Bangkok certainly lives up to its reputation as a travel hot spot in Southeast Asia. The ‘City of Angels’ has funky markets, upmarket malls, a riverside full of surprises, a vibrant nightlife scene, many fabulous sights and attractions that reflect its unique heritage, and much, much more…
Say goodbye to traffic jams – thanks to the city’s modern skytrain and underground systems that cover a large area. Or explore the riverside area by a long-tail speedboat or river taxi. Whether your trip is for business or pleasure, Bangkok bursts with exciting opportunities. Not sure where to go though? Have a look at our Area Guides.
The Grand Palace & The Emerald Buddha
The Grand Palace
The Grand Palace has an area of 218,400 sq. metres and is surrounded by walls built in 1782. The length of the four walls is 1,900 metres. Within these walls are situated government offices and the Chapel Royal of the Emerald Buddha besides the royal residences. When Siam restored law and order after the fall of Ayutthaya the monarch lived in Thonburi on the west side of the river. Rama I, on ascending the throne, moved the centre of administration to this side of the Chao Phraya; and, after erecting public monuments such as fortifications and monasteries, built a palace to serve not only as his residence but also his offices–the various ministries, only one of which remains in the palace walls. This palace came to be known as the Grand Palace, in which the earliest edifices contemporary with the foundation of Bangkok were the two groups of residences named the Dusit Maha Prasat and the Phra Maha Monthian.
The Chapel Royal of The Emerald Buddha
Just north of the Royal Residence of the Maha Monthian from which there is a connecting gate lies The Chapel Royal of The Emerald Buddha. It consists of all the architectural features of the monastery without however the residential quarter, for monks do not live here. The Assembly Hall, or Ubosoth, serves as the monarch’s private chapel. Hence the partition on either side of the main altar intended as a retiring room,which is never to be found anywhere else but the only other chapel royal, that of the King of Thonburi, which serves now as the Assembly Hall of the monastery of Arun within the former grounds of the palace of that king. The “Emerald Buddha” is carved from a block of jade. It is an object of national veneration and crowds come to pay respect to the memory of the Buddha and His Teachings on certain days of the weeks when it is open to the public
Temple & City
Bangkok’s temples are a unique part of the capital’s heart and soul. A visit here would not be complete without seeing at least two of them. The architecture is awe-inspiring and the glittering decoration like no other. Imagine thousands of pieces of coloured glass and pottery adorned with intricate structures gilded in glaring gold – you’re indeed in a City of Angels!
The best time to visit most temples is in the early morning. It’s cooler and generally less crowded. The temples (‘wats’) are not just tourist attractions but also play an important part in Buddhist traditions. Monks live in the temple complexes, wake up around 04:00, attend to prayers and duties and then collect food and necessities from ordinary people on the streets. If you are up very early in Bangkok you will see monks walking around, dressed in saffron coloured robes. This daily alms ritual (called ‘tak baht’) takes place all over Thailand and is part of the Buddhist philosophy of giving and making merit to attain a better life beyond this one.
It’s daunting to visit all the temples, so we’ve listed in the following sections those in the ‘must- visit’ category, according to their beauty, cultural significance and high regard in Buddhism. Please not that most temples are not open after 18:00. Thai temples are sacred places so you must dress appropriately. No shorts or revealing tops, otherwise you won’t be allowed in. This applies particularly to Wat Phra Kaew (inside the Grand Palace.)
Wat Trimitr the temple of the golden Buddha 5.5 tones of solid gold, sculptured in Sukhothai style.
Wat Pho, The temple of the Reclining Buddha, a stunning statue with 45m long and 15m high covered in gold leaf. Wat Pho is situated behind the Grand Palace, It is a large temple that was originally called Wat Photharam and was built during the Ayutthaya Period. King Rama I ordered its complete restoration in 1789 and installed many Buddha images that were removed from abandoned temples in other parts of the country.
Wat Arun , Temple of Dawn was envisioned by King Taksin in 1768. It is believed that after fighting his way out of Ayutthaya, Wat Arun’s star attraction is its central prang (a Khmer-style tower), which stands at 260 feet (79 meters) tall and is intricately decorated with tiny pieces of colored glass and Chinese porcelain. It’s even possible to climb the tower—although the steps are incredibly steep, the viewpoints at the top reveal stunning vistas of the winding river, with the Grand Palace and Wat Pho visible on the other side.
Wat Benchama Bophit (The Marble Temple) is regarded one of the most beautiful temples in Thailand, thanks to its traditional Thai symmetrical architecture designed by Prince Naris, a son of King Rama IV and one of the greatest architects during his time, and fine marble imported from Italy. Inside the main ordination hall sees the sacred Phra Buddha Chinnarat image, reproduced from the original image in Phitsanuloke, which is also considered a Buddha image with the most beautiful figures. Visit the temple in the wearly morning to see local people offering alms to the monks according to Thai traditional folkway.
Damnernsaduak Floating Market
Damnoen Saduak is the most popular floating market in Thailand, great for photo opportunities, food, and for giving you an insight into a bygone way of life. An early morning start is worth it to avoid the heat and catch Damnoen Saduak at its liveliest. Most visitors who come to Thailand want to visit a floating market and many of them will end up here. Don’t let that put you off though, it’s an enjoyable morning out of the city and if you avoid the tourist shops you can get a real sense of the place. The market is over an hour outside Bangkok, and the easiest way to get there is to join a tour.
Amphawa Floating Market
Amphawa is the second most popular floating market near Bangkok, not as large as Damnoen Saduak but more authentic, with visitors almost exclusively Thai. Located 50 km from Bangkok this once small village was apparently already present in the mid-Seventeenth Century. It has become such a magnet for Thai weekenders that food stalls have grown from the riverbanks and stretched far into the surrounding streets.
The main draw is of course eating seafood grilled procariously on wooden boats moored around the famous central bridge, serving an appetizing array of huge prawns, shellfish and squid. From noon until late in the evening, the smell is simply irresistible and customers flock to each side of the river all day long.
Highlight of the tour Glide along the canal by boat at twilight and glimpse brightly coloured fireflies.
Venice of South East Asia (Canal Tour)
Bangkok’s charming riverside is brimming with stories to tell. On this morning tour, a long-tailed speedboat whisks you down the Chao Phraya River and canals (khlongs) of Thonburi – the original site where Bangkok was founded, before King Rama I moved the capital’s epicentre across the river to the Rattanakosin Island.
Immerse yourself in the picturesque riverside scenery, as you drift past stilted wooden homes, ‘floating kitchens’, mobile shops, colonial mansions and all kinds of colourful culture along the riverfront, before stopping at the enchanting Temple of Dawn (Wat Arun).
The trip passes the Royal Barges Museum, housing the eight elaborately decked longboats used in the highly ceremonial and rare Royal Barge Procession. With the combined tour, experience the above plus a trip to the Grand Palace, which reveals the splendour of early Rattanakosin architecture as well as Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew).
Shopping in Bangkok is not limited to one or two places. A multitude of high-end mega malls, chic department stores, boutiques, local specialist shops, and more traditional markets are scattered throughout the city. Major shopping malls include MBK Center, Siam Center & Siam Discovery Center, Central World, Erawan Bangkok, Siam Paragon, Gaysorn Bangkok, Siam Square, Central Chidlom and The Emporium. For a unique shopping experience, visit Chatuchak Weekend Market, Suan Lum Night Bazaar, Patpong Night Market and China Town.
Bangkok Shopping Mall
Bangkok’s modern, multi-storey shopping malls are a shopaholic’s paradise… From the legendary MBK, to the sophisticated Emporium, trendy Siam Discovery and Central World Plaza, or unashamedly upscale Siam Paragon, Bangkok’s accommodate every taste, pocket and style. The latest addition to the city’s ‘mallscape’ is the innovative Terminal 21 and Central Plaza Rama 9.
Asiatique River Front
Asiatique has successfully combined two of the most popular shopping experiences in the city: a night bazaar and a mall. Ten minutes downriver from Saphan Taksin BTS station this once-bustling international trade port has been transformed, with over 1,500 boutiques and 40 restaurants housed under a huge replica warehouse complex. Open from 17:00, spending an evening here is no problem: you’ll have good fun browsing the boutiques, picking up gifts or something for yourself; you are guaranteed to find something you would like to eat and if this isn’t enough entertainment, shows are performed nightly: Calypso ladyboy cabaret and soon, a classic Thai puppets performance.
Chatuchak Weekend Market ( JJ Market )
Once only popular among wholesalers and traders, Chatuchak Weekend Market has reached a landmark status as a must-visit place for tourists. Its sheer size and diverse collections of merchandise will bring any seasoned shoppers to their knees – this is where you can literally shop ‘till you drop’.The 35-acre (68-rai) area of Chatuchak is home to more than 8,000 market stalls. On a typical weekend, more than 200,000 visitors come here to sift through the goods on offer. Veteran shoppers would agree that just about everything is on sale here
Khao Sarn Road
Perhaps the best known Bangkok’s district among young and budget travelers,Khao San Road is a short street located a kilometer north of the Grand Palace. Described by Alex Garland in his best selling book The Beach as “the centre of the backpacking universe,” Khao San Road certainly has everything a single backpacker would need: a wide range of budget accommodations, an array of restaurants and bars offering international foods and drinks, an army of food trucks offering Pad Thai (and other Thai street dishes), money exchange counters, tour operators preparing packages to elsewhere in Thailand and neighboring countries. Before turning into a travelers’ hub, Khao San was one of Bangkok’s main rice (khao san in Thai) trading port, and that’s where its name came from.With its convenient location, travelers staying on Khao San Road can easily get around the old town on foot or bicycle, visiting Bangkok’s cultural landmarks like The Grand Palace,Temple of the Emerald Buddha, Wat Pho, the City Pillar Shrine, the National Museum and the National Gallery.During the annual Songkran (Thai New Year, every April 13-15) Festival, the street of Khao San turns into one of Thailand’s main celebrating spots you can expect extravagant parades, entertainment showcases and big water splashing event.
FINE FOOD EXPERIENCE AT RESTAURANTS
Dining out just got a whole lot more exciting. With the recent trend of buffet-style dining on the rise, it’s hard to figure out which restaurants are actually worth spending on. You can experience the ultimate dining experience with a buffet spread and your choice of Chef’s a la carte masterpiece. Enjoy the next level experience in Bangkok.
Baiyoke Sky Dinner
Daily lunch & dinner, including free admission to the Observation Deck on 77th floor and Sky Walk Revolving Roof Deck on 84th floor. The restaurant is featuring the greatest International buffet in Thailand. Enjoy the panoramic view of Bangkok and enjoy the tasty delights of our International buffet. Be entertained and have fun with the ‘Robot’, the ‘Joker’ and much more entertainment.
The Chocolate Ville
The Chocolate Ville is a new unique design restaurant which features a small European village, much more like a theme park, with the concept of “Dining in the Park”.
Sunset Dinner Cruise
Bangkok at night, especially along the city’s spectacular Chao Praya River, is a wonder to behold. For proof of this, look no further than one of many available dinner cruises. While you wine and dine in luxurious surroundings, you’ll get a true taste of just how much this city dazzles at night.Shimmering temples, glistening skyscrapers and a rich stream of passing nocturnal traffic will greet you from every direction. As you lap up the first-class hospitality and delicious Thai food on board your converted rice barge or luxury cruiser, you’ll get a true sense of what makes the ‘River of Kings’ such an evocative spot. Rounding off the experience will be a cool, tropical breeze and romantic candlelit ambiance, making this a simply unforgettable occasion.
Bangkok China Town ( Yao Warat Road )
Bangkok’s Chinatown, Thailand’s largest Chinese community, is commonly known among Thais as Yaowarat, according to the name of the road where it is located. The Chinese community dominated trades between Siam (ancient Thailand) and China since the reign of King Rama I, centered around Ratchawong Pier, while the construction of Yaowarat Road hadn’t begun until 1891 during the reign of King Rama V. Today, Yaowarat is widely known as the kingdom’s largest center of gold trade and a great foodie destination. Yaowarat simply has two faces: If you visit Yaowarat during the day, what you see along both sides of this one and a half kilometer road are shops selling gold, Chinese herbs, fruits and Chinese restaurants serving authentic cuisine. But if you visit Yaowarat after sunset, the road turns into a street food heaven where a number of food trucks prepare you marvelous food, from Chinese fried noodles to iced Chinese dessert, you hardly find elsewhere.
Ayutthaya or Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya in full name, is one of Thailand’s, and the world’s, historical highlights. Serving as the Thai capital for 417 years (1350-1767: Kingdom of Ayutthaya), it was ruled by 35 kings from 7 dynasties and had been through thick and thin, from the prosper of trading to the flame of wars that torn the kingdom. Before the present capital, Bangkok, Ayutthaya was holding the name city of angel because of is stunning palaces and glittering temples. During the 17th century, most foreign visitors to Ayutthaya, traders or diplomats alike, claimed Ayutthaya to be the most illustrious and glittering city that they had ever visited. And when the war with the Burmese had brought it down from heaven, most magnificent creations of its best craftsmen were also brought to the abysmal end. The remains remind the visitors of how significant this city used to be. Anyway the city and its people have picked up so nicely over time and activities are awaiting for both explorer and weekender. Elephant show will demonstrate how Kings fought and visitor can take part as the rider themselves. Lots of charming temple to visit and they are not far from another so biking tour for those active will make the trip even more amusing. Just an hour or so from Bangkok, you will be taken 400 years back into time.
The Ancient City
Muang Boran where you will experience a realistic journey into Thailand’s past in only a few hours, saving you many week of travel. Muang Boran Houses a number of art museums, priceless antiques. There is also an outdoor museum of original architecture structures and a collection of scaled down replica of historical landmarks.
Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall
The centerpiece of Bangkok’s own Champs Elysees, this impressive two-storey white marble palace sits at the end of Dusit’s long, wide Royal Plaza, a leafy ceremonial boulevard that’s often the focus of regal pomp and ceremony during royal celebrations.Ordered by King Rama V in 1907 and finished in the reign of King Rama VI, its neo-classical Renaissance architecture – particularly its central dome – dominate the scene just as Italian architects Mario Tamango and Annibale Rigotti intended. Following the 1932 coup it housed the first Thai parliament, but today its ornate interiors serve as a prestigious locale in which to court visiting dignitaries, hold state council meetings and royal occasions. Inside is a stunningly beautiful central dome, under which the Royal Throne sits. Lining it and each of the six other domes’ walls are frescoes depicting Chakri Dynasty monarchs (painted by Galileo Chini). The long hall on the upper floor is embellished with embossed roman and floral patterns showing Renaissance and Baroque arts. Outside, visitors can find impressive views both from the large paved plaza in front of it
Safari World Park and then drive through the scenic Safari Park presents a unique opportunity for the closest encounter with the rare and endangered species of wild animal kingdom. Visit to Marine Park, housing a spectrum of animal from land, sea & air & setting the scenes for 7 amazing world class shows. From live action stunt spectacular to performances by animal.
Fun for teenagers and the youngest This park has spectacular attractions like the Sky Coaster and the Hurricane for the older children and plenty of rides, games and fun things for the youngest ones.
Siam Niramit Show ( Show Time 20.00 )
Siam Niramit is a world-class performance of Thailand’s arts and cultural heritage. Set in the heart of Bangkok affording convenient access by MRT subway and major thoroughfares, this must-see spectacular is performed on the gigantic stage now listed in the Guinness Book of World Records, featuring over 150 performers with as many as 500 costumes. On top of this, enhanced special effects with the world’s most advanced technology are used to produce a stimulating, very realistic and inspiring experience. This is a Journey to the Enchanted Kingdom
Siam Park is nestled north of Bangkok and provides ample opportunities of amusement and entertainment to visitors. It is the best place or hangout for families and it provides unlimited fun and frolic to little kids and children. Siam Park is primarily a theme park and surrounds around a man- made beach and lake.The lake is done up artificially in such a way that it generates false waves. Glittering white sands basks all along the shores of the artificially created lake. Other attractive attractions in the park include an energetic fair with merry-go-round/ carousal. This fun park will take all your time and give you the entire day to yourself and your family. For unlimited fun and frolic your visit to Siam Park is must while your stay at Bangkok. And also admire as a recreational park featuring swimming pools, waterslides, whirlpools, and fountains. The Park’s major attraction is for the 400-metre Super Spiral waterslide. The giant sea pool with artificial surf is highly impressive. Added attractions include playgrounds, botanical gardens, an open zoo and an aviary.
Dinosaur Planet Bangkok is a theme park dedicated to prehistoric beasts, from the snarling T-rex to packs of Velociraptors. Opening in 2016, the amusement park will be located in the Phrom Phong area of Sukhumvit and will feature up to 200 life size models of popular dinosaurs. This promises to be very popular a place to photograph yourself with these long extinct beasts, and the construction of these models is incredibly impressive. The dinosaurs are placed in different terrain thought to be their natural habitat many millennia ago, along with a centerpiece volcano. Budding biologists will no doubt find the theme park in downtown Bangkok very informative and educational however this is more for the entertainment and shock factor than anything else. No official open date has been scheduled yet, although it promises to be in spring 2016.
Crocodile Farm & The Elephant Theme Show
Crocodile farm where you will see a spectacular show of crocodile wrestling between man andcrocodile. It’s one of the most impressive public crocodile display in the world in 1991.You willenjoy an elephant show. You will be entertained by demonstration of elephant at work, playingfootball, dancing see for yourself how elephants are rounded up and used during battles inancient Siam, where elephant were once used by Siamese and Burmese armies dressed in full battle gear
Kidzania Bangkok at Siam Paragon
Kidzania is the very latest and, without a doubt, most innovative addition to the ‘edutainment’ scene in Bangkok. This is unlike anything we have seen before and the level of fun has been raised to a brand new level.
Flow House Bangkok
Flow House Bangkok is an artificial wave machine and beach club in the heart of Bangkok that provides a great way for the whole family to have fun, keep fit and cool off – all while learning a new sport. Flowriding is basically an amalgamation of surfing and wakeboarding on an inflatable ramp which has a thin sheet of water pumped up and over it to simulate a perpetual breaking wave. Experienced boarders of any variety will soon pick it up and enjoy practicing flicks and grabs, while children can jump straight into it – literally – with a body board. Staff are on hand to guide you with a rope at first, and continually offer you advice, correct your posture, and generally give encouragement.
Go-Karting in Bangkok
Rumbling along in a go-kart with your seat just inches from the floor is an exhilarating experience that can be enjoyed by everyone and in any weather at Easy Kart indoor race track. Easy Kart is the largest indoor go-karting track in Bangkok and is located on Royal City Avenue (RCA), a street that is more famous for its clubs and pubs than its all-day activities. Go-karting is an exciting and inclusive activity that can be enjoyed from 13:00 to 24:00 with a range of karts catering to different age groups and levels of experience.
spice things up and make some of Thailand’s most iconic foods at a dazzling century-old mansion. Learn about the rich history behind the recipes while you get a taste of the culinary wonders of Royal Thai Cuisine.
Nanta Show in Bangkok
Nanta Show is the world best comedy musical show, which was successful story in Broadway in New York since 1999. Cookin’ Nanta Show conveys the message through the body Acting, facial expression, and music rhythms. Then, no matter where in the world you are from, you can enjoy the show. Nanta story contain kitchen happening and performers make amazing live sound with kitchen utilities with power & comic performance.
SEA LIFE Bangkok Ocean World
Experience what it’s like to have the entire ocean as your playground during a visit to SEA LIFE, Bangkok’s premier aquatic wildlife park. See an impressive variety of over 30,000 sea creatures up close while learning about their habitats.Enter this spectacular park—one of the largest aquariums in Southeast Asia—and be greeted by sights of a giant spider crab and Pacific octopus crawling around a large tank. Marvel at the ways these creatures are able to camouflage themselves against the surrounding rocks to hide from predators. Plaques posted at each exhibit offer a variety of information and open your eyes to the thriving world that exists just beneath the ocean’s surface for a visually stunning experience you won’t forget.
Madame Tussauds Bangkok
Located in the sixth floor of Siam Discovery Centre, the concept of the museum is no different from that of its other branches spread throughout the world showcasing figures of both local and international figures. Enter Bangkok Madame Tussaud’s and you will experience good, old fashioned curiosity. You will have the rare opportunity to take an emotionally overwhelming journey through the realms of the famous and the powerful, and you can always unleash your true feelings about characters you admire or loathe. The museum lets you get up close and personal with some of the world’s most famous celebrities and relive the moments, times and events that brought them fame. The flawless wax figures at the museum are divided into four types; pop stars, A-list party, tv stars, arts and sciences, history and leaders, sports stars. The tenth of its kind in the world, Madame Tussaud’s Bangkok houses over 70 wax figures including Madonna, Michael Jackson, Beethoven, famous film stars and people that shaped and influenced Asia and beyond. Wax figures of Thai important person are also displayed, e.g. Field Marshal PaekPiboonsongkram, Mom RajawongseSeniPramoj, General PremTinsulanonda, BuddhadasaBhikkhu, Mom RajawongseKukritPramoj, etc.
Calypso Cabaret Show Since 1987, Calypso Cabaret has been one of Bangkok’s best stage theaters any visitors cannot miss to watch. Once the red velvet curtains reveal, Calypso promises to bring you their best set of shows performed by talented dancers in extravagant costumes. Calypso Cabaret has just moved to the new location with larger set and better features, they now promises you the even better shows that will totally deliver an evening to remember. Showtime: 8:15pm and 9:45pm daily
Erawan Shine ( 4 Face Buddha ) Erawan Shrine is a Hindu shrine located in front of Grand Hyatt Erawan Hotel at the Ratchaprasong intersection on Ratchadamri Road in Lumphini Sub-district, Pathum Wan District, Bangkok. Both Thai people and foreigners like to visit this place and worship this famous holy object. A lot of group tours from many countries are arranged specifically to pay homage to Phra Phrom here.The history of this sacred shrine dated back to 1951 when Police General Phao Sriyanond assigned the establishment of Erawan Hotel at the Ratchaprasong intersection to receive foreign guests. It is said that during the first period of the establishment, there were a lot of mishaps. Later, when the construction was almost complete in the late 1956, a hotel executive of the Syndicate of Thai Hotels & Tourists Enterprises Limited, contacted Rear Admiral Luang Suvichan Paet, a head of Navy doctor and professional of sitting in meditation, to arrange the auspicious time for opening the hotel.
Jim Thomson House Jim Thompson House is a Thai teakwood house which he bought from the former owner of the house. The parts of each house were delivered to the recent area. The Thai house was completely built in 1959. Since Jim Thompson loved collecting antiques, the house, which he stayed between 1947 – 1967, also displays his collection under Jim Thompson foundation. In front of Jim Thompson House is Jim Thompson Restaurant and wine Bar which is used to welcome guests and visitors. Inside, the room is decorated in Thai style with Thai furniture, ornamental plants and flowers including Jim Thompson’s collections. They are mainly painted potteries such as Chinese painted potteries since Song dynasty to the ones in B.E. 19. Most of them are Chinaware which were exported in Ming dynasty while some items are from Ayutthaya, which were exported to China in B.E. 15-17, Lopburi – Khmer painted potteries in Lopburi kingdom in B.E. 12, Sukhothai and Sawankalok painted potteries which were made between B.E. 18 -19, the bodies of the Buddha images in Thewarawadi period and giant “Phra Pheang” made from baked clay and colored mirror and consisted of 450 small Buddha images. Apart from theses,
NATIONAL MUSEUM OF ROYAL BARGES The Royal Barge Procession, a royal ceremony that involves more than fifty gold-crafted barges, is one of the most spectacular events in the world. With a long-run history since Ayutthaya era, the procession aims to transport the king and/or member(s) of the royal family during special events, such as when delivering the new robes to the monks after a Buddhist Lent period.
The museum houses a precious collection of historic barges, some of which were built during the reign of King Rama I, more than two hundred years old. These barges are made of high-quality wood and beautifully decorated with vivid colors, mirrors and gold leaves. Each barge’s figurehead was crafted to represent a different kind of animals, which are vehicles of Rama god according to the Hindu belief. (Thais belief that the kings are avatars of Rama god). Probably the most remembered barge as it’s part of the logo of Tourism Authority of Thailand, the figurehead of the 46-meter-long Suphannahong royal barge features the shape of a mystical swan. It was built in 1911 during the reign of King Rama VI and is one of the four main royal barges which are the vehicles of the king. The other three, which are also the highlights of the museum, are Ananta Nagaraj with naga-shape figurehead, Narai Song Suban with Rama god on a garuda figurehead and Anekchat Puchong. Today, each royal barge procession consists of 52 boats, propelled by more than 2,000 rowers.