Bangkok Travel Guide (and the Best Day Trips from Bangkok)
Known as Krung Thep, which means “The City of Angel”, Bangkok is packed with loads of things to do as well as things to eat. You can go super extravagant or budget as you please, but either way, Bangkok will surely cater for all tastes. While Thailand’s top temples and bustling streets are obviously the main draws, you’ll be missing out if you don’t visit quiet neighborhoods and try local activities. Combining with a wide range of day trip options from Bangkok, you should definitely stay for more than a week in this capital city!
8 Places to Visit in Bangkok and Best Day Trips from Bangkok
1. Taste your way through Bangkok’s street food scene
Rot Fai Night Market, Bangkok
The best city in the world for street food according to CNN, Bangkok has an astonishing array of street food options. Thai street food is influenced by many cultures, from Chinese to Malaysian and even European. Yaowarat Chinatown and Rot Fai Night Market are hugely popular, but other neighborhoods like Charoenkrung and Thonburi have got their own specialties, so be sure to keep an eye out when traveling around Bangkok. While the local street food is world-famous, it never hurts to pay attention to things like stall cleanliness, for example. Look where Thai locals queue up and follow them for the high-quality street eats.
Book a Chinatown Steet Food Tour
Metallic Castle and Golden Mount, Bangkok
Bangkok is home to thousands of renowned temples, each one with its own uniqueness. Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha) and the Grand Palace, Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha) and Wat Arun (Temple of the Dawn) are the top three, but there are also much less crowded temples with jaw-dropping architecture. Take for example the Metallic Castle of Wat Ratchanatdaram and the Golden Mount of Wat Saket.
Along with smaller yet charming local temples and others like Chinese shrines, mosques and churches, all these religious sites as well as folk Buddhist activities reflect the values Thailand holds. Regardless of your beliefs, visiting them is one of the best ways to understand Thai culture and people.
Book a Bangkok Temple Tour
3. Live a Thai dream at floating markets
Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market, Bangkok
Floating markets are one of the ultimate Thai icons. Since rivers and canals were the highways that connected cities and villages in the past, boats were the main mode of transportation and floating markets the lifeblood. Nowadays you can still visit local floating markets and get a glimpse into the past. The scene of vendors selling products on boats is fascinating enough, but local food and crafts also await.
While most people will think of Damnoen Saduak Floating Market in Ratchaburi and Amphawa Floating Market in Samut Songkhram, Bangkok has its own very local floating markets that remain under the radar. Check out Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market or Taling Chan Floating Market for Bangkok’s rural charms.
4. Explore Bangkok at night
Muay Thai (Thai boxing), Bangkok
Bangkok is sleepless and even at night, you’ll find plenty of things to see and do. Apart from the obvious like tasting local street food and partying, you can go on a Tuk Tuk ride and see the other sides of Bangkok Old Town that not many people know of, enjoy Muay Thai matches and other glamorous night shows (Tickets available at special prices here) and so on.
5. Shop till you drop
Chatuchak Weekend Market, Bangkok
Bangkok offers a wide range of shopping experiences from super cheap to luxury. The word “super cheap” might make you doubt the product quality, but “budget-friendly” and “high quality” can belong together here. If luxury malls like Siam Paragon and EmQuartier aren’t your cup of tea, there’s always unique arts and crafts and a lot of other products at Chatuchak Weekend Market. Bargaining is more than normal there, so it’s one of the best places to shop for yourself or your loved ones.
6. Learn Thai culture through the eyes of the locals
Pad Thai cooking class, Bangkok
Thai culture is a blend of humility, liveliness and relaxation. Don’t miss the opportunity to try Thai boxing at Thailand’s iconic stadium, cook with locals, visit off-the-beaten-track neighborhoods or villages, go café hopping or even follow a ghost story to a spiritual location for an authentic Thai experience. Many locals open their homes for you and know all the places locals love.
Cruising along the Chao Phraya River, Bangkok, at night
Dive into the deep sea. Make a splash at Asia’s largest water park and Thailand’s biggest theme park. Cruise along the Chao Phraya River while enjoying a romantic dinner. Let your kids unleash their imagination at Kidzania. Tickets are available at special prices here.