If you’re in Bangkok for just a few days, how do you decide where to go and what to do? From visiting Temples and palaces, to eating at famous street food stands, or walking around in outdoor markets….you could happily fill several weeks in this bustling city and still not see it all!
I’ve compiled a short list of unique things to do in Bangkok that you should add to your itinerary. The below selection has a good mix of cultural and leisure activities that you can space out throughout the day. Please check their website for updated promotions and deal rates throughout the year.
10. Bangkok National Museum
When deciding what to do in Bangkok you’ll discover there are countless museums of different sizes and different subjects all across the city but if you want a general overview of Thai art and history, be sure to visit the Bangkok National Museum.
This is the largest museum in Southeast Asia so you should set aside several hours at least for visiting this particular Bangkok attraction. It’s recommended for anyone who’d like to learn more about the intricate history of Thailand. Starting in pavilion one you’ll see some very nice exhibits that begin to summarise the country’s history. The rest of the museum is set over numerous buildings, some with more to offer, and some with better exhibits than others. Parts of the museum have benefited from refurbishment, while others would still benefit from more work, but overall the insight you’ll gain from visiting will help you have a better understanding of the local culture and more of an appreciation for the many things to do in Bangkok.
9. Chatuchak (JJ) Weekend Market
Among the many things to do in Bangkok, shopping is always a popular pastime both for tourists and for locals. There are countless markets and shopping malls, but none come close to beating the experience you’ll find at the Chatuchak Weekend Market. It’s a mammoth market and one of the top attractions in Bangkok, with somewhere in the region of 15,000 different stalls and about 200,000 visitors each day that it’s open. As the name suggests this is primarily a weekend market, open Saturday and Sunday, though one section, called Jatujak Plaza is open throughout the week too. You can find many shopping deals here that will be much cheaper than anywhere else in Bangkok. No coupons necessary!
There’s no point in trying to list what you can buy at the market because the fact is you can buy just about anything and the goods are all affordably priced. Of course, you should haggle over prices anyway and get a little more off what the vendor first quotes you as this is the expected thing to do in Bangkok!
Come early to beat some of the crowds and to beat the heat – with so many people wandering around the stalls the market does get very hot and uncomfortable, and you don’t want this to ruin your visit. If you’re okay with the crowds stay for the day and enjoy some great food from the multitude of food carts.
8. Bangkok Safari World Zoo and Marine Park (http://www.safariworld.com/)
Take the family on a full-day guided excursion out of Bangkok to Safari World, Thailand’s most popular open zoo. Covering more than 200 acres (80 hectares), Safari World contains two main attractions — the Safari Park and Marine Park. Drive through African-inspired landscapes, take a jungle river cruise, get wet on a water flume ride and see a variety of animal shows. Watch lions and tigers from your vehicle, or step out on the Jungle Walk and Safari Terrace for a close-up view. Lunch and transport are included.
With pickup from your selected hotel or the central meeting point in Bangkok, the only planning you have to do is when you arrive at Safari World. Head to the information center with your guide for a detailed map with available attractions and show schedules. Once you’re informed about the lunch venue and your meeting point when it’s time to depart, you’re left to explore on your own.
If you have never been to Africa then the Safari Park is the ultimate safari experience. Board a luxury coach through African-designed landscapes to see hundreds of animals from all over the world.
Prepare for a feeding frenzy when lions, tigers, zebras, giraffes and others get their grub at the feeding show. Or reach out to the herbivores with food in hand on the Jungle Walk and Safari Terrace.
At the Marine Park you can take a jungle cruise through the rivers of Africa and Asia in search of crocodiles and gorillas, then splash down on an exciting water flume ride.
Choose among multiple exhibits such as a tropical rainforest aviary, fancy carp garden or tapir kingdom, and see white tigers in action. Visit Adventure Island or catch one of the many exciting shows including cowboy stunts and professional water skiing along with dolphins, sea lions and orangutans.
When you’re hungry, enjoy Thai dishes with your included lunch. In addition, wagons serving beverages, ice cream and snacks available for purchase are located throughout the park.
Your full day of fun at Safari World ends with return transport to Bangkok and drop-off at selected hotels.
See hundreds of animals on a visit to Safari Park, Thailand’s most popular open zoo
Enjoy many Marine Park shows and watch white tigers, dolphins, sea lions and more in action
Take a jungle cruise in search of apes and crocodiles
Receive a Thai lunch and the services of a local guide
Includes pickup and drop-off from selected Bangkok hotels
7. Grasshopper Adventures Day Bike Tour (http://www.grasshopperadventures.com/)
Discover a different side of Bangkok! Grasshopper Adventures offers a wide range of cycling tours in Bangkok and the surrounding areas. Half day morning tour to historic Bangkok, a night tour to the famous temples of central Bangkok, a ride to the hidden countryside on the edge of Bangkok, canal boat & bike rides, rides with dinner and rides that take you right out of the city to the coast and floating markets.
6. Small Teak Boat Canal Adventure (www.thaicanaltour.com/small_teak_weekday.php#_=_)
If you are looking for an authentic Thai thing to do, canal tour is the one! Because boats on canals were used as transport traditionally, many interesting sites are along the water way. Our tour stops at: Morning Fresh Produce Market(Weekend altered with a Riverside Floating Market), Orchid Nursery in Green Rush, Hidden Forest Temple, Traditional Thai House (the Artist’s House). We can also arrange custom tours around water ways.
At 6 metres across, only small, narrow boats like flat-bottom boats and long-tail speedboat can navigate the Thonburi khlongs. You can hire a colourful painted long-tail boat (hang yao) from any major tourist piers like Rivercity, Taksin, Chang or Maharaj, and go exploring. Agree on the price before departure (400 – 500 baht per hour; negotiable). However bear in mind that he’s your driver not your guide; his English may be minimal but he will know where to go.
Ask to explore Khlong Mon, Klong Bangkok Noi and Klong Bangkok Yai, and also the Royal Barges Museum, which contains splendidly decorated boats and barges completely unique to Thailand. Sound tricky? Try the Khlongs Tour or the Canals Route Tour instead – they’re hassle free and include pick-up and drop-off at your hotel.
5. Extraordinary Elephant Day Trip (http://www.bangkokdaytours.com/tour.asp?tid=57#_=_)
A quick stop at the Floating Market & the Bridge on the River Kwai will wet your appetite for the main event. Elephants! Here you can ride an elephant through the jungle and even take control as the mahout. Later you can take it down to the crystal clear river for its evening scrub down.
This activiy is for tourists who are adventurous and want to share this experience; especially “Bathe Elephant” the most amazing day with the Elephants in Thailand!!!!
4. Bangkok Bobble Football
Bobble Football is a brand new sport that is ‘blowing up’ in all over the world. Players wear a giant inflatable bobble around their torso and play a range of games, with the main attraction being football, where they bump, bash and crash into each other without getting hurt.
Bangkok Bobble Football(BBF) is a fun–and less painful–twist on the world’s “beautiful game.” The aim of the game is simple: Score as many goals as possible just like in football, but instead of tackling, you bump into opponents to get them off the ball.
They offer private sessions, booked at one of their locations in Bangkok, for your birthday party, bachelor party, corporate events or just for something unique to do with your friends while you are visiting Bangkok.
If you are interested in either having a private party with your group of friends or learning more about this fun activity, don’t hesitate to contact them today! BBF constantly have deals and discounts, visit their website for promotions. Occasionally they give out coupons as well for special deals.
3. Apsara Dinner Cruise by Banyan Tree
Dine as you sail on board a beautifully appointed riverboat. Engage in a feast for the senses on a dinner cruise in Bangkok with delicious crab claw in coconut broth, steamed snow fish with lime and coriander, massaman lamb curry with ajard and decadently prepared Thai desserts as you cruise down the waterway hubbub of Chao Phraya River past Bangkok’s famous sites.
2. Chinatown Bangkok
Originally Bangkok’s Chinese community settled in the present-day, Ko Ratanakosin. It was not until 1783 that they relocated upriver along the Mae Nam Chao Phraya to today’s Yaowarat district, resulting in the city’s Chinatown. Chinatown is one of a few touristy areas in Bangkok that has not succumbed to a degree of urbanisation, retaining an undeveloped but nonetheless endearing format. Running along Yaowarat Road from Odeon Circle, the huge unmistakable and striking ceremonial Chinese gate marks the entrance.
Dispersing off the main roads is a series of smaller roads, narrow alleys and backstreets. Each of these offer great insight into how the Chinese community have preserved their cultural traditions, celebrations and identities for over two centuries. The area was once renowned for being home to a dense warren of opium dens, gambling joints, brothels and pawnshops. Today it is the great food, fabric and gold that lure the tourists to this area.
Similar to the visually conventional idea of Bangkok, it largely consists of well-weathered shop houses and market stalls that sit below illuminated and painted signs – promoting food, pawnshops and in particular, gold.
Expect to see some farang (foreign) faces around Chinatown but nothing compared to that of Siam or Silom. To some it might be perceived as being off the beaten path, with a notable lack of air conditioned spaces and English speaking people. For others this simply heightens the appeal of Chinatown. Wat Traimit, the Temple of the Golden Buddha, attracts the most visitors venturing to the Chinatown. Although there are sites in and around the area, the best way to discover Bangkok’s Chinatown is to take a map, pick a starting point and then work your way through it. As most travellers will testify, this method of discovery often brings about the biggest adventures.
1. Street Food!!!
Known as the unofficial outdoor dining capital of Asia, Bangkok’s street food is unlike anything else in the region. Diners that are willing to swap white tablecloths for plastic tables that run alongside traffic-jammed roads are rewarded with foods that delight all of the senses. Best value for your money!
Quite literally, nearly any Thai food can be order from food stalls, including entire grouper, pad Thai, spring rolls, papaya salad, and fresh veggies cooked in oyster sauce. The standard level of spice at these stands is “Thai style,” so unless you’re ready to breathe fire, most Westerners should emphasize (several times) that they want just a little spice. Remember that not all street food is created equal, but the five locations below have good reputations for being clean and authentic. It’s worth noting that Monday in Bangkok is the city’s day to sweep the streets, so most vendors won’t be open. Any other day? Enjoy.