The 22 Greatest Matters to See and Do in Bangkok

One of the many beautiful temples in Bangkok, Thailand
Posted: 8/17/20 | August 17th, 2020

Bangkok. It’s one among my favourite cities on the earth. It’s a vibrant, chaotic, worldwide, funhouse. A metropolis 600 sq. miles and with a inhabitants of over Eight million, you may spend months right here and also you’d nonetheless solely scratch the floor.

I’ve visited the town extra occasions than I can depend. I even lived there for a few years . I’ve watched the town change and develop in so some ways since I first landed right here in 2004.

Whereas there’s not a variety of conventional touristy matters to do within the metropolis (these fill a day or two), there’s a variety of meals and tradition primarily based actions right here that can provide you a way of what life is admittedly like in Bangkok past the vacationers.

That will help you, listed below are my high 22 matters to see and do in Bangkok:
 

1. Take a Free Strolling Tour

One of many first matters I do after I arrive in a brand new vacation spot is take a free strolling tour. You’ll get to see the primary sights, study a bit of historical past, and begin to get a way of the tradition. Better of all, you’ll have an skilled native information with you who can assist reply any questions you could have and provide you with ideas and proposals.

Bangkok Strolling Excursions has a number of completely different excursions obtainable daily that present a strong overview of the town. Simply you’ll want to tip your information!
 

2. See the Grand Palace

The stunning Grand Palace temple in Bangkok, Thailand
The Grand Palace was constructed over the course of three years between 1782-1785 by King Rama I when the capital moved from Thonburi to Bangkok. It’s the official residence of the king, although he doesn’t reside there anymore (it’s simply used for ceremonies).

The palace was initially constructed from wooden as provides have been quick. Finally, after raiding different sights within the area, they have been capable of finding the constructing supplies they wanted. Hidden behind excessive concrete partitions, the palace isn’t one giant constructing however somewhat a set of wats (temples), chedis (mound-like constructions containing Buddhist relics), carvings, statues, and the well-known 15th century Emerald Buddha.

Na Phra Lan Street, +66 2 623 5500, royalgrandpalace.th. Open every day from 8:30am-3:30pm. Admission is 500 THB. Make sure to put on garments that cowl your legs and shoulders. You’ll be able to lease pants or shirts on the palace for those who want them.
 

3. Go to Wat Pho and Wat Arun

Wat Pho, often called the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, is legendary for its huge golden reclining Buddha statue. In-built 1832, the statue is 15 meters tall and 46 meters lengthy. It’s one of the well-liked sights within the metropolis.

The temple is the dimensions of a metropolis block and there are tons of reliefs, statues, courtyards, temples, and spires to see. However there’s greater than only a photograph alternative right here. The distinguished Thai Conventional Medical and Therapeutic massage College can be situated on the grounds. When you find yourself carried out seeing the sights, get in line for a therapeutic massage (it’s thought of the perfect therapeutic massage college within the nation). Make sure to arrive early within the morning or late within the afternoon, in any other case you’ll have to attend not less than 45 minutes on your therapeutic massage.

Wat Arun (Temple of the Daybreak) is a beautiful Buddhist temple on the sting of the Chao Phraya River (it’s simply reverse the Grand Palace on the opposite aspect of the river). From the highest of the primary spire, you get sweeping views of the town. The intricately tiled facade displays the sunshine superbly throughout dawn and sundown. It’s my favourite temple within the metropolis.

Wat Pho: 2 Sanamchai Street, Grand Palace Subdistrict, +66 2 662 3553, watpho.com. Open every day from 8am–6:30pm. Admission is 100 THB. Massages price round 260 THB for 30 minutes.

Wat Arun: 158 Wang Doem Street, +66 2 891 218. Open every day from 8am–6pm. Admission is 50 THB. Make sure to gown appropriately for each temples.
 

4. Expertise Khao San Street

The busy street of Khao San Road in Bangkok, Thailand
That is the backpacker capital of the world. Khao San Street (together with Soi Rambuttri) has been the hub of backpackers in Asia for the reason that 80s. Whereas it’s a full-on vacationer lure now, with continuous bars, hawkers, and road stalls, it’s nonetheless a enjoyable place to spend a while — even for those who’re not staying within the space. Seize a drink, order some banana pancakes, and spend a while assembly different vacationers and watching the world go by.
 

5. Discover Chinatown

This is among the greatest Chinatowns on the earth. It’s house to some scrumptious eating places and road meals in addition to locations to buy. However the primary draw right here is the meals. There are tons of distributors promoting meals you’ve probably by no means see anyplace else within the metropolis.

When you’re a fan of seafood, you’ll want to spend a while wandering the slim streets and sampling every thing. When you’re undecided the place to eat, simply decide a stall that has numerous locals consuming there.
 

6. Take a River Cruise

Cruising along the Chao Phraya River in  Bangkok, Thailand
To see the town from a unique perspective, take a tour of the Chao Phraya River. The river stretches over 370km (229 miles) and river cruises provide a calming method to benefit from the view see the town in a brand new mild. That mentioned, keep away from taking an overpriced river cruise. As a substitute, simply trip a water taxi up and down the river for simply a few {dollars}. You can begin on the central pier, go to the top, and are available again. You’ll get monetary savings and nonetheless get an fulfilling tour of the river because it weaves all through the town.
 

7. Try the Floating Market

The busy floating market in Bangkok, Thailand
Whereas the floating markets are a bit of touristy, they’re tremendous enjoyable and might’t be missed. The 2 principal floating markets within the metropolis are Khlong Lat Mayom and Thaling Chan (the latter being the preferred). Locals will paddle their small boats across the water and you’ll simply store as they cross you by. It’s positively a novel expertise!

The markets are chaotic and fragrant and is usually a sensory overload. Arrive early (particularly at Thaling Chan) so you may beat the crowds and tour teams. There’s numerous low cost meals right here too so it’s good to come back hungry. I all the time wish to wander the market first to see what I wish to pattern after which go about consuming my manner round.
 

8. Go to the Museum of Siam

Opened in 2007, this museum highlights the origins of Thailand and its tradition. Housed in a 19th-century European-style constructing, the museum is absolutely interactive. There are galleries, motion pictures, and multimedia shows that cowl tradition, historical past, Buddhism, battle, and the making of recent Thailand. The museum does a superb job of retaining matters each enjoyable and academic.

Four Maha Rat Rd, +66 2 225 2777. Open Tuesday-Sunday from 10am-6pm. Admission is 300 THB.
 

9. Go to the Bangkok Malls

Malls in Bangkok are usually not like malls in most different nations. Because of the AC, they’re extra like social hubs the place locals can collect, eat, and hang around to flee the warmth. The foodcourts right here are literally scrumptious, there are espresso outlets for stress-free or working, and there are even film theatres and bowling alleys within the too. In brief, they’re enjoyable locations to hang around and to absorb among the less-conventional experiences of the town.

Among the greatest malls to go to are Terminal 21 (my favourite mall), MBK Middle (for electronics and knock-offs), Siam Paragon (upscale), and Pantip Plaza (electronics).
 

10. Tour Extra Temples

Temple in Bangkok
If you wish to go to extra temples, Bangkok has loads extra to supply. You’ll be able to rent a tuk-tuk driver to take you across the metropolis for a day to see all of them (or not less than the primary ones). A few of my favourite temples are:

  • Wat Saket – That is one among my favorites in metropolis due to its stunning golden temple and great views from its high. Admission is 10 THB.
  • Wat Benchamabophit – This temple is pictured on the again of the 5-baht coin and has 53 Buddha pictures within the courtyard representing completely different Buddhist mudras (ritual gestures). Admission is 20 THB.
  • Wat Ratchanatdaram – Constructed within the 1840s, this temple is among the few temples in your complete world with a bronze roof. Admission is free.
  • Wat Traimit – Situated in Chinatown, this temple is house to an enormous solid-gold Buddha statue (it weighs 6 tons!). Admission is 40 THB.
  • Wat Mahahat – This royal temple is house to Thailand’s oldest institute for Buddhist monks. It additionally hosts a weekly amulet market the place you should buy amulets that will help you with luck, love, cash, and extra. Admission is 50 THB.

 

11. Go to Jim Thompson’s Home

The historic Jim Thompson's house in  Bangkok, Thailand
Jim Thompson was an American spy through the Second World Struggle and silk service provider in Thailand through the ’50s and ’60s. He mysteriously vanished in 1967 whereas in Malaysia’s Cameron Highlands. Some say he was misplaced or killed whereas mountaineering whereas others say he disappeared himself (he was a spy, in any case).

When he returned to non-public trade after the battle, he nearly single-handedly revitalized Thailand’s sinking silk trade. Whereas residing in Bangkok, he lived in a standard Thai house. It was embellished with stunning teak wooden and surrounded by a good looking backyard. At this time, you may go to the home and find out about his life, the silk trade, and the way and why Thais design their properties the best way they do.

1 Khwaeng Wang Mai, +66 2 216 7368, jimthompsonhouse.com. Open every day from 9am-6pm. Admission is 200 THB.

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12. Store (and Eat) on the Chatuchak Weekend Market

This huge, sprawling market is the dimensions of some soccer fields and is among the largest open-air markets on the earth. There are over 15,000 stalls and cubicles right here and the market sees upwards of 400,000 guests every weekend.

It’s is the perfect place within the metropolis to purchase presents or souvenirs, discover knockoffs, barter, and eat scrumptious meals. There are maps across the market so you may navigate the varied sections although it all the time will get crowded and hectic so come ready.

Kamphaeng Phet 2 Rd, +66 2 272 4813. chatuchakmarket.org. Open Wednesday-Thursday from 7am-6pm, Fridays from 6pm-12am, and Saturday-Sunday from 9am-6pm.
 

13. Watch a Muay Thai Struggle

Muay Thai Fighting
Muay Thai (Thai boxing) is a martial artwork/fight sport involving putting and clinching. It’s one of the well-liked sports activities within the nation and is taken very significantly (very similar to soccer in Europe). Fighters prepare for years to grasp the artwork and you’ll catch bouts at Rajadamnern Stadium.

Matches sometimes final round 25 minutes except there’s a knockout and there are normally 7-9 fights per night time. There are many meals hawkers right here as nicely so you may seize a chew when you watch the violent spectacle.

1 Ratchadamnoen Nok Rd, +66 2 281 4205, rajadamnern-boxing-stadium.enterprise.website. Primary fights are on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays. Tickets vary from 1,000-2,000 THB.
 

14. Loosen up in Lumpini Park

The calms waters of the lake in Lumpini Park,  Bangkok, Thailand
Spanning over 140 acres, that is one among Bangkok’s largest parks. It’s house to bicycle lanes, jogging paths, picnic and chess tables, tai chi lessons, loads of timber, and rowboats for lease on its pair of small lakes. There’s so much to do right here, and in a metropolis that actually, actually, actually lacks inexperienced house, it’s a blessing to have. Seize a guide, pack a lunch, and are available and lounge within the shade and watch the afternoon go by. It’s a pleasant change of tempo from the hectic stream of the remainder of the town (it’s a no-smoking space too).

192 Wi-fi Rd, +66 2 252 7006. Open every day from 4:30am-9pm.
 

15. See the Nationwide Museum

Established in 1874, this museum focuses on Thai tradition, with highlights that embody a big assortment of musical devices, recorded music, ornate royal funeral chariots, and spectacular wood carvings. It homes the biggest assortment of native artwork and artifacts and has been present process renovations over the previous few years so it’s slowly turning into extra interactive and English-friendly (although some sections nonetheless don’t have English indicators). Nonetheless, it’s nonetheless extremely fascinating to see the artifacts and gadgets within the assortment. They provide English excursions on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 9:30am.

Na Phra That Alley, +66 2 224 1333, virtualmuseum.finearts.go.th/bangkoknationalmuseums. Open Wednesday-Sunday from 9:30am-4pm. Admission is 200 THB.
 

16. Take a Cooking Class 

A delicious meal of khao soi in Bangkok, Thailand
Thai delicacies is among the most scrumptious on the earth. If you wish to discover ways to make among the nation’s mouth-watering dishes, take a cooking class. You’ll find out about Thai delicacies and cooking and have the ability to take your new information and abilities house with you. Listed here are some firms value trying out that will help you get began:

 

17. Grasp Out at Soi Nana

There are two areas in Bangkok known as Soi Nana. One is a intercourse tourism hub and never the one it is best to go to. The Soi Nana I’m referring to is thought for its enjoyable, hip nightlife. Situated close to the prepare station in Chinatown, this road is crammed with bars and cocktail lounges making it an important place to have a number of drinks and get a really feel for the town’s wild nightlife.

A few of my favourite bars within the space are Pijiu (Chinese language beer bar), Teenagers of Thailand (first gin bar in Thailand), Ba Hao (four-floor Chinese language-inspired bar), El Chiringuito (Spanish tapas), 23 Bar & Gallery (bar in an artwork house).
 

18. Get pleasure from an Occasion on the Bangkok Artwork and Tradition Middle

The interior of the Bangkok Art and Culture Center in Bangkok, Thailand
When you’re a fan of reside music, artwork, and efficiency, you’ll want to go to the town’s Tradition Middle to see if something is occurring when you’re on the town. Opened in 2007, the BACC hosts artwork, music, theater, movie, design, and cultural occasions in its exhibition and efficiency areas. There’s additionally an artwork library, cafe, gallery, craft store, and guide retailer right here too.

939 Rama I Street, +66 2 214 6630-8, bacc.or.th. Open Tuesday-Sunday from 10am-9pm. Admission is free.
 

19. Wakeboard at Lake Taco 

If you wish to get out of the town and have some journey, head to the jap outskirts of Bangkok for some wakeboarding (using on a brief board whereas being pulled alongside a set route). The lake is simply 40 minutes away. It is a well-liked matter to do with expats and although I by no means did it (I’m not a lot of an adrenaline junkie) my pals all the time mentioned it was a enjoyable time. It prices round 500 THB however comes with every thing it is advisable have enjoyable and keep protected (board, helmet, life jacket).
 

20. Take a Day Journey to Ayutthaya

The famous and historic temples of Ayutthaya near Bangkok, Thailand
Ayutthaya (pronounced ah-you-tah-ya) was based round 1350 and was the second capital of Thailand (it was the capital earlier than shifting to Bangkok). Sadly, the town was destroyed in 1767 by a Burmese assault and there are solely ruins and some temples and palaces nonetheless left standing.

In 1991, it turned a UNESCO World Heritage website and is a well-liked day-trip vacation spot from Bangkok because it’s simply 90 minutes away. Whereas numerous firms provide excursions, I like to recommend you merely go by yourself by prepare (it’s less expensive that manner). A typical day tour of the realm will price you about 500 THB.
 

21. See a Ladyboy Present

This glitzy spectacle is Bangkok’s model of Moulin Rouge. It’s a energetic cabaret present with present tunes, dancing, Okay-pop, and elaborate costumes. It’s a glamorous, rambunctious night time out that’s assured to entertain. Calypso Cabaret, based in 1988, is the perfect place to see a present within the metropolis. Playhouse Cabaret and Golden Dome Cabaret are two different respected venues that host enjoyable performances as nicely.

Tickets from 900 THB per individual.
 

22. Take a Meals Tour

The delicious food from a Vanguard food tour in Bangkok, Thailand
Bangkok is all about meals. It’s a foodie metropolis. The sheer number of choices is staggering. You may have meals from everywhere in the world. To develop a deeper appreciation of Thai meals and study extra concerning the delicacies, contemplate a meals tour.

My favourite meals tour firm is Bangkok Vanguards. Their tour was put along with the assistance of my buddy Mark Wiens from Migrationology. Mark is the largest foodie I do know and he spent years crafting the right Bangkok foodie tour. It doesn’t disappoint!

***

Bangkok is a world-class metropolis that’s value spending the time to discover. Whereas I didn’t prefer it after I first visited, after spending extra time there I obtained to know and respect what the town has to supply. You must look beneath the floor right here to essentially get a way of the town. Do this and also you received’t be disillusioned.

 

Get the In-Depth Funds Information to Bangkok!

Nomadic Matt's Guide to BangkokMy detailed, 80-page guidebook is made for price range vacationers such as you! It cuts out the fluff present in different guidebooks and will get straight to the sensible info it is advisable journey and get monetary savings whereas in Bangkok, a metropolis I used to name house (so I do know it very well!). You’ll discover urged itineraries and budgets, methods to save cash, on- and off-the-beaten-path matters to see and do, non-touristy eating places, markets, and bars, and far more! Click on right here to study extra and get began!

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E book Your Journey to Bangkok: Logistical Ideas and Tips

Get Your Information
Try my detailed information to planning a go to to NYC with urged itineraries, locations to remain, matters to do, the place to eat, and the right way to get round. Simply click on right here to get the information and proceed planning immediately!

E book Your Flight
Discover a low cost flight by utilizing Skyscanner or Momondo. They’re my two favourite search engines like google as a result of they search web sites and airways across the globe so that you all the time know no stone is left unturned.

E book Your Lodging
You’ll be able to guide your hostel with Hostelworld. If you wish to keep elsewhere, use Reserving.com as they constantly return the most cost effective charges for guesthouses and low cost resorts. A few of my favourite locations to remain in Bangkok are:

When you’re in search of extra locations to remain, listed below are my favourite hostels in Bangkok.

And, for those who’re questioning what a part of city to remain in, right here’s my neighborhood breakdown of Bangkok!

Don’t Overlook Journey Insurance coverage
Journey insurance coverage will shield you in opposition to sickness, damage, theft, and cancellations. It’s complete safety in case something goes incorrect. I by no means go on a visit with out it as I’ve had to make use of it many occasions up to now. I’ve been utilizing World Nomads for ten years. My favourite firms that provide the perfect service and worth are:

On the lookout for the perfect firms to save cash with?
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Picture credit score: 7 – Twang_Dunga, 9 – J. Maughn, 11 – m-louis, 14 – Bangkok Vanguards

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