Noted as the most visited city in the world, the capital of Thailand, Bangkok is one of the destinations which offer something amazing and amusing to everyone visiting there. Home to over 12 million residents, Bangkok welcomes over 21 million visitors per year.
Also known as The Big Mango, Bangkok is the economic centre of Thailand. Tourism is one of the most prevailing sources of economy in Bangkok. The quality food, aisle of hotels, amazing culture, easy transportation facilities, friendly people and the amazing nightlife attracts majority of people to visit the capital of Thailand. Bangkok offers great sites to visit and wander around to visitors of different budget ranges. Be it budget restaurants and food vendors or be it haute dining restaurants, Bangkok offers you number of choices to dine and spend value on.
Bangkok welcomes both budget backpackers and luxury vacation seekers with its amazing list of places to visit. You will loose count of time once you start wandering around the city because the amazing local and exotic foods and street vendors in the streets of Bangkok will surely have you captivated.
I have tried to list my best things to do in Bangkok, which had me captivated. You can definitely fish out for the list of things that interests you or you’d want to experience.
Visit The Grand Palace
The grand palace is the most famous structure residing at the heart of Bangkok. Its intricacy and aesthetics has mesmerized almost every visitor visiting the palace. Surrounded by four walls, the roughly rectangular shaped palace covers the area of 2,351,000 sq ft and is situated on the banks of Chao Phraya River.
The Grand Palace has been the official residence of Kings of Siam since 1782 and still the palace is used for official events like royal ceremonies and state functions. The palace is home to number of buildings, halls, pavilions, open lawns, gardens and courtyards. It is divided into several quarters which include the temple of Emerald Buddha, the outer court, the middle court, the inner court and the Siwalai Gardens quarter. Though some parts of palace are open to visitors, the palace is still a working place with several royal offices inside.
Visiting this palace gives you many ideas about the history and culture of the kingdom of Thailand. Additionally, the palace also offers very beautiful background for photos. So don’t forget to strike a pose in front of the beautiful palace.
Wander Around Khao San Road
If you are a backpacker then you’ll definitely love this idea of visiting Khao San Road. This street primarily doesn’t represent Thailand or Bangkok much but you’ll get to meet a lot of backpackers on the street. You can share and receive ideas from many backpackers as the street is the hub for backpackers.
It is super fun to wander around the street and observe the stalls and vendors. The most appealing thing about this street is obviously the plethora of local dishes. You will get to taste the amazing local as well as exotic foods on the go.
Visit Floating Market
It is quiet a pleasing experience to float on the wooden boats and observe the market with numerous stalls. And Bangkok is also famous because of its floating market. Almost every person visiting Bangkok wants to savor the experience of floating market. You can find variety of colorful stalls serving local foods, sweets, fruits, and more.
There are array of options of floating market in and around Bangkok but not every market opens all day long. There are few markets like Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, Amphawa Floating Market, Talin Chan Floating Market, Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market and Bang Nam Pheung Floating Market which opens all day. You can do a quick research on the different floating markets and visit the one which is closest to your location or appeals you the most.
Explore Wat Arun
Wat Arun, also known as the ‘Temple of Dawn’ is a Buddhist temple located at west bank of the beautiful Chao Phraya River. Wat Arun derives its name from Hindu god Arun. Along with the location, the temple itself is a very mesmerizing landmark. The beauty of the temple evokes more beautifully when the morning sun kisses the landmarks.
The silhouette of the temple, with prang, makes the temple distinct and appraisable. The temple has four smaller satellite prang on the corners with a central prang encrusted with colorful porcelain. The prang is adorned by seashells and bits of porcelain whereas its base has various figures of ancient Chinese soldiers and animals.
The temple can easily be accessed via the Chao Phraya River and charges a minimal entry fee for foreigners.
Sea Life Bangkok Ocean World
If you want an escape from the heat and chaos of Bangkok for a while then Sea Life Bangkok is the ideal place you’d want to be. One of the largest aquariums of Southeast Asia, Sea Life Bangkok is also must visit place if you want to treat your kids with a fun zoology class. This aquarium provides a lot of information regarding the marine life and creatures.
The Sea life Bangkok has hundreds of different species of marine lives including Giant spider crabs, Giant Pacific octopus, and Sting ray sharks, Starfishes, Jackass penguins, Starfishes, jellyfishes and more. You can also dive and ride to the glass bottom boat through shark tank by upgrading your ticket. This aquarium is a must visit place as it provides entertainment, calmness as well as education to the visitors.
If you have been staying in Bangkok for a while and want a calm place to rejuvenate your inner peace then Lumpini Park is the oasis to your hustling soul. This park offers open space with trees, playgrounds and artificial lake, where you can rent a boat and paddle around, to the public seeking to spend a quality time in greenery.
The 142 acre park is a smoking free zone and a place where the locals jog in the morning and evenings. The park was created in 1920s by King Rama VI on royal property and the park derives its name from Lumbini, the birthplace of Buddha in Nepal. It used to be museum lying on the outskirts of the city. But, today it lies in the heart of city and welcomes about 10,000 to 15,000 people a day.
Lumphini Park is a multi-purpose park offering different things to do and see to the visitors. It’s an ideal place to enjoy the scenic beauty and food as well in serene environment.
Chatuchak Weekend Market
Chatuchak Weekend market is one of the most colorful markets you’ll ever experience in your lifetime. With over 15,000 different stalls and 200,000 visitors, you can literally find anything ranging from clothing, accessories, handicrafts, ceramics, furniture and home décor, food and beverage, art and galleries, books, plants, gardening and more.
This market is primarily a weekend market operating on Saturdays and Sundays but one section of the market, called Jatujak Plaza, is open throughout the week. The clock tower, built in 1987, is a distinctive landmark of Chatuchak market.
If shopping is your preferable pastime, then Chatuchak market offers you different perspective on shopping with its ocean of goods. The market gets really crowded during the day time so visit it in the early hours if you can’t withstand crowds, heat and hustles. But if you are okay with the crowd then you’ll get to enjoy great foods along with the ally of shops during the day time.
Bangkok National Museum
Bangkok National Museum, branch museum of the National Museum in Thailand, is the largest museum of Southeast Asia. It provides you proper insight of the Kingdom of Thailand and its history. The museum lets you see the amazing art, culture and history of Thailand back to Neolithic times, so you’ll have to allocate several hours to visit this museum if you are someone who is interested in art and history.
Established and opened in 1874, the museum not only preserves Thai artifacts but it also displays extensive collections of regional Asian Buddhist Arts like Indian Gandhara, Chinese Tang, Vietnamese Cham, Indonesian Java and Cambodian arts.
The museum remains open from Wednesday to Sunday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. The museum also offers volunteers to guide you inside the museum and provide you better understanding of the pieces displayed there.
Jim Thompson House
The former residence of American businessman and architect Jim Thompson, The Jim Thompson House is a museum based on central Bangkok. Lover of Southeast Asian culture and art, Jim Thompson, was very attached to the craftsmanship and intricacy of Southeast Asian culture. His collection of arts and crafts is what the museum beholds.
The museum and the house came under the control of The James H.W. Thompson Foundation under the royal patronage after the sudden disappearance of Jim Thompson.
The museum was planned to consist six traditional Thai- style houses and is primarily made of wood and was not known for quite a few time. The museum, displaying the art collection of Jim Thompson, is one of the popular tourist destinations at present sporting vibrant jungle foliage in half an acre of land. It is open to visitors’ everyday from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm.
So if you are into shopping larger than life luxurious high-end goods, then you’ll definitely be excited to shop in Siam Paragon Shopping Mall. Located on Rama I road, Siam Paragon makes shopping more luxurious with numerous high-end fashion brands including Versace, Jimmy Choo, YSL, Chanel, Marc Jacobs, Rolex, Prada, Hermes, Emilio Pucci, Louis Vuitton, Bvlgari and more.
Siam Paragon is the third largest shopping mall in Bangkok and has wide range of specialty stores, movie theatre, restaurants which serve world cuisines, art gallery, aquarium and more. No Bangkok tour is complete without visiting this luxurious mall. Even though you don’t have full credit to shop on these stores, you’ll definitely be mesmerized by the beautiful garments, products and technology. In short, Siam Paragon gives you fashionable and luxurious experience.
Temple Of Reclining Buddha
The temple of Reclining Buddha, locally and popularly known as Wat Pho, is one of the oldest Buddhist temples and is classed as the highest grade of the first-class royal temples. Built by King Rama I and later expanded and renovated by King Rama III, Wat Pho is considered the earliest centre for public education. The marble illustrations and inscriptions of this intricate temple are recognized by UNESCO.
Wat Pho, which was primarily public university specializing in religion, science and literature, has largest collection of Buddha images in Thailand with a 46 meters long reclining Buddha.
Wat Pho is also known as the birthplace of traditional Thai massage. The traditional Thai massage here is distinct than other therapeutic massage procedures as this massage procedure involves yoga style postures which can be quiet exhilarating. You can book a spot for the massage and experience the traditional Thai massage on the place of origin itself.
Explore The City In Canal Boats
It’s definitely a sublime experience to float on the water boats and feel the breeze calming your soul. Riding the canal boat provides you beautiful escapade from the heat of the city and allows you to explore the city from different perspective.
Bangkok is also called the ‘Venice of east’ because it is built on the river Chao Phraya and has number of intercrossing local water routes. The waterways of Bangkok are divided into 3 parts which includes the Chao Phraya River, Klong Saen Saeb and Klongs of Thonburi. You can float round these routes with different types of means which include River taxis, Long tail boats, River crossing Ferrari, canal boats, private river cruises and hotel shuttle boats. Local water taxis will be your preferable means if you want to explore the city under limited budget.
Savor The Varieties Of Street foods
Street foods help you get in touch with the local culture and preferences closely. And in case of Bangkok, you can find so many varieties of street foods where ever you go. As the sun goes down, the sound of spatula hitting the pan and noodles boiling vigorously starts to rise. This means, the streets of Bangkok offers diverse food stalls during the night time as compared to day time and you will get to experience the fascinating combination of weird and wonderful sounds and smells.
Though street foods can be found all over Bangkok, not all streets serve the best. The best places to visit for street food are Chinatown, Bang Rak, Bangkok Old City and Khao San Street. Most popular street foods include Noodles, Som Tam, Pad Thai Kung, Khao Pad, Khao Mun Gai, Pla Pao and more.
Watch A Muay Thai
No trip to Thailand is complete without witnessing Muay Thai, as it is the national sport of Thailand. Muay Thai or the Thai boxing is combat sport where fighters use their fists, elbows, knees and shins to implement bone-crushing strikes.
You can book a ticket to watch the show or you can also experience it yourself. There are many stadiums in Bangkok which lets you witness the sport to the fullest. And if you want to get sweaty in the ring of Muay Thai, Bangkok has best gyms to train you. You can train yourself for the purpose of fun or fitness. It is one of the best cardio workout and helps you gain that ripped and fit body.
Dine Fine In The Restaurants
If you want to treat yourself or your partner with a fine dining experience in soulful ambience then Bangkok has best restaurants serving best meals in best environments. There are restaurants which have its name listed in 50 best restaurants of Asia and serve the culinary delicacy of Thai as well as various cuisines beautifully.
Some of the best restaurants of Bangkok include Gaggam, Nahm, Eat me, Le Du, Bunker and more. You can do a quick research on the location and cuisines served by the restaurant and make yourself comfortable in the restaurant which appeals you the most.
Get Inked With Sacred Tattoo
Thai people practice this process of getting traditional sacred tattoo which is believed to give the wearer magical powers associated with healing, luck, strength and protection against evil. The root of these tattoos goes back to 2000 years and still carries spiritual meanings and blessings.
Locally referred to as Sak Tant, these tattoos are hand-etched onto the skin using sharp bamboo tool. The designs imprinted are ancient geometrical, animal and deity designs accompanied with Buddhist prayers.
So get inked by Buddhist monk if you are into spirituality and believe in the power these tattoos behold, or you can also get these tattoo as the memento of your Bangkok trip.
Take Thai Cooking Classes
Food is something which carries so much significance of a place. And if you are a culinary bird, budding chef or just an enthusiastic learner then joining a Thai cooking class on your stay in Bangkok comes really fun and fruitful.
It’s really a good feeling to learn to cook new cuisines from the experts and locals themselves. You will get to know more about the flavors, ingredients and techniques of Thai cooking. And at the end of the day, you’ll get an apron and certificate along with your culinary skills to take home with you.
Bangkok has number of cooking schools which can help you make Thai dish by yourself. Along with school, private Thai cooking classes are also available in local’s home.
Don’t worry if your continuous schedule of roaming and walking in the streets of Bangkok city has made you feel tired and less energized. Heading for a Thai Massage will totally make your body feel rejuvenated and your body cells you thank you for the treat. It is one of the must-do things while you are in Bangkok even though you are not tired.
Thai massage technique is different from western massage styles. They focus on pressure points and compress it to provide relaxation to the body. The process starts from the feet and gradually moves up towards the head. There are different ranges of massage places from the local massage shops to the high end massage places.
Bangkok definitely will give you opportunity to experience different things, foods, cultures and beautiful sites. You may stay for several weeks in Bangkok and still feel like you haven’t seen the city enough to leave right away. This city has so much to offer to every group of people. The intricacy of the town will leave you mesmerized and give you bunch of joyous memories to behold. The ranges of hotels, restaurants, travel option makes Bangkok an ideal destination for both budget travelers and high end vacation seekers.
Don’t get lost in the ally of choices of things to do in Bangkok and make smart choices by doing the things you love primarily. Because you don’t want to regret later after you have returned back from Bangkok. So explore the Bangkok city and make the most of it while you are here in the city.