Things to do in Bangkok
Khao San Road
Famously described as ‘the centre of the backpacking universe', expect a frenzy of activity when visiting Khao San Road. Although popular with a young tourist crowd, the 1km stretch of shops and bars also attracts a lot of locals and is a popular meeting place. Close to other Bangkok landmarks, this is a great sightseeing springboard when walking around the city.
Bangkok - Khao San Road - Thailand
Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew
One of the most beautiful places in Bangkok, the Grand Palace was the home of the Royal Family. Arrive early to soak up all the beautiful architecture, mosaics, and furnishings. Inside the complex you'll also find Wat Phra Kaew, the most important Buddhist temple in Thailand. It houses the Emerald Buddha, which was carved from a single jade block.
The magical Grand Palace, Bangkok, Thailand.
Wat Arun (The Temple of the Dawn)
Located on the western bank of the Chao Phraya River, Wat Arun is a beautiful Bangkok landmark. Watch the sun set over the stone temple and you'll see it lit up gold by the setting sun. Named after a Hindu god who is the embodiment of the rays of the rising sun, Wat Arun means the ‘Temple of the Dawn'.
The illuminated temple of Wat Arun on the Chao Phraya river at sunset in Bangkok, Thailand
The floating markets are one of the must-see Bangkok tourist attractions. Sellers ply their wares of fresh produce and handmade souvenirs while riding slim boats. Many markets have tours where you can hop on a motorised boat and be whisked around the floating stalls. Take the time to enjoy the local food specialties, such as grilled meats and noodle soups, which are cooked right in front of you.
Boats laden with fruits and vegetables in the floating market near Bangkok in Thailand
Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha)
Inside Wat Pho, you'll find intricate engravings and beautiful figures, including the famed Reclining Buddha. Apart from the large golden statue, many visitors also flock to Wat Pho because it's the birthplace of traditional Thai massage. Experience this invigorating massage for yourself while visiting the temple grounds. If you have time, you can even learn a few techniques for yourself.
Reclining in Buddha Wat Pho temple Bangkok Thailand
The Jim Thompson House
Jim Thompson was an American entrepreneur who revitalised the Thai silk industry. After leading a colourful life, he mysteriously disappeared in 1967. One of the legacies he left behind was his home, comprising of six traditional Thai teak structures, which were brought to this Bangkok location from all around the country. Visiting the Jim Thompson House allows you to learn more about the ‘Legendary American of Thailand'.
Buddha altar at Jim Thompson House museum Bangkok Thailand
Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall
Outside, the Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall is an impressive neo-Renaissance white marble edifice. Step inside and you'll discover paintings depicting the history of the current royal dynasty and gold ceremonial items. There are also exhibits and masterpieces from Thailand's national artists. As the Throne Hall is part of the Royal Family's property, conservative clothing is recommended.
The Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall , Bangkok, Thailand.
Suan Pakkad Palace Museum
Translated, Suan Pakkad Palace means ‘cabbage patch', but don't let the amusing name fool you. The museum was previously home to members of the Royal Family. It's made up of several traditional Thai houses, containing items from the royal collection of Hindu and Buddhist art. After you're done exploring the interior, have a refreshing walk around the gardens.
The Suan Pakkad palace in the city of Bangkok on 3.11.2016 in Thailand
Ban Kamthieng and Siam Society
If you want to learn more about the people living in the north of Thailand without leaving the capital, visit the Ban Kamthieng and Siam Society. Originally located in Chiang Mai, the museum was moved to Bangkok and contains items inhabitants would use every day when living in a wooden house. It's also the base for the Siam Society, a group that promotes knowledge of Thailand and its surrounds.
Bangkokian, or the Bangkok Folk Museum, represents what life was like for people before World War II. The group of three buildings includes a family home that was completed in 1937, a boarding house built by the family to help make ends meet, and a surgery that was owned by a British doctor.
Museum of Siam
Don't be fooled by the old-fashioned Western-style building. The Museum of Siam tries to answer the question, ‘What does being Thai mean?' Modern, interactive installations — like pretending to be a TV reporter or a diner regular — will help get you thinking about this question as you discover the evolution of the Thai people and their culture.
The Bangkok National Museum started out as antiquities passed down by King Rama IV to his son. The collection has since expanded and represents Thailand's history dating back to the Neolithic period. It's also the largest national museum in Southeast Asia. For more insight, join one of the guided tours run by English-speaking museum volunteers.
Phra Buddha Maha Suwanna Patimakorn Exhibition
Throughout Bangkok you'll see gigantic painted gold statues of Buddha. The difference with the Buddha housed in Wat Traimit is that it's made of solid gold. Nearly 5m tall, it weighs more than five tons and is the largest Buddha effigy in the world. Find out how it was discovered and moved to its current home at the Phra Buddha Maha Suwanna Patimakorn Exhibition, located within the wat (temple).
The Golden Buddha, in the traditional pose of Bhumisparsha Mudra, of Wat Traimit, in Bangkok's Chinatown. At 3 meters tall, the statue, known in Thai as Phra Buddha Maha Suwanna Patimakorn, is believed to be the world’s largest solid gold Buddha image. Ya