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.

Hiking, walking tours and itineraries


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 gaudy skyscrapers lean over its murky 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 .

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 .

Two days in Rattanakosin historic district

Rattanakosin is the cultural heart of Bangkok and home to many of Thailand’s most famous temples, museums and historical sites. ... Read more about Two days in Rattanakosin historic district .

A walk around Chinatown

Chinatown, known locally as Yaowarat, is arguably the most fascinating part of Bangkok. Exceptional food and cheap goods line the lanes, incense smoke coils from shrines and generational businesses persist in old shophouses. Seeing as it’s also crowded, hot and difficult to navigate, we’ve come up with a walking tour to help you explore with some strategy. ... Read more about A walk around Chinatown .

Thonburi: exploring the west side

Many visitors feel like they’ve “done” Bangkok after hitting the big-name attractions in the historic district, perusing the malls, taking a ferry up the Chao Phraya River and maybe munching on some street food. Few of them know about the more modest but equally intriguing slice of the city that exists on the west side of the river in the oldest part of town: Thonburi. ... Read more about Thonburi: exploring the west side .

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. It’s also a feast for the ... Read more about A walk down Charoen Krung Road .

Suggested art walks in Bangkok

The Thai capital’s fluid art scene can be tough to crack, with no single art district where you can easily hop from one exhibition to the next. Galleries, museums and creative hubs are scattered all over the city and travelling between them can be a chore. With this in mind, we’ve strung the best of Bangkok’s art venues into five manageable ... Read more about Suggested art walks in Bangkok .

Top of page

Temples


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
Arun Ammarin Rd, Thonburi
T: (02) 891 2185

In 1768, when King Taksin travelled down the Chao Phraya River in search of a site for the new capital, he arrived at dawn at an old wat where he paid his respects. He re-named it Wat Jaeng—a name later changed again to Wat Arun—both of which roughly translate as “Temple of Dawn.” It remains one of Bangkok’s signature landmarks and is well worth an up-close look. ... Read more about Wat Arun .

Wat Saket
Entrances on Boriphat Rd and Worachak Rd

For the better part of two centuries, the Golden Mount at Wat Saket has glistened high above the old quarter. The ancient temple’s shocking history and panoramic vistas make it one of our favourite attractions in ... Read more about Wat Saket .

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 Bowornniwet
Corner of Phra Sumen and Tanao Rds, Bangkok

Rising from a corner of the historic district within earshot of Khao San Road, Wat Bowornniwet is an important centre for Thai Buddhist learning and administration. The maze-like wat supports a lineage of royal ordinations going back two centuries and has various artistic attributes that may interest the casual ... Read more about Wat Bowornniwet .

Wat Ratchabophit
Between Atsadang Rd and Fueng Nakhon Rd

Despite its many beautiful attributes and convenient location in the historic district, Wat Ratchabophit is usually overlooked by travellers. Leave the crowds behind at the more popular temples and give this quiet mid 19th century wat a ... 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
Corner of Silom Rd and Pan Rd
T: (02) 225 7612

Built in the 1860s by immigrants from Tamil Nadu in Southern India, Sri Maha Marriaman is an important Hindu temple that grabs the eyes of anyone walking down Silom Road. ... Read more about Sri Maha Mariamman .

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
Arun Ammarin Soi 6

The enormous ocher-roofed ordination hall at Wat Kalayanamit grabs the eyes of virtually anyone who cruises past on the Chao Phraya River, even if nearby Wat Arun ends up getting most of the attention. ... Read more about Wat Kalayanamit .

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

Worth a special trip if you seek meditation instruction in English, Wat Mahathat also makes for a welcome respite from the tourist overflow found at the more popular attractions in Bangkok's historic district. ... 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 .

Erawan Shrine
Corner of Ratchadamri and Rama I roads, Bangkok

Set amid the unabashed materialism of the Siam Square area, streams of visitors come from China, India and throughout Thailand, among others, to offer flower garlands, incense, golden elephants and dance performances to an image of the Hindu god Brahma at the famous Erawan Shrine. ... Read more about Erawan Shrine .

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

One of Thailand’s scariest legends involves the spirit of a woman that went on a rampage after her husband caught on to the fact that she was, in fact, a ghost. Those willing to risk being cursed in exchange for witnessing a spiritually potent scene can visit a shrine dedicated to the ghost of Mae Nak near the site of her 19th century home in Bangkok. ... Read more about Ghost of Mae Nak Shrine .

Lesser-known Bangkok temples

Of the roughly 600 temples found in Bangkok, most travellers hit only the big draws like Wat Pho, Wat Phra Kaew and Wat Traimit. These are popular for good reason, but many of the non-touristy temples can offer a soothing canal-side atmosphere, exceptional artwork or something completely different. Read on to find the lesser-known temples that are worth a look. ... Read more about Lesser-known Bangkok temples .

Top of page

Museums


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 hear the word Thainess? 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. The 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
6 Soi Kasem San 2 (off Rama I Rd)
T: (02) 216 7368

Jim Thompson was a famous architect, designer, silk magnate, Asian art lover and, incidentally, a spy for the Allies during World War II. Draped beside the San Saeb Canal, the house that he pieced together and filled with antiques now stands as one of Bangkok’s most popular museums. ... 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

Occupying a former prison that now sits inside a public park, the 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 .

Top of page

Historic attractions


The Grand Palace
Na Phra Lan Rd, Bangkok

King Rama I established Phra Borom Maharatchawang, or the Grand Palace, in 1782 when he also founded Bangkok as capital of Siam. Several of the 10 Chakri dynasty kings have made additions over the years to create an 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 .

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 and Baan Kudi Chin Museum
Arun Ammarin Soi 4, Thonburi

The crimson dome of Santa Cruz Church towers beside the Chao Phraya River as a reminder of the Portuguese who were the first Westerners to befriend Siam. The nearby Baan Kudi Chin Museum and a clutch of Portuguese-influenced bakeries join in to offer a charming and educational excursion in old Thonburi. ... Read more about Santa Cruz Church and Baan Kudi Chin Museum .

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 .

Top of page

Art galleries or venues


Bangkok for art lovers

Contemporary galleries and street art compliment proper museums, centuries-old temple murals and craft villages in the Thai capital. It can be tough for art lovers to figure out where to start in this huge city with an artistic soul, so we’ve pieced together this intro to Bangkok’s art world to help get you ... Read more about Bangkok for art lovers .

Contemporary Bangkok galleries worth a look-see

Inspiration abounds in Bangkok’s bustling streets so it comes as no surprise that a bunch of artists, both Thai and foreign, base themselves here. To help you experience the ever-evolving art scene, we’ve gathered a list of several galleries operating at the bristled end of the brush. ... Read more about Contemporary 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. ... Read more about National Gallery .

MOCA Bangkok
499 Kamphaeng Phet 6 Rd, Chatuchak
T: (02) 016 5666-7

MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art) spans five floors and 20,000 square metres of gallery space displaying hundreds of works by many of the top Thai artists of the last century. It’s absolutely worth the 250 baht ticket and the trip up to North Bangkok. ... Read more about MOCA Bangkok .

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) .

Artist House at Khlong Bang Luang
Baan Silapin (Artist House): Across the canal from the end of Charan Sanitwong Soi 3 (near Wat Kuhasawan), Thonburi
T: (02) 868 5279

Accessible by land or boat, the canal-side Artist House at Khlong Bang Luang includes a gallery, cafe and daily puppet shows in an old slice of Thonburi filled with temples, noodle shops and art studios. We come here when needing a break from Bangkok without actually leaving the city. ... Read more about Artist House at Khlong Bang Luang .

Antique art galleries of Charoen Krung
Charoen Krung sois 24, 30 and 38, Bangkok

Apart from the National Museum, the best places in Bangkok to scope artefacts from Asia’s rich and diverse artistic traditions are the commercial antique art galleries off Charoen Krung Road. ... Read more about Antique art galleries of Charoen Krung .

Top of page

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 .

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 village
North bank of the San Saeb canal near Jim Thompson's House, Bangkok
T: (02) 215 9864

Many travellers visit Jim Thompson's House to experience the legacy of this famous American spy turned silk magnate, but few are aware that some of his original suppliers still weave silk a stone’s throw away. If you miss the Baan Krua Nua silk village, you’re missing half of the Jim Thompson story and a compelling attraction in its own ... Read more about Baan Krua Nua silk village .

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 .

Phraeng Phuthon Square
Between Bamrung Muang Rd, Tanao Rd and Atsadang Rd

Not far from the big-name attractions in the heart of the Rattanakosin historic district, Phraeng Phuthon Square embodies the more modest side of Bangkok's ... Read more about Phraeng Phuthon Square .

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

Baan Don Kaidee is proof that a traditional Thai 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 that are handmade and sold on ... Read more about Baan Don Kaidee porcelain village .

Top of page

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
Between Rama IV Rd, Ratchadamri Rd and Witthayu Rd, across from the east end of Silom Rd

Filled with broad trees, ponds, fields and all sorts of healthy activities, Lumpini Park is the closest that Bangkok comes to matching London's St James Park or New York's Central Park. Here’s how to enjoy every bit of this 142 acres of green in the heart of the ... 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 .

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 .

Top of page

Markets


No pic at the moment -- Sorry!

Bangkok boasts no shortage of day markets where you can grab a dozen pairs of elephant pants, a bouquet of orchids, a fresh pig’s head, a used karaoke machine or just a meal enjoyed with the locals. Have fun sifting through the following list to choose which of them is right for you. ... Read more about Day markets .

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-too-jak”, or JJ for short), which is reportedly 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. Go early, and pack your ... Read more about Chatuchak weekend 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 .

Sampeng Lane
Sampeng Lane (Soi Wanit 1), Bangkok

Sampeng Lane is a riot of people, colour, noise and smells. This is the place to come for unusual souvenirs, but be warned: It's also the sort of place you come to buy one thing, but leave having bought a whole stack of other things you didn't realise you ... Read more about Sampeng Lane .

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

Snakefruit, live bugs and climbing wattle burst from baskets in Talad Khlong Toei, the ultimate Bangkok wet market. Come to acquaint yourself with the building blocks of Thai cuisine amid a seething sprawl of fresh ingredients. ... Read more about Khlong Toei wet market .

Phra Chan amulet market
Between the Chao Phraya River and Maharat Rd, just west of Wat Mahathat

While moseying from the Grand Palace to the National Museum, many travellers are inadvertently swept into the bustling Talad Phra Chan, a century-old market specialising in Buddhist and Hindu amulets, statuary and other sacred ... Read more about Phra Chan amulet market .

No pic at the moment -- Sorry!

Bangkok’s night market scene changed dramatically after the closure of once-popular bazaars like Suan Lum and Saphan Phut in recent years. Thankfully, a new crop of night markets has emerged to satisfy locals and travellers hungry for a night of shopping, eating and socialising. Read on to find out which of eight popular evening markets is right for you. ... Read more about Night markets .

No pic at the moment -- Sorry!

Ranking among the best night bazaars in Bangkok, both locations of Talad Rot Fai buzz with bars, bites and hipsters selling vintage bits. Pick either one and get ready for a fun night out. ... Read more about Talad Rot Fai .

Asiatique
Charoen Krung Soi 72-76, Bangkok
T: 092 246 0812

Asiatique is Bangkok’s premier night market, beautifully set alongside the eastern bank of the Chao Phraya River, where you can stroll along Thailand’s longest riverfront ... Read more about Asiatique .

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 .

Top of page

Shopping


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 .

Pratunam

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 .

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, cheap clothes abound. And while cheap once equated with not-very-fashionable, these days young Thai designers produce hip clothes that are absolutely worth seeking out. Here's a selection of places to head if you've got a bag or two to fill up with the city's affordable, fashionable ... Read more about Cheap clothes shopping .

Vintage clothes shopping

If you are looking for vintage clothes in Bangkok, there are several places you can check out where you'll have fun browsing and perhaps snare a one-off original for a song, ... 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, but some places offer better options when it comes to picking up high-quality Thai souvenirs than others. Read on for our suggestions for finding everything from a classic silk scarf to something a bit more offbeat. ... 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 .

Top of page

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

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 .

Mahachai

Mahachai in Samut Sakhon province is one of the largest fishing centres in a country boasting one of the world’s highest levels of seafood production. Accessible by a leisurely train ride from Bangkok, it’s a good place to smell fish, eat fish, watch fish being unloaded, take a ferry to look at some temples and then sit by the sea while you eat more ... Read more about Mahachai .

Top of page

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 .

Top of page

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 .

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 .

Top of page

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 .

Top of page

Festivals and events


Songkran

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) .

Top of page

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 .

Top of page

Yoga


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 .

Top of page




Like what you see? Then you’ll love our newsletter

The Travelfish newsletter is sent out every Monday and is jammed full of free advice for travel in Southeast Asia. You can see past issues here.



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.


Top of page