolest bars and restaurants in town. Chinatown - Also home to Little India. Dusit - Home to a palace complex and the city zoo. Phahonyothin - The huge Chatuchak Market resides on the outskirts.