The capital city of Bangkok is a cultural enigma that provides a tourism experience that will leave a good taste in your mouth for years to come. Every element of the city entices you in, from its grand architecture to its dynamic people; it is an alluring destination that you would be disappointed to miss.
Bangkok will keep you entertained for days; the traditional and the modern coexist harmoniously and make for an exciting experience wherever you walk. Visit celestial palaces, see bustling street food vendors, floating markets and more on your trip to Bangkok.
We’ve put together our Bangkok Tourism Guide to share with you some of the most popular, intriguing and astounding sights in the city. You can carve out your own route in Bangkok and maybe even find some places we haven’t mentioned, but these are definitely a great place to start.
At the moment the basic exchange rate for Singapore and Thailand is 1 Singaporean dollar to 25.91 Thai Baht. There’s only a one hour time difference between the two countries (Singapore is an hour ahead) so you don’t even have to worry about jet lag having an effect on your trip.
“Bangkok is thousands of people all wearing the same color shirt on the same day for respect to their King, it is backpackers, it is Khao San Road, it is massage parlors, it is crowds, it is traffic, it is orange robed monks, it is hot, it is humid, it gleams with golden temples, it is medical tourism, it is cheap guest houses, it is some of the best hotels in the world, it is an ever present ebb and flow of life – all day and all night long, it is service with a smile – there is really no other city like it in the world.”
By Dave Levart, http://www.davestravelcorner.com/
Things to do in Bangkok are in no short supply; from temples and markets to palaces and giant swings, we know that you’ll continue to be entertained wherever you go. Bangkok has a very rich, cultural history intertwined with its strong Buddhist faith, so undoubtedly you’ll learn a few new things along the way too. We recommend you view one of the traditional puppet shows and some classic Muay Thai boxing matches, as well as a number of other destinations as listed below.
This vast, gleaming structure was built by the King of Siam in 1782 and became his royal residence. Every year a great number of Buddhist take a pilgrimage to these consecrated grounds as it houses the Wat Phra Kaew (read below to find out more). Spend your time here exploring the awe-inspiring buildings and intricate art work, for 500 Baht entry for adults. The grounds are open from 08.30 to 15.30, but make sure you check to see if there is a function on, as this could mean that the area is largely off-limits to visitors. The grounds and all of its buildings are a huge opportunity for visitors to learn more about the Thai culture and Buddhist religion.
Na Phra Lan Rd, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok, 10200, Thailand
Within the grounds of the Grand Palace is the large homage to the Buddhist faith and Thai monarch: Wat Phra Kaew. It is this building that draws so many pilgrims to Bangkok each year, as it home to the Emerald Buddha. This sculpture is carved out of a single, solid block of jade and the King is the only person permitted to view the Buddha.
2 Sanamchai Road, Grand Palace Subdistrict, Pranakorn District, Bangkok 10200, Thailand
Perhaps the most bizarre thing you will see in the middle of Bangkok is the Giant Swing. This 21.5-meter tall swing has an equally as large historical tale to go with it. Previous generations used to suspend a volunteer high above the ground below, who would the swing to try and catch silver coins in their teeth. This old Thanksgiving tradition has no stopped owing to injuries, but the structure still stands to remind the new generations of old Thai culture. The Wat Suthat, a temple of the highest honour, is situated next door, so you can see this charming building full of Buddhist images after your trip to the swing.
Bamrung Muang Rd, Bangkok, 10200, Thailand
This is one of the most breath taking temples in Bangkok; its colourful complexion and tall spindly, spires are reflected in the Chao Phraya River to make for quite an awesome sight. It is for these reasons specifically that we recommend you visit at night, where the temple is lit up and looks like something out of an old story book. Alternatively, visit fairly early in the morning to avoid the crowds. Wat Arun is open from 08.30 to 17.30 each day and costs 100 Baht for adult entry.
158 Wang Doem Rd, Wat Arun, Bangkok Yai, Bangkok 10600, Thailand
The Wat Pho or Temple of the Reclining Buddha is a must see attraction in Bangkok that can be easily visited on a budget. It costs only 100 Baht to see the astounding 46-meter long, golden, reclining Buddha statue. Within Wat Pho you will also see the largest collection of images of Lord Buddha in Thailand, from 08.30 to 18.30 each day.
2 Sanamchai Road. | Grand Palace, Pranakorn, Bangkok 10200, Thailand
Built by King Rama V as an escape from the Grand Palace, Dusit Palace was actually the primary residence of the King from 1901 and still remains the residence of the current King of Thailand. The grounds are made up of 13 different royal buildings and several luxurious gardens and lawns. It is the world’s largest golden teakwood building and one of the most interesting places to visit in Bangkok. We recommend picking up an audio guide to learn more about the history and culture of Bangkok. You will be required to adhere to the dress code which includes long sleeved shirts and covered shoulders, as well as long pants or skirts. Dusit Palace is open from 09.30 to 16.00 Tuesday to Sunday and costs 100 Baht for general admission, but additional costs may be imposed for certain buildings.
bounded by Th Ratchawithi, Th U Thong Nai & Th Nakhon Ratchasima
You may or may not already be familiar with the famous Madame Tussaud’s institution, either way it does not matter, as this is an entertaining experience for all of the family. Rub shoulders with some of the world’s biggest celebrities…or rather their wax figures, and share some fun snaps with the rest of your friends and family. Madame Tussaud’s is open from 10.00 to 21.00 and cost of tickets starts from 425 Baht, or buy online for exclusive discounts.
989 Rama 1 | 6th Floor, Siam Discovery Shopping Center, Bangkok 10300, Thailand
If you need a break from the hustle and bustle of Bangkok city life, then we recommend you retreat to Lumpini Park. It was built on royal land and named after the birthplace of Lord Buddha in Nepal. It is a recreational area for all ages, so if you want to shoot some hoops, go for a jog or a leisurely bike ride then this is the place for you. If you want to sit back and take respite from the Bangkok heat, then pick up some street food from the vendors pitched up outside the Rama IV statue and have a picnic.
139/4 Witthayu Rd, Lumphini, Pathum Wan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand
Bang Krachao Phapradeang, Samut Prakan, Thailand
For more of the traditional and rural side of Bangkok, take a trip to Bang Krachao Gardens, where you can embark on one of the many walking trails. This area runs alongside the Chao Phraya River where you will be pleasantly overcome by lush, tropical greenery and flowers, as well as getting a chance to see some of the traditional Thai homes built on stilts.
“Southeast Asia is known to wheelchair users as being a difficult place to navigate. However, Bangkok is completely possible and generally easy to get around with a wheelchair. From the Grand Palace to the Chatuchak Weekend Market, there are numerous accessible attractions that showcase the best of Thailand. Bangkok is welcoming to all and it truly is like no other place on Earth."
By Cory Lee, http://www.curbfreewithcorylee.com
Shoppers you will not be disappointed by the somewhat intriguing experiences that Bangkok has to offer. We highly recommend you dip in and out of the small shops you might pass by on your journey through Bangkok and head to several of the large markets all over the city. However, there are a few destinations you must not miss out on.
“If you're in Bangkok on a weekend, head over to the Chatuchak Weekend Market where you can easily spend an entire day (or two) wandering the endless aisles. You'll find 15,000 booths selling everything from furniture to books to food to live animals to handicrafts and souvenirs to clothes and beyond, easily making this a market like no other.”
By Derek Baron, http://www.wanderingearl.com/
There are a number of floating markets within Bangkok, however Damnoen Saduak is known to be the most popular and most fruitful. Prepare to have your senses overloaded in the best possible way; purchase fruit, vegetables, trinkets and souvenirs from the traffic of floating vendors ready to be bartered with.
Damnoen Saduak 70130, Thailand
A top tourist destination and also a favourite place of the locals, Khao San Road, is where you will find a number of shops, hotels, bars and several other travellers. With plenty on offer, there will be something of Thailand for everyone to take home to friends or family.
Thanon Khao San Rd, Khet Phra Nakhon, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10200, Thailand
"About 30 minutes from Bangkok is the popular weekend Klong Lat Mayom floating markets. Linking the narrow canals are rows of delicious (and cheap) Thai food stalls crammed in between handicrafts, plants, and clothing stores. You can explore life on the Klong even deeper on a long-tail boat ride through the neighbourhood."
By Caz and Craig Makepeace, http://www.ytravelblog.com/
The streets of Bangkok are awash with the scent of some of the most tasty dishes in the whole world. From restaurants to street vendors, we challenge you not to find something to satisfy your taste buds and leaving you pandering for more.
Head to the Khao San Road for some of the most famous street food, including Pad Thai and fish curries. Pad Thai has fast become the national dish of Thailand and there are those hungry to prove they make the best version of this meal. Alternatively, you could the sweeter option of Khao Niew Ma Muan, or Mango Sticky Rice, containing jasmine rice and juicy mango, stirred in with smooth coconut cream. Som Tam, is a popular papaya salad, crushed up in with a range of tasty ingredients, including lime, fish sauce, chilli, and beans.
“I LOVE BANGKOK! If I can only pick just ONE destination to visit for the rest of my life – this is it. This city has the best food (Padthai! Tomyum goong! Mango sticky rice!), amazing views at the numerous rooftop bars and an incredible vibe running through the entire city!”
By Flora Isabelle, http://floraisabelle.com/
On Monday the streets of Bangkok have a good cleaning, so many of the vendors won’t be open. Dishes are very well priced and usually cost between SG$1-10, depending on how big your appetite is. We’ve rounded up some of the best street food destinations for you to visit on your trip to Bangkok.
Sukhumvit Soi 38 is not just for tourists, the locals love it too, which is always a good sign. All of the restaurants and vendors will have English menus and food is made to order, so it’s steaming hot and oozing with flavour.
Where there’s work being done, there are very hungry workers, that’s why in the midst of the business district there is Silom Soi 20. Here you will find a range of different street vendors ready to serve you some of the best Thai food and provide you with areas to sit so you can really concentrate on your food.
We would recommend trying the Paid Thai is from a street restaurant named Thip Samai. This could be Bangkok’s worst kept secret and can be found on the Mahachai Road. The Pad Thai is gently wrapped in a thin case of beaten egg for a different experience. Just know that this dish is only unavailable on every other Wednesday.
If you’d prefer to sit down for a fine-dining and wildly experiential restaurant experience, your options are in no short supply.
1055 State Tower, Silom Road, Bang Rak, Bangkok 10500, Thailand
Lebua at State Tower has a number of different experiences for you to enjoy, but the first is their Sirocco restaurant. On the 63rd floor, next to the Sky Bar, this chic restaurant serves award winning international dishes that will dazzle your senses. There’s a dress code at Sirocco: no athletic or sports uniforms, torn clothing, slippers, beach sandals or flip-flops. Men are asked to not wear sleeveless clothing, shorts, and open shoes (these codes apply to children too).
Sukhumvit 12 Alley, Khlong Toei, Bangkok 10110, Thailand
The Thai food is tasty, but the décor is the most striking feature of this restaurant: condoms everywhere. The restaurant was created to increase awareness, understanding and acceptance of contraception and family planning. You can enjoy a great meal whilst supporting a good cause, which can only make things taste even better.
250 Sukhumvit Rd, Bangkok, Thailand
Looking for something totally new? This restaurant removes your eyesight by plunging you into pitch black darkness whilst you eat your meal. The point is that your other senses are heightened and your meal experience is totally altered for the better.
4 Chuea Phloeng Rd, Thung Maha Mek, Sathon, Bangkok 10120, Thailand
This secluded location is perfect for the romantics among you. It’s situated in a luscious tropical surrounding within an old antique house, speckled with twinkling lights. Its chef, Ian Kittichai, is internationally renowned and provides an indulgent edible experience.
The nightlife in Bangkok is as dynamic as the rest of the city; when the sun goes down and the lights come up the city changes and provides an experience not to be forgotten. We’ve rounded up a list of our favourite destinations to make sure there is something for everyone.
For a classy cocktail and a chance to watch the sun go down head back to The Sky Bar in Lebua at State Tower (or perhaps you won’t even leave after your dinner)! The cocktails are crisp, the air is warm and the atmosphere will light up your whole evening.
This famous road lights up at night and has something for everyone. It has a range of cocktail bars and night clubs all illuminated by the buzzing neon lights. Keep an eye out for your belongings around the Khao San Road, as this popular tourist spot can be an opportunity for local criminals.
If you’re looking to indulge in the lap of luxury on your trip to Bangkok, then you are in luck as there are a number of luxury hotels that we know will satisfy every need. The Lebua at State Tower has it all: a restaurant, a sky bar and ultimately a beautiful hotel experience.
Alternatively, rub should with the fashion and social elite at the W Bangkok; this hotel is within the entertainment district and nearby to many popular sights. Or the exorbitantly luxurious Sukhothai Bangkok hotel, which oozes luxury and comfort, could be the best option for you. With only 210 guest rooms and quiet, delightful gardens ideal for meditation, this peaceful oasis would complement your busy days in the city perfectly.
Prices can vary dependent on time of year, but for this level of exuberance, you will be spending SG$140 a night at least.
Mid-range hotels in Bangkok do not mean, mid-range luxury or comfort. In fact because the mid-range scene is quite competitive, there are many luxury hotels providing great deals on accommodation.
Triple Two Silom is an elegant hotel, located within 3km of Lumpini Park. It offers a peaceful, relaxed atmosphere for someone looking for the ideal retreat from their days spent exploring the city of Bangkok. Alternatively, the Pathumwan Princess Hotel is a vibrant Bangkok hotel with five on-site restaurants and a full service spa. This modern, minimalist hotel is great for those looking for a trendy, chilled stay in Bangkok.
Finally, the Mandarin Hotel Managed by Centre Point is an established hotel, with an excellent staff who are attentive and there to ensure your stay is the best it can possibly be. All of the mid-range hotels start at SG$60 per night stay on average, but this can increase depending on when you decide to visit Bangkok and how long you wish to stay.
Bangkok is a very highly sought out destination for backpackers and budget travellers from all around the world, so if you’re looking to stay on a budget there are many options.
The excellently weird and wonderful Kokotel Surawong counts and indoor slide and large sheep sculpture as some of its décor. It is located near Lumpini Park and has great connections to the Bangkok Transit system and other popular sights and experiences. The staff on are hand constantly to help guide you through your trip, if you ever need some tips or advice.
The iSanook Hostel is one of the best rated hostels in Bangkok; our customers have been blown away by the shared accommodation, staff and location. Or the Dewan Bangkok hotel, that perfectly combines traditional Thai and Mediterranean décor with the comforts of modern life. All of these hotels and hostels in Bangkok range in price, but usually start at around SG$10 per night stay. However, as always these prices can vary significantly depending on the duration and time of your stay. Explore the Expedia website further for more hotels in Bangkok to make sure you are getting the best accommodation for your trip.
There are many different ways of navigating the effortless, chaos of Bangkok, including walking, jumping on a boat and riding traditional tuk tuks. The Skytrain and the underground system are the most common ways of getting around, but you’ll usually need to combine multiple methods of transport to get to your destination. Maps are available at all tourist information points and train stations and we recommend you pick one up to avoid getting lost.
A few helpful tips include avoiding taxis as traffic can be unbearable in this huge city. Also, when walking, keep your wits about you as those on the road are known to disregard most road rules.
“Avoid having to battle Bangkok traffic and stay along Chao Phraya river for easy access to Bangkok's best attractions. River taxis go up and down the river every 15 minutes stopping at the Grand Palace, Wat Pho, Wat Arun and lively Khao San Road as well as other popular eating and shopping spots.”
By Elaine Brindamour, http://sumabeachlifestyle.com/
Your tolerance for heat and humidity will affect the time we recommend you visit Bangkok. It tends to remain quite hot and humid throughout the year, but November to March is the most popular season. The temperatures are far more bearable, but because of this, the tourist numbers and prices of flights and accommodation are too. Bangkok gets quite wet in the rainy season, May to September, however, if you can tolerate the rain then this could be the best time for you. This is the low tourist season for Bangkok, so costs and fellow tourists are likely to be a lot lower and fewer. There are also a number of indoor activities that won’t be ruined by the rain, such as the ever-popular shopping experience.
If you’ve decided you want to head to Bangkok to see all of its beautiful sights and experience the delicious tasting meals, then your next step is booking your flight. Explore the Expedia website further for a large array of different flights to Bangkok for all budgets.
Featured Image Source: Adam Selwood