Things to do in Bangkok, Thailand

Things to do in Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok, the “City of Angels”, is a fast paced vibrant urban metropolis packed with things to do and places to see. From street-side restaurants to ultra hip rooftop bars, ancient temples to taking a tuk-tuk tour through at night, Bangkok, one of the most bustling cities in Asia, has it all.

Here are my suggestions of things to do in this buzzing city if you have limited time if you are visiting on a stopover or a short trip.
 

The Asiatique Riverfront Market

The Asiatique Riverfront Market is located in the old warehouse of the East Asiatic Company, whose history was a prominent riverside trading post. It is now a vast market, with lots of small shops selling various items.

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You can find various food stalls selling interesting dishes, including insects, if you are brave enough to try!

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There are also various fresh fruits and juices to refresh and hydrate yourself with from the intense heat.

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Take a river cruise along the Chao Phraya River 

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This is a lovely way to see some of Bangkok’s attractions as well as marvel at the contrast of new vs old buildings and get a glimpse of life in Bangkok.

You can hire a boat or go on the ferry, and this is the way you can also access Wat Arun, which you can see in the photograph, and which is one of Bangkok’s landmarks.

Have a drink at one of the city’s Rooftop Bars

Bangkok by night is a glittering rainbow of lights and there is no better place to take it all in than one of the many rooftop bars dotted across the city. I visited the Sky Bar which was featured in The Hangover II, and the views were immense! It is slightly on the pricier side but is definitely worth it.

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The Vertigo & Moon Bar at Banyan Tree also offers alternative spectacular views of the city.

Try the Mojitos at Aqua Bar, Anantara Hotel

If you are a Mojito lover like me, the Mojito Collection at the Aqua Bar housed in the Anantara Hotel is an amazing selection of my favourite tipple!

I tried the Passion & More and it was divine!

Kakigori at After You Dessert Cafe

The Kakigori was recommended to me by a dear friend and now I am doing the same as it was insanely good! I tried it at After You Dessert Cafe at The Central Mall (although there are a few branches). The entire dessert menu is lust worthy and so go there hungry!

Visit Wat Arun

Wat Arun is also known as the Temple of Dawn and is located on the banks of the Chao Phraya River. It is considered to be a landmark in Bangkok, and if you climb to the top of the stairs you can get some amazing views.

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I loved the intricate design on the temple walls and all the various statues. You can make an offering here or simply just admire the temple and its grounds.

Stroll down Khao San Road

Khao San Road, which lights up at night and is popular with backpackers, is worth a visit but may not be for everyone. Think street parties, street food and crowds of partying travellers. It is definitely happening! It is popular for hostels and street parties.

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If you fancy something quieter, the parallel roads are less packed.

Go on the BTS Sky Train

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The BTS or Bangkok Sky Train is one of the most convenient ways to travel in Bangkok and experience the daily commute. It is not expensive, super clean and really easy to navigate. I really enjoyed travelling on it and recommend it as a fuss free way to get around the city or to discover Bangkok.

Try the street food in China Town

Yaowaraj Road, in the the heart of Chinatown, is worth a visit during the evening as it is a massive food market with so many different street food hawkers.

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The Mango with sticky rice was my favourite and a must try! Especially if you are a mango lover.

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There is so much to see and try that you can spend hours here. I love the way Chinatown is lit up at night too and it has a real buzz from masses of tourists and locals combined.

I wasn’t brave enough to try Durian but do let me know if you have tried it and love it!

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Bangrak Food Tour

Bangrak, is known as the village of love, and has lots of street food vendors, as well as other stalls selling clothing and home goods. It is definitely worth a visit to try the various different popular street food snacks. I particularly enjoyed the Pandan pancakes as well as the coffee made with condensed milk. There is a vast variety of things you can try though!

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I loved seeing the various stalls and how much passion they had.

Bangkok Tuk Tuk tour

A fantastic way to experience Bangkok by night is to book one of the Tuk Tuk tours. It is so much fun and a great insight into the colourful, twinkling city, and a great way to see the various landmarks as well as markets.

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I highly recommend it and it was one of the highlights for me.

Floating Markets

Visit one of Bangkok’s popular Floating Markets where you can try different food, buy souvenirs, art pieces or trinkets and observe the different vendors in their wooden boats.

A must try is either the Mango with Sticky Rice or the Coconut ice cream!

Maeklong Railway Market

This is the most unique of any markets I have been to as it has a train running through the middle of it several times a day. The vendors simply move their produce for a few minutes whilst the train passes through and then go back to their day as normal. It is truly amazing to see!

It is over an hour’s drive from Bangkok and ideal to pair with the Floating Markets.

(Ps. I got on to the track after the train passed).

The Grand Palace

Bangkok’s Grand Palace is a must see in the capital city. The architecture is stunning and the decor on the walls is so intricate and awe-inspiring. It was built in 1782, commissioned by then-king Rama I, who founded Thailand’s Chakri Dynasty. It’s also known for being the home to the Jade Buddha – or the Emerald Buddha.

Whilst at The Grand Palace, I highly recommend a visit to the National Palace Museum.

Please note that you have to be dressed appropriately to visit The Grand Palace as it is considered a sacred place.

Eat at Gaggan before it closes in 2020! 

Gaggan, which serves Progressive Indian Cuisine, is a MUST. However it is so hard to get a table so make sure you contact them at least 3 months in advance. With 2 Michelin Stars, Number 5 on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants List and Number 1 in Asia’s Top 50 Best Restaurants, it is an experience like no other!

You are presented with a 25 course menu which only has emojis and the dishes you ate are not revealed to you until the end of your meal. It is incredible!

A day trip to Ayutthaya

If you have time, a day trip to Ayutthaya, which is just over an hour’s drive from Bangkok, is a must visit to see the ancient temples. It is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has a plethora of temples to see, each with lots of history and different Buddha Statues. You can even see the iconic Buddha head entwined in tree roots here.

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Ayutthaya

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You can read more about Ayutthaya in my blog post here.

Have you been to Bangkok? What were your highlights? I would love to know in the comments section below.

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Binita Shah-Patel

Hi, I’m Binny – a writer, dreamer, serial wanderluster and travel addict. I am originally from Kenya but now live in London. I set up this blog to share my experiences eating out as well as travelling.

I love packing my bags and going off on adventures as one of the best things about travelling is the ability to just get lost in it. To set aside the maps and itineraries and just see where the road takes you, learning and evolving and living in the moment along the way.

It’s my goal to get swept off my feet as often as possible.

Find me on: Web | Twitter

5 Comments

  1. October 4, 2017 / 12:08 pm

    I love this! So many recommendations off the usual tourist trail. Will definitely keep these in mind for when we ever go back. On Durian- if you can stand the ummmm special smell, it actually tastes really nice…a cross between banana and pineapple. Don’t ever forget to throw the seed because that smell is pungent! I ate the fruit and chucked the seed in M’s camera bag…he wasnt a happy bunny with that scent!

  2. October 10, 2017 / 11:14 am

    Bangkok is such an atmospheric place!!

  3. October 12, 2017 / 9:28 am

    Eek insect snacks! I don’t think I would ever be brave enough to try those, or the durian either I’ve heard all about that small. So glad you had an amazing time though, it looks wonderful, I loved your Insta-stories from your trip!

  4. Farzana
    December 10, 2017 / 8:59 am

    Very informative when I went to Thailand I didn’t do half of what you mentioned um need to plan another trip thank you. As for durian fruit the smell ….. But I did eat the durian tinned fruit in a fruit pudding it was amazing ..

  5. November 5, 2018 / 8:58 pm

    Great post Binny – I just love this vibrant city too and am lucky enough to have visited several times and taken those food tours! I didn’t make it to Gaggan but I did visit Gaa just opposite and by the same owner. I must try Gaggan on my next trip!

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