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Things to see and do

Temples

  • Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha)
    4.5 stars

    Built in 1782 by King Rama I, Wat Phra Kaew, or Temple of the Emerald Buddha, is home to the most sacred image in Thailand, the Emerald Buddha – actually made of jade. Wat Phra Kaew is the grandest temple in Bangkok and the standard against which all others are measured. The Emerald Buddha ... read more

  • Wat Pho
    4.5 stars

    If you only have time to visit one attraction in Bangkok, Wat Pho should be it. Also known as Temple of the Reclining Buddha or Wat Phra Chetuphon, this 80,000 square metre complex was founded in the 1600s and has since seen many renovations and additions. It could break a record with its number ... read more

  • Wat Arun
    4 stars

    One of Bangkok's most famous and historic landmarks Wat Arun, or the Temple of the Dawn, stands proudly on the Thonburi side of the Chao Phraya River. In 1768, when King Taksin planned to move the capital from Ayutthaya to Thonburi he travelled down the Chao Phraya River by boat, arriving at dawn ... read more

  • Wat Saket and the Golden Mount
    4 stars

    Sitting atop an artificial hill surrounded by heritage buildings near Democracy Monument, the Golden Mount of Wat Saket is one of Bangkok's signature landmarks. A temple has occupied the site since at least the 1600s, and in the early days it doubled as a crematorium and burial ground. The temple ... read more

  • Wat Traimit
    4 stars

    The incredible five-metre high Buddha image here is solid gold and weighs around five tonnes. As the largest solid gold Buddha in the world, it is one of Thailand's greatest treasures. The Buddha is over 700 years old but was discovered to be made of solid gold in 1955. At some stage the Buddha ... read more

  • Wat Benchamabophit
    3 stars

    The white Italian-marble Wat Benchamabophit was restored and enlarged in 1899 by King Chulalongkorn (Rama V). According to the King's wishes, some of his ashes are now interred at the base of the central Buddha image. The wat houses a huge collection of Buddha statues of different periods from ... read more

  • Wat Suthat
    3 stars

    Wat Suthat is best known for its fine murals, dating from the 19th century, and expansive collection of Buddha images. Large and airy feeling, the wat's grounds are fairly big with some cute buildings and beautiful corridors to explore. Construction on the wat began in 1807 during the reign of ... read more

  • Wat Bovornivet
    3 stars

    Within the walls of Wat Bovornivet is Mahamakut Buddhist University, one of the oldest in Bangkok. Since its founding in 1826 – when it was originally known as Wat Mai – this wat has been home to a number of royals who entered the monkhood, including the present king, King Bhumibol. Many ... read more

  • Wat Prayoon
    3.5 stars

    Wat Prayoon lies within a compound surrounded by lush trees on the Thonburi side of the Chao Phraya River. It is a little out of the way, but if you are in the area it is definitely worth poking your head in. The most memorable aspect of this temple is the Khao Mor cemetery. Comprised of ... read more

  • Wat Ratchabophit
    4.5 stars

    One of the most beautiful and underrated temples in all of Bangkok, Wat Ratchabophit is an unexplored gem blissfully free of tourist gridlock. Sitting just east of the Grand Palace, the temple shows off its Chinese influence through magnificent shimmering Chinese tiles that cover every exterior ... read more

  • Wat Pathum Wannaram
    3 stars

    The most amazing thing about Wat Phatum Wannaram is that despite its location right next to Siam Paragon, it is still a very traditional forest wat. Once inside the leafy grounds, which have a solid reputation as a meditation centre, you can almost forget that there is a bustling city right ... read more

  • Sri Maha Mariamman Temple
    3 stars

    Known to Thais as Wat Khaek, this colourful Hindu temple is quite the attention grabber when walking down Silom Road. The outside towers and walls show an elaborate intertwining of Hindu deities that seem to reach for the sky, and the footpaths surrounding the temple are filled with vendors selling ... read more

  • Wat Indraviharn
    3 stars

    Located to the north of Khao San Road, Wat Indraviharn is home to one of the tallest Buddha images in Thailand. Standing 32 metres tall, the Buddha image is designed in the modern style with a topknot enshrining a Buddha relic brought from Sri Lanka. Built during the reign of King Rama IV, the ... read more

  • Wat Kalayanamit
    3.5 stars

    Few tourists visit this important and ornate temple built in the early 1800s, but the massive ochre-roofed wiharn of Wat Kalayanamit is perhaps the most attention grabbing structure along the Chao Phraya River. Many at first mistake it for Wat Arun, which is also on the western riverbank another ... read more

  • Wat Yannawa
    3 stars

    Wat Yannawa is an important, if a tad quirky Thai-Chinese temple in Bangkok that's worth at least a 20-minute peek. Though it's not known exactly when the temple was established, a monastery has been here since the Ayutthaya era and it's certainly one of the oldest in the city, evidenced by a ... read more

  • Wat Mahathat
    3 stars

    Just a few blocks from all the Wat Phra Kaew tourist madness sits Wat Mahathat, a welcome respite from the neighbourhood's traveller overload. The wat itself is fairly unremarkable but it is home to Mahachulalongkorn Buddhist University, one of the most highly esteemed sites of Buddhist learning ... read more

  • Wat Leng Noi Yi
    3.5 stars

    Wat Leng Noi Yi, or the Dragon Flower Temple, dates back to 1871 and is one of the most important sites for the Chinese in Thailand. The original temple was built using donations scraped together from the residents along Sampaeng Lane. Today, the temple's name has been officially changed to Wat ... read more

  • Wat Ratchanatdaram and the Amulet Market
    3.5 stars

    Built in 1846 during the reign of King Rama III, Wat Ratchanatdaram's main attraction is the Loha Prasat, or "Iron Monastary." Loha Prasat stands 36 metres high and is surrounded by 37 spires, representing the 37 virtues needed to attain enlightenment. It is safe to say, there is no other wat quite ... read more

  • Wat Chakrawat
    3 stars

    Presented as a royal temple in 1825, Wat Chakrawat - or the crocodile wat, as it should be known - boasts three live crocodiles along with a stuffed specimen. Supposedly brought here as strays, the three live beasts sit in two separate ponds to the left as you enter the main temple. The croc in ... read more

  • Wat Rakhang
    3 stars

    If you're interested in seeing what a bustling temple looks like in modern day Thailand, Wat Rakhang (meaning Temple of the Bells) will deliver. Wat Rakhang sits on the Thonburi side of the Chao Phraya and is abuzz with people feeding fish, ringing bells and making merit. Architecturally the ... read more

  • Wat Chai Chana Songkhram
    1 star

    Just to make life a little more confusing, Bangkok is home to two temples named Wat Chai Chana Songkhram. One of these wats is in Chinatown while the other is near Khao San Road. Meaning “war victory” it makes sense that Chai Chana Songkhram would be such a popular name and we've got them both ... read more

  • Boonsamakan Vegetarian Hall
    3 stars

    This small, tricky-to-find hall is worth a look both during the vegetarian festival when it is a highlight and the rest of the year as well. The hall features some intriguing wood carvings, particularly some three-dimensional work on the upstairs front area along with the usual dragons and ... read more

  • Sikh temple - Sri Guru Singh Sabah
    3.5 stars

    The entrance is difficult to spot from Chakraphet Road, but those who make the effort will be rewarded by seeing a side of Thailand most don't even know exists. You can ask one of the men hanging around the lobby if you can go upstairs. Both men and women receive an orange cloth to cover their ... read more

  • Wat Mahannaparam and Chao Phaa Sua
    2.5 stars

    Located near the Great Swing, these two religious sites couldn't be more different. The Buddhist temple Wat Mahannaparam is a quiet spot famous for a Buddha image that is made predominantly of gold. There are only a few visitors wandering around, and the grounds provide a quiet place to sit or ... read more

  • Wat Suwannaram
    2 stars

    Built during the Ayutthaya period before Bangkok was the nation's capital, Wat Suwannaram, meaning the Golden Monastery, was given its name by King Rama I. Also called Wat Amarin, this temple appears fairly ordinary from the outside. What makes Wat Suwannaram a worthy stop, however, are the ... read more

Museums

  • National Museum
    4 stars

    Thailand's first museum was established during the reign of King Rama IV when he used two of the buildings within the Grand Palace to showcase his personal collection. Opening as the first public museum in 1874, the National Museum and was relocated to the current site in 1887. It is now the ... read more

  • Jim Thompson's House
    4.5 stars

    Born in 1906, American Jim Thompson was many things -- entrepreneur, Thai silk magnate, explorer, connoisseur of all things Thai, and incidentally, a spy for the West. Jim Thompson first became infatuated with Thailand while working for the US Secret Service -- the predecessor of the CIA -- during ... read more

  • Rattanakosin Exhibition Hall
    4 stars

    This beautiful new museum devotes itself to the history of Rattanakosin, the oldest section of Bangkok. Visiting the museum involves a mandatory two-hour tour, so do keep that in mind when you're planning a visit. Hands-on multimedia exhibits with videos and interactive activities, the museum ... read more

  • Ancient Siam
    3.5 stars

    Known as Muang Boran in Thai, Ancient Siam is a huge open-air museum that features replicas of Thailand's most important historical sites along with sculpture gardens and mini-museums. This grand project began in 1963 after being dreamed up by the late Thai businessman/philanthropist/creative ... read more

  • Erawan Museum
    4.5 stars

    Just south of Bangkok, a 250-ton, 44-metre-tall, three-headed copper elephant houses a melange of imagination known as Erawan Museum. The enormous three-headed elephant is a depiction of Erawan, the vehicle and servant of the Hindu god Indra. In the museum's central section, a small but impressive ... read more

  • Corrections Museum
    3.5 stars

    You need to have a strong stomach for this museum, but it's a fascinating glimpse into Thailand's penal past. No Thai holiday would be complete without white sandy beaches, glittering temples and ... jail cells? Occupying a former prison in an old city location, Bangkok's Corrections Museum offers ... read more

  • Batcat Museum & Toys Thailand
    3.5 stars

    Batcat Museum boasts the largest vintage toy collection in Thailand, with special attention given to the Dark Night himself. Holy 50,000 toys, Batman! At BatCat Museum in the far-flung east Bangkok suburbs, Somchay Nitimongkolchai has turned a hobby into an obsession that is now the largest vintage ... read more

  • Mr Kukrit's House
    4 stars

    Thailand's prime minister in 1974-75, M.R. Kukrit, was one of the kingdom's few truly intellectual leaders and this stunning wooden house bears witness to a life lived simply and intelligently. The home, which he lived in from 1980 until his death, remains exactly as it did when he passed away in ... read more

  • Royal Barges National Museum
    3 stars

    The royal barges are used only rarely, when the royal family takes part in stunning processions down the Chao Phraya River. Although the procession consists of 26 boats, only a handful of these are designated as royal with others performing the roles of escorts. The National Museum of Royal Barges ... read more

  • Bangkokian Museum
    3.5 stars

    Difficult to find but worth the search, this unexpected museum displays the home of a middle-class Thai family during the years surrounding World War II (1937-1957). Relatively unchanged since the family lived here, the house provides an authentic and interesting look back at Thai life during the ... read more

  • Siam Society
    3 stars

    Founded in 1904, the Siam Society was instituted in order to preserve Thai culture and promote education and learning about Thailand and its neighbours. While most of the society's offerings are only available to members, there is a frequent rotation of lectures, concerts and exhibitions which can ... read more

  • Suan Pakkard Palace
    3.5 stars

    Originally constructed in 1952 as the private home of their Royal Highnesses Prince and Princess Chumbhot of Nagara Svarga, Suan Pakkard Palace opened to the public as a museum in 1987. Comprised of several fine traditional wooden Thai houses, bristling with antiques, traditional furnishings, ... read more

  • Kamthieng House
    3.5 stars

    This charming 120-year-old house was built in Chiang Mai on the Ping River in 1844 but was disassembled, shipped to Bangkok and carefully pieced together again in 1964. Today it houses a museum aimed at preserving and displaying elements of northern Thai Lanna culture such as folk art, costumes ... read more

  • Museum of the Department of Forensic Medicine
    3.5 stars

    Ghouls and doctors, this is your thing: A room stuffed with all sorts of body parts and gruesome medical curiosities. The main attractions here are the mummified remains of infamous Thai murderers, but the shelves are also chock full of skulls marred by bullets, aborted foetuses and an array of ... read more

  • King Prajadhipok Museum
    4 stars

    This wonderful and under-the-radar museum, takes visitors through the life of King Prajadhipok, otherwise known as Rama VII. Beautifully presented and designed, this modern museum takes you from the birth to the death of this controversial King. Reigning from 1925 to 1935, King Prajadhipok was ... read more

  • Royal Elephant National Museum
    3 stars

    Just inside the Thanon U Thong Nai entrance at Dusit Park, sits the charming but quaint Royal Elephant National Museum. Built as the stables for a sacred white elephant given to King Rama V, the buildings have been home to numerous sacred royal elephants since then. Today the museum displays ... read more

Public Parks and Zoos

  • Bangkok's parks and green spaces
    4 stars

    With more than a dozen parks and other public green spaces strategically dotted around Bangkok, a pleasant place to play, picnic and exercise is never far away. Some of the biggest and best are listed here, but see Travelfish's online Bangkok travel guide for the comprehensive rundown. ... read more

  • Lumpini Park
    4 stars

    Established in the 1920s by King Rama VI, this large green square in the heart of the city is among the world's best centrally located urban parks. Known as "Suan Lum" for short, Lumpini Park is truly a common ground in Bangkok -- expect to hear a variety of languages spoken and see every skin ... read more

  • Sanam Luang
    3 stars

    This large grassy oval is located immediately north of the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew and is used for royal ceremonies. Deceased royals are cremated here, and every May the Royal Ploughing Ceremony is held to ensure a bountiful rice harvest in the coming growing season. In February and ... read more

  • Benjakiti Park
    3.5 stars

    Arguably Bangkok's prettiest green space, Benjakiti was established in 2004 on 130 rai (21 hectares) once occupied by grungy warehouses of the Tobacco Monopoly. Today the land features two-kilometre bicycle and jogging lanes, playgrounds, a meditation area, exercise equipment, some spectacular ... read more

  • Suan Rot Fai
    4 stars

    Not to be confused with nearby Rot Fai antique market, Suan Rot Fai (officially named Wachirabenchathat Park) is a relatively large recreation area in Bangkok’s northern reaches. The park is filled with grassy fields, trees and even a small lake. It was once a golf course before being ... read more

  • Benchasiri Park
    3 stars

    This veritable oasis in the midst of Sukhumvit's relentless noise and pollution was originally the site of the Meteorology Department. Luckily, it was converted to a park to commemorate the 60th birthday of Queen Sirikit in 1992. Less luckily, an array of huge old trees were cut down as they didn't ... read more

  • Saranrom Royal Garden
    3 stars

    Often overlooked by tourists despite its location directly east of Wat Pho and the Grand Palace, Saranrom Garden was established in 1866 by King Rama IV as a reception area for royal family gatherings. King Rama V added a pond, three teakwood guesthouses, elegant high-roofed gazebos and a ... read more

  • Suan Luang Rama IX
    3.5 stars

    Suan Luang Rama IX is a public park, botanical garden, memorial and museum all rolled into one. Out in Bangkok's eastern fringes, Suan Luang Rama IX is a public park, botanical garden, memorial and museum all rolled into one. All of the standard park features can be found here, but Rama IX Park's ... read more

  • Princess Mother Memorial Park
    3.5 stars

    This lovely little park, standing on land donated by a local couple in Thonburi, is located near the community where the Princess Mother resided as a child. The house she lived in was demolished long ago but a replica is there. The cool park also features an eight-metre long sculpture to mark the ... read more

  • The Bangkok riverfront for free
    3 stars

    A guide on where to picnic, jog or relax beside Bangkok's Chao Phraya River for free. Most of the Chao Phraya riverfront in Bangkok is packed with upscale hotels and condos, dilapidated shacks, industrial shipyards and the odd parking lot. Yet Bangkok does offer a handful of places where you can ... read more

  • National Stadium
    3 stars

    Bangkok's National Stadium actually boasts several stadiums and athletic facilities over a sprawling area just west of MBK and the Siam Square shopping district. The original and largest of these is Supachalasai National Stadium, a 55,000 seat football and track venue built in 1937. Today, ... read more

  • Siam Ocean World
    2.5 stars

    Siam Ocean World is one of the largest aquariums in Southeast Asia, and is a great place to bring kinds (especially during the rainy season). Broken into seven different zones that explore different parts of marine habitats, visitors pass from rocky shores to the open ocean, with reefs, sharks and ... read more

  • Dusit Zoo
    3 stars

    Dusit Zoo is set around an artificial lake near Dusit Park. It's a leafy green zoo with lots of attractions for kids and adults, including a train, paddle boats on the lake (50 baht/hr) and animal shows daily (11:00, 13:30, 14:30; 30 baht adults/ 10 baht kids). There are a few places to eat ... read more

  • Queen Saovabha Memorial Snake Farm
    3.5 stars

    Run in cooperation with the Thai Red Cross and the World Health Organization, the Queen Saovabha Memorial Snake Farm raises venomous and non-venomous snakes for use in extracting venom to produce antidote. The farm staff run an educational program twice a day on week days at 11:00 and 14:30, and ... read more

Shrines

  • Erawan Shrine
    3 stars

    The spiritual undercurrents that pervade Bangkok are evidenced by constant offerings to the famous image of the Hindu god, Brahma, at Erawan shrine. The depiction of Phra Phrom (aka Thao Maha Phrom, the Thai representation of the Hindu god Brahma) at Erawan shrine is a relatively new edition to the ... read more

  • Chao Mae Kuan Im shrine
    3 stars

    Next to Thian Ma Foundation's non-profit hospital in Bangkok's Chinatown, the Chao Mae Kuan Im shrine features beautiful murals and a striking statue of the Chinese Goddess of Mercy. If entering Chinatown from the south through the Odean Gate, the beautiful Chao Mae Kuan Im shrine immediately ... read more

  • Ghost of Mae Nak shrine
    3 stars

    Mae Nak shrine is dedicated to the ghost believed to have been involved in Thailand's most famous haunting. The most famous of Thailand's many ghost stories is the legend of Mae Nak (aka Nang Nak), a tragic tale of a woman who couldn't bear to lose her husband and child. Ask any Thai and they'll ... read more

  • Lak Muang (City Pillar)
    2.5 stars

    Hidden away along the eastern side of Sanam Luang, you'll find the somewhat understated Lak Muang (City Pillar) for Bangkok. Considered to be Bangkok's foundation stone and the home of the city's guardian spirit and horoscope. This pillar's origins stretch back to 1782 when King Rama I order ... read more

  • Kuan Oo Shrine
    1 star

    According to legend, King Taksin would visit the Kuan Oo Shrine to worship before he embarked on his latest war campaign. Set on the western (Thonburi) side of the Chao Phraya River, the Kuan Oo Shrine is unremarkable save it's riverside location. It warrants a quick stop if you're in the area, ... read more

  • Chao Mae Tuptim (Phallic Shrine)
    3 stars

    Surrounded by enough sculpted penises to make a sex shop envious, this shrine is tucked under a huge tree overlooking a khlong. Offerings, including penises, jasmine and lotus, are left to placate the spirit living there by women hoping to conceive. According to legend, the phallic image ... read more

Art Gallery or venues

  • National Gallery
    3.5 stars

    The National Gallery, housing both contemporary and traditional Thai art, is home to the best public collection in the kingdom. The building itself is architecturally beautiful and was originally built to be the Royal Mint. Constructed in a Western style and completed in 1902, the building was ... read more

  • Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (BACC)
    3.5 stars

    Located next to MBK in the Siam Square vicinity, the BACC offers a chance to scope modern art while escaping the throngs of Bangkok cool kids, but without giving up air-con. The Louvre this is not -- if searching for masterfully curated fine art you'll be disappointed -- but the BACC is a pleasant ... read more

  • Thailand Creative and Design Centre (TCDC)
    3.5 stars

    Thailand Creative and Design Centre (TCDC) is known for being both thought-provoking and hands on. With a diverse rotation of exhibitions, TCDC is known for being both thought-provoking and hands on. The exhibitions often have interactive components and even occasionally feature accompanying ... read more

  • Pridi Banomyang Institute
    3 stars

    This interestingly-designed cultural centre is home to a few small rooms serving as art galleries and offices. The primary focus of the place is to view sporadically rotating art by local and international artists and to provoke cultural interest and discussion among young Thais. Named after ... read more

  • V64 Art Studio
    3.5 stars

    We first thought "V64" was some sort of advanced version of V8 vegetable juice, but this artists' melting pot is actually named after the road off which it sits: Vibhavadi-Rangsit 64. First conceived by artists of Section 7 in Chatuchak Market, V64 has become one of Bangkok's most unique art ... read more

  • Kathmandu Gallery
    3 stars

    The enchanting little photography gallery known as Kathmandu Gallery occupies an old shophouse just off Silom Road. While not an all-day destination, it's well worth a stop if you're in the area, and it can be combined with nearby Sri Maha Mariamman Hindu Temple for an afternoon cultural tour. ... read more

  • Antique art galleries of Charoen Krung
    3.5 stars

    If you're serious about antique Asian art, head to the small galleries on and around Charoen Krung Road just north of Saphan Taksin. Filled with Thai silk along with antique and modern art, OP Place on Soi 38 is a three-floor shopping centre set in a historic building that was first built by the ... read more

Historic Attractions

  • The Grand Palace
    4 stars

    The Grand Palace was constructed in 1782 to commemorate and house the current dynasty of Thai royals. Most of the walled-in palace compound is still used by the royal family and therefore closed to the public. The magnificent buildings within the compound were built over the reigns of several ... read more

  • Democracy Monument
    2.5 stars

    Impossible to miss as you drive towards Khao San Road, this art-deco monument was built in 1932 to commemorate Thailand's switch from an absolute to a constitutional monarchy. The monument anchors the traffic circle on Ratchadamnoen Klang and has been a site for numerous public demonstrations over ... read more

  • Vimanmek Palace
    4 stars

    This incredible teak mansion is a must-see site. Originally constructed on Ko Si Chang in the mid-19th century, King Rama V decreed that it be moved to Dusit Gardens following a trip to Europe in 1897. Four years later the mansion was officially opened and the King adopted it as his permanent ... read more

  • October 14 Memorial
    3 stars

    On October 14th, 1973, more than half a million protestors gathered on Thanon Ratchadamnoen Klang and around the country to demand a constitution from the then military government. In Bangkok, the student-led protest turned into a bloody riot and before the day was done hundreds of civilians had ... read more

  • Dusit Throne Hall
    3 stars

    This 1903 white hall built for King Rama V and originally used for meetings and banquets, houses a mother-of-pearl throne topped by a regal umbrella. The umbrella may appear a bit tatty, but that's because it is only changed when a new king accedes to the throne, and the current King Bhumibol ... read more

  • Ananta Samkhon Palace
    4 stars

    A former reception hall within Dusit Palace, the Ananta Samkhon Throne Hall is now a museum as well as a one of the most unique, and Western looking, landmarks in Bangkok. Planned during the reign of Rama V and completed in 1915, the edifice was constructed in the Italian Renaissance and Neo ... read more

  • Neilson Hays Library
    3 stars

    This charming library was built in 1921 to honour the memory of Bangkok resident Jennie Neilson Hays. Ms. Hays, a Protestant missionary first sent to Phetburi in 1881, was part of a small group of women who in the 19th century comprised the Bangkok Ladies' Library Association. As books were very ... read more

  • Phaya Thai Palace
    3.5 stars

    Bangkok's other former royal residence serves up a slice of history as well as cake. The Grand Palace and Dusit halls top many a travel itinerary, but few make it to Bangkok's other former royal residence: Phaya Thai Palace. Curiously set amid the grounds of a hospital, this regal Romanesque estate ... read more

  • Phra Sumen Fort
    3 stars

    Built in 1783, the Phra Sumen Fort is an imposing structure and one of the many forts built by King Rama I as defence for what was then the new capital, Bangkok. While impressive looking, at the time of writing all entrance to the fort has been blocked off making the draw to this spot another ... read more

  • The Giant Swing
    2.5 stars

    One of Bangkok's most recognisable monuments the Giant Swing is…exactly what it sounds like. Officially called Sao Ching Cha, the Giant Swing was originally part of an annual Brahmin ceremony honouring the Hindu god Shiva's visit to earth. During this festival swingers would soar up to 25 ... read more

  • Rama V Memorial
    2.5 stars

    This statue of King Rama V on horseback is the first monument to ever be dedicated to a Thai King. Built in 1908 to honour the 40th anniversary of Rama V's coronation the statue sits outside the Ananta Samakhom Palace. The statue is highly revered by the Thai people and there is a seeming ... read more

  • Santa Cruz Church
    3.5 stars

    One of Bangkok's oldest churches, Santa Cruz was first established on the western bank of the Chao Phraya River by the Portuguese in 1770. The church was later renovated in the 1800s with help from immigrant Chinese who became prominent in the area, and thanks to the Chinese architectural ... read more

  • Assumption Cathedral
    3 stars

    The impressive 200-year-old Assumption Cathedral is nestled in a historic area near the Chao Phraya River and is worth a visit whether worshiping or just sightseeing. A French architect designed the original Assumption Cathedral at the request of missionary leader, a certain Brother Pascal, in ... read more

Markets

  • Chatuchak weekend market
    4.5 stars

    Every Saturday and Sunday, more than 200,000 shoppers peruse 5,000 stalls spread over 35 acres at Chatuchak (aka "JJ") Market, which some claim to be the largest outdoor market in the world. A dizzying array of stuff is available, including cheap but trendy clothes designed by hip local companies; ... read more

  • Or Tor Kor market
    4 stars

    Wet markets aren't too difficult to come by in Bangkok, but Or Tor Kor is playing at a higher level than most. It's organised by a farmers' marketing association that closely scrutinises the quality of its vendors' products. Fresh organic produce can be purchased here and the market is famous for ... read more

  • Pak Khlong Talaad
    3.5 stars

    Named after the canal it surrounds, Pak Khlong Talaad market is the epicentre of Thailand's flower trade. Before the massive Talaad Thai opened in the city's northern reaches, Pak Khlong Talaad was the largest wholesale vegetable market in the city. The north of the market is still one of the best ... read more

  • Phra Chan market
    3.5 stars

    Bustling Talad Phra Chan is a century-old market where thousands of Thai Buddhist amulets share space with Thai sweets, fiery woks and no-frills riverside dining. Like many markets in Thailand, an exterior of heritage shophouses and brightly coloured umbrellas conceals Phra Chan's true size and ... read more

  • Nang Loeng old market
    4 stars

    Historic neighbourhood, heritage site, spirit shrine, wet market, prepared foods plaza and confectionery all at once, Nang Loeng market is one of a kind. Named after the earthen clay jars once sold in the area by Mon people, this is one of Bangkok's oldest continuously running markets. Still ... read more

  • Sampaeng Lane
    3.5 stars

    Ever wish that one could purchase a few metres of gold lamé fabric, some pink plastic rhinestones to affix to your mobile phone, a heavy gold necklace, fairy lights, a new mp3 player, and some fried bananas in the same place? No? How odd. Sampeng Lane is the home to notions in Bangkok: for those ... read more

  • Pahurat cloth market
    2.5 stars

    Phahurat fabric market is the centre of little India. While modern (and prosperous) Indian-Thais have largely moved away from this maze of alleys, this is still the cultural heart of the Indian diaspora in Thailand. The lanes are filled with bolts of fabrics for sale, some made in Thailand but ... read more

  • Talaad Mai
    3.5 stars

    Talaad Mai in Bangkok's Chinatown is far from new, but it is a feast for the senses. One of Bangkok's most eye-popping markets is stuffed into a narrow alley that brims with still-wriggling eels, worried crab, dried fish bladders, sharks fins and evil-looking (but amazing tasting) mushrooms. ... read more

  • Khlong Thom electronics market
    3 stars

    Khlong Thom market in Bangkok's Chinatown is a blinking and beeping maze of dirt cheap knock-off electronics. Are you in the market for a state-of-the-art karaoke machine, a clock that looks like the fancy rim on a Ferrari, a fan that emits a black light glow as it spins or DVDs of movies that ... read more

  • Thieves' market
    3 stars

    While it has a poetic name, most of the thieving activity has moved to the nearby Khlong Thom Centre. Khlong Thom is worth a look if you are in the market for car parts or stereos, some of which are bound to be legally obtained, north on Chakkrawat Rd one block. Meanwhile, the Thieves' market ... read more

  • Wang Lang market
    3.5 stars

    Located near the western bank of the Chao Phraya River, Wang Lang Market delivers the goods when it comes to authentic Thai street food. Rich and hearty massaman curry, outstanding Thai coconut sweets and slow-roasted pork shoulder over rice are a few of the goodies that can be found. Some vendors ... read more

  • Lalai Sap market
    3.5 stars

    In the heart of Bangkok's Silom area, the multi-purpose Lalai Sap market emerges from a maze of unassuming side streets every week day. In the shadow of high-rise office buildings and hotels near the busy intersection where Silom and Naradhiwas roads meet, Lalai Sap market is set back in a network ... read more

  • Thewet market
    3.5 stars

    Thewet Market is an authentic neighbourhood wet market within relatively easy reach of Khao San Road. Straddling a canal that shoots east from the Chao Phraya River, Thewet Market is an authentic neighbourhood wet market within relatively easy reach of Khao San Road. While nowhere near the size of ... read more

  • Khlong Toei wet market
    3.5 stars

    One of Bangkok's largest wet markets, this sprawling maze of colours and smells is situated near Khlong Toei port, making it easily accessible to boats stacked with produce and meats from upcountry and fishing vessels from the Gulf of Thailand. Along with piles of fresh chillies in all shapes and ... read more

  • Asiatique
    4 stars

    Bangkok had a definite hole following the closure of Suan Lum night bazaar in 2011, but thankfully Asiatique has risen to the occasion and is now far better than Suan Lum ever was. This sprawling, mostly roofed night bazaar is home to 1,500 shops, dozens of restaurants to suit all budgets, a ... read more

  • Huay Khwang night market
    3.5 stars

    If you're looking for a mid-size authentic Thai market to stick your nose into that's not too busy and is easily accessible, Huay Khwang is an excellent bet. It’s midnight. You suddenly remember you need to stock up on fruit, pick up an iPhone cover, browse Chinese medicines and purchase a ... read more

  • Bangkok Noi market
    3 stars

    This mid-size market near Thonburi rail station isn't on most people's Bangkok itineraries, but it's worth a stop to taste local specialties and revel at the colourful bounty of fresh produce. Fresh fruit and veggies, chillies of all shapes and sizes, assortments of dried fish that look like works ... read more

  • Phran Nok wet market
    3 stars

    Bangkok's Phran Nok wet market is worth a trip if you're serious about exploring Thai food ingredients in a very local atmosphere. Be warned that a visit to Phran Nok wet market may induce weeping (from the chilli flakes in the air), holding the nose shut (due to the pungent mix of scents) and ... read more

  • Bang Kapi wet market
    3.5 stars

    If you're keen on experiencing a true local-style Bangkok wet market in all its stinking glory, Bang Kapi is worth the trip. Miles away from the tourist trail in vibrant east Bangkok, Bang Kapi wet market is one eye-popping spectacle. In the dense, pungent air, women haggle over fresh produce and ... read more

  • Happy Land market
    4 stars

    Trays, plates and cauldrons of food are stacked so high in Happy Land Market that it feels like one bountiful offering to the gastronomic gods. Happy Land should be a priority for food adventurists seeking to sample all of Thailand's regional cuisines without leaving Bangkok -- and then some. Way ... read more

  • Thaling Chan floating market
    3.5 stars

    Thaling Chan floating market is a convenient option for experiencing a canal-side Thai market without straying too far from Bangkok. Nestled to the north of old Thonburi along the Chak Phra canal, Thaling Chan floating market is a convenient choice for those who want to see (and taste) a canal-side ... read more

  • Khlong Lat Mayom floating market
    3.5 stars

    Rarely visted by foreign travellers, Bangkok's Khlong Lat Mayom floating market boasts a colourful atmosphere and some outstanding food. Khlong Lat Mayom floating market sprang up only in the last 10 years as a venue for showcasing locally produced products while bringing some extra cash flow into ... read more

  • Kwan Riam floating market
    3.5 stars

    With stylish roofed corridors, mist sprayers and even electronic toilets to go with the old wooden boats and abundant food, Kwam Riam is a great example of a modern Thai floating market. On the outskirts of east Bangkok, Kwan Riam is an excellent example of a modern Thai floating market -- and it's ... read more

  • Khlong Suan old market
    4 stars

    Well off the usual tourist map, the 100+ year-old Khlong Suan market makes a worthy day trip from Bangkok. This 100+ year-old market makes a worthy day trip from Bangkok for anyone wanting to experience an old-style Thai market and some fantastic food to boot. The market is named after the ... read more

General Activites

  • Lumpini Boxing Stadium
    3.5 stars

    More than just the national sport of Thailand, Muay Thai (Thai kick-boxing) is also an important aspect of Thai culture. The most popular venue in Bangkok is Lumpini Boxing Stadium, a gritty and dark warehouse-like building that consistently fills up with gambling, shouting, boozing locals, ... read more

  • Baan Chang Thai Arts and Muay Chaiya School
    3.5 stars

    Set down a leafy alleyway off Sukhumvit Road, this Thai arts and kickboxing school dispels the notion that art and fighting are two entirely different things. Muay Chaiya was created by a warrior-turned-Buddhist monk in the southern Thai town of Chaiya several centuries ago and has passed through ... read more

  • Vintage movie theatres
    3 stars

    The Scala and The Lido theatres have been bringing blockbusters and obscure films to Bangkok since the 1960s. In the heart of Siam Square, The Lido and The Scala used to have a partner in crime called The Siam, but it was burnt down in the 2010 Red Shirt unrest. It was a loss, as these three ... read more

  • Flow House
    3.5 stars

    If you can't make it to the coast to surf or boogie-board, why not ride the waves on Flow House's simulated surfing machine in the heart of Bangkok? Flow House's success since its 2012 opening is partly due to the fact that Bangkok gets ridiculously hot, but also because it nails that laidback but ... read more

  • Bangkok street sports
    3.5 stars

    Bangkok's residents get their exercise by playing street sports under overpasses and in empty lots. Under overpasses, in empty lots and inner city temples and schools, Bangkok residents gather each evening for another round of street sports. While badminton, skateboarding, cheerleading and Thai ... read more

  • Bowling in Bangkok
    3 stars

    In Bangkok, bowling is air-conditioned, it's fairly cheap, and there's beer. Score. Bowling doesn't immediately come to mind when one thinks about things to see and do in Bangkok, but it should. In Bangkok, bowling is air-conditioned, it's fairly cheap, and there's beer. Score. Like many Western ... read more

  • Thai language classes
    3.5 stars

    Learning Thai is the best way to understand Thailand; the very essence of Thai relationships is expressed in the way language is used. As a language, Thai has some interesting (read: maddening) structural challenges including a script wholly unrelated to roman characters, tones that change the ... read more

  • Honeymooning in Bangkok
    3.5 stars

    Bangkok has plenty of great options for couples looking to make some sparks. Bangkok is a land for love both pure and strange. If you’re on your way down south to dip your toes in the sand with your fiancée, or up north to hike through the mountains with your backpacking beau, don’t let the ... read more

Cultural areas

  • A pocket of culture behind Wat Arun
    3.5 stars

    Historic Thonburi's laid-back and artsy atmosphere make it a rewarding place to explore; a good starting point is the pocket of food and culture in the colourful neighbourhood behind Wat Arun. The quiet lane immediately behind Wat Arun, Wang Doem Road, is lined with little cafes, restaurants and ... read more

  • Khlong Bang Luang artist village
    4.5 stars

    It might not be as awe-inspiring as Bangkok's premier sights, but the artist village at Khlong Bang Luang is on our short list of can't-miss Bangkok attractions thanks to its creative vibe, great food and laidback canalside setting. Set in a large centuries-old teak wood house with an ... read more

  • Baan Bu bronze village
    3.5 stars

    Tucked down a narrow alley near Thonburi rail station, Wat Suwannaram and Bangkok Noi canal, the master craftspeople of Baan Bu have been making traditional bronze bowls by hand for centuries. Several studios can be found here, but Jiam Sangsajja bronze studio keep their doors open every weekday ... read more

  • Baan Lao flute village
    3.5 stars

    Nestled into one of Thonburi's narrow alleyways, Baan Lao is home to a handful of family-run studios where you can watch traditional Lao flutes being hand-made, and perhaps listen to a master flute-player testing one out. Lao flutes are instrumental in both traditional Thai and Lao music, and ... read more

  • Soi Mathum
    4 stars

    If seeking a unique experience that brings you immediately into the midst of life in historic Thonburi, a trip to Baan Pa Thue to witness the process of bael fruit (mathum) candies being crafted the old way is well worth the time. Located down a quiet alleyway, the family run Baan Pa Thue have been ... read more

  • Baan Krua Nua silk-weaving community
    4 stars

    If you miss the Baan Krua Nua silk-weaving community, you're missing half of the Jim Thompson story and a compelling attraction in its own right. When he vanished in the Malaysian highlands in 1967, American spy turned Thai silk tycoon, Jim Thompson, left behind an impressive legacy that can be ... read more

  • Baan Bat monk bowl village
    3.5 stars

    During the late 18th century King Rama I established a series of villages responsible for crafting bat, the rounded bowls used by monks to collect alms. Today only one of those villages survives. You will hear Baan Bat, or "House of Bowls", before you see it; winding down the alleyway the repeated ... read more

  • Charoen Chai historic hut & community
    3.5 stars

    Travellers who appreciate "authentic" art, culture and history should not miss generations-old Charoen Chai. Many families in the Chinatown area were forced to relocate when dozens of heritage shophouses were demolished to make way for a subway extension in 2011 to 2013. In response, the Charoen ... read more

  • Phraeng Phuthon Square
    4 stars

    Located in the heart of the Rattanakosin historic district, Phraeng Phuthon Square embodies the more modest side of old Bangkok. Part of an impressive turn of the 20th century architectural campaign by King Rama V, the quiet streets are lined with attractive two-storey colonial European-style ... read more

Shopping

  • Siam Square
    4 stars

    Bangkok's Siam Square shopping district is the centre of fashion and consumerism in Thailand. Whether you're after a fly T-shirt, a handbag that costs more than a car or even a car that costs more than a house, you'll find it here. Trains swoosh by overhead, music thumps from promotional stages, ... read more

  • Shopping in Pratunam
    3.5 stars

    Pratunam is one of Bangkok's best places to score super cheap clothes, fabric and gadgets. A quick tuk tuk ride from Siam Square brings you to Pratunam, one of Bangkok's best places to pick up cheap wears and gadgets. The backbone of Pratunam is Petchaburi Road, with most of the malls and markets ... read more

  • Pantip Plaza
    3.5 stars

    The unequivocal overlord of electronics centres in Thailand, Pantip Plaza has been a mainstay in Bangkok's Pratunam shopping district for more than 20 years This cavernous hub of all things blinking, flashing, gaming and computing gets it done with spartan facilities, dirt cheap prices and ... read more

  • Shopping in Chinatown
    3.5 stars

    Chinatown is one of the best places to shop in one of Asia's greatest shopping cities, but it's not for everyone. Expect an exhausting experience defined by packed alleyways, overloaded vespas, pushy vendors and thick, steamy air. Be ready to bargain hard, assume that all name-brands are ... read more

  • Terminal 21
    3.5 stars

    Bangkok has no shortage of shopping malls, but Terminal 21 is the only one worth going out of your way for. On the main floor, visitors are greeted by an airport theme complete with information desks staffed by helpful "flight attendants". Each of the nine floors has an international city theme ... read more

  • Mansion 7
    2.5 stars

    Mansion 7 bills itself as a "boutique thriller mall", but you won't really understand what that means until you see it for yourself. The whole place is decked out in a "scary" theme and there's an actual "haunted house" attraction to go with fun-fair style games in a central courtyard. The haunted ... read more

  • English-language bookstores in Bangkok
    4 stars

    Whether you're a voracious reader who resides in Thailand or a traveller seeking a light read, Bangkok has plenty of quality bookstores to choose from. You'll find everything from Buddhist meditation manuals to Charles Dickens, and modern Thai politics to the Berenstain Bears. See the ... read more

  • Vintage clothes in Bangkok
    3.5 stars

    The sleepy Union Mall in northern Bangkok is a great spot to pick up statement-making vintage clothes. Shiny spanking newness is the preferred Bangkok ascetic, but vintage-chic has become a popular new look, especially in the Thai hipster crowd. Union Mall in the Lad Prao area of north Bangkok is ... read more

  • Western-size women's clothes in Bangkok
    3 stars

    Platinum Mall in Pratunam is one of the best spots to pick up any kind of women’s clothing. While there are no specific plus-size shops, if you look hard enough, you’ll find the odd dress, top and jeans that will slip over your curves a treat. Be warned though that this wholesale mall is hectic ... read more

  • Fabric shopping in Bangkok
    3 stars

    Our suggestions on places to buy exquisite silks and other fabrics in Bangkok. The Pahurat section of Bangkok, near Chinatown, is known for its fabric. But it can be difficult shopping for fabric outdoors in sweaty alleyways and this is where the beauty of China World comes in. Located right in ... read more

Day trips

  • Ayutthaya
    3.5 stars

    Located 80 km north of Bangkok, Ayutthaya's ancient ruins are a very popular day trip. There are many options for day trips to Ayutthaya, but we firmly believe that there's a right way and a wrong way to do it. The right way involves bicycles, picnic lunches among the ruins and plenty of time for ... read more

  • Ko Kret
    4 stars

    One of the last enclaves of traditional Mon culture in Thailand, Ko Kret makes a great day trip out of Bangkok. Many are unaware that just 20 kilometres north of central Bangkok lies a rural island escape. The riverine island of Ko Kret was created in 1722 when a canal was dug in the Chao Phraya ... read more

  • Samut Songkhram
    4 stars

    A day trip to tiny Samut Songkhram province offers a glimpse of traditional Thai ways of life. Bucolic farmers bob in boats on quiet canals, coconut groves seem to stretch on forever and the scent of grilled seafood wafts from venerable teak wood homes -- and this is before you get off the train. ... read more

  • Nakhon Chai Si
    4 stars

    The town of Nakhon Chai Si and the surrounding region are filled with one-of-a-kind attractions, scenic countryside and an old-style Thai atmosphere. Sitting quietly beside the Tha Jeen River some 40 kilometres west of Bangkok, the unassuming town of Nakhon Chai Si hardly registers on the travel ... read more

  • Pak Nam
    3.5 stars

    The small city of Pak Nam is home to one of Thailand's largest seafood markets, with the historic Phra Samut chedi just across the river. Wedged between Bangkok and the mouth of the Chao Phraya River in Samut Prakan province, the small city of Pak Nam is home to one of Thailand's largest fresh ... read more

  • Mahachai
    3.5 stars

    Located 45 kilometres southwest of Bangkok, Mahachai is a port town nestled on a bend in the Chao Phraya River near the Gulf of Thailand. Few tourists come here, but it’s a special place defined by sleepy temples, fresh seafood and a relaxed pace of life. Although Mahachai is worth a trip just ... read more

Cooking classes

  • Helping Hands Cooking School
    4 stars

    Run by Khun Poo and her sidekick, Khun Noi, Helping Hands is a great choice for those seeking a more intimate experience than what’s offered by the larger cooking schools in Bangkok. The day starts with a tour of Khlong Toei wet market (a destination in its own right), where students learn all ... read more

Boat trips

  • Khlong (canal) tours
    4 stars

    One of the more popular tourist activities in all of Bangkok is a boat tour through Thonburi's extensive web of canals, or khlong in Thai. Bangkok was known as the "Venice of the east" before automobiles became prevalent and many of the canals on the east side of the Chao Phraya River were ... read more

Yoga

  • Yoga in Bangkok
    4.5 stars

    Whether you’re a travelling yogi who wants to keep up with a practice or it's your first downward dog, Bangkok is a great place for yoga, with a surfeit of superb studios and teachers. Classes are typically a little cheaper than in the West. Some places require long-term membership and ... read more


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