Thailand’s capital city is a huge metropolis, but normally travelers stop here only for a few days, leaving quickly to the beautiful beaches in the south of the country or towards the mountains in the north. We’ve been to Bangkok 4 times already, so we put together a list of the most interesting things to do&see.
1. GRAND PALACE&ROYAL TEMPLES
First thing to visit to understand Thai culture is the golden decorated Grand Palace, together with Wat Phra Kaew and Wat Pho (giant reclining buddha) sacred temples. This large area represents the religious centre of Bangkok.
-tip: if it’s your first time in Thailand, be aware of scams as when some solicitors will tell you the palace is closed for prayer and lure you to do some alternative boat tours in the meantime, simply ignore them!
2. CHAO PHRAYA RIVER
Rather than joining a money-wasting boat tour, hop on the inexpensive taxi boats for few bahts to cross the river or simply move around as locals do.
3. WAT ARUN (TEMPLE OF DAWN)
The recently renovated Wat Arun is just on the other side of Chao Phraya river coming from the Grand Palace. 5 baht is the ridiculous boat fare to cross the river and enjoy this wonderful khmer style inspired temple, our favourite in Bangkok!
4. CHATUCHAK WEEKEND MARKET
If you are in Bangkok during the weekend, use the modern subway to reach the Chatuchak Market and witness a myriad of stalls and vendors selling everything you could imagine and more.
-tip: stuff here is obviously overpriced when you ask how much it is, so be ready to bargain at least to 50% down, always with a smile.
5. LUMPHINI PARK
Bangkok isn’t just chaos and mess, well ok it mostly is, but some areas as Lumphini Park are a true oasis within the city: come here to get away from crowds and relax in a green area with lakes and water fountains.
6. SIAM SQUARE
When it’s too hot outside, you may want to get some cool air conditioning inside one of many shopping malls in Bangkok. But be careful, it’s easy to get lost and spend hours in these maze-like entertaining buildings! We have recently been to Terminal 21, an entirely airport themed mall with different cities at every floor, really insane!
7. DAY TRIP TO AYUTTHAYA
If you are not planning to go north after your stay in Bangkok, then a day trip to Ayutthaya is a good idea to appreciate dozens of open air temples in this former capital of the kingdom of Siam. Hop on a dusty train at Hua Lamphong station and let yourself be dangled from the one hour ride to Ayutthaya.
8. KHAOSAN ROAD
Wild nightlife is famous in Bangkok and Khaosan Road is one of the main party streets where you may find what you’re looking for.
9. BAIYOKE TOWER
If you want to see the city from a different point of view, Baiyoke Tower’s revolving deck is the best chance you have. At 304 meters, the 2nd tallest building in Bangkok (just surpassed by the new MahaNakhon, aka the pixellated skyscraper, not yet open to public as of 2018) offers a panoramic view restaurant and a bar at floors 83 and 84.
-tip: a 400 baht ticket gives you access to the deck plus a complimentary drink. Go at sunset and stay until it gets dark to enjoy the city’s thousand lights.
Below are some good to know info about Bangkok.
WHERE TO EAT IN BANGKOK?
The best suggestion we can give you on where to eat in Bangkok is to try one of the many street food stalls! You can find them literally everywhere, pork skewers start from 10 baht each.
HOTELS – WHERE TO STAY IN BANGKOK?
Check out our favourite place in Bangkok, Mind Executive Suites: modern, cheap, close to subway and with a rooftop swimming pool!
Hansa Bangkok House is another place we loved: a cozy guesthouse on the riverside and close to the Temples area.
The amazing thing about Thailand and Southeast Asia is that you can stay at 4 and 5-star hotels without having to break your bank. Like the wonderful Eastin Grand Hotel Sathorn that offers rooms from 80$ when booked in advance! See the best deals here.
For more hotel inspiration in Bangkok, you can have a look here.
TRAIN, BUS, FERRY – HOW TO BOOK TICKETS IN BANGKOK?
At Hua Lamphong train station you can buy tickets for same day trips.
For buses, just hop on and pay to the driver, very cheap fees.
If you need to book in advance, you can order Thai train, bus, ferry and also flight tickets easily online from reliable agency amt.12go.asia.
We also recently used baolau.com, a new online booking platform operating in Southeast Asia. Follow our step-by-step guide to make sure you get your ticket delivered straight to your e-mail address.
DO I NEED A TRAVEL INSURANCE?
Yes you do. Never leave home without a reliable travel insurance. Even if you trust yourself, you can’t always trust others. Better safe than sorry! Get your quote here.
You are now ready to visit Bangkok, should you have any questions, just ask us in the comments below.
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Have fun in Bangkok!