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Visit Bangkok: Top 20 things to do & see

Bangkok is the capital city of Thailand, with a population of over 10 million people. It has become one of Southeast Asia’s most influential and modern cities.

Bangkok is one of those cities that never gets old. No matter how many times you’ve been there, you’ll always discover new and exciting things to see, do, eat & drink.

Imagine that how you enjoy the perfect mix of food, culture, nightlife, shopping, and affordability that’s unmatched anywhere in Southeast Asia. That’s an unforgettable experience!

If you’re planning a trip to Thailand for the first time, then Hanoi Voyages hope this comprehensive Bangkok travel guide can help you.

Visit Bangkok: Top 20 Things to Do and Tips 

What to see in Bangkok? 

  • Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew 
  • Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn) 
  • Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha) 
  • Chatuchak Weekend Market 
  • Wat Saket (The Golden Mount) 
  • Khao San Road 
  • Wat Traimit / Golden Buddha 
  • China Town 

What to do in Bangkok 

  • Attend a boxing match 
  • Enjoy the traditional massage 
  • Shopping in Bangkok 

Top cuisine must try 

  • Pad Thai: 
  • Tom Yum: 
  • Mango Sticky Rice: 
  • Som Tum: 

The best time to visit Bangkok 

Transportation – Travelling to Bangkok 

  • From Suvarnabhumi International Airport (BKK) 
  • From Don Mueang International Airport (DMK) 

How many days to spend in Bangkok? 

Visit Bangkok: the 20 Must-See attractions

Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew

The Royal Palace and Wat Prakaew attract the respect of all who have entered their sacred grounds. Built in 1782 and once the residence of Thai kings and courts for 150 years, the Grand Palace continues to impress visitors with its stunning architecture and exquisite details. Wat Pra Kaew is dedicated to Phra Kaew Morakot (the Emerald Buddha), a sacred Buddha meticulously carved from a block of emerald.

When you visit the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew. Try to explore the stunning Grand Palace complex and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew), which are iconic symbols of Thailand’s history and culture.

Your ticket allows you to visit all the buildings and attend to a Thai dance show at the Royal Theater.

You can find more information at the official website.

Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn)

Wat Arun is one of the most iconic temples, or watts, throughout Thailand. Climb the steep stairs of Wat Arun to get a fantastic view of the city and the Chao Phraya River. Stepping inside, we will encounter an extremely impressive spiral-shaped stone roof gate located right in the front. This category is very prominent with colors such as orange, brown, lemon yellow and sky blue. Next to it are statues depicting events in the life of the Buddha. Right in the center is where the central tower is extremely large, superficial and prominent.

Tips before going :

  • This destination has an entrance fee of 100 baht.
  • The temple is open for tourists to visit from 08:30 to 17:30, so when traveling on your own, we should pay attention to arrange a reasonable time.
  • This is a spiritual place, worshiping Buddha, so please pay attention to dress appropriately

Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha)

Wat Pho is one of the best things to do in Bangkok. Visit Wat Pho to see the majestic Reclining Buddha statue and experience traditional Thai massage at the traditional massage school within the temple grounds.
Wat Pho or Buddha Temple is located just south of the Royal Palace. It houses nearly 400 golden Buddha statues, none more impressive than the giant reclining Buddha 15 meters high and 46 meters long.
Along with Wat Arun, Wat Pho is one of the six temples that are considered the most advanced of the most royal temples in Thailand. It was the country’s first public university and is considered the cradle of traditional Thai massage, which is still taught and practiced at the temple.

Entry to Wat Pho costs 200 bahts and the visit takes around an hour and a half.

Any other information needed can be found on the official website.

Chatuchak Weekend Market

Visiting the market is an activity that you should add to your list of things to do in Bangkok. Chatuchak is one of the largest markets in the world, offering a wide variety of goods, including clothing, handicrafts, and street food.
With over 200,000 people visiting Chatuchak Market every weekend, the Bangkok marketplace has become the World’s largest Weekend Market. The Market has over 15,000 stalls which are spread across 35 acres and 26 sections which range from Food, Art, Antiques, Fashion and much more!

Tips before going:
Chatuchak is a weekend Market, so it opens from 09:00 – 18:00 (Saturday, Sunday), 18:00 – 24:00 (Friday).
You should choose public transport to go to the market. Because on weekends, not only tourists but also locals will flock to this market to shop. So traffic jams are bound to happen.

Wat Saket (The Golden Mount)

Let’s continue our Bangkok travel guide with the Golden Mount.

The “golden mountain”, formed from the fragments of a collapsed stupa built by King Rama III, was once the highest point in the whole of Bangkok. The Golden Mountain is a famous and revered landmark in Bangkok. Built on the top of a hill, the Golden Mount temple allows you to enjoy a 360 degree view over Bangkok. To get there, you will have to climb 344 steps, but really nothing too insurmountable!

Wat Saket and Golden Mount are open daily from 9:00 am to 19:00 pm.
Entrance fee to Wat Saket is free.
The entrance fee to the stupa at the top of the mountain is 50 Baht.

Tips before going:

  • Men must wear long pants and a short- or long-sleeved shirt. Women must wear skirts or pants that are at least knee-length, and also should not wear an off-the-shoulder top.
  • Visitors are allowed to take pictures in any area of ​​the complex.
  • The best time to visit is November.

Khao San Road

Khao San Road is a major tourist area in Bangkok known for its vibrant entertainment scene and budget hotels. It is often considered a must stop for backpackers traveling through Asia and is also popular with locals for its carefree feel.

So, Would you try to eat a scorpion?

Whether you want to eat bugs, Khao San Road is worth a quick visit. This small street is packed with restaurants, bars and backpackers’ hostels. And yes, there is also one of the most adventurous street foods in Bangkok, fried scorpion. If you drink enough in the bars on Khao San Road, these scorpions will become a little more.
Here, I have some suggestions for you to discover everything in Khao San Road.

Wat Traimit / Golden Buddha

World’s largest solid gold Buddha statue
Wat Traimit is an easy visit for those interested to uncover the hidden beauty and mystery beneath Bangkok’s most influential Buddha image and community. View the magnificent splendor of the world’s largest solid Gold Buddha image, known in Thai as Phra Buddha Maha Suwanna Patimakorn

Opening Time:
Wat Traimit is open every day from 8am until 5pm. The Golden Buddha image can be viewed every day during the same time.
The museum is open Tuesday-Sunday from 8am until 5pm (Only the museum is closed on Mondays).

Admission Price: 100 Baht per person for museum entrance (+ 40 Baht per person to view Buddha images).

Tips before going:

  • Respectful attire is required.
  • Visitors are allowed to take photographs in any area of the complex.
  • It is recommended that you should wear shoes that can be easily removed as you’ll need to take them off when entering any structure in the complex.

Lumpini Park

Lumpini Park in Bangkok Thailand is the first public park. This multifunction park allows you to do some outdoor recreation in the cool breeze. The park is also open for activities such as exercise, playing games and music, reading in the library, practicing Tai Chai, learning social dance, and more. An abundance of flora and fauna as well as a large lake can be seen in Bangkok’s Lumpini Park. You can also listen to Thai and Western music in the park. In the past, this place used to be a place for dancing and parties. As it is a public park, there is no entrance fee for Lumpini Park in Bangkok.

The best time to visit the park is from March to October. If you want to enjoy the place when it is relatively quiet, visit the park before sunrise. Make the most of the popular things to do like aerobics, dance classes, yoga, jogging and boating. Cycling or biking is allowed only between 10AM to 3PM.

Tips before going:

  • Pets are not allowed in the park.
  • Do not litter in the park as it is bad for the environment
  • Smoking and drinking are prohibited in the park.
  • Do not walk around in the park after the closing hours.

China Town

Chinatown in Bangkok is truly amazing and absolutely worth visiting! Visitors are fascinated by the hustle and bustle, the colorful lights and vibrant colors, the beautiful Chinese temples and the huge choice of street food. On a tour to the Chinese Quarter of Bangkok, you will get to know the Thai capital from a different side. When walking around Bangkok’s Chinatown, you can look forward to a whole range of attractions worth seeing. Most of them are located in the area around the famous Yaowarat Road. So that you don’t lose the overview, we have summarized the best things to do in Chinatown at a glance:

  • Yaowarat Road is the heart of Chinatown. Colorful decorated with neon signs and giant Chinese characters makes you feel more like being in Hong Kong than in Bangkok.
  • Chinatown Gate is a sign of the new rising of the Chinese Quarter. It is interesting to know that Chinatown in Bangkok is home to one of the largest Chinese communities outside of China.
  • The best thing to do in Chinatown is just to walk around and enjoy the variety of street food.

Jim Thompson’s House

Another thing to do when you travel to Bangkok is visiting Jim Thompson’s House, which is home to an impressive collection of art, artifacts, and antiques from various parts of Thailand and Southeast Asia. The interior is adorned with exquisite ceramics, sculptures, and textiles, reflecting Thompson’s deep appreciation for regional art and culture.

The house itself is a masterpiece of traditional Thai architecture, consisting of several teakwood buildings brought together to create a harmonious complex. The intricate design, wooden carvings, and lush gardens create a tranquil oasis in the midst of Bangkok’s urban chaos.

Don’t miss the chance to visit this interesting place!

Visit Dusit Palace Park

This royal property is home to palaces, museums, gardens and impressive structures. Villa Vimanmek is one of the largest buildings in the world made entirely of teak and is one of the main architectural works of Dusit Palace. The throne of Ananta Samakhom, also on this ground, is also made of teak. Visitors can also visit the museum located inside the throne room of Ananta Samagom.

Entrance fee: 150 BTH

What to do in Bangkok?

Attend a boxing match

Muay Thai is the national sport in Thailand. It was developed several hundreds of years ago as a form of close-combat that utilizes the entire body as a weapon. Even if you’re not a fan of boxing, attending a match in Bangkok is a must-do, if only for the atmosphere.
The two main Muay Thai stadiums are Lumpinee Stadium and Rajadamnern Stadium.

Enjoy the traditional massage

If you have visited all the places in Bangkok and need a moment of relaxation, you should choose a traditional Thai massage service.
You will find hundreds of beauty salons all over the city. Prices start from around 250 baht for an hour foot massage and around 500 baht for a full body massage.
The experience is a bit unusual, you will be stretched all over the place, sometimes in rather bizarre positions! However, at the end of the massage, you will feel relaxed, even if it is a bit painful at first.
In Bangkok, most hotels have spas and also provide this.

Shopping in Bangkok

If you go to Bangkok for relaxing and shopping, Bangkok is known as a shopping paradise. The best is to head to Siam district, where all the modern and trendy shopping centers are located.
On the other hand, Siam Paragon is more luxurious with many luxury shops.
In the area is also CentralWorld, one of the largest shopping malls in South Asia.
They are open daily until late evening. They all have food courts where you can find Thai and international dishes

Top cuisine must try

Embark on a street food tour to taste an array of delicious Thai dishes like Pad Thai, Som Tum (green papaya salad), Mango Sticky Rice, Tom Yum Goong (spicy shrimp soup), and many more…

  • Pad Thai: Thailand’s famous stir-fried noodle dish with eggs, tofu, shrimp, or chicken, and topped with crushed peanuts and lime.
  • Tom Yum: A hot and sour soup typically made with shrimp, mushrooms, lemongrass, galangal, and lime leaves.
  • Mango Sticky Rice: A delightful dessert made with ripe mangoes, coconut milk, and glutinous rice.
    Som Tum: Green papaya salad mixed with tomatoes, peanuts, lime juice, fish sauce, and chilies.

The best time to visit Bangkok

The best time to visit Bangkok depends on your preferences and the type of experience you’re seeking. Bangkok has a tropical climate, so it is hot and sunny all year round, with only two seasons: rainy and dry. Here’s some suggestion to help you decide when to visit:

Cool and Dry Season (November to February): This is generally considered the best time to visit Bangkok. The weather is cooler and more comfortable, with lower humidity and less rainfall. It’s a great time for sightseeing, exploring temples, and enjoying outdoor activities.

Hot Season (March to May): The hot season can be quite scorching. Humidity levels also increase during this time. While it’s less crowded than the cool season, the heat might limit your outdoor activities.However, this could still be a viable time to visit.

Rainy Season (June to October): It is the rainy season in Bangkok. While this is the least popular time for tourism due to the wet conditions, it can have its advantages. The city is less crowded, hotel prices are lower. However, flooding can occur in some areas, and outdoor activities might be limited due to the weather.

If you’re willing to tolerate the heat, visiting during the hot season (March to May) can still be enjoyable. Alternatively, the rainy season (June to October) might offer more budget-friendly options and a chance to experience a quieter side of Bangkok, as long as you’re prepared for occasional rain showers.

Where to stay in Bangkok - Bangkok Hotels

The choice of hotels in Bangkok depends on your preferences, budget, and the areas you plan to explore. Here are some highly recommended hotels across different price ranges and areas in Bangkok:

Luxury Hotels:

Mandarin Oriental Bangkok: An iconic riverside hotel offering luxurious rooms, impeccable service, and stunning river views.
The Peninsula Bangkok: A riverside oasis known for its elegant design, spacious rooms, and exceptional facilities.
The Siam: A boutique luxury hotel with a unique design, private pool villas, and a serene riverside location.
Banyan Tree Bangkok: Offers luxurious rooms, a rooftop bar with panoramic views, and a rejuvenating spa.

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