Bangkok is a wonderful, vibrant city that is perfect for those looking for history and temples, a party or just to immerse themselves into a different culture.
Here are my personal favourite things to do in Bangkok
It can get busy, very busy, but it is worth braving the crowds to tour this incredible palace with numerous buildings, temples and monuments to keep you occupied for the whole day.
Made up of three zones, you will probably spend most of your time in the Outer Court where government departments were housed and where the major attractions are. The Temple of The Emerald Buddha also known as Wat Phra Kaew, was established by King Rama I in 1782. Carved from a block of jasper, it measures 66cm high and is in a northern Thai style probably from the 15th century. It is regarded as the most important Buddha image in Thailand.
In the Central Court, where the King used to reside, two of the throne halls are open to the public.
The inner court is where the King’s royal consorts and daughters lived and is not open to the public.
Wat Pho – The Temple of the Reclining Buddha
Next door to the Grand Palace, a 10 minute walk, is Wat Pho.
Home to the incredible 15 metre tall and 46 metre long Reclining Buddha as well as the largest collection of Buddha images in Thailand.
This is also an excellent location for a relaxing post Grand Palace Thai Massage and even has a world renowned school for Thai Massage on site.
While we are talking about taking a massage you really need to have at least one during your visit.
Bangkok probably has thousands of massage centres located in the soi’s, shopping centres, markets and hotels.
Personally I love a traditional Thai massage but there are usually plenty of options including oil, hand, feet and head massages.
Be warned, if you pick your massage centre in one of the “adult” areas of the city, there is probably more on offer than a regular massage.
Chatuchak Weekend Market
Markets have been popping up all over Bangkok over the years. Chatuchak dates back further than most and remains the biggest and best market.
Taking place every Saturday and Sunday from 9.00am to 6.00pm, with over 15,000 stalls the market can attract more than 200,000 people every weekend so don’t expect to have the place to yourself.
Bangkok has a large Chinese population and this is reflected in the Chinatown district or Yaowarat.
A great place for exploring the tiny soi’s with a vast array of small stalls and shops selling all kinds of produce, clothing, souvenirs and more.
Markets pop up from nowhere during the evening adding to the goods on offer.
The area is also known worldwide for the quality and number of gold shops and for some excellent restaurants.
If you are around during Chinese New Year expect Chinatown to be even more hectic, colourful and exciting than normal. It can get a little overwhelming for some however as the area attracts scores of visitors from China at this time of year.
At times it can feel that Bangkok life is permanently spent at top speed, unless you are stuck in a traffic jam surrounded by cars, mopeds and tuk tuks.
A trip to Lumini Park in the centre of Bangkok is a great place to escape the crowds and enjoy the open spaces.
Popular with locals you can watch, or join in, the Tai Chi sessions, take a jog or hire a paddle boat on the lake. Most will just walk around the pleasant trails, relaxing away from the hustle and bustle. You may even spot some of the more exotic local wildlife.
Chao Phraya River
An excellent way of escaping the traffic and moving around the city in a much more relaxed atmosphere.
Many take a river trip purely to see the city from a completely different viewpoint. Others use it as prefered means of transport to the Grand Palace, Asiatique – the Riverfront, or to cross to the other side of the river and a more traditional part of of the city.
An evening trip on the river is also an excellent way to take in the wonderful Temple of Dawn or Wat Arun.
Sample the Food
Take a food tour.
Book at a table at a gourmet restaurant.
Take in the views at a rooftop restaurant.
Sample food from street vendors or market stalls.
The food choice in Bangkok is seemingly endless and there are options for all budgets.
I can’t remember a bad meal in Bangkok.
I remember walking down Sukhumvit Road when one of our group decided we need to stop at the next place we saw. We came to a Subway and up above was a Thai restaurant. It didn’t look especially appealing and we didn’t expect the best meal. The reality was that the food was excellent, cheap and even converted our fussiest eater to Thai food.
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