Bangkok City Travel Guide

Bangkok is a unique city in many ways and ends up leaving no one feeling indifferent: you either love it or you hate it. Luckily, we are in the first group.

Bangkok is the city with the longest name in the world:

β€œKrung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Ayuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Piman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit”

ℹ️ Top Things to Do in Bangkok

Sightseeing in the temples

Grand Palace from the skyBuilt in 1782, the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew Temple (500 THB entrance fee) was the king’s home for 150 years. The architecture, colours and sculptures of the palace and temple are incredible. The temple houses the most important Buddha image in the country: The Emerald Buddha. After seeing the palace, I suggest you continue with two nearby temples: Wat Pho (100 THB entrance fee), next to the Grand Palace, which contains the famous 46-meter reclining Buddha that you will surely have seen in several photos. And finally, the Wat Arun (50 THB entrance fee), located on the other side of the river, with its original stupa covered in chinese porcelain. It can be observed without crossing the river.

Hang out through the markets

Chatuchak MarketBangkok means markets. There are countless of them. One of the most famous and largest in the world is the one that takes place every weekend: the Chatuchak Market (Saturdays and Sundays). It is a huge market with countless stalls selling anything from clothing to animals. Bargaining is advisable.
During the week you can visit The New Rot Fai Market Ratchada night market. Opens from 17:00.

Walk through a park

Lumpinee Park from Sofitel Rooftop barThe largest park in Bangkok is Lumphini Park (BTS Sala Daeng / MRT Silom). Every morning at 8am and every afternoon at 6pm the country’s anthem plays and everyone stops, it is interesting to witness it. Also, from 5pm large groups of people meet to dance, do fitness, run (It seems like there is a marathon!), practice yoga and tai chi, etc.
Other interesting parks are Benchasiri Park and Benjakitti Park. The latter is linked to Lumphini Park by a half-abandoned skywalk creating one of the best running routes in Bangkok.

Dinning in Chinatown

Yaowarad Road in Chinatown BangkokChinatown (MRT Chinatown) is a neighbourhood that changes a lot during the day and the night. During the day they open the huge Sampeng Market, where they sell everything wholesale. At night –except on Mondays–, its streets are sidewalks and are taken over by street restaurants that prepare some of the best dishes in the city. The stalls and restaurants are scattered with a wide range of Thai and Chinese food, as well as fruit and, curiously, chestnuts.
The main street in Chinatown is Yaowarad Road. If you go during the day, be sure to visit the famous Wat Traimit temple (Golden Buddha).

Be amazed with the Malls

Iconsiam the best mall in the worldThais love Shopping Centers. When they have free time, they go there to have fun. They are gigantic and have air conditioning. The most famous are: The IconSiam, the Central World, the MBK and the Siam Paragon. All except IconSiam are in the Siam area. In that area there are 6 or 7 connected by the skywalk, a raised platform above the street but below the skytrain, which allows you to walk during the hours from one to another without stepping on the street.
The most spectacular nowadays is IconSiam, on the banks of the river, one of the most impressive in the world.

Experiencing the river

River in Bangkok from Wat ArunAt the different stops along the river you can take one of the taxi boats (20 Baht or less) and go to another part of the city. Besides being a useful and cheap transport, the boat trip is an experience in itself. I suggest you take it early in the morning or during sunset, since otherwise it is very hot. If your budget is high, you can always book one of the cruises that offer romantic dinners at night while they cruise the river.

Have a drink in Khao San Road

Khao San Road during a Friday nightKhao San Road and its surroundings (Rambuttri Road and Pra Athit Road) are the tourist ghetto of Bangkok. It is a couple of streets full of hostels (generally cheap), bars, restaurants, massage shops, tattoo shops, clothing stores, books… Anything! Even insects. Probably the biggest backpacker neighbourhood in Asia, or at least the most crowded. Even if you don’t stay here, it’s worth stopping by one night to take a look and have a beer in its bars. If you want to eat, it better not be on Khao San Road. How many Thai people have you seen eating here? Well…

Watching a Muay Thai fight

Muay Thai fight in Channel 7 BangkokMuay Thai is the national sport of Thailand, although it is not the most popular. As in most of the world, the most popular is soccer. Muay Thai is a martial art, a contact sport, such as boxing or karate. In Bangkok there are two stadiums where you can see the best Muay Thai. One is at the Lumphini Stadium, which is on the outskirts of Bangkok, and the other is the Ratchadamnoen Stadium, near Kkao San Road. Tickets for tourists usually cost 2000 THB (ring side). On Sundays you have the chance to watch Muay Thai for free in the Channel 7 studios.

Party in Bangkok

Party in a Bangkok ClubIn Bangkok city you will be able to find many party options. Any day of the week you can find places with a good atmosphere to have a few drinks. From bars/clubs full of foreigners, to others with almost no one. In Khao San Road you will find many places to go out such as: The Club, Lava Club or, the most thai, Brick Bar. If you want a less touristy atmosphere, then you can go to the Thong Lor area where the children of middle- and upper-class thais usually go. One place that foreigners living in Bangkok often go is RCA. There are several clubs in which both Thais and foreigners meet, most of them residents. The most popular is Route 66.

✍️ Latest Posts on Bangkok

🏨 Where to stay in Bangkok

Best Areas & Neighborhoods:

Do not make the mistake of thinking that there is only one Bangkok… Each neighbourhood of the city is a small world itself and with a population of between 8 and 10 million inhabitants, it can give the feeling that there is more than one Bangkok: that of backpackers looking to party, that of centuries-old temples, that of huge and modern shopping centers, that of skyscrapers with their luxurious bars and that of the labyrinthine streets of Chinatown and its food stalls.

Silom/Sathorn

Best for:Β  Classical traveler

Accommodation available: Hostels and 4 and 5 star hotels

Advantages:
βœ”οΈ Good connections via public transportation
βœ”οΈ Lots of restaurants and coffee shops
βœ”οΈ Lumphini Park
βœ”οΈ Decent nightlife
βœ”οΈ Patpong Market

Khao San Road

Backpacker Khao San IconBest for:Β  Backpackers

Accommodation available: Hostels and 3 star hotels

Advantages:
βœ”οΈ Cheap area
βœ”οΈ Lots of restaurants and coffee shops
βœ”οΈ Near the main temples and the Grand Palace
βœ”οΈ Good backpacker nightlife
βœ”οΈ Many travel agencies for backpackers

Siam Area

Shopping SiamBest for: Shopping and dessert lovers

Accommodation available: 4 and 5 star hotels

Advantages:
βœ”οΈ Good public transportation
βœ”οΈ Best shopping area in Bangkok
βœ”οΈ Lots of sweet drinks and desserts
βœ”οΈ University student’s area

Chinatown

ChinatownBest for: Asian street life lovers

Accommodation available: 3 and 4 star hotels

Advantages:
βœ”οΈ Best street food area
βœ”οΈ Daily markets
βœ”οΈ Near some interesting temples
βœ”οΈ Good public transportation

Riverside

Riverside BangkokBest for: Luxury tourist

Accommodation available: 5 star hotels

Advantages:
βœ”οΈ Amazing river views
βœ”οΈ 5 star luxury hotels
βœ”οΈ Near IconSiam megamall
βœ”οΈ Fun river transportation

Sukhumvit

Sukhumvit BangkokBest for: Expat life lover

Accommodation available: 4 and 5 star hotels

Advantages:
βœ”οΈ Good quality hotels
βœ”οΈ Lots of modern restaurants
βœ”οΈ Expats life area
βœ”οΈ Good public transportation

🧭 Itinerary to visit Bangkok

It can be done in one or two days:

1

Grand Palace and the Emerald Buddha Temple

The Grand Palace is a complex of buildings surrounded by a great white wall that was the residence of the kings of Siam (former name of Thailand) from its construction in 1782 to 1925.
How to get?
15 minutes walk from MRT Sanam Chai.
2

Wat Pho or Reclining Buddha

It already existed before Bangkok became the capital of Thailand. It is believed that it was built in the 17th century, although it was renovated by the first king of the current dynasty, King Rama I.
How to get?
Walking 15 minutes or by tuk tuk from the Grand Palace.
3

Wat Arun or Temple of Dawn

Wat Arun is on the bank of the river opposite to the Grand Palace and Wat Pho, so we will need to take a boat to cross.
How to get?
By boat for 5 THB from a pier near Wat Pho.
4

Wat Suthat and the Sao Ching-Cha Giant Swing

Wat Suthat is an important temple which does not receive many visits by tourists. It is perfect point to see Thais practicing their religion. The temple courtyard is impressive, as is the great 15th-century Buddha inside.
How to get?
By taxi or tuk tuk.
5

Wat Saket or Golden Mountain

Wat Saket is a small hill with a temple where you can find a giant pagoda on top. In case you feel like it, you can also go up to the pagoda. It offers great views of the old part of the city.
How to get?
10 minutes walk from Wat Suthat
6

Taking a boat along the canals to the modern area

From the top of Golden Mountain, you will have noticed that there is a canal very close. It is the Khlong Saen Saep, a rather dirty canal through which these types of boats circulate. From that stop you can take the boat and get to the modern area of Bangkok: Siam. Tell the ticket seller that you want to get off in Siam.
7

Jim Thompson House or Siam Shopping Malls

Once you arrive to Siam, you have many options of places to visit depending on the time you have available and your preferences: Siam Paragon, Jim Thompsom's house, MBK and BAAC
8

Lumphini Park

If you have followed this route, right now it will be afternoon. It's probably 4pm, 5pm or 6pm. Don't worry, they are the best hours to visit this park as it is when it fills with people wanting to do sports.
How to get?
By Skytrain (BTS) getting off at the Sala Daeng stop and walking for 5 minutes.
9

Patpong Market, Mahanakhon Tower or IconSiam Shopping Mall

In this area you have several things to see so we leave you with a list for you to choose which is best for you: Patpong market, Mahanakhon Tower or IconSiam Shopping center

✈️ Arriving to Bangkok

There are 2 airports:

Suvarnabhumi Airport (Code: BKK)

➑️ More International flights
➑️ Most flights from Europe, Middle East, Africa and America
➑️ National airlines airport

Don Mueang Airport (Code: DMK)

➑️ Lowcost airlines airport
➑️ Many domestic routes
➑️ Many flights to other South East Asia and Asian countries

πŸš‡ Where to go next?

Most common destinations after Bangkok:

If you want to go to Chiang Mai, we’d recommend you to have a look at the experience of taking the Night Train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai.

Chiang Mai, the center of the North

Take a flight, train or bus to the North

Chiang Rai, the Northest city

Take 1:25h flight to the Northest city

Kanchanaburi, the city of the bridge

Take a 3h bus or a train to the West

Ayutthaya, the historical capital

Take a bus, a train or a day tour to the city