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 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 Street Food Tour.   

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2. Admire the details at Thailand’s top temples and local religious sites

Metallic Castle and Golden Mount, Bangkok 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.

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3. Live a Thai dream at floating markets

Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market, Bangkok 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.

Book a Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market Tour and Pad Thai Cooking Experience with a Local Grandma.

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4. Explore Bangkok at night


Muay Thai (Thai boxing), Bangkok 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.  

Book a ticket for Muay Thai matches and night shows .

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5. Shop till you drop

Chatuchak Weekend Market, Bangkok 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.

Book a Chatuchak Weekend Market Tour with Street Food Tasting .

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6. Learn Thai culture through the eyes of the locals

Pad Thai cooking class, Bangkok 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.

Book a Local Fisherman Village and Salt Farm Tour.

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7. Entertain yourself all day with family-friendly attractions

Cruising along the Chao Phraya River, Bangkok, at night 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.

Book a ticket for family attractions .

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8. Get out and explore more

1) Ayutthaya

Wat Mahathat, Ayutthaya Wat Mahathat, Ayutthaya

Go on a time machine ride and witness the glorious ancient kingdom of Ayutthaya with your own eyes. As Thailand’s capital for over 400 years, Ayutthaya is home not only  Ayutthaya Historical Park (the UNESCO World Heritage Site) but also  Bang Pa-In Summer Palace and the church-inspired Buddhist temple as well as traditional cotton candy crepes.

Book an Ayutthaya Historical Park and Bang Pa-In Palace Tour.

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2) Samut Prakan

Bang Krachao, Samut Prakan Bang Krachao, Samut Prakan

Only about 30-60 minutes away from Bangkok (depending on your destination), Samut Prakan is a great escape from the hustle and bustle. Bike around  Bang Krachao (also called Bangkok’s Green Lungs and the Best Urban Oasis in Asia) and try a variety of art and craft workshops in the area, visit the fantasy-like Erawan Museum, get on board a naval ship, watch seagulls and sunset at Bangpu and more. There’s so much to do.

Book a Bang Krachao Bike Tour with Bang Namphueng Floating Market and Joss Stick Making.

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3) Kanchanaburi

The Death Railway, Kanchanaburi The Death Railway, Kanchanaburi

A lush city of peace and quiet that has been through a tragic past during World War II. Today you can still cross the Bridge on the River Kwai, visit the Kanchanaburi War Cemetery, board the  Death Railway and walk along the Hellfire Pass.

If you love nature and local life, visit the 7-tiered, turquoise-colored Erawan Waterfall and the small town of  Sangkhlaburi, where you can experience Thai and Mon cultures in one place.

Book a Kanchanaburi Historic Tour with Death Railway Train Ride.

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4) Samut Songkhram

Amphawa Floating Market, Samut Songkhram Amphawa Floating Market, Samut Songkhram

Amphawa Floating Market needs no introduction, but that’s not all Samut Songkhram has.  Hop on a boat, watch the locals make coconut palm sugar, visit Wat Bang Kung or the Temple in a Tree and explore authentic and charming Tha Ka Floating Market.  Maeklong Railway Market is a wonder with the train chugging straight through it and vendors swiftly packing away their umbrellas and stalls whenever a train arrives.  

Book a Tha Ka Floating Market, Wat Bang Kung and Maeklong Railway Market Tour with Boating and Coconut Palm Sugar Making.

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5) Ratchaburi

Wat Khanon Nang Yai, Ratchaburi Wat Khanon Nang Yai, Ratchaburi

Most people think of  Damnoen Saduak Floating Market and the iconic boat traffic scene, but Ratchaburi has a charming  old town with century-old market and wooden houses as well as Thailand’s most famous Nang Yai (grand shadow puppet show).

Book a Damnoen Saduak Floating Market and Maeklong Railway Market Tour.

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6) Pattaya and other eastern coastal cities

Koh Sichang (Sichang Island), Chonburi Koh Sichang (Sichang Island), Chonburi

Pattaya might not be the most beautiful beachtown in Thailand, but its close proximity to a variety of fun attractions and shows (Tickets available at special prices  here), the paradise island  Koh Larn and other  historic islands in Chonburi will make your trip worthwhile.

If you’re looking for a quieter beachside city,  Chanthaburi is a great choice with loads of things to see and do like a multicultural riverside community and driving along Thailand’s most beautiful seaside road.

Book a ticket for shows in Pattaya .

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7) Nonthaburi

Potterry workshop on Koh Kred, Nonthaburi Potterry workshop on Koh Kred, Nonthaburi

The tiny island in the Chao Phraya River,  Koh Kred, is only less than an hour from Bangkok and packed with local cultural activities. Visit local Mon temples and village to try pottery workshops as well as local food and desserts.

For those who want to visit a local durian farm or a local home, some local farmer families will be happy to show you around their estates and share with you their simple but beautiful ways of life.

Book a Koh Kred Tour with Dessert Tasting and Pottery Making .

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8) Other small towns

Mahasawat Canal local community, Nakhon Pathom Mahasawat Canal local community, Nakhon Pathom

Take a boat ride among lotuses, make Thai snacks and experience one of the best agro tours in Thailand at  Mahasawat Canal local community. Visit the hidden ancient capital of  Lopburi and meet the resident monkeys. Go trekking and say hello to the wildlife at  Khao Yai National Park. All these are possible in just a few hours’ drive from Bangkok.

Book a Mahasawat Canal Local Community Tour with Boating .

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