20 Things to Do as a Tourist in Bangkok, Thailand
Bangkok is definitely one of my favorite cities in the world and a destination I would love to return to over and over again regardless of the time of year. Bangkok has something for everyone and is a simple city to get around in, especially with Tuktuk which is a must to go in when you are here!
Therefore, I have chosen to put together a sightseeing guide on what you as a tourist should see and do when you are in Bangkok (whether it is the first time or not) without mutual order. Several of these things have I done many times and I never get tired of doing them 🙂
This is my 20 Things you need to see and do as a tourist in Bangkok:
1. Go by Tuk Tuk
If you want to do something very touristy in Bangkok, you need to go in a Tuk Tuk. A Tuk Tuk is kind of a scootertaxi on three wheels that is open, colorful and loud. A Tuk Tuk can be found everywhere in Bangkok and it is a must as a tourist to try it at least once! 🙂 Negotiate the price before you jump into a Tuk Tuk because they will otherwise take overprice!
2. Patpong Nightmarket
If you want to buy branded copies, t-shirts, watches and bags cheap, it is Patpong’s night market you should go to. Along the two streets of the market there are plenty of clothes, souvenirs, bags, sunglasses, shoes, watches and jewelery from floor to ceiling. Many of the goods are not real, so be sure to check the quality before you buy something, as well, you have to expect to bargain hard as the sellers will start with an excessively high price no matter what you want to buy.
Patpong night market is located in the Si Lom area. You can easily get here with either metro or skytrain. The nearest metro station is Silom MRT and the nearest skytrain station is Sala Daeng BTS. It takes about 20 minutes by taxi to the market if you are going from the popular tourist areas of Chinatown and Khao San Road.
The market is open every day and closes when it gets dark, but I really recommend to come in the afternoon to get around and see everything without any stress. No one wants to stress when shopping, right? 😉
3. MBK Center
If there is any shopping center you should go to, it is MBK center which is perhaps the most popular and most famous shopping center in Bangkok. Here you will find everything between heaven and earth and much of what is here is pirate copies but as I said, the one who is looking for cheap shopping, MBK is a must to go to. MBK Center is located a short distance from the Siam ski station, opposite Bangkok Art and Culture Center.
Each floor has a different focus on shopping. On the top floor you will find, for example, electronics, another floor with only bags, sharps and clothes, another one with only makeup and shoes, and at the bottom you have restaurants and coffee shops.
4. Siam Paragon
Siam Paragon is an extremely popular shopping mall with several international fashion stores. The shopping center is right at Siam BTS Skytrain station. Siam Paragon has over 250 stores and mainly supplies luxury shopping. If you are looking for something extra special, Siam Paragon is definitely the place to find it.
5. Central World
Central World is a large shopping center offering a different shopping experience with everything from ordinary clothing stores, funky fashion, high-tech gadgets, bookstores and designer furniture to imported foods, a variety of banks, beauty salons, gourmet restaurants and you can even go ice skating here. With so many options to explore, you can easily spend half a day here without understanding it. Central World is the largest shopping mall in Thailand!
6. Silom Village
Silom Village is a small cozy shopping area right in the heart of Silom. There are no skyscrapers here, instead it is set among tropical green areas and has old antique and well preserved houses around it. There is one hotel here but otherwise it is a small shopping arcade with souvenirs, antiques, crafts, varnishes, jewelry and Thai silk. You can also have lunch or dinner at one of the Thai restaurants here.
7. Platinum Fashion Mall
Platinum Fashion Mall is like an indoor shopping center with four floors, packed with over 1000 small shops with clothes, jewelry, souvenirs and a lot of other things. Here it is really cheap and the quality varies but if nothing else it is worth coming here to see how crazy this shopping center is 🙂
Platinum Fashion Mall is located in the center of Pratunam, a 10 minute walk from Chidlom BTS Skytrain. Inside it is air conditioning and there are also coffee shops and fast food restaurants.
8. The Lying Buddha
Located in the Wat Pho area, you will find the lying Budddha that is one of Bangkok’s largest and oldest temple areas, and it is also considered one of Bangkok’s major attractions, something I highly recommend seeing when you are in Bangkok! The temple is known for its giant lying Buddha statue in gold that is 46 meters long and 15 meters high.
9. The Grand Palace
If you want to be a true tourist in Bangkok, you should also visit the Grand Palace which is one of Bangkok’s most popular tourist destinations. Inside the palace area is the emerald Buddhist temple (Wat Phra Keo), which is the most sacred Buddha statue of Thai Buddhism. This ornate royal palace was built in 1782 and used to be the home to the king.
10. Siam Square
Siam Square is a large shopping area and basically a hub of all kinds of shopping, for both indoors and outdoors. Siam Square is essentially where trends both emerge and are created, an inspirational center in Bangkok. This area stretches from Rama 1 Road down to the Chulalongkorn University Campus and from Phayathai Road to Henri Dunant, and is a popular hub for university students and media types.
11. Asiatique The Riverfront
If you want to visit something different in Bangkok, go to Asiatique The Riverfront, which has successfully combined two of the most popular shopping experiences, namely a night bazaar and a shopping mall in one. Asiatique opens at 5 pm so come here for some evening shopping and dinner at one of the all cozy restaurants located by the river. Asiatique is suitable for families with children due to they have a little tivoli here.
12. Terminal 21
Close to the junction between Asoke and Sukhumvit Road, you will find the Terminal 21 shopping center. A shopping center that stands out from other shopping centers in Bangkok with its unique interior design, where each floor represents a city, such as Tokyo, London and Paris. Each floor is decorated with inspiration from well known places in the world, but also have international clothing stores and restaurants.
13. Maeklong Railway Market
Maeklong Railway Market is a traditional Thai market that is selling fresh vegetables, food and fruits. What makes it special about this market is that it lies on a train line where the train runs a couple of times a day directly through the market. When the train arrives, the dealers take away their umbrellas and move some of their products further away from the train track and as soon as the train passes, the sales continue as usual. This is really something that must be experienced and easiest to get here is by skytrain to Victory Monument and then bus.
14. Go with a Klongboat
If you are tired of sightseeing and shoppingcenters, I recommend jumping on a klongboat that works as a bus on the water. This way you will see more of the local life in Bangkok. A klongboat takes about 50 people and is very cheap! You can ride a klongboat from Chit Lom Pier to the Grand Palace for example! 🙂
EmQuartier opened in March 2015 and is on the opposite side of Sukhumvit Road. Expect a clear futuristic design with dozens of restaurants, office spaces, event halls and a cool atrium garden – complete with a waterfall. There is also direct access to Phrom Phong BTS Skytrain and a link to the original Emporium shoppingmall across the road.
16. Watch the traffic from above
If you want to absorb Bangkok’s crazy traffic atmosphere, I recommend to go by skytrain to Asok station and walk on the footbridge that goes towards the Exchange Tower. Watch at all the motorcycles that passes by and how the car traffic is running, everything is a pure spectacle and it really feels like you are in the center of Bangkok when you see this. It’s a special but fun experience 🙂
17. The New Rot Fai Market Ratchada / Bangkok’s New Train Market on Ratchadaphisek Road
The new Rot Fai market in the Ratchada area of Bangkok is a night market for those who enjoy vintage and good food. A cool and quite different night market that is only open Thursday – Sunday from 18 – midnight. It is easy to find at Rot Fai Ratchada, as it is just behind the Cultural Center MRT Subway Station. If you take a taxi, be sure to emphasize that you want to go to Ratchada (not Srinakarin they otherwise will drive you to).
18. Cabbage & Condoms Restaurant
My restaurant tips for dinner in Bangkok is the Cabbage & Condoms restaurant which is an incredibly cozy but different restaurant. Here you get really good Thai food at a good price where you can either sit indoor or outdoor during their cozy light loop and tropical atmosphere. With the bill you also get some condoms and the whole place is decorated with different statues made of condoms. Well, it is a fun and different dinner restaurant!
19. SUDA restaurant
Suda Restaurant is one of the oldest, traditional restaurants on Sukhumvit Road 14 owned by a Thai family. Here you sit on plastic chairs and order different dishes of Thai food for super cheap price! This is my favorite place in Bangkok so I really recommend eating here if you want a “cheap” dinner with Thai atmosphere around you 🙂
20. Vertigo Rooftop Bar at Banyan Tree Hotell
End your stay with a drink at the Vertigo rooftop bar, located at the top of floor 61 at Banyan Tree Hotel. You will find all my reviews of rooftop bars in Bangkok here!
Other things to do as a tourist in Bangkok:
- Stroll around and watch all the cables hanging everywhere
- Take a massage
- Walk the streets up and down and enjoy the environment and everything that happens around you
- Do some street shopping in the middle of the street where you walking – there are almost always vendors everywhere in town
Here you can read more blog posts about Bangkok: