So many people told me they didn’t like Bangkok. Ok, I do find everywhere I go worthwhile and interesting, I can’t lie. There are very few places where I’d be like, don’t go. But Bangkok? I absolutely loved it! I found it interesting, clean and not as chaotic as many people put it. I spent approximately four days there and enjoyed every second. It’s a big city, that has everything big cities have: great cafes & restaurants from all cuisines and for all dietary restrictions, culture, art, nightlife, amazing shopping, markets, etc. Team that up with gorgeous temples, cheap mango shakes – or well – cheap everything and you have good times guaranteed. These are the most exciting things to do in Bangkok.
Bangkok Bucket List: Things To Do in Bangkok
Admire the reclining buddha at Wat Pho
The temple of Wat Pho, officially Wat Phra Chetuphon, is known because of housing an impressive 46m golden buddha that is lying down. A must visit in Bangkok. Not only the buddha is beautiful but also the rest of the complex is. Check out this tour which visits this temple and the ones I describe right below.
Visit the Grand Palace & Wat Phra Kaew
Also close to Wat Pho, both the Grand Palace and the temple Wat Phra Kaew are within the same complex and are definitely amongst Bangkok’s main points of interest. Note that in all temples in Thailand your shoulders and knees need to be covered, but here they were particularly strict in the way that they forced my friend to have sleeves and didn’t let her cover her shoulders with a pashmina. She had to go and buy a shirt outside for 150 baht. If you want to visit with a guide then book this tour to Grand Palace, Wat Pho and What Arun. It has rave reviews!
Buy where the locals do at Chatuchak Weekend Market
By no means miss this one if you happen to be on Bangkok on the weekend. It’s a market with independent designers that’s extremely cheap but also super cool, and amongst the not so touristy things to do in Bangkok. I bought vintage style blouses for just 100 baht each, beautiful embroidered pashminas for 150 baht, and just really left with a huge bag of cheap stuff to either keep for myself or give as a gift. I was pretty happy.
Get a public ferry to the beautiful Wat Arun
Ok, first, don’t leave Bangkok without taking the public ferry. It’s a great means of transport, you get places through the water, and fast. There is a stop right besides Wat Arun, a unique white temple encrusted with coloured pottery. Definitely one of the best things to do in Bangkok at night. Also, if you want to up your Insta game while in Bangkok definitely check out this Instagram spots and temples tour.
Visit Maeklong Train Market
There is a market in Bangkok which has a train pass right through it! Yes it’s just what you read. The market is 80km away from the city so best visit it via a tour from Bangkok that includes a floating market, book it below:
Make your way to a floating market
This one is a tricky one! Why? Well there are a couple of floating markets to choose from. Taling Chan floating market is the closest one from Bangkok’s center, and not too touristy which is something you may or may not like. Then you have Amphawa Floating Market and Damnoen Saduak Floating Market. These are 50 and 100 km away from Bangkok respectively. Both are good, Damnoen Saduak is probably the image of a Thai floating market as you imagine it in your head, but again it’s a little bit far away so it’ll take you time to get there. The choice is up to you. Going to Damnoen Saduak by yourself can be complicated and time consuming, so I’d suggest you take this tour or better this one which includes Maeklong Train. There’s a tour to Amphawa Floating Market that also takes you to the Train Market and has a Firefly Boat Tour.
Shop till you drop
There are loads of places to shop in Bangkok, I chose the Siam area as a shopping stop. There are multiple malls near Siam station which offer international designer stores as well as local brands. However, my recommendation is to go directly to the MBK Center. This shopping mall houses more than 2000 small shops, and you’ll be able to buy more authentic items. Good if you are trying to avoid the popular brands that you can find at home.
Take a day trip to Ayutthaya
Ayutthaya is a city in Thailand, about 80 kilometers north of Bangkok. It was capital of the Kingdom of Siam, and a prosperous international trading port, from 1350 until razed by the Burmese in 1767. The ruins of the old city now form the Ayutthaya Historical Park, an archaeological UNESCO site that contains palaces, Buddhist temples, monasteries and statues. The park is on an island between 3 rivers. The best way to visit is taking a day tour from Bangkok.
Go for a stroll in Lumpini Park
Bangkok’s green lung, it’s a nice park to walk through. We saw a huge wild lizard there, and met a lovely old man who spoke like a million languages. After asking us to sign his diary and document our nationalities, he gave us a small piece of paper with basic Thai words and phrases. Let me know if you see him as well.
Buy trinkets at Chinatown
Had lots of fun getting lost in the small alleys in Bangkok’s Chinatown and buying those totally unnecessary but fun items on offer. Found some nice accessories as well and an amazing shop full of fun patches. There is a lot of variety! Definitely on the list of fun things to do in Bangkok.
Visit Khaosan Road
Also known as Bangkok’s “backpacker ghetto” of Thailand, Khaosan Road is a great place to meet fellow travelers, buy souvenirs, party or just have dinner and drinks. There are cheap but nice restaurants, as well as street food.
Visit one of Bangkok’s spectacular rooftops
Bangkok has many Sky Bars to visit! The highest sky bar in Bangkok is situated on the 83rd floor of the Baiyoke Sky Hotel. Book your visit including food here.
Bangkok Bucket List: Where To Stay In Bangkok
I stayed in two hotels in Bangkok, both which I loved but both very different. During my first visit I stayed at Baan2459, a boutique hotel with only four rooms in Chinatown. I loved Baan2459 because as the hotel is boutique and small, every detail is really thought of and also the experience was customized. It felt like being in a little oasis in the middle of Bangkok. The location was perfect to explore Bangkok’s top sites, such as Chinatown and the temples. You can read my full review of the hotel here and book it here.
The second hotel I stayed in was Solitaire Bangkok Sukhumvit. This hotel was a totally different style from Baan2459, but also great. I loved its pool, steam rooms and the breakfast was just amazing. Sukhumvit is a great area if you like gourmet restaurants and nightlife. You can read my full review here and book it here.
Bangkok Bucket List: How To Get To And Around Bangkok
I booked my flight to Bangkok through Momondo, where I always find the best prices. Try both Momondo and Skyscanner when searching for flights. I actually got a ridiculously cheap flight from London in what seemed a dodgy website but it all worked just OK.
I’d recommend you get around Bangkok on foot or by taxi if distances are longer, using the “local” Uber alternative, called Grab. It was cheap enough so I didn’t need to use public transport other than the public ferries which you just pay for on the spot with cash.
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