My Guide To The Best Things to Do in Bangkok (2024)

The grand palace - one of the best things to do in bangkok, thailand

Wondering what to do in Bangkok, Thailand?

The Thai capital is a vibrant, buzzing, and endlessly fascinating metropolis, famous for it’s golden temples, soaring skyscrapers and shopping malls, delicious street food and legendary nightlife.

Bangkok is one of the most visited cities in Southeast Asia, if not the world. Most people start their Thai adventure just ticking off a few famous tourist attractions in Bangkok before rushing to the islands.

Sadly, many people don’t thoroughly explore all the other interesting and unique things to do in Bangkok, which is a shame because it’s such a fascinating city.

anna wat arun bangkok thailand

Whilst I’ve been living in Thailand I’ve visited Bangkok many times and I’ll admit that it can seem a little too hot and chaotic, especially the first time. But if you get to know the city more and get off the beaten path you might just fall in love with it too.

So in this blog I’ll cover all the best things to do in Bangkok – from famous tourist attractions to cultural experiences and off the beaten track hidden gems. I hope it inspires you to plan a trip to Bangkok – If you’d like to know the best way to fit the highlights into 3 or 4 days check out my Bangkok itinerary.

The Best Things to do in Bangkok

Historical Landmarks, Temples and Shrines

The stunning ancient temples are some of my favorite places to visit in Bangkok and shouldn’t be missed if you want to explore Thailand’s rich culture, history, architecture, art and spirituality.

There are too many temples in Bangkok to mention but the must-sees include:

The Grand Palace and The Temple of the Emerald Buddha

bangkok-temple-of-emerald-buddha-1280-op

One of the must-see attractions in Bangkok is the glittering Grand Palace, an impressive complex of buildings that is the former residence of the Thai King.

Built in 1782, this sprawling and elaborate palace served as the official residence of the Kings of Siam for over 150 years. Nowadays, it is only used for official ceremonies or state functions and has become Bangkok’s Number 1 tourist attraction.

The Grand Palace is an architectural marvel with ornate golden stupas, stunning statues, intricate details and beautiful murals. Don’t miss the famous Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew) which houses a revered statue of the Buddha carved from a single piece of jade. Check out the current prices, opening times and information at The Grand Palace’s website.

Be aware that there are several scams around the Grand Palace – one of the best ways to visit is on a walking tour of the temples with a knowledgeable local guide who will help you understand much more about these stunning and spiritually significant sights and ensure you have a stress free visit.

If you’d prefer the comfort of an air-conditioned car and guide to whisk you around Bangkok’s attractions the Grand Palace, Wat Pho and Wat Arun are also included in nearly every Bangkok city tour. For the most flexibility, this private customizable full day Bangkok tour will take you wherever you want to go, from temples and floating markets to shopping malls and museums. If you have limited time in Bangkok this is the best way to see only the places that are important to you.

Wat Pho

reclining buddha

Located not far from the Grand Palace, Wat Pho, also known as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, is one of the oldest and largest temples in the city and another must-visit place in Bangkok.

This temple is home to the largest reclining Buddha statue in Thailand, measuring an impressive 46 meters long and 15 meters high. It’s covered in gold leaf and features beautiful mother-of-pearl details on the soles of the feet. As well as the impressive Buddha statue, Wat Pho is also home to over 1,000 other Buddha images, as well as beautiful murals and intricate carvings.

Interestingly, it’s also thought to be Thailand’s earliest university, so when you visit Wat Pho you can also enjoy a traditional Thai massage at the temple’s traditional Thai medicine and massage school, which has been in operation for over 200 years.

Wat Arun

wat-arun-bangkok-river-day-time-1280-op

Wat Arun, also known as the Temple of Dawn, is a stunning temple located on the banks of the Chao Phraya River. This temple is named after the Hindu god Aruna, who is often depicted as the charioteer of the sun.

Wat Arun is known for its stunning architecture and intricate details and is an iconic Bangkok landmark. The temple’s central prang (tower) is over 70 meters tall, and is decorated with colorful glass and Chinese porcelain. Climb up to the top of the prang for stunning views of the river and the city, it’s especially beautiful at sunset.

Wat Traimit (The Golden Buddha Temple)

Another popular temple in Bangkok is Wat Traimit, also known as the Golden Buddha Temple. This temple is located in Bangkok’s bustling Chinatown and is home to a stunning 5.5-ton solid gold Buddha statue, making it one of the most impressive sights in the city. The temple itself is also a work of art, with intricate carvings and beautiful architecture that will leave you in awe.

Sao Ching Cha (The Giant Swing)

The Giant Swing, or Sao Ching Cha, is an iconic and historic landmark in Bangkok. This giant red swing was originally used for a Brahmanic ceremony where young men would swing high up to try and grab a bag of gold coins with their teeth. The ceremony was eventually banned due to the danger involved, but the swing still remains as a symbol of Thai culture and tradition.

Wat Saket (The Golden Mount)

golden-mount-bangkok-1280-op

The Golden Mount, or Wat Saket, is a unique temple located on a man-made hill in the heart of old Bangkok. The temple also houses relics from Buddha himself, making it a sacred site for Buddhist pilgrims. Climb up the 300 steps to reach the top and soak up the sweeping 360 degree views of the city.

Erawan Shrine

Take a break from shopping to witness the local culture and devotion of the Thai people at Erawan Shrine. Located amongst the shopping malls in the heart of modern Bangkok, this famous shrine is dedicated to the Hindu god Brahma and is adorned with beautiful flowers, colorful fabrics, and offerings left by devotees.

Visiting these temples, royal palaces and spiritual places are some of the best things to do in Bangkok and shouldn’t be missed. Just make sure to dress appropriately when visiting temples, covering arms and legs, and be respectful of the local customs and traditions. See more tips for visiting temples in Thailand.

River Cruises, Canal Tours and Floating Markets

longtail-boat-bangkok-river-OP

Bangkok is known as the “Venice of the East” because of its intricate and unique network of canals, rivers and floating markets and one of the best things to do in Bangkok is to explore these waterways.

My favorite area to stay in Bangkok is in one of the boutique hotels along the riverside and one of my favorite things to do in Bangkok is simply taking a trip along the Chao Phraya river, or along the smaller canals.

Whether you hop onto the the budget-friendly local ferries, take a river cruise, join a klong (canal) tour, or explore the floating markets you’ll be rewarded with a unique experience that is much more pleasurable than sitting in Bangkok’s traffic.

It’s the best way to see a combination of historical and modern sights and get a glimpse into the unique riverside life. I’d say it’s definitely a must-do for first-time visitors who want to see a more authentic side to Bangkok.

Here’s some of the top ways to experience Bangkok’s waterways:

Chao Phraya River Cruise

bangkok-river-1280-op

The Chao Phraya is the city’s main waterway and cruising down the river is a great way to see some of the Bangkok’s sights accompanied by a refreshing breeze!

During the day time you can hop on to Bangkok’s local ferries for a budget-friendly DIY river cruise and jump off to explore the sights on the way. The ferries are also a great way to get around the older parts of Bangkok that are not connected by the modern BTS skytrain or metro.

A popular thing to do in Bangkok is taking a Chao Phraya River Cruise which takes you along Bangkok’s main waterway at night passing the illuminated landmarks and temples such as the Grand Palace, Wat Arun, and the Rama VIII Bridge. These cruises usually include a buffet dinner, live music and entertainment and make a nice evening activity.

Canal (Klong) Tours

A canal tour is a great way to explore the hidden gems of Bangkok. These tours take you on a colorful long-tail boat through the smaller canals of Bangkok (called klongs), where you can see the traditional way of life of the locals. This top rated Bangkok canal tour explores the canals of Thonburi where you’ll see traditional teak houses on stilts, floating markets, and temples.

Floating Markets

allow time to visit the floating markets in your Thailand itinerary

Thailand’s floating markets are a unique experience that you won’t find anywhere else. There are several floating markets, located on the canals just outside of Bangkok, where vendors sell everything from fresh produce to souvenirs from boats.

The most popular floating markets near Bangkok are Damnoen Saduak and Amphawa. While these have become popular tourist attractions it’s still well worth experiencing. Some floating market tours also visit the unique Mae Klong railway market where you can witness vendors quickly packing up their goods as a train passes through.

This half-day small group floating market tour visits both Damnoen Saduak floating market and the Mae klong railway market an makes for an interesting day out.

Foodie And Cultural Experiences

Thailand has a unique culture and amazing cuisine and one of the best ways to learn more about Thai culture is by tasting the delicious food and participating in cultural activities. Here’s some of the best activities in Bangkok to add to your itinerary:

Street Food Tours

street-food-stall-in-bangkok-1280-op

One of the best ways to immerse yourself in Thai culture is through its cuisine and street life. Bangkok is famous for its street food, and the best way to experience the local cuisine (without worrying about getting sick!) is by taking a street food tour.

Bangkok’s street food tours take you to only the very best street food vendors and stalls in the city, where you can try a variety of delicious dishes. It’s a great way to be immersed in the local culture and learn about the history behind some of these dishes.

This award winning Bangkok Backstreets Food Tour was designed by a chef and is lead by an expert food guide. You’ll explore the streets of Chinatown while indulging in over 15 tastings of Thailand’s best dishes such as chicken satay, Thai curries, noodles and more. It’s a great activity to do on your first time in Bangkok as you’ll find out which Thai dishes are your favorites as well as getting to know the city.

Another unique street food experience is this midnight Bangkok food tour where you whizz around the city at night in a tuk tuk to sample the city’s best street food dishes and experience Bangkok at night with a guide.

Thai Cooking Classes

If you love Thai food and want to learn how to make your favorite dishes at home then taking a Thai cooking class is a must-do activity in Bangkok. There are many cooking schools in Bangkok ranging from fun and budget-friendly casual group classes to more intimate one-on-one experiences.

As well as learning how to cook traditional Thai dishes such as Tom Yum Soup, Pad Thai, and Green Curry from experienced chefs, this Thai cooking class also visits a local market in the morning to select fresh ingredients first. It’s an interactive and delicious way to learn more about the culture and cuisine of Thailand.

Thai Massage

Thai massage

No trip to Thailand is complete without experiencing a traditional Thai massage. This ancient healing practice involves applying pressure and stretching techniques to release tension and improve circulation.

There are literally hundreds of places in Bangkok where you can get a Thai massage, from luxury spas to street-side stalls. Many of Bangkok’s hotels also offer massage.

For an authentic experience, you could get a massage at Wat Pho, home of the famous Reclining Buddha and the oldest massage school.

Muay Thai

Muay Thai, also known as Thai boxing, is a traditional martial art that is deeply ingrained in Thai culture. There are plenty of opportunities to either watch a Muay Thai fight or even learn the sport yourself.

Watching a Muay Thai match is an exciting and unique cultural experience. The best place to watch Muay Thai matches in Bangkok is Rajadamnern Stadium which hosts matches on a regular basis. Tickets can be purchased in advance or on the day of the match.

If you’d like to try it out yourself you can have a private 1 on 1 Muay Thai lesson with a professional fighter before watching the match.

If you are planning a longer stay you can join a Muay Thai camp and learn the art of Thai boxing yourself – it’s a great way to stay fit even you don’t intend to fight.

Museums and Art Galleries

ancient-city-museum-bangkok-1000-op
The Ancient City Museum (Muang Boran) just outside Bangkok

Another way to learn more about Thailand’s unique culture and history (in air-conditioned comfort) is at the many museums and art galleries. Here are some of the best:

The Ancient City Museum (Muang Boran)

My favorite museum in Bangkok has to be the amazing Ancient City Museum, also known as Muang Boran, the largest outdoor museum in the world! Even if you’re not a museum fan, this is a must visit.

Located outside the city center, the Ancient City is a 250 acre outdoor museum that showcases the history of Thailand from ancient times to the present day.

The museum features over 100 replicas of famous Thai landmarks, including temples, palaces, and shrines. It’s a sprawling site so it’s best to explore by bicycle or tram – it’s like a whirlwind tour through Thailand’s most impressive sights and perfect if you want to get an overview but don’t have time to visit the rest of Thailand. Get your tickets here.

The National Museum and Museum of Siam

If you’d like to learn more about Thai history and culture and take a break from the heat while exploring places like the Grand Palace and Wat Pho some of Bangkok’s best museums are conveniently located nearby.

The National Museum is one of the oldest and largest museums in Southeast Asia. It houses an extensive collection of artifacts and art pieces that showcase Thailand’s rich cultural heritage.

The Museum of Siam offers interactive exhibits that explore the evolution of Thai society and culture in a fun and engaging way that make learning fun, even for kids.

Jim Thompson’s House Museum

Jim-Thompson-House-in-Bangkok-nature-1000-op

This unique museum showcases traditional Thai architecture and features a collection of antiques and artifacts from all over Thailand.

Jim Thompson was an American businessman and art collector who helped revive the Thai silk industry in the 1950s and 1960s and his disappearance in Malaysia remains a mystery to this day.

If you visit Jim Thompson’s House Museum you can take a guided tour of the house and art collection to learn about the history of the silk trade in Thailand. It’s located in a beautiful garden oasis in the heart of Bangkok near Siam Square so it’s easy to combine this museum with visiting the shopping malls.

Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (BACC)

The Bangkok Art and Culture Centre is a modern arts and cultural venue in the heart of Siam that hosts a wide range of exhibitions, performances, workshops and other events.

Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Bangkok

MOCA is a modern art museum in the north of the city that features a collection of contemporary art from Thailand in a wide range of mediums, including painting, sculpture, and installation art.

Shopping – Local Markets and Modern Malls

night-market-bangkok-skyline-1280-op

Bangkok is famous for it’s modern shopping malls and vibrant markets which are a great place to shop for souvenirs or just immerse yourself in the buzzing atmosphere.

When visiting markets, it’s common to bargain or haggle for a better price, just make sure you take cash with you as most vendors can’t accept credit cards.

Here’s the best places to shop in Bangkok:

Chatuchak Weekend Market

If you’re looking for a truly unique shopping experience, then the Chatuchak Weekend Market is a must-visit. With over 15,000 stalls organized into 26 sections spread across 35 acres, this market is one of the largest in the world.

You can find everything here, from clothing, accessories and souvenirs to home decor, handmade crafts, and antiques. Plus, the food court is a great place to try some delicious Thai street food.

Chatuchak market is located in the north of Bangkok near Don Mueang International Airport and is open every Saturday and Sunday from 9 am to 6 pm.

Shopping Malls

If you prefer the air-conditioned bliss of modern shopping malls and buzzing food courts then downtown Bangkok has no shortage of options. Take the sky train to Siam a trendy shopping district that is one of the largest in Asia.

You’ll find many malls in close proximity, including Siam Square, Siam Paragon, Central World, Siam Discovery, and MBK Center offering a huge choice of international luxury brands, local designer stores, affordable fashion outlets and diverse food courts.

If you’re looking for bargains, MBK Center is the best option offering eight floors of shops selling everything from electronics to fashion and souvenirs. Be prepared to haggle for the best price and look out for counterfeit goods.

For a unique experience check out Terminal 21 in Sukhumvit which is themed like an airport with each floor designed to resemble a different world-famous city.

Night Markets

asiatique-night-market-ferris-wheel-bangkok-riverside-1280-op

Bangkok really comes alive at night and no visit is complete without experiencing the vibrant and bustling night markets. It’s a great way to be immersed in the local culture, find unique souvenirs, try delicious and affordable street food, and just soak up the buzzing atmosphere.

One of the most famous night markets is Patpong Night Market which is located in Bangkok’s most famous red light district. It offers a mix of shopping, bars, and entertainment, however, I find this one a bit seedy with overpriced goods aimed at tourists. If you would rather avoid Bangkok’s adult entertainment areas also steer clear of Soi Cowboy and Nana Plaza.

Asiatique The Riverfront is a classier, family friendly, option located along the Chao Phraya River. It’s a unique open air shopping and entertainment complex designed to look like a 19th-century warehouse district with over 1,500 shops and restaurants to explore and a ferris wheel.

One of the quirkiest night markets is Talad Rot Fai Market, also known as the Train Market, located in the Srinakarin area. This night market sells everything vintage and retro and has a really funky vibe. Another great market to visit at night is Pak Khlong Talat, a massive wholesale flower market. This colorful market is a delight for all the senses and is best visited at night when the fresh flowers have just arrived.

Parks and Nature

ariel-view-lumphini-park-bangkok-1280-op

If you want to escape the traffic, noise and concrete of the sprawling city head to one of Bangkok’s parks and nature spots.

Lumpini Park

This manicured park is one of the largest greenspaces in Bangkok, covering an area of over 500,000 square meters. My favorite thing to do in Lumphini park is to hire a boat and paddle around the lake or join in a high energy group exercise class at sunset.

As well as plenty of trees, lakes, and walking paths it also offers a great view of the Bangkok skyline and is home to some massive monitor lizards, don’t worry they are quite safe as long as you don’t provoke them.

Also nearby Benjakiti Park is another popular spot for outdoor activities, with a picturesque lake and jogging paths.

Bang Krachao

Bang Krachao is a small island located in the Chao Phraya River. It’s often referred to as the “green lung” of Bangkok because it’s one of the few remaining areas of the city that hasn’t been developed.

The island is home to the Sri Nakhon Khuen Khan Park which contains mangroves, lakes, lush greenery and is home to many species of birds and other wildlife.

You can walk, rent a bike or take a cycling tour exploring the island’s many cycle paths, visit the Bang Nam Peung Floating Market, take a boat tour of the surrounding canals and even stay in a treehouse here.

Local Neighborhoods To Explore

Bangkok at night tuk tuks

Bangkok is a diverse city so it’s really interesting to explore the different neighborhoods.

One of the best ways to do this is on a walking tour or bicycle tour which will allow you to experience another side to the city that most tourists don’t see.

Here are some of the most interesting neighborhoods of Bangkok to check out:

Chinatown

bangkok-chinatown-signs-night-1280-op

Chinatown is a bustling neighborhood in Bangkok that’s full of energy and amazing food.

Yaowarat Road, the main street in Chinatown, is home to some of the city’s best street food, with vendors selling everything from steaming bowls of noodles to crispy fried chicken so it’s one of the best places to take a food tour.

The neighborhood is also famous for its markets, shrines, temples, gold shops and traditional Chinese medicine stores, where you can find all sorts of interesting herbal remedies.

On the edge of Chinatown you’ll find Phahurat, or little India, a vibrant community with colorful fabric markets, tailors shops, Indian cuisine and Bollywood music.

Rattanakosin and Banglamphu

The island of Rattanakosin and the neighbouring area of Banglamphu, situated along the Chao Praya River, are some one of the oldest areas in Bangkok.

This is where you’ll find the most historic and famous temples, including Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha) and the backpacker party hub of Khao San Road.  There’s also some great museums and markets in the area, the unique Amulet market and the colorful local flower markets are worth a look.

Thonburi

wooden-stilt-houses-on-the-river-thailand-1280-0op

Located on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River just across from Rattankosin and Banglamphu, Thonburi is the oldest district in Bangkok.

A former capital of Siam, Thonburi is a quieter, more authentic, residential neighborhood that will show you a different side of the city. It’s home to many beautiful temples, including Wat Arun, canals, wooden houses and has a more laid back atmosphere.

The best way to explore the hidden gems of this more traditional and authentic neighbourhood is on a bike tour through the backstreets, or a boat tour of the canals, which will give you a unique perspective on the city and its history.

One of the best ways to get off the beaten track and explore the hidden gems of both Chinatown and Thonburi is on this Real Bangkok bicycle tour. The friendly guides take you off the tourist trail to explore the narrow alleyways where you’ll see and experience things that you are unlikely to come across on your own.

Nightlife

bangkok-night-ariel-river-view-1280-0op

Bangkok comes alive after dark and it’s legendary nightlife scene is world famous with something for everyone, from lively night markets and illuminated temple hopping, to classy rooftop bars with a view and pumping nightclubs.

Here are some of the best things to do in Bangkok at night.

Night Markets

Bangkok’s popular night markets are not just shopping destinations, they also offer street food stalls, foot massages, and often live music and entertainment. Asiatique is a great place to start a night out and even has a ferris wheel with great views over the river. I’ve written more about Bangkok’s night markets in the shopping section above.

Rooftop Bars

Bangkok is home to some of the best rooftop bars in the world, offering cocktails with stunning views of the city skyline. Go before sunset for the best experience and, as many rooftop bars have a dress code, make sure you dress up for the occasion.

One of the most popular rooftop bars in Bangkok is the Sky Bar at Lebua State Tower, which was featured in the movie “The Hangover Part II”. Another great option is the Octave Rooftop Lounge & Bar at the  Bangkok Marriott Hotel Sukhumvit.

The tallest building in Bangkok is the King Power Mahanakhon Tower, which has a glass floor observation deck and skywalk as well as a rooftop bar on its 78th floor called “Mahanakhon Bangkok SkyBar” which offers 360 degree views of the city.

Khao San Road

khao-san-road-nightlife-bangkok-op

The legendary heart of Thailand’s backpacker scene, Khao San Road is a popular area with backpackers because of it’s lively atmosphere and cheap drinks. The infamous street is lined with bars, nightclubs and street vendors selling everything from pad thai to scorpions on sticks. It’s a great place to meet other travelers and party on a budget.

Night Clubs

Bangkok has a world-class night club scene, with something for every taste. Sukhumvit Soi 11 is a great place to start and where you’ll find some of Bangkok’s best night clubs like Sugar, Levels, and Candy which feature international DJs, state-of-the-art sound systems.

Another unique experience in the same area is the Sing Sing Theater, which is designed like an ancient Chinese opera and has many live music performances.

Be aware that this area is also home to infamous red light districts like Nana Plaza and Soi Cowboy, if you prefer to avoid that vibe then check out the classier scene in trendy Thonglor and Ekamai. BangkokNightlife.com has more information on what’s happening after dark.

Best Tours of Bangkok

tuk-tuk-taxi-bangkok-chinatown-night-1000-op

If you want to take the hassle out of navigating Bangkok’s public transport and congested roads yourself and learn more from a knowledgeable guide, there are many tours available to help you explore the city with ease.

The best way to plan your Bangkok itinerary and book in your tours and activities is on Viator and Get Your Guide. These sites have a huge variety of group and private tours and unique experiences in Bangkok. The best part is that you can read reviews before you book so you know what to expect.

I’ve recommended tours throughout this blog post, but just to recap the top Bangkok tours include:

Day Trips from Bangkok

Wat-Chaiwatthanaram-ayutthaya-1280-op

The Thai capital also makes a great base for exploring some of the nearby attractions, from historical sights to national parks and beaches there are plenty of easily accessible day trips from Bangkok that are worth allowing time for in your Bangkok itinerary.

If you want to travel independently you can book bus and train tickets on 12Go Asia or take one of the many day tours available on Viator and Get Your Guide. Here’s four of the best:

Ayutthaya

Ayutthaya is an ancient capital of the Kingdom of Siam and is a must see if you are interested in history. The ruined yet still standing city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site where you can see the remnants of this once-great city,

Highlights include Wat Mahathat, Wat Phra Si Sanphet, Wat Chaiwatthanaram, and the famous buddha head wrapped in a tree. Ayutthaya is only a two-hour drive from Bangkok and can easily be visited as a day trip.

This small group full day Ayutthaya day trip includes transport, entrance tickets and a guided tour of all the highlights.

Kanchanaburi

kanchanaburi railway and river kwai

Kanchanaburi is a town known for its beautiful scenery and historical importance. It’s most famous for the Bridge on the River Kwai which is part of the ‘Death Railway’ built by prisoners of war during World War II. You can ride on the scenic railway and visit museums and memorials to learn about this dark period in history.

Also well worth a visit is the nearby Erawan National Park where you can hike through the jungle to see the stunning 7 tiered waterfalls. Kanchanaburi is a three-hour drive from Bangkok so it’s possible to visit on a day trip but if you have more time I’d recommend staying a day or two.

If you’re into nature this Private Kanchanaburi Day Trip visits the famous bridge as well as the astounding waterfalls. As it’s a private tour you can customize your day to focus on just the things you most want to see. If you’re on a budget this small group Kanchanaburi tour visits the historic attractions but misses Erawan national park.

Pattaya

pattaya beach thailand

If you’re dreaming of Thailand’s world famous beaches but don’t want to travel far from Bangkok then head to Pattaya beach which is located just a few hours south of Bangkok.

While Pattaya is known for its nightlife there are great beaches with watersports and plenty of family-friendly activities to do during the day. The unique Sanctuary of Truth, a hand-carved wooden temple, is a must-see and you can also easily visit Koh Larn (Coral Island) from Pattaya.

This small group Pattaya day trip includes transport to and from Bangkok as well as a visit to the sanctuary of truth, a stunning viewpoint, and a boat trip to Koh Larn (Coral Island) with time to relax on the beach, swim and snorkel.

Khao Yai National Park

a hornbill in khao yai national park thailand

Nature lovers might also want to consider a trip to Khao Yai National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and Thailand’s first national park.

The park is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including elephants, tigers, and gibbons. You can go on a jungle trek, visit the Haew Narok Waterfall, and explore the bat cave at Khao Luk Chang.

It’s also where you’ll find Haew Suwat waterfall which is famous for being the location for Leonardo DiCaprio’s waterfall dive in the movie ‘The Beach’ back in 2000. It’s located just a few hours northeast of Bangkok and makes a good day trip.

This small group day trip to Khao Yai includes transport and guided trekking through the nature to the famous waterfalls and scenic viewpoints, but bring some cash for the national park fee and lunch.

Festivals and Events

lanterns thailand

There are plenty of festivals and events throughout the year that showcase Thailand’s rich culture and traditions and it’s worth timing your visit to Bangkok to check out these festivals:

Songkran Festival

One of the most famous festivals in Thailand is the Songkran Festival, which takes place in mid-April to celebrate the Thai New Year.

It’s known as the water festival because of the massive water fights, where locals and tourists alike take to the streets armed with buckets and water guns to soak each other with blessings.

It’s a fun and festive time to be in Bangkok, and it’s a great way to beat the heat during the hot season. Be careful with your cameras though as you will get very wet!

Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year is also a major holiday in Bangkok, and it’s celebrated with plenty of fanfare and festivities. The holiday usually falls in January or February, and it’s a great time to explore the city’s Chinatown district, which is decked out in red and gold decorations. There are plenty of dragon dances, fireworks, and delicious Chinese food to enjoy during the holiday.

Loy Krathong

Loy Krathong is another popular festival in Thailand, which takes place in November. Known as the festival of lights and lanterns, it is all about paying respect to the water spirits.

It’s best celebrated in Chiang Mai where locals and tourists release lanterns and small, candlelit floats onto the city’s rivers and canals. It’s a beautiful sight to see, and there are plenty of cultural performances and street food stalls to enjoy during the festival.

bangkok-hotel-pool-skycraper-1000-op

So Know You Know What To Do In Bangkok!

As you can see, Bangkok has so much more to offer than just temples, malls, and bars, so I hope you’ve been inspired by this blog to explore more of the Thai capital!

While the Grand Palace, golden temples, river cruises and rooftop bars are certainly a highlight there’s so many more things to do in Bangkok! It’s really worth spending at least 3 – 5 days in Bangkok to get a good overview of the city beyond the popular tourist attractions.

Explore the diverse neighbourhoods, lively markets, and fascinating museums, take a tour through the backstreets and canals and you’ll see a different side to the city. How ever many times you visit Bangkok there’s always something new to discover.

If you need some tips on the best areas to stay in the city check out my guide to where to stay in Bangkok and if you love unique accommodation read my picks for the best boutique hotels in Bangkok.

If you’re visiting Bangkok as part of a longer trip around Thailand you might find my 2 Week Thailand Itinerary and my Thailand Travel Guide useful. Also check out my other Thailand blog posts:

Most importantly – take the time to explore Bangkok and enjoy!

Related posts

Indonesia’s Gili Islands: A Backpacker’s Paradise

Anna

Meandering through Malacca

Anna

Where to Stay in Venice: Best Areas & Hotels (2024)

Anna

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More