Bangkok: 17 Awesome Things To Do

Grand Palace, Bangkok; The Royal Pantheon
Travel Rating:8.9

As longtime residents of this dynamic metropolis, we’ve spent over three years exploring every corner and uncovering the gems that make Bangkok truly special. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, join us as we delve into the best experiences in the city.

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Official Name: Krung Thep Maha Nakhon

Local Name: Krung Thep / กรุงเทพ

Population: 11,070,000 (2023)

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Table Of Contents
Bangkok Things To Do

Explore Chinatown

Exploring Chinatown while in Bangkok is an absolute must for a myriad of reasons. First and foremost, the food scene in this bustling neighborhood is unparalleled, with mouthwatering dishes like crispy pork belly, succulent roast duck, and flavorful noodle soups that will tantalize your taste buds. At night, be sure to wander through the vibrant night market along Yaowarat Road, where you can sample an array of street food and soak in the energetic atmosphere.

Additionally, Chinatown is home to several stunning temples that are steeped in history and architectural beauty. Wat Traimit, known for its impressive Golden Buddha statue, Wat Mangkon, a Chinese-style Buddhist temple, and Wat Chakrawat, with its unique crocodile pond, are all worth a visit to familiarize yourself with the cultural heritage of the area.

If you’re abargain hunter, head over to Sampeng Lane and Phahurat Market to discover some inexpensive shopping opportunities for everything from clothing to souvenirs and trinkets. 

Lastly, don’t miss the chance to wander around the neighborhood of Talat Noi, where you’ll find hidden gems like colorful street art, quaint cafes, and local shrines that most tourists overlook.

Bangkok Things To Do

Explore Rattanakosin

Rattanakosin Island is one of the most culturally rich areas in Bangkok. The temples that grace this “island,” include iconic landmarks like Wat Pho, known for its massive reclining Buddha statue, the majestic Wat Arun with its stunning spires, the elegant Wat Suthat with its Giant Swing, and the revered Temple of the Emerald Buddha within the Grand Palace complex, all showcase the epitome of Thai craftsmanship. Exploring these temples will offer you a profound insight into Thailand’s Buddhist legacy. 

After soaking in the beauty of these temples, you’ve got to swing by Pak Khlong Talat, aka the flower market. Here, you’ll find rows upon rows of vibrant blooms, from fragrant orchids to delicate roses. It’s a feast for the senses and a great spot to pick up some Thai garlands.

In the evening, make sure you grab a meal at one of the rooftop restaurants in the area. Watching the sun go down over the Chao Phraya River with Wat Arun in the background – it’s breathtaking. Trust us, It’s one of those experiences that you’ll never forget.

Bangkok Things To Do

Watch A Muay Thai Fight

When visiting Bangkok, catching a Muay Thai fight is an absolute must-see experience. There’s something electrifying about the atmosphere at Lumpinee Boxing Stadium, where some of the best fights in the world take place. From the moment you step inside, you can feel the energy pulsating through the air as fighters square off in the ring. 

Whether you’re a seasoned fan or new to the sport, the intensity of the matches and the skill of the athletes are truly captivating. Plus, watching a fight at Lumpinee gives you a glimpse into the rich history and cultural significance of Muay Thai in Thailand. It’s an unforgettable experience that you won’t want to miss – especially the televised ONE Championship fights.

Bangkok Things To Do

Visit The Erawan Museum

While technically situated in Samut Prakan, The Erawan Museum is a lesser-visited attraction that’s well worth the journey from central Bangkok. Conveniently accessible via the BTS Skytrain, it’s just a 45-minute ride from lower Sukhumvit. This museum is more than just a cultural attraction – it’s a fascinating blend of art, architecture, and spirituality. 

As you step inside, prepare to be mesmerized by the museum’s stunning geometric patterns and larger-than-life statues, including the iconic three-headed elephant that graces its premises. This architectural marvel, known as Erawan, is inspired by Hindu mythology and symbolizes the universe according to ancient cosmology. 

The museum’s meticulous preservation and elaborate designs are a testament to Thailand’s Buddhist traditions and make it a must-visit destination for art enthusiasts. You can purchase a discounted entry ticket via this link.

Bangkok Things To Do

Explore Wat Paknam

When it comes to temples in Bangkok, Wat Paknam Bhasichareon takes the crown without a doubt. This sprawling temple complex boasts ornate details and illustrative architecture that will leave you in awe from the moment you step inside.  

What truly sets this temple apart is its impressive centerpiece – the largest Buddha image in the city. Standing tall and majestic, this magnificent statue is a wonder to behold and a testament to the temple’s grandeur. Whether you’re admiring the exquisite craftsmanship or seeking a moment of stillness, Wat Paknam Bhasichareon offers an unparalleled temple experience.

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Bangkok Things To Do

Go On A Canal Tour

Exploring Bangkok without going on a canal tour along the Chao Phraya River is like missing out on a quintessential piece of the city’s soul. Often dubbed the “Venice of the East,” Bangkok’s complex canal system is deeply ingrained in its history, shaping its development and identity. 

Whether you opt for a group excursion or a private tour, cruising along the canals offers rare glimpses into the city’s past, with stilted homes lining time-honored waterways. It’s a unique vantage point that unveils a different side of Bangkok, revealing remnants of a bygone era and the historical richness that lies beyond the hectic streets and towering skyscrapers.

Bangkok Things To Do

Eat At Thipsamai

No trip to Bangkok is complete without indulging in Thipsamai, an establishment that has become a true institution of Thailand. Renowned for serving what many consider to be the best Pad Thai in the country, if not the world, Thipsamai’s offerings are nothing short of legendary. 

What sets their Pad Thai apart is the meticulous attention to detail and the use of premium quality ingredients, from the perfectly cooked noodles to the delectable blend of savory flavors and aromatic spices. Each bite is a symphony of taste sensations that dance across your palate, leaving you craving more. So, whether you’re a seasoned foodie or simply seeking a dining experience that’ll make you daydream and drool after trying it, head over to Thipsamai.

Insider Tip: make sure try their expensive orange juice, it’s overpriced but somehow worth it.

Bangkok Things To Do

Enjoy Wat Benchamabophit

When it comes to aesthetics, Wat Benchamabophit undoubtedly takes the crown as one of Bangkok’s most visually arresting temples. Known as the “Marble Temple” for its elegant façade crafted from imported Italian marble, this architectural masterpiece is a sight to behold at any time of day. However, we recommend visiting in the evenings, just before sunset. As the golden hour casts its warm glow, the elaborate details become illuminated in a soft, ethereal light. 

Once the sun sets, the temple becomes bathed in a gentle glow from strategically placed lights, creating a scene that’s perfect for photography. Trust us, a visit to Wat Benchamabophit during the evening hours is an experience that you’ll thoroughly enjoy.

Bangkok Things To Do

Visit The Maeklong Railway

Located just 90 minutes away from Bangkok, the Maeklong Railway Market is a highly photographed destination that manages to live up to the hype.

Despite its deserved reputation as a tourist hotspot, this market offers a glimpse into local life and commerce, with vendors showcasing an array of fresh produce and goods mere inches from the railway tracks. What distinguishes this market is the fascinating sight of vendors swiftly retracting their stalls to accommodate passing trains, creating an interesting dynamic that isn’t found anywhere else in Thailand.

The best way to get to the Maeklong Railway Market is by joining this inexpensive  group tour.

Bangkok Things To Do

Celebrate Songkran

If possible, plan your visit to Bangkok during the exhilarating Songkran Festival, a week-long celebration marking Thailand’s traditional New Year. This lively festival, held annually in mid-April, brings the city to life with dynamic water fights, colorful parades, and spirited street parties. Locals and visitors alike gather to partake in the festive atmosphere, engaging in traditional rituals symbolizing renewal and cleansing.

The Songkran Festival offers a unique opportunity to experience the lively energy and warm hospitality of Thai culture firsthand.

Bangkok Things To Do

Explore Wat Saket

If you want to visit a temple that has a panoramic views of Bangkok’s skyline, look no further than Wat Saket, fondly known as the Temple of the Golden Mount. This iconic temple sits atop an artificial hill, offering visitors a momentary respite from the city streets below. 

As you ascend the winding staircase, lined with bells that chime softly in the breeze, you’ll be rewarded with sweeping vistas that stretch as far as the eye can see. At the summit, the gilded chedi gleams in the sunlight, inviting you to soak in the tranquility of this shangri-la while marveling at a 360 degree cityscape. 

Whether you’re seeking spiritual solace or simply a bird’s-eye view of Bangkok’s urban landscape, Wat Saket promises an experience that’s both awe-inspiring and serene.

Bangkok Things To Do

Visit Chatuchak Market

Chatuchak Weekend Market is a tourist trap, but trust us, it’s a gem you won’t want to miss. Spanning over 35 acres, this frenetic market is a shopper’s paradise, offering an incredible variety of goods that cater to every imaginable taste and interest. From trendy clothing and accessories to eccentric handicrafts, home decor, and delicious street food, you’ll find it all here. 

Yes, it can get crowded, but navigating the maze of stalls is all part of the adventure, and the thrill of discovering hidden treasures makes it totally worth it. So, whether you’re hunting for souvenirs, indulging in pad thai, or simply soaking up the vibrant atmosphere, Chatuchak promises a memorable experience that perfectly captures Bangkok’s eclectic appeal.

If you’d like to get a guide to help you navigate and negotiate at Chatchuchak, please click here.

Bangkok Things To Do

Shop At Talad Rot Fai

Visiting a night market in Bangkok is an essential rite of passage for any traveler looking to immerse themselves in the local culture. Among the plethora of options, Rot Fai Night Market stands out as a unknown gem, offering an authentic experience that’s not on the tourist radar.

Here, you’ll find a treasure trove of vintage items, handmade jewelry, and mouthwatering street food from both stalls and local restaurants. Unlike some of the more touristy markets, Rot Fai caters to locals, which creates a relaxed and genuine atmosphere that’s free from the hustle and bustle of overcrowded tourist jaunts. It’s the perfect place to wander, sample delicious treats, and snag some one-of-a-kind finds while soaking in Bangkok’s nightlife.

Bangkok Things To Do

Savor Mu Kratha

Embrace Bangkok Belly and take a gamble on Mu Kratha, Thailand’s beloved (unofficial) national pastime. This unique dining experience combines the best of barbecue and hot pot, offering a mix of flavors and ingredients that most foreigners have yet to discover. 

Picture this: a communal grill in the center of your table, surrounded by a bubbling pot of savory broth simmering with an array of fresh meats, seafood, vegetables, and noodles. As you cook and dine together with friends or family, you’ll savor the communal nature that Mu Kratha embodies. 

if you’re craving a culinary adventure that’s off the beaten path, Mu Kratha is an absolute must-try for an immersive and delicious dining experience in Bangkok.

Bangkok Things To Do

Ball Out At Siam

Prepare for a shopping extravaganza like no other at the community of malls surrounding the Siam BTS station in Bangkok. With an array of fancy malls that seem to stretch endlessly, the sheer density of options here is truly mind-boggling. Whether you’re on the hunt for mid-range essentials or high-end luxury items, this collection of shops boasts the best selection in the city.

Amidst your retail therapy, don’t forget to take a well-deserved break and soak in the hypnotizing view of Bangkok’s skyline from one of the mall gardens, where the towering Mahanakhon Tower stands tall as a striking centerpiece.

Whenever you’re ready to shop ’til you drop and experience the epitome of Bangkok’s shopping scene, the Siam BTS station area will be waiting for you and your wallet.

Bangkok Things To Do

Explore Hua Lamphong

The Hua Lamphong Railway Station stands as an icon of Bangkok’s rich history. With over a century of legacy behind its ornate façade, this station once served as the epicenter of Thailand’s railway network. While it has since been surpassed by a larger and more modern terminal, Hua Lamphong still retains its nostalgia. 

Popular amongst street photographers and the Instagram crowd, the station’s vintage architecture offer endless opportunities for capturing timeless snapshots.

Bangkok Things To Do

Workout In A Green Oasis

For fitness enthusiasts seeking a refreshing outdoor workout experience in Bangkok, look no further than the scenic tracks of Lumpini Park or Benjakitti Park. Reminiscent of the iconic Central Park in New York, these green oases provide ample space for exercise amidst lush greenery.

Whether you prefer jogging along winding paths, practicing yoga on open lawns, or simply taking in the natural beauty on a leisurely walk, both Lumpini and Benjakitti offer ideal settings for staying active and rejuvenating the mind and body in the heart of the Thai capital.

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Honorable Mention

Explore Khlong Toei

For a Thai wet market experience that’s as real as it gets, the Khlong Toei market is the GOAT. Located in the heart of Bangkok, this market isn’t your typical tourist attraction – it’s raw, gritty, and unapologetically genuine. From the thronging atmosphere to the eclectic array of goods on offer, the market offers a true glimpse into the city’s daily life and culinary underbelly. 

Here, you’ll find everything from fresh produce and seafood to aromatic spices and exotic ingredients, all sourced locally and bursting with flavor. While it may not be for the faint-hearted, exploring Khlong Toei market is an adventure for the senses and an essential stop for food enthusiasts looking to dive deep into Bangkok’s food scene.

If you also want to visit the Khlong Toei slums and participate in charity work, please click here.

Bangkok, Thailand

Actionable Information

3 days in Bangkok is enough to scratch the surface of this vibrant city and experience some of its key attractions. However, it’s important to note that Bangkok is a sprawling metropolis with countless layers of history, culture, and entertainment waiting to be explored. While you can certainly visit iconic landmarks like the Grand Palace, Wat Pho, and the bustling street markets within this timeframe, you’ll likely find yourself wanting to dive deeper.

Nope, 7 days in Bangkok is not too long at all! In fact, it’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to experiencing all that this city has to offer. With its rich tapestry of culture, history, and modern amenities, Bangkok has something to offer every type of traveler. From exploring ancient temples and bustling markets to indulging in delectable street food and vibrant nightlife, there’s always something new and exciting to discover in Bangkok. Plus, with its diverse neighborhoods and hidden gems waiting to be explored, you’ll find that even a week in Bangkok is just the beginning of your adventure in this dynamic city.

In Bangkok, there are certain cultural norms and practices to be mindful of to ensure a respectful and enjoyable experience. Here are some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind:

Do:

  • Respect the local customs and traditions, including covering your shoulders and knees when visiting temples or other religious sites.
  • Greet people with a polite “wai” (placing your palms together in a prayer-like gesture) as a sign of respect, especially when meeting elders or those in positions of authority.
  • Remove your shoes before entering someone’s home, temples, or certain businesses, as it is considered impolite to wear shoes indoors.
  • Bargain respectfully at markets and street stalls, but avoid haggling excessively or aggressively.
  • Try the local cuisine, including street food, but be cautious of food hygiene and choose vendors with clean cooking practices.

Don’t:

  • Touch someone’s head, as it is considered the most sacred part of the body in Thai culture.
  • Point your feet at people or sacred objects, as feet are considered the lowest part of the body and are considered impolite.
  • Show public displays of affection, such as kissing or hugging, especially in temples or other sacred sites.
  • Disrespect the royal family or Thai monarchy in any way, as it is considered a serious offense in Thailand.
  • Engage in illegal activities or disrespect local laws and regulations, including drug possession or distribution, which can result in severe penalties.

In Bangkok, there are plenty of unique and culturally rich items that are worth buying as souvenirs or gifts. Below are some of our suggestions:

Thai Silk: Known for its luxurious texture and vibrant colors, Thai silk makes for a beautiful and elegant souvenir. Look for scarves, clothing, or accessories made from authentic Thai silk.

Handcrafted Jewelry: Bangkok is home to skilled artisans who create exquisite jewelry pieces using traditional techniques. From intricate silver designs to colorful gemstone jewelry, you’ll find a wide range of options to choose from.

Thai Handicrafts: Explore local markets and artisan shops for a variety of traditional Thai handicrafts, including handwoven baskets, intricate wood carvings, colorful ceramics, and delicate pottery.

Thai Spa Products: Take home a piece of Thailand’s famous spa culture by purchasing high-quality spa products such as aromatic essential oils, herbal massage balms, natural soaps, and handmade skincare products.

Thai Street Food Ingredients: For food enthusiasts, Bangkok offers a plethora of authentic Thai ingredients and spices that you can take home to recreate your favorite Thai dishes. Look for local markets or specialty food shops to find items like curry pastes, dried herbs, and aromatic rice varieties.

Thai Art & Decor: Adorn your home with unique pieces of Thai art and decor, such as hand-painted ceramics, traditional Thai paintings, intricate wooden carvings, or colorful textiles featuring traditional Thai motifs.

Thai Street Fashion: Embrace Bangkok’s vibrant street fashion scene by shopping for trendy clothing and accessories at local markets, boutique shops, or hip shopping districts like Siam Square or Thonglor.

Bangkok, the capital city of Thailand, is renowned for its rich cultural heritage, bustling markets, and delectable street food. From ornate temples and majestic palaces to lively night markets and vibrant street scenes, Bangkok offers a captivating blend of tradition and modernity. The city’s iconic landmarks, such as the Grand Palace, Wat Pho, and Wat Arun, showcase Thailand’s Buddhist architectural brilliance.

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Alan & May

Welcome to North of Known! We’re Alan and May, a married couple who have embraced digital nomadism while calling Bangkok, Thailand, our current home base. Over the past 7 years, our shared passion for exploration and adventure has fueled our journey across the globe. Join us as we continue to embark on our nomadic adventures, sharing our insights, discoveries, and travel tales along the way.

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