10) Experience Chatuchak Market
One of the worlds largest weekend markets, Chatuchak is home to over 8,000 stalls in a massive 35 acre space. This is a must-see for visitors to Bangkok, with over 200,000 shoppers every weekend. Vendors sell a huge array of merchandise, from antiques and collectables to new and vintage clothes, from furniture and home decor to tools and handmade crafts. With over 27 sections, you can peruse through aisles for just about anything. Be sure to check out the food and beverage stalls for some delicious and authentic Thai cuisine!
(Photo by @aliisadventures)
How to get there: Hop on the skytrain (BTS) to Mo Chit station, take exit no. 1 and follow the crowd until you see rows of canvas stalls selling clothes. Keep following the crowd and turn right, where you will see a small entrance to the clothing section of the market. You can also get there by subway (MRT) to Chatuchak Park station (exit no.1), then follow the crowd until you arrive at the clothing section of the market.
Hours: Saturdays and Sundays, 09:00 - 18:00, and Fridays 18:00 - 24:00
Beware: A quick lesson in bargaining: if the price is written down, it's generally non-negotiable, but if they type it into a calculator, you've got some wiggle room. Be prepared to walk away when the deal fails to go your way. Then, you’ll either be offered a lower price or simply find the same merchandise at another stall. Remember, a friendly attitude goes a long way, so always bargain with a smile!
9) Explore Lumphini Park
Lumphini Park is to Thailand what Central Park is to New York; a haven of tranquility, fresh air, and shade in the unrelenting heat. Here you can reconnect with nature and make use of the bike and running lanes, picnic areas, paddle boats, and even join in on a fitness class. Named after the birthplace of the Lord Buddha in Nepal, the park is more than half a million square metres!
(photo by @imjunjuneff)
How to get there: MRT Subway Silom or Lumphini Stations will drop you right opposite the park.
Hours: Daily from 04:30 - 21:00
Beware: You may find reptiles, about the size of teenage crocodiles, wading out of the pond to sunbathe; not dangerous, but still not wise to try to feed them!
(photo by @jenn_jenn_11)
8) Visit Khao San Road
The famous novel The Beach describes Khao San as, "the centre of the backpacking universe." A 1km long stretch of road with bars, restaurants, tattoo shops, street food, market stalls, massage parlours, and much more. Khao San Road is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike, particularly for night owls. So much so that it the vibe has overflowed into the nearby Soi Rambuttri (see #5).
(Photo by @westsiderrider1)
How to get there: Khaosan Rd, Khet Phra Nakhon, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10200. Best to take a taxi or tuk-tuk
Hours: You will always find something open here, but the market stalls tend to be open around 10:00 - 22:00
Beware: Pickpockets galore, so keep your belongings safe.
7) Climb the steps of the Golden Mount (Wat Saket)
Wat Saket, known as the Golden Mount or, "Phu Khao Thong," is a man-made hill crowned by a beautiful gold 58-metre Chedi. Climb the steps to the top and you will be rewarded with a view of Bangkok, an amazing place to experience the sunset. The Chedi itself houses a Buddha relic.
(photo by: @cyl_photography_malaysia)
How to get there: The entrance is between Boriphat Road and Lan Luang Road, off Ratchadamnoen Klang Road. It's advisable to take a taxi or Tuk-tuk.
Hours: Daily from 09:00 – 17:00
Beware: Tuk-tuk drivers taking you for a ride. Skip the 10B "all day tours," or you'll find yourself missing the major sights and winding up at over priced tailor and gem shops, or travel agencies with hiked-up prices.
(Photo by @_worldpicx_)
6) Eat Street Food
It's a total shame if you visit Bangkok and eat only at established, sit-down restaurants. The tastiest, most-authentic food is often made by a person behind a cart. Many even offer seating, with plastic chairs and tables nearby. Must-try dishes include green/red/yellow curry, kytyo (noodle soup), basil tofu/pork/chicken, anything on a stick, and of course, Pad Thai.
(Photo by: @henryteo67)
How to get there: There are stalls all over the city. Take your pick!
Hours: Depends. Drink vendors are usually open early in the morning, lots of food vendors open starting from the afternoon for lunch throughout the day, and some are open exclusively in the evening.
Beware: If it's not a busy vendor, or it's packed with tourists but no locals, it's probably not that great. Keep an eye out for stands Thais frequent and you're sure to find a gem!
5) Wander Through Soi Rambuttri
Rambuttri is jokingly called Khao San's better looking, well-mannered, older brother. Packed with street food vendors, guest houses, bars and restaurants, it's proximity to Khao San makes a must-visit if you're in the area. The horseshoe shaped road is shaded by giant, leafy banyan trees, and gives you a feel for what Bangkok used to be like before all the skyscrapers went up.
(photo by @lovelybaena)
How to get there: Soi Ram Butri, Khet Phra Nakhon, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10200. Easy walking distance from Khao San.
Hours: Something on the street is always open, any time of day. The restaurants tend to open either for breakfast or lunch, and stay open all day, and the clothing vendors tend to open when they want, but usually around 10:00 or 11:00.
Beware: Whatever you can buy here, you can buy pretty much anywhere, so if the price isn't right, move on.
4) Get a Massage / Manicure / Pedicure
No trip to Thailand is complete without the healing hands of a Thai masseur/masseuse. Feel the tension in your shoulders melt away while you find this little piece of heaven. If you really want to feel like a million bucks, clean up your gnarly beach feet with a pedicure, and finish off your self-care with a manicure. You will not regret this choice!
(photo by @albert_sanchez_ramos)
How to get there: There is a massage parlour on nearly every corner of the street.
Hours: Varies, but generally from 10:00 - 01:00
Beware: Your masseuse/manicurist makes almost nothing off what you pay, so don't forget to tip! Also make sure to hand the tip to them directly, or they may never see a cent.
3) Check out Patpong Night Market
There are several night markets around Bangkok, but Patpong is the most central. With loads of vendors, and thanks to its proximity to Siam Centre, it's an easy locale to get your Night Market fix.
(photo by @matthewdigati)
How to get there: Coming from BTS Siam station, depart at Sala Daeng station and exit down one of the right-hand stairs. Follow the trail of vendors along the sidewalk, and after a few minutes, you're there.
Hours: Daily from 18:00 - around 01:00
Beware: This market is in Bangkok's notorious nightlife district, and both sides of the market are full of go-go bars with dancing girls, so maybe not the most family-friendly location.
2) Explore Wat Pho, the famous Temple of the Reclining Buddha
One of Bangkok's oldest temples, Wat Pho is home to over a thousand Buddha images --the largest collection in Thailand -- from varying periods, like Chiangsaen, Sukhothai, U-Thong, and Ayutthaya. It's most famously known for the giant, reclining Buddha.
(photo by @adventure_with_ana)
How to get there: Maharat Road, Old City (Rattanakosin). Best to take a taxi or Tuk-tuk.
Hours: Daily from 08:00 - 17:00
Beware: Ignore any friendly local who tells you any of the major Temples are "closed today" for a Buddhist holiday or cleaning; these are set-ups for a trip to a bogus gem sale, or some other way to scam you.
1) Explore Wat Phra Kaew and Grand Palace
The Grand Palace is, without a doubt, Bangkok's most famous landmark, and with good reason. The sprawling grounds feature intricate buildings with beautiful Thai craftsmanship. The Royal Temple, Wat Phra Kaew is considered the spiritual heart of the Thai Kingdom. Built in 1782, the complex is not only the home of the Thai King, but also the Royal court, as well as the administrative seat of government.
(photo by @adventure_with_ana)
How to get there: Na Phralan, Old City (Rattanakosin). Best to take a taxi or Tuk-tuk. Roughly 1km north of Wat Pho.
Hours: Daily from 8:30 - 15:30
Beware: While bare shoulders and bare knees are strictly forbidden at all temples and shrines, there's no need to purchase shawls and wraps at the gate before entry here; the Grand Palace lends them for free (with a deposit) to people who aren't dressed appropriately. But keep in mind, it's far more respectable to show up properly dressed, so keep something to cover your shoulders and knees in your backpack.