Are you ready to embark on an unforgettable adventure through the heart of Thailand? We’ve put together a list of the most fun and epic things to do in Bangkok.
Bangkok, the nation’s vibrant capital, has much more to offer than its infamous traffic congestion and busy street markets. Tucked away amid the hustle and bustle, you’ll find magnificent temples, serene parks, and culinary delights that can satiate even the most discerning palates.
So in this travel guide, we’ll share with you seven must-visit spots in Bangkok that will turn your journey into a treasure trove of unforgettable experiences. So, let’s pack those bags and get ready to dive into the soul-stirring magic that is Bangkok!
1. Chatuchak Weekend Market
For a truly immersive shopping experience in Bangkok, the Chatuchak Weekend Market is a must-visit. This sprawling market, boasting over 15,000 stalls across 27 sections, is a maze of delightful chaos. From quirky trinkets to unique fashion finds, Chatuchak, or JJ Market, holds a treasure trove waiting to be discovered.
Although navigation might be a bit challenging, the conveniently placed schematic maps and easy Skytrain access add to the market’s charm. Explore, haggle, and soak in the vibrant atmosphere of Thailand’s largest market!
How to get there
By BTS Skytrain: Take the Sukhumvit Line and get off at Mo Chit Station, and exit the station by exit number 1. From there, follow the crowd until you see rows of canvas stalls selling an assortment of goods. This is the outer edge of the Chatuchak market.
By MRT (Metropolitan Rapid Transit) Underground: If you’re taking the MRT, disembark at Chatuchak Park Station. Once you exit the station, follow the crowd, and you will see the market.
By Bus: Several buses go to Chatuchak Market, including the 3, 5, 8, 26, 27, 28, 29, 34, 38, 39, 44, 52, 59, 63, 74, 77, 96, 104, 122, 126, 145, 159, 166, 177, 504, 509, and 517.
By Taxi: If you prefer comfort over cost, taking a taxi directly to the market is also an option. However, due to Bangkok’s heavy traffic, this might not be the fastest option.
2. Wat Pho and Wat Arun
Immerse yourself in Bangkok’s spiritual heart with a visit to Wat Pho, the city’s largest and oldest Wat, home to Thailand’s largest reclining Buddha and a staggering collection of Buddha images. Just a short boat ride away across the river lies the iconic Wat Arun, the Temple of the Dawn. Its majestic silhouette gracing the skyline is a sight to behold, even from afar. While its close-up allure may pale in comparison, the serene grounds and intricate murals make it a tranquil retreat amid the city’s bustle. These two temples truly embody the soul of Bangkok.
How to get there
By Taxi or Tuk-Tuk: The most direct way to get to Wat Pho is by a taxi or a tuk-tuk. Just tell the driver “Wat Pho,” and they should know exactly where to go. If you’re using a taxi, make sure the driver uses the meter to avoid overcharging.
By Chao Phraya Express Boat: You can take the Chao Phraya Express Boat and get off at the Tha Tien pier. From there, Wat Pho is a short walk away. The express boat is a great way to avoid traffic while enjoying a scenic ride along the river.
By MRT Blue Line: If you’re near an MRT station, you can take the MRT Blue Line to Sanam Chai station. From there, it’s only a five-minute walk to Wat Pho.
Once you arrive, remember to dress appropriately as Wat Pho is a sacred site. Cover your shoulders and knees, and remember to remove your shoes before entering any of the temple buildings.
3. The Grand Palace
Discover the lavish heritage of Thailand at the Bangkok Grand Palace. This monumental complex, with landmarks like Wat Phra Kaew, Phra Mondop, and the Royal Pantheon, is an immersive journey into royal history. Although the Royal family no longer resides here, the palace’s splendor remains undiminished. Stroll leisurely through its hallowed grounds, and prepare to be awed by the exquisite beauty of these majestic structures.
How to get there
By Taxi or Tuk-Tuk: You can directly reach the Grand Palace by hiring a taxi or a tuk-tuk. Just make sure to ask the driver to use the meter in the taxi to avoid overcharging.
By Chao Phraya Express Boat: Another enjoyable way to reach the Grand Palace is by taking the Chao Phraya Express Boat. Get off at the Tha Chang pier. From there, it’s a short walk to the Grand Palace.
By MRT Blue Line: If you’re near an MRT station, take the MRT Blue Line to Sanam Chai station. From there, it’s a ten-minute walk to the Grand Palace.
Remember, the Grand Palace has a strict dress code as it is a sacred site. Visitors are required to cover their shoulders and knees. Shoes must be removed before entering the temple buildings.
4. Shopping at IconSiam and Central World
Experience retail therapy like never before at Bangkok’s shopping paradises, IconSiam and Central World. IconSiam, perched next to the Chao Phraya River, boasts an incredible array of over 7,000 shops and a unique floating market.
Meanwhile, Central World, one of Bangkok’s largest malls (9th in the world to be exact), offers a smorgasbord of fashion, tech, and lifestyle stores, even featuring an ice-skating rink. From boutique treasures to gourmet delights, these shopping meccas cater to every whim and fancy.
5. Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
Venture a short distance from Bangkok to experience the vibrant Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, arguably Thailand’s most famous. Buzzing with vendors selling an eclectic mix of goods and mouth-watering Thai food, this attraction offers a unique and colorful shopping experience. Though primarily a tourist hotspot, it retains an undeniable charm that makes it a must-visit. Whether you’re after delicious eats or unique souvenirs, this floating market promises a feast for the senses.
How to get there
By Tour or Private Transport: The most comfortable and convenient way is to book a tour from Bangkok or hire a private car or taxi. Most tours offer pick-up and drop-off services from hotels in the city center.
By Public Bus: If you’re adventurous and prefer to travel on a budget, you can take a public bus. The Southern Bus Terminal in Bangkok operates buses to Damnoen Saduak. Once you arrive at the Damnoen Saduak bus terminal, you can hire a songthaew (a shared taxi) to get to the market.
By Minivan: Minivans also depart from the Southern Bus Terminal, Victory Monument, and Mo Chit Station in Bangkok. They are faster than the public bus but can be a bit more expensive.
Remember, the market is usually busiest in the morning, so it’s best to start your journey early to make the most of your visit. Enjoy your trip to this unique floating market!
6. River Cruise Bangkok
Indulge in a captivating Bangkok Dinner Cruise on the mesmerizing Chao Phraya River. As you savor a delectable meal, glide past the city’s iconic landmarks bathed in vibrant lights – the majestic Temple of Dawn, the Rama VIII Bridge, the Grand Palace, and the dazzling ICONSIAM. With numerous cruise options available, this romantic and enchanting river journey promises a memorable Bangkok night.
7. Bangkok Food Tour
Embark on a culinary journey with Bangkok Taste Sensations, the city’s premier food tour since 2011. Savor dishes at local eateries loved by Bangkokians, and deepen your understanding of Thai cuisine under the guidance of food experts.
Meet the proud chefs and owners of multi-generational establishments, hearing their rich stories. With easy booking and cancellation processes, you can savor your gastronomic adventure without worrying about language barriers or haggling. Prepare to become a Thai food connoisseur!
5 Practical Tips for Your Trip to Bangkok
Are you to take a trip to Bangkok soon? Keep these practical tips in mind, and you should have the best time of your life.
Embrace Public Transportation
Navigating Bangkok’s notorious traffic can be a challenge. Rather than getting stuck in gridlock, consider using the city’s efficient public transportation. The BTS Skytrain and the MRT Subway can whisk you around the city quickly, avoiding the road congestion below.
Bargaining is a Must
In Bangkok’s bustling markets, bargaining is more than just a way to get a good deal—it’s part of the culture. Don’t be shy to negotiate the price, but remember to do so respectfully and with a smile.
With Bangkok’s tropical climate, the city can be quite hot and humid. Ensure you drink plenty of water throughout the day. Don’t forget to carry a reusable water bottle with you to stay eco-friendly. These should be one of your many travel essentials.
Respect Local Customs
As you explore Bangkok’s stunning temples, remember to dress appropriately. Shoulders and knees should be covered as a sign of respect. Also, remember to remove your shoes before entering a temple.
Street Food is a Must-Try
Bangkok is known for its tantalizing street food. Dare to try some local delicacies like pad Thai, mango sticky rice, or green curry. Eating where the locals eat is an excellent way to experience authentic Thai cuisine.
In the grand scope of things, our exploration of Bangkok only scratches the surface of what this breathtaking city has to offer. From awe-inspiring temples echoing with centuries-old tales to dynamic markets pulsating with life, we’ve journeyed through some of the city’s most captivating landmarks. Bangkok, however, isn’t just a place to visit – it’s a place to experience, taste, and feel.
These seven must-visit spots we’ve discussed today will guide your adventure, ensuring your trip becomes a cornucopia of cherished memories. So here’s to Bangkok, a city that welcomes you with open arms, promising an adventure as rich and diverse as its vibrant cultural tapestry. Safe travels, and remember, the journey is just as important as the destination!