Photo: Bright lights, big city.

Bangkok is so big, we’ve split it up into areas, select one of the below for detailed accommodation and food listings in that area. Sights and general overviews for Bangkok as a whole can be found via the icons above. Don’t know where to start? Read an overview of Bangkok’s different areas.

Things to see and do

Use the quick links below to jump to a particular section of our sights and activities coverage for Bangkok.


Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha)
Na Phra Lan Rd, Bangkok

The Temple of the Emerald Buddha, or Wat Phra Kaew, is arguably the grandest wat in Bangkok and the standard by which others are judged. The namesake Buddha image is Thailand’s most sacred, carved from solid jade and featuring in enough legends to fill several books. Yet it’s the temple’s ornate details that leave most visitors ... Read more about Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha) .

Wat Pho
Main entrance on Maharat Rd, just south of the Grand Palace, Bangkok
T: (02) 226 0335

If you only have time to visit one attraction in Bangkok, make it Wat Pho. The 80,000 square metre complex could break a record with all of its records: it’s the oldest and largest monastery in the Thai capital, birthed the city’s first university, houses the largest reclining Buddha, and contains more Buddha images than any Thai temple. Impressive is an ... Read more about Wat Pho .

Wat Arun
35 Arun Amarin Road, Kwang Wat Arun, Bangkok
T: (02) 891 1149

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 at an old wat where he paid his respects. He later named the temple Wat Jang -- a name later changed again to Wat Arun -- both of which mean Temple of Dawn. The royal grade temple remains one of Bangkok's signature landmarks and is well worth an ... Read more about Wat Arun .

Wat Saket and the Golden Mount
Boriphat Rd
T: (02) 223 4561

Possibly Bangkok's most recognisable landmark, the Golden Mount of Wat Saket has glistened above the historic Banglamphu area for nearly two ... Read more about Wat Saket and the Golden Mount .

Wat Traimit
Traimit Rd, Bangkok
T: (02) 225 9775

Imagine realising that five and a half tons of gold had been sitting under your nose for the last two decades. Such was the miraculous fortune of Wat Traimit, a once insignificant temple where a blunder by a few volunteer workers resulted in the ultimate antique discovery: the largest solid-gold statue in the ... Read more about Wat Traimit .

Wat Benchamabophit
Cnr of Sri Ayutthaya and Nakhon Pathom Rds (southeast of Ananta Samakhon Throne Hall), Bangkok

It could be argued that no king left a greater mark on Bangkok than Rama V, and no temple is as closely linked to him as Wat Benchamabophit. This distinctive example of late Rattanakosin period architecture is best known for a four-sided ordination hall built out of imported Italian marble in ... Read more about Wat Benchamabophit .

Wat Suthat
146 Bamrung Muang Rd
T: (02) 224 9845

Fronted by the Giant Swing, Wat Suthat enshrines a huge bronze Buddha image that connects the ancient Sukhothai kingdom to modern Thailand. Those who don’t care about the history will most likely be soothed by the meditative atmosphere and impressed by exquisite murals and Buddha images at one of Bangkok’s premier temples. ... Read more about Wat Suthat .

Wat Ratchanatdaram
corner of Ratchadamnoen Ave and Mahachai Rd

Wat Ratchanatdaram is best known for the Loha Prasat, a towering mondop topped with 37 slender iron spires that grab the eyes of passing travellers. ... Read more about Wat Ratchanatdaram .

Wat Bovornnivet
Corner of Phra Sumen and Tanao Rds, Bangkok

Rising from a corner of Bangkok’s historic district within earshot of Khao San Road, Wat Bovornniwet (also Bowonniwet, Bavorn Niwet or just “Wat Bovorn”) is a vital centre for Thai Buddhist learning and administration. Supporting a lineage of royal ordinations going back 190 years, the maze-like wat reveals dozens of intriguing features, many of them overlooked by casual ... Read more about Wat Bovornnivet .

Wat Prayoon
Prachatipok Rd, Thonburi

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 miniature shrines on an artificial hill, the cemetery is home to many turtles milling about and waiting to be fed bananas and bread. The small hill is a result of King Rama III becoming awestruck by a ... Read more about Wat Prayoon .

Wat Ratchabophit
Just off of Klong Lod on Atsadong Rd

There’s little doubt that you’ll be impressed by the famed Reclining Buddha at Wat Pho and the shimmering detail at Wat Arun, but some of Bangkok’s best temples are overlooked by the tourist hordes. One gorgeous example, conveniently located in the historic district, is Wat ... Read more about Wat Ratchabophit .

Wat Pathum Wanaram
Rama I Rd

King Rama IV founded Wat Pathum Wanaram in the mid-19th century to complement a royal palace that was demolished in the 1930s. Now it’s a calming Buddhist complex squeezed between Thailand’s two largest shopping malls amid the unabashed materialism of Siam Square. ... Read more about Wat Pathum Wanaram .

Sri Maha Mariamman Temple
Intersection of Silom and Pan Roads
T: (02) 225 7612

Known to Thais as Wat Khaek, the Sri Maha Marriaman Hindu temple is quite the attention grabber when walking down Silom Road. The outside towers and walls show an elaborate intertwining of Hindu deities, and the footpaths surrounding the temple burst with vendors selling flower garlands and fruit to be offered to a sacred image of the mother goddess. Built in the 1860s by immigrants from Tamil ... Read more about Sri Maha Mariamman Temple .

Wat Indraviharn
Wisut Kaset Rd

Standing 32 metres tall and 10 metres wide, the Buddha image at Wat Indraviharn is one of the largest in ... Read more about Wat Indraviharn .

Wat Kalayanamit

The massive ochre-roofed wihaan of Wat Kalayanamit on the western bank of the Chao Phraya in Thonburi is among the most attention-grabbing structures on the ... Read more about Wat Kalayanamit .

Wat Yannawa
Charoen Krung Rd, next to Saphan Taksin BTS station and Sathorn express boat pier

The glittering rooftop spires of Wat Yannawa are difficult to miss when approaching Saphan Taksin BTS station or Sathorn express boat pier along the Chao Phraya river. With its elaborate hall of relics and unique wiharn that looks like an old Chinese trading junk, we can’t find any reason not to include Wat Yannawa on a sightseeing tour. ... Read more about Wat Yannawa .

Wat Mahathat
Na Phra That Rd
T: (02) 222 4981

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 in the country. Behind the university are a trio of ancient halls, including the ubosot, surrounded ... Read more about Wat Mahathat .

Wat Leng Noei Yi
Charoen Krung Rd, Bangkok

Wat Leng Noei Yi stands as the largest and most significant Chinese Mahayana Buddhist temple in Bangkok. A visit will wrap you up in incense smoke, dragons, pagodas and a world of iconography in glittering gold and ... Read more about Wat Leng Noei Yi .

Wat Chakrawat
Chakrawat Rd, Bangkok

Affectionately known as the Crocodile Temple, Wat Chakrawat is best known for the three live crocodiles that preside over the crowded grounds. You’ll also find some exceptional 19th-century temple architecture along with a few other quirks and quiet spots for taking a break from the bustle of ... Read more about Wat Chakrawat .

Wat Rakhang
Soi Wat Rakhang, Thonburi

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 temple is lovely but not a knock out, although the murals inside are well worth a peek. Built during the reign of Rama I the property has five large bells still dating from that period. Behind the main bot is a wooden scripture library built in ... Read more about Wat Rakhang .

Sri Guru Singh Sabah Temple
555 Chakraphet Road, Pahurat
T: (02) 221 1011

Standing like a giant anchor in the heart of the Pahurat Indian community, Sri Guru Singh Sabah is supposedly the second-largest Sikh temple outside India. 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. The sixth floor is the main prayer area, and has a copy of Sikhism's holy ... Read more about Sri Guru Singh Sabah Temple .

Wat Mahannaparam and Chao Phaa Sua
Tanao Rd

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 stroll. Just across the street, the Chinese temple Chao Phaa Sua is bustling with activity; incense burning, worshipers making offerings, and an organiser screaming commands through a ... Read more about Wat Mahannaparam and Chao Phaa Sua .

Wat Suwannaram
Soi 32 Charoen Sanitwong Rd, Thonburi
T: (02) 434 7790

Also called Wat Amarin, this temple appears fairly ordinary from the outside. What makes Wat Suwannaram a worthy stop, however, are the interior murals; inside the temple are some of the most beautiful murals remaining intact in the Thai classical style. The murals which date back to the Ayutthaya era, feature detailed battle scenes as well as 18th century depictions of foreigners. ... Read more about Wat Suwannaram .

Wat Kamphaeng
Across the canal from the end of Charan Sanitwong Soi 3, Thonburi

Bangkok is home to hundreds of temples. Some, like Wat Pho, are major tourist attractions while others, such as Wat Mahathat and Wat Pak Nam, are huge monasteries that double as Buddhist universities or meditation centres. Most are small and don’t draw many tourists, but that doesn’t always mean they’re unexceptional. Located along a canal near the Khlong Bang Luang artist village in ... Read more about Wat Kamphaeng .

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The National Museum
4 Na Phrathat Rd
T: (02) 224 1333

Bangkok’s National Museum is the big kahuna out of a long list of museums overseen by the Thai Fine Arts Department. Located across the road from Sanam Luang and a short walk north of the Grand Palace, it’s a mainstay on the itineraries of many visitors exploring the historic district. ... Read more about The National Museum .

Museum of Siam
South end of Sanamchai and Maharat Roads, Bangkok
T: (02) 225 2777

Ever wonder what the word “Thainess” means? The vague but in-vogue concept is often mulled by Thai citizens trying to clarify their cultural identity, and cited by nationalists bent on an “us and them” approach to outsiders. Set in a gorgeous century-old building, Museum of Siam demystifies Thainess by way of interactive exhibits and straightforward historical ... Read more about Museum of Siam .

Rattanakosin Exhibition Hall
100 Ratchadamnoen Klang Rd
T: (02) 621 0044

Opened in 2010, the Rattanakosin Exhibition Hall presents a history of Bangkok’s old quarter through interactive exhibits that both knowledge-hungry adults and rambunctious kids will enjoy. ... Read more about Rattanakosin Exhibition Hall .

King Prajadhipok Museum
2 Lan Luang Rd
T: (02) 280 3413

Set in a handsome heritage building in the old town, the King Prajadhipok Museum has an excellent display of photographs, antiques and info on the life of one of Siam’s most misunderstood kings. ... Read more about King Prajadhipok Museum .

Jim Thompson's House
Soi Kasem San 2, Rama I Rd
T: (02) 216 7368

Jim Thompson was a designer, silk magnate, Thai culture lover, and, incidentally, a spy for the West. The history of his undercover involvement in OSS and the personal politics of his later years are both fascinating and widely ... Read more about Jim Thompson's House .

Suan Pakkad Palace
352-354 Sri Ayutthaya Rd, Bangkok
T: (02) 246 1775-6

Once home to a grandson of King Rama V, the conveniently located Suan Pakkad Palace now features two distinct museums: the first comprises a beautiful set of 19th-century teak houses and the second exhibits a fine collection of artefacts from the Ban Chiang archaeological site. ... Read more about Suan Pakkad Palace .

Kamthieng House and The Siam Society
131 Soi 21 Sukhumvit Road
T: (02) 661 6470-3

Kamthieng House Museum features a charming Lanna-style teak house with displays on traditional life in Northern Thailand, while the nearby Siam Society is dedicated to preserving Thai culture through education. ... Read more about Kamthieng House and The Siam Society .

Bangkokian Museum
273 Charoen Krung Soi 43
T: (02) 233 7027

Occupying a trio of restored heritage houses draped in trees, the small but worthwhile Bangkokian Museum displays what one upper middle-class home looked like in the Thai capital from the early to mid 20th century. ... Read more about Bangkokian Museum .

Corrections Museum
436 Mahachai Rd, Bangkok
T: (02) 226 1706

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 an unnerving yet fascinating journey through the history of Thai prisons and the many forms of torture once carried out in them. Beware — this is not for the faint of ... Read more about Corrections Museum .

Royal Barges National Museum
Khlong Bangkok Noi, Thonburi

Every so often the Thai king is rowed down the Chao Phraya River in an elaborate procession of wooden longboats with ornate designs and depictions of Hindu/Buddhist icons on the bows. While the stunning processions take place no more than once every few years, you can swing by the Royal Barges National Museum to see some of the boats at any time. ... Read more about Royal Barges National Museum .

Siriraj Medical Museum
Siriraj Hospital, 2 Thanon Prannok, Thonburi

At the heart of historic Siriraj Hospital you’ll find deformed foetuses, mummified corpses, long tapeworms and human organs, all on display in the two-part Siriraj Medical Museum—you may want to skip breakfast for this one. Set on the second floor of the Adulyadejvikrom Building, the museum’s largest section hosts forensic and pathological exhibits including hearts and skulls with ... Read more about Siriraj Medical Museum .

Batcat Toy Museum
7032 Srinagarindra Road, Bang Kapi, Bangkok
T: (02) 375 9006

Looking for something different to do in Bangkok? Or are you a hopeless fanatic of the ‘Dark Knight’ and other superheroes? If so, check out the Batcat Toy Museum. “Holy 50,000 toys ... Read more about Batcat Toy Museum .

Erawan Museum
99/1 Moo Bang Muanmai (off Sukhumvit Rd), Samut Prakan
T: (02) 380 0305

Most peoples' jaws drop when they see the 250 ton, three-headed copper elephant that stands 44 metres tall south of Bangkok, but it looks like nothing but a very big statue at first glance. In fact, this massive elephant houses a melange of colour, texture, history, spirituality and imagination known collectively as Erawan ... Read more about Erawan Museum .

Ancient Siam
296/1 Moo 7 Sukhumvit Rd, Samut Prakan
T: (02) 323 4099

Known as Muang Boran in Thai, Ancient Siam is an open-air museum south of Bangkok that features replicas of Thailand’s most important historical sites along with sculpture gardens and mini museums. Though the replicas are a far cry from originals both in scope and craftsmanship, Ancient Siam earns points for its relaxing atmosphere, impressive scale, creative vision and dedication to preserving ... Read more about Ancient Siam .

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Historic attractions

The Chao Phraya River

A vital lifeline into the heart of Thai civilisation, the Chao Phraya River churns steadily through Bangkok. Glittering chedis, crumbling shacks and glossy highrises lean over its dark water dotted by countless boats filled with goods, commuters and travellers. You haven’t really been to Bangkok until you’ve been out on the Chao ... Read more about The Chao Phraya River .

The Grand Palace
Na Phra Lan Rd, Bangkok

Phra Borom Maharatchawang, or the Grand Palace, was established in 1782 when King Rama I founded Bangkok as capital of the still-existent Chakri dynasty. Several of the nine Chakri kings have made additions over the years to create a very impressive example of Rattanakosin-period architecture. Also containing Wat Phra Kaew, the vast complex is one of Thailand’s most popular tourist ... Read more about The Grand Palace .

Vimanmek Mansion
Ratchawithi Rd

Said to be the largest teakwood building in the world, Vimanmek Mansion joins Ananta Samakhon Throne Hall as one of the two highlights found in Dusit (Celestial) Garden, which was established by King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) at the turn of the 20th century. ... Read more about Vimanmek Mansion .

Ananta Samakhon Throne Hall
Sri Ayutthaya Rd
T: (02) 283 9411

No single building in Bangkok displays the extravagance of Siamese royalty during the early 20th century stronger than Ananta Samakhon Throne Hall. ... Read more about Ananta Samakhon Throne Hall .

Democracy Monument
Ratchadamnoen Klang Rd

The Democracy Monument stands as a potent reminder of modern Thai political history, from the embrace of a constitution to repeated military dictatorships and the hundreds of demonstrators who have spilled their blood in support of democracy. ... Read more about Democracy Monument .

Neilson Hays Library
195 Surawong Rd
T: (02) 233 1731

For 90 years, the Neilson Hays Library has encouraged English-language readers to expand their minds while enjoying a slice of peace and quiet in hectic Bangkok. ... Read more about Neilson Hays Library .

Phaya Thai Palace
315 Ratchawithi Rd (Phramongkutklao Hospital), Bangkok
T: (023) 547 987

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 tells the story of Thailand’s turbulent transition from absolute to constitutional monarchy. It also hosts one of the city’s most elegant ... Read more about Phaya Thai Palace .

Phra Sumen Fort
At the corner of Phra Arthit and Phra Sumen Rds

Overlooking the confluence of the Chao Phraya River and Banglamphu Canal near Khao San Road, Phra Sumen Fort was one of 14 citadels built to protect the royal capital shortly after it was founded in the late 18th century. ... Read more about Phra Sumen Fort .

Mahakan Fort
Corner of Ratchadamnoen Ave and Mahachai Rd

Worth a quick look as you stroll around the historic district, Pom Mahakan is a late-18th century fort that’s most intriguing for a heritage village, now under threat by city authorities, which exists within the walls. ... Read more about Mahakan Fort .

Santa Cruz Church
Thonburi, Bangkok (see below)

Bangkok has many churches, but none carries a historical legacy equal to that of Santa Cruz Church on the Chao Phraya River’s western bank in old ... Read more about Santa Cruz Church .

Assumption Cathedral
23 Charoen Krung Soi 40 (Oriental Avenue), Bangrak, Bangkok
T: (02) 234 8556

One of a few striking 200-plus year old churches in Bangkok, Assumption Cathedral is the centre of Catholicism in Thailand. The church is nestled in a historic area off Charoen Krung Road near the Chao Phraya River and is worth a visit whether worshipping or just ... Read more about Assumption Cathedral .

Bangkok Protestant Cemetery
Just north of Charoen Krung Soi 74

The macabre yet poignant Bangkok Protestant Cemetery encourages you to reflect on what life and death was like for foreigners who ventured to Siam in the past. ... Read more about Bangkok Protestant Cemetery .

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Public parks and zoos

Bangkok's parks and green spaces

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. These are the spots where millions of city-dwellers and travellers go for recreation and respite from the concrete ... Read more about Bangkok's parks and green spaces .

Lumpini Park
Hemmed in by Rama 4, Ratchadamri, Sarasin and Witthayu Roads

Bangkok’s Lumpini Park is arguably the only green space in Southeast Asia that rubs shoulders with London’s St James Park and New York’s Central Park among the world’s best centrally located urban parks. Here’s how to enjoy every bit of Lumpini’s 142 acres in the heart of ... Read more about Lumpini Park .

Sanam Luang
Between Ratchadamnoen Nai Rd and Na Phra That Rd

Sanam Luang (Royal Field) is a 30-acre flat oval of grass rimmed by several important shrines and buildings, including the Grand Palace to the north. When not occupied by ceremonies or royal funerals, it’s simply a public park hosting picnics and joggers at sundown. ... Read more about Sanam Luang .

Benjakiti Park
Ratchadaphisek Rd, between Rama IV and Sukhumvit Rds, Bangkok

With a small lake rimmed by abundant flowers and some of the most attractive fountains in Southeast Asia, Benjakiti Park is arguably Bangkok’s prettiest green space. ... Read more about Benjakiti Park .

Suan Rot Fai
Kampheng Phet Road 3, Bangkok

You know a place is something special when you stumble upon it by accident, realise how great it is, and subsequently cancel the rest of the day’s plans in order to stay and enjoy. This is what happened to me at Suan Rot Fai, a large park in Bangkok’s northern reaches. We had no idea that our Sunday would involve walking through grassy fields, riding bikes around a lake, or hitting golf balls ... Read more about Suan Rot Fai .

Princess Mother Memorial Park and Guan Yu Shrine

The Chinese-style Guan Yu Shrine and neighbouring Princess Mother Memorial Park combine to offer some history, culture and, most of all, a soothing atmosphere on the Thonburi side of the Chao Phraya River. ... Read more about Princess Mother Memorial Park and Guan Yu Shrine .

Saranrom Royal Garden
Sanam Chai Road, near the Grand Palace

Despite being tucked right behind Wat Pho and the Grand Palace, Saranrom Royal Garden (aka Saranrom Park) is one of Bangkok’s most overlooked green spaces. This distinguished patch of trees, ponds, flowers and gazebos once hosted Thai royal gatherings. Now a public park, Saranrom is a pleasant and convenient spot for a morning stroll, a picnic lunch, an afternoon of reading or a relaxing ... Read more about Saranrom Royal Garden .

Suan Luang Rama IX
Sukhumvit 103, Bangkok

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, including extensive playgrounds, swan boats, well groomed gardens and tree-lined lanes, but Rama IX Park’s many surprises are what make it worth the ... Read more about Suan Luang Rama IX .

The Bangkok riverfront 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. While plenty of restaurants offer patio seating along the river, most are too expensive for those on a tight backpacker budget. Few and far between as they may be, Bangkok does offer a handful of places where you can sit back and watch the water ... Read more about The Bangkok riverfront for free .

National Stadium
Rama I Road, Bangkok

Just west of the glitzy Siam Square shopping district and easily accessible from National Stadium BTS station, Bangkok’s National Stadium is a sprawling public sports complex in the middle of the ... Read more about National Stadium .

Queen Saovabha Snake Farm
1871 Rama IV Rd
T: (02) 252 0161-4

The snake farm at Queen Saovabha Memorial Institute claims to be the second oldest of its kind in the world, producing seven types of venom antiserum and keeping many of the 200 species of snakes found in Thailand. Travellers and locals come for exciting snake-handling demonstrations and an informative serpentarium and museum located in central Bangkok. ... Read more about Queen Saovabha Snake Farm .

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Erawan Shrine
Corner of Ratchadamri and Rama I roads, Bangkok

If all one saw of Bangkok was the glitzy Siam Square shopping district along Rama I Road, they might pass the city off as a place of gaudy malls and materialistic locals who have little interest in spirituality. Yet this maze of malls is still part of Bangkok, and the spiritual undercurrents that pervade the city are evidenced day and night by the faithful’s unceasing offerings to the famous ... Read more about Erawan Shrine .

Chao Mae Kuan Im shrine
southern end of Yaowarat Rd, Bangkok

If entering Bangkok’s Chinatown to the south through the Odean Gate, a shrine that bursts with ornate detail and spiritual mystique immediately grabs your attention. Fittingly situated next to a charity hospital, the shrine houses a religious image of particular importance for the city’s Chinese residents — a sparkling Chao Mae Kuan Im (aka Kuan Yin, Guanyin, Kannon or Quan Am), the ... Read more about Chao Mae Kuan Im shrine .

Ghost of Mae Nak shrine
Wat Mahabut, On Nut Soi 7 (On Nut Rd is also known as Sukhumvit Soi 77), Bangkok

Spirits, deities and ghosts have long held an important place in Thai culture. Most Thai people don’t question their existence, and stories about them — usually with heavy doses of love and revenge — are exceedingly popular. The most famous is the legend of Mae Nak (aka Nang Nak), a tragic tale of a woman who couldn’t bear to be separated from her husband. Mae Nak can be visited today at ... Read more about Ghost of Mae Nak shrine .

Chao Mae Tuptim (Phallic Shrine)
Behind Nai Lert Park Hotel, Wireless Rd

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 became an important symbol in Thailand sometime in the 8th century. While the origins of this ... Read more about Chao Mae Tuptim (Phallic Shrine) .

Boonsamakan Vegetarian Hall
Off Anuwong Road

The small and tricky-to-find Boonsamakan Vegetarian Hall is an elaborate Chinese shrine where meat is strictly prohibited. It's worth a look during the vegetarian festival, when it's a highlight, and the rest of the year as well. Awash in yellow surfaces and yellow lanterns, the hall features many beautiful wood carvings, particularly some three-dimensional work on the upstairs front area. ... Read more about Boonsamakan Vegetarian Hall .

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Art galleries or venues

Bangkok for art lovers

In Bangkok, contemporary galleries and hard-to-define art spaces open regularly, taking their places among centuries-old temple mosaics and crafts villages. Here's a taste of what's on the Bangkok art menu of ... Read more about Bangkok for art lovers .

No pic at the moment -- Sorry!

We thought it was about time to inject a touch more culture into the Travelfish site, so here is a list of 10 art galleries in Bangkok worth poking your head into. Note you'll see no national galleries here, but rather more independent, small operations, as that's where you'll often find the most challenging art in Thailand. We've not set our eyes on all these places ourselves (we're a bit ... Read more about 10 Bangkok galleries worth a look-see .

National Gallery
4 Chao Fa Rd
T: (02) 282 8525

The National Gallery exhibits both traditional and contemporary art in a beautiful early 20th-century building that was originally built to be the Royal Mint. Showing influences from cubism, impressionism and surrealism and created by Thai artists only, the contemporary art section is located on the ground floor to the left and right of the main entrance. This vicinity also hosts a hall of ... Read more about National Gallery .

Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (BACC)
939 Rama I Rd
T: (02) 214 6639

Opened in 2008, Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (BACC) is a large and eclectic space that has become a mainstay in the city’s contemporary art scene. It’s very easy to access and well worth a visit whether you’re an aficionado coming to check out a specific exhibition or a casual passerby needing a break from the malls of Siam Square. ... Read more about Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (BACC) .

Thailand Creative and Design Centre (TCDC)
1160 Charoen Krung Rd
T: (02) 105 7400

A hub of inspiration for designers and artists, the Thailand Creative and Design Centre (TCDC) reopened in 2017 with nearly 9,000 square metres of space in the old Grand Postal Building on an increasingly artsy stretch of Charoen Krung ... Read more about Thailand Creative and Design Centre (TCDC) .

Pridi Banomyang Institute
Between Thong Lo 1 and 3
T: (02) 381 3860-1

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 Pridi Banomyang, one of the leaders in the 1932 coup, the institute holds semi-regular screenings of eclectic films based around a changing theme (war or technology, for example) in the main theatre. It's a ... Read more about Pridi Banomyang Institute .

HOF Art Space
1588/288-290, W District, Sukhumvit Rd (between sois 69 and 69/1), Bangkok
T: (02) 178 0095

Anchoring Bangkok’s newly built W District off Sukhumvit, HOF Art Space exhibits cutting-edge works created by up-and-coming artists who deserve a place in the spotlight. A sleek gallery, art workshops and market are all positive examples of what can happen when a big developer joins forces with an underground art ... Read more about HOF Art Space .

V64 Art Studio
143/19 Changwattana Soi 1 (Vibhavadi 64 Road), Bhangkhen Laksi, Bangkok
T: (02) 973 2681/2, (089) 143 0986

When we heard the name V64, we envisioned a more advanced version of V8, the red juice with eight different vegetables treasured by mothers and juice masochists. But V64 Art Studio is named after Vibhavadi-Rangsit 64, the quiet street 20 minutes north of nowhere, which forms the base of some 75 artists in more than 30 ... Read more about V64 Art Studio .

Kathmandu Gallery
87 Pan Road, off Silom Road, Bangkok
T: (02) 234 6700

Kathmandu Photo Gallery is a charming pre-war shophouse turned gallery with photography both old and new. With stained glass windows and art hanging from every surface, the small gallery feels more like a walk-in curiosity cabinet. The shop is owned by Thai photographer and artist Manit Sriwanichpoom, displaying photography from all regions of South Asia, as well as some interesting books and ... Read more about Kathmandu Gallery .

Antique art galleries of Charoen Krung
Charoen Krung sois 30 and 38, Bangkok

Thailand has long been an Asian crossroads where ideas, philosophies and goods have converged and flowed in myriad directions. It’s also home to a rich artistic tradition that has produced distinctive works while embracing fine arts of other cultures. One of the best places in Bangkok to explore this rich and diverse legacy are the antique art galleries off Charoen Krung ... Read more about Antique art galleries of Charoen Krung .

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Chatuchak weekend market

Every Saturday and Sunday, more than 200,000 shoppers peruse some 5,000 stalls spread over 35 acres at Chatuchak Market (pronounced ja-tu-jak, “JJ” for short), which is supposedly the largest outdoor market in the world. One of Bangkok’s top tourist attractions and a must for shopping enthusiasts, it’s also hot, crowded and confusing. Do pack your ... Read more about Chatuchak weekend market .

Or Tor Kor market
Kamphaeng Phet Road (just west and across the road from Chatuchak Market)

Wet markets in Bangkok are easy to come across — gigantic Khlong Toei simmers in the south, Phran Nok lingers to the west and Bang Kapi bubbles in the east — but only the orderly Or Tor Kor up north can rightfully claim the title of Bangkok's gourmet ... Read more about Or Tor Kor market .

Pak Khlong Talad
Chakphet Rd and Soi Tha Khlong, just inland from Memorial Bridge, Bangkok

Blossoms brighten up the greys around every corner in Bangkok, but it’s not just because they look good. Flowers play an important role in the Thai tradition of honouring spirits, the Buddha, Hindu gods and the memory of ancestors. Thailand’s largest cut flower market, Pak Khlong Talad, is at the centre of this tradition — and it’s a fun place to soak up the ... Read more about Pak Khlong Talad .

Phra Chan market
between the Chao Phraya River and Wat Mahathat, from Phra Chan pier to the north and almost to the Grand Palace in the south.

While moseying from the Grand Palace to the National Museum, many travellers are inadvertently swept into a maze of food stalls and Buddha statues. In fact, they’ve stumbled upon the bustling Talaad Phra Chan, a century-old market where thousands of Thai Buddhist amulets share space with Thai sweets, fiery woks and no-frills riverside ... Read more about Phra Chan market .

Sampaeng Lane
Sampaeng Lane, Also called Soi Wanit 1

Sampeng Lane is the home to notions in Bangkok: for those of you who don't sew, notions are all the things besides fabric that clothes require to function: buttons, clasps, decorations, ribbons, zippers and the like. It doesn't stop with just notions, however, as there are shops and stall selling umbrellas, hats, fashionable ready-to-wear clothing, toys, souvenirs and shoes. Sampeng Lane ... Read more about Sampaeng Lane .

Pahurat cloth market
South of Pahurat Rd and west of Chakphet Rd

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 most woven in India, as well as ready-to-wear pieces and more notions than anyone could ever know what to do with. It’s best in the morning as ... Read more about Pahurat cloth market .

Talad Mai
Yaowarat Soi 6 (Soi Itsaranuphap)

Dim sum, fish heads, gingko, shark fins, oolong, incense, Vespas, smoked duck, egg noodle, sala bao, tea cake, goji berry, fish maw, stinky fruit, salty people, pickled cabbage, pig intestines, pumpkin seeds, dried squid, Teochew great grandmums sipping lo-han-guo and the oldest Chinese shrine in Thailand — mix it all together and what do you get? It’s Bangkok‘s Talad ... Read more about Talad Mai .

Khlong Thom electronics market
"Inland" from the corner of Charoen Krung and Worachak roads, Chinatown

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 just started showing in theaters? If so, you need to check out the electronics vendors at Khlong Thom ... Read more about Khlong Thom electronics market .

Wang Lang market
Phran Nok Rd, Thonburi

Across from the amulet market near the Grand Palace is Siriraj Hospital and Wang Lang market. Thousands of students from Thammasat University cross the river for cheap housing on the Thonburi side, and Siriraj is one of the largest public hospitals in Thailand. Starving students plus hungry nurses? It’s the perfect storm for street food and Wang Lang market is a great opportunity to snack your ... Read more about Wang Lang market .

Lalai Sap market
Near the corner of Silom and Naradhiwas roads, Bangkok

Patpong night market and the surrounding area on Silom Road is highlighted in most guide books as one of Bangkok’s best places to shop and eat. Yet we reckon there's a better market right in the Silom area where you’ll likely be the only foreigner in sight. It’s called Lalai Sap, and it emerges from a maze of unassuming side streets every week ... Read more about Lalai Sap market .

Thewet market

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. ... Read more about Thewet market .

Khlong Toei wet market
Cnr of Rama IV and Rama III Roads, Khlong Toei, Bangkok

Some people love to shop for food. Shiny foreign grocery store packed to the gills with Tetra Pak boxes of wine, bread by the metre, cheese oozing from a counter managed by an angry white-haired French lady? That will take a couple of hours to explore, minimum. Khlong Toei market in Bangkok is anything but shiny, but for sheer mass, variety and sass this market is something that food lovers ... Read more about Khlong Toei wet market .

Siam Gypsy Junction
95/20 Krungthep-Nonthaburi Rd, Bangkok

Skinny dudes in black-rimmed glasses pedal by on vintage wheels as an old Elvis song bellows from a VW bus. A model trainset clinks around an open-fronted bar where artsy twenty-somethings unwind on a Friday night. Life-size trains also roar past, but this is not the old Rot Fai (train) market. It’s Siam Gypsy Junction, one of the places to be in Bangkok for hipsters and ... Read more about Siam Gypsy Junction .

Just past Charoen Krung Soi 74

Along with upwards of 1,500 shops and restaurants, Asiatique night bazaar boasts Thailand’s longest riverfront boardwalk, which stretches 300 metres and makes for some glitzy photo-ops among the evening sparkle of the river. Opened in 2012, the trendy night market filled a big hole left by the closure of Suan Lum night bazaar in 2011 while far surpassing it in both quality and scope. It even ... Read more about Asiatique .

Huay Khwang night market
Near Huay Khwang MRT station, East Bangkok

It’s midnight. You suddenly remember you need to stock up on fruit, pick up an iPhone cover, browse Chinese medicines and purchase a pig’s head. Fret not, Bangkok’s Huay Khwang market is the one-stop destination where you can check off everything on your shopping list. Especially if your shopping list features a lot of kitten heels, knock-off makeup and ... Read more about Huay Khwang night market .

Khlong San night market
Khlong San pier, Charoen Nakhon Soi 1, Bangkok

Want to get away from the tourists in Bangkok while still having a blast? Khlong San Pier and its eponymous market along the Chao Phraya holds some fun and hidden secrets. Start with a beer alongside the river, then browse some clothes, gorge on street food, and finish with a beer while taking in a live ... Read more about Khlong San night market .

Bangkok Noi market
Walkign distance from Thonburi train station

If you’ve come to Thailand for the food (and let’s be honest: if you haven’t, you’ve made a mistake,) visits to local markets are key. ... Read more about Bangkok Noi market .

Phran Nok wet market
Near the corner of Itsaraphap and Phran Nok roads, Thonburi

Smaller and more cramped, but more eclectic than nearby Bangkok Noi market, Thonburi’s Phran Nok wet market is worth a trip if you’re serious about exploring Thai food ingredients in a very local ... Read more about Phran Nok wet market .

Bang Kapi wet market
Between sois 119 and 127, Lat Phrao Rd, Bang Kapi, Bangkok

With a resounding crack, a still squirming fish is beheaded under a butcher’s knife. In the dense, pungent air, women haggle over fresh produce and slabs of raw meat. Wriggling in shallow buckets, dozens of live eels cause a fright to the only foreigner around (hi there). Miles away from the tourist trail, Bang Kapi wet market in east Bangkok is one eye-popping ... Read more about Bang Kapi wet market .

Happy Land market
Thanon Happy Land Sai 2, Bang Kapi, Bangkok

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. It should be a priority for food adventurists seeking to sample all of Thailand’s regional cuisines without leaving Bangkok — and then ... Read more about Happy Land market .

Floating markets around Bangkok

Stumpy bananas, rose apples, coconuts and spices sit piled on thin wooden sampans rowed by farmers in bamboo hats. Old teak wood houses seem to bend over the calm water of countryside canals. Local chatter and the mouth-watering scent of whole fishes on the grill fills festive air. Perhaps nothing in Thailand captivates travellers' imaginations more than a floating ... Read more about Floating markets around Bangkok .

Thaling Chan floating market
On the Chak Phra canal, Chim Phli Rd, Thaling Chan village, Bangkok

Nestled to the north of old Thonburi along the Chak Phra canal, the Thaling Chan floating market is a convenient choice for those who want to see (and taste) a canal-side Thai market without straying too far from Bangkok. It may not be the best, biggest, or most authentic floating market around, but it certainly won’t leave you ... Read more about Thaling Chan floating market .

Khlong Lat Mayom floating market
Bang Ramat Rd, Bangkok

Set in a relaxing spot out in Bangkok's rural far western reaches, Khlong Lat Mayom boasts a colourful atmosphere and some outstanding food. The fairly young floating market is very popular among locals but little known to ... Read more about Khlong Lat Mayom floating market .

Kwan Riam floating market
Ramkamhaeng Soi 187, Minburi, Bangkok

Back when rivers and canals served as Thailand’s highways, floating markets provided farming communities regular opportunities to trade and mingle. Today, an ever-growing modern floating market phenomena draws off the same old spirit of local bounty and community, but in forms that fit the times. On the outskirts of Bangkok, Kwan Riam is an excellent example of the modern Thai floating market ... Read more about Kwan Riam floating market .

Khlong Suan old market

Century-old Khlong Suan old market is out of the way, to put it nicely, or in the middle of nowhere, to be blunt, but for an offbeat food experience that might be a highlight of your trip — it’s worth the ... Read more about Khlong Suan old market .

Mae Khlong market

Fish vendors lug their buckets into the shadows. Photographers emerge from the woodwork to snatch a spot near the track. Men lower the umbrellas as pineapples and mangosteens tumble from their baskets. A lazy day at Samut Songkhram's Mae Khlong market has transformed into a chaotic scene. Turning around, we realise why: That train's not going to try coming through here, is ... Read more about Mae Khlong market .

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General activities

Baan Chang Thai Arts and Muay Chaiya School
38 Ekkamai 10/2, Sukhumvit Rd 63
T: (02) 391 3807

Painting, kick boxing and puppetry may not seem to go together, but at master Kruu Lek’s Baan Chang Thai arts and muay Chaiya school, expressive art and mindful boxing synthesise ... Read more about Baan Chang Thai Arts and Muay Chaiya School .

Sunday Muay Thai at Channel 7 Studio

When a friend asked if we wanted to go watch Sunday afternoon muay Thai in a TV studio, we had visions of what that might mean, but none of them actually mirrored the words, “Sunday afternoon Muay Thai in a TV studio.” The event in fact proved to be exactly what she had ... Read more about Sunday Muay Thai at Channel 7 Studio .

Learning Muay Thai in Bangkok

If you’ve been to one of Bangkok’s famous muay Thai (Thai boxing) stadiums, you know how brutally effective this so-called “art of eight-limbs” can be: fallen combatants are regularly removed from the ring by stretcher. An increasing number of travellers to Bangkok aren’t content to merely watch the sport -- they want to get their hands dirty and experience or train muay ... Read more about Learning Muay Thai in Bangkok .

Street sports

In Bangkok, life happens on the streets. Kids and dogs play in alleyways. Uncles and aunties gossip in front of shophouses. Clothing boutiques, restaurants and pubs pop up on footpaths. Under overpasses, in empty lots and inner city temples and schools, residents gather for a more competitive purpose — street ... Read more about Street sports .

Watching a movie in Bangkok

Movie theatres in Bangkok run the gamut from shining multi-screen palaces to aging-yet-still-grand examples of 1960s architecture. You can catch a flick in English (with Thai subtitles) at any major mall in Bangkok, but there are a few theatres that we always come back to. ... Read more about Watching a movie in Bangkok .

Thai language lessons in Bangkok

Learning some basic Thai will make your time in Thailand considerably easier and more enjoyable, especially if you plan to explore beyond the big-name tourist destinations. Not surprisingly, Bangkok boasts the largest selection of Thai language schools and private teachers in the ... Read more about Thai language lessons in Bangkok .

Bangkok for kids

You don’t need to get all the way to Thailand’s beaches before your children start to love Thailand: Bangkok is one of Asia’s most child-friendly cities. But the heat, the traffic and the sprawl of the city can make it challenging, so here are some pointers for getting the most out of Thailand’s capital with kids in ... Read more about Bangkok for kids .

Bangkok for honeymooners

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 quirky and frenetic pace of the capital deter you from stopping by. ... Read more about Bangkok for honeymooners .

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Cultural areas

Bangkok craft villages

Short-term visitors often size up Bangkok as a place of glitzy malls, thumping nightclubs, street stalls, traffic jams and impressive, but touristy, temples and palaces. Peel back this out layer to discover a rich and persistent artistic heritage that's likely to turn first impressions of the city on their heads. How to find it? Any of six centuries-old craft villages are great places to ... Read more about Bangkok craft villages .

Bangkok's two Little Indias

In Thailand, cultural influences from India run deep. Thai kings are referred to as “Rama” after the main character in the Indian epic, Ramayana, and Thai religion is a blend of Buddhism and Hinduism, both from India. Early influences like these are now indistinguishable from greater Thai culture, but two distinct Indian communities continue to thrive in Bangkok. Little India Pahurat is well ... Read more about Bangkok's two Little Indias .

A pocket of culture behind Wat Arun
Around Arun Ammarin Rd, behind Wat Arun

For many short-term travellers to Bangkok, a quick jaunt across the Chao Phraya River to the splendid Wat Arun is all that’s experienced of Thonburi. Yet this historic area's laid-back, artsy and at times quirky atmosphere make it a rewarding place to poke ... Read more about A pocket of culture behind Wat Arun .

Khlong Bang Luang artist village
Across the canal from the end of Charan Sanitwong Soi 3 (near Wat Kuhasawan), Thonburi, Bangkok
T: (02) 868 5279

Bangkok has a reputation for bright lights, gleaming high-rises and seething nightlife, but on the west side of the Chao Phraya River in Thonburi, the city’s softer, simpler and more creative side hangs loose. Embodying this better than anywhere, the canal-side community of artists at Khlong Bang Luang posseses a homegrown artistic spirit that pervades this eclectic ... Read more about Khlong Bang Luang artist village .

Baan Bu bronze village
133 Soi Charan Sanitwong 32, Thonburi, Bangkok
T: (02) 424 1689

In this modern age of factories and mass production, increasingly few artisans carry on the traditional ways of a ... Read more about Baan Bu bronze village .

Baan Lao flute village
Itsaraphap Soi 15, near Bansomdet Rajabhat University, Thonburi, Bangkok
T: (083) 133 9941

Bangkok doesn’t give up its secrets too easily, but for those willing to look deeper, the traditional flute making village of Baan Lao on the west side of the Chao Phraya river in Thonburi offers a taste of some “real” Thai culture away from the tourists. It also happens to make a worthy side trip from nearby Wat Arun, and while flute making might sound a tad boring, Baan Lao is far from a ... Read more about Baan Lao flute village .

Soi Mathum
Soi Trok Mathum (aka Arun Ammarin Soi 23), Thonburi
T: (024) 112 180

Thailand is famous for its abundant tropical fruit, but not all of them are as well known as mango and durian. Case in point: mathum (aka “bael fruit”, “stone apple”, “bela” or “Indian quince”) look something like green mango or avocado with the peel still on, and could be mistaken for a large orange when sliced in ... Read more about Soi Mathum .

Baan Krua Nua silk-weaving community
North bank of the San Saeb canal near Jim Thompson's House, Bangkok
T: (02) 215 9864

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 experienced at his historic house turned museum. Yet most visitors are unaware that a handful of his original suppliers still weave silk a stone’s throw away. If you miss the Baan Krua Nua silk-weaving community, you’re missing half of the Jim ... Read more about Baan Krua Nua silk-weaving community .

Baan Bat monk bowl village
Bamrung Meuang Rd, Soi Baan Bat, Bangkok

Historic sites are often the main draw for travellers, but exploring ancient neighbourhoods built around important historic landmarks can sometimes be even more fascinating than the sites themselves. While wandering the narrow side streets around Wat Saket, we stumbled on the gritty but intriguing temple supply neighbourhood of Baan Bat, where locals have crafted monks begging (alms) bowls ... Read more about Baan Bat monk bowl village .

Charoen Chai historic hut & community
Room 32, Charoen Krung Soi 23, Bangkok

Chinatown’s family-run businesses and deeply-rooted traditions have been going strong for generations, supporting a living history that helps make Bangkok such a fascinating city. Many such families 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 historic Charoen Chai community opened a museum to ... Read more about Charoen Chai historic hut & community .

Phraeng Phuthon Square
Flanked by Bamrung Muang, Tanao and Atsadang Rds, as well as Khlong Lort canal

The Grand Palace and Wat Pho are indeed awe-inspiring, but nearby, a hidden-away little neighbourhood can also captivate imaginations. Located in the heart of the Rattanakosin historic district, Phraeng Phuthon Square embodies the more modest side of old ... Read more about Phraeng Phuthon Square .

Baan Don Kai Dee Benjarong porcelain village
Soi Thetsaban 4 off Highway 3190 (aka Sukonethawit Rd), south of the Tha Jeen River, Krathum Baen district, Samut Sakhon

Baan Don Kai Dee is proof that a traditional craft can survive and flourish in the modern era. Located 40 kilometres west of Bangkok in Samut Sakhon province, the colourful village offers a homestay and classes along with exquisite Benjarong porcelain wares, all handmade on ... Read more about Baan Don Kai Dee Benjarong porcelain village .

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Hiking, walking tours and itineraries

Bangkok by Skytrain and Subway

The BTS “Skytrain” and MRT “Subway” combine to cover wide swathes of Bangkok and make it possible to explore without spending hours in taxis. If you’ve already read our Overview of Bangkok’s metro system, go deeper here by scoping out food, accommodation, attractions, shopping and onward transport options around individual stations. ... Read more about Bangkok by Skytrain and Subway .

A walk down Charoen Krung Road

From the Grand Palace to Little India and Chinatown, through the old European quarter and on to the beginnings of Bangkok’s modern business district, a stroll down Charoen Krung Road touches nearly all of the historical-cultural threads that weave this fascinating city together. With eclectic food, invigorating street life and a diverse mix of attractions, it’s also a feast for the ... Read more about A walk down Charoen Krung Road .

Thonburi: exploring the west side

It's been called 'Bangkok's Brooklyn' -- an area west of the Chao Phraya River where artsy youth hang loose with grannies and grampas in century-old ... Read more about Thonburi: exploring the west side .

24 Hours in Bangkok: Sukhumvit to Siam Square

So you've got a day to kill in Bangkok? It's not much time, especially when it's easy to be overly ambitious in the Thai capital, setting out to do a million and one things only to find that the traffic, the heat and the crowds thwart you. But here's a relatively slow-paced itinerary focused on the Sukhumvit-Siam Square stretch for those on a not-too-tight budget wanting to savour a bit of the ... Read more about 24 Hours in Bangkok: Sukhumvit to Siam Square .

Chili Paste Bangkok food tour
T: (094) 552 2361

It can seem counterintuitive to do a food tour in a city with as much food in your face as Bangkok, but a tour with Chin from Chili Paste Tours, can be a terrific way for both the novice and the more experienced street food eater, to get more than just an extra kilo out of their eating time in the Thai ... Read more about Chili Paste Bangkok food tour .

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Thai Craft Fairs
L floor, Jasmine City Building, near Asok BTS station, corner of Sukhumvit Rd and Sukhumvit Soi 23, Bangkok

Just about every month in Bangkok’s Asoke area, some 50 different groups of craftspeople congregate to present their fair-trade products for sale at a Thai Craft Fair. Attending one is a great way to support Thailand’s diverse array of craftspeople while also picking up intriguing gifts and souvenirs that you won’t find in the ... Read more about Thai Craft Fairs .

Siam Square

Trains swoosh by overhead, music thumps from promotional stages, college students browse boutiques and travellers lug their bounty from one mall to the next. 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 ... Read more about Siam Square .

MBK Centre
Corner of Phaya Thai and Rama I roads, Bangkok

Better known as MBK, the Mahboonkrong Centre is probably Bangkok’s most popular shopping mall. Best known for its endless electronics dealers, the eight-floor mall opened in 1986 and, for better or worse, was a pioneer of the mall culture that has overtaken much of the city. Drawing a mix of travellers and locals, the mall covers 89,000 square metres with thousands of shops, a massive ... Read more about MBK Centre .


A quick tuk tuk ride from the glitzy malls of Siam Square, Pratunam is the place in Bangkok to score clothing, accessories and electronics on the cheap. With wholesale goods packed into alleys and labyrinthine malls, approaching this entire neighbourhood of shopping mayhem can be daunting at first, but a little know-how goes a long way. Let the bargain hunting ... Read more about Pratunam .

Pantip Plaza
604/3 Phetchaburi Rd, Pratunam, Bangkok

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 hard-nose haggling. Whether you’re a recovering technophobe in search of your first ever PC or a ... Read more about Pantip Plaza .


In Chinatown’s maze of alleyways, overloaded Vespas and tuk tuks vie for space with street food vendors, shoppers from around the world and old school human-powered pushcarts. Shopping here is a grittier and more crowded experience than, for example, Terminal 21, Asiatique or even Chatuchak, but there’s nothing like getting lost in Chinatown‘s colourful ... Read more about Chinatown .

Terminal 21
2,88 Sukhumvit Soi 19 (Wattana) Sukhumvit Rd, Wattana, Bangkok
T: (02) 108 0888

When planning a trip to Thailand, one might envision elephant rides, and white sandy beaches. But if you really want to live as the Thais do, go shopping. Shopping is the unofficial national pastime of Thailand, and in the capital, shopping malls tower over every soi. Singapore may win for the number of shopping malls per square mile, but Bangkok comes in as a close second. It’s almost hard to ... Read more about Terminal 21 .

English-language bookstores

Whether you’re a voracious reader who resides in Thailand or a traveller seeking a light read, Bangkok has a number of quality bookstores to choose from. At these shops you’ll find everything from meditation manuals to Dickens and modern Thai politics to the Berenstain ... Read more about English-language bookstores .

Cheap clothes shopping

Thailand is known for its lush silks and elaborate textiles, but in Bangkok proper, cheap and trendy clothing abounds. Shopping is a bit of a cultural obsession, one that is highly ... Read more about Cheap clothes shopping .

Vintage clothes shopping
Union Mall, 5th (and 3rd) floor, 54 Lat Phrao Rd, Bangkok

Though shiny spankin’ newness is the preferred Bangkok ascetic, vintage-chic has become a popular new look, especially in the Thai hipster crowd. But unfortunately, new is still godly, and clothing is mass-produced to only appear like it was made in a past era. This ageing clothing effect often backfires to emphasise its cheapness, like a bad nose ... Read more about Vintage clothes shopping .

Western-size women's clothes shopping

If your bottom is any larger than a peach, shopping in Bangkok for clothes can be a frustrating experience at best and out-and-out humiliating at ... Read more about Western-size women's clothes shopping .

Thai souvenir shopping

Bangkok is teeming with markets and malls so it shouldn’t be as hard as it is to find quality souvenirs. Of course, there is always Chatuchak, but sometimes relentless sweat and a maze of stalls can be frustrating when looking for the perfect ... Read more about Thai souvenir shopping .

Fabric shopping

Thai silk has become the stuff of legend and the lure is deserved. The silk here is beautiful, exceptional quality and shockingly affordable. ... Read more about Fabric shopping .

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Day trips

Day trips from Bangkok

Where you might expect modern industry and suburban living to dominate, the old ways of central Thai life quietly endure. Reachable as day trips from Bangkok, many attractions can also be found amid the orchards, canals and villages that stretch just beyond the urban sprawl. In our opinion, a taste of the slow pace of life is what makes these short-lived adventures most worthwhile. For those ... Read more about Day trips from Bangkok .

A weekend in Phra Phradaeng

Want a countryside escape from Bangkok -- without leaving Bangkok? Just a five-minute taxi ride from Bang Na BTS station plus a four baht ferry hop across the Chao Phraya River and you could be chilling to the sounds of crickets and frogs rather than tuk tuks and bars. Here’s our idea of a perfect weekend getaway on Bangkok’s Phra Phradaeng ... Read more about A weekend in Phra Phradaeng .

Exploring the Lungs of Bangkok

Did you know that within 20 minutes of jumping on a bicycle at Bangkok's Emporium mall you can be pedalling your way through the hidden jungles of Umphang? Neither did I, until I did an Amazing Bicycle Tour in the amazing megalopolis of Bangkok (okay, I admit it, it was Samut Prakan, not ... Read more about Exploring the Lungs of Bangkok .


Ayutthaya was once one of the richest cities in the world and the capital of the Kingdom of Ayutthaya, the precursor to modern Thailand. It was sacked by the Burmese in 1767, bringing down both the city and the kingdom. It’s estimated that its population was more than 300,000 by the early 1600s, and grew to almost a million inhabitants in the early 1700s — a truly staggering number, that if ... Read more about Ayutthaya .

Ko Kret
Nonthaburi province (20 kilometres north of central Bangkok)

Cut off from the rest of Nonthaburi province by the Chao Phraya river some 20 kilometres north of central Bangkok, the island of Ko Kret is home to centuries-old temples, a great weekend market and a Mon community known for its handmade earthen clay ... Read more about Ko Kret .

Samut Songkhram

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 ... Read more about Samut Songkhram .

Nakhon Chai Si

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 radar. Yet the town and surrounding region are filled with one-of-a-kind attractions, scenic countryside and an old-style Thai atmosphere. It makes an enchanting day trip for those who don’t mind stepping off the conventional traveller ... Read more about Nakhon Chai Si .

Pak Nam

Wedged between Bangkok and the mouth of the Chao Phraya River in Samut Prakan province, the small but colourful city of Pak Nam is home to one of Thailand’s largest fresh seafood markets. Combine that with a boat ride to the historic Phra Samut chedi across the river and it’s an enjoyable day trip that takes you well off the tourist ... Read more about Pak Nam .

Baan Sakhla and Wat Khun Samut Jeen

Few foreign travellers visit the seacoast just south of Bangkok in Samut Prakan province, where you won’t find idyllic beaches, snorkel-worthy seascapes or luxury resorts. But for a temple surrounded by sea to go with a taste of coastal fishing culture, the Baan Sakhla village and Wat Khun Samut Chin are definitely worth a day ... Read more about Baan Sakhla and Wat Khun Samut Jeen .


Sometimes you need to get out of Bangkok for a minute, to some place that is a bit quieter, and preferably cooler. Mahachai is a port town in Samut Sakhon province, about 45 kilometres southwest of ... Read more about Mahachai .

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Cooking classes

Helping Hands Cooking School
(Pick up and drop off from Emporium Shopping Centre on Sukhumvit Rd.)
T: (08) 7686 3714 (Thai), (08) 4901 8717 (English)

One of the joys of visiting (or living in) Thailand is the ... Read more about Helping Hands Cooking School .

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Boat trips

Khlong (canal) tours

Laidback locals laze on the porches of old teak houses sliding by as our boat chugs through another of Thonburi’s khlongs (canals); children throw food to the fish before jumping in to swim with them; elderly vendors, their faces weathered from years in the sun, cruise past on small wooden boats filled with vegetables and noodles to be sold to canal-side homes. Just across the river from ... Read more about Khlong (canal) tours .

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Yoga in Bangkok

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 don’t allow pay-per-class drop-ins but we’ve done the legwork to find five yoga studios or collectives ... Read more about Yoga in Bangkok .

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Festivals and events


Bangkok is amazing during Songkran, the traditional Thai New Year festival held annually from April 13-15. As millions migrate back to their hometowns, the Thai capital is freed from its choking traffic. A few centres of festivities turn into heaving water fights that can be a great time if you don’t mind getting soaked, while much of the city becomes downright bucolic. Here’s a rundown on ... Read more about Songkran .

Loy Krathong

Bangkok celebrates the Loy Krathong holiday like it does most of them — with the cracking of fireworks, the blasting of music and a carnival-like atmosphere along the Chao Phraya river. Here’s a taste of being swept up by one of Thailand's most enchanting holidays, Big Mango ... Read more about Loy Krathong .

Rab Bua (Lotus Throwing Festival)

What do you get when you place a sacred Buddha image on a boat, add a million lotus flowers, lots of food, a little alcohol, endless other colourful boats and thousands of onlookers who frantically throw flowers from the side of a canal? It’s the Lotus Throwing Festival, or Rab Bua, held annually on Awk Pansa day near Bangkok. The exact dates depend on the moon but usually fall in September or ... Read more about Rab Bua (Lotus Throwing Festival) .

Sam Phraeng Arts Festival
Start at Phraeng Phuthon Square, Bangkok

Overtaking the normally quiet but intriguing Phraeng Phuthon neighbourhood in Bangkok’s historic district, the Sam Phraeng Arts Festival is a lively swirl of music, arts, crafts, lanterns, puppets, shopping and food. Held annually on a Friday and Saturday in November or December, here's a taste of what we've experienced during one of Bangkok’s most overlooked ... Read more about Sam Phraeng Arts Festival .

King Bhumibol Adulyadej Day

Update: King Bhumibol Adulyadej passed away at the age of 89 on 13 October 2016. His birthday remains a national holiday in Thailand, but will be far more somber and subdued than in previous years. Doubling as Father’s Day, the birthday of King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX) on December 5 is one of Thailand’s most important holidays. Although celebrated throughout the kingdom, festivities ... Read more about King Bhumibol Adulyadej Day .

Tesakan Gin Jay (Vegetarian Festival)

As Asian countries go, Thailand is not so easy for vegetarians or vegans. Yet for nine days each year during the ninth lunar month of the Chinese calendar (typically late September/October), a large portion of the country’s population eat exclusively vegan foods in observation of the Chinese cleansing festival known as Tesakan Gin Jay (literally, ‘festival for eating vegan’), or the ... Read more about Tesakan Gin Jay (Vegetarian Festival) .

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Performing arts

Khlong Toey Music Program
225 Soi Damrong Phiphat (off At Narong Rd), Khlong Toei 70 Rai, Bangkok
T: (085) 165 4776

Music has the power to launch you far and wide, create a sense of community, replace hopelessness with creativity and soothe the deepest roots of your soul. In Bangkok's poorest area, underprivileged kids are exposed to all of this and more thanks to Khlong Toey Music Program ... Read more about Khlong Toey Music Program .

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Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Bangkok? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Thailand.

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