There are so many things to do in Bangkok, Thailand that any list would be incomplete. This top 10 things to do will give you some of the most popular ideas for what to do while spending part of your Thailand vacation in Bangkok.
1. The Grand Palace
Situated on the banks of the Chao Phraya River, the Grand Palace was once the official residence of Thai Royalty. Today it is the top tourist attraction in Thailand, drawing over eight million visitors a year. The large palace complex houses numerous ornate buildings, including Wat Phra Kaew, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. The Grand Palace can be easily accessed via taxi or riverboat at the Chang Pier, and it is open everyday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. with an admission fee of 300 Thai Baht. Be sure to wear conservative attire, including pants and shirts with sleeves. They have amulets to purchase, or if you’re overseas you can purchase here.
2. Chatuchak Market
This enormous open-air weekend market is home to more than 5,000 booths that sell everything imaginable from all over Thailand. JJ Market as it is known amongst locals offers a variety of clothing, antiques, textiles, home-wares, pets and just about anything you could want. The meandering maze of stalls feature some of the best bargains in Thailand, so don’t be afraid to barter a bit. Dress comfortable as this excursion can last all day. The market is located on Phaholyothin Road within walking distance of the Mo Chit Skytrain Station and the Kampaengphet subway station. You can also find Thailand amulets here to purchase – though most will be fake.
3. Siam Paragon
The premier high-end shopping mall in Bangkok, Siam Paragon is home to luxury retailers, gourmet restaurants, and a variety of entertainment attractions, including a word-class aquarium and movie theater. The large marble clad corridors are great for escaping the heat and seeing Bangkok’s jet set in action. The first floor houses a large food court with many international chain restaurants and local favorites. Siam Paragon is located on Rama 1 Road, with direct access to the Siam Skytrain Station.
4. Wat Pho
Wat Pho is the oldest and largest temple in Bangkok and home to the gold embossed reclining Buddha, constructed to symbolize his passing into Nirvana. The enormous statue measures 46 meters long and 15 meters high, and was constructed by King Rama III in 1832. Wat Pho also houses a renowned school of traditional Thai massage and medicine. The open-air massage parlor offers a variety of treatments for an exceptionally low price. The best time to visit is in the late morning before it becomes overcrowded with tourists. Wat Pho has Buddhist amulets for sale.
5. Patpong Night Market
Known as the center of debauchery in Bangkok, Patpong is also well regarded for its high-quality copies of name brand goods. This is a great place to go if you’re looking for a fake Louis Vuitton handbag, Rolex or any type of designer knockoff. Although this area is not for everyone, it presents a unique look into how Bangkok has adapted to the tourist scene. The gauntlet of touts offering seedy shows and other forms of naughty entertainment are easily discouraged by a simple shake of the head.
6. Khaosan Road
The epicenter of Bangkok’s backpacker community, Khoasan Road is lined with pubs, trinket shops, and an endless array of entertaining sites. Low cost accommodation abounds in this area, catering to mainly backpackers and tourists on a tight budget. Go in the evening for a drink and watch as numerous interesting characters from around the world peruse this vibrant thoroughfare. Khaosan is situated within close proximity of the Grand Palace, and the Chayo Phraya River. Khaosan Road is known for its nightlife, similar to Patong Beach but without the beach.
7. Royal City Avenue
RCA, as it is known amongst locals and taxi drivers, is home to many high end discos and relaxed pubs, most of which feature live music. The strip of entertainment venues caters to high-end partygoers, mostly young Thais, but there is a substantial foreign presence on weekends. Hip-hop, house, techno, and live Thai music are the most common sounds emanating from this attraction. If you get there early, it may seem a bit quiet, because the real merrymakers don’t make it out until after 11:00 p.m. or later.
8. MBK or Mahboonkrong
If you are looking for a mobile phone or nice gift to take home, head to the maze-like shopping mall known as MBK. Situated adjacent to Siam Paragon, MBK features an endless array of booths selling every imaginable trinket, electronic device, and article of clothing known to man. There is also a movie theater, bowling alley and plenty of places to have a meal or snack. Make sure to budget plenty of time and plan to get lost in this never-ending series of quaint shops.
9. Suanlum Night Bazaar
This centrally located market is a great place to browse a variety of crafts, and other gifts in the comfort of the cool night air. There are also myriad beer gardens, Thai restaurants, and food courts where you can enjoy fare of all types. The central area is home to a large stage where performers entertain diners and it is perfect for enjoying a beer and conversing with friends. The market is open from 4:00 p.m. until midnight, and the best time to go is just after sunset when the daytime heat has dissipated.
10. Thong LorAkin to Rodeo Boulevard in Los Angeles, Thong Lor is a bastion of high-end boutiques, restaurants, and entertainment venues. Jet-setters and celebrities call this area home along with a strong population of Japanese expats. There is a large selection of Japanese and Korean barbeque, along with Thai restaurants. The upscale shopping plaza known as J Avenue is also located here, and it features a selection grocery stores, entertainment venues, and coffee shops. Thong Lor is great for people watching and catching a bite to eat before heading out for the night.
All content © Vern Lovic.