Bangkok is an endlessly fascinating city. A mix of the old and the new, the traditional and the modern, with luxury hotels and budget backpacker dives, high-end restaurants and street food. Visit ancient temples and contemporary shopping malls, historic buildings and bustling markets. Whether you are in Bangkok for two days or two months, these are the things you cannot miss seeing.
If you only have time to do one “touristy” thing in Bangkok then make it a good one – the Grand Palace. This royal residence is a beautiful place to visit and is full of historic and important artifacts. One of the main attractions is the Jade Buddha, and you can also see the temples used for important ceremonies. Make sure that you cover your arms and your legs when you are visiting, and dress smartly in order to respect the location. The Grand Palace is open every day – go in the morning to make sure that you have enough time to look around and also to beat a bit of the heat.
As you visit the Grand Palace, so too should you pay a visit to Wat Pho. Wat Pho is also known as Wat Chetuphon and is a famous, historic temple in Thailand’s capital city. It is known for being the site of the first university in Thailand and it is also the location for a traditional Thai medical school. But the main reason for visiting Wat Pho – and the reason it attracts so many visitors – is to see the Temple of the Reclining Buddha. The statue is massive – over 45 meters long – and you cannot fully take in its beauty at once. Take a look at the soles of the feet, which are inlaid with precious stones. There are plenty of other interesting details to focus on, too. Wat Pho is open every day until around 6pm.
Khao San Road
A firm favorite with backpackers, Khao San Road is the place to come for cheap food, cheap beer, and a lively atmosphere. If you are after some clothes, or a replacement battery for your phone, this is the place to find it. You will also find an excellent selection of guesthouses and hostels for cheap overnight accommodation.
Wat Arun is a stunning location, all the better if you climb to the top of the complex and watch as the sun sets over the river. A truly beautiful and unforgettable place in Bangkok. Wat Arun is also called the Temple of the Dawn. Open every day with a small admission fee.
National Museum & Wang Na Palace
If you are interested in Asian history then the National Museum is your place to visit. Take a tour in English to discover the place in all its detail, or spend a morning looking at the exhibits yourself. Most of the labels on the artifacts are in English as well as Thai. Wang Na Palace is also an historic site and you can see various examples of artifacts, Buddhas and weapons.
This wonderful weekend market is a must-visit. You can buy practically anything from souvenirs to street food, clothes to DVDs. You need a good amount of time to explore this market, where there is plenty of opportunity for haggling and browsing. The colors and the scents of the market are unforgettable.
Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
The famous floating market of Damnoen Saduak is around one and a half hours from Bangkok but worth the trip. You can buy foods and drinks by boat, and take a look at the colors and interesting detail on display which reveals the everyday lives of the locals.
This temple is famous for housing the Golden Buddha. Pay a visit to Wat Traimit to see this historic, valuable artifact and learn about how this valuable relic was once concealed under a coat of plaster. Read more about; Wat Traimit
Visit one of the oldest temples in Bangkok and also one of the most beautiful. Wat Suthat is beautifully designed and has some excellent examples of wall paintings. If you want to visit a less crowded and touristy temple, this is the place to come as it attracts fewer visitors than other temple complexes in the capital.
Take a quick look at this example of Bangkok’s historic sights – the Giant Swing. This teak frame stands 27 meters high and was once the point for a religious ceremony to take place. Now it is simply an interesting place to visit and photograph.
Jim Thompson House
Jim Thompson was the American who settled down in Thailand after the Second World War. He became an expert in silk trading but then disappeared in Malaysia. His home is now a museum documenting the history of the city and the silk trade in Bangkok.
Check out more ideas for Bangkok at PhuketOn. When planning a trip to Phuket or Bangkok, make PhuketOn your first stop.