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25 Best Things to Do in Bangkok (Thailand)

The capital city of Thailand and maybe the traffic jam capital of the planet, Bangkok is a fascinating, exciting and incredible city to visit. Like many other capital cities Bangkok never goes to sleep, there is always a hive of activity as people work around the clock in their various professions.

With eight million inhabitants living within the city you will find yourself encountering every walk of life, from the super poor to the mega rich they all congregate in the one city and each feels at home as the other.

Let’s have a look at the top things to do and see in Bangkok :

1. Visit Wat Pho To See The Reclining Buddha

Reclining Budha, Wat Pho To

A visit to Wat Pho is a must for any traveler to Bangkok, it is the home to the Reclining Buddha which stands at fifteen metres tall and forty six metres long, the feet alone are measured at over five meters. The whole statue is covered in gold leaf and looks incredible when you get up close.

Inside the temple there are 108 bowls and on the way in to the temple you can buy coins for the bowls. The history behind this is that Buddha completed 108 positive actions on his way to becoming perfect. Whilst you are at the temple you can also stop for a while to receive a traditional Thai Massage

Recommended tour : Damnoen Saduak, Reclining Buddha, and Wat Arun Private Tour

2. Visit the Grand Palace

Grand Palace, Bangkok

Of all the places to visit in Bangkok the Grand Palace is the most famous attraction there is. You simply cannot move onto another city until you have taken the time to visit here.

The palace at one time was the king’s home as well as the place where the government of Thailand carried out their work. A trip to the palace can take many hours as there are over 214,000 sq. meters to cover. Be aware of potential scams when outside the palace and only pay the entrance fee when you are actually going in.

Great walking tour available : Walking Temple Tour: Grand Palace, Wat Pho, Wat Arun

3. Ride the Sky Train

Sky Train, Bangkok

There is only one way to get around Bangkok at any speed whilst keeping cool and that is to jump aboard one of the sky trains. With air conditioned carriages there is no better way to get around.

In most instances you are high above the traffic below giving you a view of the city but also the train takes the most direct route. With nearly every part of Bangkok you would want to visit having a train station, travel could not be simpler.

4. Take a trip around Chatuchak Market.

Chatuchak Market

If you like shopping you need to check this place out. If you hate shopping you need to give this place a wide berth. With over 8000 stalls covering 27 acres of space this is one of the largest markets in the world.

Open every Saturday and Sunday it attracts nearly 200,000 visitors a day, you will find everything you could ever imagine for sale here and mostly at local prices rather than tourist prices, it is certainly worth picking up a map before you go to avoid you being lost in the market for hours.

5. Take a Boat Trip along the Chao Phraya River

Chao Phraya River

Some people refer to Bangkok as the ‘Venice of the East’ this is due to the Chai Phraya River flowing through Bangkok and all of the little canals that feed off of it. The river is the lifeblood of Bangkok, even today 50,000 people still go to work on one of the many ferries that go up and down.

Taking a boat trip down the river is fascinating as you will see high rise condominiums and fancy hotels in one part whilst you will see wooden shacks and children playing in the water in other parts. Feel free to get on and off at any of the stops the ferries make to further explore the city.

Related tour : Tuk Tuk & Tourist Boat on Chao Phraya River

6. Shop Till You Drop At Siam Paragon

Siam Paragon, Bangkok

The high end shopper’s paradise, a hugely popular shopping mall that houses many different shops for high-end fashion designers, Southeast Asia’s largest aquarium, a huge multiplex cinema and enough restaurants to feed you for a life time.

There are over 250 shops inside the mall, most of which are frequented by the well-heeled Thai’s and foreigners. Various car manufacturers including Ferrari and Lamborghini also have showrooms within the complex so if you have deep pockets you are sure to find what you are looking for.

7. Visit The Bangkok National Museum

Bangkok National Museum

The Bangkok National Museum is home to the largest collection of artifacts and Thai art in all of Thailand. The museum was first opened by King Rama V to show off all the gifts that his father had given to him.

There are many interesting things to see in the museum such as Chinese weapons, precious stones, puppets, clothing and textiles and Khon masks. If you go to the museum on a Thursday you can be given a tour in English to give you a greater understanding of everything in the museum.

8. Have a Thai Massage

Thai Massage

Whatever country you come from you almost certainly would have heard of Thai massages and maybe even have seen a Thai massage parlour in your local village. But nowhere can you experience a traditional Thai massage done as well as you would in the country where it originated.

The experience of a Thai massage will give you a new lease of life whilst making you feel invigorated as well as balanced. There are parlous absolutely everywhere so it is worth doing your research to find a good one near your hotel.

9. Spend an Evening in Nana Plaza (Soi 4)

Nana Plaza

Situated just outside the BTS station called Nana is a place called Nana Plaza, many people think that Nana Plaza is the largest sex complex in the world today.

Here you will find many gogo bars full of Thai women looking to pleasure you for the evening in return for a fee. Even if you have no intention of participating in any of the girls offers it is worth spending some time sitting down with a drink and watching the people go by.

10. Climb the Sathorn Unique Tower

Sathorn Unique Tower

Before the financial crisis hit the world a few years ago a huge 49 story skyscraper was being built in the heart of Bangkok, but when the crisis hit the building work stopped and the tower was never completed. Now it sits there abandoned, far too big for anyone to do anything with.

Some sites recommend climbing the tower, but this is dangerous and not allowed. A few years ago some bloggers/vloggers had criminal charges filed against them for posting material online showing them climbing the tower.

11. Take A Stroll Through Lumpini Park

Lumpini Park, Bangkok

At over 500,000 sq. meters Lumpini Park providers the people of Bangkok with a much needed break from the hustle and bustle of the city. The name of the park originated from the Lord Buddha who was born in Nepal.

It is not unusual when you walk through the park to see the older Thai generation practicing their Thai Chi or a romantic couple relaxing by the side of the lake. At the weekends the park is full of people taking part in all sorts of activities so a great time to go is early morning or just before sunset.

Related tour : City Culture 3-Hour Bike Tour

12. Eat Out At Chinatown

Chinatown, Bangkok

Every major city has its own Chinatown and Bangkok is no exception to this, you know you have arrived when you walk through the ceremonial Chinese gates and into Chinatown itself.

Packed full of street stalls and restaurants the choice of places to eat will be endless, nowhere else in Bangkok will you get to try as many different kinds of Chinese food as you can here, especially at such good prices. If it is gold you are on the lookout for it is said that this is also the best place in Bangkok to look.

Suggested tour : Bangkok Chinatown Food Tour

13. Go For A Drink On Top Of The City

Vertigo and Moon Bar

There are various places in Bangkok where you can go for a drink at the end of the day but none will have the view of Bangkok that the Vertigo and Moon bar or the Lebua Rooftop bar has. Sitting on the 61st floor of the Banyan Tree hotel you can look out and see the beautiful skyline of Bangkok in all of its glory.

As soon as you reach the top you are straight outside so this is not the place to be if you are afraid of heights, the designers have made the rooftop in such a way that you get a complete 360 degree view of the city with no obstructions.

Book online: Lebua Rooftop Bar Reservation & Round-Trip Transfer

14. Eat Street Food

Street Food, Bangkok

With Thai people choosing to eat almost every meal out instead of cooking at home the popularity of street food has never been stronger. Every busy road will have street food vendors selling their products to the locals and tourists alike, the prices are low because this is where the Thais choose to eat their meals as well.

You have probably heard of Pad Thai but there is so much more to street food that this one dish. You will get stalls selling all sorts of foods from Som Tam (papaya salad) to Squid, all cooked in front of you ready for consumption straight away.

There are also some amazing food tours available.

 15. Take a Motorcycle Taxi

Motorcycle Taxi, Bangkok

With the roads of Bangkok being as congested as they are, getting from one place to another can often seem like a daunting task. For most places you can get a sky train but for those that you cannot it is a good option to take a motorcycle taxi, unlike a traditional taxi or a tuk-tuk these guys will take you on the back of their motorcycle to anywhere you want to go.

There is no measuring how far the journey is so once you have paid your fair the driver will want to be there in a rush. Sit back and relax as your driver weaves through the traffic to get you to your location.

16. Watch Kickboxing (Muay Thai)

Muay Thai, Bangkok

The whole of Thailand is full of kickboxing stadiums but the biggest fights happen in Bangkok, normally at either the Lumpini or Ratchadamnoen stadiums. Muay Thai is the national sport of Thailand and it is talked about everywhere. The viewing figures on TV are some of the highest for any show that is aired.

An evening spent at the stadium is sure to be action packed as the locals get so immersed in the fights that the atmosphere reaches fever pitch. There is usually somebody walking around taking bets as well if that is of interest to you.

Book online : Muay Thai Rajadamnern Boxing Stadium – VIP Entrance Ticket

17. Visit Dusit Zoo

 Dusit Zoo

Dusit Zoo is the oldest zoo in Thailand and has been open for over 60 years.

There is a large range of animals inside the zoo (approximately 1600) including monkeys, alligators, lions, tigers, penguins and kangaroos.

The zoo is very much a working zoo and has an animal hospital which looks after all of the inhabitants of the zoo as well as an education center, museum and train.

18. Take Part in a Water Fight During Songkran

Songkran, Bangkok

Celebrated each year between the 13th and 15th of April Songkran is the traditional Thai New Year festival and nobody is safe from getting wet. In the Buddhist religion it is believed that by sprinkling water your sins and bad luck will be washed away.

Today the sprinkling of water has turned into a full on water fight that the whole country gets involved in. with the huge crowds of Bangkok there is no better place to experience this festival as the city becomes one big party.

19. Explore the Bangkok Nightlife

Bangkok Nightlife

Bangkok is famous for it’s nightlife scene and grown pretty big over the years.

There’s exciting nightclubs, amazing rooftop bars, hip cocktail bars and much more. There’s the adult themed Soi Cowboy and Patpong, the party scene at Khao San Road and lot’s of clubs to dance the night away. Want to party with like-minded travelers? Then check out this bar crawl tour .

20. Visit The Bangkok Puppet Show

Bangkok Puppet Show

An absolute must for all tourists to Bangkok, in most puppet shows the puppeteers are hidden from view but not in this show.

The puppeteers are part of the show and it takes three people to control each puppet. The puppets tell out a classic folk tale whilst a live orchestra plays music to add to the atmosphere.

The set design and craftsmanship that goes into making the props is magnificent as is the technique of the artists as well.

21. Visit Jim Thompson House

Jim Thompson House

Thai silk is famous the world over and nowhere will you find a better place to learn about the history behind this craft. As you walk around the house you will not only learn the history of The Thai Silk Company but also the fascinating history of Jim Thompson himself. The house itself is more of a complex with six traditional teak structures forming the complete dwelling.

Consider the Jim Thompson House and Baan Krua Community Tour to save a buck.

22. Visit Wat Arun

Wat Arun, Thailand

There are more than 31,000 Buddhist temples spread out across Thailand and this one is one that you really want to see.

The temple is named after Aruna, the God of Dawn. Situated on the bank of the Chao Phraya River is this beautiful temple that stands at 79 metres tall.

The tower is covered in ceramic tiles and coloured porcelain making for an incredible sight when you catch it in the right light. The temple itself is guarded by a pair of mythical giants that keep watch over the temple grounds.

Suggested tour:  4-Hour Night Bike Tour with Wat Arun & Wat Pho

23. Feast Yourself On Durian

Durian

You will probably smell it before you see it but Durian is known as the king of fruits. People either love it or hate it with some public areas going as far as putting up signs that completely ban it.

A durian fruit is distinct for many reasons, firstly its look, it looks like some kind of medieval weapon with its thorny outer shell, and once the shell has been removed the insides are like this creamy buttery texture that some people say is the greatest fruit of all.

24. Visit Erawan Shrine

Erawan Shrine, Bangkok

Situated in one of the busiest areas of Bangkok is Erawan Shrine, It is a Brahman shrine and attracts so many visitors that it is more popular than many of the temples.

Constructed in the 1950’s the shrine was made because the construction workers on the nearby hotel were too superstitious to continue their work as they felt the land spirits were unhappy and causing problems on the construction site.

The shrine itself is a four faced brahma god and people flock there and lay floral garlands in the hope their wishes will come true..

25. Visit Vimanmek Mansion

Vimanmek Mansion

Vimanmek Mansion is the world’s largest teak wood building. Formally a royal residence it was only used for a few years before being left empty for many decades.

The mansion itself is now a museum that is home to many ancient artifacts and even some photographs that have been donated by His Majesty the King.

When you are in the grounds of the buildings you may take as many photographs as you wish but you will not be allowed to take your camera inside the museum itself and a strict dress code is in force so ensure you dress modestly.

25 Best Things to Do in Bangkok (Thailand):

  • Visit Wat Pho To See The Reclining Buddha
  • Visit the Grand Palace
  • Ride the Sky Train
  • Take a trip around Chatuchak Market.
  • Take a Boat Trip along the Chao Phraya River
  • Shop Till You Drop At Siam Paragon
  • Visit The Bangkok National Museum
  • Have a Thai Massage
  • Spend an Evening in Nana Plaza (Soi 4)
  • Climb the Sathorn Unique Tower
  • Take A Stroll Through Lumpini Park
  • Eat Out At Chinatown
  • Go For A Drink On Top Of The City
  • Eat Street Food
  • Take a Motorcycle Taxi
  • Watch Kickboxing (Muay Thai)
  • Visit Dusit Zoo
  • Take Part in a Water Fight During Songkran
  • Explore the Bangkok Nightlife
  • Visit The Bangkok Puppet Show
  • Visit Jim Thompson House
  • Visit Wat Arun
  • Feast Yourself On Durian
  • Visit Erawan Shrine
  • Visit Vimanmek Mansion

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Home » Southeast Asia » Thailand » Bangkok

21 BEST Places to Visit in Bangkok (2024)

Bangkok is a lively city that is sure to appeal to your senses and stir your soul. You’ll find historical sites next to vibrant nightlife areas, bustling markets near modern shopping malls, and street food vendors close to world-class restaurants. Bangkok, with all its top places, is definitely a city that will enthral, entice, and excite.

Bangkok is a large and sprawling city. Deciding where to visit can be tough, particularly if your time in the Thai capital is limited.

There’s no need to stress though; our expert team of travel writers have compiled this  fantastic list of the best places to visit in Bangkok  so that you don’t miss any of the city’s top spots.

With something to appeal to all tastes and budgets, some of these best places to visit in Bangkok are sure to amaze you! From the magnificent Royal Palace to Chatuchak Market, Wat Arun or a boat down the Chao Phraya River, there’s heaps of amazing tourist attractions to explore.

NEED A PLACE QUICK? Here’s the Best Neighbourhood in Bangkok:

These are the best places to visit in bangkok, faq on the best places to visit in bangkok.

Not satisfied? Then check out our neighbourhood breakdown of Bangkok and find the right place to stay for your trip!

Sukhumvit Bangkok

Sukhumvit is a centrally located neighbourhood with easy access to other districts throughout Bangkok. Ideal for first-time visitors, this neighbourhood boasts a number of historic and cultural attractions as well as great bars, restaurants and shopping.

  • Take a stroll through Benjakitti Park, a calm oasis at the centre of Bangkok.
  • Visit the intricate and incredible Wat Pasee temple.
  • Experience the lively and colourful Thai markets that can be found along Sukhumvit Road.

There are so many things to do in Bangkok you’d be forgiven for feeling a bit overwhelmed when it comes to planning your trip. But that’s where we come in, we’ve done the leg work for you so all you need to do is give this list a read and get planning your Bangkok itinerary ! There’s good reason Bangkok is the starting point for most people backpacking in Thailand , it’s a buzzing metropolis with some stunning architecture, amazing food and mesmerising culture. It’s a fantastic introduction to Thailand!

must visit place in bangkok

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#1 – The Grand Palace and Temple of the Emerald Buddha

The Grand Palace and Temple of the Emerald Buddha

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  • Official home of the Thai monarch (King Rama X)
  • The Grand Palace is a historical and cultural site
  • Beautiful architecture built by King Rama I
  • The Grand Palace is home to Thailand’s most sacred temple

Why it’s awesome: The Grand Palace is definitely a top place to visit in Bangkok. Built-in the 1780s by King Rama I, it has long been the official home of the Thai monarch. Made up of a number of halls, buildings, and pavilions, the complex has beautiful courtyards, gardens, and lawns too. The revered Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew) is also within the extensive grounds. It’s one of the top tourist attractions in the city for a reason.

You’ll notice that there are many different styles, largely thanks to the various monarchs that made their marks on the Grand Palace over the years. It’s still a working palace and, while several parts of the site are closed to the public, visitors can admire many of the glorious buildings, absorb a strong sense of history and culture, and get a feeling of how Thai royalty lives.

What to do there: Marvel at the majesty of the Grand Palace complex, many fine architectural details and the playful sunlight that shimmers through the roof. Large mythical giants, known as yants, guard gateways and the mythical bird-like garudas perch on many ledges. Admire the various statues throughout the well-tended grounds, the smaller but fascinating details, and take many awesome pictures .

You’ll notice that there are Buddha statues in all postures—find out which Buddha correlates to your day of birth and make merit. Watch as Buddhists give offerings and pray and see the small but impressive Emerald Buddha statue. Actually made from jade, the green statue is Thailand’s most sacred Buddha statue.

Be sure to dress conservatively when planning to visit the Grand Palace and Temple of the Emerald Buddha—the dress code is very strict and you’ll be refused admission if you’re dressed inappropriately. Make sure that your legs are covered to at least the knees (men should wear long trousers) and your arms to at least the elbows. Closed shoes are also a must when you visit the Grand Palace.

Insider Tip: Come early as it gets busy and queues can be long as the day goes on

#2 – Chatuchak Weekend Market – A great place in Bangkok if you love to shop!

Chatuchak Weekend Market

  • Biggest market in Thailand and the world’s biggest outdoor weekend market
  • Great chance to practice haggling skills
  • Chatuchak Market has a huge array of goods
  • Great variety of street food stalls

Why it’s awesome: One of the biggest markets in the world (and therefore one of the coolest places to visit in Bangkok), the Chatuchak Weekend Market in Bangkok (also known as JJ Market) has around 15,000 stalls spread between almost 30 sections. Huge, but fairly easy to navigate, there are sections dedicated to art and crafts, clothes and accessories, ceramics, plants and gardening, books, antiques and World War II memorabilia, home décor, and more. It’s often said that if you can’t find what you’re looking for at Chatuchak Market then it’s not worth having!

Around 200,000 people visit the enormous market every weekend making it one of the most popular places in Bangkok. Open since the early 1940s, the market has grown into the mammoth that it is today, with places to rest, eat, and drink if you need to take a break from all the retail therapy.

What to do there: Wear comfortable shoes and shop, shop, and shop! Whether you’re looking for exquisite Thai silks, cheap t-shirts, handmade soaps, typical souvenirs, carved wood, amulets and religious memorabilia, kitchenware, or something else, you’re sure to find it at Chatuchak Market.

Although prices are generally reasonable, the weekend market is the perfect place in Bangkok to improve your haggling skills for even greater pocket-friendly prices. Sample an array of street food and chill in a bar with a cool beer or fresh fruit juice. Don’t miss seeing the clock tower, built-in 2007 to commemorate the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s 60 th birthday.

#3 – Wat Pho – One of the most religious places to see in Bangkok

must visit place in bangkok

  • Wat Pho is the birthplace of traditional Thai massage.
  • See one of Thailand’s biggest reclining Buddha statues.
  • One of Bangkok’s oldest temples dating to the King Rama I era.
  • Wat Pho is a first-class royal temple.

Why it’s awesome: Wat Pho, commonly referred to as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, is among the six most revered temples in all of Thailand. Famous for its stretching 46-metre-long (151-feet-long) lying Buddha statue, the temple also boasts the biggest collection of Buddha statues in the country. Many of the statues were brought here from the ancient capital of Ayutthaya when the city fell to the Burmese, and there are also statues from the former capital of Sukhothai and other places around Thailand. Wat Pho is one of the oldest temples in Bangkok, older in fact than the capital and a major tourist attraction you just can’t miss.

The original temple is thought to date back to the late 1600s or early 1700s, although the temple underwent large renovations and restorations in the 1780s. There’s a Thai medicine school within the grounds and the temple is where traditional Thai massage originated. It’s the perfect place to experience Thai culture.

What to do there: Walk around the complex’s outer walls and see the large statues of giants that keep watch over the site. Brought to Thailand from China, some of the interesting statues have European features. Khmer-style statues stand at the pagodas at the corners of each courtyard; their job is to guard north, south, east, and west. You’ll see chedis and pagodas in all shapes, sizes, and colours; there are four large chedis plus almost 100 smaller chedis.

Marvel at the huge golden reclining Buddha statue inside Wat Pho. Enjoy a Thai massage in one of the pavilions or, if you have longer in the capital, you could also consider enrolling in a course to learn the ancient massage technique yourself in the very place where it was born.

#4 – Wat Arun – One of Bangkok’s coolest historical places!

must visit place in bangkok

  • Colourful Buddhist temple with links to Hindu cosmology
  • Wat Arun has an air of peaceful spirituality
  • Lovely river views
  • Wat Arun has a long and fascinating history

Why it’s awesome: Wat Arun (also sometimes known as Wat Chaeng) is a stunning temple on the Thonburi side of the Chao Phraya River and a great place to visit in Bangkok for history fans. Nicknamed the Temple of the Dawn, Wat Arun is rather unique in its designs and not like other temples around the Thai capital. A temple has stood at the same site since the Ayutthaya period – which is a pretty long time!

The main prang of Wat Arun is in a Khmer style and bedecked with broken pieces of porcelain and shells for a whimsical and colourful appearance. Statues of animals and Chinese figures stand around the base. Chinese-style pavilions sit next to the river and there’s a large Buddha statue within the giant-guarded Ordination Hall.

What to do there: Admire the glorious temple from across the Chao Phraya River before taking the ferry to get up close. Climb up the central prang (built by King Rama II), admiring the views as you pass up the three symbolic levels. Feel small as you stand in front of the fearsome statues at the entrance to the Ordination Hall and see the main Buddha housed from within. Relax in one of the salas (pavilions) and soak up the river views. Try and visit Wat Arun at night time too when it is illuminated against the inky sky, the reflections shimmering on the water in a beautifully captivating way.

Why not book an Airbnb in the area and make the banks of the Chao Phraya River your base for a while?

Insider Tip: Come back at sunset and watch from across the river as the sky lights up behind the temple

#5 – Wat Yannawa – Quite the quirky place in Bangkok!

Wat Yannawa in bali

  • Interesting temple designed like a boat
  • Chinese heritage
  • Off the beaten track
  • Quiet and peaceful

Why it’s awesome: Wat Yannawa is an ancient temple that can trace its roots back to the Ayutthaya period and before the founding of Bangkok as the Thai capital. Located close to the Chao Phraya River, the temple was built on the orders of King Rama III. It was designed to resemble a traditional Chinese junk (sailing vessel), helping to preserve maritime heritage.

This “temple” is definitely not what you’d expect, so it’s a really interesting place in Bangkok. There are several other impressive buildings throughout the complex, including an ancient wooden structure and an air-conditioned room with a dazzling array of Buddha images and other religious ornaments and memorabilia.

What to do there: Pass through the large entrance gate and stroll along the wide pavement up to the boat-shaped structure. Buy a floral offering before stooping to pass through the low passageways and climb the steps inside the boat to reach the upper small shrine. Light incense and pay your respects at the shrine and make merit by placing flowers in the Buddha footprint.

Insider Tip: You can get here easily by taking a ferry down the Chao Phraya River and getting off the boat right outside the temple.

#6 – Lumpini Park – One of the most beautiful outdoor places in Bangkok

Lumpini Park in bangkok

  • Popular place for leisure, sports, and relaxation
  • Great for families
  • See large monitor lizards
  • Enjoy nature in the heart of the city

Why it’s awesome: Lumpini Park covers 142 acres (57.6 hectares) and it’s located in the city centre close to several BTS and MRT stations. Statues stand proudly outside the smoke-free park and inside you’ll find walking trails, pavilions, and artificial lakes. The park was established in the 1920s on ground that was once royal property. Named after the birthplace of the Lord Buddha, the large green park has various activities and attractions for visitors to enjoy. Concerts are sometimes hosted here and you’ll find all amenities (including bathrooms and street food stalls) for a comfortable visit.

What to do there: Follow the walking trails around the park and look out for gigantic monitor lizards swimming through the lakes, skulking across the grass, and lazing in the tree branches. Birds twitter in the trees too, and the park is home to some 30 types of birds. You can rent a boat for a scenic ride on the water, admiring the reflections cast on the surface by the nearby skyscrapers.

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#7 – Wat Saket – A great place to see in Bangkok if you love architecture

Wat Saket

  • Hill-top temple
  • Great city views
  • Annual procession by candlelight
  • The Golden Mount is beautifully illuminated at night

Why it’s awesome: Wat Sakat, also known as the Golden Mount, is one of Bangkok’s many beautiful temples. Sitting on an artificial hill, it is located at the highest ground point in Bangkok. The temple dates back to the Ayutthaya era and it contains a sacred Buddhist relic brought to Thailand from Sri Lanka. The present temple building was built from marble in the 20 th century. Each November the temple is the scene of a spectacular candlelit procession where devotees wind their way up the hill with their candles twinkling in the darkness.

What to do there: Admire the golden chedi from the base of the small hill before following the shaded pathway up to the top. There are many interesting statues alongside the path, with trees and plants adding to the attractiveness. As you’re near the top you’ll come to a wall of bells—ring these bells for good luck.

You can climb even higher for more terrific vistas and see various statues and murals. When you descend the mountain pay a visit to the ancient cemetery at the bottom, the final resting place for many victims of the plague.

#8 – Erawan Museum – An awesome place in Bangkok for half a day!

Erawan Museum, Bangkok

  • Striking architecture;
  • Beautiful grounds;
  • Huge art collection;
  • Thought-provoking place.

Why it’s awesome: The Erawan Museum, located in nearby Samut Prakan, is one of Thailand’s masterpieces by Mr Lek Viriyaphant. Built to be visually appealing, showcase art, and encourage people to question spirituality and their beliefs of the world and creation, it is definitely one of Bangkok’s most whimsical and amazing attractions. The centrepiece is a circular pink three-storey building that is topped with a huge three-headed elephant. Based on Hindu ideas of cosmology, the three levels represent the underworld, earth, and heaven.

What to do there: Feast your eyes on the fascinating building with its three-headed bronze elephant and stand at the base of the wooden staircase, admiring the encrusted stucco balustrade. Wander around the ground level where you’ll find carved wooden pillars that depict various scenes from several major world religions. The overall level of craftsmanship is incredible.

Climb the steps, and be blown away by the huge colourful skylight. Peek out of a small window for views across the site and continue skywards to reach the level that represents heaven. You can also see a large Buddha footprint and a grand historic wooden chair. In the lower level, there are many more statues and art pieces, along with diverse collections of rocks from around the nation.

#9 – Sky Bar @ Lebua – Great place in Bangkok for couples!

Sky Bar Lebua bangkok

  • One of the highest rooftop bars across the world
  • Sophisticated and elegant vibe
  • Fabulous views across Bangkok
  • Delicious signature drinks and cocktails

Why it’s awesome: The Sky Bar at Lebua is one of the world’s highest sky bars. Swanky, stylish, and sophisticated, it’s an ideal place for lovers to enjoy a romantic night out. The views take in many of Bangkok’s highlights, with the Chao Phraya River snaking in the distance. Soft music fills the air, and there’s often a live pianist. There are indoor and outdoor seating areas and you can enjoy a wide assortment of drinks with imported items on the menu. The famous bar appeared in the popular movie Hangover II.

What to do there: Dress up glamorous (there’s a strict dress code) and ride the elevators up to the 64 th floor for a romantic drink with awesome vistas. Try the signature Hangovertini, a cocktail inspired by the famous film. Alternatively, you’ll also find a range of global beers and wines and other popular cocktails on the exclusive menu. Try and time your visit just before dusk—that way you can admire the daytime views of Bangkok and watch as the sun sets over the Thai capital and then enjoy views of the city in the dark.

#10 – Bangkok National Museum – A fascinating educational place in Bangkok

must visit place in bangkok

  • One of the biggest museums in Southeast Asia
  • Home to a large collection of art and artefacts
  • Great place to learn more about Thai history
  • Connection to Thai royalty

Why it’s awesome: Housed in an old Royal Palace, Bangkok National Museum is one of the most stunning places in Thailand . There are three main buildings: Buddhaisawan Chapel, The Red House, and Siwamokhaphiman Hall. Home to the biggest collection of Thai art and historical objects in all of Thailand, the museum also contains striking art from other places around Southeast Asia. Displays are well ordered and there are good explanations and descriptions in English. One of the biggest museums in the region, it dates back to the 1870s having been established by King Rama V to display gifts and memorabilia from his late father.

What to do there: Plan to spend a few hours discovering the various displays across the museum’s three main areas. Learn more about Thailand’s past in Siwamokhaphiman Hall, with items that go from the Sukhothai era right up to the Rattanakosin period, and see beautiful murals and a large Buddha statue in Buddhaisawan Chapel. Visit the chariot hall to see carriages that used to be used in royal ceremonies, see masks used in traditional Thai puppetry, admire ornate ceramics, view old clothes, and more.

must visit place in bangkok

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#11 – Khao San Road – A must visit place in Bangkok on the weekend!

must visit place in bangkok

  • Bangkok’s famous backpacker area
  • A major place for nightlife
  • Affordable prices
  • Large selection of bars, eateries, and cheap accommodations

Why it’s awesome: Khao San Road is the city’s most famous nightlife area and definitely one of the liveliest places in Bangkok. Located fairly close to the city’s historical heart, it’s a preferred area in Bangkok for budget backpackers, since there are also many must-see places nearby. In addition to that, there are plentiful restaurants that serve traditional Thai dishes and international favourites, an assortment of bars and clubs, as well as budget accommodations. I recommend Here Hostel , which is a 10-minute walk from the Khao San Road madness.

The street is pretty lively by day, but it really comes into its own come nighttime when music blares from the bars, people drink and dance in the streets, street performers try to get tips from the crowds, and vendors try to tempt people with street eats and cheap drinks.

What to do there: Although busy on all nights of the week, Khao San Road is especially lively at the weekends, with tourists, ex-pats, and locals coming together for nights of fun and revelry. Stroll along the street and browse the souvenirs and clothes, perhaps sipping on a cool beer or famous whisky bucket as you decide where to go first. Hop between the different bars, each with its own vibe; whether you want to chill or go wild, Khao San Road has a bar for all tastes and it’s a pretty safe area to go for a night out. Listen to live music and dance the night away in one of the clubs. The atmosphere is laid back and there’s no need to dress up fancy—unless you want to!

#12 – Wat Puet Udom – One of the most incredible free places in Bangkok

  • Fascinating insights into Thai Buddhist beliefs
  • Hell temple
  • No admission charge
  • Off-the-beaten-track attraction

Why it’s awesome: Wat Puet Udom can be found in Pathom Thani, just a short way from central Bangkok. The temple offers something a bit different to the norm and is sure to be different to other temples that you’ve seen around the Thai capital. The grounds are filled with large and colourful statues, but the real highlight is exploring the section dedicated to Buddhist hell. Learn about Thai beliefs connected to the underworld, and see what people will believe the punishments in the afterlife for various earthly transgressions. Descriptions are provided in English for the avoidance of any doubt! Animatronic displays add to the eerie feeling and it’s definitely one of the most unusual places to visit around Bangkok. Plus, as an added bonus, it’s completely free!

What to do there: It’s an amazing place in Bangkok that simply needs to be explored. See the large glittery temple building at the heart of the temple complex and stroll through the grounds to see large and unusual statues. There’s a guardian of the underworld riding on the back of a gigantic rooster, human forms with animal heads, mermaids and other mythical creatures, and even a large plane. Buy a bag of food to feed the fish in the river to gain merit and admire the river views.

#13 – Siam Niramit – One of the best places to visit in Bangkok at night

Siam Niramit

  • Large and colourful cultural show
  • Opportunities to learn more about rural Thai life and regional traditions
  • Delicious cuisine
  • Fantastic place to spend a fun evening

Why it’s awesome: Siam Niramit in Bangkok is one of the biggest stage productions in the world. The enlightening and captivating show features stunning sets and beautiful costumes and takes people on an exciting journey through Thai history, culture, and traditions. The show also highlights different parts of the country, providing insights into Thailand’s different regions. There are three acts: Journey Back into History, Journey Beyond Imagination, and Journey Through Joyous Festivals. Special effects, lighting, and music create an electric atmosphere. There’s plenty to enjoy before the show too, with a mini Thai village, places to eat and shop, small performances, and other varied attractions.

What to do there: Book the package that includes dinner and arrive early (and hungry!) to enjoy a tasty Thai feast. Walk around the miniature Thai village, complete with wooden buildings on stilts, to see a variety of crafts, lifestyles, and costumes. Actors and actresses bring the scenes to life and demonstrate different skills of old. Feed the elephants, take a boat ride, watch as traditional snacks are prepared, listen to musicians, and watch dance shows.

#14 – Thonburi Canals – A nice quiet place in Bangkok

Thonburi Canals

  • Take a relaxing boat ride along the floating markets
  • See a different side of this hectic city
  • Experience Thai life of old
  • Get up close to everyday Thai culture at the floating markets

Why it’s awesome: Once upon a time, Bangkok was crisscrossed by canals and waterways, essential for trade and transportation. Over time, many canals were filled in and more roads were built. The Khlongs (canals) of Thonburi, however, still offer a pleasant glimpse into the old Bangkok. Peaceful waterways run through the area, lined with homes, temples, and gardens. The Bangkok floating markets still operate on certain days of the week too, and vendors seek to sell their wares by boat at all times, paddling from house to house with an assortment of goods. Life is quiet around the Thonburi canals and it offers a completely different perspective of the otherwise bustling city – definitely one of the more interesting places in Bangkok.

What to do there: Several operators run boat trips around Thonburi’s canals, though you can also charter your own long-tail boat for a more intimate and personalised exploration of the floating markets. Sit back and relax as you soak up the waterside scenes; drift past local homes, see the small rowing boats that people use to get around, and wave to excitable children on the water’s edge. The Royal Barge Museum, another cool place in Bangkok, is well worth a quick stop, filled with impressive vessels, and you can watch a traditional puppet show at the Artist’s House.

must visit place in bangkok

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#15 – Chinatown – A perfect place in Bangkok if you are on a budget!

must visit place in bangkok

  • Authentic Chinese fare
  • Interesting architecture
  • Cultural experiences
  • One of the world’s biggest Chinatowns

Why it’s awesome: Established in the 1780s, Bangkok’s Chinatown is one of the biggest Chinatowns across the globe. Once a major trading area, Chinatown is now a thriving hub of Chinese culture and traditions. A great place in Bangkok for foodies! There are many restaurants and stalls selling a huge selection of authentic Chinese dishes. There’s plenty of cool architecture too, including old movie theatres, temples, and a ceremonial archway. Shophouses line the streets and the pavements are crowded with pedestrians and stalls. The vibe is energetic and you’ll find shops selling everything from affordable electronics and cheap clothing to traditional Chinese herbal remedies and gold. It’s a fantastic area to explore on foot, and many of the sights are free!

What to do there: Walk along the busy Yaowarat Road, immersing yourself in the hustle and bustle. You’ll likely be tempted by all the food offerings; come in the evening for a huge array of mouth-watering treats! Visit Wat Traimit, home to the biggest solid gold Buddha statue in the world, take pictures of the colourful and ornate Chinatown Gate, and hunt for bargains along the narrow Sampeng Lanes and its overflowing market stalls.

Don’t miss visiting Wat Mangkon Kamalawat, Bangkok’s most important Chinese temple. It has elements from Buddhist, Taoist, and Confucian practices and you’ll see people lighting incense, making merit, and praying to various deities. Watch a traditional dance show at the historic Sala Chalermkrung theatre and unwind in the pleasant fountain-filled and leafy Romaneenart Park.

If budget travel is your game, some of Bangkok’s best hostels are calling your name! Check them out and find one that suits you best!

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#16 – Patpong – A wild place to see in Bangkok!

Patpong

  • Bangkok’s original red light district
  • Large market
  • Busy nightlife area
  • Adult entertainment

Why it’s awesome: It might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but Patpong is one of the best places to experience Bangkok’s famous adult side. One of the city’s major red-light districts, it is also a fun place for a night out. The bars welcome groups of friends and couples and, while it’s certainly there if you’re seeking it, there’s no need to feel obliged to indulge in any of the adult-centred fun that Patpong is known for. There’s a large night market too, which helps to draw tourists from all walks of life to the area.

What to do there: Peruse the large selection of goods at Patpong Night Market, where you’ll find everything from novelty gadgets and slogan t-shirts to crafts from the hill tribes of Northern Thailand and typical souvenirs. Be sure to haggle if you want to buy anything, as prices are often over-inflated. Experience Bangkok’s adult-focused night scene in one of the beer bars or go-go bars, and watch as people shimmy against poles and perform erotic dances on the stages. Be cautious of scams, however, and always check prices beforehand.

#17 – Jim Thompson House Museum – One of the most underrated places to see in Bangkok

Jim Thompson House Museum

  • Peaceful museum
  • Former home of the Thai Silk King
  • Traditional architecture
  • Learn about the Thai silk industry

Why it’s awesome: Jim Thompson House Museum is the former home of the mystery-surrounded silk magnate often referred to as the Thai Silk King. American-born Jim Thompson helped to revolutionise the Thai silk industry, bringing the gorgeous silk products to the world while providing much-needed work for rural Thai families. The house was built in the 1950s in a traditional Thai style using old teak buildings from various parts of the country. The old wooden buildings were reassembled and repurposed in their present Bangkok site. Surrounded by lush garden and alongside a canal, the charming buildings contain Thompson’s extensive art collection and Buddhist statues.

What to do there: Step into a green oasis in the heart of Bangkok, feeling as though you’ve been transported to a small jungle far from the city crowds. Wander through the verdant gardens and enjoy the calm and tranquil atmosphere. Watch as people demonstrate traditional silk weaving techniques and learn more about the silk production process, and see people performing graceful Thai dancing. View the large collection of art and religious memorabilia, with items from all across Thailand and the wider Southeast Asian region.

#18 – Giant Swing – One of the more unique places to visit in Bangkok!

Giant Swing

  • Once used in ancient ceremonies
  • Unusual attraction
  • Free to see
  • Gorgeous quiet temple

Why it’s awesome: The Giant Swing is a towering red frame in front of the sparkling Wat Suthat and one of the lesser-visited places in Bangkok. The swing was once used in ancient Brahmin religious ceremonies and there are old pictures showing the swing in action. Built-in the 1780s, the swing was moved to its current location in 1920. It was used for religious rituals until the 1930s. Made from teak wood, the frame stands at more than 30 metres (98 feet) high. Wat Suthat is an impressive temple, though it sees fewer visitors than Bangkok’s major temples so still retains a peaceful and spiritual air. It has beautiful wooden carvings, striking murals, and large Buddha statues.

What to do there: Gaze up at the Giant Swing and let your imagination take you back to the times when it played a vital role in religious ceremonies. See black and white photographs showing the swing in use. Explore the handsome Wat Suthat, which is among Bangkok’s oldest temples, and admire the glorious murals that show scenes from the Ramakien. See the large golden seated Buddha statue in the main hall and more than 150 statues of the Lord Buddha around the walls of the cloister. Absorb the spiritual feeling and sit for a while in quiet contemplation.

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#19 – Koh Kret – One of the nicer places in Bangkok to sightsee!

Koh Kret in bangkok

  • Scenic river island
  • Home to a Mon ethnic community
  • Known for pottery making
  • Historic attractions and markets

Why it’s awesome: Koh Kret is a small river island, created in the early 1720s when a canal was constructed and cut off the land completely. Historically home to people from the Mon ethnic group, the island is famous for its long pottery heritage. There are active pottery-making workshops on the island still, complete with large kilns and showrooms where you can buy the delicate pieces. The island has a rustic vibe and offers a glimpse into a way of life that is hard to find elsewhere in the hectic city. There are museums and temples to explore too, and you’ll find peaceful places to eat alongside the river.

What to do there: Catch a boat to Koh Kret island and explore by foot or rented bicycle. Follow the circular track around the island, pausing to visit several places of interest along the route. See stunning ceramics in the Kwan Aman Pottery Museum and watch all stages of the pottery-making process in one of the small workshops around the island. Purchase locally made terracotta items in the market or at one of the many shops. The market also sells a selection of trinkets, handicrafts, and souvenirs, and you’ll find several snacks and food products here that can be difficult to source elsewhere.

#20 – Condom Museum – One of Bangkok’s most unique attractions

Condom Museum bangkok

  • Quirky museum
  • Aims to raise awareness of sexual health
  • Educational experience

Why it’s awesome: Open since 2010, the Condom Museum is one of the more unusual attractions and definitely a unique place to visit in Bangkok. Located in Nonthaburi, the museum seeks to shed light on sexual health matters, encourage condom use, and promote safe sex. The museum is free to visit. The museum contains a fascinating collection of condoms from all over the world, with those that have been made in recent times and those that seem archaic compared to today’s products. There are also informative displays related to the history, manufacture, and marketing of condoms. Fun fact: did you know that Thailand is one of the world’s biggest makers of condoms?!

What to do there: Step into the world of sexual health and see a mind-blowing assortment of condoms in various colours and sizes. Learn more about the condom and why its use is important for good sexual health. Posters adorn the walls and displays also include other sex-related items, such as lubricant and penis pumps. You’re sure to be amazed in the testing room, where people demonstrate just how tough condoms actually are!

#21 – Queen Sirikit Park – A beautiful and scenic place to visit in Bangkok

Banana plantation in Queen Sirikit Park

  • Large green park with diverse plants and flowers
  • Offers respite from the city’s hustle and bustle
  • Home to pools, fountains, and other water features
  • Royal connections

Why it’s awesome: Sitting on a former golf course, Queen Sirikit Park opened in 1992 and was named to celebrate Queen Sirikit’s 60 th birthday. The beautiful botanical garden boasts several hundred species of plants and flowers, with an abundance of water plants in the ponds. Waterlilies, lotuses, hibiscus, palms, roses, bamboo, and banana trees are just a few plants within the park, and the rich variety helps to attract many birds, butterflies, and insects. A lovely place to enjoy nature, the park has formal gardens, walking trails, fountains, statues, and areas dedicated to leisure pursuits.

What to do there: Enjoy a leisurely stroll around the large Queen Sirikit Park, admiring the various plants and flowers, pausing to appreciate the bright colours and fragrant scents. You can also learn more about Thailand’s native flora and how certain plants are important to the nation. Sit and relax next to the sparkling lotus- and lilly-filled ponds and take kids to the fun and hands-on Children’s Museum. There are plenty of food vendors close to hand if you’re in need of an energy boost.

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Find out what people want to know about the best places to visit in Bangkok

What is Bangkok famous for?

Bangkok is famous for its nightlife, street markets and temples.

What should you not miss in Bangkok?

If you only have a short time in Bangkok, you should make sure to visit Wat Saket which is the most impressive temple in the city.

What is the most interesting place to visit in Bangkok?

The Wat Yannawa is one of the most interesting places to visit in Bangkok, being a temple in the shape of a boat.

What is the best place to visit in Bangkok for couples?

Couples will love the romantic atmosphere at Sky Bar @ Lebua.

Bangkok is an exciting city with something going on at almost all times of the day and night. A top city for foodies, shopaholics, culture seekers, history lovers, urban explorers, and party animals – there’s no shortage of amazing places to visit in Bangkok . Families, friends, couples, and solos will all find more than enough to keep them enthralled in the City of Angels.

Since there is so much to see and explore, make sure you come up with a rough itinerary before you start your travels, so you won’t miss out on anything. Tick off these best places to visit in Bangkok for a diverse, fun-filled, and action-packed stay!

must visit place in bangkok

Clair Cathryn

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Interesting list of activities in Bangkok. I especially love the markets in this city.

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24 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Bangkok

Written by Meagan Drillinger Updated Mar 20, 2024 We may earn a commission from affiliate links ( )

Bangkok is everything you'd expect from the capital of Thailand: it's noisy, crowded, colorful, exciting, infuriating, and simply magical. Bangkok is a microcosm of what makes Thailand so special. Centuries-old temples and ancient sites sit side by side with 21st-century shopping malls that have a kitschy, yet high-end ambience. Bangkok can be overwhelming, but it's also a fascinating city that represents Southeast Asia's tension between the developed and developing worlds.

Bangkok also serves as a gateway to many other parts of Thailand . From here, you can hop a short flight to Phuket, Chiang Mai, Koh Samui, and other popular destinations. You can also board a train or hop on a bus for little money, and visit national treasures such as Ayutthaya , Lopburi, and many other gems around the country.

Discover the best things to do in this bustling city with our list of the top attractions in Bangkok.

1. Admire the Beauty of the Grand Palace

3. wat arun, 4. wat traimit, temple of the golden buddha, 5. wat suthat, 6. giant swing, 7. national museum & wang na palace, 8. stock up on authentic souvenirs at chatuchak market, 9. shop by boat at the damnoen saduak floating market, 10. discover khao san road, 11. jim thompson house, 12. walk around lumpini park, 13. shop at terminal 21, 14. experience street food stalls, 15. take a river cruise, 16. step inside the temple of the emerald buddha, 17. pass through wat mahathat, 18. explore chinatown, 19. ride the skytrain, 20. shop at iconsiam, 21. take a muay thai lesson, 22. visit kalayanamit, 23. indulge at a spa, 24. check into a luxury hotel, where to stay in bangkok for sightseeing, tips and tours: how to make the most of your visit to bangkok, map of tourist attractions in bangkok, best time to visit bangkok, thailand.

Grand Palace

If you only visit one major historical tourist attraction in Bangkok, this should be the one. The royal compound lives up to its name, with spectacular structures that would put the most decadent modern monarchs to shame.

Built in 1782, the grand palace was the royal residence for generations and is still used for important ceremonies and accommodating heads of state. Dress modestly when visiting the Grand Palace, which basically means covering your arms and legs and avoiding any sloppy attire.

Ornate building in the Grand Palace

To avoid any hassle and to make the most of your visit, take the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew Tour . This is a half-day sightseeing tour, either morning or afternoon, with pickup from your hotel and a local guide to put what you are seeing in context. Without a guide, it's easy to miss important features or not fully understand the relevance of what you are seeing, and the hotel pickup makes the whole experience that much simpler.

Location: Na Phra Lan Road, Phra Borom Maha Ratchawang, Phra Nakhon

  • Read More: Exploring Bangkok's Grand Palace: A Visitor's Guide

Wat Pho

Located immediately south of the Grand Palace precinct, Wat Pho makes an excellent addition to your palace tour, provided your feet are up for more walking.

The temple was built by King Rama I and is the oldest in Bangkok. It has long been considered a place of healing, and was famous centuries ago for its pharmacy and as Thailand's first "university"-both established by King Rama III. You can get a Thai or foot massage at the traditional medical school on the premises, but the prices are significantly higher than what you will find at massage parlors elsewhere in the city.

Temple of the Reclining Buddha

Today Wat Pho is best known for the Temple of the Reclining Buddha , where you'll find a statue so big (45 meters long and 15 meters high), it cannot be viewed in its entirety but only appreciated in sections. The soles of the feet, inlaid with a myriad of precious stones, are particularly beautiful. Look also for the long earlobes signifying noble birth, and the lotus-bud configuration of the hand to symbolize purity and beauty.

Address: 2 Sanamchai Road, Grand Palace Subdistrict, Pranakorn District

Wat Arun

Wat Arun is something of a triumphant complex, dating back to the time of ancient battles between the former Siam and Burma. Having fallen to the Burmese, Ayutthaya was reduced to rubble and ashes, but General Taksin and the remaining survivors vowed to march "until the sun rose again" and to build a temple here. Wat Arun, the Temple of the Dawn, was that temple. It is where the new king later built his royal palace and a private chapel.

Row of Buddhas in Wat Arun

If you climb to the top of the prang just before sunset, you will be rewarded with an unforgettable view as the sun sinks over the Chao Praya River. Even if you don't plan on doing any climbing, sunset is really the time to take in this place in all its glory.

Address: Arun Amarin Road, Bangkok

Wat Traimit, Temple of the Golden Buddha

Sheer luck (or lack thereof) makes this attraction special. During the 1950s, the East Asiatic Company purchased the land around the temple.

A condition of the sale was the removal of a plaster statue of Buddha, but the statue proved too heavy for the crane being used. The cable parted and the figure was dropped, being left overnight where it fell. It happened to be in the rainy season, and when next morning some monks walked past, they noticed a glint of gold shining through the plaster. The coating was removed, revealing a 3.5-meter Buddha cast from 5.5 tons of solid gold.

All attempts to trace the origin of this priceless statue have so far failed, but it is assumed to date from the Sukhothai period, when marauding invaders threatened the country and its treasures, and it became common practice to conceal valuable Buddha figures beneath a coating of plaster. No one knows how it came to Bangkok, but here it stands, available for the admiration of visitors from all over the world.

Wat Suthat

Wat Suthat, adjacent to the Great Swing , is one of the oldest and most beautiful of Bangkok's Buddhist temples. Three kings had a hand in its construction: it was begun soon after the coronation of Rama I (founder of the Chakri dynasty) in 1782, continued by Rama II, and completed 10 years later by Rama III.

Buddha statues inside the Wat Suthat temple in Bangkok

Apart from its delightful architecture, the temple boasts some exceptionally interesting wall paintings. Wat Suthat is less popular than some of the other temple complexes in the city, so you'll enjoy a more peaceful and intimate experience here.

Address: Bamrung Muang Road, Sao Chingcha, Phra Nakhon

Giant Swing

In the center of the busy square in front of Wat Suthat stands one of Bangkok's most eye-catching sights: the 27-meter-high teak frame of the so-called Giant Swing. Built in the 1700s to be used as part of traditional Brahmin (Hinduist) ceremonies, the swing was later damaged by lightning and became just decorative.

This used to be the focus of a religious ceremony held every year in December after the rice harvest. Teams of three took turns to balance on a dangerously narrow board and be swung 25 meters or more off the ground "up to Heaven," at which point they would attempt to catch a bag of silver coins in their teeth. King Rama VII banned the contest in 1932, following a number of fatal accidents.

National Museum & Wang Na Palace

History buffs will want to devote at least half a sightseeing day to the national museum. Until the mid-1970s, this was Thailand's only museum, which explains why its collection is so big and diverse.

Fortunately, just about every exhibit is labeled in Thai and English and guided tours are also offered in English, so you won't miss out on any of the country's fascinating ancient and contemporary history.

National Museum & Wang Na Palace

King Rama I's Wang Na Palace, located within the grounds of the museum, remains essentially as it was, and stands as a testament to Thai history. Visitors can see regalia, religious and ceremonial artifacts, ceramics, games, weaponry, musical instruments, and the Viceroy's throne, as well as an impressive collection of Buddha figures arranged according to period.

Address: Na Phra That Road, Bangkok

Chatuchak Market

This sprawling semi-outdoor weekend market is the largest in the world and one of the top things to do when visiting Bangkok. Shoppers can find everything from jewelry and religious icons to pet supplies, paper lamps, and delicious street food here. Chatuchak Market is home to over 15,000 stalls offering just about anything you can dream up-even better, any souvenir you might want is probably available here at a much cheaper price than anywhere else in Bangkok.

This is a great place to mingle with locals and immerse yourself in everyday Thai life, so arrive early and clear your schedule for the rest of the day if you want to do this place justice.

The market is adjacent to the Kamphaengpecth Station (MRT), about a five-minute walk from Mochit Skytrain (BTS) Station and Suan Chatuchak (Chatuchak Park) Station (MRT)

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market

For an even more interesting market experience, you can arrange a tour to Damnoen Saduak, a famous floating market located in Ratchaburi (about 1.5 hours outside Bangkok). The popularity of floating markets once earned Bangkok the nickname "Venice of the East."

Keep in mind that floating markets are now highly touristic enterprises, so don't expect an exclusive morning of shopping by boat – but you will be able to buy fresh and delicious foods and interact with locals in an authentic way.

The best way to reach the market is to join a tour such as the Floating Markets Cruise Day Trip from Bangkok , which takes about six hours and includes pickup right from your hotel and transport in an air-conditioned coach.

A backpacker on Khao San Road

This is Bangkok's infamous backpacker district, a neighborhood jam-packed with guesthouses, food vendors, clothing stalls, and travelers from every corner of the globe. You'll need to tap into your patience when hanging out here, because while it is colorful and exciting in its own way, the crowds and scents and blaring music can test even the calmest soul.

All that said, Khao San Road is also a great place to pick up a few pairs of baggy fisherman pants, the perennial staple of every backpacker's wardrobe when trekking through Thailand; browse the treasures in a used bookstore; and dig into some delicious Indian food from a neighborhood restaurant.

Jim Thompson House

The historic home of a "self-made American entrepreneur" who disappeared while traveling in Malaysia now stands as a relic of an older time in Bangkok. Jim Thompson settled in Thailand after spending time there as a serviceman around the end of WWII and quickly became a well-known name in the Thai silk industry.

Thompson was awarded the Order of the White Elephant, an important honor given to foreigners who have made significant contributions to Thailand. Thompson's home has been turned into a museum offering insights into his life and business, as well as the history of the city and the Thai silk industry.

Address: 6 Soi Kasemsan 2, Rama 1 Road, Bangkok

Lumpini Park

Lumpini Park provides visitors with a green oasis amid the traffic and chaos of Bangkok. Hang out on one of several lawn areas, enjoy the shade of a Chinese pagoda, or take a boat out on the lake. Lumpini Park is a great place to spend an afternoon enjoying the contrast of the tranquil park with the skyscrapers rising all around it.

Note that the park has been the site of anti-government protests that have occasionally turned violent in the past, so be sure to check on the current political situation before visiting. Keep an eye out for the massive Asian water monitors as well-they can often be found taking a stroll around the lake.

Location: Rama IV Road, between Ratchadamri and Witthayu (Wireless) roads

Terminal 21 shopping mall

Don't let the airport-like name fool you. This shopping mall is one of the best places to visit in Bangkok if you're looking for a mix of local and international brands, as well as plenty of unique buys.

Terminal 21 is unique in more ways than one – even by Thailand's shopping standards. Every floor of the mall has been themed to a different international city. Enter at the level of the BTS station and you'll be in Paris; go up a floor and it's Tokyo; another floor and you're staring at the iconic red phone booths of London. The Caribbean, San Francisco, and Istanbul also figure into the design theme.

Other malls of note include the high-end Siam Paragon , and adjacent Siam Discovery , which has more moderately priced chains; fun cafés; and the super luxurious Virgin Active Siam Discovery , self-dubbed "the largest gym in Southeast Asia." Here, visitors can rock climb, try anti-gravity yoga, or visit the unique "Sleep Pod" rooms for the ultimate in relaxation.

Street Food Stalls

To really experience Bangkok, you have to try the local cuisine. You haven't really "done" the city without chowing down on grilled meats and fish, spicy noodles, fresh fruit, and curries. If you think you know Thai food, you're in for a surprise. Whatever you've tried before is nothing like the dishes you'll find here.

You'll have no trouble at all finding vendors to tempt you with treats all around Bangkok and help you live through a quintessential Thailand experience, tucking into a delicious (if mysterious) meal, surrounded by the chaos and heat of the city.

Surprisingly, some of the best street food in Bangkok is on Khao San Road – both in the little stalls lining up the street and in the small shacks and restaurants just off the main road selling pad Thai, pad see ew, and mango sticky rice.

Cruise boat in front of Wat Arun

The Chao Phraya River is Bangkok's heartline. Known as the "river of kings," this major waterway will allow you to discover some of the city's most stunning temples and monuments from a completely new angle.

In the evening, you can jump on a dinner cruise to see the lit-up city skyline as you sail along the Grand Palace and Wat Arun and under the Rama VIII Bridge.

During the day, take advantage of Bangkok's many ferries and express boats, which depart from Sathorn Pier and will stop right at the ports of major tourist attractions, including Wat Arun and Ratchawongse. Local canal boats (khlong Saen Saep) are used by the locals to commute to work and are a great way to see the real Bangkok, as the boats zigzag through small canals and behind residential buildings.

The Temple of the Emerald Buddha

The Temple of the Emerald Buddha, or Wat Phra Kaew, is located on the grounds of Bangkok's Grand Palace. It is regarded as one of the most sacred Buddhist temples in the Kingdom of Thailand. The temple itself is simply spectacular, as is the Buddha statue itself, which is carved out of bright green jade.

For such a massive reputation, significance, and shrine, the statue itself is rather small. But it has been sitting on its perch since 1784. Hundreds of thousands of tourists and pilgrims pass through the gates to the temple every hear in order to view the statue.

Prior to taking up residence here at the Grand Palace, the Emerald Buddha traveled for centuries across Southeast Asia, from India and Sri Lanka to Cambodia and Laos. It was one of the most important treasures for King Rama I, who reigned from 1782 to 1809. In fact, when the capital of Thailand was moved from Ayutthaya to Bangkok, it was partly done so that this statue had a permanent home.

Wat Mahathat in Bangkok

Not far from the Grand Palace is one of the most important temples in Thailand: Wat Mahathat. Not to be confused with the temple of the same name in the historic city of Ayutthaya, Bangkok's Wat Mahathat is deeply significant to the culture and history of Thailand – in fact, it is the final resting place of King Rama IX.

The temple was constructed before the city of Bangkok was founded. Built in 1782, today it is home to one of the largest schools of Buddhism, dedicated to the Mahanikai school, Thailand's largest monastic order.

Buddha in Wat Mahathat

The temple complex is rather large and may appear confusing, as it is home to several school buildings and offices, but if you press on towards the center, you'll find the temples, which are packed with golden images and statues of Buddha. In fact, it has one of the largest collections of Buddha's image than most other temples in Bangkok.

Bangkok's Chinatown

Of Bangkok's many colorful and diverse neighborhoods, Chinatown stands out as one of its most exciting. In fact, Bangkok's Chinatown is one of the largest Chinatowns in the world, and, as it so happens, one of the best.

The main artery of Chinatown is Yaowarat Road. This energetic thoroughfare and its side streets are slammed with restaurants, food carts, gold stores, cafés, herb shops, fruit stalls, and so much more. If you've come to Chinatown to eat, then you'll want to wait until the sun sets, when the entire neighborhood explodes with food stalls overflowing with mouthwatering treats.

Chinatown is slowly revamping, as well. Today you'll find more "fine dining" dim sum houses and swanky hotels than before. Still, the energy is always swirling and chaotic, but it's always one of the most beautiful parts of Bangkok.

Skytrain in Bangkok

Bangkok is famous for many things, and one of them, unfortunately, is the traffic. To go a short distance can sometimes take upwards of half an hour. Fortunately, visitors to Bangkok have a very easy, convenient, and time-efficient option: the Bangkok Skytrain.

Bangkok's BTS Skytrain is truly a game changer. It opened in 1999 and has quickly become the most popular way to get around the city. Travelers love it for its speed, cleanliness, air-conditioning, and price.

The Skytrain does not go everywhere in the city, but it does cover two of the most important areas: Sukhumvit and Silom. Silom will take you from the National Stadium through Silom and Sathorn and out to Bang Wa in the suburbs. Th Sukhumvit line will run from Mo Chit in the north to the eastern province of Samut Prakan.

You can purchase individual tickets, or use a Rabbit Card, which is a pre-paid card that can be loaded as often as you need it.

The BTS Skytrain is absolutely better than sitting in Bangkok traffic, but just be aware that it does not go everywhere in the city, and it stops running at midnight.

ICONSIAM

Bangkok loves its luxury shopping centers, but none is as popular (or large) as the riverfront ICONSIAM. Perched on the banks of the Chao Phraya River, the 750,000-square-meter mega-mall is a destination in its own right.

The mall is divided into three main sections: ICONSIAM, ICONLUXE, and Siam Takashimaya. Inside each section are further zones that have been designated to highlight parts of Thailand's culture and design. SookSiam, for example, has brought together art, culture, tradition, and food from its many different provinces. It houses more than 3,000 local businesses from all over Thailand.

The facility also has seven dining zones, outdoor park space, and retail devoted to fashion, beauty, health & fitness, Thai crafts, and more. Visiting ICONSIAM is so much more than a day of shopping. It really is a Bangkok (and Thailand) experience.

Address: 299 Charoen Nakhon Rd, Khlong Ton Sai, Khlong San, Bangkok 10600

Official site: https://www.iconsiam.com/th

Muay Thai

Thailand's national martial art, Muay Thai, is famous around the world. Also known as "Thai boxing," the combat sport is known as the "art of eight limbs" because it uses combinations of shins, knees, elbows, and fists.

It's a complicated and challenging sport, but those who practice are devoted to the art. If you're coming to Bangkok, it is the perfect place to get your feet wet in the sport and learn from those who have mastered it.

Many gyms across Thailand, but in Bangkok in particular, offer May Thai training. It is a mecca for May Thai fans, where you will find the best stadiums, gyms, and gear. Bu you'll also find gyms suited to beginners, as well.

Wat Kalayanamit

Gazing across the Chao Phraya River at Wat Arun, another beautiful, sprawling temple complex may catch your eye. What you're looking at is Wat Kalayanamit. This historic temple was founded in 1825 by a nobleman and a friend of King Rama III.

The most eye-catching structure from across the river is the ordination hall, inside of which sits a massive Buddha image. It is one of the largest images of Buddha in the city. The temple is a combination of both Chinese and Thai architecture, including chedis, pavilions, and statues.

Though not one of the most-visited temples by tourists, it is certainly beautiful and worth a visit because of its historic architecture, the massive Buddha statue, and a 13-ton bell in the bell tower, which is the largest bronze bell in Thailand. It is still an active temple, as well, with monks that live on the site.

Bangkok spa

One of the many things Thailand is famous for is its affordable spa culture. Whether it's a casual pop-in for a stretchy Thai massage or a full-on day of bliss at a luxury spa, Bangkok has a facility to fill whatever you're looking for.

A traditional Thai massage is the best introduction into Thai spa culture. This style of massage has been around for more than 2,000 years. It's a dry massage, meaning it does not use oils. Instead, the therapists use stretching and rocking techniques to improve flexibility, relieve tension and promote blood circulation.

Thai massage can be used to help alleviate many ailments, from headaches and back pain to flexibility and joint stiffness. You can find affordable Thai massage parlors all over the city of Bangkok. Most massages will be less than 300 Thai baht.

Or you can check into some of the more high-end options for entire menus of treatments, body scrubs, and wraps. Clinique La Prairie, for example, has opened a new treatment center in Bangkok in The St. Regis Bangkok . This wellness center combines both wellness programs with nutrition and medicine to help patients achieve a more well-rounded, balanced life.

Rooftop pool at a luxury Bangkok hotel

Speaking of high-end and luxury, if you can swing a stay at one of Bangkok's many luxury hotels it will be a game-changing experience. Bangkok has no shortage of opulent five-star hotels, from the historic and classic Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok to the sleek, chic, newer Capella Bangkok .

Bangkok has plenty of budget-friendly options and hotels across the spectrum, but there is something about a luxury hotel stay in Bangkok that truly makes the experience magical. Many five-star hotels in Bangkok have world-renowned restaurants, like the two-Michelin-starred Le Normandie by Alain Roux at the Mandarin Oriental. Others have fabulous spas, gorgeous pools, and rooms with spectacular views.

Whether on the banks of the Chao Phraya River, or overlooking Lumpini Park, Bangkok has dozens of five-star hotels that will make your visit a trip to remember.

Bangkok is a big city with many areas where visitors can stay and still have good access to sightseeing, shopping, and dining. Many of the top-end hotels are in the historic Riverside area. Not far away, budget-minded travelers and backpackers often frequent the Khao San Road area, which lies in close proximity to some of the major sites, including the Grand Palace, Wat Phra, Wat Pho, and museums.

Sukhumvit is a more modern area with good shopping and easy access to other parts of the city on the Skytrain. This is a good place to find mid-range hotels. Below are some popular hotels in these key areas:

Luxury Hotels:

  • One of the best hotels in Bangkok is the ultra-posh Mandarin Oriental in Riverside, with a great location, beautiful pools, and several restaurants, including the Riverside Terrace overlooking the Chao Phraya River.
  • Still luxurious but more affordable is the SO/ Bangkok , with great rooms and amenities in a decent location.
  • For luxury accommodation in Sukhumvit, the popular boutique hotel, Ariyasomvilla , is a good choice with a variety of room styles, all tastefully decorated. This is a modern hotel with old-world charm in a tranquil setting with a lovely pool and grounds.

Mid-Range Hotels:

  • A more reasonably priced option in Riverside is the Chatrium Hotel Riverside , overlooking the river. This hotel has a beautiful infinity pool and several restaurants.
  • The Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel & Towers offers well-appointed rooms and world-class service at a very affordable price. There's also two outdoor pools and five on-site restaurants to enjoy here.
  • Also popular is the Glow Pratunam , with a convenient location and decent prices.

Budget Hotels :

  • For location, it's hard to beat the Adamaz House , just a short walk off Khao San Road and close to some of the city's most important attractions. The hotel has basic but clean rooms.
  • The Phranakorn-Nornlen is a very popular budget to mid-range hotel with a good location and a bed-and-breakfast feel.
  • Located in Sukhumvit is the Smart Suites , with budget prices and quality rooms.
  • Consider a Tour: To spare yourself the trouble of bargaining for everything and trying to find a taxi that will actually take you where you want to go, a guided tour might be the most practical option. It will save you both time and aggravation-and you'll also get the benefit of having a knowledgeable guide along for the adventure. To see the most famous temples, including the reclining Buddha at Wat Pho, take a Private Guided Temples Tour .
  • Be Prepared to Bargain : This applies as much to taxi rides as market shopping. Taxi drivers in Bangkok are notorious for overcharging, so agree on a price before getting in. You can also insist that they use their meter, but then watch it carefully to make sure it's not jumping around, as some have been rigged to run faster than they should.
  • Take Advantage of Public Transportation : Even with an honest cabbie, rides can get expensive in Bangkok's traffic. Bangkok has a good public transportation system, with both above-ground and underground trains covering a good portion of the city. Buses can take a while because of traffic jams, but trains provide a quick, easy, and cheap way to get around. The system is user-friendly, very affordable, and takes little time to figure out, so take advantage of it while you're in town.
  • Be Prepared for the Brutal Heat . There's no sea breeze here to help with the burning temperatures, and no break from the humidity when you're walking the streets of Bangkok. So if you're out for the day, plan on mixing some indoor shopping along the way for some air-conditioned relief. Stay hydrated at all times and wear plenty of sunblock. Choose cotton and linen clothing and grab an umbrella or hat when you're at Chatuchak Market for some extra sun protection.
  • Watch Out for Scams: As mentioned above, taxi drivers often try to overcharge or insist that their meters don't work. Use your judgment and walk away from anyone who doesn't seem trustworthy. Another scam to watch out for involves a driver or supposed tour guide who agrees to take you one place and starts making stops along the way, usually at a gem store or a tailor. Drivers get a commission when they bring in tourists, but these places are often overpriced and not worth visiting. Insist that the driver takes you to your original destination, or tell them you're leaving. This will usually get things back on track, but if it doesn't, you'll find another cab quickly enough.

Bangkok's weather is tropical all year-round, which translates to long, hot days no matter what time of the year you arrive. If you'd like a bit of a break in temperatures (high 20s instead of high 30s Celsius), December and January are the best time to visit Bangkok weather-wise . But overall, you will not be disappointed with the weather if you visit Bangkok between November and March. Because Bangkok is still very much a tropical destination, the weather can often have a mind of its own. The heavy monsoon rains taper down in early November, and the holiday crowds don't arrive till late December, so you'll see slightly cooler, drier weather and smaller crowds. Bear in mind, however, that the time between November and January is high season, so hotel rates and airfare will be at their highest.

If your plan is to head south to the islands after a stop in Bangkok, arriving between November and April guarantees the best beach and water conditions. In Bangkok, where everything's air-conditioned, and many of the attractions are at least partially indoors, there's no such thing as "the worst time to visit." For example, arriving during the wettest months might seem inconvenient, but it guarantees shorter lines at the main attractions and lower prices almost everywhere.

If you want a peek into local culture, the two major Thai festivals occur in April and November. April is the Songkran festival , which is Thailand's most famous festival. It's the traditional Thai New Year festival, and it's a time when the entire country erupts with celebration. November hosts the Loi Krathong, which is the time to thank the Water Goddess for her abundance, as well as ask forgiveness for the human pollution of the bodies of water. It's a beautiful festival held all over the country, marked by thousands of lanterns that are released into the night sky. In December, all the major shopping areas in Bangkok get decked for Christmas, even though it's not traditionally celebrated in Thailand.

More Related Articles on PlanetWare.com

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Bangkok & Beyond: No visit to Bangkok is complete without a proper tour of the Grand Palace, the former residence of kings and now a massive museum. For tips on what to see inside the palace, take a look at our article, Exploring Bangkok's Grand Palace: A Visitor's Guide . Ready to explore outside Bangkok? Find out how to get to popular Ayutthaya in our article, From Bangkok to Ayutthaya: Best Ways to Get There .

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22 Best Things to Do in Bangkok, Rooftop Bars and Ancient Temples Included

Here's how experts recommend exploring Thailand's capital.

must visit place in bangkok

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One of the most exciting and energetic capital cities in the world, Bangkok is the perfect gateway for travelers ready to take a deep dive into the beauty, history, culture, and traditions of Southeast Asia. The frenetic metropolis may cause a bit of sensory overload, but getting into its rhythm is part of the adventure. Built along the Chao Phraya River, modern-day Bangkok is an amalgamation of culture, ethnicities, architecture, and even time periods. It's entirely possible to pass a 400-year-old temple on one corner and a tech-forward, 21st-century shopping mall on the next. It's a city where street food mingles with Michelin-starred restaurants, and top-rated, modern hotels stand next to antique wooden houses. The energy of Bangkok is a heady mixture of ancient traditions, swirls of incense, the sizzle of chilis on cast-iron woks, an explosion of colorful flowers, flashes of neon, and endless honking from sputtering tuk tuks. It's a city that will ensnare the senses and hook you from the very beginning. "You cannot go to Thailand and not see the capital," says Grant Ekelund, senior travel consultant with InsideTravel Group Ltd, and a Travel + Leisure A-List Advisor. "Even if you want to spend all of your time at the beaches or up in the mountains, you cannot understand those parts until you understand Bangkok — until you've gone down the klongs, wandered the roads, seen the temples, grabbed the street food, and interacted with people. It's just a dynamic and interesting city, and you're selling yourself short if you don't spend time there." But where to begin? With so many wonderful things to do in Thailand's capital, we've spoken to experts to narrow down the list. Read on to discover the best things to do in Bangkok.

Visit the Temple of the Emerald Buddha.

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In a city with no fewer than 400 temples, it can be a daunting task to try to determine which ones to visit. That said, if it's your first time in Bangkok, experts agree that there are a few temples to put at the very top of your list, the first being the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. Regarded as the holiest Buddhist temple in Thailand, you'll find it within the elaborate Grand Palace complex. Inside the shrine is a small, jade-colored Buddha draped in golden robes to enjoy from a good distance — no one is allowed near the Buddha except for the king of Thailand. While you’re there, spend some extra time exploring the other temples, shrines, and historic halls in the Grand Palace grounds.

Have a drink at a rooftop bar.

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The Bangkok skyline is known for its towering skyscrapers, and a good number of them have rooftop bars that range in style and budget. There are options for unfussy backpackers, then some that draw the poshest of travelers. We're partial to Mahanakhon Bangkok SkyBar, Thailand's highest restaurant and the bar at King Power Mahanakhon. Located on the 76th and 77th floors of the building, both venues promise beautiful panoramic views of bustling Bangkok.

Climb Wat Arun.

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Another can't-miss temple is Wat Arun, also known as the Temple of the Dawn. The uniquely shaped temple rises above the banks of the Chao Phraya River and is one of the most recognizable landmarks in Bangkok. In fact, the land on which Wat Arun sits has been home to a temple since at least the 1500s. It is known for its 82-meter-high tower, which has stairs that lead all the way to the top, where you'll find gorgeous views of the river and Bangkok. From a distance, Wat Arun appears to be gleaming white, but as you get closer you'll find that the structure is actually made of beautifully painted floral mosaics that have been constructed from Chinese porcelain.

Visit Warehouse 30.

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While Bangkok is steeped in centuries of history and art, it is also a thriving capital of contemporary and forward-thinking art and design. At Warehouse 30, an abandoned block of World War II-era warehouses that's been transformed into creative spaces for artists and designers, you'll discover cafes, boutiques, and galleries to explore.

View the Reclining Buddha.

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Yet another temple to add to your itinerary is Wat Pho, or the Temple of the Reclining Buddha. This massive Buddha is covered from head to toe (all 46 meters) in gold leaf and is one of the largest Buddha statues in the world. Wat Pho also boasts one of the largest collections of Buddha images; there are more than 1,000 of them throughout the sprawling temple complex.

Shop for flowers before dawn.

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Bangkok is one of the most colorful cities in the world, and nowhere is that more evident than at Pak Khlong Talat. In this vibrant flower market is a brilliant kaleidoscope of colors and the sweet and enveloping scent of thousands upon thousands of fresh blooms. Browse stalls full of marigolds, orchids, roses, and more. What's great about the flower market, particularly if you are battling jet lag and need a late-night activity, is that it is open 24 hours a day.

Sample some of the best street food in the world.

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Bangkok streets seem to sizzle at all times of day with some of the most coveted street food on the planet. No matter where you are in the city, you're never more than a few steps from savory, flavorful, and aromatic foods, most of which can be purchased for less than $2 per person. Start the day with a Thai iced coffee (strong coffee made extra sweet with condensed milk) and try snack after snack throughout the day, from pad Thai to braised duck and chicken rice.

"Bangkok's reputation as a top street food city means you must explore local food culture in hubs like Chinatown and Baan Tad Thong," says Patty Lerdwittayaskul, director of communications for Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok . "Local dishes offer an authentic taste of everyday Thai life."

Lerdwittayaskul recommends Lim Lao Sa Noodle Stall in Chinatown, a hidden, family run stall offering noodles in a clear fish broth. She also points to Phee Mao Rad Na, a food cart by the canal next to Wat Ratchabophit. "The stir-fried noodles are cooked a la minute, and the two-minute walk to Wat Ratchabophit after a meal adds to the experience," she says.

Eat at a Michelin-starred restaurant.

Beyond its bustling street food scene, Bangkok is home to roughly 30 Michelin-starred restaurants. One to note in particular is Le Normandie by Alain Roux, a fine-dining restaurant at the iconic Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok. This haute, white-glove experience is set within the gorgeous dining room overlooking the Chao Phraya River. Be sure to book a table at the window so can watch the sunset and the colorful boats on the river while you dine on exquisite and artfully prepared French cuisine.

Take a cooking class.

Of course, it's fun to cook your own food, too. A Thai cooking class is one of the best things to do in the country overall, so why not give it a try in Bangkok? The city has dozens of cooking schools to choose from across a variety of budgets. Sompong Thai Cooking School is a top choice; each class begins with a trip to the local market to procure key ingredients before moving back to the kitchen to prepare flavorful Thai dishes.

Get a Thai massage.

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It's no secret that the spa and wellness services in Bangkok are second to none — you just have to choose your preferred vibe. Whether it's a luxury spa palace or a no-frills storefront down a narrow alley, Bangkok has the wellness market cornered. A Thai massage is a distinct and unique style of massage; it uses no oils or aromatherapy, and instead focuses on passive stretching, acupressure, and increasing the range of motion of your muscles. If you've never had a Thai massage, Bangkok is the perfect place to try one.

Cruise the Chao Phraya River.

Bangkok's main lifeline is the serpentine Chao Phraya River, and along its banks are some of the city's top luxury hotels, oldest neighborhoods, and biggest tourist attractions. A cruise down the Chao Phraya is the perfect way to introduce yourself to the iconic Bangkok skyline, and to catch a glimpse of daily local life. There are a many ways to get on the river, from evening dinner cruises to daytime sightseeing excursions. If you really want to travel like a local, though, ride the Chao Phraya Express Boat . The public water taxi stops at busy docks along the river and travels all the way up to the neighboring province of Nonthaburi.

Wander Chinatown.

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Bangkok's Chinatown is among the largest Chinatowns in the world, and walking through this sprawling neighborhood will have you feeling like you've stepped out of Thailand and onto the streets of Beijing. If you like street food, Bangkok's Chinatown is the place to be. Or come to marvel at the district's neon lights, dangling lanterns, and dozens of gold stores on the iconic Yaowarat Road.

"Visit the Chinese Shrine in Chinatown during the late afternoon to catch the evening chanting rituals by monks," says Lerdwittayaskul. "In the evening, the red lanterns in the shrine and candles are lit up. The experience is grounding and serene. After visiting the shrine, I love strolling through the backstreets, trying delicious Chinese dishes like noodles, stir-fried oyster pancakes, dumplings, and refreshing lotus root herbal juice."

Browse the Chatuchak Weekend Market.

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If you hear locals talking about the JJ Market, what they're referring to is the Chatuchak Weekend Market. And if you like bazaars and outdoor markets, this will be the one that will blow you away. It is one of the largest outdoor markets in the world, boasting around 15,000 stalls selling knock-off electronics, clothing, souvenirs, local art, birds, and everything in between.

Cycle in the city.

For such a congested city, you'd be amazed at how many opportunities there are for getting outside. If you're looking for a bit of fresh air, give cycling a try. "One of the best places for a cycle is in Bangkrachao, an island in the Chao Phraya River — also known as the 'Green Lung' of Bangkok, thanks to its abundant green space," says Wanwisa Maneewatthana, chief culturist at Capella Bangkok . "Despite being a big city, Bangkok can offer great outdoor experiences to immerse [you] into both nature and culture. Visitors can enjoy cycling in an old neighborhood like Charoenkrung to discover remarkable and non-tourist cultural sights like local wet markets and neighborhood temples."

Visit the Bangkok Art & Cultural Centre.

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After you've hit the main tourist sites, you may want to slip a little below the radar for a different look at Bangkok, and the Bangkok Art & Cultural Centre offers just that. This public space promotes both local and international art and culture exhibits. If you're interested in seeing the work of young Thai artists, this is the top gallery in the city to visit.

Visit Jim Thompson House.

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If there's one Western name consistently tied to Bangkok, it's Jim Thompson. Thompson was the American businessman who brought Thai silks to the rest of the world in the mid-20th century. His canal-side home has been transformed into a museum showcasing his vast collection of art and antiques. The home is an architectural marvel, made of an amalgamation of six traditional teak houses from Ayutthaya. The lush gardens surrounding it are equally beautiful.

Celebrate a new year at the Songkran festival.

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If there is one festival to attend in Bangkok, it would be Songkran, or Thai New Year, which is held every year in April. This three-day event is when the city stops its usual business and transforms into one giant (and water-soaked) party. "The festival offers guests the chance to experience a fun-filled celebration that includes water fights on the street," says Maneewatthana. "Also, visitors can visit temples to participate in religious celebrations to bring them good luck in the coming year."

Shop at Siam Paragon.

If you're cruising down the Chao Phraya River, you can't miss one of the largest luxury malls in Asia, Siam Paragon. This is the ultimate stop in Bangkok for high-end labels, as well as a host of entertainment options, from restaurants and Southeast Asia's largest aquarium to a 16-screen movie theater and more than 250 shops. It's also the home base for the largest foreign-language bookshop in Bangkok, Kinokuniya. It's easy to get to Siam Paragon, as two BTS Skytrain lines intersect at the stop right in front of the mall.

Cruise the klongs in a longtail boat.

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Bangkok is known as the "Venice of the East," and for good reason — the city is quite literally webbed with miles of canals, or klongs. The oldest part of the city, known as Thonburi, sits west of the Chao Phraya River, and a visit to this corner of the city takes you back in time. There are wooden houses on stilts, plus lush greenery, small, colorful temples, and far more locals than tourists. "I try to have [all of my clients] spend some time on the klongs," says Grant Ekelund . "I like to do it because it's an interesting and unique way to experience the city from the water. Experience the neighborhoods, get a little bit out there, and get a sense for how people live in Bangkok."

Stroll in Lumpini Park.

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Another slice of green space in Bangkok is the 142-acre Lumpini Park, also known as the "Central Park of Bangkok." Set right in the heart of the city, the park includes a man-made lake strewn with swan paddle boats, and it's a popular spot for trail walking, picnics, Tai Chi, live music, and more. 

Explore Charoenkrung Road.

Bangkok is a city of many personalities, but if it's old-school charm you're looking for, head to another of the city's oldest neighborhoods, Charoenkrung Road. Home to the very first paved road in Bangkok, Charoenkrung is slowly disappearing as luxury hotels continue to open. But visitors can still experience myriad cultural activities here, from street food and hidden temples to an emerging art district.

Take a day trip to Ayutthaya.

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About an hour from Bangkok by train, Ayutthaya is the perfect day trip from Bangkok. Once the capital of the Kingdom of Siam, Ayutthaya gives visitors a glimpse of the ancient days of Thailand. The preserved kingdom capital is home to gorgeous palaces and temples that date back as far as the 14th century. Visitors can wander around the temple ruins for a unique look at how this part of the world used to be. "A day trip here offers a deep dive into Thai history and culture," says Lerdwittayaskul. "You can explore numerous historical sites and temples, where the civilization, traditions, and beliefs of ancient people come alive." "Ayutthaya gets more into the history of Thailand," added Ekelund. "It's so cool, especially if you are not going to Cambodia to see Angkor Wat and want to see that style of architecture."

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By Diana Hubbell and Katie Lockhart

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One of Southeast Asia’s most popular destinations, Bangkok is an ever-changing, always-bustling cosmopolitan capital with much more on offer than incredible street food (although there’s plenty of that). Chaos covered in a hazy combination of charcoal grills, incense, and motorbike exhaust, it’s home to culture and history alongside luxury hotels, Michelin-star restaurants, cozy cocktail bars and a surplus of good times. Overwhelmed? That’s normal. After a day of temple hopping, hit up Chinatown for old-world architecture and some of the city’s best bars. Or go green with a stroll through the city’s coolest parks, followed by a multi-course meal aboard an antique barge or tucked inside a century-old shophouse. Here are our picks for what to do in Bangkok.

Read our complete Bangkok city guide here .

This gallery has been updated with new information since its original publish date.

All products and listings featured on Condé Nast Traveler are independently selected by our editors. If you purchase something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Thailand Bangkok Activity Jim Thompson House

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The home of American Jim Thompson, who made a fortune in the mid-20th century selling Thai silks, has been transformed into a museum displaying the businessman's collection of antiques, artwork, and religious artifacts. The canal-side property is made up of six traditional teak houses from Ayutthaya, the former capital of Thailand, surrounded by a verdant garden. Known for more than just its art collection, the property was also a legendary spot for high-society parties.

Thailand Bangkok Activity Park Lumphini Park

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Bangkok is the ultimate concrete jungle, and most of its green spaces have long been gobbled up by developers adding condominium towers to the skyline. But smack dab in the center of the city is leafy Lumphini Park; often called the "Central Park of Bangkok" and named after the Nepali birthplace of Buddha, this an urban respite for many Bangkokians. The geographical heart of the park is an artificial lake where you can rent swan-shaped paddle boats.

Thailand Bangkok Activity Grand Palace

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The land for the Grand Palace was designated in 1782—the same year the capital of Thailand moved from Ayutthaya to Bangkok—and today it's home to various royal throne and ceremonial halls, as well as the sacred Temple of the Emerald Buddha. Although the Thai royal family moved out by 1925, this sprawling complex remains an important structure for Thais, one that's also a central stop on the well-trodden tourist route.

Thailand Bangkok Activity Chinatown

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Market lanes, glittery gold shops, phenomenal street food, temples with golden Buddhas, Daoist temples clouded with incense smoke, street art, history, and a neighborhood setting that feels untouched by time and modernization: Welcome to Bangkok’s enchanting Chinatown, one of the largest Chinatowns in the world. You don’t need tickets or reservations, just an appetite for Thai-Chinese street food and a penchant for getting a little lost in the name of exploration.

Thailand Bangkok Activity Wat Pho

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The main draw at Wat Pho is the country’s largest reclining Buddha, a 150-foot long sculpture occupying nearly every inch of the building and leaving guests to observe its gold-plated form from all angles. Beyond the Buddha, an expansive compound has the largest collection of Buddha images in Thailand. The complex was Thailand’s first center for public education; people came to study its 1,360 marble inscriptions to learn about medicine, history, and liberal arts.

The Siam

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Compared with many of its rivals, this Bangkok stalwart doesn’t have a location that’s wildly convenient: the postcard sights need a boat transfer, and most top tables are more than a 30-minute taxi ride away. But for me, and the legions of other loyal fans of this monochrome masterpiece by hotel guru Bill Bensley, that’s the point. Pitched up on a lush riverside plot in the hushed Dusit district, The Siam feels like a portal to a bygone Bangkok. Even though it opened a decade ago, it’s easy to imagine it as a plush playground for the city’s erstwhile big guns, the mid-century movers and shakers whose heirlooms—vintage Pan Am posters, tattered travel trunks and chipped ceramics—adorn the marble-floored hallways. I’d be hard-pressed to point friends to a lovelier lunch spot than the hotel’s Thai restaurant, set between the timeworn pillars of three ancient teakwood houses, where butlers in dressy black sarongs deliver the kind of classic Thai hospitality—lilting “sawadee ka” greetings and tables set with fresh orchids—that’s becoming harder to find. None of which is to say that the hotel is stuffy—there’s a tattoo parlor in the spa. An ongoing refurb is keeping suites and private-pooled villas looking fresh. And with the opening of a Jim Thompson homeware boutique in the wooden house the illustrious silk magnate helped procure for its former owners, things have come full circle. The Thai capital’s five-star hotel scene gets plusher every year, but this timeless beauty remains in a league of its own. From $618. —Chris Schalkx

Thailand Bangkok Activity Chatuchak Weekend Market

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Known as JJ Market to most locals (the official name, Chatuchak, is pronounced with a J sound), this is the granddaddy of all markets: With 15,000 stalls, it's among the largest outdoor markets in the world. Everything is buyable, from practical stuff like home décor, art, clothing, accessories, and cooking equipment, to trinkets and oddities like knock-off Nikes and Beats by Dre, iPhone covers, and—yes—even live animals. Despite its sheer size, though, the market is very well organized, with goods arranged by type and a large map posted near the entrance.

Thailand Bangkok Activity Wat Arun

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Of the more than 37,000 temples, or wats , throughout Thailand, Wat Arun is one of the most iconic. The 269-foot tall prahng, a Khmer-style tower, juts out from the banks of the Chao Phraya River, and the temple complex is illuminated in a golden glow at night. This is one of the few temples in Thailand that you can climb; once you've ascended the steep and narrow stairs, you're in for a great view of the river and surrounding temple complex.

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Smiling Albino Arrow

The peeps behind Smiling Albino have been at it since 1999, so you can rest assured they know what they’re doing. Their offerings fall in the custom luxury category: private experiences in Bangkok, cultural visits, and trips to nearby villages. They also organize weeklong trekking journeys in northern Thailand, cycling in Nepal, and motorcycling in Vietnam. Each trip is custom-made to your interests: no coaches and explanations shouted through a microphone, but rather personal guides and drivers.

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Manohra Dinner River Cruise Arrow

This six-course dinner served aboard an an antique wooden rice barge is an excellent crash course in both Thai food and Bangkok's must-visit destinations along the river. Book it to get your bearings on what you'd like to explore during daylight—while eating fantastic dishes like a gold leaf-topped curry amuse bouche, a dry-ice play on mango sticky rice, and a creamy coconut and turmeric soup with charcoal-cooked chicken. The warm service rivals any fine-dining establishment on land, and the experience is perfect for a relaxed, romantic evening on the water.

White pagoda in WatPrayoon Rawongsawas

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Sitting on the quieter Thonburi side of the Chao Phraya River, Wat Prayoon is a crowd-free, surprise-filled temple compound with plenty of moments for peaceful solitude. Visitors can spend an afternoon here exploring the towering white chedi —it's rare to find one in Bangkok you can actually enter—or watching the turtles and monitor lizards in the Khao Mo garden. It's an excellent spot for families with young kids and temple-lovers looking for something besides a giant gold Buddha (although it's got one of those too).

Thailand Bangkok Activity Blue Elephant Cooking School

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Bringing home a taste of Thai food is high on the list of most travelers, and in the always-hungry capital, there are lessons for newbies and pros alike. Blue Elephant’s half-day lesson is a good middle ground, where experienced cooks won’t be bored and novices won’t feel lost. At the morning lesson, small groups gather at the elegant colonial-style house before making their way to the multiethnic Bangrak market; the afternoon session, meanwhile, dives right into cooking.

The Jam Factory Bangkok

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Architect Duangrit Bunnag’s fingerprints are all over the revival of Bangkok’s waterfront. Savvy travelers will also notice his handiwork just across the Chao Phraya at Warehouse 30 . Down Charoenkrung Road in the former General Post Office lies the reopened Thailand Creative & Design Center (TCDC), which Bunnag co-founded. The Jam Factory is at the core of his vision to shift the city’s gravitational center back to where it once lay: on the so-called River of Kings. He built this stunning complex anchored around an ancient Bodhi tree to house his firm’s main office, along with a hip restaurant, a gallery, and more.

100 Tonson Gallery Bangkok

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Over the past decade, Bangkok’s art scene has mushroomed from a few scattered galleries into a vibrant, thriving community. Much of that transformation has to do with Aey Phanachet’s groundbreaking contemporary art space in Ploenchit. In 2020, Tonson Gallery became a non-profit and changed its name to 100 Tonson Foundation.This was the first Thai gallery to participate in Art Basel, the Switzerland art fair, and it’s been a champion of Southeast Asian artists ever since. Despite its high-powered reputation, the gallery is open to casual art-lovers as well as collectors.

Wat Pariwat Bangkok Temple

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Bangkok’s temples are truly a wonder to behold, but after a few days of battling the crowds, the appeal of gilded Buddha statues may start to wear thin. When you’ve conquered the major attractions, hop in a taxi to this Wat Pariwat, a one-of-a-kind temple down the Chao Phraya River. Sometimes nicknamed the David Beckham Temple for its statue of the famed soccer star below the main altar, Wat Pariwat is both an active place of worship and a hodgepodge of pop culture references.

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Follow the outdoor neon sign that says "Only Kids Drink Milk" to this fine-dining speakeasy that ranks 10th on Asia's 50 Best Restaurants list. Head to the back of Mayrai Pad Thai and Wine Bar, go up the spiral stairs and past the open kitchen, and find a small dining area set for 12. One of Bangkok's most exclusive reservations, the restaurant serves a 12-course set menu of Thai chili–laden dishes that are an ode to Chef Ton Tassanakajohn's grandmother, Nusara. Highlights include peanut relish with seasonal vegetables and shrimp paste water perfected over the course of 80 years.

Thailand Bangkok Activity Pak Khlong Talat

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Bangkok’s bustling 24-hour flower market is a feast for the eyes and the nostrils—and one of the best places for jet-lagged travelers awake at odd hours to do some sightseeing. The highlight of the market is visiting the vendors along Chakkaraphet Road and watching locals prepare sacred temple offerings at lightning speed. They’re folding back the delicate petals of lotus blossoms, stringing fragrant jasmine into garlands known as malais, sorting through bags teeming with marigolds, and creating elaborate arrangements for funerals and weddings. Under the market’s tin roof, merchants sell bundles of orchids, button carnations, roses, green bananas still on the stem, towering stacks of prickly pineapples, and pre-made temple offerings. Across Chakkaraphet Road, don’t miss the elaborate ready-made bouquets and stacks of colorful orchids for 20 baht (60 cents) each.

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Warehouse 30 Arrow

The creation of Warehouse 30 is the latest creative project in a string of artistic spaces in rehabbed historical buildings along Charenkrung Road. Under the artistic and watchful eye of Duangrit Bunnag, a founder of the Thailand Creative & Design Center (TCDC) and Thailand’s best-known architect, an abandoned block of World War II-era warehouses have become a bastion for local designers and artists. Ever-changing exhibition spaces, independent boutiques, a coffee shop, and more are all part of the new development. And while the shops and the vibe are new, the exposed beams and wood flooring are original.

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Visit Bangkok: Top 30 Things To Do And Must See Attractions

The 30 best things to do in bangkok (all highlights).

You’re planning to visit Bangkok, in Thailand , during your next trip?

Great idea!

In order to help you plan your stay, I have prepared this guide of the 30 best things to do in Bangkok and its surroundings. You will find all must-see attractions in and around the city as well as itineraries to visit Bangkok in 1, 2, 3 days or more!

No matter if you want to discover the Grand Palace , visit the most beautiful temples, go shopping in the modern part of the city or visit one of the famous floating markets , you will for sure find many activities to enjoy during your stay.

And as usual, I will also give you all my best tips and my list of the best places to stay in Bangkok, depending on your budget.

So, What are the best things to do in Bangkok? Where to stay?

Let’s find out!

1. The Grand Palace

3. wat arun, 4. chatuchak weekend market, 5. wat saket / the golden mount, 6. khao san road, 7. chinatown, 8. wat traimit / golden buddha, 9. lumphini park, 10. jim thompson’s house, 11. dusit park, 12. doing a river cruise, 13. shopping in bangkok, 14. bangkok’s rooftops, 15. bangkok’s museums, 16. attend a boxing match, 17. enjoy a traditional thai massage, 18. the floating markets near bangkok, 19. ayutthaya, 20. kanchanaburi and the bridge over the river kwai, 21. to 30 – the 10 best things to do in bangkok with family, how many days to visit bangkok, 1 day in bangkok, 2 days in bangkok, 3 days in bangkok, where to stay in bangkok, where to eat in bangkok, where to go in bangkok at night, how to get around bangkok, the most common scams in bangkok, thailand tours, traveling to bangkok: flight prices, tourist map of bangkok, you’re traveling to thailand these articles will help you, visit bangkok: the 30 must-see attractions.

The Grand Palace (or Royal Palace) is the most visited tourist site in Bangkok and one of the must see attractions during a trip to Thailand.

It’s located on the edge of the Chao Phraya river and is surrounded by a 1.9 kilometers long wall.

Built in 1782 , the year when Bangkok officially became the capital of the country after the fall of the Ayutthaya and Thonburi kingdom, the complex includes more than 100 buildings, palaces, and pavilions .

The sovereigns of Thailand lived there for many years in the past, but today the King only goes there for official ceremonies.

During your visit to the Grand Palace in Bangkok , don’t miss the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, a royal chapel. In the chapel, you can admire a jade statue of Buddha found in 1434 in Chiang Rai (in the north of Thailand). This statue is revered by all Thai people.

Another impressive building is Chakri Mahat Prasat palace, built by King Rama V to be his residence.

The palace is open everyday and the entrance fee is 500 bahts (plus 200 bahts for an audio guide).

Your ticket allows you to visit all the buildings (outside + inside) as well as the museums (textile museum and Royal Thai Decorations and Coins museums) . Admission to a Thai dance show at the Royal Theater is also included.

You can find more information at the official website .

When visiting The Grand Palace and temples in general, appropriate dress is required . Legs and shoulders must be covered.

If you’re not dressed properly, you can buy pants or skirts for 100 bahts on the street or rent an outfit at the entrance of these sites. That’s why you see everyone walking around in loose pants decorated with elephants! 😆

The Grand Palace of Bangkok

Wat Pho , the second main tourist attraction in Bangkok, is located not far from the Grand Palace and is easily accessible on foot.

It’s one of the oldest Buddhist temples in the country. Inside, you can admire the largest reclining Buddha in the city: 45 meters long and 15 meters high! The statue represents Buddha’s death.

During your tour don’t forget to admire the soles of the feet: they are encrusted with pearls and decorated with symbols.

In the temple complex, you can also discover:

  • The Buddha Gallery and its 394 golden Buddhas
  • The 4 royal Chedis covered in colorful ceramics
  • The Phra Ubosoft, where the ashes of King Rama I are guarded by another famous golden Buddha statue.

Entry to Wat Pho costs 200 bahts and the visit takes around an hour and a half.

Any other information needed can be found on the official website.

Wat Pho

Wat Arun completes the trio of temples to visit during your stay in Bangkok.

It’s located on the other side of the river from the Grand Palace and Wat Pho . To get there, you’ll have to take a boat shuttle (4 bahts) that drops you off right in front of the entrance.

Wat Arun is especially known for its 82 meters prang (a tower), entirely covered in tiny pieces of colorful porcelain. It’s surrounded by 4 smaller prangs , also encrusted with mosaics.

Recently renovated, the location is really worth the visit. And if you have the chance, come back in the evening to see it illuminated from the other side of the river.

Wat Arun is open everyday and the entrance fee is 50 bahts .

You’ll find almost no signs with information or explanations at these 3 main tourist sites: The Grand Palace, Wat Pho, and Wat Arun.

If you want to learn more about their history, you should really opt for a guided visit of these 3 points of interest in Bangkok. It’s amazing!

You need to book it in advance by clicking here.

Wat Arun

If you’re in Bangkok during the weekend, you should really visit Chatuchak Market , the largest market in Thailand (more than 15 000 stands).

It’s so big, they even give you a map when you enter to help you get around.

The market is organized into sections : clothes, shoes, jewelry, souvenirs, and much more! And as you can imagine, there is a also a large part dedicated to food.

If you didn’t know what to do on Sunday in Bangkok , your problem is solved! However I should warn you, you won’t be the only ones to have the same idea, the place is super busy.

And to relax a bit, you should go to the large park located nearby . Lots of Thais go there with their family and friends to picnic by the lakeside .

Chatuchak market is really the city’s most famous market .

But don’t worry, if you’re visiting Bangkok during the week (not on the weekend), you only have to walk down the commercial streets or in the shopping centers to find the various products sold at the market, including the famous “I Love Bangkok” t-shirts and elephant key rings!

And if you continue your trip in Thailand to the north, towards Chiang Mai or Chiang Rai , you will also have the opportunity to discover other markets.

Since the market is a bit far from the city center, the easiest and fastest way to get there is to take the metro and get off at the Chatuchak Park station.

Chatuchak Market

Let’s continue our Bangkok travel guide with the Golden Mount.

Built on the top of a hill, the Golden Mount temple allows you to enjoy a 360 degree view over Bangkok. To get there, you will have to climb a few steps , but really nothing too insurmountable!

Along the path, you will find fountains and statues, as well as several gongs you can ring to attract luck, love, or money (your choice!).

The entrance fee is 50 bahts.

You’re going to Bangkok?

You probably know it: the hardest part of planning your trip is to find an hotel offering a good value for money!

And that’s even worse in big touristic cities like Bangkok 😅.

The closer you get to your travel dates, the harder it will be to get a good deal. Tens of thousands of people will be visiting Bangkok on the same dates as you , so you can be sure that the best deals are booked extremely quickly!

Hopefully, there is a pretty simple solution to this problem: do like me and book your hotel as early as possible!

So, my best advice is to take 5 minutes (now) to have a look at the list of travelers’ favorite hotels in Bangkok.

And if you see a good offer, book it!

Most hotels offer free cancellation, so it’s quick, easy, and you will avoid the the inconvenience of finding nothing but mediocre rooms at exorbitant prices.

To check the current best deals for your hotel in Bangkok, simply click on the green button below 😎:

Once you’ve booked your hotel, it will be time to continue reading this guide and find out more about the best things to do in Bangkok!

Wat Saket Golden Mount

I can’t write a guide of Bangkok without talking about Khao San road!

This street is one of the city’s main tourist attractions , along with the Grand Palace or Wat Pho. A few years ago, it was especially a good place for backpackers to find cheap accommodation.

Nowadays, the place is super touristic and Khao San road clearly became one of the most cosmopolitan areas of the city . There, you will find bars and restaurants where everyone goes in the evening to have a drink.

There are still many low-costs hotels in the neighborhood, but it’s not really the quietest place to sleep in Bangkok.

Khao San road

In Bangkok, you should also take a stroll in Chinatown district , one of the main points of interest of the city.

You’ll find yourself transported to China with the noises, smells, and colors. Stroll in the alleys and discover the shopping stalls and street vendors where you can taste Chinese cuisine .

In Talat Mai , the Chinatown market, you can stock up on exotic fruits or, for the bravest among you, some culinary oddities.

In this district, you can also find many gold jewelry boutique.

In my opinion, it’s a lot more authentic than other Chinatowns in cities like Montreal or Singapore .

Chinatown Bangkok

Take advantage of your stroll in Chinatown to visit the Wat Traimit .

Inside the temple, there is an impressive solid gold 5.5 tons and 3 meters high Buddha.

Originally , the statue was more commonplace, made in golden stucco and housed in another temple in Chinatown. But when the temple had to be destroyed, the monks decided to move the statue to Wat Traimit.

While transporting it, the statue felt down and the stucco cracked, revealing the gold . They realized that the statue was completely made of gold and had been covered in stucco to protect it during the invasion of Thailand by the Burmese.

Since then, Wat Traimit has been an important pilgrimage destination for the Thais and is one of the most important temples of Bangkok .

The entrance ticket for the temple costs 40 bahts.

Wat Traimit

If you’ve had enough of the crowds and noise of Bangkok, you should head to Lumphini Park .

This huge park is the largest green space in the city. You can stroll along landscaped paths and around the lake. If you have kids, they will for sure enjoy the playgrounds and swan shaped pedal boats!

During your walk in the park, keep your eyes open and you will probably spot a few Malay lizards.

As they look like Komodo dragons, they can be quite impressive at first glance! However they are not reputed to be dangerous (still, they are wild animals with unpredictable reactions). They can be up to 3 meters long.

They are very common in parks, especially near ponds or lakes

The lizards are generally calm and you can take pictures of them. However never try to pet them or to give them food , they have sharp teeth and long claws.

You should always keep in mind that even if they look slow, they are capable of lightning fast acceleration. I saw it myself on an island, when 2 tourists ran out of a forest chased by a big lizard.

It was funny to see, but it also makes you think twice before approaching one!

Lumphini Park Bangkok

What’s the best place to visit in Bangkok if you’re an art lover?

Jim Thompson’s House, which belonged to an American businessman and art collector . Based in Bangkok and fascinated by Thai silks , he contributed to make them word famous and used by leading international fashion designers during fashion shows in Milan or London .

Besides the textiles, you can admire numerous works of art during your visit.

The house itself is quite unusual: it was built from several sections of traditional wooden houses brought to Bangkok from Ayutthaya.

Only guided visits are available and admission costs 200 bahts . More information can be found on the official website.

Jim Thompson House

Dusit Park is another place to visit during your stay in Bangkok

There are 2 main buildings of very different styles:

  • The Italian Renaissance style Dusit Palace, where you can discover the Throne Room. It’s the place where the famous photos of the royal family you see almost everywhere in Thailand are taken.
  • Vimanmek Mansion , the former royal residence. It’s the largest golden teak building in the world.

During my visit, the two buildings were unfortunately closed for renovations (no reopening date was given at the time). But you can still see the exterior of the palace.

Until 2018, the park was also housing Bangkok Zoo , which is now closed. The animals were dispersed to various Thai zoos until the construction of the new zoo is finished.

Dusit Palace

A river cruise is another great activity to do in Bangkok . It will allow you to discover the temples and monuments from a new angle!

You should do it in the evening, when the buildings are illuminated.

Several companies also offer dinner cruises on the Chao Praya river. You don’t go necessarily for the food buffet, but rather for the ambience and to enjoy the view during the meal.

If you want to go on a dinner cruise, you will need to book one in advance . Simply click on the button below for more info:

And for a more luxurious, less touristy option , I recommend you this dinner cruise on a former rice barge.

Dinner Cruise Bangkok

You want to take advantage of your time in Bangkok to do a a bit of shopping ?

The best is to head to Siam district , where all the moderns and trendy shopping centers are located.

At the MBK Center , you will find electronics as well as clothes. There is also a bazaar-like section with souvenir stores.

The Siam Paragon , is on the other hand, more chic, with lots of luxury boutiques.

In the area, there is also CentralWorld , one of the largest mall in South Asia.

They are open everyday until late in the evening. They all have a food court, where you can you can find Thai and international dishes.

shopping Bangkok

There’s nothing better than a rooftop on one of the highest buildings in Bangkok to contemplate the city.

Today, the highest skyscraper in Bangkok is Baiyoke tower . The terrace on the 77th floor and a revolving roof deck on the 84th floor allow you to enjoy a panoramic view of the entire city.

If you want to go there, you must buy your tickets in advance, as it’s a very touristy place! The ticket also includes a food buffet . Just click on the button below to book it.

There are other rooftop bars offering beautiful views of the city in Bangkok. However be warned: The prices for cocktails are rather high and the dress code quite strict.

Here’s a selection of Bangkok’s best rooftops

  • The Roof, with a splendid view of Wat Arun
  • Vertigo Moon Bar , located on the top of the Banyan Tree Hotel
  • Sky Bar Lebua , where scenes from the movie “The Hangover” were filmed
  • Three Sixty Lounge , at the top of the Hilton Hotel
  • Park Society , close to Lumphini Park
  • Cloud 47 in the financial district
  • Red Sky on the 55th floor of CentralWorld

Grand Palace Bangkok

There are several great museums you should visit in Bangkok:

  • The National Museum, about the history and culture of Thailand. It’s the largest museum in southeast Asia!
  • Museum of Siam, another history museum. It’s more playful, with videos and games
  • Jim Thompson House, which I told you about earlier
  • Royal Barges Museum, where you can discover the 8 royal barges the king was using when he traveled.
  • Art in Paradise Museum : an interactive museum featuring 3D illusion paintings, where you can take super funny pictures. Really well done! ( click here to book it )
  • Bangkok Art and Culture Center, for contemporary art lovers
  • The Doll Museum, with a collection of hand-made, traditional Thai dolls.

Art in Paradise Museum

While you’re in Bangkok, why not attend a Muay Thai boxing match?

Inspired by Thai soldiers combat training, it’s Thailand’s national sport .

More than just a simple fight, Muay Thai is above all an art form. During the warm-up, the fighters practice “the boxing dance” , a sort of simulated combat. Fights are also accompanied by musicians adapting the rhythm to the moves and blows.

Even if you’re not a fan of boxing, attending a match in Bangkok is a must-do , if only for the atmosphere.

The two main Muay Thai stadiums are Lumpinee Stadium and Rajadamnern Stadium.

If you plan to attend a match, you need to buy your tickets in advance by clicking on the button below:

Muay Thai

If you have already visited all places in Bangkok and need a moment of relaxation , you should opt for a traditional Thai massage .

You’ll find hundreds of salons throughout the city. Prices start at around 250 bahts for an hour long foot massage and around 500 bahts for a full body massage.

The experience is a bit unusual, you’ll be stretched everywhere, sometimes in quite weird positions! However at the end of the massage, you will feel relaxed, even if a bit sore at first.

In Bangkok, most hotels have spas and also offer this service.

Thai massage

The best things to do around Bangkok

If you’re spending a few days in Bangkok and have already seen the main attractions, you should visit the surroundings. There are several places nearby that can be visited on a day trip.

The floating markets are a classic thing to do on a roadtrip in Thailand . For sure, the markets are very touristy and some were created just for folklore. Nevertheless, they are one of the best things to do in Bangkok’s surroundings.

If you have to only choose one, you should visit Damnoen Saduak floating market , one of the most famous. To go there, the best is to opt for an organized tour departing from Bangkok.

In addition to Damnoen Saduak floating market, the tour I recommend also allows you to visit Mae Klong market, one of the largest fish markets in Thailand. During your trip, you will first take a train from Bangkok, and then a boat to reach the floating market.

To book it, simply click on the button below:

Floating markets Thailand

The historic city of Ayutthaya is only 1 hour away by car from Bangkok.

The Ancient capital of the kingdom of Siam, nowadays a UNESCO World Heritage site, features many temples to visit.

If you can only do one day trip from Bangkok , you should really do this one!

Everyday, buses and trains leave for Ayutthaya. And if you don’t want to bother with the organization of the trip, you can book an organized day trip.

The journey starts from Bangkok, by bus. During the day, you’ll visit the main temples of Ayutthaya and then return to Bangkok by boat. You will for sure love the scenery!

If you want more details about the best things to do in Ayutthaya, you should read my article: Visit Ayutthaya: the definitive guide.

Ayutthaya

Looking for more places to visit around Bangkok? The you should head to Kanchanaburi!

There , you will find the world famous bridge over the river Kwai . Built by thousands of prisoners of war during the Second World War, the bridge is one of the most important historical sites in Thailand.

Besides the bridge, you will also be able to visit several historical museums . A real journey through time!

As for Ayutthaya and the floating markets, excursions to Kanchanaburi are organized from Bangkok. They include transport, a visit to the town, the bridge, the museums, a train ride, and the lunch.

Kanchanaburi bridge over the river Kwai

To help you organize your family trip to Bangkok, here is my list of the best things to do with kids:

  • A stroll in Lumphini Park, to enjoy some greenery and avoid the crowds
  • Visit Bangkok’s aquarium: The Sea Life Bangkok Ocean World. Book your tickets here!
  • Discover Madame Tussauds Museum , featuring wax figures of international celebrities. Buy your tickets there!
  • Go to Fun-arium , the largest indoor playground in the city
  • The Children’s Discovery Museum, with plenty of interactive activities. Free of charge!
  • Attend a Thai dance and music show at Siam Niramit. Get your tickets here!
  • Ancient City , a park with miniature versions of Thai monuments and temples
  • Siam City Park , one of the largest amusement parks of southeast Asia. Tickets are there.
  • Kidzania , where kids can try out different professions in realistic settings: a fire station, an operating room…
  • Dream World amusement park. Book your tickets here.

As Bangkok is a rather large city, the places to visit aren’t really close to one another. Some parts of the city can easily be visited on foot , but you will for sure have to take a taxi or the metro to cross the city during your stay.

In my opinion, you should spend a minimum of 2 days in Bangkok, to have the time to visit the most important tourist sites as well as a good part of the places I mentioned in this guide.

Of course, you can stay 3 or 4 days in Bangkok and have the time to discover the surroundings!

Here are my itineraries for 1, 2 or 3 days in Bangkok:

If you have only one day in Bangkok , I recommend the following itinerary:

  • Visit the Grand Palace , the must-see site in Bangkok. Get there as early as possible to avoid the crowds. ( Click here to book your guided visit )
  • Go to Wat Pho to see the reclining Buddha
  • Cross the river to see Wat Arun
  • Take the shuttle boat across the river
  • Visit the National Museum of Thailand or the Museum of Siam , depending on your interests
  • Dinner cruise on the river ( Click here to book it or there for the luxury version ).

If you have 2 days in Bangkok, follow the previous itinerary and then add:

  • Climb up to the Golden Mount Temple
  • Stroll in Chinatown
  • Visit to Wat Traimit
  • Walk in Lumphini Park (easily accessible by metro from Wat Traimit)
  • Shopping in Siam district: MBK Center or Siam Paragon
  • And if you’re not too tired, head to Jim Thompson House (10 minutes on foot from Siam)
  • Your choice for the evening: The rooftop terrace of Baiyoke Tower or a Muay Thai boxing match .

Wat Saket Bangkok

if you have 3 days in Bangkok, in addition to the 2 previous days itineraries, you have 3 options:

  • You can finish your visit of the city. You can head to Dusit Park or visit some of the museums .
  • If your third day falls on a weekend , it’s the perfect occasion to take a stroll in the alleys of Chatuchak Market.
  • The third option is to visit the surrounding areas of Bangkok .

Here are the best day trips offered from Bangkok:

  • From Bangkok – The Damnoen Saduak floating market : First, take the train to go to Mae Klong market, famous for being held on a railroad. Then, board a boat to reach the floating market and paddle across the klongs, the canals where the shops are located.
  • Day trip to Ayutthaya from Bangkok : Head to Thailand’s most famous historic city for a day! Visit the impressive temples, and return to Bangkok by boat on the river.
  • A day in Kanchanaburi, to discover the famous bridge over the river Kwai and its history.

As all these excursions are full-day tours, you can easily spend 4 or 5 days in Bangkok!

In Bangkok, there are thousands of accommodations , so it can be a bit complicated to find the perfect hotel for your trip!

As I know the city very well, here’s my selection of the best hotels to stay in Bangkok:

The best hotels near the Grand Palace and Wat Pho:

  • D Hostel Bangkok: Youth hostel located near the temples and 5 minutes on foot from Khao San Road. Dormitory beds start at €20. Strong points: The location within walking distance to the temples, the cleanliness, the modern decor. Perfect for small budgets!
  • Rambuttri Village Plaza: Located 1.5 kilometer from the Grand Palace and 500 meters from Khao San Road. Bright and pleasant double rooms starting at €30 a night, breakfast included. Strong points: Location, the rooftop swimming pools.
  • Baan Wanglang Riverside, Bangkok: A hotel located on the riverbank opposite the Grand Palace, only 5 minutes away by shuttle boat. Spacious double rooms with a river view starting at €50. Strong points: The amazing river view, the rooftop, the proximity to the 3 main temples of Bangkok.
  • Siri Heritage Bangkok Hotel: A brand new hotel, 10 minutes on foot from the Grand Palace and 1km from the National Museum. Warm and comfortable rooms with a balcony starting at €70, breakfast included. Strong points: The surroundings, the comfortable beds, the friendly staff, the pool. It’s my favorite for its amazing value for money around the Grand Palace!
  • Inn a day: located 600 meters away from the Grand Palace. Rooms with unusual and atypical industrial style decoration starting at €100, breakfast included. Strong points: Amazing view of the river and Wat Arun, excellent breakfast, the design.
  • Chakrabongse Villas: On the riverbank, only a 15 minute walk to Wat Pho. Rooms and suites with Oriental yet modern decor start at €170, breakfast included. Strong points: The incomparable view of Wat Arun, the excellent location, the pool. It’s my recommendation for a romantic stay in Bangkok!

The best quiet hotels near the metro (to get around easily)

  • Bangkok Patio: Located 10 minutes away on foot from the BTS Skytrain. Super spacious and modern studios and apartments with equipped kitchens and balconies starting at €40 per night. Strong points: The pool, the quiet, the location. It’s my favorite for its excellent value for money! Also perfect for family holidays.
  • Noursabah Boutique Bed Bangkok: Situated 500 meters from the BTS and Airport Rail Link (a direct line to the airport). Well decorated rooms with super comfortable bed begin at €50 a night with breakfast included. Strong points: The quiet, the comfort, food is available (noodles, yogurt, cereal), water, fruit juice 24 hours a day, super convenient to go to the airport.
  • Anajak Bangkok Hotel: Located 5 minutes from the metro and the Airport Rail Link. Very comfortable and cozy rooms starting at €75 a night with breakfast. Strong points: The calm location, the pool, the style of the rooms. An excellent choice for visiting Bangkok or to easily get to the airport at the end of your trip.
  • Eastin Grand Hotel Sathorn: Situated just a few steps from the metro. Spacious rooms with large bay windows, staring at €115 including breakfast. Strong points: The great value for money, the infinity pool, the delicious breakfast, the direct access to the metro. It’s my recommendation for a high-end stay in Bangkok.
  • Siam Kempinski Hotel Bangkok: Luxury hotel with direct access to Siam Paragon shopping center and the BTS. Elegant and contemporary rooms starting at €230, breakfast included. Strong points: The large pools and garden, the jacuzzi, the spa, the excellent breakfast. The best hotel in Bangkok for a luxurious stay!

Siam Kempinski - Luxury hotel in Bangkok

I don’t have any specific restaurant recommendations for Bangkok. That would really depend on where you are staying and where you are when you start to feel hungry!

There are tons of restaurants, markets, and street food vendors everywhere in the city. You’ll be able to eat everything and at any hour of the day .

The food courts located in the shopping centers are also a great option if you prefer to be seated, with air conditioning, or if you want to try out different dishes from around the world.

All the dishes I ate in Thailand were really very good , super well cooked and seasoned. I didn’t knew much about Thai food before going to Thailand, but I have been pleasantly surprised by the quality of the ingredients and dishes (Both from street vendors to more high end restaurants!).

So, simply enjoy the local food and eat what you feel like eating. It’s delicious everywhere and very cheap!

Thai cuisine

I’ve already talked a bit about this earlier in this guide, the rooftops of Bangkok are an excellent choice to spend a relaxing evening and enjoy the view.

If you want more ambience and backpacker style bars, head to Khao San Road.

Finally, in Sukhumvit district , you’ll find many clubs and trendy bars for every taste.

There are several options to get around Bangkok and go to the various tourist attractions.

  • The Sky Train (BTS) , very convenient to avoid all the traffic jams. Unfortunately it does not go to the main temples such as the Grand Palace and Wat Pho. But you can easily travel to Lumphini Park, the Siam district, the financial district, or Chatuchak market for example.
  • Public buses: I don’t really recommend them. If you don’t speak Thai, it will be difficult to know if you’re on the right bus and they are crowded.
  • Boat shuttles , to cross the river in a few minutes. Very convenient to go to Wat Arun or Wat Pho. There are several boat lines with different stops on the docks of the Chao Praya river.
  • The MRT, the underground metro crossing Bangkok from north to south. It’s connected with the BTS and Airport Link.
  • Taxis , as long as you’re not stuck in a traffic jam, a taxi ride will not be too expensive (always ask the driver to start the taxi meter and do not accept fixed fares).
  • Tuk-Tuks , always negotiate the price before riding, their fares are often higher than a taxi.
  • Moto-Taxis , personally I won’t try them in Bangkok, it’s not very safe.
  • The airport City Line (Airport Link) links the Suvarnabhumi International Airport with Bangkok. Tickets are 45 bahts! 10 times cheaper than a taxi and you’re guaranteed to have no traffic!

Getting around in Bangkok tuk-tuk

I can’t write a travel guide about Bangkok without talking about scams . They are unfortunately very common! And even if I had been warned, I almost got scammed once too.

Here are some the most frequent scams:

  • Scammers claim the place you want to visit is closed and they offer to show you something else. Flee or you will end up at a tailor or jewelry shop, where they will try to force you to buy something.
  • They approach you saying it’s “Buddha Day” : A scammer tells you that today the temples are free + the Tuk Tuk fares are cheaper, as Tuk-Tuks don’t pay for gas on that day. You will get in the scammer’s friend tuk-tuk, which will then drive you to a tailor or jewelry shop to force you to buy something. Important: in any case, never enter the shop! The driver will get upset and will end up leaving you there (see my experience below). You will then have to walk or take a taxi.
  • A taxi offers you a fixed price and refuses to turn on his meter. Never accept, because it will definitely be more expensive! If he doesn’t want to listen, just take another taxi.
  • It’s not a scam, strictly speaking, but as in all cities with lots of tourists, whether Bangkok, Paris, Milan, Rome etc.., pickpockets are everywhere . Pay attention to your belongings. Personally I use this backpack . It opens only from the back and has a double bottom. It’s impossible to steal anything from it!

And yes, I experienced scam number two!

A young Thai man who seemed friendly (the best scammers are always nice!) accosted us at the edge of the Golden Mount, telling us that today was “Buddha Day” and the Tuk-Tuks weren’t paying for gas. It allowed them to organize low cost tours to visit some of the temples in Bangkok.

I thought “why not?” and got on board.

We first visited one temple, but unfortunately the second stop was in front of a tailor shop . I understood right away that the driver brought us there to get a commission, so I refused to enter the shop.

The driver started to get upset and wanted to force me to go inside. I kept refusing and he finally left me there!

Fortunately, I hadn’t paid anything in advance, so I got out of the experience OK and ended up walking to the next temple. Even if I am a frequent travelers and know about scams, it’s easy to get fooled by the apparent kindness of some Thais.

Hopefully, there are plenty of genuinely nice Thai people as well! Just if someone you don’t know approaches you at a tourist location, speaking a relatively good English, there is generally something suspicious going on.

Bangkok temple

On Voyagetips.com , I give you all my best tips and itineraries to plan your trip to Thailand by yourself. (All my Thailand travel guides are here)

However, if you prefer to book a Thailand tour with a travel agency , I recommend you to check the 10 best Thailand tours by clicking the button below:

Flight prices to Thailand vary widely, so it is a good idea to compare them as soon as possible. To do this, you can use our flight comparator, in partnership with Skyscanner . It’s the best way to pay the best price!

To help you visualize where the best places to visit in Bangkok are located, I have made this tourist map of Bangkok, listing everything I talk about in this guide. You can display the map legend by clicking on the top left button, the one with the little arrow.

And you, what do you plan to visit during your stay in Bangkok?

Thailand travel Guides

  • Buy the Lonely Planet Thailand guide on Amazon.com or on Amazon.co.uk
  • Buy the DK Eyewitness Thailand guide on Amazon.com or on Amazon.co.uk

Discover all my articles about Thailand : All my articles to help you plan your trip to Thailand are listed there.

You’re using Pinterest? Here is the picture to pin!

visit Bangkok

Creator of the Voyage Tips blog, travel and photography lover. I give you all my best tips to plan your next trip.

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Do list Bangkok

26 best things to do in Bangkok right now

Looking for ideas to make the most of the world's most visited city? Here's where to start.

Discover the city with our list of the best things to do and see in Bangkok, for visitors and locals alike. From restaurants you can't miss to rooftop decks you gotta check out, this is your ultimate Bangkok checklist.

RECOMMENDED: Best things to do in Bangkok this weekend

The best things to do in Bangkok

Take in the city skyline at mahanakhon skywalk.

Take in the city skyline at Mahanakhon SkyWalk

What is it? Thailand’s highest 360-degree observation deck, sitting 314 meters above the ground.

Why go? This observation triplex, housed in the King Power Mahanakhon building, includes an air-conditioned deck on the 74th and 75th floor, and the highest bar in Bangkok and a glass tray on the 78th.

Don’t miss: Walk on that glass tray floor to give yourself a heart-pumping thrill and see Bangkok beneath your feet.  

Blow your shopping budget at Chatuchak Market

Blow your shopping budget at Chatuchak Market

What is it? The ultimate outdoor weekend market that both locals and tourists flock to.

Why go? Spanning over 8,000 stalls, Chatuchak has just about everything, including food products, plants, jewelry, vintage finds, homeware, souvenirs, as well as niche local brands that test the grounds here before growing big.

Don’t miss: Dirt-cheap but delicious street snacks like green soda popsicles and fried quail eggs .

Feast on scrumptious comfort food on Ban Tad Thong Road

  • Street food
  • price 1 of 4

Feast on scrumptious comfort food on Ban Tad Thong Road

What is it? Originally lined with auto parts shophouses and sportswear stores, Ban Tad Thong has been transformed into a happening spot for late-night casual dining, with over 50 restaurants and vendors lining up both sides of the street.

Why go? Cheap eats and a wide range of choices, from modern comfort fare to traditional dishes by popular street food restaurants that were relocated from neighboring areas. You also get proper seating, a clean and hygienic setting, and space for parking. And it’s not as crowded nor as touristy as other street food destinations in Bangkok (we mean Yaowarat). 

Don’t miss: There’s a lot to explore here , but we recommend the Hainan chicken rice at Jeh Bow and the spicy water mimosa salad at Jeh Sri . For some post-meal sweets, you have ice cream in unique flavors at Tuay Tung or cold longan juice with beans at Jeh Wan .

Enjoy open space in the heart of the city at Benjakitti Park

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  • Parks and gardens
  • Khlong Toei

Enjoy open space in the heart of the city at Benjakitti Park

What is it? A 480,000-square-meter public park and green space (almost as big as London’s Hyde Park) in Khlong Toei, right in the center of Bangkok. 

Why go? Benjakitti Park (or Benchakitti), which first opened in 1994, underwent massive renovations from 2016 to 2021. Its expansion and renovation came with new outdoor facilities such as organized bike lanes and running tracks, a sports center, and, most importantly, dog-friendly zones .

Don’t miss: Now that Benjakitti Park has been improved, it has become a favorite venue for community activities—from live music concerts to various pursuits by hobby clubs—that you can join. Try to come at sunset when bright lights are turned on to illuminate the park’s elevated walkway. It’s a scene that you might want to capture for your Instagram!

Take in million dollar views atop State Tower

  • Charoenkrung

Take in million dollar views atop State Tower

What is it? Situated on Charoenkrung, it is home to world-class establishments such as five-star hotel Lebua, two-Michelin-starred restaurant Mezzaluna , and stylish rooftop bar Sirocco .

Why go? State Tower’s 63rd floor is reserved for Sirocco, which offers stunning acrophobia-challenging views made popular by the  movie The Hangover Part II . You can also opt to have an unforgettable dinner with your boo at Mezzaluna on the 65th floor or sip champagne at Pink Bar, named for its floor that’s completely illuminated in a rosy hue.

Don’t miss: Sirocco is the only spot in Bangkok where you can take in views of Bangkok on both sides of the Chao Phraya River. And it has a famous staircase leading down to the bar where you can walk down like an A-list celeb.

Own the night at Khaosan Road

Own the night at Khaosan Road

What is it? Bangkok’s primary destination for backpackers and fun-loving night owls craving a wild, carefree evening at rough-around-the-edges clubs and bars.

Why go? Why not? Khaosan Road is hands-down Bangkok’s most notoriously fun hotspot, where youthful locals and foreign hedonists come together for one of those nights in a less-than-fashionable nightclub over a bucket full of who-knows-what booze.

Don’t miss: Khaosan Road has actually cleaned up post-COVID. There are several new kids in the hood, namely Mischa Cheap , where all genres of music are celebrated in a cheeky way, as well as themed cocktail bars Bar Darn and Tropical Garden .

Feast on fancy Thai food at Michelin-starred restaurants

Feast on fancy Thai food at Michelin-starred restaurants

What is it?   Sixteen Thai restaurants were awarded a Michelin star(s), including   Le Du ,   Sorn , and   Methavalai Sorndaeng . 

Why go?   Underrated hidden gems and up-and-coming chefs are getting the acclaim they deserve. Old-school seafood haunts and sophisticated venues dedicated to Southern fare have also made the list.

Don’t miss:   Street food culinary champ   Jay Fai   still dazzle.

Cap the night off with rum-based tipples at Tropic City

Cap the night off with rum-based tipples at Tropic City

What is it? A tropical-themed watering hole on Soi Charoenkrung 28 by Sebastian de la Cruz and co, with a menu of fun cocktails mixed by Arron Grendon .

Why go? It was named the world’s 24th best and Asia’s 17th best bar. Need we say more? And it hosts entertaining events throughout the week like rum tasting and guest DJ sets.

Don’t miss: The neon-lit bar is proud of its creative, rum-heavy creations such as Night Rider (B390), a rum-based drink with fizzy ginger beer and a hint of tamarind.

Dance til you (dead)drop at Silom Soi 2

Dance til you (dead)drop at Silom Soi 2

What is it? A vibrant gay paradise lined with LGBTQ-friendly venues that spur you to shantay until the sun says “hyeeeee!”

Why go? There are four things you can get from a night out in Silom Soi 2: bombastic fun, trashy EDM music, cheap drinks, and a cruising-like experience (if you know what we mean). Also, you are guaranteed a good time by way of campy Thai-style entertainment served up by drag queens and skimpily clad dancers.

Don’t miss: Definitely DJ Station, (B400 entrance fee with a few free drinks) the perennially packed club at the very end of the soi . Dance till you drop to DJ sets, and get your fill of flamboyant costumes and performance at the cabaret shows. If this sounds a bit too much, walk a bit to the slightly more chill Soi Silom 4.

De-stress at Panpuri Wellness’ Japanese-style hot tub

De-stress at Panpuri Wellness’ Japanese-style hot tub

What is it? One of Thailand’s most prominent wellness brands, Panpuri prides itself on its beauty products and indulgent spa programs that maximize the use of traditional ingredients and techniques.

Why go? Panpuri Wellness probably offers one of the most luxurious Japanese onsen experiences in the city. Its hot baths are rich in minerals and aromatic herbs that are good for both your body and mind. Plus the onsen is situated on the 12th floor of Gaysorn Village, so you get to look out to city views while soaking in steaming therapeutic water.

Don’t miss: The onsen, for sure. At only B750 for a one-day pass, it’s an affordable way to relax, and get rid of muscle pains and tiredness. But we suggest going all in and pairing your onsen session with Panpuri’s Signature Holistic Massage or Detox Day wellness package.

Find art inspiration at River City

  • Department stores

Find art inspiration at River City

What is it? An art-focused complex located on Soi Charoenkrung 42’s riverside promenade.  

Why go? No gallery in Bangkok can really compete with River City Bangkok, a five-story building that’s home to 80 sub-venues, from art galleries to antique shops. Stand-out shops include Tang Contemporary Art, which displays Chinese and Southeast Asian pieces, and the huge River City Bangkok-owned RCB Galleria, where big-deal exhibitions are always on.

Don’t miss: The Gallery Shop on the ground floor sells a huge collection of cool stuff, from art books to crafted keepsakes. It also offers products from world-renowned museums such as London’s Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A), and New York’s The Museum of Modern Art (MOMA).

Mingle with the cool kids at Warehouse 30

Mingle with the cool kids at Warehouse 30

What is it? An old warehouse on Soi Charoenkrung 30 turned into a creative mixed-use space for art and lifestyle pursuits.

Why go? Here is where you can check out how the city’s hip kids spend their weekend. The venue is home to progressive galleries such as 333Anywhere and Aurum Gallery, plus several shops dedicated to the latest fashion trends and cool home decor.

Don’t miss: Aside from those two galleries, Warehouse 30 also ​​has the collectible-based ATTA Gallery and Woot Woot lifestyle shop. There are also cool restaurants and cafés within proximity. Try delicious comfort fare at Sweet Pista or walk a bit to Madi , which functions as both a café and a gallery.

Gag at a drag show at The Stranger Bar

Gag at a drag show at The Stranger Bar

What is it? A drag house on Soi Silom 4 run by Drag Race Thailand Season 2 alum M Stranger Fox and company.

Why go? The Stranger Bar is undoubtedly the place to be if you’re a drag enthusiast. Each night, this compact venue hosts fun performances by beautiful drag queens who you may have seen on the Thai edition of RuPaul’s Drag Race as well as newcomers who may become superstars in the future. (Pangina Heals, Thailand’s most popular drag queen, used to do gigs here, FYI.)

Don’t miss: The drag shows, obviously. So, go grab a drink, and get ready to gag over how fierce Thai drag queens can be. The bar is also committed to turning strangers into friends, so you may just expand your social circle before the night’s over.

Get an interactive education on Thai history at Museum Siam

Get an interactive education on Thai history at Museum Siam

What is it? An interactive museum, housed in the former Ministry of Commerce building, that brings play and learn together.

Why go? You’ll learn about Thailand’s history and the identity of its people through digitally interactive exhibitions that offer photo-ops galore. Temporary exhibitions and festivals are also regularly hosted at the museum’s spacious lawn.

Don’t miss: Visitors get the chance to slip on Thai period costumes and pose for photos—for free—as part of the permanent exhibition.

Go bar hopping around Soi Nana in Chinatown

Go bar hopping around Soi Nana in Chinatown

What is it? A strip of cool bars that bring a touch of hip to Chinatown.

Why go? The most prominent bars on the stretch— Teens of Thailand , Tep Bar , Ba Hao and Asia Today —are all a few steps away from one another, making it easy to indulge in a night of exotic Thai-inspired drinks and local alternative culture.

Don’t miss : Gin drinks with Thai flavors (like jackfruit or Thai tea) at Teens of Thailand. It’s also the first establishment in Bangkok solely devoted to gin.

Channel your inner bookworm at Open House

Channel your inner bookworm at Open House

What is it? Housed inside Central Embassy , this unique space has lots of natural light, co-working corners, artisanal eateries, and loads and loads of books.

Why go? This is where books, literally, pack the space from floor to ceiling, including art tomes and hardcover titles from famous publishers like Taschen, Phaidon and the like. We don’t have to say that it’s the perfect setting for Instagram.

Don’t miss: Open House has a corner devoted to English-language books about Thailand. A more indie variety can be found here, as well as lifestyle magazines in English.

Indulge in retail therapy at the shopping meccas in Ratchaphrasong

Indulge in retail therapy at the shopping meccas in Ratchaphrasong

What is it? Bangkok’s best boutiques and best buys are all found on this road, starting from MBK and going all the way to Gaysorn Village.

Why go? No city does shopping malls like Bangkok. Apart from the sheer quantity of products, the spectacular interiors will leave you gawking even if you aren’t a shopaholic.

Don’t miss: The futuristic interiors at Siam Discovery, the behemoth that is centralwOrld, and the polished glamour of Gaysorn Village.

Dance under lasers at Beam

Dance under lasers at Beam

What is it? A two-story cutting-edge club housed among a bevy of other neon-lit food and beverage spots.

Why go? This is where Bangkok’s most beautiful (and moneyed) come out to play at night. A stiff dose of house/techno beats is served on the second level, while hip-hop and electrifying visuals take over the first floor.

Don’t miss: All the state-of-art tech are on the second level—the dance floor actually vibrates.

Stroll through Lumpini Park

Stroll through Lumpini Park

What is it? Bangkok’s oldest public spot of greenery.

Why go? It offers respite and peace of mind with its serene lake, well-manicured lawns and heart-shaped walking route. Sightings of monitor lizards and seniors doing aerobics optional.

Don’t miss: The bird’s-eye view of the whole park is breathtaking. It’s best seen from SO Sofitel’s sky bar just across the street.

Sip cocktails at Sing Sing Theater

Sip cocktails at Sing Sing Theater

What is it? A bar and night club stunningly designed to capture the opulence of 1930s chinoiserie.

Why go? Bangkok is proudly home to many of Ashley Sutton’s whimsical creations. The Australian interior designer’s jaw-dropping bars are never short of majestic or magical, with Sing Sing being your gateway to old-world and Hollywood-esque Chinese charm.  

Don’t miss: They do gimmicky performances on the dance floor, so catch the best views from the second floor.

Make your own bespoke room fragrance at Panpuri

Make your own bespoke room fragrance at Panpuri

What is it? A luxurious beauty brand and spa that gives a fashionable twist to traditional indulgences and ingredients.

Why go? It’s the only Thai beauty brand with a bespoke room fragrance bar, where mixologists help customers create their very own perfume, complete with personalized boxes and wax seals.

Don’t miss: You can choose to bring home your very own scent in a form of candles, room diffusers, or essential oil.    

People-watch at The Commons

People-watch at The Commons

What is it ? A loft-like, open-air community mall that food lovers can’t afford to miss.

Why go? The Market on the ground floor is like a super cool canteen that sells trendy eats—from Nashville fried chicken to drip coffee to imported craft beer. Grab a table in the elevated seating area on the stairs to check out hipster patrons on every floor.

Don’t miss: Have your fill of the alcohol-injected shakes at Guss Damn Good. This is the only branch of the Boston-inspired ice cream parlor that serves them with Chandon Brut shots.

Visit the Neilson Hays Library

Visit the Neilson Hays Library

What is it? A privately funded library in one of the city’s few remaining neoclassical structures.

Why go? The building was designed by Mario Tamagno, the Italian architect who is also behind the stately Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall. Its charming interiors and peaceful corners make the library a much-loved institution.

Don’t miss: Visit on a Saturday and drop off your little ones at the story-telling session, while you browse through Nielson Hays’ many, many books—there are more than 17,000.

View stunning images at Kathmandu Photo Gallery

View stunning images at Kathmandu Photo Gallery

What is it? The home to all things Manit Sriwachpoom, a leading Thai contemporary photographer who’s behind the iconic photograph, Pink Man .

Why go? Framed prints are quaintly displayed on green walls inside a pre-war shophouse. On the second floor, temporary exhibitions of other emerging artists offer a visit no less mind-blowing and eye-opening.

Don’t miss: The book corner, which offers spiritually adventurous titles on topics ranging from Hinduism to mountain literature.

Munch on street eats at Tha Prachan

Munch on street eats at Tha Prachan

What is it? This bustling riverside area in the old town is filled with shophouse eateries, food stalls and snack carts that have perfected their street eats over the decades.

Why go? You can get a taste of time-honored dishes (look for stalls selling beef noodles), freshly-made stir-fries, and snacks galore.

Don’t miss: If you have limited stomach space, save it for the roti at Roti Mataba or the old-fashioned chao guay (grass jelly) from A Kung.

Catch a movie at first-class cineplexes

Catch a movie at first-class cineplexes

What is it? Popular malls such as Central Embassy, CentralWorld, ICONSIAM, EmQuartier and Siam Paragon are all home to world-class theaters that deserve six stars for the movie-watching experience.

Why go? Pillows, blankets, reclining armchairs, humongous sofas, popcorn and soft drinks are the minimum extras at these extravagant theaters. Before the movie starts, relax in their lounges, which offer mocktails and snacks from Haagen Daaz, Starbucks, Paul or even Harrods—all already included in your ticket price.

Don’t miss: If you want a more exciting movie experience, there are also IMAX theaters with 4D effects (fog storms, aromas, snow, you name it) or children’s theaters, which have slides and ball pools for kids.

More great things to do in Bangkok

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The Complete Bangkok Bucket List: 29+ Best Things to Do in Bangkok

Are you planning a trip to Thailand? Then most likely Bangkok will appear somewhere in your itinerary. This Bangkok bucket list gives you the low down on the best stuff to see in this crazy and hectic city.

You’ll find no shortage of things to do in Bangkok, regardless of what you’re into, it’s impossible to be bored here. Whether you’re spending just one night passing through, or a few days in the nation’s capital, this article is for you.

I’m a huge fan of South East Asia, and I’ve visited Bangkok four times so far, each time seeing totally different stuff. In this article, I’m going to tell you about the amazing things not to miss in Bangkok.

With so many great things to see in Bangkok, the trouble is just knowing where to start. So read on, and tell me, which ones are you going to be ticking off first from your amazing Bangkok trip?

fruit sellers on boats in Bangkok.

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5. Shop at Chatuchak Weekend Market

8. wat saket (the golden mount), 19. see the colours at pak khlong flower market, 24. hang out with locals over a chang beer, best place to stay in bangkok, is bangkok safe, 10 best things to do in bangkok.

If you’re only passing through the city, which is what most people do, then here’s a quick reference list of the top things to do in Bangkok in one day.

Although everything on this list is worthy of your attention these are the ten essential things to see in Bangkok.

  • Grand Palace
  • Wat Phra Kaew
  • Khaosan Road
  • Chatuchak Weekend Market
  • The Floating Markets
  • Tuk-Tuk Ride
  • Maeklong Train Market
  • Pad Thai and Mango Sticky Rice
  • Wat Arun at sunrise or sunset
  • Giant reclining Buddha at Wat Pho

The Ultimate Bangkok Bucket List Challenge

If you don’t have time to read this whole Bangkok to-do list right now, no worries. For starters, this article is divided into categories based on activity, so you can skip straight to what you’re interested in.

Better still, why not download this checklist of everything included for offline viewing and to refer back to when you’re ready to plan your Bangkok travel itinerary?

The Complete Bangkok Bucket List: 29+ Best Things to Do in Bangkok 1

Your download is on its way to your inbox 🙂

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Iconic Places to Go in Bangkok

The things listed in this section are some of the best things to see and do in Bangkok. These iconic things are synonymous with Bangkok and are the ultimate must-sees.

If you’re limited on time and wondering what to see in Bangkok in 1 day, then do these things first.

1. The Grand Palace & Wat Phra Kaew

At the top of this Bangkok bucket list is the city’s number 1 tourist attraction; The Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew .

The two sites are connected. One is certainly more regal (the palace) and the other is more characteristic of traditional Thai temples .

The temples of Wat Phra Kaew are home to Thailand’s most important Buddha shrine. This lavishly decorated meditating Buddha is carved from a single block of Jade.

Visiting Thailand, then you need to check out this amazing Bangkok Bucket List. Don't miss the stunning Grand Palace with it's golden roofs and mancured gardens.

👉 Tips for Visiting: These two places are at the top of the things to do in Bangkok list. Due to their popularity, it’s best to visit The Grand Palace & Wat Phra Kaew either early in the day or towards closing time.

Visiting this complex has strict rules. Wat Phra Kaew is an active place of worship and a pilgrimage site for Thais and Buddhists worldwide. Both men and women need to wear appropriate clothing for visiting Thai temples .

📍 Location: Phra Borom Maha Ratchawang, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10200, Thailand

Related Article: What to Wear in Thailand Temples: Thailand Temple Dress Code

2. Party at Khao San Road

This is the most famous road in Bangkok. Khaosan Road always divides opinions. It’s become a bit of an institution over the years and now Khaosan Road has spread to encompass adjacent streets and alleyways all after a piece of the action. 

It’s loud, it’s busy and very tacky. If you’re after a Chang Beer-clad t-shirt or vest and a pair of elephant-print Thai pants, this is where you’ll find them. The streets are lined with tourists having a massage or eating at food carts. Khaosan Road is party central and a hub for groups of revellers out for a good time. 

Love it or hate it, it’s something to be experienced and a definite must for your Bangkok bucket list.

Khao SanRoad in Bangkok filled with neon lights and vendors selling food and other products with lots of people shopping.

👉 Tips for Visiting: Be careful of pickpockets here. The area is a hub for tourists and locals alike and it gets busy.

If you have to take a backpack, wear it on your front. If you have a little shoulder bag, carry it with the strap across your chest and in front of you. Avoid putting anything in your back pockets.

📍 Location: Thanon Khao San, Khwaeng Talat Yot, Khet Phra Nakhon, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10200, Thailand

Related Article:  Visiting Thailand? Check out this 10 Day Itinerary

3. Test Your Nerves at the Maeklong Train Market

Quite possibly one of the most bizarre markets in the world, the iconic Maeklong Market is certainly worthy of a spot on your Bangkok itinerary . The Thai nickname of this market is Talat Rom Hup which translates to ‘umbrella pulldown market’.

The unique Thai experience of this market is that it’s located on top of the train track. The train track is still in use. Whenever a train approaches, the shopkeepers close the awnings, gather up their wares off the tracks, and breathe in as they wait for the train to pass. As soon as the train has gone, the shops are replaced.

It truly is quite an eye-opener, the locals don’t even bat an eyelid, but a trip to Meaklong Train Market is one of the quirkiest things to do in Bangkok.

The Maeklong Train Market with a red and yellow train in the middle and vendors at the side of the tracks.

👉 Tips for Visiting: You can make your own way to the market from the Bangkok centre by taking the BTS Silom Line to Bang Wa BTS Station. Once you arrive there, go out of Exit 1 and hail a taxi. Ask for Bangkok Southern Bus Terminal or Sai Tai Mai. A minivan makes the journey from the bus terminal to Maeklong Railway Market about every 40 minutes.

If you don’t fancy navigating the public transport system, then there are several tours to Maeklong Train Market instead.

📍 Location: Amphoe Mueang Samut Songkhram, Chang Wat Samut Songkhram 75000, Thailand

4. Watch a Ladyboy Show

Before I visited Thailand, I had no idea just quite how stunning the Bangkok ladyboys were. Growing up in the UK, my experience as guys dressed like girls was the questionable-looking pantomime Dame. That couldn’t be further from the truth. The ladyboys in Bangkok are absolutely stunning.

Not only are they beautiful, but some of them are incredibly talented singers, dancers, contortionists…you name it. Going to a Ladyboy show is one of the top things to do in Bangkok. Nighttime is the best time to go. 

Ladyboys in Bangkok wearing stunning dresses and tiaras.

👉 Tips for Visiting: You’ll find plenty of street vendors selling tickets for Ladyboy shows especially around the chaotic hub of Khaosan Road. If you do choose to buy a ticket from a street vendor make sure they are a licenced seller and the tickets are genuine. Don’t miss out on one of the best Bangkok attractions for adults!

📍 Location: Various venues around Bangkok

The gigantic Chatuchak Weekend Market is the largest of its kind not only in Thailand but there are also claims that it’s the largest in the world! Either way, it’s huge! It features over 15,000 stalls and 11,505 vendors. 

These are divided into 27 sections selling every type of product imaginable. This is definitely one of Bangkok’s best open-air markets, Whether you’re after general nick-nacks or souvenirs, you’ll certainly find it here. 

Overhead view of the colourful tents at Chatuchak Weekend Market in Bangkok.

👉 Tips for Visiting: To get there on public transport take the Skytrain (BTS) to Mo Chit station. Head out of Exit Number 1 and then basically follow the crowds. You’ll know you’ve arrived when you can see the colourful stalls. These will mostly be selling clothes. You can also book a combined tour of Chatuchak and the floating markets .

Despite its name, the market isn’t only open at the weekend. Hours vary from day to day, but it’s open from Wednesday through to Sunday. If you only have a short time, it’s definitely worth putting this on your bucket list for Bangkok.

📍 Location: 587, 10 Kamphaeng Phet 2 Rd, Khwaeng Chatuchak, Khet Chatuchak, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10900, Thailand

If you’re short of time, in this crazy but fabulous city. You might prefer to join a tour. There’s no shortage of things to do in Bangkok, regardless of what you’re into. Check out these tours below.

Must See Temples in Bangkok

There are no less than 400 temples and Wats in Bangkok. That’s quite a lot to choose from! You can read more about visiting some of the best temples in Bangkok in this article here, but the ones in this section are the ultimate must-see ones.

6. Discover the Giant Reclining Buddha at Wat Pho

Highlights – During your time in Thailand, you’re going to see hundreds of Buddhas. However, the giant reclining Buddha at Wat Pho will be one of the more memorable ones.

It’s easy to see why it’s one of the best temples to visit in Bangkok . Wat Pho is the oldest and largest of them and the giant reclining Buddha that resides here draws big crowds

The giant reclining Buddha covered in gold leaf measures 46 metres long with the top of his head sitting at 15 meters high. The overall feeling when you visit is in awe. You’ll feel incredibly tiny looking up to him and you’ll see why this is often dubbed the best temple in Bangkok.

A giant reclining Buddha at Wat Pho with decorations of spirals on its feet.

👉 Tips for Visiting  – It’s important to dress appropriately when visiting religious sites in Thailand . The temple of Wat Pho is an active place of worship so you will probably see Buddhist monks walking about. Be respectful to them and don’t ask for photos.

Being the biggest temple in Bangkok, and with the draw of the giant Buddha, it can get busy at times. There’s a lot to see at this site, so you might want a guided tour of Wat Pho to tell you about some of the unusual statues here (check out the weird heads on giant legs in a small building here). Aim to visit either early in the morning or late in the afternoon. 

📍 Location: 2 Sanam Chai Rd, Khwaeng Phra Borom Maha Ratchawang, Khet Phra Nakhon, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10200, Thailand

Related Article:  50+ Must-See Places in Asia

7. Watch Sunrise or Sunset Over Wat Arun

If you’ve been to other destinations in Asia , and visited some of the ancient sites like Prambanan in Indonesia or Angkor Wat in Cambodia, then you’ll recognise the Khmer style of Wat Arun.

Wat Arun is one of the top temples in Bangkok to visit with the giant prang in the centre of the site standing 86 metres tall. It’s surrounded by 4 smaller towers each intricately decorated. The name Wat Arun gets its name from the Indian God of Dawn – Arun, which is fitting as it’s one of the best places to visit in Bangkok during sunrise.

Although Wat Arun can be visited at any time of the day, there’s something magical about seeing it during sunrise and sunset.

The temple of Wat Arun and an orange sky with the river in the forground.

👉 Tips for Visiting  – To get the best view of Wat Arun, see it from both sides of the water. A small passenger ferry makes the journey several times an hour across the river.

When you visit this famous temple in Bangkok , remember that this is still a holy shrine, so dress respectfully . You can climb up to about halfway on the large central prang. It does get crowded at peak times, so come back twice. One early in the morning, as soon as it’s opened to see it close up, and then later in the day to photograph Wat Arun at sunset.  

📍 Location: 158 Thanon Wang Doem, Khwaeng Wat Arun, Khet Bangkok Yai, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10600, Thailand

Wat Saket is also known as Chedi of ‘Phu Khao Thong’. This iconic white mount is topped with a gold temple. This is one of the best temples to visit in Bangkok , especially if you’re looking to escape the bustle. It’s nestled amongst trees and manicured gardens. It feels tranquil in comparison.

The temple sits on top of a 79-metre-high partially manmade white mount in the old part of the city. Stairs spiral, all 318 of them, around the outside of the gleaming monument.  

At the top of the mount is the temple, on top of the temple is a chedi and Buddha, and there is a small corridor and stairs leading to the uppermost level which gives you fantastic views across the city. 

Wat Saket is an absolute paradise in the middle of the city. It’s a great place to relax and listen to the trickling water fountains, the breeze rustling in the leaves and the birds singing.

The mound of Wat Saket in Bangkok with a statue of a bird in the forground and surrounded by trees.

👉 Tips for Visiting  –  The mount is a pearlescent white colour, it shimmers and gleams in the sunlight. It reflects the harsh rays straight back at you so take a pair of sunglasses, you’ll be squinting a lot if you don’t.

The easiest way to get there is by water taxi. One of the stops is just outside the temple. Take the taxi boat to the pier named Phanfa Bridge Station. You’ll be able to see the temple from here. 

There is a fence surrounding the temple with several open gates. Go inside, once on the grounds, there is a small ticket booth at the entrance to the temple steps.

📍 Location: 344 Thanon Chakkraphatdi Phong, Khwaeng Ban Bat, Khet Pom Prap Sattru Phai, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10100, Thailand

Related Article:  Walking Guide to Bangkok’s Best Temples

Fun Stuff to Do in Bangkok

There are a ton of fun things to do in Bangkok, Thailand to suit every style of travel. Lots of these you can combine with visits to the temples or iconic Bangkok landmarks.

9. Cruise Along the Chao Phraya River

If you’re short on time, and not sure what to see in Bangkok , a cruise along the river could be the perfect solution. The Chao Phraya River runs through the heart of Bangkok and is a great way to see some of the city’s highlights with minimal effort. 

If you’ve visited some of the temples during the day, it’s also nice to see them from a different perspective. The iconic landmarks, like the Grand Palace, Wat Pho and Wat Arun are beautifully lit up if you take a cruise in the evening.

The Chao Phraya Rivre with buildings along hte far bank and a boat in the forground.

👉 Tips for Visiting  – There are different options for river cruises. The cheapest night river cruise is on a small passenger ferry and will just consist of a ride up and down the river. If you’re on a budget and just want to see the monuments lit up, then go for this option. 

For a better experience, opt for the luxurious river cruise package and make a full evening of it. The premium river cruises offer dining and traditional Thai entertainment as part of the package.

📍 Location: Various piers around the city

10. Enjoy a Thai Massage

Getting an authentic Thai massage is a must for your Bangkok to do list. You won’t have to look far to find somewhere offering a Thai massage.

Most massage parlours offer a range of other services too including different types of massage, spa treatments, manicures & pedicures as well as hair removal and more. After the chaos of exploring the city, it’s time to enjoy one of the more relaxing things to do in Bangkok.

The feet of a lady getting a massage.

👉 Tips for Visiting  – Most streets in the main centre will have staff outside the front door, enticing you inside and of course offering you ‘a special price’. You’ll find an abundance of them along Khaosan Road.. 

They’ll all boast that they are the ‘best one’, honestly, I trield plenty and they were all much the same.

One thing you’ll notice about all of the Thai massage parlours here, compared to the Western world, the prices for services are a fraction of the cost. You’ll probably end up going several times if you’re on an extended trip to Thailand.

Another thing to note is that the Thai people might look small, but the staff at the massage parlours are incredibly strong and certainly don’t hold back. If you have a low pain threshold, you have been warned.

Related Article:  The Complete Bangkok 4 Day Itinerary

11. Watch a Muay Thai Match

Muay Thai is Thailand’s national sport, and watching a live Muay Thai match at its origin is certainly a worthwhile experience.

The boxers are quick and nimble, and the crowds, in particular the Thais, are lively throughout the match. Even if you’re not into sports or boxing, you’d be hard-pushed not to get caught up with the excitement along with the locals.

Two men in a Muay Thai match with a camera man in the background.

👉 Tips for Visiting  – Although there are numerous small boxing rings in the city, the two main stadiums. One is called Rajadamnern Stadium, also spelt Ratchadamnoen, this is Bangkok’s original stadium. The other main stadium is Lumpinee Boxing Stadium.

Matches happen every Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday, book tickets in advance .

📍 Location: 8 Ratchadamnoen Nok Rd, Khet Pom Prap Sattru Phai, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10100, Thailand

12. Take Part in a Muay Thai Lesson

If you don’t fancy watching the sport, and you prefer to get involved, then you could always book a Muay Thai lesson .

Practice the art of self-defence, learn the skills yourself and get that adrenaline rush. Classes can either be for small groups, couples or private. They are suitable for absolute beginners right through to an intermediate level. 

You will have an English-speaking teacher, who will take you through the unique techniques of this ancient martial art.

A Muay Thai lesson with a man in a black tshirt raising his knee up to a pad held by a teacher.

👉 Tips for Visiting  – This is one of the more immersive Bangkok things to do. You don’t need the stamina of an athlete to participate, but because it’s a physical activity, you will need to be reasonably fit. If you have a regular level of fitness you’ll be fine. You know your own body’s limitations.

Group sizes can vary, depending on how many people have booked, but they will be no more than 6 participants. If you want a private group (eg for a stag or hen party) then make this known so you’re not split up. 

Even though the studio is air-conditioned, it gets hot – wear shorts and a t-shirt/vest top and don’t forget a towel, or rock the ’80s look and wear a sweatband. Also, bring a change of clothes, they have showers on site. 

📍 Location: Venues all over the city

13. Relax in Lumpini Park

Bangkok is a full-on and hectic city at times, however, amongst all the chaos you’ll find some calm and tranquil areas.

Lumpini Park is the largest and oldest green space in the city. As well as a giant man-made lake to hire a boat on, there are plenty of shaded meandering paths so it’s nice to escape here just for a bit of time out.

If you’ve got the energy (and coordination) Tai Chi takes place every morning here. The classes are mostly frequented by the city’s elderly population and it’s a fascinating insight into how the locals live.

A birds eye view looking down on Lumpini park with the city of bangkok in the background.

👉 Tips for Visiting : Tai Chi lessons in the park start early in the morning. Although some classes might be happy for you to stand at the back and join in, this can come across as a little rude to other groups, so check with the instructor before the class starts. 

📍 Location: Lumphini, Pathum Wan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand

14. Ride in a Tuk-Tuk

A must for any itinerary for Bangkok , is a ride on a Tuk-Tuk. As synonymous to Thailand as Pad Thai and Massage are, is a ride in one. They’re as colourful as they are noisy but something is thrilling about darting about, sat in the back of one, with a crazy Thai at the helm.

If you’re short of time and looking for crazy things to do in Bangkok, go for a Tuk-Tuk ride. This could also be an easier option to see a load of Bangkok’s top attractions rather than navigating the BTS and taxi-boat system.

A metallic blue TukTuk in a street in Bangkok.

👉 Tips for Visiting : It won’t take long to hail a TukTuk down from the roadside, however, be careful of inflated prices. Negotiate and agree on the fare to your destination BEFORE you get in.

Alternatively, you can hire a Tuk Tuk and driver for half-day and combine some of the classic Bangkok attractions too.

📍 Location: Anywhere in the city

15. Navigate the city on the Water Taxis

Just like the TukTuks, the Water Taxis of Bangkok, are an authentic and fun way to experience and explore the city. Zipping along the city’s canals is one of the best things to do in Bangkok.

The Chao Phraya River runs through the middle of Bangkok and historically, the estuaries of the river provided important transport routes all over the city. They are still just as important today to the local Thais to get around the city.

Even if you’re not headed anywhere in particular, it’s worth at least one journey on the crazy water taxis darting between the network across the city. The water taxis are a really fun way of getting around Bangkok and are often overlooked by tourists.

A water taxi in Bangkok going along a canal with houses and buildings at the sides.

👉 Tips for Visiting : Watch out though, sometimes they go so fast that the spray and waves come into the boat. My friend, I was with got absolutely drenched.

As refreshing as that was, the water is quite dirty but also, he was glad he didn’t have his camera out at the time, it would have gotten soaked. So just be aware, that if you sit at the edge, you may get wet. 

📍 Location: There are piers all around the citys waterways. I found the best way to navigate them and figure out which pier and boat service I wanted was by using Google Maps.

16. Shop till you drop at Siam Paragon

If you’re into high-end shopping, then you’ll love Siam Paragon. This gigantic mall in Bangkok features luxury boutiques, an art gallery, a bowling alley and even a concert hall and Siam Opera House.

 giant shopping mall with elevators over several floors.

👉 Tips for Visiting : Siam Paragon is well-connected. You can use the BTS Skytrain to get there, both lines go to Siam station. The mall is open daily from 10 am to 10 pm.

📍 Location: Siam Paragon, 991 Rama I Rd, Pathum Wan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand

17. Watch a Traditional Thai Puppet Show

For hundreds of years, Thais have told stories and legends through puppets. The official name for traditional Thai puppetry is hun lakhon lek.  This is one of the top activities in Bangkok if you’re travelling with kids.

Performers use life-like puppets to act out scenes from Thai history which includes a mixture of comedy, love stories, and satire.

Each puppet stands at about a meter in height (3.2 feet) and takes up to three puppeteers to operate with a series of rope and pulley systems. 

Three men wearing masks and black costumes with a traditional Thai puppet.

👉 Tips for Visiting : There are a handful of venues around Bangkok that host traditional puppet shows. One of the best venues to see a show is at a venue called The Artist’s House. This 200-year-old house is located in the old part of the city, not far from the canal.

The building also doubles up as a coffee house. It’s open daily between 10 am to 6 pm and also hosts traditional craft workshops. 

📍 Location: 309 Phet Kasem Rd, Khuha Sawan, Phasi Charoen, Bangkok 10160, Thailand

18. Discover the Silks at the Jim Thompson House

Located in central Bangkok, you’ll find the photogenic Jim Thompson House. This museum was once home to the American architect, designer and businessman, today it houses his collection of art.

The house itself is stunning, although it was built in 1959, it has a traditional feel to it with dark woods, balconies and plants adorning every surface.

Jim Thompson played a principal role in bringing beautiful Thai silk to a global market, which earnt him the nickname ‘The Silk King’.

A traditional Thai house with decorative walls and three statues on the floor. The middle on is an elephant, the side two are urns.

👉 Tips for Visiting : The museum and house are open daily between 10 am and 6 pm.=, guided tours in English happen several times a day, although you can also explore by yourself. 

It’s easy to get to the Jim Thompson house. If you’re going by public transport, then take the BTS Sky to the National Stadium and take exit 1.

📍 Location: 6 Kasem San 2 Alley, Khwaeng Wang Mai, Pathum Wan, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10330, Thailand

Pak Khlong Talad is the biggest flower market in Bangkok. You will have seen that every Buddha statue is adorned with flowers, most likely this is where the fresh flowers come from. The colourful and fragrant streets are filled with wholesale vendors.

You’ll find every type of flower imaginable here from roses, orchids, lilies and more. Flowers are usually sold in bulk, in bundles of 50+ flowers each, and compared to Western prices, are amazingly cheap.

Ceremonial flowers for Buddhist offerings.

👉 Tips for Visiting : The market is located in the old part of the city along Chak Phet Road, near Saphan Phut (Memorial Bridge). Lots of stalls line the streets, but you’ll also find vendors located inside the buildings on both sides of the main road.

If you’ve visited Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha), which I talked about earlier, then you’re already close to Pak Khlong flower market. So combine a visit to both.

📍 Location: Pak Khlong Talat – Wat Kanlayanamit, Khwaeng Wang Burapha Phirom, Khet Phra Nakhon, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10200, Thailand

Foodie Things to Do in Bangkok

There’s no arguing that Thai food is up there with some of the best cuisines in the world. It’s fresh, fragrant and full of flavour. I’m not a huge fan of chilli – I like the taste, but my body says no.

Thai cooking often has A LOT of chillies added, so ask for no chilli added (you’ll always find the chilli sauce on the table if you do feel the need to add more).

20. Eat All the Street Food

No trip to Thailand would be complete without eating two of their national dishes. Pad Thai and Mango Sticky Rice. Other popular dishes are fried curry crab, (although I’m a veggie, so didn’t try it), or the little steamed vegetable dumplings with the sticky brown sauce – I ate so many of these. Also, make sure you try the roti, a sweet folded pancake-type dessert.

You’ll find all of them for sale at pretty much every street food market you visit. Be warned, Mango Sticky Rice is sickly sweet and very filling, so if you aren’t a fan of sticky deserts, go for the smallest portion.

A street vendor making roti with chocolate and banana.

👉 Tips for Visiting : Although there are loads of street food places in Thailand. One of the best ones is at Petchaburi Soi 5. You’ll find it slightly hidden between the ultra-modern shopping area of Siam and the Victory Monument. This district is called Phaya Thai. 

Getting there is straightforward. The closest station is Ratchathewi BTS Station. Exit from the station and head to Phetchaburi Road. 

📍 Location: There’s amazing food all over the city

21. Learn to Cook Authentic Thai Food

I don’t know about you, but I love Thai food! If you’re ever thinking about what not to miss in Bangkok, of course, the food ranks pretty high. I’m still yet to meet someone who doesn’t rave about it.

You’ve probably tried several mouthwatering dishes but how about being able to recreate these delicious flavours at home?

Most cooking classes include a trip to the market so you get an insight into what some of the weird and wonderful fruit and veg are that you’ll be using. 

During the cooking lesson, you’ll get to make a selection of iconic dishes like Pad Thai and Thai Green Curry. And of course, everything you cook you get to eat!

A plate of pad thai

👉 Tips for Visiting : When you book your Thai Cooking Class , make sure you state if you have any dietary requirements. I’m a veggie, so I was given alternative ingredients and shown how to tweak all of the recipes to suit my needs.  

Also, go with an empty stomach and stretchy pants. You get to eat everything you make and it ends up being quite a feast by the end of the lesson. If you don’t have time in Bangkok, you’ll find cooking classes all over the country, so add it to your Thailand to do list instead.

📍 Location: All over the city

22. Drink Cocktails at Lebua Sky Tower (The Hangover II Bar)

Not only is the Lebua Sky Tower one of the highest open-air bars in the world but its other claim to fame is that this is the bar featured in the hit movie, The Hangover II.

The bar is located on the 64th floor of the State Tower building. The building is a mix of luxury hotel suites, conference and business centres as well as a Michelin-starred restaurant.

Other names given to the bar are Sky Bar at Lebua, Lebua State Tower or Sky Bar Bangkok and sometimes even The Sirocco Bar! They are all the same place.

Either way, the Lebua Skybar gives you amazing views across the city. This is one of the best Bangkok places to visit to watch the sunset and then the city lights switch on over the city while sipping on a cocktail.

The roof of Lebua Sky Bar in Bangkok with tables and ambient lighting.

👉 Tips for Visiting : Lebua Sky Tower is located along Silom Road just a 10-minute walk from the Saphan Taksin BTS Skytrain Station.  

Due to its popularity, the bar does get busy. You can just walk in and hope for a table. However, reservations are advisable. 

📍 Location: Sky Bar. 64th Floor, State Tower Bangkok 1055 Silom Road, Bangrak Bangkok 10500. Thailand

23. Eat Your Way Around China Town

So, it’s true that there are ‘China Towns’ all over the world. However, the one in Bangkok is the biggest outside of China.

Historically, the local Chinese population in Bangkok lived in villages here even before Bangkok was the capital of Thailand and the area has spread since then. Today it’s a vibrant and exciting part of the city.

Wandering around the streets is an absolute tease for the senses, there’s a constant smell of something delicious cooking, not that you’ll know what much of it is! The best way to find out is to try it. That’s all part of the fun.

Neon lights and busy road in China Town bangkok.

👉 Tips for Visiting : Although, as fun as it is wandering about by yourself, and trying anything that takes your fancy. Sometimes it’s nice to have a guide. Especially if you have dietary requirements. 

If you want to know a little bit more about the history of the area and more in-depth information about the cuisine around here, it’s worth booking a walking China Town food tour with a guide.

You’ll see the elephant motif of Chang Beer everywhere in Thailand. Even if you aren’t normally a big beer drinker it would be a crime to the nation to not try the national beer just once.

I’m not a huge beer fan, but actually, this one’s quite mellow, and a chilled bottle on a hot sticky evening, is actually quite refreshing.

The iconic logo is printed onto tons of souvenirs, in particular T-shirts along Khaosan Road. I’m not sure if it’s because the Thais are proud of their beer, or that it’s the tourists who love the beer so much. Either way, you could literally say ‘been there, done that, bought the T-shirt’.

5 cans of Chang beer. Thailands official beer.

👉 Travel Tips : Thai people are really friendly and welcoming. The country isn’t called the land of smiles for no reason. Most tables at food markets are long communal benches, with a continual flow of people. Lots of Thai people will be happy to strike up a conversation, especially over a shared beer. 

📍 Location: Every bar, supermarket and street vendor in Bangkok will sell Chang Beer

Things to Do Near Bangkok

If you have a few days in Bangkok, then I recommend seeing a few of these great places in the vicinity. There are loads of interesting places nearby, these are my top suggestions.

25. See the famous Buddha Head in the Tree at Ayutthaya

If you have a little longer in Bangkok, then it’s worth doing a few day trips from the capital. My absolute favourite is Ayutthaya. Not only is this worth putting on your Bangkok bucket list, but I’d also go as far as saying it needs to be on your Thailand bucket list .

The ancient city of Ayutthaya became the second capital of Siam after Sukhothai (another ruin further north). The UNESCO-listed Ayutthaya Historical Park was founded around 1350. You can wander around the ruins of palaces and Buddhist temples.

All of the temples are stunning, and if you have a thing for run ruins, you will want to spend hours here perusing over everything. The most iconic thing to see in Ayutthaya is the infamous Buddha head trapped in the bodhi tree. It can be found at Wat Mahathat.

The ruins of Ayutthaya with the buddha head entwined in the roots of a tree.

👉 Travel Tips : Ayutthaya is located about an hour’s train ride out of the city. Get the train from Bangkok main station. It’s easy enough to visit on an independent trip. When you arrive in the town of Ayutthaya, you’ll be able to see a few of the temples (including Wat Mahathat) by walking. 

The ruin complex is spread out over quite a large area. So if you want to visit them all, then you can either hire a bicycle or get a driver and tuk-tuk for the day to take you to all the best temples in Ayutthaya.

Alternatively, book a tour to Ayutthaya from Bangkok which includes transport and guide .

📍 Location: Ayutthaya Historical Park, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Thailand

Related Article:  The Complete Guide To Visiting The Ruins of Ayutthaya

26. Visit Death Railway and Cross the Bridge Over the River Kwai

If you’re wondering what to do in Bangkok and have an interest in history then I recommend the Death Railway. Thailand has had a pretty turbulent past, and some of it was not that long ago.

You’ve probably heard of the film ‘ Bridge Over the River Kwai ’. This is the location the film is based on. You can visit the area and learn about the harrowing history surrounding Death Railway and its notorious reputation.

Kanchanaburi played a major role in WW2 with the building of the Burma-Siam railway to improve communications and connections for the Japanese army who were based in Burma.

These two places are located in Kanchanaburi province, just outside of Bangkok.

The railway was built by Commonwealth, Dutch and American prisoners of war. The notorious reputation of this prison camp gave the railway the name ‘Death Valley’ and ‘Hellfire Pass’. When you visit you can walk some of this route, as well as walk across the bridge over the River Kwai.

There are several memorial sites and museums dotted about this area. While you’re here take the scenic journey on the vintage train that follows the route along Death Valley and across the famous bridge over the River Kwai.

The old train going along the Death Railway bridge with trees and a river to one side.

👉 Travel Tips : A single daily bus runs between Bangkok and Kanchanaburi. It’s 144km between the two. The easiest options are to either hire a car or rent a taxi and diver for the day. This could be expensive if you’re on a budget. 

The easiest way to see it is by booking a guided tour with transport included . The area is spread out, so they drive you to each of the locations, plus make sure you’re at the train station on time to pick up the vintage train. They’ll meet you at the station at the other end of the journey. The popular tour to Kanchanaburi, River Kwai and Hellfire Pass is one of the top things to do near Bangkok and often sells out at peak times.

📍 Location: River Kwai Bridge, Amphoe Mueang, Kanchanaburi, Thailand

27. Damnoen Saduak Floating Market

If you’re a fan of Thailand markets, then take a visit to the famous Damnoen Saduak Floating Markets.

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is located in Damnoen Saduak District in the Ratchaburi Province. It’s about 100 kilometres southwest of Bangkok. Although used by locals, it’s become quite a tourist draw in recent years which has led to it becoming the most famous floating market in Thailand.

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is filled with vendors who sell their stuff from a traditional longtail boat. The unique experience of hopping from boat to boat while browsing the local wares is great fun. It’s a totally different way to experience shopping.

Floating market in Thailand with people on boats selling products.

👉 Tips for Visiting:  It’s easy enough to get to the floating markets by public transport from Bangkok. Take the BTS Skytrain to Bang Wa Station. From there, pick up a taxi going to Bangkok Southern Bus Terminal (Sai Tai Mai). You need to find #78, it will say Damnoen Saduak on it. If you can’t find it, just ask for the floating markets. If you make all the connections, then it takes a couple of hours, but it’s worth it.

If you don’t want to navigate the public transport system, then there are daily tours to Damnoen Floating Markets with pick-up and drop-off included. The markets are open daily between 8 am and 4 pm. 

📍 Location: Damnoen Saduak, Damnoen Saduak District, Ratchaburi 70130, Thailand

28. Visit the Airplane Graveyard

The Airplane Graveyard is one of the most interesting places to visit in Bangkok. Thailand has several quirky landmarks, is this is one of the easier ones to see.

This is the resting place of dozens of enormous, half-disassembled planes. They reside on a patch of wasteland not far from the city.

Some of the planes have been turned into homes, people live here! And others you can climb in and out of the empty shells. If you’re interested in off-beat or abandoned places, and after unusual Bangkok stuff to see, then you’ll love it here.

Abandoned airplanes at the Airplane Graveyard in Bangkok.

👉 Tips for Visiting:  The Airplane Graveyard is located outside of the centre. It’s easy enough to get to on public transport though. You’ll find it located to the east of the city just off Ramkhamhaeng Road in the Bang Kapi District.

The cheapest way to get there is to use the taxi boat. Take the Khlong Saen Saep Express Boat. The nearest pier to the Airplane Graveyard is Wat Sriboonreung. It is just a few minutes walk to get there.

📍 Location: Ramkhamhaeng Alley 103, Hua Mak, Bang Kapi District, Bangkok 10240, Thailand

29. See The Dragon of Wat Samphran

Located about 45 km from Bangkok, in Nakhon Pathom province is the temple of Wat Samphran. It features a 17-storey tower, with an enormous dragon statue wrapped around it.

There’s a lot of controversy surrounding the temple, and when you arrive, find one of the Buddhist volunteers who work at the monastery – they are usually dressed in white. Ask about the Wat Samphran temple scandal and they will tell you the stories about a monk who ‘slept’ in a coffin for 38 days without breathing and who miraculously woke up, as well as other stories.

Originally the temple was named Wat Buddha Pawana, but it changed its name to Wat Samphran after a scandal involving one of the Buddhist Monks. This temple is one of the lesser visited monuments in Thailand, but it’s certainly worth visiting to see the stunning structure and hear interesting stories. Thanks to its quirkiness and background story, this one of the more unusual things to do in Bangkok and a must for your Bangkok checklist.

A pink cylindrical building with a dragon wrapped around it.

👉 Tips for Visiting:  If you’re vising Wat Samphran, aim to go at the weekend. It’s a little off the tourist trail so to find out more and to gain access, you’ll need to find one of the volunteer nuns, dressed in white, to show you around. They are only there at the weekend. 

You can get there by public transport by using the public vans. They depart from Bangkok’s Pata Pinklao shopping centre. If you prefer to go by taxi, then take the Metro to Lak Song MRT Station (on the Blue Line). By going to Wat Samphran from here, you’ll shave off about 20km of your taxi journey.

It’s essentially free to enter the temple with one of the nuns, however, they will expect a donation, so have adequate cash on you for this.

📍 Location: 92 8, Sam Phran, Amphoe Sam Phran, Chang Wat Nakhon Pathom 73110, Thailand

You’ll find accommodation all over Bangkok, however, for convenience, stick with the more central ones making it easier to sightsee. Here are three great places to stay in Bangkok.

The Complete Bangkok Bucket List: 29+ Best Things to Do in Bangkok 2

5* Carlton Hotel Bangkok Sukhumvit (SHA Extra Plus)

✅ Central location

✅ Roofttop swimming pool, sauna and fitness centre

✅ America-style and buffet breakfast available

The Complete Bangkok Bucket List: 29+ Best Things to Do in Bangkok 3

5 * Chakrabongse Villas (SHA Plus+)

✅ Located next to the Chao Phraya River

✅ Traditional luxurious Thai-style furniture

✅ Onsite pool, massage and manicured gardens

The Complete Bangkok Bucket List: 29+ Best Things to Do in Bangkok 4

Bed Station Hostel , Ratchathewi

✅ 2-minute walk from Ratchathewi BTS Skytrain Station

✅ Range of dormitories or private rooms

✅ On-site bar and large communal seating areas

Visiting Bangkok – FAQs

Getting from the airport to bangkok.

The main airport for Bangkok is Suvarnabhumi Airport. It’s located about 35km outside of the centre of Bangkok.

There are several options to get from Suvarnabhumi Airport to Bangkok Centre. One of the most efficient is by taking the Airport Rail Link followed by a Sky Train to your nearest destination.

Alternatively, you can book your airport transfer directly to your hotel in advance with either a VIP Meet & Greet or shared transfer service . Booking in advance saves you both the hassle and avoids the hefty inflated fees from the taxi companies at the airport.

How long do I need in Bangkok?

Most people don’t use Bangkok as a final destination. They often stop here for a day or so before moving on to the tropical islands or heading up north. There’s enough stuff to do in Bangkok for several days without getting bored.

You could split your time in Bangkok into a couple of days at the start, to acclimatise, and then a couple of days at the end of your trip to pick up any souvenirs. Honestly, it’s a great city, this four-day Bangkok itinerary might be useful if you plan to do that.

what should you not miss in Bangkok?

However, if you only have one day in Bangkok, then take a look a the top ten things to do in the city. You’ll find this Bangkok list at the start of this article and you’d be able to see some of the main highlights.

when is The Best Time to Visit Bangkok?

Thailand is a tropical destination, so it’s warm all year round. Essentially, it’s divided into two seasons; the wet season and the dry season. The wet season runs from July to October. Even though it’s wet, it’s still warm with temperatures at about 26 – 34 degrees. However, with the rain, it can be unbearably humid at this time of year.

The hottest months are between March and June with temperatures ranging between 30 – 40 degrees. The cooler months fall between November to February with temperatures between 23 – 39 degrees.

If you can tolerate the humidity, then visit at any time of the year. However, if you’re after a more comfortable climate then visit during Thailand’s winter , between November to February.

How difficult is Getting Around Bangkok?

Bangkok has an abundance of transport options. Of course, there are taxis but similarly are the tuk-tuks. Because the tuk-tuks have so much tourist appeal, you’ll often find them more expensive than a regular taxi. However, they can be handy to visit the must do in Bangkok attractions.

Before using a Tuk-Tuk or Taxi, it’s worth checking what the typical fare should be with your accommodation, so you’re better informed to negotiate a price with the drivers.

One thing you’ll notice about Bangkok is that the roads are gridlocked most of the day, so going by road can take what feels like an age. However, if you want a cheap way of seeing all the main tourist sights, then you might like the Bangkok hop-on-hop-off bus .

The BTS Skytrain, Metro and water taxis are also great ways to get around the city. These are often quicker than using taxis. Between them, they cover a vast area of the city and stations or piers are located near pretty much all the tourist attractions.

Another way of getting around Bangkok is on an organised tour. You might be interested in these small group tours.

Yes and no. On all of my visits there, I’ve not had a single problem. The only one is probably being ripped off by a taxi, but in the grand scheme of things, it wasn’t that big a deal. Bangkok is a huge city, and like anywhere in the world there are going to be parts of it that are no-go areas.

Overall the city is safe. The most common problems are pickpocketing, scams and food poisoning.

Don’t carry valuables about, and keep an eye on your belongings, for example, don’t keep your phone in your back pocket, and carry your daypack on your front on public transport and in busy areas like Khaosan Road.

You can not drink the water in Thailand, and often this is what leads to food poisoning when you eat food washed in water or ice in drinks

Which Ones Are You Ticking Off Your Bangkok Bucket List?

If you’ve made it to the end of this ultimate Bangkok bucket list, well done! So which of these incredible activities are you going to tick off first?

How many of these outstanding things have you done? And how many are you adding to your Bangkok travel itinerary?

If you’re planning a trip to Bangkok, as part of your Thailand adventure then why not download this FREE checklist for offline viewing?

If you enjoyed this Bangkok bucket list, you might also like…

  • The Complete 4 Days in Bangkok Itinerary
  • Self-Guided Tour Of The Best Temples in Bangkok
  • The Ultimate Thailand in 10 Days
  • How to Visit the Ayutthaya Ruins

Save It for Later

Bangkok is a pretty outstanding city. If you found this bucket list Bangkok guide useful, or know someone that is, then please like and share, or why not pin it for future reference?

Have a question about anything in this bucket list for Bangkok? then head to the Contact page and drop me a message.

The Complete Bangkok Bucket List: 29+ Best Things to Do in Bangkok 5

Hey, I'm Becki......and I'm a self-confessed travel addict and experience connoisseur!

In other words, I’m a bucket-list traveller, on a mission to experience the best things our fabulous little planet has to offer with the least environmental impact.

When I'm not climbing mountains, scuba diving, spotting wildlife or exploring ruins, you'll probably find me sipping coffee, or with a glass of wine in hand planning my next adventure.

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  • 20 Must Visit Attractions Bangkok

63 Attractions You Must Visit in Bangkok

must visit place in bangkok

Bangkok is an incredible city with a very eclectic list of attractions you must visit. The Thai capital has many identities. A foodie city. A holy city. The City of Sin. Sampling all of them is a big ask, but Culture Trip has pulled together the complete list of things to do so you can squeeze out every last drop of Bangkok’s potential.

1. grand palace and wat phra kaew.

Buddhist Temple

Wat Phra Kaew, Na Phra Lan Road, Phra Borom Maha Ratchawang, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok, Thailand

3. Chatuchak Weekend Market

4. wat arun, 5. wat traimit.

Golden Buddha Statue at Wat Traimit in Bangkok

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6. Khao San Road

Architectural Landmark, Market

Known as a haven for backpackers, Khao San Road is a kilometre-long street filled with countless bars, street-food vendors, chain restaurants and some of the cheapest hotels and hostels. Backpackers flock here to mix, mingle and party day and night as bar girls entice onlookers with happy-hour deals and buckets filled with beer. Drugs run rampant around this stretch, but getting caught in Bangkok comes with serious ramifications – stick to the booze.

7. Bangkok National Museum

8. wat suthat.

Golden Buddha Statues In Wat Suthat Temple

9. Erawan Shrine

10. asiatique the riverfront, 11. lumpini park, 12. yaowarat road.

Busy street in Yaowarat (Chinatown), Bangkok, Thailand

13. Bang Krachao

14. baiyoke observation deck.

Architectural Landmark

Set atop the Baiyoke Sky Hotel, one of the tallest hotels in the world, the Baiyoke observation deck soars 77 floors above Bangkok, while the revolving viewpoint is on the 84th floor, providing some of the most stellar views of the city. One of the best ways to experience it is to go for dinner at the Baiyoke Sky Restaurant, which serves up a scrumptious seafood buffet as the sun sets over the skyscrapers around the city.

15. Chao Phraya River

Natural Feature

Bangkok has often been called the Venice of the East for its winding river and canals. A very cool way to experience the waterways is to take a riverboat cruise on a vintage rice barge. For 2.5 hours, you’ll get to explore Bangkok’s banks and see how local merchants move up and down the canals, selling food, trinkets and other things.

16. Muay Thai Show

Referee announcing winner of a Muay Thai bout

17. Art in Paradise Bangkok

Amusement Park

Dubbed as Thailand’s largest 3D art museum, Art in Paradise is an interactive museum filled with 3D paintings in a wide range of styles. There are six permanent exhibits with varying concepts, such as riding a flying carpet or stairway to hell, where you can make yourself part of the painting and, of course, fill your Instagram feed with the results. There are 150 paintings in all that took nearly three months to complete, and visitors are encouraged to touch, play and get inside the 3D world.

18. The Khlongs

Bangkok was once a flourishing trade centre, connecting areas of the expansive Siam Kingdom through its series of canals – or khlongs – throughout the Chao Phraya River Delta. Today, these narrow waterways of Thonburi still evoke the city’s old soul, lined as they are with floating wooden shopfronts, weathered teak homes and quiet temples. You can hire a colourful long-tail boat from any of the major tourist piers, like Tha Tien, or go hassle-free with a tour that picks you up right from your hotel. Pandan Tours are recommended, and cost around 500THB (£13) an hour for a boat rental, or 2,000THB (£53) per person for a day-long tour. Recommended by Leslie Finlay .

19. Jay Fai, the world's only Michelin-star street cart

Food Stall, Thai

The so-called ‘Queen of Thai street food’ runs the city’s only Michelin-star street cart, serving up fiery portions of noodles and curries from her two woks. Known locally as Jay Fai – or Sister Mole, a nod to her quirky style and the ski goggles she wears for eye protection – her shopfront is famous for its huge crab omelettes, earning her a spot on the recent Netflix special Street Food . If seafood is not your thing, there are plenty more savoury takes on Thai staples on the menu, from gravy-laden drunken noodles to spicy glass-noodle salad. Recommended by Leslie Finlay.

20. Blue Elephant culinary school

Restaurant, Asian

21. Mahanakhon Skywalk

Sun setting over Bangkok, view from King pPower Mahanakhon Skyscraper, Bangkok, Thailand

At 310 metres (1,017 feet) high, this transparent glass skydeck extends over the edge of the King Power Mahanakhon building – Thailand’s tallest building – with uninterrupted views of Bangkok in every direction. The rooftop features Thailand’s newly crowned highest bar, with a full menu of champagne, spirits, wines and beers available in case you need a little liquid courage before stepping out over the edge. There’s also an indoor observation deck and the building’s highest point, The Peak, which offers full 360-degree panoramic views over the massive capital city. Recommended by Leslie Finlay.

22. Pak Khlong Talat flower market

23. ko kret.

Bangkok’s largest river island lies in the northern district of Nonthaburi. Here urbanity fades to sleepy rural landscapes of small villages and paddy fields. The island has long been famous for its traditional pottery makers, who sculpt elaborately decorated earthenware – water containers, vases – from the local clay. Riverboats for Koh Kret leave from a pier under the Rama IV Bridge. Tour the island by bike – locals rent them at the arrival jetty. Recommended by Alex Robinson.

24. Jim Thompson House Museum

797124_laurendecicca_JimThompsonHouseandSuanPakkadPalaceMuseum-26-2

25. Democracy Monument

26. rama viii bridge, 27. patpong night market, rod fai night market srinakarin.

Well known for its antique zone, the Rod Fai Night Market is a vintage lover’s dream store, packed with classic cars, antique furniture and other relics of a bygone era. The market is a bit outside the city; to get there, take the BTS Skytrain to the On Nut station. From there, it’s a short 15-minute taxi ride.

Bangkok is no stranger to seedy nightlife, and one of the liveliest areas to experience all things illicit is at Soi Cowboy. This street blinds you with neon lights advertising go-go bars, strip shows and generally anything else you could think of. The street itself is named after the man who opened up the first bar here and was known for wearing a cowboy hat, hence the name Soi Cowboy.

Artist’s House

The Artist’s House in Thonburi is a unique attraction in Bangkok that sits right along the banks of one of the many khlongs (canals). It is a place where creative minds can gather, work, grab a coffee and watch a traditional Thai puppetry show, which takes place at 2pm on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. The Artist’s House is over 200 years old and is a great place to spend a quiet afternoon and witness brooding Thai teens spending time hanging out and getting away from the otherwise hectic city.

Siam Paragon

Bangkok is truly a shopper’s paradise . For lovers of all things fashion, there’s Siam Paragon, a bustling and gleaming shopping centre filled with high-end boutiques and major design labels. The building’s recognisable exterior is visible from the platform of the Sky Train, as gold pillars rise in a large glass entryway, beckoning shoppers to swipe their credit cards. Also, inside the megaplex is a giant aquarium, ultra-lux movie theatre and an ever-changing lot of exhibitions in art, design and fashion.

International Buddhist Meditation Centre at Wat Mahathat

The Land of Smiles didn’t earn its moniker without a bit of soul-searching. Thailand’s Buddhist tradition is grounded in Vipassana meditation, a practice centred on mindfulness and gratitude. There are centres throughout the city that offer everything from introductory classes to multi-week silent retreats, or to just test the waters you could check out the International Buddhist Meditation Centre at Wat Mahathat, right near the Grand Palace. Three free guided meditation classes are held daily from 7am to 10am, 1pm to 4pm and 6pm to 8pm, assisted by English-speaking monks. Recommended by Leslie Finlay.

The murals of Phra Nakhon

In 2018, the Thai government commissioned 10 street artists to design murals throughout the Phra Nakhon neighbourhood. Beginning at the Pipit Banglamphu Museum, you can follow a self-guided walking or bicycle tour through Bangkok’s Old Town. The murals on the route reflect the spirit of the neighbourhood’s unique communities, depicting artists’ interpretations of local crafts, traditions and foods. You can also take a break from the city heat at the museum itself, which highlights the area’s long history of mixed cultures, music, silver and goldsmithing and unique crafts like banana stalk carving. Recommended by Leslie Finlay.

Wattana Panich, for the city’s oldest soup

The chefs at Wattana Panich have been cooking the same pot of soup for the last 60 years and over three generations. This family-run kitchen in Ekkamai is famous for its beef stew, and they are constantly topping up the enormous cauldron with fresh ingredients that are absorbed into the broth, ever deepening the flavour. The exact recipe is a prized family secret. Each morning, 25 kilograms (55 pounds) of fresh beef is added straight to the pot and cooked twice, then served with a selection of menu items. Recommended by Leslie Finlay.

Tha Prachan Market

This century-old market along the Chao Phraya features enormous collections of amulets with images of the Buddha, enlightened monks, Thai kings and more. In Thai Buddhist tradition, amulets are blessed by monks to guard against bad fortune or bring good luck. The most powerful ones are made with additions like ash from a sacred temple, or hair from a famous monk, to bolster their protective powers. Replicas fetch a few dozen baht and are considered good enough for garnering a daily dose of good fortune. But throughout the market there are prized pieces that attract the attention of dedicated collectors, who conduct their own appraisals and argue over the backstories and histories of individual amulets. Recommended by Leslie Finlay.

Thipsamai, for an authentic pad thai

This famous noodle dish has a unique – and surprisingly recent – history. Developed by the country’s prime minister after World War II in response to the high cost of rice production, its creation also served to unite the country’s provinces with a single national dish. Thipsamai in Bangkok’s Old City opened in the 1950s as one of the country’s first pad thai stalls, and adheres to the same family recipe today. Using soft sen chan noodles, a secret prawn-oil recipe and expertly thin egg wrap, Thipsamai whips up its signature dish over searing hot charcoal with a routine that takes its resident chefs more than three months to learn. The effort recently earned the local haunt a Bib Gourmand Award for exceptionally good food at a modest price. Recommended by Leslie Finlay.

must visit place in bangkok

Baan Dok Pud for sweet tooth delights

Thailand’s cuisine is famously spicy, but its menus also offer decadently sweet dessert options, beautifully prepared and infused with local flavours. Staples like mango sticky rice are available at any street market or Thai restaurant, and different communities feature their own unique fare, like the Portuguese-inspired Kudeejeen cupcake from Bangkok’s Old City. But don’t miss treating yourself to the full spread of traditional Thai sweets. Baan Dok Pud in Lad Phrao has a gorgeous – and air-conditioned – space surrounded by a quiet koi pond, and serves colourful dessert sets afternoon tea-style. Try the bua loy , glutinous rice balls filled with mung bean paste drenched in coconut milk, or the popular tong yip , flower-shaped egg yolk tarts. Some Thai desserts are even believed to bring good luck , so there’s no need for sweetness in moderation. Recommended by Leslie Finlay.

Bangkok Float Center

Thailand’s wellness tradition has forged full-speed into the 21st century. At Bangkok Float, floaters are immersed in magnesium-infused saltwater kept exactly at room temperature, fooling your body into thinking it’s hovering in mid-air. The experience is designed for floaters to achieve the deep delta-wave state of mind of Buddhist monks more easily than through traditional meditation, while reportedly resetting the body’s hormonal and metabolic balance, improving immunity and generating high levels of endorphins. Recommended by Leslie Finlay.

Banjakitti Park

Banjakitti is an island of cool green in the city’s sweltering, concrete centre. The nearest metro station is Queen Sirikit and you’ll arrive to find it set around a lake of slowly circling turtles, between Sukhumvit road and the skyscraper-spiked mall district of Pathum Wan. A popular spot for a morning walk – a shady path runs around the lake – it attracts couples in the evenings, taking selfies against the neon skyline, mirrored like a liquid mosaic in the water. Recommended by Alex Robinson .

Bangkok University Gallery (BUG)

Housed in a striking neo-brutalist concrete building on the Bangkok University campus in the far north of the city, BUG is one of the largest spaces devoted to contemporary art in Southeast Asia. Much of the work on display is by artists from the university’s School of Fine and Applied Arts – one of the leading private education art institutions in the country. There are occasional shows by visiting international names, as well as by the current artist in residence. You will be absolutely captivated as you wander. Recommended by Alex Robinson.

Thailand Art and Culture Centre

Bangkok’s leading cultural centre combines gallery spaces, performance venues, theatres and workshops. It’s the best place in the land to see work by the cream of contemporary Thai creatives like Pinaree Sanpitak, whose work uses abstract shapes to meditate on the female form. There are also works by Buddhist-inspired painters such as Kanokpon Somchua and polemical photographers like Manit Sriwanichpoom. There’s a shop selling arty accessories and cards as well as a small movie theatre. Recommended by Alex Robinson.

Wat Ratchabophit

Few visitors ever make it to this peaceful temple – only a ten-minute stroll from the tourist-teeming Grand Palace. But it’s one of Thailand’s most illustrious: a royal temple, it is the home of the country’s Supreme Patriarch. The garden grounds are tranquil, the great golden chedi covered in glistening ceramic tiles and the main ubosot, or ordination hall, is built in the English neo-gothic style loved by King Rama V, resembling an Anglican chapel. Recommended by Alex Robinson.

must visit place in bangkok

Neilson Hays Library

Looking like a library from an Oxbridge college, this stately neoclassical building sits in a leafy garden in the busy, business-orientated Bangrak district. The establishment preserves the largest collection of English-language books in Thailand and was founded in 1869 by the Bangkok Ladies’ Library Association – a small group of British and North American women who set up an association to exchange books within the then tiny expat population. The library is open to non-members for a small fee. Recommended by Alex Robinson.

Jesada Technik Museum

You’ll find this quirky museum on the banks of the Chao Phraya River next to the Phra Pin Klao Bridge in Thonburi. Comprising the personal transport collection of Thai millionaire (and President of Chase Engineering), Jesada Dejsakulrit, there are military transport aircraft, double-decker buses, a submarine, classic British, French and American town cars and one of the world’s largest fleets of bubble cars. Recommended by Alex Robinson.

Victory Monument

Victory Monument is one of the most recognisable architectural landmarks in the city. The military monument, constructed in 1941, sits in the centre of one of the largest intersections in Bangkok, in the Ratchathewi district. The rising obelisk at its centre resembles a sword, its point facing the sky as if trying to slice through the smog-ridden city air. Around the focal point of the monument are five smaller statues that represent Thailand’s police, navy, army, air force and militia.

PTT Forest in the City

The aim of PTT Forest in the City was to create a more balanced local ecosystem by transforming what was previously a garbage dump into a green space. Designed by oil and gas company PTT, the park includes a skywalk where you can see the trees from above, which leads to a tower with a 360-degree view of the forest. It’s a great example of how architecture and innovative city planning can be tools to help fight climate change, and one of Ueasangkhomset’s recommendations for Bangkok visitors.

Phra Sumeru Fortress

Located on the banks of the Chao Phraya River , the Phra Sumeru Fortress is one architectural landmark few tourists frequent. The fortress, located in Banglamphu, is surprisingly close to the infamous Khao San Road , a stretch of road that welcomes backpackers from all over the world. Those who find themselves wanting to escape the buckets of booze and herds of foreigners should take an afternoon to check out this landmark, one of the largest fortresses in the city. Though visitors cannot go into the structure, it sits in a quaint park, and can be photographed from afar. The Phra Sumeru Fortress was built in 1783 during the reign of King Rama I and was one of 14 fortresses constructed in Bangkok during this time. Today, it is one of two forts that remain in the capital.

Bangkok Art and Culture Centre

The Bangkok Art and Culture Centre is a must-see gallery for any art-loving traveller exploring the city. The building was meticulously designed to provide visitors with an amazing visual experience, as its winding shape is ideal for displaying art. The centre is also home to numerous cafés, restaurants, an art library, eco-friendly souvenir shops, a prayer room and more.

Santa Cruz Church

The Santa Cruz Church, also known as the Church of the Holy Cross, is one of the most iconic structures located along the western banks of the Chao Phraya River. Located in the old capital of Thonburi , the church is one of the oldest in the capital, built during the reign of King Taksin in the 18th century. The King gave the Portuguese community that was dwelling in Thonburi a plot of land so that they could build and expand their community. Even though the Portuguese built the church, its architecture is heavily influenced by Chinese aesthetics.

Kalawar Church

When the Roman Catholic Portuguese community relocated to Bangkok, they made their home in the riverside community of Talad Noi , one of the oldest neighbourhoods in the city, found in Chinatown. The community constructed a religious structure here known as the Kalawar Church, built in 1787 and previously known as Kalawario. The original church burned down, but was rebuilt in 1897. Its Gothic architecture is complemented by its riverside location, with its grand entrance facing the Chao Phraya River. Today, it is also known as the Holy Rosary Church.

Bank of Thailand Learning Centre

Designed by architects Creative Crews in 2018, the Bank of Thailand Learning Centre revived an old factory – the country’s first note printing works – and turned it into an educational centre. While retaining some of the original features, Creative Crews also added a slew of new details. They created landscape steps that invite visitors to the second floor, and removed solid walls to evoke a feeling of openness. The location, on the much-loved Chao Phraya River, means the centre also benefits from lovely water views through its giant windows.

The Best Outdoor Activities in and Around Bangkok

Recommended by Paul Feinstein .

28. Dine down the river on an antique rice barge

Iconsiam, shot from the Chao Phraya side

One of the best ways to see Bangkok’s most famous sites is to cruise up and down the Chao Phraya River while dining on authentic Thai cuisine. A typical river cruise slowly moves up the water around sunset so you can see the glistening temples against the low light. This experience allows you to enjoy a two-hour dinner, along with traditional music and Thai dancing.

29. Siam Amazing Park

Amusement Park, Park

Flight of the Gibbon

If you’re looking to get your heart pumping while basking in Thailand’s lush rainforests, there’s nothing quite like a zip-line excursion on the outskirts of the city. Flight of the Gibbon is a zip-line company that will pick you up and drop you off in Bangkok, escorting you south to Pattaya where they have three kilometres (1.9 miles) of zip lines that rise above the Chonburi forest canopy. Guides also teach visitors about the merits of eco-tourism and the state of the jungle in today’s hectic world.

Safari World

For lovers of animals but not necessarily zoos, Safari World on the outskirts of Bangkok hits the sweet spot. The amusement park features two sections: Marine Park – which is like SeaWorld – and Safari Park, where you can drive your car to see all the animals. The Safari Park has hundreds of species, including zebras, rhinos and giraffes, in addition to more predatory animals like lions, tigers and bears. The animals all roam free, and you can get very close to the action in your vehicle or one of the park’s shuttles. Getting here requires a car, bus, minivan or taxi as there’s no rail service to this area of the city.

Taki Racing School

For the thrill seeker, there’s a racing experience in Bangkok that is not to be missed. Experience Formula Renault driving at the Taki Racing School, where you can achieve speeds of up to 230 kilometres (143 miles) per hour. The costs here are not cheap, with a half-day running in the 15,000 Thai baht (£379) range and a full day at 35,000 baht (£884), but this experience is unlike any other racing opportunity you’ll ever get.

The Best Things To Do With Kids in Bangkok

30. dream world, 31. flow house bangkok, siam ocean world.

Explore the ocean from the comfort of Siam Paragon, one of the most luxurious malls in Bangkok. It is here where you will find Siam Ocean World , an underwater oasis filled with exotic marine creatures. Once inside, you will travel through an all glass tunnel that showcases a wide array of sea life swimming in every direction. Online tickets must be purchased at least 24 hours in advance and they start at ฿790 for children aged 3-11 years old (children under the age of three get in for free). Siam Ocean World can be found inside Siam Paragon. To get here, you can either take a taxi (every driver will know Siam) or you can take the BTS Skytrain to the Siam station.

BOUNCEinc Thailand

BOUNCEinc Thailand is unlike any attraction in Bangkok; with floor to ceiling trampolines, kids can bounce from one area to the next with ease. There are over 80 trampolines in BOUNCEinc Thailand’s facility, which just opened last December. Prices range anywhere from ‎฿350 (about $10) for students and juniors to ‎฿1,400 (about $40) for a family of four.

Speed demons will love Easykart Bangkok , one of the only racetracks in the city, and this attraction has cars specially designed for children. Its intricate course weaves in and out of its indoor facility with excitement at every curve. There is a lounging area with a pool table, foosball table, restaurant and more that you can enjoy while your child speeds (safely) around the course. Children race for ฿500-600 (about $17); however, the price depends on their size. Riders who are 15 years old and older, or those who are at least 150 centimeters tall, can purchase two races for ฿1,300 (about $37). To get here, take the BTS Skytrain to the Thonglor station; it is about a 40-minute walk from the station, so grabbing a taxi is suggested.

The Commons

Let your kids loose and have the freedom and ability to get creative at The Commons . This outdoor mall has an entire level dedicated to play, known as the Play Yard. It is on this level you will find Little Pea, a restaurant that doubles as a playroom. With fun activities, children’s books, art classes and more, Little Pea is so much more than a place to grab a bite to eat. To get here, take the BTS Skytrain to the Thonglor station; it is about a 20-minute walk from the there or a short taxi ride.

Children’s Discovery Museum

If you are looking for a family-fun activity that is a little less action packed than the activities listed above, then be sure to head to the Children’s Discovery Museum. The museum just underwent renovations in 2014 and will have your family entertained for the entire day. The museum is filled with interactive exhibits, educational displays that encourage play and even a science gallery. To get to the Children’s Discovery Museum, take the BTS Skytrain to Mochit.

Culture Trips launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes places and communities so special.

Our immersive trips , led by Local Insiders, are once-in-a-lifetime experiences and an invitation to travel the world with like-minded explorers. Our Travel Experts are on hand to help you make perfect memories. All our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

All our travel guides are curated by the Culture Trip team working in tandem with local experts. From unique experiences to essential tips on how to make the most of your future travels, we’ve got you covered.

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Top 35 BANGKOK Things to Do & Places to Visit

Top 35 BANGKOK Things to Do & Places to Visit

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For the uninitiated, it’s easy to dismiss Bangkok as either a saint or a sinner. Outside its borders, the Thai capital is often depicted in two ways: with orange-clad monks walking in between sacred temples, and with wild, spirited souls enjoying the city’s notorious nightlife. But in between these two extremes is a full spectrum of attractions that solo travelers, couples, friends, and families can enjoy.

Yep, Bangkok is one of the best out-of-the-country destinations for all types of travelers! Whether you’re a foodie, a culture vulture, a history buff, a partygoer, a backpacker or a shopaholic, good ol’ Bangkok can easily turn your itinerary bursting at the seams. Here are just some of the things to do and places to visit (and revisit) in and around Bangkok!

TOP BANGKOK TOURIST ATTRACTIONS (Essential Links)

In this post, we’ll be sharing with you 35+ key tourist attractions in Bangkok. If you only have a few days, you won’t be able to see and try them all. So here are the highlights that you might want to prioritize.

  • Mahanakhon Skywalk
  • Grand Palace & Temples GUIDED Tour
  • Floating Market & Railway Market Tour
  • Pattaya Day Tour
  • Ayutthaya Day Tour
  • Dream World Bangkok – Skip-the-line tickets
  • Siam Amazing Park – Discounted tickets
  • Michelin Food Tour Bangkok
  • Bangkok Hangover Tour – Nightlife, NOT for kids
OTHER BANGKOK MUST-HAVES: Top Bangkok Hotels BTS Rabbit Card (Train) BTS One-Day Pass (Train) Data SIM Card Pocket Wifi

More tips on our BANGKOK TRAVEL GUIDE!

WHAT'S COVERED IN THIS GUIDE?

KING POWER MAHANAKHON SKYWALK

Mahanakhon Glass Walk

Towering 314 meters over the central business district of Bangkok, King Power Mahanakhon is one of the tallest buildings in the country. The 78-floor skyscraper houses a hotel, residential spaces, and retail shops.

From the bottom, you’ll have your imagination tickled by the design of the building, which resembles a pixelated square prism. And at the very top, you’ll be presented with some of the best panoramic views of the city from either its indoor 360-degree observation deck on the 74th and 75th floors, or its outdoor roof deck called The Peak . But that’s not all. One corner of the rooftop has a glass floor, hanging above the dizzying heights. It’s called Skywalk or Glass Tray Experience. To enjoy it, you only need to cover your shoes before stepping on it.

⛔️ Using your phone while within the glass area is NOT allowed. If you’re here for the photos, it’s best to come with a companion who can take pics of you from the outside. Otherwise, you’ll have to ask strangers. Or find other solo visitors, take photos of them, and ask them to return the favor.

The best time to go is before sunset. This way, you get to see the city in the daytime and at night.

Oh by the way, the elevator ride is also quite the experience. The walls of the elevators are covered with digital screens, creating a virtual show as it zooms passengers up to the 74th floor in about 50 seconds.

At the lobby are Mahanakhon SkyRides , said to be the world’s first self-controlled ParadropVR City Flyer that makes you experience paragliding virtually.

Address: 114 1 Naradhiwas Rajanagarindra Road, Bang Rak, Bangkok Nearest Station: Chong Nonsi BTS Station Opening Hours: Monday-Sunday, 10:00 AM-7:00 PM Entrance Fee: Mahanakhon SkyWalk: Adult, ฿836; Child (3-15 y/o), ฿250; Senior (Above 60 y/o), ฿250.

The number of visitors per day is limited, so it’s best to book in advance. You can reserve online via Klook! You can also check out other Mahanakhon experience package options including a drink, food, or ticket to SkyRide.

✅ CHECK OPTIONS & RESERVE YOUR TICKET HERE!

CHAO PHRAYA RIVER CRUISE

Bangkok River Cruise

Most of the greatest cities in the world rise on the banks of a major river. And for Bangkok, that’s the Chao Phraya. Cutting through the capital city, the river spills into the Gulf of Thailand and plays a key role throughout history.

Today, it serves as one of the city’s main public thoroughfares, offering locals and tourists an alternative mode of commute through passenger and express boat services. Another popular activity along the Chao Phraya River (and the connecting Thonburi Canals) is the boat cruise or boat tour. Some of the iconic landmarks you’ll see when you go on a boat tour or cruise are the:

  • National Museum of Royal Barges
  • Grand Palace
  • Other temples built along the river
  • Homes of local river dwellers

You can do the boat tour via Express Boat River Taxis (Blue Flag Line for tourists) or private longtail boats. But if you want to make it more special, you can avail of a cruise package, organized by tour operators.

These tours usually depart from either Asiatique The Riverfront or ICONSIAM. Whether you want to do it during the day, at sunset, or at night, choose the cruise package that best suits your preference. You have plenty of choices, with some of them covering a proper meal or a dinner buffet. The rates depend on the package inclusions.

If you want to indulge in a river cruise with a sumptuous dinner buffet offering, you can score a great deal when you book it via Klook!

✅ CHECK OPTION A & BOOK HERE!

✅ CHECK OPTION B & BOOK HERE!

✅ CHECK OPTION C & BOOK HERE!

GRAND PALACE & TEMPLES TOUR

Bangkok Temples

More than 90% of Thailand’s population practices Buddhism (Theravada), making it the second-highest number of Buddhists in the world, next to China. Religion is deeply ingrained in Thai culture and has helped shaped the country’s identity. The tangible physical manifestations of its significance are the numerous temples in the country, with Bangkok housing some of the most well-known and revered.

Although it’s entirely possible to see these iconic temples DIY-style, it’s always recommended to be with a local guide, who can share more insights about each site. Klook offers a package that covers the Grand Palace and the Emerald Buddha, Wat Pho, and Wat Arun. It includes admission tickets, an English-speaking guide, a boat transfer fee, insurance, a refreshing face towel, and drinking water.

✅ CHECK ITINERARY & BOOK HERE!

Grand Palace & Temple of the Emerald Buddha

Grand Palace Bangkok

To officially establish Bangkok as the new capital, King Rama I (King Phutthayotfa Chulalok) commissioned the building of the Grand Palace complex, which served as the royal residence and housed the government offices until 1925.

It is huge, spanning an area of about 218,000 square meters and harboring several remarkable cultural and historical structures built and added by King Rama I’s successors. The three oldest buildings are the Phra Maha Monthian , the Dusit Haha Prasat Throne Hall , and the most distinguished Temple of the Emerald Buddha , which also includes the Chapel of the Emerald Buddha where the revered image is kept. The statue measures 66cm in height and 48.3cm in width. Despite the “emerald” in its name, it is actually made from a block of jasper.

Temple of Emerald Buddha

⛔️ DRESS CODE: no sleeveless shirts, no short tops, no vests, no see-through tops, no torn pants, no short hot pants or short pants, no tight pants, no bike pants/cycling shorts, no mini skirts. If you really can’t help it, you can bring a sarong for cover or extra loose pants and outerwear.

⛔️ PROHIBITED ITEMS & ACTIVITIES: Going LIVE on social media, taking photos of inappropriate behavior (jump shots, stunts, etc.), and shooting prenup or pre-wedding photos are NOT ALLOWED. Video cameras, drones, tripods, gimbals, microphones, zoom lenses, and selfie sticks are also PROHIBITED. We were also told that taking videos even on your phone is not allowed. You can only take photos with it.

Entrance fee is ฿500. The ticket has three parts.

  • Part 1 covers a visit to the Grand Palace, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha Museum, and the Queen Sirikit Museum of Textiles (valid within the day of purchase).
  • Part 2 is for visiting the Arts of the Kingdom Museum, the Masterpieces by Artisans of Queen Sirikit Institute at Koh Kerd, Bang Pa-in District, Ayudhaya Province (valid within 7 days after purchase).
  • Part 3 is for admission to “Khon” Thai Classical Masked Dance (valid within 7 days after purchase, Monday to Friday only).

Inside the complex, you can also join a FREE guided tour but only at specified times. See the pic below for the timings.

Grand Palace FREE Tour

Location: Na Phra Lan Road, Phra Borom Maha Ratchawang, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok Nearest Station: Tha Chang Ferry Station (N9); Saphan Taksin BTS Station is just across Sathorn Central Pier, where you can take the Chao Phraya Express Boat (Orange Flag) or the Tourist Boat; Sanam Chai MRT Station, 15-minute walk from here or take Bus No. 3, 9, 44, 47, 53 and 82. Opening Hours: Monday-Sunday, 8:30 AM-4:30 PM. Ticket counters close at 3:30 PM. Entrance Fee: Regular, ฿500/person; Children below 120cm height, FREE.

Wat Pho

Just a 10-minute walk southward from the Grand Palace stands Wat Pho, one of the oldest temples in the city. Although the founder and the date of its foundation could not be precisely determined, it is said to date back around the 16th century, preceding the establishment of Bangkok as the new capital in the 18th century.

Its official name is Wat Phra Chetuphon Wimon Mangkhalaram Rajwaramahawihan , but it is commonly referred to as Wat Pho, which is a contraction of its older name, Wat Photaram . It is deeply tied with King Rama I, who rebuilt the temple complex on its original site and designated it as his main temple. Later on, some of his ashes were kept here.

Wat Pho is one of the six highest-grade first-class royal temples in Thailand. It boasts the largest collection of Buddha images in the country, including the world-famous 46-meter-long reclining Buddha housed in the main ordination hall. Hence, it is also known as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha .

Wat Pho Bangkok

Aside from its cultural and historical relevance, the temple complex is also celebrated for its educational significance, especially in the field of medical science. Besides hosting a school of Thai medicine, it also features a total of 1,360 marble inscriptions about medical sciences, anatomy, orthopedics, liberal studies, and history scattered around the temple complex. Wat Pho is also regarded as the birthplace of traditional Thai massage.

Location: 2 Sanam Chai Road, Phra Borom Maha Ratchawang, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok Nearest Station: Tha Thien (N8) is the closest, but it is currently closed and under renovation. Tha Chang Ferry Station (N9) is an alternative but entails a 10-minute walk. To get to either station, take the BTS to Saphan Taksin Station, walk to Sathorn Central Pier, and board a boat to Tha Thien or Tha Chang. Opening Hours: Monday-Sunday, 8:00 AM-6:30 PM (Temple Complex); Monday – Sunday, 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM (Thai Traditional Medical School/Thai Massage Service). Entrance Fee: Regular, ฿200/person; Children below 120cm height, FREE. The rate is inclusive of a free bottled water. Just scan your ticket at the designated water vending machine. Massage Service Rates: Thai Massage – ฿260 (30 Minutes); ฿420 (1 Hour) | Foot Massage – ฿280 (30 Minutes); ฿420 (1 Hour)

Wat Arun

Famous for its 19th-century main prang, a distinctive 82-meter tall pagoda-style structure that overlooks the Chao Phraya River and the Yai district, Wat Arun is undoubtedly one of the city’s prominent cultural landmarks.

Also called the Temple of Dawn , it was named after the Hindu god Aruna, usually personified as the rays of the rising sun. Its history is believed to go all the way back to the 17th century. Situated on the west side of the Chao Phraya River, right across Wat Pho, it is easily accessed by boat. From

Location: 158 Thanon Wang Doem, Khwaeng Wat Arun, Khet Bangkok Yai, Bangkok Nearest Station: Wat Arun has its own pier. From Wat Pho, travel on foot to Tha Thien (N8) pier and then board the boat to take you across the river. Fare is ฿5. Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday, 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM. Entrance Fee: Regular, ฿100/person. The ticket rate is inclusive of bottled water.

FLOATING & RAILWAY MARKETS

If you are looking for a unique shopping and food-tripping experience, you can try Thailand’s interesting and unusual public markets near Bangkok! Try native delicacies and practice your haggling skills while exploring on a boat at one of the two well-known floating markets. If you are feeling quite adventurous, traverse the railway track lined with cafés and stalls.

Floating Market Tour

It’s possible to visit these markets independently, but you need to mind your timings, especially at Marklong Railway Market. The highlight, of course, is the passing of the train, which happens only a few times in a day. Some scammers also overcharge for boat tours at the floating markets.

If you want a hassle-free journey or you simply don’t want to deal with scammers, try joining a guided tour! Klook can take you to Maeklong Railway Market PLUS a visit to either Damnoen Floating Market or Amphawa Floating Market.

✅ CHECK RATES & BOOK HERE!

Damnoen Floating Market

Located about 100 kilometers southwest of Bangkok in Ratchaburi Province, the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is the most visited and busiest in Thailand. For over 100 years, the canal flourished as a trade hub for local merchants. Presently, it has also become one of the country’s famous tourist attractions. Tourists get to witness and experience the traditional way of trading in the area.

Spanning 32 kilometers with over 200 smaller canals branching from the main waterway, the Damnoen Saduak Canal (Klong Damnoen Saduak) is currently the longest and straightest in Thailand. The construction started in the second half of the 19th century during the reign of King Rama IV and was finally finished two years after during the reign of King Rama V.

The usual scenario at the water market is merchants selling their wares and products on their boats — souvenirs, fruits, vegetables, clothes, and food. You can also hop onto a traditional long-tail boat to explore beyond the main market area and pass by houses on stilts. Usually, the cost of a one-hour boat tours ranges between ฿100 and ฿800 per person or ฿1,500 per boat. Beware of those who will charge you ฿2,000 per person for an hour boat ride.

If you are planning to buy something, especially souvenirs, make sure you haggle well because this is a very famous tourist destination, so expect the prices to be much higher.

Market Schedule: Monday-Sunday, 7:00 AM-5:00 PM. Location: 51 Damnoen Saduak, Damnoen Saduak District, Ratchaburi Jump-Off Point: Bangkok Southern Bus Terminal (Sai Tai Mai) How to Get to Damnoen Floating Market: From the Bangkok Southern Bus Terminal (Sai Tai Mai), board Bus No. 78 bound for Damnoen Saduak. The travel duration is 1.5 to 2 hours, depending on the traffic condition. The fare is ฿50 per way. From the bus terminal at Damnoen, take a taxi to the floating market. The distance from the bus station to the floating market is about one kilometer. Beware of scammers. It’s best to open your Google Maps to track your journey. Alternatively, you can join a tour from Bangkok. This is usually inclusive of roundtrip transfers between Bangkok and Damnoen. Check the inclusions and itinerary before booking.

Amphawa Floating Market

Located about 10 kilometers south of Damnoen Floating Market, the Amphawa Floating Market in Samut Songkhram Province is also popular among tourists, especially those who want to experience authentic local dishes and Thai delicacies. While Damnoen has its manmade canal, Amphawa operates along the Mae Klong River.

In the past, many merchant boats, with their products and wares including food, ply this part of the river. Today, bigger boats for sightseeing and firefly-watching activities dominate the waterway. There are still a few vendors who sell on their boats, but most of them are stationed almost motionless on either side of the river. Many souvenir shops and stalls welcome tourists who are on the hunt for trinkets, accessories, and clothes among others.

Unlike Damnoen which operates daily from morning until early evening, Amphawa is a weekend afternoon market that runs from Friday to Sunday only . The market is particularly well-known for its gastronomic offering, especially seafood and coconut. Some of the must-try munchies for foodies are coconut pancakes, coconut ice cream, pork dim sum or meatballs, and noodles. Tourists usually love lounging and eating in one of the rustic restaurants and cafés lining the river banks.

Bedecked with charming riverside homestays and guesthouses, Amphawa is also a popular weekend getaway or staycation destination among locals.

And did I mention watching fireflies? Words are not enough to describe how magical the experience was. Photos and videos cannot really capture how enchanting the fireflies were as they transform into natural Christmas lights decorating the Lampoon trees. You have to be here and experience it yourself. The rate for firefly watching is ฿60 per person or ฿600 per boat, while the sightseeing boat tour is ฿50 per person or ฿500 per boat.

Market Schedule: Friday-Sunday, 10:00 AM-9:30 PM. Location: Amphawa, Amphawa District, Samut Songkhram Jump-Off Point: Bangkok Southern Bus Terminal (Sai Tai Mai) How to Get to Amphawa Floating Market: From the Bangkok Southern Bus Terminal (Sai Tai Mai), board the minivan bound for Amphawa Floating Market. The travel duration is 1.5-2 hours, depending on the traffic condition. The fare is ฿70 per way. Alternatively, you can join a tour from Bangkok. This is usually inclusive of roundtrip transfers between Bangkok and Amphawa. Check the inclusions and itinerary before booking.

Maeklong Railway Market

Hoop Rom Market coming through!

Maeklong Railway Market

Stretching more than 100 meters in Samut Songkhram, the Maeklong Railway Market is known by many names. One nickname is Siang Tai Market , which means “life-risking market” because of its precarious location along the Mae Klong-Ban Laem train tracks. Another moniker is Hoop Rom Market or “umbrella-closing market”, referring to the effect of the passing train on the vendors along the tracks.

You see, the train tracks are flanked by shops selling local products and delicacies. Common items for sale are fresh fruits, vegetables, seafood, meats, dried goods, spices, seasonings, clothes, and souvenir items. A few cafes and restaurants offer both local and international grubs. Providing outside seating is the norm as visitors normally search for spots to wait for the arrival of the passing train. The train is said to be one of the slowest in Thailand, but visitors still need to be careful when taking photos and videos of the approaching/passing train.

When the signal for an incoming train rings, vendors expertly and quickly dismantle and fold their parasols or canvas roofings to clear the train tracks of any obstructions. Once it has passed, they promptly set them up again as if nothing happened. This folding-unfolding scenario occurs eight times daily, following the train’s timetable. Here’s the schedule:

Train Arrival at Mae Klong Station

Train Departure from Mae Klong Station

Mae Klong Station is located on the western end of the train market. If you want to ride the train passing through Hoop Rom Market, you can board a train bound for Mahachai Railway Station at Bangkok’s Wonwian Yai Railway Station. From Mahachai Station, take a ferry to Tha Chalom on the other side of the river, then get on a train at Ban Laem Railway Station to Mae Klong Railway Station.

Market Schedule: Daily, 8:00 AM-7:00 PM. Jump-Off Point: Bangkok Southern Bus Terminal (Sai Tai Mai) How to Get to Maeklong Railway Market: From the Bangkok Southern Bus Terminal (Sai Tai Mai), board the minivan bound for Maeklong Railway Market. The travel duration is 1.5-2 hours, depending on the traffic condition. The fare is ฿70 per way. Alternatively, you can join a tour from Bangkok. This is usually inclusive of roundtrip transfers between Bangkok and Mae Klong. Check the inclusions and itinerary before booking.

BANGKOK THEME PARKS

  • Dream World

Dream World Bangkok

Covering a total area of 256,000 square meters, Dream World embodies a world of fantasy, fun, and adventure. Because of its longitudinal shape, the theme park is very easy to navigate — just explore from the south, where the main entrance is, all the way to the north, where the most extreme rides are located.

It attracts visitors of all ages with its over 40 attractions, rides, and shows, divided into four zones. But the most noteworthy of them is Adventure Land, a futuristic and space-themed zone packed with extreme rides. Most of what people consider the BEST RIDES are here, including:

  • Grand Canyon , river rapids
  • Super Splash , a splashy water-based ride
  • Sky Coaster , hanging rollercoaster with loops
  • Vikings , a pendulum ride
  • Tornado , a swing-and-spin ride

ENTRANCE FEE

  • Dream World Visa (26 rides with unlimited time per ride EXCEPT Alien, Bump Car, and Haunted House, which can be enjoyed once only): ฿600
  • Dream World SUPER Visa (includes all the rides for unlimited time): ฿1,000
  • Children below 90cm : FREE
Opening Hours: Monday-Friday, 10:00 AM-5:00 PM; Saturday-Sunday, 10:00 AM-6:00 PM. Location: 62 Moo 1, Rangsit-Ongkharak Road (Km.7), Thanyaburi, Pathum Thani How to Get to Dream World: From Victory Monument BTS Station, take Bus No. 523 or 538 to Dream World.

Dream World is very popular even among locals, so you might want to book your ticket in advance to skip the line. You may also add transfers.

✅ GET SKIP-THE-LINE TICKETS HERE!

  • Siam Amazing Park

Siam Amazing Park

Also known as Siam Park City (its former name), Siam Amazing Park is not shy when it comes to superlatives. Covering an area of 120 acres, it holds the record of being the largest theme park in the country. It also has the largest wave pool in the world, according to the Guinness World Record as currently the largest in the world, and Southeast Asia’s first suspended looping coaster (with five inversions). And oh, let not forget the 7-story water slides.

With more than 30 rides, including impressive waterslides and extreme rides, world-class traditional shows, and games, Siam Amazing Park records two million visitors annually. The whole park complex is divided into six zones:

  • Water World. This zone features the largest wave pool in the world, the gigantic seven-color slide, Speed Slide, and Si-Am Lagoon.
  • Extreme World. This zone brandishes world-class extreme rides. Some of the favorites are Vortex, Giant Drop, Boomerang, and Log Flume.
  • Adventure World. This zone focuses on the Jurrasic era theme. Ride a jeep and go on a Jurrasic Adventure, meeting 60 different species of dinosaurs!
  • Family World. This zone highlights family-friendly attractions and activities. Fun activities include Africa Adventure, Si-Am Tower, Dinotopia, The Merry Go Round, Grand Canyon Express, and Big Double Shock.
  • Small World. This zone is for toddlers and kids at heart! The rides are specifically made for children not more than 130cm tall. Fun attractions include Mini Merry Go Round, Play Port, Mini Motorcycles, Swan Boats, Mini Boats, and Mini Astrofighter.
  • Bangkok World. This is located at the entrance of the park. It covers an area of over 27 acres showcasing the architectural heritage of Bangkok. Enjoy Thai culture through the food, performances, attractions, and local products.
Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday, 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM. The schedule might change, so it’s best to check updated opening hours before going. Location: 203 Suan Sayam Road, Khan Na Yao, Bangkok Entrance Fee: Adult, ฿1000; Child, ฿850; Children below 101cm, FREE. The adult ticket rate is valid for a one-day unlimited rides pass to Water World, Xtreme World, Adventure World, and Family World. The child ticket rate is valid for one-day unlimited rides pass to Water World, Family World, and Small World. Visitors must purchase their tickets at least one day in advance. How to Get to Siam Amazing Park: From Victory Monument BTS Station, head towards Ko Din Daeng Bus Stop via the circular skywalk, then take Bus No. 168 or 36ก to Siam Amazing Park.

You can purchase your ticket in advance online via Klook! You can also choose the package — combine your ticket with an international lunch buffet or combine it with both lunch and shared transfer.

✅ GET DISCOUNTED TICKET HERE!

Pororo Aqua Park

The newly renovated Pororo Aqua Park interestingly brings aquatic fun to CentralPlaza Bangna’s rooftop! Covering about 10,000 square meters, it satisfies your thirst for some water adventure. Pororo is a famous South Korean penguin cartoon character. The slides, water attractions, and facilities are all inspired by this cute character.

Pororo Aqua Park

Some of the highlights are Pororo’s Funnel, Pororo’s River, Pororo’s Playground Pool, and Tong Tong’s Magic Slide, which slides over the city’s skyline below. Water attractions are spread over nine different zones. You can grab something to eat at the snack bar when you get hungry. And if you still have energy for shopping, you can do so at the mall below the aqua park.

Location: 6th Floor, CentralPlaza Bangna, 585 Debaratna Road, Bang Na, Bangkok Nearest Station: Udomsuk BTS Station. From here, you can get on the CentralPlaza Bangna Shuttle Bus. Opening Hours: Monday – Friday, 10:30 AM – 7:00 PM; Saturday – Sunday, 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM. The schedule might change, so it’s best to check updated opening hours before going. Entrance Fee: Regular, ฿400; Reduced, ฿280; Children below 90cm, FREE

Get a discounted ticket when you book with Klook!

✅ GET DISCOUNTED TICKETS HERE!

BANGKOK FOOD TRIP

If we were to rank our favorite international cuisines, we would always place Thailand in our Top 3. The food is the main reason we keep on coming back over and over again. And for us, any Thailand trip is a waste without digging into some of the local dishes.

Thankfully, the Thais are very open and extremely proud of their gastronomy. In Bangkok (or any other city in Thailand for that matter), not only will you be able to stuff your face with local grubs, you’ll also have an opportunity to learn more about their national dishes and even learn how to cook them.

Thai Cooking Class

Bangkok Thai Cooking Academy

You cannot always fly to Thailand whenever you crave your favorite Thai dishes, so the best course of action, especially if you love being in the kitchen and cooking your own food or preparing meals for others, is to attend a cooking class while in Bangkok.

Numerous cooking schools offer different types of packages, most of them include going to a local market and buying your own ingredients with the guidance of your instructor. Klook curated some of the cooking classes offered in Bangkok. We sorted them by area below.

SILOM/SIAM AREA:

✅ Silom Thai Cooking School – Closest Station: BTS Chong Nonsi

✅ Sompong Thai Cooking School – Closest Stations: BTS Chong Nonsi, BTS Saint Louis

✅ Blue Elephant Cooking Class – Closest Station: BTS Surasak

SUKHUMVIT AREA

✅ Bangkok Thai Academy – Closest Station: BTS On Nut

KHAO SAN/BANGLAMPHU AREA

✅ Maliwan Thai Cooking Class – 5-minute walk from Khao San Road

Michelin Food Tour

Are you also the type of foodie traveler who is on the lookout for Michelin-approved dining places?Bangkok has several Michelin-starred restaurants and Michelin Bib Gourmand-awarded eateries! Here are just some of them:

Bangkok Michelin Restaurants

2 Michelin Stars

  • Chef’s Table
  • Le Normandie at Mandarin Oriental

1 Michelin Star

  • Chim by Siam Wisdom
  • J’Aime by Jean-Michel Lorain
  • Sra Bua by Kiin Kiin
  • Savelberg Thailand

Bib Gourmand

Quality food doesn’t have to be fancy and expensive. Bangkok also has its share of eateries a Michelin Bib Gourmand, the Michelin Guide’s value-for-money award. This is for establishments who offer great, worth-the-travel food but at much more budget-friendly prices. Here are some of the establishments we were able to try and their best-selling specialties. We’ll also create a separate article about these.

  • Polo Fried Chicken – fried chicken, som tum, larb/laap
  • Jeh O Chula (Jay Oh) – tom yum noodle soup, salmon salad, fried pork belly. This is incredibly popular and customers need to wait over an hour to get seated. But Klook offers a fast-track access, which are prioritized by the resto. Reserve here!
  • Go-Ang Pratunam – Hainanese chicken rice, braised pork
  • Pad Thai Fai Ta Lu (Dinsor Road) – pad thai
  • Thipsamai – pad thai with prawns
  • Ann Guay Tiew Kua Gai – fried rice noodles with chicken and seafood
  • Poon Lert Room – khao na gai (chicken gravy rice)
  • Ten Suns – beef noodle soup

If you want to try some of the Michelin-awarded food spots on one day, you can join a guided Michelin Food Tour around Bangkok!

✅ RESERVE A SLOT HERE!

Midnight Food Tour

Too busy checking out tourist attractions in the daytime? Don’t worry, you can still have a taste of Bangkok’s best eats even at midnight! If you are a night owl, you’ll be glad to know that Bangkok’s food scene remains alive and kicking even after hours. Some must-visit restaurants, eateries, food stalls, and night markets remain open.

Not sure where to go and what to try? You can join a night food tour where a local guide leads you to local favorites and even hidden culinary spots. Klook offers Bangkok’s Best Eats Midnight Food Tour by Tuktuk. This covers seven (7) food and drinks tastings.

✅ BOOK MIDNIGHT FOOD TOUR HERE!

Street Food

Who doesn’t want cheap eats? And when it comes to pocket-friendly pig-out finds, Bangkok will never leave you wanting. The city is bursting with a myriad of street food — skewered food, noodle soup, rice meals, native sweets, local snacks, coconut ice cream, milk tea, fruit juices, and even exotic delicacies.

Bangkok Street Food

Public and night markets, streets, and even some malls like MBK Center and Platinum provide selling spaces for street food vendors.

BANGKOK NIGHTLIFE

Bangkok is a ‘sanctuary’ for night revelers. The hubbub in the city continues from day to late night, and even the next day, as people flock to various bars, bistros, and nightclubs! Indulge in the lively and crazy night districts in the capital including Soi Cowboy, Nana Plaza, Khao San Road, and Pat Pong.

Drink until you drop when you join a pub crawl/bar hopping tour, take that The Hangover movie experience yourself, dance to the music and merrymaking, or just savor the night scene in all its neon glory. Whatever floats your boat.

Khao San Road

Khao San Road Bangkok

Hailed as a ‘Backpacker Mecca’ in 2015, Khao San Road rose to fame largely due to the relatively cheap accommodations it offers. Stretching about 410 meters in the Bang Lamphu area of Phra Nakhon District, the road becomes busier and more interesting as the night unfolds and bars start setting up tables outside and blasting songs that overlap and compete as you walk down its length. It’s a huge street party where an invisible DJ incessantly plays a hodgepodge of party songs.

Adding to the bustle are vendors hustling along the road and selling Thai snacks, street food, exotic offering, souvenir items, and the like. An alleyway adjacent to the main road has quaint and laidback bars with live bands playing.

Bar hopping / Pub Crawl

If you love cocktails and beer so much and you live for casual interactions, you will definitely dig pub crawls or bar hopping tours. Some hostels offer pub crawl experiences to their guests, especially those near the popular nightlife and watering hole districts. Hop from one bar to another ordering drinks from each one with your group. Mingle with new people and jingle those mugs, bottles, and glasses. Cheers!

Bangkok Pub Crawl

If you are looking for safe and reputable operators and guides, you can book your pub crawl experience with Klook! The package includes stopping at Cowboy Street, Nana plaza, and the nightclub area. You also have the option to join a group or avail of the private tour.

✅ SEE OPTIONS & RESERVE HERE!

Bangkok Hangover Tour

Bangkok Hangover Tour

If you love The Hangover 2 movie, you can relive their nightlife adventure by visiting the bars in the Soi Cowboy area where it was shot. Depending on the package, the itinerary may include Nana Plaza and Pat Pong other than Soi Cowboy. You’ll definitely find the quirky stuff you’re too curious about in Bangkok — Pinpong shows, fetish bars, and other crazy antics.

Massage and Spa Options

Self-care is an essential part of health and wellness, so why not take this opportunity to go all out and take that well-deserved relaxation? After all, you’re in Thailand, where world-famous Thai massage originated!

Bangkok Spa

Because spa and massage centers mushroom throughout the city, businesses have become creative with their offers to stand out. Specializations include aromatherapy and essential oils, herbal compress, deep tissue massage, foot reflexology, facial, and traditional Thai massage. Some promise anti-inflammation, anti-germs, and anti-oxidation benefits, while others focus on theme and setting.

You have strings of options! Here are some spa services curated by Klook:

✅ ONE MORE THAI SPA – Near BTS Cit Lom Station

✅ OASIS SPA SUKHUMVIT – Closest is BTS Phrom Pong Station

✅ ONCE UPON A THAI SPA – Closest is BTS Phrom Pong Station!

Muay Thai Match Show

With its root tracing back to the 16th century as part of Thai military training, muay thai is part of the nation’s identity and is widely popular across the country. Called the ‘art of eight limbs’, this contact sport uses fists, elbows, knees, and shins. It began to gain international attention between the late 20th century and the early 21st century when Thai practitioners competed in kickboxing abroad.

Muay Thai

Bangkok has two stadiums where Muay Thai matches are usually held in the evening:

  • Lumpinee Boxing Stadium 6, Ramintra Road, Anusawaree, Bangkok
  • Rajadamnern Thai Boxing Stadium 1, Ratcha Damnoen Nok Road, Bangkok

You can secure your slot in advance and get discounted ticket by booking online through Klook!

✅ GET LUMPINI STADIUM MATCH TICKET HERE!

✅ GET RAJADAMNERN STADIUM MATCH TICKET HERE!

Muay Thai Class

Why settle with just watching muay thai from afar when you can learn it! While in Bangkok, join a class in one of the local martial arts studios offering introductory training. You can also book a private class if you want a more personalized or hands-on experience.

Muay Thai Class

Don’t forget to bring extra clothes, a towel, and enough water. These training studios are usually equipped with shower rooms and toilets.

You can book Klook’s Muay Thai Class by Watchara Muay Thai Gym. This is inclusive of an English-speaking instructor, hand wraps, gloves, and other necessary equipment.

SHOPPING SPOTS

Whether retail or wholesale, Bangkok is, without question, one of the cheapest shopping destinations in the world. Wherever you feel comfortable shopping — bargain centers, fashion halls, shopping malls, public markets, and weekend markets — you will surely find something you like for yourself and for your loved ones.

Chatuchak Weekend Market

Officially opened in 1942, the Chatuchak Market is a sprawling shopping mecca that has been drawing both local and foreign shoppers and vendors. Welcoming more than 200,000 visitors, it is inarguably the busiest in the country. Composed of over 15,000 stalls, manned by 11,500 vendors in a 35-acre land area, it is dubbed as the largest and most diverse weekend market in the world.

For sale here is a full gamut of products imaginable, grouped into 30 sections. A market map can be usually seen at the entrance gate areas. To maximize your time here, you can take a photo of the map to guide you while you shop. Note that there are three entrance gates: on Kamphaeng Phet 2 (Entrance 1), on Kamphaeng Phet 3 (Entrance 2), and on Phahonyothin Road (Entrance 3).

To give you an overview, here are the stuff you’ll see per section:

Section 1 & 29: Antiques, Accessories, Books, Thai Instruments Section 2-4: Teen Clothings and Accessories Section 5-6: Used Clothings and Shoes Section 7: Arts & Painting Section 8: Carvings, Spa, Incense Section 9-11: Handcraft & Artificial Flowers Section 12, 14, 21-24: Clothing, Accessories, Shoes Section 13: Postcards, Souvenirs, Pet/Animal Stuff Section 15, 19-20: Tableware, Ceramic, Silver, Home Decorations Section 16-18: Clothing, Hiking Equipment, Leather Section 25: Ceramic & Silk Section 26: Antiques, Home Decorations, Photo Frames Section 27-28: Handcrafts, Books, Miscellaneous, Others Section 30: Clothing & Miscellaneous

Food stalls are mostly clustered in one area near Entrance 1. Others are scattered around the market hallways. So, flex your bargaining muscles and shop until you drop.

Location: Kamphaeng Phet 2 Road, Chatuchak, Bangkok Nearest Station: Chatuchak Park MRT Station, Chatuchak Park BTS Station, or Kamphaeng Phet MRT Station Opening Hours: Saturday-Sunday, 9:00 AM-6:00 PM (Whole Market); Friday, 6:00 PM – 12:00 AM (Wholesale Only); Wednesday-Thursday, 7:00 AM-6:00 PM (Plant Section Only).

Pratunam

With retail stores spread across Ratchaprarop and Phetchaburi Roads in Ratchathewi District, Pratunam Market is one of the biggest wholesale garment markets in the country. It features both indoor and outdoor shopping areas, touting mostly clothes and accessories. But other products like toiletries, toys, medicines, and houseware are also available.

Although the stores generally cater to wholesalers, they still happily accommodate retail buyers or those who buy in small quantities. Haggling is normal, so don’t be shy to negotiate the price when you see something you really like and feel like you can still get it at a much lower price.

Don’t forget to check out Pratunam Center , a building at the heart of Pratunam. If you are more comfortable shopping outside, just be careful of the passing vehicles.

Location: Ratchatewi District, Bangkok Nearest Station: Ratchathewi BTS Station Opening Hours: The market is open 24/7, but most shops start operating at 11:00 AM. The best time to shop is between 11:00 AM and 4:00 PM.

Platinum Fashion Mall

Platinum Mall Bangkok

On the other side of Petchaburi Road and across the Pratunam Market area, Platinum Fashion Mall entices shopaholics and fashionistas from around the globe. Showcasing a plethora of fashion styles and products, it is one of the largest and most favored wholesale and retail shopping destinations in Thailand.

From Thai designer collections to the latest international trends, it delights shoppers on the hunt for clothes, accessories, footwear, and leather goods. More than 2,500 shops are housed in this multi-level air-conditioned shopping haven. You might get lost in the maze-like colorful hallways that look similar, but who cares, right? Just set a specific place and time to meet your companions after your shopping spree.

For foodies, you will find most of the dining places on Level 6 and the Basement Level. The Food Center, the mall’s food junction, and the restaurants are on Level 6, while the cafés and dessert places are on the basement level.

For your shopping guide, here are the item categories per floor/level:

  • 6th Level (Food Center): Food & Beverage, Souvenirs, Mobile Accessories
  • 5th Level (Orchard): Kids, Leathers, Accessories
  • 4th Level (Camden): Men, Leather Products
  • 3rd Level (Nathan): Women, Men
  • 2nd Level (Oxford): Women
  • 1st Level (Soho): Women, Information Counter
  • Basement Level (Ginza): Jeans, Fashion Clothes, Food & Beverage
Location: 222 Phetchaburi Road, Thanon Phaya Thai, Ratchathewi, Bangkok Nearest Station: Chit Lom BTS Station or Siam BTS Station. From either station, take the elevated R-Walk through Gaysorn Village. Opening Hours: Monday-Sunday, 9:00 AM-8:00 PM.

Palladium World Shopping Mall

Palladium Mall Suitcases Bangkok

Also located in the Pratunam neighborhood, the Palladium World Shopping Mall (or simply Palladium) is the place to go for IT-related stuff — phone accessories, tech gadgets, electronics, printing, cameras, and the like. But of course, fashion items and accessories also abound here: the latest styles, vintage clothes, textiles, costumes, and even school uniforms!

Palladium’s basement also beckons blingholics and gemmaphiles who are hunting for their next treasured jewelry — silver, gold, earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and more! Massage services and dining places are also available.

Location: 555 Ratchaprarop Road, Makkasan, Ratchathewi, Bangkok Nearest Station: Chit Lom BTS Station or Ratchaprarop Railway Station Opening Hours: Monday-Sunday, 10:00 AM-8:00 PM.

Siam Square

Siam Square

Located in the Siam neighborhood, Siam Square is a shopping and entertainment destination, immortalized in pop culture as the setting of the film The Love of Siam . With over 400,000 people passing through this area daily, it is also sometimes regarded as the heart of shopping in the city.

Combining massive modern malls with humble street vendor stalls, it caters to both young and old and all kinds of shoppers, from bargain hunters to luxury chasers. The entertainment and shopping area spans from Phayathai Road to Henri Dunant and from Rama I Road to the Chulalongkorn Campus. A skywalk links it to nearby shopping centers, including Siam Paragon and MBK Center , and the Ratchaprasong shopping district.

Location: 388 Rama I Road, Pathum Wan, Bangkok Nearest Station: Siam BTS Station Opening Hours: Monday-Sunday, 10:00 AM-10:00 PM.

IconSIAM is part of the multi-awarded mixed-use development property on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River. Since its opening in November 2018, it has already amassed several design awards. Covering an extensive retail space area of 525,000 square meters, it is hailed as one of the largest shopping malls in Asia. Most of the restaurants, retail brands, and shops here are on the luxury or high-end side.

It also houses the first Siam Takashimaya department store in Thailand. One of the highlights is the indoor floating market — the Sook Siam . More than 3,000 local businesses from all over the country were brought here to showcase the cultural roots of Thailand through their products — crafts, food, products, and more — while paying tribute to the floating markets in neighboring provinces.

Location: 299 Charoen Nakhon Road, Khlong Ton Sai, Khlong San, Bangkok Nearest Station: Charoennakorn Station (Sky Train Gold Line via Krung Thon Buri BTS Station) or Saphan Taksin BTS Station (then ferry from Sathorn Pier to IconSIAM) Opening Hours: Daily, 10:00 AM-10:00 PM.

Siriraj Medical Museum

Siriraj Forensic Museum is located in the Siriraj Hospital complex, the country’s first modern medical hospital and school which was founded in 1888 by King Rama V. It includes a total of seven small museums, each focusing on a specific medical field:

Adulayadejvikrom Building

  • Ellis Pathological Museum (8th Floor). This focuses on pathological diseases, disease-infected organs, and the evolution of medicine.
  • Parasitology Museum (7th Floor). The museum displays different kinds of parasites and their life cycles, disease-carrying insects, and venomous animals, as well as preventive measures and cures.
  • Songkran Niyomsan Forensic Medicine Museum (2nd Floor). This showcases the methods of forensic science — physical evidence examination, murder methods, skeleton and skull samples, and various body parts preserved in glasses. The museum previously displayed the mummified body of Si Ouey Sae Urng , believed to be the first known serial killer and cannibal in modern Thailand. But he was eventually removed from the museum and was cremated in July 2020.
  • Touch Museum (2nd Floor). Opened in 2013, this museum was founded in honor of Queen Mother Sirikit. This caters to both visually impaired and regular visitors. The museum is divided into eight (8) bases: optics and visual system, breasts and breast cancer, respiratory system, stomach and digestive system, female reproductive system, male reproductive system, bone marrow and joints, and drugs and medicine.

Anatomy Building

  • Congdon Anatomical Museum (3rd Floor). The museum houses over 2,000 human anatomy specimens such as human and animal figures, skeletons, organs, and medical dissections.
  • Sood Sangvichien Prehistoric Museum & Laboratory (1st Floor). This museum tackles the evolution of life forms — from prehistoric times to the early primate era about 70 million years ago. It also exhibits tools from the Paleolithic, Mesolithic, and Neolithic Ages.

Old Bangkok Noi Train Station

  • Siriraj Bimuksthan Museum. Opened in 2013, the museum is situated beside the newly-opened Siriraj Piyamaharajkarun Hospital, the hospital’s private subsidiary. It shows the history of the hospital and Thai medicine/medical science.
Location: Siriraj Hospital, Siri Rat, Bangkok Noi, Bangkok Nearest Station: The Wang La Pier or Thonburi Railway Station Pier via Chao Phraya Express Boat Opening Hours: Monday, Wednesday – Sunday, 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM; Tuesday, CLOSED. As of writing, Sood Sangvichien Prehistoric Museum & Laboratory is temporarily closed. The schedule might change, so it’s best to check updated opening hours before going. Entrance Fee: Siriraj Bimuksthan Museum OR Siriraj Medical Museum – Adult, ฿200; Child, ฿25 | BOTH Museums – Adult, ฿300; Child, ฿50

As the country’s main transportation hub, Bangkok offers several transfer options for day trips to neighboring towns and cities. Here are just some of the favorite day trip destinations from Bangkok.

Pattaya Sanctuary of Truth

Situated about 150 kilometers southeast of Bangkok, Pattaya is one of the most visited tourist destinations in Thailand. Lying on the east coast of the Gulf of Thailand, it is known for its beaches, island-hopping tours, and nightlife.

From a quiet fishing village in the 1960s, Pattaya has evolved into a popular resort city with its shores now fringed with resorts, shopping malls, condo buildings, bars, and clubs. The wild party scene initially drew tourists to this coastal city. But the continuous improvement of the beach areas has gradually turned Pattaya into a more family-friendly destination today.

Swimming, beach bumming, windsurfing, water skiing, sailing, and snorkeling are the usual activities here. But you can also experience extreme sports like skydiving, bungee jumping, go-karting, and playing paintball. If you want to go beyond the shores, you can go island hopping to nearby islands like Koh Larn, Koh Sak, and Koh Krok.

Some notable attractions are Pattaya Beach, Walking Street, Phra Tamnak Hill, Pattaya Viewpoint, Wat Phra Yai Temple, and the Sanctuary of Truth.

Jump-Off Point: Bangkok Eastern Bus Terminal/Ekkamai Bus Terminal or Mo Chit Bus Terminal (Bus); Hua Lamphong Railway Station (Train) How to Get to Pattaya: By bus, go to Bangkok Eastern Bus Terminal, then take the bus bound for Pattaya. The travel time is about two and a half hours. The one-way fare is ฿130-200 per person. By train, go to Hua Lamphong Station and get on a train to Pattaya. The travel time is 2-3 hours, depending on the type of train. The fare is ฿30-฿300, depending on the ticket class. The train for Pattaya normally leaves early in the morning — around 6:00 AM.

If you want a convenient roundtrip transfer between Bangkok and Pattaya, you can just join a guided tour. Klook offers Pattaya Beach and Koh Larn Coral Island Full Day Tour from Bangkok. This covers roundtrip transfers, an English-speaking guide, a Sanctuary of Truth ticket, insurance, and bottled water.

✅ CHECK RATES & RESERVE HERE!

Pattaya Koh Larn Thailand

One of the islands dotting the Gulf of Thailand, Koh Larn (Ko Lan) is the most popular island hopping destination from Pattaya. It is the largest among the three “near islands”; the other two are Koh Krok and Koh Sak.

It features white sandy beaches, which mostly lie on the western coast. The most famous is Tawaen Beach, which is lined with shops and restaurants. Other major beaches are Samae Beach, Tonglang Beach, Tien Beach, and Naon Beach. Relish the sand, sun, and sea. You can also rent a clear kayak, snorkel, or just appreciate the relaxing atmosphere.

The lush hilly island houses a Buddhist shrine atop its highest point, which is 180 meters above sea level. It also provides several viewpoints where tourists can enjoy the picturesque surroundings and nearby islands. The villages of Ban Ko Lan and Ban Krok Makhan provide lodging and dining options.

Jump-Off Point: Pattaya’s Bali Hai Pier How to Get to Koh Larn: When you finally arrive in Pattaya, take the public ferry to Koh Larn. The travel duration is about 40 minutes and the fare is ฿30 per person. You can also reach the island via speedboat or boat tours.

For Koh Larn Tour and transfers, you can check the package options offered by Klook.

✅ CHECK RATES OR RESERVE HERE!

Ayutthaya Temples

Situated about 80 kilometers north of Bangkok, Ayutthaya used to be an affluent trading port city from the 14th century until the second half of the 18th century when the Burmese ransacked the city. As the former capital of Thailand (Kingdom of Siam), its former glory is still visible to this day through the old city ruins, thanks to the restoration and preservation efforts.

The key attraction is the Ayutthaya Historical Park , a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991. It is an archaeological and historical treasure trove at the heart of the city. Nestled on an island encircled by three rivers — Chao Phraya, Pa Sak, and Klong Khu Mueang, the park cradles the ruins of the old city including temples, palaces, monasteries, and statues.

Covering an area of 289 hectares, it houses four major temples: Wat Mahathat, Wat Phra Ram, Wat Phra Si Sanphet, and Wat Ratchaburana – the Royal Palace and Wiharn Phra Mongkol Bophit. The architecture reflects an interesting mixture of early Sukhotai and Khmer styles. The park was declared

Jump-Off Point: Mo Chit Bus Terminal (Bus or Minivan) and Hua Lamphong Railway Station (Train) How to Get to Ayutthaya: By bus or minivan, go to Bangkok’s Mo Chit Bus Terminal and get on a bus or a minivan to Ayutthaya. The travel time is about two hours. The fare is ฿50-60 for the bus and ฿70 for the minivan. By train, go to Hua Lamphon Station and purchase your train ticket to Ayutthaya Station. The travel time is 1.5 to 2 hours, depending on the train type. A third-class ticket is ฿20 (non-aircon and random seat), while a first-class ticket is ฿330 (air-conditioned and with seat assignment).

You can join a guided tour from Klook if you want a hassle-free transfer.

The Erawan Museum is known for its gigantic bronze three-headed elephant statue, greeting visitors as they pass the gates. The statue is prominent even from afar. As you get closer, it gets more intimidating.

Erawan. Image via Klook.

The museum displays artifacts collected by its founder, Mr. Lek Viriyaphant, who is also the brain behind the Ancient Siam Heritage Park. The first floor showcases the museum’s history and a collection of Chinese vases from the Ming and Qing Dynasties. The second floor features the statue of Guanyin and displays antiques, ceramics, and other European pottery items. The third floor, which is located in the belly of the massive elephant statue hosts several relics and statues of Buddha.

Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday, 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM. The schedule may change, so check the updated opening hours before going. Entrance Fee: Adult, ฿400; Child (6-14 y/o), ฿200; Children below 6y/o, FREE Location: 99/9 Mu 1, Sukhumvit Sai Kao Road, Mueang Samut Prakan, Samut Prakan Jump-Off Point: Pu Chao BTS Station or Chang Erawan BTS Station How to Get to Erawan Museum: If you want to take a taxi, get off at Pu Chao Station. If it’s okay for you to travel on foot, you can either get off at Pu Chao or Chang Erawan Station. The museum is located between these two stations. By bus, you can take Bus No. 25, 142, 365 (non-aircon) or 102, 507, 511, and 536 (air-conditioned).

You can get discounted rates for the Erawan Museum tour via Klook. You can also score a combo ticket deal for Erawan Museum-Ancient Siam Tour.

Ancient City/Ancient Siam

Officially opened in February 1972, the Ancient City is an expansive cultural park that showcases the historical and significant structures of both ancient and present-day Thailand (formerly called Siam). Encompassing a total area of 320 hectares, it is recognized as the largest outdoor museum in the world.

This open-air museum features replicas of the nation’s prominent landmarks such as palaces, temples, monuments, and statues, providing visitors a glimpse of most of Thailand’s key tourist attractions!

Opening Hours: Daily, 9:00 AM–6:00 PM. Entrance Fee: Adult, ฿700; Child (6-14 y/o), ฿350; Children below 6y/o, FREE Location: 963 Sukhumvit Road, Mueang Samut Prakan, Samut Prakan Jump-Off Point: Kheha BTS Station How to Get to Ancient Siam: Ride the BTS Skytrain all the way to Kheha Station (Sukhumvit Line). From the station, you can either take songthaew (local pick-up truck with seats) number 36. By bus, take Bus No. 511 (Saitai Mai-Pak Nam) and alight at the last bus stop. Then, take songthaew number 36 to Ancient Siam.

You can also get discounted tickets for the Ancient Siam Tour only or get a combo ticket deal for the Erawan Museum-Ancient Siam Tour via Klook.

Kanchanaburi

Located over 120 kilometers west of Bangkok, Kanchanaburi is renowned for its cool climate, limestone caves, waterfalls, and thickly forested national parks. It attracts nature lovers who either visit on a day trip or for a few days to explore the beautiful countryside.

Image via Klook

Kanchanaburi City is the usual base or jump-off point to the natural, cultural, and historical attractions the province offers. It is a picturesque resort town located at the junction of the Khwae Noi, Khwae Yai, and Maeklong rivers. Tourists usually flock to the riverside area to take in the cozy environment while sipping a drink, munching on snacks, or chilling in a raft house.

Some of the popular activities here are trekking, hiking, white water rafting, and chasing waterfalls. The key tourist spots are the following:

  • Water Reservoirs. Srinakharin Dam, Vajiralongkorn Dam
  • Waterfalls. Sai Yok Noi Waterfall, Sai Yok Yai Waterfall, 7-tiered Erawan Waterfall
  • National Parks. Erawan National Park, Thong Pha Phum National Park, Khao Laem National Park, Sai Yok National Park, Khuean Srinagarindra National Park, Lam Khlong Ngu National Park, Chaloem Rattanakosin National Park
  • Historical Sites. Mon Bridge, Mueang Sing Historical Park, Three Pagodas Pass, Wat Wang Wiwekaram, Underwater City, the Bridge of the River Kwae, Kanchanaburi War Cemetery, World War II museum and Art Gallery
Jump-Off Point: Thon Buri Railway Station (Train) and Mochit or Southern Bus Terminal (Bus/Minivan) How to Get to Kanchanaburi: By train, go to Thon Buri Station and take the train to Kanchanaburi Station. The travel time is about two and a half hours. The fare is ฿100. By bus, go to either Mo Chit or Southern Bus Terminal, then board a bus bound for Kananchaburi. The travel time is about three hours. The fare is ฿75-300, depending on the ticket class. If you are taking the minivan, the fare is 150-160 per person per way.

If you want to travel conveniently between Bangkok and Kanchanaburi, you can just join a tour. Here are some options from Klook:

✅ BOOK ERAWAN NATIONAL PARK TOUR HERE!

✅ BOOK KANCHANABURI HIGHLIGHTS TOUR HERE!

✅ BOOK AMAZING KANCHANABURI TOUR HERE!

The sky is the limit for adrenaline junkies out there who have no problem freefalling from a plane and admiring the view from above! If this is your thing, you can reserve your slot via Klook!

Thailand Skydiving

Choose the package that suits your preference. The most basic package covers a Customized Skydiving Certificate, skydiving at 13,000 feet, 15-minute sightseeing flight, a 60-second freefall jump, parachute flying, and Skydive Thailand Souvenirs.

✅ CHECK RATES & DETAILS HERE!

KLOOK PASS BANGKOK & PATTAYA

If you are planning to explore both Bangkok and Pattaya attractions, you might want to get a KLOOK PASS BANGKOK & PATTAYA, which will allow you to get up to 45% discount. The pass is valid for 30 days upon confirmation. It will also let you access 2, 3, or 4 activities! You can choose from any of these attractions:

  • Safari World
  • SEA LIFE Bangkok Ocean World
  • Madame Tussauds Bangkok
  • Pororo Aquapark
  • Sanctuary of Truth
  • Frost Magical Ice of Siam
  • Underwater World
  • Ancient City Museum
  • Damnoen Saduak Floaring Market
  • Grand Palace and Emerald Buddha
  • Wat Pho & Wat Arun Walking Tour
  • One More Thai Massage
  • Chao Phara Princess Dinner Cruise
  • Alcazar Cabaret Show
  • Tiffany’s Show
  • Bangkok Hop on Hop Off Bus

✅ CHECK OPTIONS & GET PASS HERE!

Here are examples on how you could save using this pass:

Klook Pass Bangkok Price Comparison

TOP BANGKOK HOTELS

ASAI Bangkok Chinatown

  • Kimpton Maa-Lai Bangkok, Siam/Silom. Check Rates & Availability! ✅
  • Carlton Hotel Bangkok , Sukhumvit. Check Rates & Availability! ✅
  • Solaria Nishitetsu Hotel Bangkok , Sukhumvit. Check Rates & Availability! ✅
  • Old Capital Bike Inn , Khao San area. Check Rates & Availability! ✅
  • Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit. Check Rates & Availability! ✅
  • ASAI Bangkok Chinatown . Check Rates & Availability! ✅
  • Ago Hotel Chinatown. Check Rates & Availability! ✅

If you’re working with a limited budget, here are some of the top-reviewed hostels and budget hotels on Agoda that are more affordable:

Daraya Hostel

  • Tamni , near Hua Lamphong Station & Chinatown. Check Rates & Availability! ✅
  • Daraya Hostel , Siam. Check Rates & Availability! ✅
  • Siam Eco Hostel , Siam. Check Rates & Availability! ✅
  • Kinnon Deluxe Hostel , Silom. Check Rates & Availability! ✅
  • HOSTEL URBY , Chinatown. Check Rates & Availability! ✅
  • Baan Kun Mhor Hostel , Chatuchak. Check Rates & Availability! ✅
  • LOBSUEK Hostel หลบศึก โฮสเทล, Khao San Area. Check Rates & Availability! ✅
  • VIX Bangkok @ Victory Monument. Check Rates & Availability! ✅
  • Lub d Bangkok Siam Hostel , Siam. Check Rates & Availability! ✅

Search for more Bangkok Hotels

Written by: Asta Alvarez Additional words: by Yosh Dimen Photos by: Yosh Dimen

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guest

Amazing tips, I truly love Bangkok and there are so many things to do. Happy to find this blog.

ANUKRATI DOSI

The floating market is one of the top highlights for me. Tourist scams are so common in such popular areas. It would be helpful if you could please share some tips to escape the trap.

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Dream World Amusement Park

Dream World Amusement Park

The Dream World theme park features amusement park rides, vibrant displays, candy floss, flowery gardens, waterworks, a snow park, and entertainment performances in a bright, lively atmosphere. With over seven enormous zones and 40 rides, Dream World provides a terrific family experience. It also offers amazing shooting options thanks to the amusement park's refreshing scenery and well-maintained park amenities.

Top Experiences To Do in Dream World Amusement Park

Dream World Bangkok Tickets

Safari World Zoo

Safari World Zoo

Located in Khlong Sam Wa , the Safari World, within an area of 170 acres is a drive-in zoological park divided into two parts. The first is the Safari Park to house a large variety of animals like zebra, deer, giraffe, birds tigers lions, bears, etc. in a natural habitat. The second is the Marine Park which hosts events like the famous dolphin show. The Safari world zoo is the perfect place for families with children to visit in Thailand. Come face to face with thousands of rare and endangered species roaming freely in their natural habitat. The park provides a coach service for visitors who do not drive in.

Timings: Opens daily from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Price: The approximate price ranges from 50 Baht to 350 Baht. 

Top Experiences To Do in Safari World Zoo

Safari World Tickets, Bangkok

Maha Nakhon Skywalk

Maha Nakhon Skywalk

Step through the glass-floored King Power Mahanakhon Tower's Skywalk for a spectacular panoramic view of Bangkok. You may feel like you're on top of the world as you stand on the roof of one of the city's tallest buildings, taking in the sights of Bangkok's bustling streets. You will be awestruck by the sight of a mesmerizingly serene sunset painting the sky with orange colours.

Top Experiences To Do in Maha Nakhon Skywalk

Mahanakhon Skywalk Tickets, Bangkok

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The Grand Palace

The Grand Palace

The brilliant, majestic Grand Palace is one of the most sought after monuments and heritage sites in Bangkok. Served as the Thai King's residence for about 150 years in the past, the monument stands as a testament to the brilliant creativity and skill of the Thai people and it still happens to be the spiritual core of Thailand.

Top Experiences To Do in The Grand Palace

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Sea Life Bangkok Ocean World

Sea Life Bangkok Ocean World

SEA LIFE Bangkok Ocean World is one of Southeast Asia's largest underwater aquariums. The Underwater Ocean Tunnel provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see 400+ marine species, including beautiful sharks. Witness and photograph uncommon marine species such as water rats, otters, and penguins, as well as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to feed them with your hands.

Top Experiences To Do in Sea Life Bangkok Ocean World

Madame tussauds.

Madame Tussauds

Originally founded in 1835, Madame Tussauds is a globally renowned chain of museums displaying wax figures of famous celebrities including actors, musicians and politicians. This unique wax museum offers different themed zones displaying some of the biggest personalities in the field of theater, art, politics, history and science. Experience activities like Picaso painting, photography, etc. here with your loved ones.

Top Experiences To Do in Madame Tussauds

Madame Tussauds Bangkok Tickets

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Chatuchak Market

Chatuchak Market

Chatuchak Market, known as the world's largest weekend market, is home to approximately 15,000 stalls selling everything from clothing to jewelry, shoes, accessories, arts, antiques, along with plants and pets. After a day of shopping, guests can satiate themselves with food and beverages at one of the area's restaurants or ease their weary muscles with a relaxing Thai massage.

Top Experiences To Do in Chatuchak Market

Chatuchak Weekend Market Tour, Bangkok

Siam Park City

Siam Park City

Siam Park City, located in Bangkok's Khan Na Yao district, is Southeast Asia's largest theme and water park. With over 30 rides, a wax museum, floral gardens, a zoo, and more, the amusement park provides the greatest holiday experience. It sweeps you away from the bustle of city life and allows you to unwind and enjoy yourself, making it the most peaceful way to spend a summer vacation.

Top Experiences To Do in Siam Park City

Siam Amazing Park Tickets, Bangkok

Floating Market Bangkok

Floating Market Bangkok

Almost every traveller visiting Bangkok for the first time has this ardent urge to visit these unique shopping areas conducted from the traditional boats. Despite the fact that sellers are more worried about tourists as compared to local people nowadays, the floating markets of Bangkok are still heaped with tropical fruits and vegetables, ready-to-drink coconut juice and local food cooked from floating kitchens found right on the vessel. 

Top Experiences To Do in Floating Market Bangkok

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Erawan Museum

Erawan Museum

The Erawan Museum is immediately identifiable by its three-headed elephant construction that stands stoutly above the facility. The First Floor of the Museum depicts the theme of the underworld in Hindu mythology. The concept of Earth, or current life, is featured on the second floor, and the Third Floor portrays the concept of Tavatimsa Heaven.

Top Experiences To Do in Erawan Museum

Ancient City And Erawan Museum Tickets

Siam Serpentarium

Siam Serpentarium

Siam Serpentarium is peerless and the first of its kind in Asia for having a snake world inside. This place overtures snake edutainment, which serves as a fantastic experience of snake civilization.

Top Experiences To Do in Siam Serpentarium

Siam Serpentarium Tickets, Bangkok

The Jim Thompson House

The Jim Thompson House

Jim Thompson House Museum is situated in the heart of Bangkok and is dedicated to Jim Thompson, a silk merchant and an American entrepreneur. The place is a captivating museum displaying the rich legacy of Jim Thompson. The museum was first built in 1959, exhibiting a vast collection of Asian artifacts and art pieces that leave tourists spellbound.

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Wat Arun In Bangkok

Wat Arun In Bangkok

Wat Arun or Temple of the Dawn is a sacred place of worship in Bangkok that dates back to the ancient Ayutthaya period. The beautiful architecture of the temple coupled with magnificent views of the river and beyond, makes it one of the most popular places to visit among tourists.

Ayutthaya City Park

Ayutthaya City Park

Ayutthaya City Park, Thailand's largest shopping complex in the city of Ayutthaya. It stands out because of its modern design, which contrasts sharply with the remainder of the town's lovely old charm. It's a lovely spot to escape the heat in the afternoons and spend some time shopping and resting. Its serene, beautiful vibe comes from its simple modern style, wide spaces, and fountains.

Wat Phra Kaew

Wat Phra Kaew

Also called the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, Wat Phra Kaew is considered as one of the most important tourist places in Chiang Rai. It houses the meticulously carved statue of the Emerald Buddha and beautifully decorated to leave every tourist enthralled to the core.

One can look forward to gathering a peaceful day by visiting Wat Phra Kaew and admire the striking craftsmanship and architecture of this beautiful temple when they are on a vacation with their loved ones in Chiang Rai.

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Giant Swing

Giant Swing

The Giant Swing in Bangkok stands as a captivating symbol of the city's cultural heritage. This iconic landmark, located in the historic area of Phra Nakhon, dates back to the 18th century and was originally used in Brahmin ceremonies. Towering over the skyline, the Giant Swing is not only a historic marvel but also offers a glimpse into Thailand's religious traditions.

Top Experiences To Do in Giant Swing

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Jim Thompson House And Suan Pakkad Palace Museum

Jim Thompson House And Suan Pakkad Palace Museum

Visit these sightseeing places in Bangkok to explore Thailand's architectural traditions and artwork. First, visit Suan Pakkad Palace - a former royal residence featuring eight traditional teakwood houses with a collection of Ban Chiang. Then head to Jim Thompson's house and museum to view his personal collection of fine arts and antiques.

Wat Arun

The Temple of the Dawn or Wat Arun towers 260 ft above the Chao Phraya River. With fabulous views of the rising and setting sun, the temple is one of Bangkok's major tourist attractions after the Grand Palace.

Hong Kong

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Bangkok Art And Culture Centre

Bangkok Art And Culture Centre

The Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (BACC) is the epicentre of Bangkok's burgeoning art scene, showcasing the best Thai art, music, design, film, and theatre, as well as the modern art scene from around the world. Every hallway, gallery, store, and restaurant within the BACC has been designed to create an ideal cultural dialogue for every art aficionado.

Top Experiences To Do in Bangkok Art And Culture Centre

Bangkok Art and Culture Centre Tour

Art In Paradise

Art In Paradise

Art in Paradise is an "illusional" art museum which features ten different interactive galleries. Also, known as Trickeye museum, the galleries are loaded with superbly done paintings varying from Ride a Flying Carpet, Stairway to Hell to the Coronation of the Emperor.

Assumption Cathedral

Assumption Cathedral

Assumption Cathedral is one of the most significant and beautiful churches located in Bangkok. Visit this magnificent 200-year-old church with a stunning European architectural style, all completed with a baroque style ceiling decorated with motifs. Bronze statues of saints can also be seen both in the interior as well as exterior, along with sloped ceilings and frescos. 

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Wat Intharawihan

Wat Intharawihan

Wat Intharawihan, a hidden gem in Bangkok, stands tall as one of the city's most captivating temples. A soaring 32­metres high standing Buddha is what defines Wat Intharawihan, which borders Wisut Kasat road at the northern edge of Banglamphu. Known as the Luangpor Toh, building on this statue, built of brick and stucco, began in 1867 during the reign of King Rama IV. Decorated in glass mosaics and 24­carat gold, it took over 60 years to complete and is the tallest of its kind in the world. The Ubosot was built towards the end of the Ayutthaya period, and has several interesting Buddha images, elevated murals on the walls and lavishly gilded window shutters. Outside are unusually carved sema stones and tucked away in an alcove there's a lifelike model of Luang Phaw Toh, a famous monk. In the small museum are old Buddha images and various paintings.

Princess Mother Memorial Park

Princess Mother Memorial Park

The Princess Mother Memorial Park stands as a serene tribute to the beloved Princess Srinagarindra, revered as the "Princess Mother" in Thailand. Nestled amidst lush gardens and tranquil ponds, the park reflects her grace and benevolence. Visitors can explore the museum showcasing her life's legacy and admire the intricate architecture of the memorial hall. Immerse yourself in the rich history and pay homage to a remarkable woman whose enduring spirit is eternally enshrined in this picturesque sanctuary.

Wat Benchamabophit Dusitwanaram

Wat Benchamabophit Dusitwanaram

Wat Benchamabophit Dusitwanaram, also known as the Marble Temple, is a stunning Buddhist temple in Bangkok, Thailand. Constructed from Carrara marble imported from Italy, this architectural masterpiece combines Thai and European design elements, creating a unique and elegant structure. Inside, visitors can admire intricately carved statues and beautiful murals. The temple's peaceful ambiance, exquisite craftsmanship, and spiritual significance make it a must-visit attraction for anyone exploring the cultural and religious wonders of Bangkok.

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Pratunam Market

Pratunam Market

Pratunam Market is the largest clothing market of Thailand. One of the major and cheapest markets of Bangkok, you can also buy shoes, bags, watches, and other accessories in this market. Pratunam Market covers the entire space around and behind Amari Watergate. This is where the market gets its name, pratunam, that literally means ‘watergate’.

Dolphin Show

Dolphin Show

Dolphin show has always been a mass entertaining show, audiences of all ages are excited to watch these sea queens without any hesitation. Dolphins are amiable water animals with an emotional sensibility and a high intelligence quotient making them smart, curious and empathic.

Wat Maha Phruettharam Worawihan

Wat Maha Phruettharam Worawihan

Wat Maha Phruettharam Worawihan, also known as Wat Mahaprutharam is an ancient temple, built during the Ayutthaya era. The temple is located on the east side of the Khlong Phadung Krung Kasem and spreads over 14 hectares. Initially a resting place for water buffalo carts, the temple was originally known as Wat Tha Kwian. It was later renovated by King Rama IV, given the current name and status of a third-class royal temple.

Top Experiences To Do in Wat Maha Phruettharam Worawihan

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Siam Amazing Park

Siam Amazing Park

Siam Amazing Park, located in Bangkok, Thailand, is a sprawling amusement and water park offering an exhilarating escape for families and thrill-seekers alike. Spanning over 120 acres, the park boasts a plethora of attractions, including adrenaline-pumping roller coasters, water slides, and engaging shows.

Marine Park ( Safari World )

Marine Park ( Safari World )

Marine Park Safari World in Bangkok is a popular attraction offering animal shows, a safari drive-through, and various exhibits. Visitors can see dolphins, sea lions, and exotic wildlife in naturalistic settings. It's a family-friendly destination combining entertainment, education, and conservation efforts.

Ancient City

Ancient City

Ancient City, or "Muang Boran," in Bangkok is a vast open-air museum showcasing Thailand's cultural heritage with scaled-down replicas of historic buildings, monuments, and temples, offering a unique glimpse into the country's rich history and architectural diversity.

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Above Eleven

Above Eleven

Located on the uppermost levels of the luxurious Fraser Suites Sukhumvit offering a distinctively stylish rooftop bar with spectacular views, the Above Eleven concept also introduced to the Bangkok dining scene its first authentic Peruvian cuisine restaurant. Some of the hottest culinary trends internationally such as London, Barcelona, and New York opening new Peruvian-themed venues or transforming their menus. With its culinary team headed by Peruvian native Chef Omar Frank Maruy, the authentic Peruvian­, Japanese fusion food known as Nikkei Cuisine served at Above Eleven has been particularly well­ received­ the crisply fresh seafood dishes, spicy salads, and chargrilled skewers, all designed to be shared, and appealing to the palates of a mixed clientele of residents, expats and visitors.

Bang Khla

What do you feel about a lunch arranged by the side of the river bank market? Bang Khla is exactly one of this kind. Mostly structured as a small village in the district of Bang Khla, the Bang Khla Floating Market is a famous tourist market in Thailand. Nestled in the heart of Thailand, Bang Khla offers a serene escape from bustling city life, making it a must-visit destination on your Thailand tour. This quaint town, located in the Chachoengsao Province, captivates visitors with its picturesque landscapes and cultural charm.

Top Experiences To Do in Bang Khla

Don Wai

The Don Wai Floating Market is very famous in Bangkok, Thailand. Located on the outskirts of the City Capital, Don Wai Floating Market is a popular local market dealing with fresh farm Thai veggies and seafood.

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The Royal Thai Elephant Museum

The Royal Thai Elephant Museum

A national symbol and a deeply revered animal in Thailand remain to be the elephant. Tradition dictates that a white elephant should belong to the monarch and becomes their exclusive property. Considered a symbol of prestige and wealth, the white elephant is an albino of the Siamese elephant. the grounds of the Dusit Palace. Formally the building was used as the stables of the royal elephants, but today has been converted in to a museum, which is made up of two buildings.

Top Experiences To Do in The Royal Thai Elephant Museum

Bangkok Walking Tour In Chinatown

People Also Ask About Bangkok

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Must Visit Places in Bangkok

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Here is the list of 21 Must Visit Places in Bangkok

1. grand palace, bangkok.

Grand Palace, Bangkok

The Grand Palace, the residence of royals for several generations, is the perfect place to begin your historical tour in Bangkok. It houses one of the holiest Buddhist temples, Wat Phra Kaew, built in the year 1782.

2. Wat Arun, Bangkok

Wat Arun, Bangkok

An ancient structure dating back to the battles between the former Siam and Burma, Wat Arun is a place of worship with rich past. Also known as the Temple of Dawn, the place was built by remaining survivors and General Taksin.

3. Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, Bangkok

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, Bangkok

Marketed as a major tourist attraction and a marker of Thai culture, the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is among the most popular floating markets in the world. Boats swaying on the water are navigated by Thai locals and traders who sell all kinds of farm produce, fruits, souvenirs and freshly prepared local foods, which visitors can enjoy while sailing in their own boats.

4. Wat Pho, Bangkok, Bangkok

Wat Pho, Bangkok, Bangkok

Wat Pho is a famous temple located immediately south of the Grand Palace precinct in Bangkok. The place is renowned for being headquarters for the teaching and preservation of traditional Thai medicine. The temple is largely visited to view the large reclining Buddha within, thus also known as 'Temple of the Reclining Buddha'.

Bangkok Travel Packages

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Pattaya Bangkok Package With Dream World Amusement Park

5. chatuchak market, bangkok.

Chatuchak Market, Bangkok

The king of markets in Bangkok, and one of the largest markets in the world, Chatuchak is spread over 35 acres with more than 8,000 stalls. Everything ranging from clothing, accessories, handicrafts, furniture, art, food, books, antiques, and many more interesting souvenirs are is available here. Keep your bargaining skills ready to enhance your shopping experience at this bustling market.

6. Wat Phrae Kaew, Bangkok

Wat Phrae Kaew, Bangkok

The temple of the Emerald Buddha, commonly known as Wat Phra Kaew, is the most important and revered Buddhist temple in Thailand as it enshrines the image of Phra Kaew Morakot carved from a single jade block. Built in 1785, the temple has elaborate carvings, paintings and pagodas, making it a spectacular sight for visitors.

7. Wat Traimit, Bangkok

Wat Traimit, Bangkok

Wat Traimit, nestled at the end of Chinatown's Yaowarat Road in close proximity to Hualampong Railway Station is perfect place to admire the glittering gold statue of Buddha. One of the best royal temples of Bangkok, it is popular for housing a pure gold statue of Lord Buddha. It is known as 'The Temple of the Golden Buddha', as the world's largest gold statue, which is almost 5 metres tall and 5.5 tonnes heavy, is sheltered here.

8. MBK Center (Ma Boong Khron Center), Bangkok

MBK Center (Ma Boong Khron Center), Bangkok

From top branded to local products in clothing, furniture, accessories, luggage, electronics, stationery, and many other things, one can find it all at the MBK Center. Besides shopping, you can dig into scrumptious food at two large food courts. They also have an entire floor dedicated to entertainment, with a cinema and a 3D art museum as well.

9. Lumpini Park, Bangkok

Lumpini Park, Bangkok

A perfect place to connect with nature away from the hustle bustle of crowded streets of Bangkok, Lumpini Park is all about fresh air and peace. Dating back to 1920s, it is packed with natural beauty covering a vast area of half a million square meters.

10. Erawan Museum, Bangkok

Erawan Museum, Bangkok

Demonstrating the mixture of modern civilization and traditional cultures and practices of Thailand is the Erawan Museum in Bangkok. Situated in the Samut Prakan Province, you can easily identify the museum from its giant three-headed elephant structure standing stoutly atop the building. The First Floor of the Museum is a representation of the Hindu mythology’s concept of the underworld. The Second Floor showcases the concept of Earth, or the present life. The Third Floor depicts the concept of Tavatimsa Heaven and is situated inside the belly of the Elephant.

11. Chinatown, Bangkok

Chinatown, Bangkok

Located along the Yaowarat Road, Chinatown is a Chinese cultural and commercial hub. It is majorly known for its exotic culinary experience of street foods, along with several Buddhist temples, and traditional wooden shops selling Chinese goods. It is best to visit Chinatown at night, which is when it is vibrant with neon lights and chaotic fun.

12. Chao Phraya River, Ayutthaya

Chao Phraya River, Ayutthaya

Formed by four major tributaries of Thailand, the Chao Phraya River, also known as The River of Kings, is one of the legendary rivers of Thailand. While on one hand the river serves as one of the widely used modes of commuting for the citizens as well as tourists, you may as well hop on a boat or a cruise to sightsee some of the iconic tourist spots of Bangkok and Ayutthaya, passing by them one after the other while you relax on the ferry.

13. Safari World, Bangkok

Safari World, Bangkok

Safari World is one of the most favorite destinations in Bangok, with both tourists and locals descending on the park to spend quality time amongst wild life. Not only a place for gathering knowledge about the ways and lives of wild animals, it offers a host of entertaining shows along with activities. It is an extraordinary animal park that cannot be dismissed as an ordinary zoo. People from all walks of life find it pleasurable to spend some time with wild life with the young children being absolutely fascinated with them.

14. Jim Thompson House, Bangkok

Jim Thompson House, Bangkok

With a remarkable collection of art from Burma, China, Cambodia and Thailand, Jim Thompson House is a must visit for history buffs and art lovers. A historic property, it once served as the residence of an American man named James H W Thompson, a man responsible for reviving the Thai silk industry and one of the most famous Americans in Asia during his time.

15. Dusit Zoo, Bangkok

Dusit Zoo, Bangkok

The oldest zoo in Thailand, Dusit Zoo lies in the vicinity of Bangkok's governmental headquarters in the Dusit District. Boasting of a heavy annual footfall, Dusit Zoo exhibits many species, ranging from exotic to rare, such as monkeys, penguins, camels, the albino barking deer and the white Bengal tiger. It also offers tram rides and boating services, which guarantee an uninhibited day of fun.

16. Wat Mangkon Kamalawat, Bangkok

Wat Mangkon Kamalawat, Bangkok

Besides being the most important, Wat Mangkon Kamalawat is also the biggest Chinese Buddhist temple in Bangkok. Also called the Dragon Lotus Temple or the Wat Leng Noei Yi in Chinese, it remains extremely crowded during any festivities or occasions in the Chinese calendar, especially the Chinese New Year. Set up in 1871, Wat Mangkon Kamalawat was the first one to be bringing in Mahayana Buddhism in Bangkok.

17. Wat Suthat, Bangkok

Wat Suthat, Bangkok

One of the oldest temple of Bangkok, Wat Suthat greets you with its serene aura. Overflowing with peace and tranquility, Wat Suthat Thepphawararam is a fine example of architecture and craftsmanship. Its construction began in the year 1782, under the reign of King Rama I, and it was completed in 1820s, under the reign of King Rama III.

18. National Museum, Bangkok, Bangkok

National Museum, Bangkok, Bangkok

An ideal place for history lovers, the Bangkok National Museum exhibits some of the most magnificent collection of art and artefacts reflecting the Thai culture.

19. Wat Benchamabophit, Bangkok

Wat Benchamabophit, Bangkok

Commonly known as the marble temple, Wat Benchamabophit is one of Bangkok's most beautiful attractions. Embodying an impressive, modern style of Thai architecture, Wat Benchamabophit is a royal temple hosting a beautiful buddha statue. With red carpets, polished marble and stained-glass painted walls - Wat Benchamabophit is a unique, yet beautiful Thai temple!

20. Asiatique The Riverfront, Bangkok

Asiatique The Riverfront, Bangkok

Once an international port, Asiatique The Riverfront is a vibrant shopping, dining, and entertainment complex on the east bank of the Chao Phraya River. Neatly divided into four districts, it houses a variety of boutiques, fine dining, malls, fashion stores, and entertainment spaces. Asiatique has multiple themed exhibition zones that keep changing.

21. Amphawa Floating Market , Bangkok

Amphawa Floating Market , Bangkok

The Amphawa Floating Market is located southwest of Bangkok where local vendors sell fresh seafood, Thai drinks and desserts, and souvenir items. This is a major tourist attraction for anyone who wants to experience the unique canalside lifestyle of the locals. Unlike other floating markets in Thailand, the Amphawa Floating Market operates only during the weekend. It is among the oldest floating markets in the country and is famous for its relaxed shopping environment. Timings : Friday - Sunday: 11:00 AM - 9:00 PM Closed from Monday to Thursday Time Required : 1-2 hrs

Bangkok is a city with an endless amount of sights to see, an amalgamation of cultures and traditions. The places mentioned in this list will help you come across each and every one of them.

This post was published by Muhammed Salih

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Where to go in bangkok — 12+ top, must-see & best places to visit in bangkok.

must visit place in bangkok

Bangkok is a tourist paradise and the capital of Thailand – The Land of Golden Temples. It is an attractive destination for many travel enthusiasts. Famous for its charming tropical natural scenery, the country is home to many temples, ancient pagodas, colorful markets, and entertainment areas. Not only exotic tourist attractions, we must also mention the delicious dishes that attract a lot of visitors. So, where should I visit in Bangkok and where to go in Bangkok? Let’s check out our suggested 12+ top places to visit in Bangkok and best places to visit in Bangkok which including famous places to visit in Bangkok, must go places in Bangkok, must visit places in Bangkok, best places to see in Bangkok, cool and beautiful places to visit in Bangkok as follows!

  • Top 15 fun things to do in Bangkok for first timers
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  • Bangkok travel blog — The fullest Bangkok travel guide & suggested Bangkok 3 days itinerary for first-timers
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wata run temple of dawn bangkok

If you are planning to explore the beautiful capital of Thailand and hoping to fully experience the most interesting and beautiful things of Bangkok, note down the following Bangkok tourist destinations. Let’s start our journey to explore this charming land!

Maeklong Railway Market in Thailand

Famous temples in Bangkok (#best places to visit in bangkok)

1 day in bangkok, 24 hours in bangkok, bangkok one day itinerary

Talking about Thailand – the land of the Golden Pagodas, every visitor obviously has the first impression of unique pagodas here. If you wonder where to visit in Bangkok, the first response will be the temples and pagodas.

In Bangkok, there are hundreds of temples and pagodas famous for their unique design and spirituality. Traveling to Bangkok, you can’t miss these five remarkable temples, which anyone coming to Thailand would love to visit once to admire their uniqueness.

must visit place in bangkok

Wat Pho, also known as Temple of the Reclining Buddha: With a history of over 200 years, this is one of the oldest pagodas in Thailand. In addition to its unique architecture, Wat Pho is famous for the giant reclining Buddha statue and thousands of other Buddha figures.

Wat Pho, Bangkok, Thailand

Wat Phra Kaew, also known as Temple of the Emerald Buddha: The pagoda is located on the premises of the Royal Palace. As the most revered sacred place, Wat Phra Kaew has great significance to the Thai people because it houses the emerald Buddha statue of more than a mile long.

Wat Phra Kaew in Grand Palace. One of the top places to visit in Bangkok, Thailand

Wat Arun, also known as Temple of Dawn: As the most beautiful temple in Thailand with a fancy design, it is more than 70 meters high, constructed by the distinct beauty of small pieces of glass and ceramics decorated around the pagoda spire.

must visit place in bangkok

Temple of the Golden Buddha or Wat Traimit: A sacred pagoda famous for the solid golden Buddha statue located right in the temple hall.

wat-traimit-temple-best bustling place in Chinatown - Bangkok

Wat Saket, also called the Golden Mount Temple: Visitors will have to climb 318 steps to conquer the top of Golden Mount where Wat Saket welcomes many travelers coming to visit and offer prayers.

temple-wat-saket

Royal Palace of Bangkok

Bangkok Royal Palace

This is a Bangkok tourist destination that you must include in your checklist to come and admire the royal palace structures. This palace consists of many different architectural works, a combination of Chinese, French, Italian, and ancient Thai architecture. Here, you will be overwhelmed by the exotic features and the majestic scale of the palace. Not only is it an attraction to visit, but it is also a venue where important royal parties and ceremonies are often held.

bangkok grand palace 3

Chinatown Bangkok (#must visit places in bangkok)

Yaowarat Road at night-best bustling place in Chinatown - Bangkok2

Chinatown is a very spacious and bustling neighborhood. Coming here, you will be lost in a Chinese neighborhood in the heart of Thailand. In addition to sightseeing and learning more about the unique culture, visitors also have the opportunity to shop for a variety of goods, including electronics, souvenirs, garments, antiques, musical instruments, and more.

yaowarat street food chinatown bangkok street food

Khao San Road (#best places to see in bangkok)

Khaosan - western street-bangkok-thailand2

Coming to Khao San, you will be immersed in the vibrant and bustling atmosphere, surrounded by many bars with a huge number of foreign visitors (Khao San Road has similarities with Tay Ta Street in Hanoi, Vietnam).

Bangkok-Thailand-Khaosan-Road-Thai-Massage

Visiting it in the evening, especially during the period from 9 pm to 2 or 3 am, you will enjoy the loud and fun vibes fluttering with Western music. In addition, this is also a tourist destination in Bangkok for you to experience impressive Thai street food.

must visit place in bangkok

Chao Phraya River (#beautiful places to visit in bangkok)

Chao Phraya Princess River Cruise

Enjoy a poetic sightseeing tour on a colorful boat gliding smoothly on the Chao Phraya River. You will find a peaceful getaway in the bustling city of Bangkok to breathe in the fresh air.

dining on a cruise chao phraya river

This will be a memorable experience for the trip. Sitting on the boat and taking in the beautiful scenery of small wooden houses erected on the water, you can observe and get the feel of daily life in Bangkok and learn more about the history, culture, and architecture here.

must visit place in bangkok

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market in Bangkok

damnoen floating market (1)

One of the most impressive and favorite places to check-in in Bangkok is Damnoen Saduak Floating Market located on the interlocking canal system of the capital. It is a market on the river with a long history of establishment, providing a variety of goods.

Damnoen Saduak floating market

Here, you can enjoy shopping and discover special delicacies right on the small boat. Don’t forget to take quality photos on the colorful boats.

Maeklong Railway Market (#famous places to visit in bangkok)

Maeklong Railway Market in Thailand

This is a trendy spot that you shouldn’t miss on your trip. Maeklong Railway is a rather one-of-a-kind market operating on the train tracks located at the end of the Maeklong railway line. When the train arrives, you will witness the hustle and bustle activities of “clearing the market” to make way for the train to pass.

Maeklong Railway Market in Thailand

With a speed of only 30 km/h, this is the slowest railway in the world. You will have wonderful poses standing in the middle of the market when the train is approaching. Although the train is very slow, you need to be very careful of multiple dangers.

must visit place in bangkok

Talad Rod Fai Night Market

must visit place in bangkok

The night begins to fall when Talad Rod Fai Night Market lights up with colorful stalls. Here, you will enjoy shopping for a variety of items and blending into the bustling atmosphere.

must visit place in bangkok

And the highlight of Bangkok’s tourist destination is the tasty street food, such as stir-fried noodles, affordable cocktails, barbecue, and beer.

must visit place in bangkok

Siam Center Shopping Mall

must visit place in bangkok

The next Bangkok tourist destination we would like to introduce to you is the Siam Center Shopping Mall, the largest commercial center in Thailand. Here, there are a collection of luxury brands such as Versace, Chanel, Prada, Hermes, and so on.

must visit place in bangkok

In addition to sightseeing and shopping, don’t miss the delicious and traditional dishes on the ground floor.

Safari World Bangkok

Safari World Bangkok-bangkok-thailand1

An incredibly large wildlife park will be the next check-in place in Bangkok that you should experience. It operates as a safari. Visitors will be seated in fenced cars, moving and exploring the wild animals living in the open space outside.

Safari World Bangkok-bangkok-thailand4

With more than 75 species of mammals and 300 species of birds, you will discover a lively animal world, participate in activities like feeding animals, watch them perform music, and see their daily life routines.

must visit place in bangkok

Dream World

dream-world-bangkok2

Often referred to as Disneyland in Thailand, Dream World is a popular amusement park not only for domestic visitors but also receives a lot of attention from foreign travelers.

dream-world-bangkok

This is an ideal place to visit in Bangkok for your family to have some fun together. With modern settings and advanced facilities, you can take your time to enjoy the exciting activities and participate in thrilling games here.

must visit place in bangkok

The Bangkok Art and Culture Center (BACC)

must visit place in bangkok

An attraction for those who are passionate about arts and want to have some impressive photos. With a nine-story structure in a fancy tube shape, you will have a lot of beautiful pictures of this place.

must visit place in bangkok

Taking up a super large area with minimalistic but impressive designs and decor, this is a destination that combines both virtualist characters and reality.

must visit place in bangkok

With the unique and wondrous Bangkok tourist destinations listed above, we hope to help you get more interesting suggestions in your journey to discover the beautiful capital of Bangkok. Don’t forget to look for Bangkok flight and hotel deals at extremely good prices online for your trip.

Pick up your backpack and start exploring the land of the Golden Pagodas with many interesting things. Continue to follow us for more updates on the latest travel information and support on your journey to explore new places and lands.

must visit place in bangkok

Some best day tours, trips, activities and transfer services, tickets in, to and from Bangkok you can refer to

  • Bangkok City & Temples Tour by Tour East
  • Classic Bangkok Tour: Floating Market, Elephant Village, Asiatique, & More by AK Travel
  • Bangkok Old City Half Day Tour
  • Bangkok Landmarks Day Tour: Grand Palace, Wat Pho, Chao Phraya River & More
  • Bangkok Sky Train (BTS) One Day Pass
  • Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport Rail Link (ARL) Ticket
  • [Sale] Private Suvarnabhumi Airport Transfers (BKK) for Bangkok, Pattaya & More by Oriental Holiday
  • Shared City Transfers between Bangkok and Pattaya by Oriental Holiday
  • Private City Transfers from Pattaya to Bangkok, Hua Hin, Koh Samet & Koh Chang
  • [SALE] BTS Skytrain Rabbit Card
  • Chao Phraya Tourist Boat Bangkok Hop-On-Hop-Off Sightseeing Boat
  • [SALE] Chao Phraya Princess Cruise
  • Floating Markets Day Tour: Damnoen Saduak, Maeklong and Amphawa
  • Safari World Bangkok Ticket
  • Klook Pass Bangkok and Pattaya
  • Bangkok Safari World Shared and Private Transfers Service Tour
  • Bangkok BTS Skytrain Rabbit Card
  • Mahanakhon SkyWalk Ticket in Bangkok
  • Chao Phraya White Orchid Cruise in Bangkok
  • Ancient City Bangkok and Erawan Museum Ticket
  • Spa & Massage near Let’s Relax (Central World) in Chidlom
  • Private City Transfers between Bangkok and Pattaya, Ayutthaya, Hua Hin & More by TTD
  • Bangkok Day Tour: Wat Pho, Wat Arun, Grand Palace and Emerald Buddha
  • [SALE] 4G Sim Card (Thailand Pick Up) for Thailand
  • 4G SIM Card (BKK Airport Pick Up) for Thailand (Unlimited Data)
  • 4G Pocket WiFi (Bangkok and Phuket Airports Pick Up) for Thailand
  • 4G Portable WiFi for Thailand from Uroaming (Unlimited Data)

Are you looking for more Bangkok travel guide and top things to do in Bangkok: Tours, activities, attractions and other things? Read more: Bangkok travel blog — The fullest Bangkok travel guide blog for a budget trip to Bangkok (BKK).

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9 things you should know before visiting Bangkok

Austin Bush

Apr 25, 2024 • 6 min read

A woman taking a picture of Wat Pho in Bangkok

Make the most of your time in bustling Bangkok with our 9 insider tips © Witthaya Prasongsin / Getty Images © © Witthaya Prasongsin / Getty Images

I moved to Bangkok in 1999, a time when most visitors to Thailand reluctantly did a night in this megacity before beelining to an island or the north. Synonymous with traffic jams, pollution and urban sprawl, the Thai capital was largely seen as an unwanted but obligatory stopover.

Decades later, things have changed and Bangkok is now the destination of choice for many visitors – with good reason. Easier to get around and cleaner than ever, with a vibrant eating and drinking scene that caters to just about every budget and an enviable spread of intriguing sights and fantastic-value shopping, the city has more to offer than ever before.

Yet like any big city, Bangkok has its quirks and surprises. Here's what you need to know before you go.

Find out what you should know in advance about Thailand , including important cultural, religious and legal issues, etiquette and health.

Bangkok is easier to get around than ever

Bangkok used to be synonymous with traffic jams and air pollution. The jams still happen, but the good news is that the city’s public transportation system has grown immensely. The various above and underground rail networks currently unite 10 different lines – with more in the works – and 192 stations, including trains linking both of Bangkok’s international airports and the city center.

On top of this, taxis remain ubiquitous and cheap – though subject to the issues that make the city’s traffic so infamous – while quirky public transportation systems such as the city’s river and canal taxis provide a slow but steady (and scenic) way to get around.

Crime happens but it's rare

Thailand has a low crime rate and is generally considered a safe country. Bangkok suffers from the same type of violent crimes as any big city, but anecdotally, is considered a safe place. Apart from occasional bag snatching and theft, the most dangerous thing in the city is its traffic (Thailand’s roads are some of the deadliest of any country). Solo women travelers and locals I’ve spoken to also report feeling safe in the city.

A particular Bangkok annoyance is scams directed at tourists. These typically involve taxi drivers who refuse to use their meters, or tuk-tuk drivers and/or well-dressed, English-speaking men who appear out of nowhere offering free tours that inevitably lead to dodgy gem shops or tailors. The good news is that most of these situations are easy to spot and relatively low-pressure; if something seems off, simply walk away.

It’s also worth noting that Bangkok’s police don’t have a great reputation. Steer clear of them unless you really need help.

Close up shot of young Asian woman having freshly made authentic Thai food in a Thai restaurant

Street food isn’t the only good food

Western chefs and food media have been raving about Bangkok’s street food for more than a decade. And it’s a fun, often delicious way to eat. But if you relegated yourself to street food alone, you’d miss the entire scope of Bangkok’s cuisine.

Supplement those streetside noodles with meals at the charming, decades-old restaurants in the old town – these are the places that get the most praise in the Thai-language media. In Bangkok’s newer districts, such as along Thanon Sukhumvit, consider a Japanese meal – the city is home to one of the largest populations of Japanese people outside of Japan.

If your budget allows, consider a splurge restaurant. While the rest of the world was obsessing over its street food, Bangkok's dining scene went in the opposite direction and today is home to several modern, cutting-edge upscale restaurants.

Sometimes it's too hot to handle

Bangkok is one of the hottest capital cities in the world, with an average mean temperature of 29°C (84°F). This heat is compounded by intense humidity and the urban environment, which reflects and retains heat, meaning the city often feels much, much ( much ) hotter. April is Bangkok's hottest month, with an average daily max temperature of 35°C (96 ° F) and during the “winter” in December and January, temperatures rarely dip below 20°C (68°F).

All of this means you shouldn't try to cover too much ground on foot – an already difficult task given the city’s lack of pedestrian infrastructure. If you do walk, learn the technique of regularly ducking into air-conditioned malls, hotel lobbies and 7-Elevens to cool off.

Likewise, pack light clothing, but remember – Thais are conservative when it concerns showing skin in public and Bangkok is not the beach.

Bangkok is a queer-friendly city

LGBTIQ+ people are made to feel welcome in Bangkok, which is generally considered Asia’s most queer-friendly city. The epicenter of the gay scene is Thanon Silom, especially in and around Soi 4, which is ostensibly Asia’s biggest queer nightlife area.

Thankfully, it looks like this queer-friendly vibe will extend to legislation. In 2023, the Thai parliament passed draft bills on same-sex marriage, which are expected to become laws, making Thailand the first country in Southeast Asia to allow same-sex marriage.

Keep in mind that public displays of affection between people of any gender are frowned upon in Thailand.

Man wearing a backpack looking at a map on a busy street in Bangkok

There are better budget options than Khao San Road

If you want to be based in the world’s most famous backpacker strip – and all that that entails – book a bed or room on Thanon Khao San, generally known as Khao San Road. It’s lively and fun, and provides easy access to the city’s old town.

But having moved slightly upscale in recent decades, Khao San Road no longer represents the best value area to stay in Bangkok. And with loud bars and a boozy vibe, it’s definitely not the most peaceful place to stay.

If you want to have access to the backpacker amenities but don’t want the noise and hassle, consider staying in the streets nearby, such as Thanon Rambutri or Thanon Phra Athit.

Monsoon season brings sudden surprises

During the annual monsoon, from approximately May to October, Bangkok’s streets occasionally turn into rivers. During this time of year, don’t be surprised if you have to camp out on an elevated street corner or in a 7-Eleven until the waters recede.

Malls are part of city life

While shopping malls are a dying breed in much of the west, they’re thriving in Bangkok. The city is home to some of the most over-the-top shopping centers in the world, which in contemporary Bangkok, have a dual function as (conveniently air-conditioned) social centers. Thais gather at the city’s more than 500 shopping centers to chat, eat, take selfies and occasionally make purchases, and so should you.

Tourists spray water guns out of a tuk tuk on Khaosan Road during the Songkran festival

Bangkok essentially shuts down during the Thai New Year

Every year around April, Bangkok grinds to a halt during Thai New Year, known as Songkran or the water festival. The tradition has its origins in the cleansing role of water, but these days it essentially means that Bangkok becomes ground zero to a multi-day, raucous water battle.

Whether you're into it or not, you’ll be splashed with water and/or smeared with baby powder. Don’t even attempt stepping outside your door with your Sunday best on and don’t expect your favorite restaurant, or that museum or monument to be open (shopping centers, inevitably, will be operating). Discover more about Bangkok's festivals and seasonal attractions in our guide to the best time to visit the city .

Weed isn’t exactly legal in Bangkok

In June 2022, marijuana and hemp were removed from the Category 5 narcotics list in Thailand. However, there are still many restrictions and smoking marijuana in public is not legal and is not recommended.

Yes, there's a sex industry, but it's easy to avoid

“One Night in Bangkok” is indeed a reality. But if you steer clear of the main red-light zones at night – namely Thanon Patpong, Soi Nana and Soi Cowboy – it's likely you won’t even witness this side of the city.

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Nomadic Matt: Travel Cheaper, Longer, Better

Southeast Asia Travel Guide

Last Updated: November 27, 2023

A lone person standing on lush, green rice terraces in Southeast Asia on a bright sunny day

Backpackers have been traveling through Southeast Asia since the late 1960s and early 1970s, leaving a well-worn trail around the region.

Starting in beautiful Thailand, the trail makes its way to up-and-coming Laos, through Vietnam, and to the temples of Angkor Wat. It then winds back into Thailand, where people head south to party in the Thai islands before moving down to Malaysia and Singapore.

There are a few variations to the trail, but this is what it mostly covers.

I’ve been visiting this region since 2004 and spent years living in Thailand . I love backpacking Southeast Asia and have written extensively about it as I know it like the back of my hand.

It’s an especially great region for new travelers because it’s easy to travel around, it’s safe, and there are lots of other travelers you can meet. But it’s also perfect for veteran travelers too as there are tons of off-the-beaten-path destinations that the standard backpacker trail doesn’t cover.

In short, Southeast Asia has something for every traveler — and every budget.

This Southeast Asia travel guide will help you travel the region like a pro, ensuring you save money and make the most of your time in this fun, gorgeous, and lively corner of the world.

Table of Contents

  • Things to See and Do
  • Typical Costs
  • Suggested Budget
  • Money-Saving Tips
  • Where to Stay
  • How to Get Around
  • How to Stay Safe
  • Best Places to Book Your Trip
  • Related Blogs on Southeast Asia

Click Here for Country Guides

Top 5 things to see and do in southeast asia.

A lone person standing on lush, green rice terraces in Southeast Asia on a bright sunny day

1. Admire Angkor Wat

One of the greatest human creations in history, the Angkor Wat temple complex is best explored over the course of a few days. The area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site created by the Khmer Empire and absolutely enormous. Temples to visit include Angkor Wat, Bayon Temple which has 216 gigantic stone face carvings, and Ta Prohm. I spent three days here and that simply wasn’t enough. A one-day pass is $37 USD, while a 1-week pass is $72 USD. If you’re here for multiple days, be sure to hire a driver and see some of the more out of the way ruins away from the main temple complex (and the crowds).

2. Explore Bangkok

Bangkok is the hub of travel activity in Southeast Asia. You can get anywhere you want from here. Though I hated it at first, the more I’ve spent time here the more I love it. Bangkok is like an onion whose many layers need to be peeled back. Some things not to miss include the spectacular Bangkok Grand Palace, Wat Pho, Chatuchak Market and Asiatique, and a canal trip on the Chao Phraya River. This is a city for foodies and wild nightlife.

3. Relax on some tropical islands

No visit to Southeast Asia would be complete without a visit to at least one of the thousands of tropical islands in the region. My top five include the Perhentian Islands (Malaysia), Rabbit Island (Cambodia), Ko Lanta (Thailand), and Boracay (Philippines). Lombok Island (Indonesia) has a chill vibe with unspoiled, perfect “desert island” beaches. There’s so many islands to visit. Be sure to add at least one to your trip. The country guides will have more information for you.

4. See Ha Long Bay

Sailing trips to this island-filled bay with stunning emerald waters, limestone formations, and marine life give you an appreciation for the natural beauty in Vietnam. Tours from Hanoi start at around $110 USD for two-day trips and increase from there. I love the colorful grottoes, hanging stalactites, and stalagmites of Surprise Cave (Sung Sot), Fairy Cave (Tien Ong), and Heaven Palace (Thien Cung). Make sure you go with a reputable company though as some of the cheaper boats are less than ideal. If you’d rather just visit for one day, day trips from Hanoi cost $55 USD.

5. Wander Kuala Lumpur

Other things to see and do in southeast asia, 1. go jungle trekking.

This region of the world is covered in amazing jungles with diverse wildlife, plentiful camping opportunities, and cool waterfalls. The best jungle treks are found in northern Thailand, Western Laos, and Malaysian Borneo (the latter are also the hardest and most intense). Some of my favorites include Danum Valley (Borneo) for its incredible wildlife; Ratanakiri (Cambodia) for its pristine wilderness and thousand-year-old trees; and Pu Luong Nature Reserve (Vietnam). Costs vary but jungle trekking generally costs $30-50 USD per day.

2. Attend the Full Moon Party

The biggest one-night party in the world welcomes up to 30,000 people with a party that stretches until dawn. Cover yourself in glow paint, grab a bucket of booze, and dance the night away with new friends on the island of Ko Phangan in Thailand. As the name would suggest, the party is on the night of the full moon. If you miss it, there’s always the half-moon party, quarter-moon party, and black-moon party. Really, every night is a party on Ko Phangan . Just avoid the flaming jump rope that occurs — I’ve seen people get burned badly!

3. Learn to dive

There are many great dive sites around the region for those interested in underwater exploration. You can learn to dive here at a fraction of what it would cost back home too. Some of the best places are Ko Tao (Thailand), Sipadan (Malaysia), as well as Gili Islands (Indonesia) and Coron, Palawan (The Philippines). A typical diving course is completed in three days. A PADI course typically runs $275 USD in Thailand, including three nights’ accommodation, though at smaller schools you can often negotiate down to $250 USD. Day trips for certified divers start at $165 USD. For information on Ko Tao, check out this blog post .

4. Eat street food in Singapore

Singapore is a foodie’s heaven. Try the hawker stalls of Singapore as well as Little India and Chinatown for some of the best and cheapest food in Asia. If you’re looking for a nice place to sit down and eat, eat at Singapore’s famed restaurants during lunch when restaurants offer discounts, making them a great deal. You’ll also find the most affordable Michelin-starred restaurants here (Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice and Hawker Chan), offering world-class meals for just a couple of bucks!

5. Overload on temples

You can’t turn a corner without seeing a Buddhist temple in this part of the world. You’ll get temple overload at some point but visit as many as you can as each is unique to the country and region of the temple. There are so many places with high concentrations of ornate and beautiful temples. Check out Chiang Mai’s Wat Doi Suthep Temple and hike up the 300 steps to the golden Chedi that’s 600 years old!; Bagan’s Shwesandaw Pagoda from the 11th century with its stunning golden dome; Angkor Wat’s Ta Prohm is covered in iconic vines and enveloped in ancient jungle roots; Hue’s colorful Thien Mu Pagoda is perched atop a lush green embankment; Hoi An’s Quan Cong Temple with incredible Chinese architecture with hand-carved beauty and skill, and Luang Prabang’s Vat Xieng Thong with its golden, canopied roof. Most are free to enter, however, dress codes are enforced (you need to have your shoulders and legs covered).

6. Dive Sipadan

Located off Malaysian Borneo, Sipadan is one of the best dive sites in the world. If you have your dive certificate, make sure you venture out here. I absolutely love this area because it’s teeming with live turtles, diverse cave systems, sharks, dolphins, colorful coral, bright fish, and everything in between. Not a lot of people make it to this part of Malaysia, but it’s worth it to go the extra mile and make your way off the tourist trail a bit. Don’t miss Barracuda Point and The Drop-Off. Keep in mind that only 176 permits to dive at the island are issued each day, costing 140 MYR per person. The resorts on the neighboring islands each get a specific number of permits per day and require divers to stay with them for a few days. So you’ll need to stay at those resorts and dive into the surrounding areas before they can get you a Sipadan permit.

7. Fall in love with Bali

Bali is the most popular destination in Indonesia, and its famous Kuta beach is known for its wild parties and surfing ( though I think it’s overrated ). However, there is much more to Bali than just wild nights and sun-soaked days. If you’re a thrill seeker, hike up to the top of Mount Batur, an active volcano, for a breathtaking sunrise. Paragliding and white water rafting are also super popular here, as is surfing (it’s an affordable place to learn if you’ve never done it). There are also lots of hot springs to enjoy, the Ubud Monkey Forest (a popular temple and nature reserve home to hundreds of monkeys), and numerous places to scuba dive, including the Liberty wreck and Manta Point.

8. Take in Ho Chi Minh City

Frantic, chaotic, and crazy, Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam is the embodiment of the controlled chaos that rules Southeast Asia. You can’t quite figure out how this teeming mass of people and cars work together, but it does. Highlights here include touring the tunnels used by the Viet Cong in the 1960s, taking in the view from the Saigon Skydeck, eating your way through the street food scene, and seeing the city’s numerous temples.

9. Admire the sunrise over an Indonesian Volcano

One of the most popular tourist attractions on Java is Mount Bromo and its National Park. Don’t miss out on getting a photo of the smoldering Bromo volcano as it lies surrounded by the almost lunar landscape of the Sea of Sand. Get up early to catch one of the most memorable sunrises of your life. If you’re there in mid-August, you’ll be just in time to see Upacara Kasada, the traditional Hindu ritual of the Tenggerese, a Javanese tribe of the region.

10. Hike in Khao Sok National Park

Located in southern Thailand, Khao Sok National Park is constantly rated as one of the best parks in Thailand, with incredible trekking, camping, limestone karsts, cooling rivers, and a glistening lake. Visit for semi-challenging hikes, tons of wildlife, walking paths, and breathtaking sunsets. Park entrance costs around $6 USD while full-day guided tours are $95 USD. I highly recommend spending at least one night here to get the full experience.

11. Visit Kampot

Most people come to Kampot to enjoy the scenic riverside views, as well as the rolling hills that surround the city. Since you can explore easily enough on foot or by bicycle, Kampot is a great place to slow down and relax. There’s not much to do here but have lazy days by the river, chill, and eat (don’t miss the famous Rusty Keyhole for BBQ!). Don’t miss the pepper farms, as this region of Cambodia is filled with pepper farms where you can learn about the history of the spice, see how it is grown, and pick up what is considered some of the finest pepper in the world. Tours are usually free.

12. Take a cooking class

Food from this region is as varied as the countries themselves and learning how to cook a few dishes is a great souvenir of your time here. Even if you don’t plan to cook back home, you can still spend a day making and eating scrumptious food. Most big cities have cooking schools offering classes of 2-6 hours, often including a trip to the local market beforehand to select ingredients. I absolutely love cooking classes and urge you to take one at least once. They are a fun experience!

13. Take a food tour

If you’d rather eat instead of cook, taking a food tour is a fun way to gain insight into the region’s amazing noodle dishes, fresh seafood, sweets, and street food while learning about the history and culture behind the cuisine. Most major cities in Southeast Asia offer food tours. These include tours around local markets, street stalls, and tours to locally-owned restaurants and cafes where you can sample the local cuisine and connect with a local chef. If you’re nervous about street food, this is a great way to try some in a controlled setting. Tours usually last 2-4 hours and include multiple stops and several different dishes, with prices costing $40-75 USD per person.

14. Visit an elephant sanctuary

While riding an elephant is on many a Southeast Asia bucket list, once you know how much the animals suffer from abuse in order to provide these rides, you might think twice about taking one. An even better way to interact with elephants is to volunteer at or visit the Elephant Nature Park near Chiang Mai in Thailand. It’s a phenomenal place, allowing you to give back to the community and these magnificent animals all at once. After coming here, you will understand why you should NEVER ride an elephant. A one-day visit costs $70 USD.

15. See The Killing Fields

A visit to Choeung Ek, also known as the Killing Fields, may not be the most cheerful way to spend an afternoon, but it makes for an educational and memorable experience. Over 3 million people were killed by Pol Pot’s regime, including countless women and children. I recommend getting a guide so you can really understand what you’re seeing as you explore the area. Also, this horrific tragedy took place less than 50 years ago and is still very present so please be respectful as a visitor.  The site is located 10 miles from Phnom Penh. Half-day guided tours start at $66 USD.

16. Swim with Whale Sharks in Donsol

If you’re in the Philippines, check out the Donsol Whale Shark Interactive Ecosystem Project because there are not many experiences quite as adrenaline-inducing as swimming with a whale shark for the first time in crystal waters. These incredible creatures are around 45 feet (14 meters) long and yet incredibly gentle and curious. I loved floating at the surface being able to look below and see them slowly swim below me. Get some people together and rent a boat for a half day, explore the area, and go ‘shark-seeing’ for a good cause.  

  For a ton more information, visit my country specific travel guides for more detailed information on each place:

  • Cambodia Travel Guide
  • Indonesia Travel Guide
  • Laos Travel Guide
  • Malaysia Travel Guide
  • Singapore Travel Guide
  • Thailand Travel Guide
  • Vietnam Travel Guide

Southeast Asia Travel Costs

A lone person standing on lush, green rice terraces in Southeast Asia on a bright sunny day

Accommodation – Accommodation in Southeast Asia is really cheap, making it the perfect place to travel if you are on a budget. Hostels are plentiful, as are budget guesthouses and hotels. It’s also very cheap to splash out here if you’re in need of some luxury.

Generally, you can find hostel dorm rooms for as little as $6-8 USD in Cambodia and $3-6 USD in Laos. In Thailand, 4-6-bed dorm rooms are $8-12 USD, while in Vietnam you can expect to pay $5-7 USD. In Indonesia, prices range between $5-10 USD for a 4-6-bed dorm room. Expect to pay at least $15-20 per night for a private room with air conditioning. Free Wi-Fi is standard in most hostels, free breakfast is common, and many hostels even have pools. In more remote areas, hot water isn’t common so make sure to check in advance if that’s an issue for you.

Simple guesthouses or bungalows throughout Southeast Asia generally cost $12-20 USD per night for a basic room with a fan (sometimes air conditioning) and hot water. If you want something nicer that includes a more comfortable bed and a TV, expect to pay $25-35 USD per night.

For backpackers, budgeting around $10 USD per night for accommodation is pretty safe no matter where you go in Southeast Asia. If you’re looking for a higher-end hotel room with more amenities, expect to pay $20-50 USD per night for a room. Anything over that is luxury territory.

Camping is available in certain areas, usually for just a few dollars per night for a basic tent plot without electricity. However, this is about the same price as hostels so it’s not really any cheaper.

Food – While each country’s cuisine varies, overall, Southeast Asian food is aromatic, spicy, and flavorful. Typical spices and herbs include garlic, basil, galangal, cilantro, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, chilies, and fish sauce. No matter what region you’re in, you can expect to find a variety of curries, salads, soups, noodle dishes, and stir-fries.

Rice and noodles are central to Southeast Asian food, while the meat is usually pork, chicken, fish, or seafood, which is everywhere on the islands and coastal areas.

While traveling Southeast Asia, street food is the most popular food and cheapest option. On average, these meals cost $1-5 USD. You find these stalls throughout this region lining most streets and every market. They are ubiquitous in the region. In Singapore, street food (from “hawker stands” as they’re known there) costs around $4-5 USD for a meal. Even if you go into small local restaurants, the price doesn’t increase that much.

Food that costs $2 USD at a street stall generally only costs $4-6 USD at a local restaurant. If you went into a restaurant in Thailand, you’d pay around $3-4 USD for a pad Thai that would have cost $1-2 USD on the street.

In Cambodia, street food is around $1-2 USD, while restaurants charge around $3-5 USD for a dish like amok (a coconut milk dish) or luc lac (pepper gravy beef).

Western meals, including burgers, pizza, and sandwiches usually cost around $7-10 USD. But these generally aren’t that great. If you want something that actually tastes as it does back home, expect to spend at least $10-12 USD for your meal.

While cheap, alcohol can take a bite out of your budget if you’re not careful. Those $1-2 USD beers add up! Wine and cocktails are more expensive, generally around $3-5 USD. A cappuccino is typically around $2 USD. Bottled water is plentiful and costs less than $1 USD.

There’s a growing cutting-edge foodie scene in the region and, if you want to splurge, you can do so on some really good meals. Big cities like Bangkok, KL, and Singapore, all have world-class Michelin star restaurants as well some incredible fusion restaurants.

Since dining out is so cheap in the region, there’s no point in grocery shopping unless you’re looking to get some pre-made salads or fruits. Additionally, a general lack of kitchens in most hostels and hotels makes it difficult to cook even if you wanted to. If you do purchase your own groceries, expect to spend around $25 USD per week for basic groceries like local produce, rice, and some meat (while avoiding expensive imported items like cheese and wine).

Backpacking Southeast Asia Suggested Budgets

On a backpacker budget of $45 USD per day, you can stay in hostel dorms, eat out at local markets and street stalls, limit your drinking, do mostly free activities, minimize paid activities, and use public transportation to get around. You’re not going to be able to splash out but you’ll be able to live the typical backpacker experience without really stressing over expenses.

On a mid-range budget of $85 USD per day, you can stay in budget hotels or private hostel rooms, eat more restaurant meals, do more paid activities like cooking classes, take some taxis, and enjoy a few more drinks. You won’t live large, but you won’t be missing out either.

On an upscale budget of $150 USD or more per day, you can stay in nicer hotels with more amenities, eat out as much as you want, do more paid tours including private tours, hire a driver, fly between destinations, and basically do whatever you want. The sky is the limit with this kind of budget!

You can use the chart below to get some idea of how much you need to budget daily, depending on your travel style. Keep in mind these are daily averages — some days you’ll spend more, some days you’ll spend less (you might spend less every day). We just want to give you a general idea of how to make your budget. Prices are in USD.

Southeast Asia Travel Guide: Money-Saving Tips

Backpacking Southeast Asia is cheap. There’s little opportunity to spend a lot of money since everything is already so inexpensive unless you intentionally are trying to splash out on fancy meals and high end hotels. The two reasons why most travelers end up overspending is that they eat a lot of Western food and drink way too much. If you want to save money while traveling in this part of the world, cut down on your drinking and skip the Western food. While country guides have more specific ways to save money, here are some general ways to save money in Southeast Asia:

  • Stay with a local – Accommodation is cheap in Southeast Asia but nothing’s cheaper than free! Use Couchsurfing to stay with locals who have extra beds and couches for free. You’ll also meet great people who can show you around and share their insider tips and advice.
  • Book tours and day trips as a group – You have more negotiation power when you’re with a group of people buying multiple spots or tickets. Traveling alone? Meet a friend at a hostel and see if they want to join the same tour as you. I’ve met some great friends over the years doing this and highly recommend it.
  • Don’t book in advance – Don’t book any tours or activities before you get to your destination. They’ll be much cheaper when you arrive as you’ll be able to negotiate a lower price as you’ll find companies are often offering the same tour and competing. Anything you see online is more expensive than you need to pay!
  • Eat on the street – The street food is the best food. The food is the best and cheapest you’ll find. It’s a great way to try new foods and get to chat with locals as well. This is where locals eat so if you want insight into local culture, good food, and savings, eat the street food. Look for where locals are eating to ensure that it’s safe to eat.
  • Bargain hard – Nothing is ever at face value here. Bargain with sellers as most of the time, the price they’ve quoted is way higher. There’s a haggling culture in the region so play the game and save some money. It’s important not to convert it in your head to your own currency because it will usually sound cheap even though you might still be getting ripped off. You’ll never get the local price, but you might come close!
  • Minimize your drinking – Drinks really add up. Even with cheap drinks, if you’re not aware, you’ll end up spending more money on beer than on food and accommodation. If you want to drink, head to the supermarkets, drink at the hostel, or check out the local happy hours.
  • Pack a water bottle – A water bottle with a purifier comes particularly in handy in Southeast Asia since you can’t usually drink the tap water. Save money and thousands of plastic bottles and get a bottle that can purify the tap water for you. My preferred bottle is LifeStraw as it has a built-in filter that ensures your water is always safe and clean.

Where to Stay in Southeast Asia

I’ve been traveling Southeast Asia since 2005 and have stayed in hundreds of places. Here are some of my favorite places to stay in Southeast Asia:

  • The Siem Reap Pub Hostel (Siem Reap)
  • Onederz Siem Reap (Siem Reap)
  • Mad Monkey Siem Reap (Siem Reap)
  • Onederz Sihanoukville (Sihanoukville)
  • Monkey Republic (Sihanoukville)
  • Onederz Phnom Penh (Phnom Penh)
  • Sla Boutique Hostel (Phnom Penh)
  • The Magic Sponge (Kampot)
  • Indigo House Hotel (Luang Prabang)
  • Sa Sa Lao (Luang Prabang)
  • Sanga Hostel (Pakse)
  • Nana Backpackers Hostel (Vang Vieng)
  • Dream Home Hostel (Vientiane)
  • Traveller Bunker Hostel (Cameron Highlands)
  • De’Native Guest House (Cameron Highlands)
  • Kitez Hotel & Bunks (Kuala Lumpur)
  • Sunshine Bedz Kuala Lumpur (Kuala Lumpur)
  • Ryokan Muntri Boutique Hostel (Penang)
  • Mad Monkey Hostel (Bangkok)
  • D&D Inn (Bangkok)
  • Kodchasri B&B (Chiang Mai)
  • The Royal Guest House (Chiang Mai)
  • Green Leaf (Khao Yai)
  • Lonely Beach Resort (Ko Chang)
  • The Sanctuary (Koh Phangan)
  • Na-Tub Hostel (Koh Phangan)
  • Pineapple Guesthouse (Phuket)
  • Dream Lodge
  • The Pod Capsule Hostel
  • The Scarlet
  • Under the Coconut Tree Guesthouse (Hoi An)
  • Fuse Beachside (Hoi An)
  • Pretty Backpackers House (Da Lat)
  • Hanoi Old Quarter Hostel (Hanoi)
  • Luxury Backpackers Hostel (Hanoi)
  • The Hideout (HCMC)
  • City Backpackers Hostel (HCMC)

How to Get Around Southeast Asia

A lone person standing on lush, green rice terraces in Southeast Asia on a bright sunny day

Public transportation – Public transportation costs from a few pennies to a few dollars, with Singapore and Malaysia offering the most comprehensive public transportation systems. In Thailand, local buses cost around $0.25 USD per trip, while the Metro and Skytrain in Bangkok cost $0.50-1.50 USD per trip. In Cambodia, a bus ticket in Phnom Penh costs just $0.40 USD per ride.

Major cities generally have subway systems but mostly you’ll be using the bus or shared taxis to get around.

Tuk-tuks (small, shared taxis with no meter) are available around much of the region and require a bit of haggling. They usually have 3-6 seats and generally cost more than public transportation but are faster. To find a reputable driver, ask your accommodation as they usually know someone. Tuk-tuk drivers can often be hired for the day for a discounted rate (this is what a lot of people do to visit the Killing Fields and Angkor Wat in Cambodia, for example).

Taxi – Taxis in the region are generally safe, though it’s not uncommon to have to haggle. Scams to rip you off aren’t uncommon either, so always ask your accommodation to call you a taxi whenever possible so you know you’ll get a reputable company.

In Singapore and Indonesia, taxi drivers do put on the meter. In Bangkok, you can get taxi drivers to use the meter, but if you’re hailing one in a tourist area, he might try to avoid using it. In Vietnam, the meter is sometimes rigged, but if you can get a reputable company like Mai Linh, you won’t have any problems.

Ridesharing – Grab, DiDi, and Gojek are Asia’s answer to Uber. They work the same way: you hire a driver to take you somewhere via the app, and you can pay via the app or in cash. It’s often more affordable than a regular taxi, though drivers are a bit unreliable as the practice is not as widespread here as in other parts of the world.

Just keep in mind that some drivers are driving motorcycles so be sure to double check what kind of vehicle is picking you up if you don’t want to ride on the back of one.

Bus – The easiest and cheapest way to travel around Southeast Asia is by bus. The backpacker trail is so worn that there is a very well-established tourist bus system to take you anywhere. Buses costs vary between $5-25 USD for a 5-6 hour journey. Overnight buses cost $20-35 USD depending on distance (they often have reclining seats so you can get a decent sleep).

You can check ticket prices and book tickets for all the different bus companies across Southeast Asia at 12go.asia.

Train – Train service is limited in the region and not something to really consider when you travel Southeast Asia. You can take a train up and down the coast of Vietnam and there’s some limited scenic rails in Malaysia. Thailand is the only country that has an extensive train system that lets you travel all its regions (and onward to Singapore) from Bangkok.

The train prices in Southeast Asia are determined by distance and class. Night trains with sleeper cars are more expensive than day trains. The night train to Chiang Mai from Bangkok takes twelve hours and costs $27 USD for a sleeper seat. However, that same train during the day is $8-9 USD. In Vietnam, trains run up and down the coast and cost $60 USD from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City.

Flying – The cost of flying around Southeast Asia has come down in recent years due to the rise of low-cost airlines. Scoot, Jetstar, and AirAsia are the biggest. Nok Air has a lot of flights within Thailand , and VietJet Air is popular in Vietnam . Lion Air serves Indonesia , but its safety record is really spotty and I personally would not fly them. If you book early, you can save on fares, as most of the airlines offer deeply discounted fare sales all the time, especially Air Asia.

Just make sure that the airport these budget airlines fly into isn’t too far out of your way (transportation from the secondary airport sometimes negates the savings from using the budget airline itself).

Also, keep in mind that you usually must pay to check your baggage on these cheap flights. If you wait to pay for your luggage at the gate, you end up paying almost double. Travel carry-on only to avoid this added cost.

All in all, I only recommend flying if you are pressed for time or find a super cheap deal. Otherwise, stick to the bus.

Hitchhiking – Hitchhiking in Southeast Asia is safe, though popularity of the practice varies by country (it’s more common in Malaysia, but not so much in Cambodia). Dress respectably, smile while making eye contact with drivers, and use a cardboard sign to tell people where you’re headed. Be prepared for long bouts of no pick-ups, especially if you’re traveling through more rural areas. Pack plenty of water and food. Also, make sure the people picking you up understand you’re hitchhiking and not flagging down a taxi.

Hitchwiki is a great resource for hitchhiking tips.

Car rental I don’t recommend renting a car in Southeast Asia. Rental cars are expensive ($40 USD per day or more) and the roads here are in poor shape. I would never drive around the region.

When to Go to Southeast Asia

The best time of year to visit Southeast Asia is from November to April when temperatures are milder (though temperatures vary drastically by region). It may be mild in Thailand in January and hot in Malaysia but in Northern Vietnam, it’s cold! Also, one of the biggest mistakes people make is not taking into account the rainy season. In some cases it won’t make a big difference but definitely does if it’s a beach trip.

In Indonesia, the best time to visit is April to October. Temperatures average 24-30ºC (75-86ºF), and the weather is mostly dry. July to September is the peak holiday season and when you can expect to pay the highest rates. December to February is the rainy season.

In Malaysia, January-March and June-September are the best time to visit, as these months have the lowest average rainfall. It is still hot and humid during this time though. The rainy season is from October to December. Singapore’s climate/weather is much like Malaysia’s.

In Vietnam, the weather varies by region. In Central Vietnam (including Hoi An and Nha Trang), January-May is the best time to visit because it is dry and the temperatures average 21-30°C (70-86°F). June to August is also a decent time to visit. If you want to stick around Hanoi, March to April is great, or October to December (for mildest temperatures). The rainy season is May-September.

Thailand has three seasons: hot, hotter, and hottest. It’s always warm, though the weather is nicest between November and February (which is also peak tourist season). Bangkok is “coolest” and driest during this time (but still averaging a hot 29°C/85°F each day). April and May are the hottest months, and the rainy season is June-October. The gulf islands get pretty rainy from August to December.

The dry season in Cambodia is from November-May and the cool season is from November-February (and when most people visit). Temperatures during this time are still high, but humidity is lower. Laos has the same cool season as Cambodia, with the dry season running from November-April.

In the Philippines, it’s mostly warm all year long with an average daily high of 26°C (80°F). There are rainy and dry seasons and temperatures are hot and dry from March-May and cooler December-February. The best time to visit is between January-April when it’s less humid. Monsoon Season is July-October.

For more information on when to go to places, visit the specific country guides.

How to Stay Safe in Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia is an incredibly safe place to backpack and travel — even if you’re traveling solo and even as a solo female traveler. Violent crime is super, duper rare. Petty theft (including bag snatching) is the most common type of crime in Southeast Asia, especially around popular tourist landmarks. Always keep your valuables out of reach on public transportation and in crowds just to be safe. Never leave your valuables unattended while at the beach and always keep a hold of your purse/bag when out and about as bag snatching is common.

That said, outside touristy areas, theft is really rare. Heck, it’s pretty rare in touristy areas too! But a little vigilance goes a long way and it’s better to be safe than sorry.

There are some common scams around that you’ll want to be aware of, such as the motorbike scam. This involves a bike rental company trying to charge you for damage to the bike that you didn’t cause. To avoid this, always take photos of your rental before you leave so you can protect yourself from baseless claims.

Another common scam involves a tuk-tuk driver taking you somewhere you didn’t want to go in hopes you’ll buy something from the shop/restaurant he dropped you off at (he gets a commission if you do). Simply refuse to buy anything and demand to go back to where you were — or find another driver.

For other common travel scams, read this post about major travel scams to avoid in the region .

Solo female travelers should feel safe here, though it’s generally a good idea to avoid walking around alone at night just to be safe. It’s always a good idea to carry some extra cash to get home in a taxi if you need to. Additionally, always keep an eye on your drink at the bar and never accept drinks from strangers. Be sensible when it comes to dating while traveling and meeting people in public places. As I’m not a woman, please check out some solo female travel blogs to get the best insight.

Overall, the people who get in trouble here tend to be involved with drugs or sex tourism. Avoid those two things and you should be fine. Keep in mind that it’s not always obvious how old someone is or if they’re a sex worker so be mindful when getting involved in romantic interactions. Also, penalties for drug use in this region are stiff so even if you’re here to party, skip the drugs.

Always trust your gut instinct. Make copies of your personal documents, including your passport and ID. Forward your itinerary along to loved ones so they’ll know where you are.

For more in-depth coverage of how to stay safe in Southeast Asia, check out this post that answers some frequently asked questions and concerns.

The most important piece of advice I can offer is to purchase good travel insurance. Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. You can use the widget below to find the policy right for you:

Southeast Asia Travel Guide: The Best Booking Resources

These are my favorite companies to use when I travel. They consistently have the best deals, offer world-class customer service and great value, and overall, are better than their competitors. They are the companies I use the most and are always the starting point in my search for travel deals.

  • Skyscanner – Skyscanner is my favorite flight search engine. They search small websites and budget airlines that larger search sites tend to miss. They are hands down the number one place to start.
  • Hostelworld – This is the best hostel accommodation site out there with the largest inventory, best search interface, and widest availability.
  • Agoda – Other than Hostelworld, Agoda is the best hotel accommodation site for Asia.
  • Booking.com – The best all around booking site that constantly provides the cheapest and lowest rates. They have the widest selection of budget accommodation. In all my tests, they’ve always had the cheapest rates out of all the booking websites.
  • Get Your Guide – Get Your Guide is a huge online marketplace for tours and excursions. They have tons of tour options available in cities all around the world, including everything from cooking classes, walking tours, street art lessons, and more!
  • SafetyWing – Safety Wing offers convenient and affordable plans tailored to digital nomads and long-term travelers. They have cheap monthly plans, great customer service, and an easy-to-use claims process that makes it perfect for those on the road.
  • LifeStraw – My go-to company for reusable water bottles with built-in filters so you can ensure your drinking water is always clean and safe.
  • Unbound Merino – They make lightweight, durable, easy-to-clean travel clothing.

Get the In-Depth Budget Guide to Thailand!

Get the In-Depth Budget Guide to Thailand!

My detailed 350+ page guidebook is made for budget travelers like you! It cuts out the fluff found in other guidebooks and gets straight to the practical information you need to travel around Thailand. You’ll find suggested itineraries, budgets, ways to save money, on and off-the-beaten-path things to see and do, non-touristy restaurants, markets, bars, safety tips, and much more! Click here to learn more and get your copy today.

Southeast Asia Travel Guide: Related Articles

Want more info? Check out all the articles I’ve written on Southeast Asia travel and continue planning your trip:

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Backpacking Cambodia: 3 Suggested Itineraries for Your Trip

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