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.
Use the quick links below to jump to a particular section of our sights and activities coverage for 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) .
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 .
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 .
Possibly Bangkok's most recognisable landmark, the Golden Mount of Wat Saket has glistened above the historic Banglamphu area for nearly two centuries. The temple's intriguing (if somewhat horrifying) history, peaceful atmosphere and impressive panoramic views make it one of Bangkok's top ... Read more about Wat Saket and the Golden Mount .
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 .
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 .
Large and airy feeling, the wat's grounds are fairly big with some cute buildings and beautiful corridors to explore. Construction on the wat began in 1807 during the reign of King Rama I and once completed, he requested that an important Buddha image, the Phra Sisakayamunee from Wat Mahathat in Sukhothai, be displayed here. The image is Thailand's largest cast bronze image and is believed to ... Read more about Wat Suthat .
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 .
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 .
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 .
Once inside the leafy grounds, which have a solid reputation as a meditation centre, you can almost forget that there is a bustling city right outside. Construction of Wat Pathum Wannaram was ordered in 1857 and once it was completed monks from Wat Bowooniwet were invited to take up residence. The temple's two principal Buddha images date back to the Rama III period and were imported from ... Read more about Wat Pathum Wannaram .
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 .
Standing 32 metres tall, the Buddha image is designed in the modern style with a topknot enshrining a Buddha relic brought from Sri Lanka. Built during the reign of King Rama IV, the Buddha is not as magnificent as another nearby massive Buddha, the highly popular Reclining Buddha at Wat Pho. Still, Wat Indraviharn displays an enormous and shimmering image that is deservedly renowned. ... Read more about Wat Indraviharn .
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 riverfront. Unlike nearby Wat Arun, this historic temple doesn’t attract many foreign tourists, but — underrated as it may be — Wat Kalayanamit is well worth a ... Read more about Wat Kalayanamit .
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. Wat Yannawa’s spires hold their own amid the ... Read more about Wat Yannawa .
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 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 .
Loha Prasat stands 36 metres high and is surrounded by 37 spires, representing the 37 virtues needed to attain enlightenment. It is safe to say, there is no other wat quite like it in Bangkok. Recently renovated, the inside of the wat is beautifully finished and easy to explore. Modelled after a Sri Lankan monastery, it is possible to climb the winding staircase inside and glimpse a city view ... Read more about Wat Ratchanatdaram and the Amulet Market .
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 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 .
Meaning “war victory” it makes sense that Chai Chana Songkhram would be such a popular name and we've got them both covered! With regards to the Chinatown Wat Chai Chana Songkhram: Chao Phraya Bodindecha, a very religious chief commander during the reign of King Rama III, decided to build this mid-sized wat in 1848 after returning from victorious campaigns against the Vietnamese and ... Read more about Wat Chai Chana Songkhram .
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 .
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 .
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 .
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 .
Opening as the first public museum in 1874, the National Museum and was relocated to the current site in 1887. It is now the largest of its kind in Southeast Asia, featuring fine examples of art from throughout the region, some dating back to Neolithic times. The museum makes an interesting stop particularly if you're travelling throughout north and central Thailand. Highlights include Room ... Read more about National Museum .
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 .
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 .
Visiting the museum involves a mandatory two-hour tour, so do keep that in mind when you're planning a visit. Hands-on multimedia exhibits with videos and interactive activities, the museum mainly focuses on royal culture, traditional performance and royal ceremonies. Interesting histories of Rattanakosin are also provided, with thorough discussions of the population and the numerous ... Read more about Rattanakosin Exhibition Hall .
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 .
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 .
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 .
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 Museum & Toys Thailand .
The home, which he lived in from 1980 until his death, remains exactly as it did when he passed away in 1995. Spread across two acres of beautiful gardens and land the home itself is made from five small one-room teak houses, the oldest is over 100 years old, joined by open-air verandas and elevated on stilts. It is brim-full of M.R. Kukrit's traditional treasures, including antique Thai ... Read more about Mr Kukrit's House .
Although the procession consists of 26 boats, only a handful of these are designated as royal with others performing the roles of escorts. The National Museum of Royal Barges displays eight of the boats used in these processions, the oldest of which is nearly 100-years-old. Each royal barge is intricately decorated with coloured paint and metallic and reflected inlays, each boat displaying a ... Read more about Royal Barges National Museum .
Relatively unchanged since the family lived here, the house provides an authentic and interesting look back at Thai life during the mid-20th century. The pristine rooms are still decorated with the same furnishings once used by the family, and information provided in every room describes who inhabited these spaces and how they spent their time there. In addition to the living spaces, ... Read more about Bangkokian Museum .
Founded in 1904, The Siam Society was instituted in order to preserve Thai culture and promote education and learning about Thailand and its neighbours. While most of the society's offerings are only available to members, there is a frequent rotation of lectures, concerts and exhibitions which can be attended by the public. In addition to the activities, the society is also home to a library ... Read more about The Siam Society .
Originally constructed in 1952 as the private home of their Royal Highnesses Prince and Princess Chumbhot of Nagara Svarga, Suan Pakkad Palace opened to the public as a museum in 1987. Comprised of several fine traditional wooden Thai houses and bristling with antiques, traditional furnishings, artwork and an intriguing collection of khon masks, the property sits on what was once a cabbage ... Read more about Suan Pakkad Palace .
Today it houses a museum aimed at preserving and displaying elements of northern Thai Lanna culture such as folk art, costumes and tools. The upstairs museum features rooms dedicated to daily life in 19th century northern Thailand: explanations of cooking utensils, belief systems and the woman's role in society are all thorough and interesting. The artefacts are beautifully displayed and the ... Read more about Kamthieng House .
The main attractions here are the mummified remains of infamous Thai murderers, but the shelves are also chock full of skulls marred by bullets, aborted foetuses and an array of limbs and parts that are quite unidentifiable. This is not a place for the faint of heart and many of the photographs of the deceased are far more disturbing than the dismembered limbs. Siriraj Hospital, where the ... Read more about Museum of the Department of Forensic Medicine .
Beautifully presented and designed, this modern museum takes you from the birth to the death of this controversial King. Reigning from 1925 to 1935, King Prajadhipok was on the throne during the 1932 coup d'état and was still the King when Thailand officially became a constitutional monarchy. The first floor of the museum presents the King's married life, as well as the life of his Queen. ... Read more about King Prajadhipok Museum .
Built as the stables for a sacred white elephant given to King Rama V, the buildings have been home to numerous sacred royal elephants since then. Today the museum displays various elephant paraphernalia including mahout tools, elephant accessories and images and descriptions of royal elephant ceremonies. Elephants are considered to be some of the most important animals in Thai history; the ... Read more about Royal Elephant National Museum .
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 .
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 .
Deceased royals are cremated here, and every May the Royal Ploughing Ceremony is held to ensure a bountiful rice harvest in the coming growing season. In February and March the field hosts kite flying — both competitive and recreational. Kites can be purchased from vendors lining the park. At other times of the year, Sanam Luang serves as the historic district's largest park by hosting ... Read more about Sanam Luang .
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. Though Lumpini Park is far more popular, Benjakiti also offers a range of activities and, in particular, has become a cycling haven in the often gridlocked city. Above all, this is the place in central Bangkok to enjoy peace and ... Read more about Benjakiti Park .
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 .
Luckily, it was converted to a park to commemorate the 60th birthday of Queen Sirikit in 1992. Less luckily, an array of huge old trees were cut down as they didn't fit with the landscapers plans. Today the park is quite lush in a landscaped kind of way and is popular with office workers on lunch breaks and the masses of aerobics fans who stream in for the free early morning and afternoon ... Read more about Benchasiri Park .
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 .
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 house she lived in was demolished long ago but a replica is there. The cool park also features an eight-metre long sculpture to mark the good works undertaken by the Princess Mother. While the park is hardly worth a trip across town to see, if you're looking to tick off all the points of interest along the Chao Phraya River, this is one of them. Back a book and grab some snacks for a ... Read more about Princess Mother Memorial Park .
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 .
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 city. While not as awe-inspiring as Phnom Penh’s architecturally significant Olympic Stadium, National Stadium is no slouch as stadiums go and it’s one of the best places in the city to get a good ... Read more about National Stadium .
Starting in the mid-20th century, the many farms and gardens that once gave much of Bangkok a rural appearance were systematically replaced by stacks of concrete. Massive malls and condos continue to pop up in droves, leaving no room for trees, crops and livestock — or so it seems. Sewn into an abandoned lot in 2014, Root Garden shows that the mega-city has more potential for green spaces than ... Read more about Root Garden .
It's a leafy green zoo with lots of attractions for kids and adults, including a train, paddle boats on the lake (50 baht/hr) and animal shows daily (11:00, 13:30, 14:30; 30 baht adults/ 10 baht kids). There are a few places to eat inside the zoo walls and plenty of kiosks selling water and ice cream for thirsty little animals. The animals are mostly in enclosures (not cages) and there is a ... Read more about Dusit Zoo .
The farm staff run an educational program twice a day on week days at 11:00 and 14:30, and at 11:00 only on weekends. The educational lecture is informative and brief, and provided in Thai and English. Afterwards, the crowd shifts from the lecture hall to the show ring, where snakes are showed to the crowd, venom milking is performed, and the snakes are fed. It's actually quite well done, ... Read more about Queen Saovabha Memorial Snake Farm .
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 .
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 .
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 .
Considered to be Bangkok's foundation stone and the home of the city's guardian spirit and horoscope. This pillar's origins stretch back to 1782 when King Rama I order the moving of the capital from Thonburi on the west bank of the river to Bangkok on the east bank and erected a small wooden post. Since then the post has been replaced with sturdier material, and has become a focal point ... Read more about Lak Muang (City Pillar) .
Set on the western (Thonburi) side of the Chao Phraya River, the Kuan Oo Shrine is unremarkable save it's riverside location. It warrants a quick stop if you're in the area, really into shrines, or are also visiting the Princess Mother Memorial Park just behind it. Aside from worshipping here before battle, the story goes King Taksin kept stables nearby, but we imagine they're long ... Read more about Kuan Oo Shrine .
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 particular temple are unclear, today it represents fertility. ... Read more about Chao Mae Tuptim (Phallic Shrine) .
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 .
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 .
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 .
The National Gallery, housing both contemporary and traditional Thai art, is home to the best public collection in the kingdom. The building itself is architecturally beautiful and was originally built to be the Royal Mint. Constructed in a Western style and completed in 1902, the building was heavily modelled after a factory in Birmingham, England. Housing both a permanent collection and ... Read more about National Gallery .
If you’re searching for fine art, masterfully curated and periodically refreshed, the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (BACC) is likely not for you. But if you define ‘fine’ as suitable for a lazy Bangkok weekend, the BACC is an ideal venue. The BACC does not demand much of your time or any of your money; you can rove in and out of the exhibits as you please, with no need for any ... Read more about Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (BACC) .
With a diverse rotation of exhibitions, TCDC is known for being both thought-provoking and hands on. The exhibitions often have interactive components and even occasionally feature accompanying kid-friendly activities. Our first visit to TCDC was to see an exhibition on the influence and history of spirits and ghosts in Thai society. With videos, installments and sculptures, walking through the ... Read more about Thailand Creative and Design Centre (TCDC) .
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 .
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 .
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 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 .
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 .
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 .
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 .
The monument anchors the traffic circle on Ratchadamnoen Klang and has been a site for numerous public demonstrations over the years. Chances are you will see this monument just by virtue of navigating the Bangkok tourist circuit, unless you are an architecture or history junkie a special visit here does not need to be planned. The monument's position near the Royal Palace and residences is ... Read more about Democracy Monument .
Four years later the mansion was officially opened and the King adopted it as his permanent place of residence. He lived there for five years before moving to Amporn Satern residence until his death in 1910. During the reign of King Rama VI, Her Majesty Indhara Saksal lived here until her husband's death, after which it remained unoccupied until 1982. It then reopened as a museum featuring King ... Read more about Vimanmek Palace .
In Bangkok, the student-led protest turned into a bloody riot and before the day was done hundreds of civilians had been killed by local police and military. Commemorating the brutal deaths of these civilians this understated memorial sits 200 metres west of Democracy Monument. Built as a granite amphitheatre encircling a modern chedi, the memorial lists the names of the dead as well as ... Read more about October 14 Memorial .
This 1903 white hall built for King Rama V and originally used for meetings and banquets, houses a mother-of-pearl throne topped by a regal umbrella. The umbrella may appear a bit tatty, but that's because it is only changed when a new king accedes to the throne, and the current King Bhumibol Adulyadej is the world's longest reigning monarch. The hall is home to an interesting array of ... Read more about Dusit Throne Hall .
Planned during the reign of Rama V and completed in 1915, the edifice was constructed in the Italian Renaissance and Neo Classic styles and built of Italian marble and other foreign materials. Inside the massive European-style hall, exquisite murals are painted on the inside of the dome depicting the reign of the Chakri Dynasty – an interesting juxtaposition of East and West. The first ... Read more about Ananta Samkhon Palace .
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. A library may not sound like the city’s most exciting attraction, but those seeking culture and sophistication won’t be disappointed by the soothing atmosphere, elegant architecture and formidable collections of words and art found ... Read more about Neilson Hays Library .
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 .
Built in 1783, the Phra Sumen Fort is an imposing structure and one of the many forts built by King Rama I as defence for what was then the new capital, Bangkok. While impressive looking, at the time of writing all entrance to the fort has been blocked off making the draw to this spot another feature all together. In the shade of Phra Sumen Fort is Santichai Prakar Park, a tremendously ... Read more about Phra Sumen Fort .
Officially called Sao Ching Cha, the Giant Swing was originally part of an annual Brahmin ceremony honouring the Hindu god Shiva's visit to earth. During this festival swingers would soar up to 25 metres trying to capture a bag of gold suspended in the air by a bamboo pool. In the 1930's King Rama VII banned the use of Sao Ching Cha after too many fatalities had occurred. In 2007, the ... Read more about The Giant Swing .
Built in 1908 to honour the 40th anniversary of Rama V's coronation the statue sits outside the Ananta Samakhom Palace. The statue is highly revered by the Thai people and there is a seeming constant procession of visitors coming to lay offerings at the base of the statue. A trip expressly to see the statue is not necessary, but if you are visiting Dusit Park stopping by to take in the ... Read more about Rama V Memorial .
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 Thonburi. An artifact of Thailand’s first European settlers — the Portuguese — the church also symbolises the religious freedom and cultural tolerance that’s been a hallmark of the Thai kingdom for ... Read more about Santa Cruz Church .
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 .
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 .
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 .
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 .
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 .
Historic neighbourhood, heritage site, spirit shrine, wet market, prepared foods plaza and confectionery all at once, Nang Loeng market is one of a kind. It’s been around since 1900, making it one of Bangkok’s oldest markets, and probably doesn’t feel too different today than it did at the turn of the ... Read more about Nang Loeng old market .
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 .
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 .
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 .
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 .
While it has a poetic name, most of the thieving activity has moved to the nearby Khlong Thom Centre. Khlong Thom is worth a look if you are in the market for car parts or stereos, some of which are bound to be legally obtained, north on Chakkrawat Rd one block. Meanwhile, the Thieves' market nowadays incongruously sells musical instruments, obscure and interesting looking industrial ... Read more about Thieves' market .
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 .
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 .
Straddling a canal that shoots east from the Chao Phraya River, Thewet Market is an authentic neighbourhood wet market within relatively easy reach of Khao San Road. While nowhere near the size of Khlong Toei or Bang Kapi, it’s equally pungent and colourful. Weak stomachs be ... Read more about Thewet market .
No matter where you happen to be in Bangkok, chances are that a vibrant market is buzzing away nearby. But unless you’re brave enough to wander into the city’s innumerable alleys just to see what might be there, finding them can be tough. For decades, Trok Mor morning market has been going strong right under the noses of travellers in the historic Rattanakosin ... Read more about Trok Mor morning market .
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 .
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 .
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 .
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 .
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 .
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. Bangkok’s markets are varied — some gigantic, some tiny — but all are a cacophony of striving for the best food at the best price. Participation in this ritual is one of the most enjoyable aspects of life here. Food breaks down into two catagories: ... Read more about Bangkok Noi market .
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 atmosphere. Be warned that a visit to Phran Nok may induce weeping (from the chilli flakes in the air), holding the nose shut (due to the pungent mix of scents), and possibly mild cases of shock ... Read more about Phran Nok wet market .
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 .
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 .
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 .
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 .
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 .
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 .
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 .
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 .
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 seamlessly. Simultaneously teaching an ancient type of muay Thai known as muay Chaiya along with several forms of traditional Thai art, the school is highly regarded both for its excellence and devotion to keeping ... Read more about Baan Chang Thai Arts and Muay Chaiya School .
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 .
If you’ve been to one of Bangkok’s famous muay Thai (Thai boxing) stadiums, Lumpini or Rajadamnern, 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 ... Read more about Learning Muay Thai in Bangkok .
Finding pleasant ways to be outside in Bangkok is a never-ending quest. It's humid, there are crowds, more often than not I've just sludged through an opaque ankle-deep puddle. With the goal of spending the day outside and making my way to new territory, I spent a recent Sunday afternoon on a Bangkok bike tour, riding down back alleys in parts of town I had never ... Read more about Bangkok bike tour .
Nothing says summer time where I come from (the flat, dry farming part of the world) like a Sunday trip to the lake. Waterskiing, grilling, and Sunday afternoon beers are an integral part of the summer social fabric. Lacking a boat, I thought that Sunday afternoons next to the lake were something I’d just have to get used to living without even in Thailand, land of endless summer. ... Read more about Wakeboarding at Lake Taco .
Who doesn’t want to wear sweaters, mittens and scarves when you’ve grown up wearing shorts and flip-flops? Who doesn’t want to re-enact all of that ice skating that appears in every Hollywood film made around Christmas? Who will fill this ice rink in the tropics? Thai teenagers will. They are all over ice skating in Bangkok. After sweating through the rainy season, and then sweating ... Read more about Ice skating at Central World .
It’s hot in Bangkok. Really hot. Perhaps that’s why Flow House, a simulated wave surfing machine where you can boogyboard or “flowboard” has been so popular since it opened in 2012. It’s been a huge hit for private parties and lazy weekends when kids and adults head to show off their surfing skills — or whizz right off the machine in a matter of ... Read more about Flow House .
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 .
While Bangkok offers luxurious movie going options, it also has a couple of old school movie houses as well. Owned by the Ajax Group, The Lido and The Scala used to have a partner in crime called The Siam, but it was burnt down in the 2010 Red Shirt unrest. It was a loss, to be honest, as these three theatres have resisted the relentless wrecking balls of retail development and condo ... Read more about Vintage movie theatres .
If you’re looking to do Bangkok like a hi-so local, then a VIP movie-viewing at Siam Paragon cannot be ... Read more about VIP cinema at Siam Paragon .
Movie theatres in Bangkok run the gamut from shining, multiple screen palaces of movie consumption to ageing-yet-still-grand examples of mid-sixties architecture. Dinner and a movie are among the most affordable of Bangkok entertainment, especially with all of the great street food available in the City of ... Read more about Affordable dinner and a movie .
The bowling alley that I grew up going to was dark and cheap and rank: dented lanes, wheezing ball machines, worn furniture, and the smell of warm beer and cigarettes. The alley was inhabited by my middle class neighbours: secretaries, builders, teachers blowing off steam, chain-smoking cougars on the prowl, college kids lured in by the cheap beer. It had its charms, but then again, it didn’t. ... Read more about Bowling .
“Language is the road map of a culture. It tells you where its people come from and where they are going.” – Rita Mae ... Read more about Thai language classes .
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 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. Bangkok may not be synonymous with blissful romance, but its atmosphere of possibility – eating barbecued ... Read more about Bangkok for honeymooners .
Bangkok is for gluttons. There are practically as many food stalls as people. And with the reliable public transportation and cheap motorbikes, you can keep your heart beating at a leisurely low rate. If you need a day to get yourself back on a healthy track, here are some ... Read more about A detox day in Bangkok .
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 .
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 .
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 .
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 around. Even if there’s no time in your itinerary to spend a full day exploring the west side, you can still get a taste by wandering into ... Read more about A pocket of culture behind Wat Arun .
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 .
In this modern age of factories and mass production, increasingly few artisans carry on the traditional ways of a craft. Like the flute makers of Baan Lao and alms bowl producers of Baan Bat, however, Jiam Sangsajja bronze studio in the tiny bronze-smith village of Baan Bu defies the odds by keeping its centuries-old craft of hand-made khan long hin (Thai bronze dishes) alive. The studio is open ... Read more about Baan Bu bronze village .
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 .
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 half. The seed-filled flesh is hard and bitter off the tree, but ... Read more about Soi Mathum .
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 .
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 .
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 .
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 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 .
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 .
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 .
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 .
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 .
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 .
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 .
File this under “World’s Weirdest Shopping Malls.” That Bangkok has a love affair with shopping malls is not a secret. It’s a destructive trend at times, such as when the city decides to get rid of a wildly popular and fun market so that yet another department store/hotel combination can be erected, but it can often also have hilarious results. Mansion 7 is one of this most hilarious ... Read more about Mansion 7 .
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 10 shops, you’ll find everything from Buddhist meditation manuals to Charles Dickens, and modern Thai politics to the Berenstain ... Read more about English-language bookstores .
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 contagious. You can’t avoid shopping in Bangkok even if you try: opportunities for snapping up all kinds of souvenirs, as well as other temptations like cheap DVDs and well, just plain old quirky stuff, await on ... Read more about Cheap clothes shopping .
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 .
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 .
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 gift. During a pre-Christmas panic we stumbled on three different areas in the shopping heart of the city where finding the quintessential silk scarf or ... Read more about Thai souvenir shopping .
As much as a complimentary foot massage, free cookies, and a wide screen at Siam Paragon sound appealing, sometimes you just want to watch a DVD from the comfort of your own bed. There is no Blockbuster, Netflix, or Hulu in Thailand, and WiFi, especially in guesthouses, can be as slow as a food vendor pushing her noodle cart down the ... Read more about DVD shopping .
Thai silk has become the stuff of legend and the lure is deserved. The silk here is beautiful, exceptional quality and shockingly affordable. Aside from the silks there are other inexpensive and equally beautiful textiles to buy. While every Tom, Dick and Harry seems to be running a tailor shop in this town all with fabric aplenty, here are a few places we recommend for quality and fair ... Read more about Fabric shopping .
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 .
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 .
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 houses. Unlike swiftly transforming central Bangkok, most of the neighbourhoods perched along Thonburi's canals and alleyways haven't changed much over the past century. Foreign tourists are still a novelty, but those willing to stray from Bangkok's ... Read more about Thonburi: exploring the west side .
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 .
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 .
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 wares. This may not be your typical Thai island getaway, but Ko Kret’s countryside setting makes it a great urban ... Read more about Ko Kret .
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 .
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 .
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 .
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 Bangkok. It squats the mouth of the Tha Jeen River as it heads out into the Gulf of Thailand. This is where you go to do nothing, for no particular period of time, in the cool ocean breeze. Take a ... Read more about Mahachai .
One of the joys of visiting (or living in) Thailand is the food. Some people come for the weather or the scenery or the exoticism; We came for the food. And stayed for the food. And continue staying for the food. Did we mention the food? The food. Food is so central to Thai culture that to miss out on it is to skip possibly the easiest access point to a deeper understanding of what makes the ... Read more about Helping Hands Cooking School .
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 .
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 .
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 .
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 .
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) .
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 .
Doubling as Father’s Day, the birthday of King Bhumibol Adulyadej (aka Rama IX) on December 5 is one of Thailand’s most important holidays. Although celebrated throughout the kingdom, festivities are centered around Bangkok‘s Ratchadamnoen Road from Democracy Monument to the Grand Palace. Being among the throngs of Thai people as they honour the King is an enchanting experience — and ... Read more about King's Birthday .
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) .
It's safe to say that Bangkok comes with a bit of a reputation. You tell someone you live in Bangkok and their immediate follow-up questions involve ping pong shows, ladyboys and the red light district. The truth of the matter is these after-dark attractions do not factor into most people's lives, Thais or foreign expats. In an effort to have a taste of the stereotype, we headed to Calypso ... Read more about Calypso Cabaret .
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 .
Ari BTS station is one of the more lively stations on the northern Sukhumvit line. It's number N5, five stops north of Siam, the main interchange station. It sits above Phahon Yothin ... Read more about Bangkok by skytrain: Ari .
Number E4 on the Sukhumvit Line, Asok station is the centrepiece of a vibrant area where Sukhumvit, Ratchadiphisek and Asok Montri roads converge. The city's coolest mall -- Terminal 21 -- opened in 2011 right next to Asok station and is a great place to watch a movie at the FX Cinema, grab a bite at any of dozens of Thai and international restaurants, or pick up funky clothes and jewellery ... Read more about Bangkok by skytrain: Asok .
Chid Lom skytrain station is close to some very big shopping complexes and landmarks where you can snap up everything from captive birds -- release them and get good karma-- to gold plated BVLGARI watches (if that $10 Rolex you bought stops working). The station is number E1 on the Sukhumvit skytrain line, one stop from Siam, the chief interchange station. The main road underneath the station is ... Read more about Bangkok by skytrain: Chid Lom .
Chong Nonsi, station S3 on the Silom line, lies smack in between the high-rise office buildings of Sathorn Road and the hotels, nightlife and dining of Silom Road. The station itself is situated on Naradhiwas Rajanagarindra Rd (usually shortened to just 'Naradhiwas'), and the area sees a good mix of businesspeople in power suits and tourists in shorts and flip-flops. While not as vibrant as the ... Read more about Bangkok by skytrain: Chong Nonsi .
The northernmost station in the BTS system, Mo Chit is number S8 on the Sukhumvit Line. It sits directly over one of Bangkok's busiest roads, Phahonyothin. While best known as a gateway to Chatuchak weekend market, Mo Chit is also useful if catching a bus from the northern bus terminal of the same name, heading to the Bangkok immigration office, Don Muang Airport or anywhere else in the city's ... Read more about Bangkok by skytrain: Mo Chit .
The only station west of the main interchange station at Siam, National Stadium is number W1 on the Silom line. A stone's throw from Siam Square, National Stadium is useful for accessing -- you guessed it -- the National Stadium sports complex along with a handful of hotels and some notable sights along Rama I Road. This is also the closest you can get by sky train to Khao San Road and the rest ... Read more about Bangkok by skytrain: National Stadium .
Number E9 on the Sukhumvit Line, On Nut was the furthest out of the new BTS stations to be added back in 2010, and it's a prime example of how the Skytrain is revitalising the outlying areas that it reaches. Before the BTS arrived, this area was a sort of backwater chiefly defined by local neighbourhoods with charming old wood homes and ugly concrete shophouses. Since On Nut station opened, more ... Read more about Bangkok by skytrain: On Nut .
Phaya Thai station is number N2 on the Phaya Thai line, sitting above the intersection of Phaya Thai Road and Si Ayutthaya Road, two stops away from Siam, the main interchange station. Phaya Thai station belongs to a very exclusive club with only a few members, that being a BTS station that has nary an interesting site or attraction anywhere near ... Read more about Bangkok by skytrain: Phaya Thai .
Phloen Chit station is number E2 on the Bangkok Skytrain line, which means that it's two stops East of the main skytrain station, Siam. Situated at the point where Sukhumvit road becomes Phloen Chit road, it's close to some fairly important Bangkok ... Read more about Bangkok by skytrain: Phloen Chit .
Number E5 on the Sukhumvit line, Phrom Phong is in the heart of an area known as 'Farang Alley' to some. Countless Western-oriented restaurants, pubs, shops and hotels are found here, and the area's large Japanese community is evidenced by dozens of hole-in-the-wall eateries serving sushi, ramen and katsu don. While it won't satisfy those seeking a 'local' Thai-style Bangkok neighbourhood, this ... Read more about Bangkok by skytrain: Phrom Phong .
Station number S1 on the Silom Line and only one stop away from Siam, the main interchange station, Ratchadamri BTS is one of only a few stations on the Skytrain line that doesn't really offer all that much in terms of exploring. The station is within easy walking distance to several important points of interest, but there are other stations that are even ... Read more about Bangkok by skytrain: Ratchadamri .
Ratchathewi station is number N1 on the Phayathai line and one stop north of Siam, the main Skytrain interchange station. It sits on Phayathai Road. There are a few interesting things to see if you're here, but most of them are clustered directly around the station - stray too far away and you're unlikely to find anything of particular ... Read more about Bangkok by skytrain: Ratchathewi .
Sala Daeng station is number S2 on the Silom line, two stops away from Siam, the main interchange station. It hovers above Silom Road in Bangrak, close to the intersection of Rama IV and parallel to Surawong Road. Simply put, this is one of the liveliest, busiest, most interesting and eclectic areas in the whole city. While it's happening during the day, Silom especially comes to life after dark ... Read more about Bangkok by skytrain: Sala Daeng (S2) .
Number S6 on the Silom Line, Saphan Taksin station is named after the bridge on which it shares space with multiple lanes of car and truck traffic. Saphan Taksin bridge spans the Chao Phraya river, and directly beneath the bridge is the largest passenger boat pier on the river. This station is also a gateway to some excellent food, shopping, sightseeing and some of the swankiest hotels in ... Read more about Bangkok by skytrain: Saphan Taksin .
Anchoring the Siam Square shopping district, Siam BTS station (aka central station) provides the only interchange between the Skytrain system's Sukhumvit and Silom lines. The station sits over Rama I Road in a central area of the city where real estate is among the priciest in ... Read more about Bangkok by skytrain: Siam .
Number S5 on the Silom line, Surasak station doesn't have a great deal to offer in terms of tourist attractions or nightlife, but it does boast a low-key atmosphere and is only one stop from the central express boat pier along the Chao Phraya River. The station is located near the west end of Sathorn Road and borders the financial and business district of Bangkok which is mostly occupied by ... Read more about Bangkok by skytrain: Surasak .
The first in our series of Exploring Bangkok by Skytrain series -- with a new station to be added every Friday afternoon (just in time for the weekend). We cover everything from restaurant and bars to little-known art-cafes, and they're all walking distance from Bangkok's BTS ... Read more about Bangkok by skytrain: Thong Lor .