Looking for tips on things to do in Bangkok, Thailand?
As part of our city guide series, we interviewed Mark Wiens of Migrationology who first landed in Bangkok in early 2009, and now calls Bangkok his home.
Mark shared with us insider tips about the best things to do in Bangkok, including places to eat, sleep, shop, and explore.
Why Visit Bangkok, Thailand
The glittering golden palaces and temples, solid teak houses, museums, everything that can be imagined, endless shopping, and a stretch of delicious food are the main reasons to include Bangkok on your travel list.
THE BEST THING YOU NEED TO DO IN BANGKOK
Great Palace / Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of Emerald Buddha)
Without a doubt, the Great Palace and Wat Phra Kaew (in the same complex), are the most popular and popular attractions to do in Bangkok. The palace and golden temple is a magical display of Thai handicrafts, and must be seen for every first time visitor to the city.
Wat Pho (Sleeping Buddha)
Wat Pho is the home of the Buddha lying giant gold, and also the location where the original Thai massage was created. This is a very impressive sight that you don’t want to miss!
Wat Arun (Temple of the Rising Sun)
One of my personal favorite temples in Bangkok is Wat Arun, which is located along the Chao Phraya River. You can take two flights up the main stupa for fantastic river views.
Formerly the palace of the Thai royal family, Vimanmek Mansion is the largest golden teak structure in the world and is now set aside as a museum. The house itself, and a collection of valuable artifacts in it, are a glimpse into the Thai royal family.
With permanent shops and temporary kiosks, the Chatuchak weekend market includes around 15,000 vendors. Almost everything you want is available somewhere in a shopping dispute.
The local fresh food market is one of the best places to observe daily life in any city; For Bangkok, this is the wild and busy Khlong Toey Market, which continues to energize.
Almost everyone who has a restaurant or kiosk in downtown Bangkok shop in this market. For less busy and clean options, try Or Kor Kor Market, which is located across the street from Chatuchak Market.
Take a tour with the locals
With Locals is an online travel marketplace that connects people through food and experience. Why not take a tour with locals in Bangkok and enjoy delicious dishes at a local Thai house, or enjoy a city tour from a local perspective. Read more about what to do in Bangkok and find the right local experience for you.
THE BEST NEIGHBOR TO EXPLORE IN BANGKOK
Busy, busy, full of shops, and filled with food, is Chinatown in Bangkok and is one of the best things to do in Bangkok.
During the day, you will find markets that sell everything from food to knick-knacks, and starting in the afternoon, you can dine at countless street food stalls set up along Yaowarat Road.
Siam / Pratunam
Siam and Pratunam, not far from each other, are the most famous shopping districts in Bangkok. Together with large malls, you will find many shopping, entertainment, hotel and restaurant trails.
Khao San Road
Almost all backpackers who visit Thailand finally head to Khao San Road, a road filled with hostels, bars, nightclubs, food, clothing stalls, and many travelers.
This is not everyone’s favorite area, but if you are looking for cheap accommodation and nightlife, Khao San Road is a popular choice.
WHERE TO EAT IN BANGKOK
Eating around the city is one of the best things to do in Bangkok.
Sukhumvit Soi 38 (Budget)
There are many street food streets in Bangkok, and one of them is Sukhumvit Soi 38. Every night, street food stalls are set up on both sides of the road serving delicious things like pad Thai, soup noodles, fried sauteed dishes and Thai salads.
Larb Bpet Yasothon (Budget)
Located on the sidewalk opposite the cemetery, we are nicknamed the popular Silom street restaurant “a place to eat graves.” Attracting a lot of local people every night, their entire menu is amazing, especially the green papaya salad and grilled chicken wings.
Ship noodles are one of the most loved noodle soup dishes in Bangkok. They were previously served directly from boat traders floating in the canal, but now the most popular place for boat noodles is next to the canal at the Victory Monument. The noodles are chewy, rich and always flavorful.
Sabai Jai Gai Yang (Middle)
This long-standing Thai restaurant, which serves almost all genres of Thai cuisine, is a great place to meet friends or share food with your family. Famous grilled chicken, like their tom yum goong soup.
The Local (Top Class)
The combination of Royal Thai recipes and comfort food at home is what the chef wants at The Local. The incredible composition of salads, curries and stir fry is not only perfectly balanced, but is complicated.
things to do in Bangkok
Thai party at Larb Bpet Yasothon
YOU CANNOT VISIT BANGKOK WITHOUT EATING …
Everything you see!
Okay, I know it’s not entirely possible, but the world of Thai food is very diverse and very attractive to taste, so whatever you meet must be eaten.
Those who are saying, here are some things you should not miss.
This is the famous Thai green papaya salad that includes grated green papaya, tomatoes, dried shrimp, garlic, and chili. The ingredients are pounded together in mortar and pestle and wrapped in palm sugar, fish sauce, and lots of lime juice.
Khao Neow Moo Ping
There are no better snacks on the streets in Bangkok than some freshly baked pork skewers paired with bags full of sticky rice!
As mentioned above, they are small bowls of rice noodles boiled with morning glory, and smothered in rich pork broth.
Pad Kra Pao
Pad kra pao, the most common fried sauteed dish available in Bangkok, is a choice of meat or seafood fried in garlic, chili and important holy basil. Placed on rice, with fried eggs beside it, this is one of the classic Thai street food dishes.
For more delicacy, see this Thai Food Guide
things to do in Bangkok
Pad Kra Pao Goong Kai Dao (Shirmp d / Sacred Basil and Fried Eggs)
WHERE TO DRINK IN BANGKOK
Located not far on Sukhumvit Soi 11, Cheap Charlie’s is one of the most popular dive bars in the city. This is the perfect place to drink and hang out.
As one of the best live music venues in Bangkok, Saxophone Pub is a fun place to listen to great music and relax. They serve a variety of drinks and also have a full food menu.
Londoner is Bangkok’s favorite British-style brewery that offers food and drinks in a classic pub environment.
Open 24 hours, you can get coffee and WiFi all the time at this popular Silom cafe.
WHERE TO STAY IN BANGKOK
New Road Guest House (Budget)
New Road is a friendly, friendly guesthouse located on Charoen Krung Road and just steps from the Chao Phraya River.
Lub d Siam Square (Middle)
Across the street from the MBK shopping center and just below the BTS National Stadium station, Lub d Siam Square is one of the most strategically located hostels in the city. This is a nice hostel with super comfortable beds and amazing showers.
Bangkok Loft Inn (Mid)
This hotel offers fantastic prices, and makes it the perfect place to stay for families and couples. Located near the BTS Skytrain and very close to the river, you will have easy access to Bangkok’s main tourist attractions.
If you are looking for the best in 5 star luxury, make sure to visit Hansar. I personally never lived there, but I have heard from friends that it is the best accommodation in Bangkok.
THE BEST MARKET & SHOPPING IN BANGKOK
Going shopping is one of the best things to do in Bangkok.
Shopping is one of the most popular reasons people come to Bangkok, and there is no better place to get everything you need than in Siam. Including Siam Discovery, Siam Square, Siam Paragon, Central World, and giant MBK, you will never run out of shopping options.
Right behind Central World, and not far from Siam, is the Pratunam market. If you want the best deals for wholesale clothing and fashion accessories made locally, visit Pratunam.
Open Saturday and Sunday, the Chatuchak weekend market, is one of the top shopping destinations in Bangkok. Browse the wind through narrow alleys and you will find everything from clothes to puppies.
Bangkok is a haven for shoppers, and for more options, look at the 6 most popular shopping markets.
BEST FESTIVALS & EVENTS IN BANGKOK
The Songkran festival, which officially takes place from April 13-15, is an exciting celebration to deliver the Thai new year, spend time with family, and play water (as the Thais call it).
Light water over the head, which was a symbol of the beginning of a new clean, has now turned into an all-out water fight across the country.As long as Songkran, stepping outside like stepping into a swimming pool – you will definitely get a spark. All countries are ready for fun, so this is the right time to visit Thailand and celebrate with everyone.
Chinese New Year in Bangkok
The Chinese have long been entangled in Thailand and Bangkok, so one of the most famous holidays of the year is the Chinese New Year. Parades, food, and family gatherings are part of this event.
Thai Vegetarian Festival
After falling ill in Thailand, a group of Chinese opera players decided to adopt a strict vegetarian diet. Today, the vegetarian festival is an annual event and attracts many people from all over the world.You will find many vegan street stalls throughout Bangkok, especially around Chinatown.
Are you vegetarian? Then see this vegetarian vegetarian food guide.
GET AROUND BANGKOK
Bangkok really offers all forms of transportation available: trains, subways, buses, taxis, canal boats, river boats, motorbikes, tuk tuks, and even some human-powered rickshaws in certain areas.
Around the central part of Bangkok, the BTS Skytrain (Subway train) and Subway MRT, are two of the most convenient and easy ways to get around. They are new, clean, efficient and the best, you don’t have to wait in traffic.
Unfortunately, even though the plan was to expand the railway line, until now they did not cover the entire city, so it was necessary to take other forms of transportation too.
The public river boat is also very comfortable. Throughout the day, ferries take passengers up and down in the center of Bangkok’s Chao Phraya River, stopping at a number of piers along the road.
Because the area around the river is an old part of Bangkok, many of the most famous sights along the riverbank.
Taxis, tuk tuks and motorbikes are all widely available, affordable, and can take you anywhere in the city.
things to do in Bangkok
Motorcycle during rush hour in Bangkok
Read full: Travel in Bangkok, Thailand
FIND WIFI IN BANGKOK
Almost all Bangkok accommodations include WiFi as well as many indoor restaurants, cafes and shopping centers.
Terminal 21 is a new and attractive shopping center that happens to have a good food court and decent WiFi.
Third Place is a Bangkok workspace club where you can pay 150 THB for one day, and then use their exceptional facilities, and WiFi for the whole day.
Read more: How to maintain internet security and privacy when using free Wi-Fi
THE BEST TIME TO VISIT BANGKOK
April is the most enjoyable time in Bangkok and throughout Thailand. Even though this is the hottest time of the year, it happens when the famous water festival (which is actually the Thai New Year), known as Songkran, takes place.
November / December / January
Based on relative standards, this period is winter in Bangkok, making visits less sweaty and more pleasant. December is also one of the busiest tourist seasons, so many of the most famous tourist spots are crowded.
So visit Bangkok in November or January, when the weather is cooler, but the number of visitors in December is still small, making those months the right time to visit.
FAVORITE HOLIDAY FROM BANGKOK
One thing I can’t get in Thailand is the amount of fresh tropical fruit. I eat a lot of fruit! During the main fruit season, between April and July, I like going to the Suan Supatra fruit plantation. Not only can you see fruit trees and see how each fruit grows, but you can eat as much fruit as you want!
Many people who visit Bangkok go straight to the famous Damnoen Saduak floating market (ie around 1.5 hours outside Bangkok) under the guidance of all tour guides and guidebooks. Many don’t realize that in Bangkok there are also several floating markets.
My two favorites are Khlong Lat Mayom and Bang Nam Pheung, both of which are accessible by public transportation. They make a great place to roam, shop, and taste delicious food.
One of the most famous day trips from Bangkok is to Ayutthaya, the ancient capital of the Siamese kingdom. Visiting temples, ruins, temples and fortifications are all attractions that this city has to offer.
GETTING THERE & AWAY
Bangkok is the main center of Southeast Asia, so it is never difficult to find flights to the city.
There are hundreds of airlines and operators who land at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport. I have flown everything from Korean Air to Emirates to China Airlines to Bangkok before.
If it comes from other destinations in Southeast Asia, or even some cities in Australia, Air Asia offers good deals for cheap flights. Buses and trains are very good, but sometimes if you get a good price on an Air Asia flight, this can save a lot of time, effort, and the price can be very reasonable.
Air Asia operates from Bangkok’s Don Mueang International Airport north of the city.
Traveling to and from Bangkok by bus is probably the best choice after a cheap flight. There are a number of different classes, from sitting chairs to luxury chairs that lean against the bed.
Mo Chit is Bangkok’s main bus terminal for northern destinations, while most of the buses to the south of the county depart from Sai Tai Mai. To reach several major destinations close to Bangkok, such as Pattaya and Hua Hin, go to the Ekkamai Bus Terminal.
The train system is fine, but I wouldn’t call it too broad. The Bangkok route to Chiang Mai is a good choice and there is also a railroad to the south.
Hitting the local market is one of the best things to do in Bangkok to shop, watch people, and eat.
I personally like going to the market known as Wang Lang Market, a local open air shopping area that includes an outrageous supply of street food and snacks.
This giant 3-headed elephant, which doubles as a temple and private museum, is actually located just outside Bangkok, in Samut Prakan province. But with the extension of the BTS Skytrain (all roads leading to the Bearing station), it’s easy to get there, and it’s a very impressive attraction.
True, sharp and spicy fruit is what I consider to be one of the main attractions in Bangkok. Try it, you might like it (like me)!
You don’t have to walk more than a few steps before finding something that looks delicious!
It was truly an extraordinary mixture of food that made me initially fall in love with Bangkok.
In a busy area of the city, every square meter is home to smiling vendors who are ready and glad to serve you a plate of spicy green papaya salad or a plate of fried chicken with basil. Bangkok is an endless buffet.
Along with food, I really like the way Bangkok is a very modern functioning city, but at the same time it remains very traditional and in accordance with its rich cultural heritage. It is possible to be surrounded by skyscrapers one time and then be in a traditional, peaceful community the next.
Lastly, I like Bangkok just because everything is so comfortable. Hungry, thirsty, sick, or any other need? You can really walk outside your door and get whatever you need.
PLAN YOUR TRIP TO BANGKOK
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BIO – Mark Wiens was born into law, grew up in Kenya, and eventually moved to Thailand where he became obsessed with food. In Migrationology, he shared his latest tour party, while at Eating Thai Food he blogged about Bangkok street food