Thailand’s capital city, Bangkok, is a concrete jungle dotted and accentuated with fascinating temples, cutting-edge malls, and delectable cuisines.
One of my favorite places on the planet is there! It is surprisingly harmonious while also being vibrantly chaotic. The remnants of the past that contain a vast amount of history from bygone Siam eras can be found among its sky-kissing highrises, opulent hotels, and shopping malls.
Bangkok has something to offer everyone, whether they are foodies seeking an unforgettable food tour, religious pilgrims seeking solace in the temples, spendthrifts seeking an exciting shopping adventure, or wandering mortals seeking an enduring cultural tour.
This list of the top ten things to do in Bangkok will give you the much-needed head start you need if you’re planning a trip there any time soon.
1. Try a traditional Thai massage.
The traditional Thai massage, which includes lots of cracking, slapping, pulling, and walking on your back, is necessary to fully understand Thai culture.
When it’s all said and done, you won’t just feel relaxed—you’ll feel the blood rushing through your pulsating veins—but you’ll also be in for a surprise. Traditional Thai massages can be purchased for as little as $6 per hour, but in reputable spas, the cost may reach $15 per hour.
Pro Tip: In the name of happy endings, stay away from massage scams. They do exist but look for a genuine Thai massage shop where the costs are clearly posted.
2. Take a Tour of Thai Street Food
Bangkok is home to a plethora of restaurants that serve delicious Thai cuisine in a welcoming setting. But unless you sample some street food, you won’t have authentic Thai food.
Thai street food is wildly popular because it is affordable and practical. This should help explain Bangkok’s sea of street food vendors.
Pad Thai is one of the most well-known of the many mouthwatering dishes you can find, but there are many other delicacies to try and enjoy. There is a wide variety of food available at street food stands, including stewed pork legs, deep-fried duck, barbecued pork, stewed squid, fruit, chicken, crepes, and a ton more.
Pro Tip: If you can stomach it, visit Khao San Road to eat some bugs, and don’t forget to try the scorpions that are deep-fried!
3. The Chatuchak Weekend Market offers shopping.
The JJ Market is another name for the Chatuchak Weekend Market. The Chatuchak Market is the granddaddy of all markets, boasting a staggering 15,000 stalls.
You can purchase anything you can imagine. from furniture to antiques to food to clothing.
If you choose to visit Chatuchak Market, I recommend spending the majority of the day there, especially if you enjoy shopping. Keep in mind to haggle hard. Thailand’s markets frequently raise prices whenever visitors enter, just like any other nation.
Pro tip: The Chatuchak Market is consistently crowded. Arrive early, preferably before 9 a.m., to avoid the crowd.
4. Observe the Grand Palace and Wat Pho in awe.
A visit to the Grand Palace and Wat Pho is a must when in Bangkok.
The Grand Palace, the most famous tourist attraction in Bangkok, is dripping with gold and exudes a romantic aura when illuminated by the sun’s soft rays as it sets.
The Grand Palace served as the Kings of Siam or Thai Kings’ residence for 150 years, from 1782 to 1882. Equally stunning are the nearby structures. With royal residences, public buildings, and temples all designed in exotic traditional Thai architecture, the Grand Palace’s grounds transport you to a completely different era.
Only a select few structures, including the Chakri Mahaprasat Grand Palace Hall, are open for visits. The Emerald Buddha Temple, also known as Wat Phra Kaew, is located within the same complex. The Emerald Buddha is a statue of the Buddha that has been carved from a single piece of emerald.
Visit Wat Pho or the Temple of the Reclining Buddha after you’ve finished admiring the Grand Palace. The Grand Palace is just ten minutes away from Wat Pho, which is right behind Wat Phra Kaew and accessible on foot.
The largest reclining Buddha in the city, measuring 45 meters in length and 15 meters in height, is located at Wat Pho. Buddha’s feet are covered in pearls on the soles.
The Buddha Gallery, which houses 394 golden Buddhas, is part of the Wat Pho temple complex. There are four royal stupas, or chedis, that are covered in vibrant ceramics. The remains of King Rama I are kept in the Phra Ubisoft within the temple complex, and another Golden Buddha stands guard over them.
Pro Tip: Despite the fact that you can explore these attractions on your own, I advise taking a guided tour to learn historical details. Furthermore, if you’re peckish, there are tons of street food vendors in the area serving delectable Thai food.
5. Check out the Temple of Dawn or Wat Arun.
The Indian God of Dawn is honored by the name Wat Arun, or the Temple of Dawn. The palace of King Taksin, who restored the Siamese Kingdom following the fall of Ayutthaya, once stood where the temple is now.
Wat Arun is a striking tower, or prang, in the Khmer style that protrudes 104 meters from the banks of the Chao Phraya River. Under the right lighting, the ceramic tiles covering the temple tower make for an amazing sight. The complex of temples is guarded by two legendary giants.
Wat Arun can be climbed (only a few temples in Thailand will allow that). If you don’t mind heights, climb up the rickety stairs for a breathtaking view of the temple grounds and the Chao Phraya River.
Pro Tip: When the sun sets, the temple assumes a magnificent golden hue, making the Chao Phraya River in the background an imposing sight.
6. Visit Ayutthaya for a day.
Before moving to Bangkok, Ayutthaya, which was founded in 1350, served as Thailand’s capital. Only a few of the palaces and temples survived the Burmese attack that destroyed the area in 1767.
Ayutthaya is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is the location of Thailand’s summer palace and some of the country’s most stunning temples.
Pro Tip: I advise going on your own unless you want a tour guide to narrate the history. From Bangkok, take a train. The trip takes 1.5 hours each way.