What to know before your trip.
Getting There: Most major American airlines fly to Bangkok via Tokyo. Thai Airways International has direct flights from Los Angeles.
When to Go: The best time is from December to January, when the weather is relatively cool and dry. Avoid September and October—the height of the rainy season.
Getting Around: Bangkok can seem daunting at first. The traffic is endless, and few neighborhoods are pedestrian-friendly. Luckily, much of what you’ll want to see is accessible via the SkyTrain and subway systems.
Cabs are plentiful and can be hailed on the street; just make sure to take your hotel’s card with the address on it in case you get lost. Although they’re fun once in a while, the motorized rickshaws, known as tuk-tuks, usually aren’t worth the hassle.
If you’re sightseeing along the Chao Phraya River, take the ferry (6 a.m.–7 p.m. daily) from the Saphan Taksin SkyTrain stop. Water taxis also ply Bangkok’s canals. One caveat: tolerance for unpleasant smells is required.