Bangkok is the capital of Thailand and with its 8,3 million inhabitants the biggest city of the country. Many tourists coming to Bangkok only stay for a few days in order of a stopover. But no matter if your planning to come for a short break or a lasting holiday – find here the top 10 things to do and see in Bangkok you should definitely not miss!
1. Khaosan Road
If you are coming to Bangkok having no idea where to stay go to Khaosan Road within the area of Banglamphu. Especially for backpackers Khaosan Road has many hotels, hostels and other accommodation opportunities to offer. On the other hand – Khaosan Road never sleeps. Many bars and pubs are open till late and internet cafés allow you to connect with the world. Bangkoks street hawker serve excellent Thai food you should not be scared of to try.
By the way: the meaning of “Khaosan” is “uncooked rice” which was mainly served here years ago.
2. Sampeng Lange
Within the area of Chinatown, off the beaten track, you will find the narrow alley Sampeng Lange. The surrounding is known for old-fashioned stores and shops and a large variety of food being served on the roadside. Fresh fruit, vegetables and hot Thai snacks are worth a trip to Sampeng Lange.
Even the spot is not very popular among tourists, the streets are always crowded and locals love to come here – a genuine insider tip!
3. The Queens Gallery
“The Queens Gallery” is perfect for traveler who are into arts. The museum includes paintings, sculptures as well as modern arts. Many of the artworks are made by students of several universities in Thailand. A outstanding highlight of the Queens Gallery in Bangkok is to attend a session when one of the artists works within the walls of the museum.
4. Sirocco Bar
The Sirocco Bar is located at the State Tower in Bangkok which is the second highest building of Thailand. The view across the city is extraordinary especially at night when the lights of the moving city are shining. The State Tower is also home to a few more restaurants which are summarized as “The Dome”.
Please note: if you are going to Sirocco Bar a special dress code applies.
5. Chatuchak Market
Worldwide the Chatuchak Market is the largest market of its kind. More than 10.000 one of a kind shops and stalls open their doors to 200.000 to 300.000 visitors every day. The variety of products ranges from clothes to household appliances to mouthwatering food. From Chatuchak Markets is only a few steps to the amazing Chatuchak Park.
6. Wat Arun
The temple Wat Arun is one of the most famous top spots in Bangkok. The best view you enjoy after you have managed to walk up all the 318 steps to the top. But also for those who are not brave enough to get to the top, the temple complex is a sightseeing highlight you definitely should pay a visit. As the Wat Arun lays on the other side of the river, it’s clever to combine the visit with a boat trip. Unfortunately the temple itself is closed till 2016 because of major refurbishments.
7. Old Custom House
Not far from the Wat Arun temple you get to the Old Custom House which is mostly not known among traveler in Bangkok. It was build 1880 to 1890 and was mainly used to declare goods coming to Thailand from all over the world. Today it’s a fire station worth seeing. If you are into films you may recognize the Old Custom House in Bangkok. It has been the film-set of many Asian films.
8. Cook shops of Bangkok
The cook shops in Bangkok are tiny mobile kitchens which serve fresh Thai food on the roadside. The food is cheap and very tasty. But be careful, sometimes it might be a bit to spicy for tourists who are not used to the Asian spices. After choosing from a variety of 3 to 5 dishes you be welcome to sit on plastic chairs along the street.
Don’t worry about the quality of the food, as long you haven’t got a bad impression of the spot the most of the time cook shops in Bangkok are clean and the food is fresh.
Thonburi seems to be the little Venice of Bangkok. Many small waterways split the area in tiny islands. Thanks to the waterways you have the chance to explore Bangkok by boat. Along the canals you spot the traditional tiny wooden houses locals from Bangkok live in.
The huts are sitting on wooden pilings and seem alike storks over viewing what happens around them.
In 1772 Thonburi used to be the capital of the kingdom of King Taksin. That time Bangkok was still a tiny fishing village on the opposite site of the river.
10. Floating markets of Damnoen Saduak
Like in the area of Thonburi you explore Damnoen Saduak at its best by boat. During the trip you experience the world famous floating markets of Bangkok. Local traders use theirs boats to sell a large variety of goods. Years ago the waterways of Damnoen Saduak have been the only way to transport fresh fruit, vegetables, flowers, fish and meat into the city of Bangkok. Today the floating markets are a highlight for tourists but at the same time an important way of earning money for many locals of Bangkok.
Tip: Boat trips to the floating markets of Bagkok, excursions to to the temple of the Golden Buddha or Wat Pho as well as different walking tours around Bangkok are available at rent-a-guide in Bangkok.
Text: Sophie Mueller