Bangkok is an incredible city. I’ve been 6 times now and still finding new places to explore. One side of Bangkok you have the chaotic lifestyle, huge complexes and extravagant shopping centres. On the other, you have a relaxing atmosphere cruising down the Chaophraya river and sightseeing around Buddhist temples. Researching things to do in Bangkok can be time consuming especially trying to find things off the typical backpacker/tourist trail. Here’s a list of my 16 favourite things to do/ see in Bangkok:
Stunning temple complex located to the south of the Grand Palace. Visit Thailand’s largest reclining Buddha, numerous Buddha statues and incredible temples. At only 100bht to get in, it’s well worth a visit and you can arrive by boat along to Chaophraya River too!
The Grand Palace
A must-see in Bangkok, The Grand Palace is just as its name suggests. Situated near to Wat Pho, the Palace was the King’s home for 150 years. Today, the Palace is home to the emerald Buddha and is the most sacred place in Thailand. There’s a strict dress code to enter, so make sure you cover up and it costs 500bht to get in.
The Golden Mount
Wat Saket (Temple of the Golden Mount) is a well-known landmark in Bangkok. Built on a small hill, it’s home to a magnificent golden chedi. Walking approximately 350 steps to reach the top, the views you’re met with are stunning, looking out across the huge city of Bangkok!
Chatuchak weekend market
The biggest market in Bangkok, Chatuchak Market is situated in Chatuchak park, next to the Mo Chit BTS station. Spanning over 35 acres, the market is full of everything touristy you could want, from elephant pants to wooden frogs and plenty of counterfeit goods. There are loads of street food stalls to choose from and a few bars with cheap beer too! Definitely check it out if you’re in Bangkok for the weekend, just bare in mind it closes at 6pm.
Take a boat along the Chaophraya River to the final destination, Asiatique. A lovely shopping quarter, with an incredible atmosphere surrounding the area. Plenty of quirky, unique stores selling handmade items and children busking to pay for their education. You can watch a Muay Thai show or a ladyboy caberet, have a drink in a little bar or have a lovely meal by the river.
Bustling China town is in the heart of Bangkok. A popular tourist hotspot with plenty of restaurants and some incredible seafood. Take a look at the unique Chinese temples too. You will be amazed at the scale of Bangkok’s China town. The evening is the best time to go so be sure to fit this into your night!
Little India is an amazing find! Hidden near China town, it serves as a quiet spot for some amazing Indian treats. Perch yourself in Tony’s restaurant down a small backstreet. Enjoy an Indian feast for as little as 80bht for a main dish and a freshly made roti for 6bht a piece! Treat yourself to some delicious Indian sweets too for an after dinner delight!
Bangkok’s Flower market
Take a stroll through Bangkok’s little known flower market (Pak Khlong Talat). Hundreds and hundreds of freshly picked flowers with many different colours and varieties to choose from. You can buy a bunch of roses for as little as 50bht , huge handmade bouquets and many different types of Buddhist offerings made from marigolds. You’ll notice the lack of tourists! In fact, we were the only farang’s around but that added to the experience, being surrounded by local Thai market traders. Not to be missed on your trip to Bangkok!
Wang Lang Market
Bustling local market situated by the side of the river. Rows and rows of unique stalls selling handmade items. What stands out the most is the numerous Thai restaurants you walk by in the middle of the busy market. Usually markets are full of street food vendors so it’s a nice surprise to see! The market still has some incredible street food though, including a bag of Thai samosas for 50bht! Delicious!
Siriraj Medical Museum
Across the river from Wang Lang Market, on a 3bht boat ride, you find yourself at Siriraj hospital. They have a medical museum inside but let me warn you, you have to have a strong stomach to go in as it is VERY gruesome! Great if you’re into medical research as you get to see actual body parts and bodies which have suffered trauma. 200bht to get in, it’s your decision to make, but you may just leave more creeped out than you have been in your entire life!
Jim Thompson House
The Jim Thompson house is a great little find. Quiet spot for tourists to explore a traditional Thai house made from Teak wood. Jim Thompson was the founder of Thai silk, and his house is incredible to see! A guide will take you around and point out all of his traditional Thai furnishings. You’ll see old Buddhist statues with bits broken off or missing, adding to the age of the house. It’s very unique and well worth a visit!
Sirocco Sky Bar (Lebua hotel)
With Bangkok’s amazing skyline, it’s easy to see why people choose to visit a sky bar for incredible panoramic views of the city. There are loads to choose from, but it was easy choice to visit the Lebua hotel for me, since I loved watching the Hangover 2! 820ft high, the views you’re met with are unbelievable, but then so are the drinks prices! 800bht for a glass of wine – but the hotel is free to get in to. Call it your entrance ticket, the views are worth it!
Khao San Road
If you’re visiting Bangkok for the first time, it’s a must to go to its famous Khao San road. If you’re looking for a party/ backpackers scene, you’re in the right place! Cheap Thailand merchandise, counterfeit goods, fried insects, street food pad thai for 50bht and happy hour all night long! If you’re not into that, take a look anyway, it’s crazy!
Wat Arun (Temple of the Dawn)
Beside the Chaophraya River, take another 3bht boat journey across the other side and you’ll reach Wat Arun. Another spectacular temple although currently under reconstruction. Despite workers painting every fine detail to make it look new, you can still take a look around the stunning grounds. Full of beauty and overlooking the river, this temple is very impressive!
Artist House (Baan Silapin)
Difficult to find hidden in the middle of Bangkok, close to Bang Wa BTS station is the Artist house. Only a handful of tourist’s embark on the adventure to find the house, although you may pass by if you take a trip in a long tail boat along the river. See an amazing, traditional Thai puppet show at 2pm and walk through the house admiring stunning paintings and architecture. Pose for a photo with the puppets and feed the huge catfish in the river. A lovely place to go to see more of Thailand’s culture.
My favourite place of all in Bangkok is Lumphini park. Situated in Silom, you can reach the park by the BTS Sala Daeng (Sky train) or MRT Silom (Metro) stations. Take a stroll through the huge park or rent a swan shaped pedal boat to cruise around the lake. If you visit around sunset, you’ll see hundreds of people jogging around the park or taking part in aerobics classes! If you’re lucky, you might even spot a giant Monitor Lizard crawling out of the water too!
So there’s my 16 favourite things to do in Bangkok. Hope you check some of them out if you visit!