Every year, I visit Bangkok religiously. I always stay at the same hotel, eat the same food and shop at the same places. Each year, I try to visit different attractions and I always have a great time in Bangkok. There are just so many things to do in Bangkok!
15 Jul 18
For all those who have yet to visit Bangkok (how could you?), here are the 20 things to do in Bangkok for first timers, second timers, third timers and you get the drill.
1. Tailor-make your clothes
Have an important event upcoming? Or you just want to have something that will fit you like a glove? Bangkok is a great place to tailor-make your clothes at affordable prices! Just give them the design, have your measurements made, choose your fabric and VOILA! You will be getting your customized shirt in a few days time, more specifically, at least 3 days time! Out of all the things to do in Bangkok, remember to get this done first. Price of a shirt is typically from THB1000 and up while pants are from THB1200 and up, depending on the fabric chosen.
HAN-dy recommendations: Paul’s Fashion Tailor, Jesse and son.
2. Eat the street foods
I don’t think anyone can miss out the street vendors while walking around Bangkok They can be easily found at every corner (or length) of the street and they sell delicious local food at really cheap prices. From exotic fried insects to grilled meat to pomegranate juice, they are definitely must try. Highly recommended is the mango sticky rice. The street vendors sell them at a much cheaper price than those eateries.
HAN-dy recommendations: Mango sticky rice, pomegranate juice, grilled pork, coconut ice cream.
3. Eat at a food court
Gourmandize in a food court conveniently found in the many shopping complexes. There are large varieties of local food and prices start from as low as THB50 for a proper meal. Serving wise, they are a little small so maybe order an extra dish for sharing. Besides, sharing is caring!
HAN-dy recommendations: Pad thai, boat noodles, pork knuckle rice.
4. Visit Chinatown
Wanton noodles, birdnest soup, traditional Chinese dessert, kway chap, char kway teow or Chinese tze-char, find all the popular Chinese dishes in Yaowarat Road, Chinatown. Stroll along the streets lit up by neon lights and feast like an Emperor! Buy your dried food and snacks in Chinatown too.
HAN-dy recommendations: Yellow curry crab, yam paste dessert.
5. Visit Chatuchak Weekend Market
For most tourists visiting Bangkok, the Chatuchak Weekend Market needs no introduction. Only opens on the weekends, Chatuchak is home to more than 8000 stalls. You can most likely get anything you want here. Just remember to brush up your bargaining skills and look out for pickpockets. Dress comfortably in light clothing as it gets really crowded and hot in the afternoon.
6. Visit the Grand Palace
Tour the Grand Palace, a majestic architecture with elaborate details built in 1782. Once the residence and ground where the king and his government were based, it is now one of the most popular tourist attraction. Within the grounds of the palace, saunter around Wat Phra Kaew, also known as Temple of the Emerald Buddha. The Buddha is carved into jade and dressed in one of the three royal robes, depending on the season. Entrance fee to the Grand Palace is THB500. Consider following a tour to know more about the history of the palace.
HAN-dy tip: Dress appropriately – no bare feet, shoulders or legs. The palace reception offers rental cloths to cover up at a deposit.
7. Visit a night market
After a day of shopping, get ready for more shopping at night. When the shopping complexes close, the night markets open. Street vendors set up their stalls outside shopping malls, selling more clothing and also customized items like passport holder, cute pouches, and handphone cases. Fancy shopping around a plane? Or shop in giant metal containers? There also themed night markets that have more than food and shopping to offer.
HAN-dy recommendations: Artbox Night Market, Chang Chui Plane Night Market, Talad Neon Night Market.
8. Visit a supermarket
My personal favorite thing to do when overseas – SUPERMARKET SHOPPING! Buy all the tasty seaweeds or garlic toast biscuit for yourself or as a gift to your friends and family. Or maybe get those made in Thailand ointments that you might need to use one day. Maybe if durian is your thing, you can get them from the supermarkets too. The supermarkets have everything that you will need or think you will (at that impulsive moment).
9. Visit an animal cafe
Love animals? Seeing the number of animal cafes popping up all over the world, most of the human population sure does. Visit an animal cafe to get into close contact with the fur kids. Most of the cafes just require the guests to purchase a drink or meal and then get to spend the day with the adorable animals in the cafe. Plenty of animal cafes in Bangkok so take your pick and be ready to mingle with the fluffy animals.
HAN-dy recommendations: True love at neverland cafe, Little zoo cafe
10. Pray at the Erawan Shrine
Located in front of the Grand Hyatt Erawan Hotel, Erawan Shrine houses the statue of Phra Phrom which is the Thai representation of the Hindu god of creation Lord Brahma. Every day, streams of locals and tourists visit the shrine to pay their respects and wish for favors. Plenty visit to return the favors upon having their wishes granted. Believers also engage the Thai Classical Dance troupe stationed at the shrine to perform for the god. In a bid to save the environment, Erawan Shrine has stopped using joss sticks and burning candles for the prayers.
11. Visit the Temples
Thailand is a devoted Buddhist country, as seen by the numerous temples or better known as wats in the country. Each temple is built with incredible details. Hire a taxi for a day or take a temple tour around Bangkok to admire the architecture and experience the culture of the Thai Buddhists. Or maybe just take some time to meditate in the halls of the temple, taking a break from the fast-paced life.
HAN-dy recommendations: Wat Pho, Wat Arun.
12. Visit the Maeklong Railway Market
Maeklong Railway Market is not your usual market as it is a market that spans along the sides of a railway track. What is more surprising is that the track is still in use. The highlight of the visit is probably hearing the train approaching and seeing the vendors clearing the track for the train, before placing back their goods to continue with their businesses. Find vegetables, fruits, and food, typical things you can find in a market that is located miles away from a train track. It is a unique experience for those looking for a different way to do some grocery shopping.
13. Visit the floating market
Visiting a floating market is another thing on the top of the list of things to do in Bangkok. All first-time visitors should visit a floating market when they are in Bangkok. Seeing people selling goods and food on a boat is not something that we get to see back home. Take a boat ride on the river and experience a peculiar way of shopping. There are several floating markets in Bangkok, with the most famous one being Damnoen Saduak Floating Market. Located about 1.5 hr drive away from Bangkok city, it is the biggest and most touristy floating market. There are also tours which bring you to different floating markets in a day.
14. Watch a Muay Thai fight
Catch a live Muay Thai match to get your adrenaline pumping! A typical match goes for 5 rounds, each lasting 3 mins long, with a 2 mins break between each round. For the first round, there is usually not much action as the fighters are trying to feel the opponent out. The intensity of the match increases from the second round onwards and peaks at fourth round. Usually, by the fifth round, the fight slows down as the results of the match is more or less fixed by then. Ticket prices can go from complementary to THB2000 (for ringside seats), depending on the stadium hosting the event.
15. Visit foreign themed attractions
Bangkok seems to be obsessed with Europe. They have attractions like Venezia, Santorini Park, Swiss sheep farm, and Chocolate Ville, just to name a few.
In my humble opinion, Chocolate Ville is the prettiest of them all and can be easily accessible by a taxi. Go at night and watch the whole place light up. If you want to travel further out, hire a taxi or join a tour for a day trip to visit Venezia, Santorini Park, and Swiss sheep farm.
In Venezia, take a gondola ride along the man-made river or explore the upside-down exhibition. There is also a European park where you get to see famous icons of Europe.
Santorini Park has a water theme park and an outdoor Miffy Rabbit exhibit. The shops and restaurants are found in Santorini styled buildings, good for people who have yet to visit Santorini.
Swiss sheep farm, as the name suggests, has lots of sheep. Besides that, there is also an air-conditioned space that houses alpacas and a large area where bunnies roam.
16. Cafe hopping
There are so many cafes in Bangkok, offering different themes and cuisine. From Hello Kitty cafe to the Unicorn cafe, spend a day cafe hopping to take your Instagram worthy food shot. Many cafes also serve up really good food and desserts which won’t burn a hole in your wallet. When trying out the differently themed cafes, make sure to pace yourself so that you can visit as many cafes as you can!
HAN-dy recommendations: Roast cafe, After you cafe, Greyhound cafe.
17. Shop till you drop
Needless to say, shopping must be at the top of the list of things to do in Bangkok for most people. Being a shopping paradise, it is hard for one to keep within their budget when there are shops everywhere. A tee in Bangkok typically ranges from THB100 and up. Most of the shops offer wholesale prices, meaning that if you were to purchase 3 or more (varies from shop to shop), they offer a discount. Some street vendors will jack up their prices so be ready to bargain or walk away. Do it nicely with a smile and you will most likely succeed in your bargaining quests.
HAN-dy recommendations: Platinum shopping mall, Central Mall
18. Ride a Tuk-Tuk
Take a Tuk-Tuk ride to experience the most representative mode of transport in the country. Just remember to pre-set the price before the journey and be wary when the driver drives you off-course. There have been scary stories of Tuk-Tuk drivers taking their passengers en route to some shops and forcing them to buy something before driving them to their destinations. Otherwise, a Tuk-Tuk is a convenient mode of transport for short distances or perhaps just for the experience!
19. Enjoy massages at affordable prices
After a long day of shopping and walking, what could possibly be better for those poor feet? A massage, of course! Definitely at the top of my things to do in Bangkok list, treat yourself to a massage after a long day of exploration. A traditional Thai massage will most likely help you to loosen up those tense muscles. Most massage parlors charge a 1 hr massage session at THB250 but if you were to go before 7 pm, some of them offer cheaper prices of THB200.
HAN-dy tip: Consider tipping if you have enjoyed your massage.
20. Take a water taxi to Asiatique the Riverfront
Take a water taxi and enjoy a 15 mins cruise along the Chao Phraya River. The water taxi will take you from Sathorn Pier to Asiatique the Riverfront. Enjoy the Bangkok skyline lighted up along the river banks before reaching Asiatique the Riverfront, which has more than 1500 stalls and 40 restaurants. More importantly, it is split into four districts to make navigation easier. There are also venues for performances like Joe Louis Puppet Theatre, Muay Thai live performances, and the Calypso Cabaret show.
So there we have it – 20 things to do in Bangkok and surely, Bangkok has so much more to offer. Pack your bags and start booking your next adventure to the Land of Smiles.
Drop us a comment on what other things to do in Bangkok. Khob Khun Kah.
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