7 Awesome Things to do in Bangkok, Thailand

By Two Monkeys Travel - Contributor September 25th, 2015 Posted in Asia, Travel Blog, Travel Guides 2 Comments

The bustling city of Bangkok can be overwhelming to some. However, if you know where to go the city is interesting, beautiful and a little less chaotic.

Check out some of the cool and cheap tours you could do in Bangkok.

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1. Visit the Grand Palace and Emerald Buddha

Of course, your visit to Bangkok cannot be complete without visiting these (not so hidden) gems. Yes, you will be overwhelmed by hundreds of tour groups and thousands of people, but it is so worth it to take in the grandeur of these buildings. The mosaics are unlike anywhere else, and of course the Emerald Buddha is an absolute must see. Don’t forget to visit the Museum of the Emerald Buddha on the palace grounds as well: here you will see the three other Buddha’s up close. They change the Buddha every season. Some tips: don’t let any tuktuk driver tell you it is closed, take clothes that cover your body and remember your ticket also allows you to enter Vimanmek Mansion and Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall!

Check out some of the cool and cheap tours you could do in Grand Palace.

Grand Palace and Emerald Buddha Bangkok Thailand
The Grand Palace may be very touristy, but your visit to Bangkok is not complete without visiting these grounds!

2. Take a boat ride on the Chao Phraya river

If you want to see a different side of Bangkok, take a boat ride on the Chao Phraya river. The local boats only cost 14 baht, and are an awesome Bangkok experience! Along the river you will come across river side temples, luxurious hotels, but also self build wooden shacks and almost collapsed colonial buildings. You can also do a tour in a tourist boat, which allows you better views than in the packed local boats and costs around 40 baht. Personally I liked sharing the boat with the kids in school uniforms and locals who had just finished their daily shopping. You will find the boat stops (piers) on a map, or if you have an iPhone you can download the Chao Phraya app.

Boat ride Chao Phraya river Bangkok Thailand
A boat ride over the Chao Phraya river allows you to see Bangkok from a whole different perspective.

Monkey DividersEven the best DIY trips need a little help here and there. If you’re headed to Thailand, check out all these awesome experiences for only $120 and below. Use them to spice up your budget DIY itinerary, or buy one as a gift for a friend (click the photo for more details!)

Tinggly Thailand

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3. Discover the wonders of the floating markets

Some of the most attractive places that you will definitely find are Bangkok floating markets. Believe me, you shouldn’t miss them! The markets are filled with delightful produce which you will fall in love with right away. You will also get the chance to socialize a bit with the local people and ask them questions about the traditional cuisine. Depending on the type of atmosphere you like, you can choose between busy, crowded markets or the ones that have a more relaxed feel to them. I would recommend the Khlong Lat Mayom floating market as it has an authentic touch, it’s quite small and full of delicious locally grown foods. You can choose to go on a boat tour with villagers and take a look at the Thai life style as a nice bonus. One thing that you might also enjoy is visiting the markets with a local guide so you can have a more personalized experience. And definitely there are more things to do in Bangkok with locals. 
Check out some of the cool and cheap tours you could do in Pattaya Floating Market.

Best thing to do in Thailand 1

4. Check out Jim Thompson’s house

An absolutely special house with a little of mystery added to it: Jim Thompson came to Bangkok during the Second World War, and decided (totally understandable) to never leave again. He bought six traditional Thai houses and transformed them into one. One day, in the late ’60’s, Thompson went to visit a friend in Malaysia. In the evening he went for a walk in the jungle, to never return. Nobody knows what happened to him that night, and after an extensive searching expedition they didn’t even find a trail. After a while he was declared dead, and his nephew inherited the house. He decided to transform it into a museum: next to the fact it is one of the only well preserved traditional Thai houses in Bangkok, Thompson also was an art collector. And his collection of incredible pieces remains in this house up until this very day.

Check out some of the cool and cheap tours you could do in Jim Thompson House.

jim thompson house bangkok thailand
Jim Thomspon’s house in Bangkok is a not to miss sight for art lovers, history lovers, architecture lovers, and, well… everyone else actually!

5. Vimanmek Mansion: the largest teakwooden house

So, this was my third time in Bangkok, and for some reason I never checked out Vimanmek Mansion the first two times I was there. Huge mistake! Walking around in this house I’ve been wondering the whole time why I didn’t go here the first time. The architecture is absolutely stunning. Inside you will find old furniture and ancient photographs, mainly of the Thai Royal Family and some high officials. Most tourists seem to skip this sight, so it is really quiet, allowing you to take in everything. And for the largest teakwooden house in the world, it’s not nothing!

vimanmek mansion bangkok thailand
Vimanmek Mansion is the largest teakwooden house in the world.

6. Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall

Another gem I skipped the first two times I was in Bangkok. Ananata Samakhom Throne Hall is definitely a royal building, which you will spot from a mile away. You can get a free audio tour with your ticket, which allows you to understand the amazing works of art displayed here. The main function of the Throne Hall is to display the wealth and greatness of the Thai Royal Family; and wealth they have! Every room is richly decorated with woven and painted pictures, and all the spaces have loads and loads of expensive presents given to the Royal Family on special occasions.

Throne Hall Bangkok Thailand
Bangkoks Throne Hall displays the wealth of the Thai Royal Family in full ornate.

7. Enjoy views from a rooftop bar

Bangkok is famous for this. Try to get to a rooftop bar right before the sun sets: when it is clear, the views are spectaculair. The Skybar is probably the most famous, but it is terribly expensive and not the only one there is! Many big and luxurious hotels have one as well. I enjoyed the one on the Executive Lounge of the Amari Watergate Hotel (only access if you have one of the Executive rooms or the Corner Suite), and the views are absolutely amazing.

Skybar view Bangkok Thailand
Get on top of one of the enormous Bangkok buildings to enjoy a spectaculair view, like here at the Amari Watergate Hotel.

And if you’re not satisfied yet: I’ve always wanted to check out the Forensic Museum at the Siriraj Hospital. You’ve got to have a strong stomach, since it shows all kinds of medical deviations, but it should be interesting and a nowhere else to see sight.

EXTRA: Spoil yourself

Bangkok is a haven of luxury hotels, and this has to be one of the perfect places to absolutely spoil yourself for once. I stayed two nights in Amari Watergate Hotel Bangkok, which I highly recommend. Service here is outstanding, it’s beautifully furnished, and the rooms are just amazing. Their facilities are extensive, from a lovely swimming pool to a fitness area, a squash field, a lovely spa and an Executive Lounge with the best views over Bangkok you could get. The best way to make your holiday perfect is to spoil yourself a bit in a fancy hotel, and every now and then that’s just what a human body needs! You can book this place via booking.com or Agoda for cheaper rate.

Swimming pool Bangkok Thailand
The service at Amari Watergate Hotel in Bangkok makes you feel special!

Don’t know where to stay in Bangkok? Check out this list with the best hostels in Thailand!

Transportation Tip: If you’re looking for the cheapest way to book the Trains, Buses, Ferries, Transfers on this route, we use 12Go.Asia to compare the prices!

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About the Writer:

Emilie profile pictureEmilie Terpstra, after years of dreaming Emilie finally made the decision to put everything on hold and start traveling. Now she is completely addicted, traveling and writing are her passions in life. She has just finished her History studies (another passion) and she’s hoping to travel all the way over land from the Netherlands to India soon, and maybe never stop!

 

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2 thoughts on “7 Awesome Things to do in Bangkok, Thailand

  1. I’ll be going to BKK this December and currently researching for my itinerary. I will definitely not miss the places and floating market or all these 7.

  2. For me Wat Pho was a highlight, though when I went was a bit more crowded than I would have liked. Next time around I’d also love to try a muy thai class. I always try to do a cultural class when I travel, and that seems like a fun way to also stay in shape on the road!

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