I visited Bangkok with my pal some 20 years ago, staying with an old work friend in his luxury apartment and also once when I visited my sister who lived here for 10 years teaching English, French and Thai.
I have vague memories of the Grand Palace and klongs (canals) and of the many bars I frequented back then. This time with my family I was able to appreciate the sights without being inebriated like I was in my youth.
The BTS which is the city overhead sky train service was not even constructed back then, so riding it all over and the odd tuk tuk ride was a pleasure and saved losing any more body weight through the high humidity levels.
If you love shopping like most Thais and the tourists, then go to Bangkok for a few days. If you love bars and paying $3 for a beer then Bangkok is your place. If you love to be pampered with a good massage for $9 for an hour then BKK. The food is delicious on another level you just have to find the right kind of basic street cafe type of places, don’t be put off by their basic amenities, the food is a delight and very cheap.