6 Must-Do Attractions Every Tourist Should Experience In Bangkok
Most of us dessert-dwellers have Thailand on our list of must-visit countries, and considering the tropical paradise is only seven hours away by plane, it’s no surprise that so many of us are heading there in droves on hols.
But while many simply transfer through the capital Bangkok – seeing little more than the inside of a luxe airport lounge – there’s far more to the buzzing 24-hour metropolis than just the transfer desk onto Chiang Mai, Koh Samui or Phuket.
From when you arrive in the exciting city, the streets of Bangkok immediately assault your senses with the noise, buzz, legendary Thai hospitality and truly insane nightlife.
1. A Visit to the Grand Palace
One of the most amazing royal residences on Earth, the Grand Palace in Bangkok is the finest example of ornate Thai architecture in the world. With incredible gold-leafed temples and grand ceremony rooms, it’s like stepping inside a Swarovski jewellery box! Fortunately, there are a variety of buildings to explore, so be sure to set aside at least half a day when you visit this iconic site. And don’t forget to dress modestly (knees and shoulders covered), or else you won’t be allowed inside.
2. Take a cruise
Bangkok’s riverside, the traditional heartland of this magical city, is where its historic roots lie. It’s here you will find old-school water-taxis ferrying commuters, and rice barges chugging upstream, set against a backdrop of splendid palaces and five-star hotels. The Chao Phraya River that runs through the heart of the city is just as busy as the bridges that run across it. Spend a day touring the “Mother Water” and all the tiny waterways that stretch off the main drag. Take a left before the Temple of Dawn and you’ll discover a whole new side of the city – think Venice, but in Southeast Asia, as you tour the maze of tiny rivers and get a glimpse into the busy lives of all the people living and working right on the water.
3. Pick up some bargains at MBK
MBK Center is probably Bangkok’s most famous shopping mall, popular with both tourists and locals alike. There are eight floors packed with over 2,000 shops that sell everything from clothing, fashion accessories, handbags, leather products and luggage to furniture, electric appliances, mobile phones, cameras and stationery. Fortunately, MBK Center is also easy to reach thanks to a direct walkway linking to the National Stadium BTS Skytrain Station.
4. Eat street food
Few places in the world are as synonymous with street food as Thailand. For its variety of locations and wealth of options, Bangkok is our number one spot for street food. VirtualTourist members recommended Soi Rambuttri, a lane off of the renowned Khao San Road, as a great spot in the old district of Bangkok. Also recommended is Soi 38 near Sukhumvit, which is like an evening food market, running until about 3am, and very close to much of the city’s nightlife. Look out for favourites like papaya salad, mango sticky rice and pad Thai (yum).
5. See a floating market
A definite must for shopaholics – but more fruit and veg than shoes and handbags – this is bartering at its most fun, basic and wet. Our suggestion is the Bang Khu Wiang Floating Market. Open at 4am, this unique shopping district is located on the water with vendors on either side of the river bank. Catch a boat ride from the Chang Pier and in minutes you’ll find yourself meandering through the narrow water way and in the midst of fresh fruits and vegetables which you can purchase right from your boat from loud but friendly locals. But beware, the market is only open until 7am so you’ll have to drag yourself out of bed in time for this one. Definitely worth it for the experience and the photo opportunities.
6. Dine and party hangover-style
No other movie sums up the madness of Bangkok more than The Hangover Part II. The most famous scene was ﬁlmed at the award-winning Sirocco restaurant located on the 64th ﬂoor of the city’s State Tower. Besides incredible food, you’ll also ﬁnd the best views the city has to offer, making it a highlight of the nightlife scene.