It’s safe to say that when it comes to things to do in Bangkok, there are endless options to choose from. But what are the ones that you just can’t miss? We break down the top highlights in this bustling metropolis below. So worry not if it’s your first time in Bangkok. If you’re a frequent visitor, see if you’ve already done everything!
1. Go on a Chinatown Adventure
Bangkok is synonymous with street food, and street food with Chinatown. So, if you’re a foodie then make it a priority to go explore the streets, locally called Yaowarat. While some tourist-trap food stalls have sprung up due to its popularity, locals still frequent Chinatown to eat at their favorite shops. It’s easy to miss the gems in the nook and crannies, so having a local foodie show you around is a fun, efficient, and taste-bud-satisfying way to spend time here!
2. Order from Boat Vendors at the Floating Markets
How many times in your life can you say you ordered lunch from a boat? It’s no wonder the floating markets are such an icon of Bangkok, and Thailand in general. Best of all, you don’t have to go far to experience the fun – Khlong Lat Mayom and Taling Chan Floating Market are easily reachable within Bangkok. If you’re up for a longer trip, then the giants Damneoun Saduak and Amphawa Floating Market are only a few hours from Bangkok. Be sure to also catch the train crawl through a local market nearby for the most fun!
3. Sightsee Temples along the Chao Phraya River
The Grand Palace, Wat Pho, and Wat Arun are household names for a reason. Bejeweled, elegant and rich in history, the temples are a wonderful way to experience Thai culture. Taking the boat ride along the Chao Phraya River to reach the temples is also a refreshing way to go with the flow of locals. If you want to see more temples, then the Old Town area is great to explore. You can also find lots of interesting things to do around there too, such as getting a traditional Thai massage at its birthplace!
4. Go Cafe Hopping (or Boba Hopping)
When it comes to what’s cool in Bangkok, the coffee shops are high on the list. If your daily shot of Espresso is life and you want to nerd out about coffee, then this specialty-coffee crawl is the deep-dive you’re looking for, hitting various hidden spots around Bangkok. Besides the coffee shops, aesthetically pleasing bubble tea shops have also sprung up in the metropolis. So, if boba instead is life, then start your search in Siam for some of the best cups.
5. Shop for Bargains at the Local Markets
While Bangkok has no shortage of shopping malls (with hot Christmas deals), shopping at the local markets is where you’ll really feel the fun. Chatuchak Market is the largest with thousands of stalls selling everything from knick-knacks to fashion. It’s only opened on the weekend and unfortunately, it’s not a night market, so make sure to time your visit! Another great option to hunt for some great deals is Pratunam Market. If you love shopping, then you can lose yourself in these markets for hours!
6. Stroll the Night Markets
If Chatuchak Market is the go-to for the weekends, then Ratchada Rod Fai (Train) Market is the star for the nights. Conveniently located near Thailand Cultural Centre MRT Station, the market is lively with fresh food, music, and bars. If you’re looking to explore more, then check out the new Chang Chui Plane Night Market for the vintage vibes, cool restaurants, and art installations. It’s a bit out of the way, in the Thonburi area on the other side of the Chao Phraya River, but if you’ve got time and company, then it’s a great way to explore Bangkok’s vibrant nightlife scene.