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Home Bangkok 10 Best Things To Do In Bangkok

10 Best Things To Do In Bangkok

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The one and only Bangkok — de facto tourist central of Asia, capital city of Thailand, Southeast Asia’s very own City of Angels, and a bustling metropolis affectionately known as The Big Mango (cry your heart out, New York). Indeed, Bangkok is truly an exciting destination in Southeast Asia.

Filled with a myriad of travel experiences, Bangkok is a city that’ll leave you wanting more by the end of your journey. And like many other capital cities, Bangkok never goes to sleep — there’s always something to do in the city, no matter the time of day.

From Bangkok’s traditional cuisine to its sprawling markets to a den of night owl hangout spots to massive shopping malls to the most beautiful and Instagrammable temples and shrines, Bangkok is a city that has all that you could ever want and more from a travel destination.

So without further ado, here are the top 10 things to do in Thailand’s most populous and vibrant city.

Top 10 Things To Do In Thailand

1. Eating Your Way Around Bangkok’s Streets and Alleyways 

Busy street food market in Bangkok

Local food is the ultimate gateway to understanding a travel destination’s heart and soul. And in particular, street food has always been a quintessential part of the traditional Bangkok experience. You wouldn’t be able to say that you’ve been to Bangkok without visiting the city’s best street food spots.

From the looks of things, it seems the locals are in full agreement. Almost every road, street, or alleyway in Bangkok is peppered with street food vendors offering a delightful range of iconic Thai delicacies (Tom Yum Goong, Pad Thai, Moo Ping, and sticky mango rice, anyone?) to both locals and travellers alike. You’ll find yourself satiated with the four flavours of Thai (sweet, sour, spicy and salty) once you’re there.

Plus, the best thing about Bangkok’s local food scene is that the prices are low! In fact, Bangkok’s street food is some of the cheapest in the region, as evident by the crowds of Thais who choose to frequent these stalls daily.

We’d recommend heading to Chinatown, or specifically, Yaowarat Road to sample some fine Thai-influenced (or is it the other way round?) Chinese cuisine. Otherwise, Sukhumvit Soi 38 and Silom Soi 20 may strike your fancy.

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If you’re more concerned about dining in comfort coupled with a spectacular view of the city’s skyline, Baiyoke Sky Hotel is where you may experience plenty of unique Thai dining experiences. Of note, Baiyoke offers visitors a wide range of dining options including buffets, a decadent spread of fresh regional fruits, a traditional Chinese restaurant, and even a mini “floating” market!

2. Visit The Many Iconic Attractions Bangkok Has To Offer

When it comes to world-famous attractions in the city, Bangkok is not without its fair share of golden temples, opulent palaces, and internationally-known galleries. In this case, perhaps a short tour across Bangkok’s many must-see attractions might interest you?

With a majority Theravada Buddhism-practising populace, Thailand’s temples and shrines are abundant — more than 30,000 in number to be precise. And among those, arguably the two most famous temples are Wat Pho and Wat Arun, which are both found in Bangkok.

The former is known for its huge 15-metre tall, 46-metre long reclining Buddha. It is also by default one of the first stops in most Bangkok city itineraries.

The latter, on the other hand, fits well as the backdrop for all your Instagram needs. Generally, sunrise and sunset are the most opportune moments to capture the beautiful temple on the banks of the Chao Phraya River in all its majestic glory.

Situated right next to Wat Pho, the Grand Palace is also a prominent landmark in Bangkok. As the former residence of Siam royalty, you simply must visit the palace before leaving the city. And if you do, be sure to be there early to explore the palace grounds as it will take some time to cover the 214,000 square metre area of the palace.

However, just a word of caution, there may be potential scams operating outside the palace grounds. Our advice is to be aware and only pay the entrance fee when you are going in.

To round off this entry, other attractions Bangkok has to offer also include a Madame Tussauds wax museum, a humongous aquarium, an interactive art museum, and even a safari within the fringes of the city.

3. Party The Night Away In Bangkok

At night in Bangkok, crowded with people

Bangkok, come twilight is a different beast of a city altogether.

Imagine blaring music and bright neon lights accompanying packed dance floors and nightclubs. Add to that, a range of amazing rooftop bars, a hip cocktail scene, and ahem, adult-themed gogo bars and you’ll know why Bangkok is uber-popular amongst young backpackers and party-goers looking for a fun time.

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Welcome to the Crazy House 🔞

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Most people know of the famous Khao San Road — a veritable backpacker’s paradise and the heart of Bangkok’s party nightlife. Alternatives to this nightlife-centric locale include the adult-catered Soi Cowboy and Patpong. And along with that, Nana Plaza rounds off the trinity of Bangkok’s adult entertainment district.

Specifically, Nana Plaza is where you’ll find plenty of gogo bars full of Thai women looking to keep you “company” for the evening in return for a fee. But if you aren’t one to participate in this vice, spending some time to sit down with a drink and people watch is also well worth the time. Plus, it’s definitely interesting to observe the interactions going on between the girls and tourists.

If partying the night away isn’t your idea of a good time, then mayhaps you’d prefer a slow and relaxing tour through Bangkok’s evening cityscape. The scenery at this time of day is a whole different dimension from what you see when it’s bright out.

4. Explore Bangkok’s Multitude Of Local Markets

After dusk, Chatuchak Night Market

If you love shopping and a good deal, then Chatuchak Weekend Market will likely be on your list of spots to visit in Bangkok. As the largest market in Thailand, Chatuchak is home to over 8,000 stalls covering 27 acres of space. And as its name suggests, the popular market only opens from Friday to Sunday, which means it attracts great crowds (almost 200,000 visitors daily to be accurate) each weekend!

Here, you’ll find almost anything you could ever imagine on sale. And the best part of Chatuchak is that most items found here are sold at local prices rather than the inflated prices of other tourist traps. If you’re convinced to visit, we’d suggest picking up a map before you go to avoid getting lost in the market for hours.

As for unique market experiences, a tour of Bangkok’s railway market is also recommended. Found about an hour’s drive from the city, Maeklong Railway Market/Rom Hoop Market looks like a typical bustling Thai bazaar offering fresh local produce, trinkets, and souvenirs.

The only atypical thing about this market? Once you hear the rumbling of an oncoming train, you’ll know that a spectacle is about to happen. Watch as the vendors pack up their goods and scatter as the steam train thunders through several times a day.

Similarly, floating markets have also become synonymous with Bangkok. A tour of the city wouldn’t be complete without first making your way to one of these water-based markets found around the city. Damnoen Saduak Floating Market and Amphawa Floating Market are two of the more well-known floating markets in Bangkok.

5. Indulge Your Inner Shopaholic At Bangkok’s Highend Malls and Wholesale Outlets 

While we’re still on the topic of shopping, Bangkok is most definitely a paradise for the shopaholics.

Aside from visiting the attractions, you’ll be spending the bulk of your vacay in Bangkok’s malls and shopping till you drop. And depending on your budget level, Bangkok has a whole host of retail options ranging from affordable to the lavish, to fulfil your cravings to shop.

For a high-end affair, Siam Paragon is a popular shopping mall frequented by both Thailand’s well-to-do shoppers and tourists alike. This shopping mall boasts many different luxury fashion brands, as well as varied dining options to boot. On a related note, Central World is the largest mall in the country with a great variety of brands in various price ranges. Though, the shopping mall isn’t exactly the cheapest place to shop at, especially if you compare it to other shopping districts.

On the other end of the spectrum, Platinum Fashion Mall is a favourite of many as the wholesale outlet contains many stores selling designer apparels you’ll only find in Thailand. Unsurprisingly, the items sold here are plenty cheap if you buy in bulk. Also, having decent haggling skills may help you get even lower prices!

If you’re looking for budget electronics, MBK Center and Pantip Plaza are your best bets to get the best deals on the latest tech.

6. Traverse The Idyllic Chao Phraya River Of Bangkok

While Bangkok’s roads are always laden with traffic jams and chaotic crisscrossing motorcycles, Chao Phraya River remains one of the most consistent (and peaceful) ways to get around in the city.

Today, taking a ferry along the river is still considered one of the easiest and cheapest modes of transportation for the 50,000 or so people who use it to get to work daily.

As for tourists, getting on a hop-on hop-off boat is a fascinating opportunity you must experience for yourself. Running along the river, you may drop off at any of the eight piers along the route (from Sathorn to Phra Pin Klao Pier) to visit the main attractions of Bangkok including the aforementioned Wat Arun and The Grand Palace.

Riverfront shopping mall in Bangkok

For an enjoyable evening jaunt, you shouldn’t miss out on Asiatique, a riverfront open-air mall occupying the former docks of the East Asiatic Company. You’ll find a large number of retail shops here, along with a wide variety of restaurants and bars, and even a huge Ferris wheel!

7. Enjoy Bangkok’s World Famous Thai Massages

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Regardless of where you come from, you would’ve heard about or even come across Thai massages. So why not try out one of Thailand’s best contributions to the world the next time you’re in Bangkok?

There’s nowhere in the world that you can experience authentic traditional Thai massage aside from where it originated from. Trust us, the experience will give you a new lease on life. You’ll also return the pep to your step, especially if you’ve been on your feet shopping the entire day.

There are massage parlours at almost every corner in Bangkok, so it might be worthwhile to do your research before you head to the city. Just stay away from the shady ones, yeah?

But if you’re still clueless, we’d suggest booking an appointment at Let’s Relax Spa Bangkok for an afternoon of blissful relaxation.

8. Watch Bangkok’s Historical And Cultural Shows

Thai Culture Dance

Thai culture is definitely a unique one. On the one hand, you’ll find the gentlest form of creative expression in the shape of Bangkok’s many artful and historical plays. On the other, the ferocious exchange of fists, elbows, knees, and feet of Bangkok’s elite fighters may instead get your heart racing and adrenaline pumping.

We’re of course referring to the sport of kickboxing AKA Muay Thai. Kickboxing in Thailand is a celebrated combat sport where the biggest fight events are in Bangkok. Held either at the Lumpini Stadium or Ratchadamnoen Stadium, an action-packed evening awaits. And while you’re there, bask in the frenetic atmosphere with the locals cheering on their favourites.

Likewise, if violence is not your thing, then your evening is better spent attending one of the many cultural shows Bangkok has to offer. Off the top of the list, Siam Niramit Bangkok or Calypso Cabaret Show might be more enjoyable for you.

9. Join In On The Wet Festivities Of Songkran

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If you happen to be in Bangkok between the 13th and 15th of April, you must, we repeat, MUST join in on the traditional (and wet) festivities of the Thai New Year.

The Songkran Festival today is a world-renowned cultural event which sees a growing number of foreign visitors coming to the city each year to get a slice of the very damp action. The appeal of such an event is a rather straightforward one — participating in a water fight is always fun!

But aside from the fun and games, there’s actually a religious significance to the festival. In Buddhism, it’s believed that sprinkling water will bless you and wash the bad luck away. A simple reasoning for sure, but one that has now evolved into a full-fledged nationwide water fight.

With the huge crowds of Bangkok city, there’s no better place to experience Songkran as the city transforms into one big soaking wet party.

10. Take A Train Trip From Bangkok

Once you’ve completed your checklist of the things to do in Bangkok, it’s time to explore beyond the confines of the city!

Outside of Bangkok are many cultural and scenic destinations that’ll offer a glimpse into Thailand’s mystical past and rich lore. And truth be told, there’s no other apropos way to do this than by embarking on a journey on the tracks i.e. by taking a train trip from Bangkok.

As for which train travel destination we’d recommend, well, there are a couple of places outside of Bangkok which may beget a visit. For one, the ancient charm of the Historic City of Ayutthaya comes to mind. Whereas, the death-defying trip of a lifetime on the Death Railway can be an exciting journey on its own.

For something a little more light-hearted, a train trip to the quaint seaside town of Hua Hin provides a short reprieve from the constant buzz of activity in Bangkok.

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