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These are the best things to do in Bangkok

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For many travelers leaving for Southeast Asia, Bangkok is the starting point of a wonderful trip. Bangkok, the capital of Thailand can be quite overwhelming with its many tuktuks, chaotic traffic, crowded neighborhoods, gigantic skyscrapers, street food, luxury shopping malls, many temples and monks and hundreds if not thousands of Western tourists. A city of extremes that you either love or hate. What to do in Bangkok? These are the coolest Bangkok attractions to visit on your first visit.

Below you’ll find a list of our best tips for a first visit to Bangkok. With inspiration for the best things to do in Bangkok and the coolest sights.

Khao San Road: Backpacker’s paradise

For many backpackers, backpacking in Asia starts in the backpacker district Khao San Road. A busy and especially chaotic street where you have plenty of choice of bars, restaurants and cheap clothes and souvenirs to shop for until you drop. It is certainly not the most authentic part of Bangkok, but you can certainly have a good time and there are plenty of cool things to do on Khaosan Road. Drink cocktails from a bucket and eat pad thai on the street for another euro. In addition, you’ll find cheap options to stay in and around Khao San Road.

Shopping in the huge shopping malls

In Bangkok you will find many shopping malls of which one is even more exuberant than the other. Especially in the Siam district you will find the largest shopping malls. One of the most famous shopping malls in Bangkok is MBK where you can feast your eyes on the many Thai stores that give you the feeling that you’ve landed on a local market rather than in a shopping mall. If you want to shop for clothes, the Siam district is also the place to be. Here you will find several shopping centers with western clothing stores such as H&M, Zara and Mango. You can also find more expensive stores such as Prada, Gucci and Calvin Klein. If you want to shop, Bangkok is always the place to be!

Chilling out in Lumphini Park

Although Bangkok is a fairly chaotic city, you can find some nice green parks where you can escape the hustle and bustle. The best and most famous park of Bangkok is Lumphini Park. You can relax on the grass, spot monitor lizards or rent a pedal boat and see the park from the water. A perfect way to escape the chaos of the city.

Lumpini Park

Visit a Floating Market

Around Bangkok you can find several floating markets where you sail in a wooden boat past other boats that serve as market stalls. If you are looking for a floating market where not only tourists walk, you should visit Amphawa. This market is about an hour and a half drive from Bangkok. Not only can you buy cheap souvenirs here, you can also enjoy delicious food and feast your eyes.

Admire the reclining Buddha at Wat Pho

The temple of the reclining Buddha, Wat Pho, is one of the most famous temples of Bangkok. Here you will find the famous reclining Buddha of 46 meters long and 15 meters high which is completely covered in gold leaf. In addition, you will find more than 1000 other Buddha images on the premises and you can get a massage. The entrance fee for Wat Pho is 100 baht per person. For this you can not only visit the beautiful temple, but you also get a bottle of water ;).

Wat Pho
wat te doen in bangkok wat pho

To do in Bangkok: Visit one of the roof top bars

You don’t have to look far in Bangkok to spot a huge skyscraper. Huge buildings that often house luxury office buildings and apartments, but which you can also enter as a tourist and go to the top floor. Nothing better than admiring a huge city like Bangkok from above. Unfortunately, at many sky bars, such as the Sirocco Skybar which is known from the movie The Hangover 2 so you are expected to be neatly dressed.

Bangkok sights: Grand Palace

You have to dig deep, because the entrance fee is 500 baht per person, but then you have something. The Grand Palace is not for nothing one of the most popular attractions in Bangkok. The palace is built on an area of 2.5 square kilometers and is filled with beautiful buildings. Today, the king no longer lives there and the palace is open to the public. Next to the Grand Palace, on the same grounds, you will also find the beautiful temple Wat Phra Kaeo, the temple of the emerald Buddha.

Purchase entrance tickets for the Grand Palace online and skip the lines.

Grand Palace Bangkok
wat te doen in bangkok grand palace

Take the water cab on the Chao Phraya River

The Chao Phraya River is the river that runs through Bangkok and is used as a major transportation hub. You can take a water cab from several places in the city to get from point A to B in the city. For example, it is possible to get on the boat near Khao San Road to Wat Pho. A ride will never cost you more than 30 baht and will give you an insane view of life along the river.

Chao Phraya rivier

Day trip to Ayutthaya

Just an hour away from Bangkok you’ll find Thailand’s former capital and important temple city, Ayutthaya. Although it is more fun to spend a night or two in Ayutthaya it is also possible to book a day tour from Bangkok to Ayutthaya. In Ayutthaya you will find dozens of beautiful temples. The best way to explore the city is by bicycle, which you can rent at various places in the city. Another option is to book a boat tour across the river for 400 baht per person.

Ayutthaya Thailand

Day trip to Kanchanaburi

Another option for a nice day trip from Bangkok is a trip to the nearby town of Kanchanaburi. The town itself is not very interesting, but you travel here for “The bridge over the river Kwai” and the many history that you will find here. The train ride there from Bangkok is beautiful. Staying overnight in Kanchanaburi is also possible, giving you the option of visiting the famous Erawan Falls the next day. We stayed in Tamarind guesthouse, one of our favorite guesthouses in Thailand!

Dagtrips naar Kanchanaburi

To do in Bangkok: Strolling through the Rambuttri district

Located just steps away from Khao San Road you will find the Rambuttri district. Here you will also find dozens of restaurants, bars, souvenir shops and plenty of street food. Yet it is just a bit quieter than in Khao San Road. Rambuttri is in my opinion the perfect place to stay when you are in Bangkok.

Rambuttri

Visit the Chinatown area

Every major city in Asia has its own Chinatown, but Bangkok is the city with the largest Chinatown in the world. It’s great to wander around and feel like you’ve landed in another country for a while. Near Khao San Road you can catch bus 53 which drops you off in Chinatown.

Enjoying the best street food

Wherever you go in Bankgok, you can find the most delicious Thai food for a euro. Enjoy a delicious plate of pad thai, fresh spring rolls, a piece of meat from the barbecue or a mango sticky rice. Yum!

wat te doen in bangkok streetfood
wat te doen in bangkok streetfood

What do you think are the most fun things to do in Bangkok on a first visit?