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Bangkok has dominated Thailand\'s urban hierarchy as well as its political, commercial and cultural life since the late 18th century. Distinctly modern and Westernised, Bangkok is still a sleepy Thai village with a louder soundtrack of traffic and nightlife.
Bangkok proper seethes on the east side of the Mae Nam Chao Phraya (Chao Phraya River), drawing rural Thai folk into its cluttered fold daily. The city is reportedly sinking at a rate of 5cm (2in) every year, but there\'s too much sànùk (a Thai sense of fun) going on for that to get anyone down.
Public buses are plentiful and cheap, with a minimum fare of 6 baht to most destinations within metropolitan Bangkok. Air-conditioned buses have minimum and maximum fares of 10 and 22 baht, respectively. Air-conditioned micro-buses charge a flat fare of 25 baht all routes. A Bus Route Map is available at bookshops and the TAT office. Visit www.bmta.co.th for more information on Bangkok\'s public buses.
Taxis cruising city streets are metred. They charge a minimum of 35 baht for the first 3 kilometres, and approximately 5 baht per kilometre thereafter. Make sure you have change, as taxi drivers often dont! Passengers must pay tolls in the case of using an expressway.
BTS sky trains ply along Sukhumvit, Silom and Phahonyothin roads. The routes connect Bangkoks leading hotels and major shopping areas such as Siam Square, Silom, Ratchaprasong and Chatuchak Weekend Market. The fare ranges from 10-40 baht according to the distance. For more information, contact the Bangkok Mass Transit System at tel: 0 2617 7300 or visit www.bts.co.th
Astera Sathorn Hotel
Start: 1,250 THB .
Triple Two Hotel
Start: 4,450 THB .
Sukhumvit Road, Soi 04 (Nana)
Start: 1,350 THB .
Imperial Tara Hotel
Sukhumvit Road, Soi 26
Start: 2,900 THB .
Baiyoke Sky Hotel
Ratchaprarop Road, Pratunam
Start: 2,600 THB .
Royal City Hotel
Start: 1,400 THB .
Royal Princess Srinakarin Hotel
Airport - nearby Suvarnabhumi
Start: 3,750 THB .
Montien Riverside Hotel Bangkok
Rama III Road
Start: 3,400 THB .
While there\'s really no bad time to visit Thailand\'s capital, rain and extreme heat are less frequent between November and February. April is only recommended to those with portable air conditioners. The rains typically start in July and October brings the heaviest downpours with frequent flooding in the capital. The tourists flock to Bangkok in December and August, while the least crowded months tend to be May, June and September.