Do you only have one day in Bangkok? If you are passing through on your way to Phuket or Koh Samui, or you have a layover during your international flight, there’s plenty you can see and do in one day or even one evening.
Bangkok is so busy and active; you’ll never be short of activities or things to see. The difficult thing is deciding what exactly to do. It would be a shame to miss out! Don’t panic – we are here to help with our pick of recommended quick activities in Bangkok when you don’t have much time to spare.
1) Check out the Grand Palace
The Grand Palace in Bangkok is one of the best things to see in Bangkok and highly recommended if you have just one day in Bangkok to enjoy. The Grand Palace was built in 1782 and was once the home to the king and the court. Today it inspires and awes visitors with its beautiful architecture and detail in its carvings and paintings. You can see the shrine of the Emerald Buddha as well as the gardens and various small museums. The Grand Palace is easily visited in one afternoon or in a day if you want to take it slowly.
Bangkok temple/ Image via Barbara Willi/ Flickr
2) Visit Wat Arun (The Temple of Dawn)
If you have two days in Bangkok you’re sure to want to add Wat Arun onto a trip to the Grand Palace, although you can do both in one day if you are quick. Wat Arun is an impressive structure rising from the banks of the river and one of the symbols of the city. It is a gorgeous stupa decorated with ornate floral patterns and patches of glass.
3) Go Shopping in Chinatown
If you have visited Bangkok before and have already checked off the two biggest sights from your list, head to a less touristy and very interesting spot – Chinatown. You’ll find a huge array of tasty food and delicacies on offer, from birds nest soup to Peking duck. You’ll see some amazing sights and smell some wonderful scents – Chinatown is a great place to wander and get lost in Bangkok.
4) Take a River Khlong Tour
The Khlong are the traditional Bangkok canals and you can get a great sense of traditional Thai life by taking a simple river tour into the canals. You get up close to the places people live, in the wooden townhouses and the shacks on stilts, and see real life in Bangkok from the comfort of your boat. Plus, this is a cheap tour to take and much easier on the wallet than the tourist boats.
5) Discover Asiatique
If you only have a short amount of time in the evening it’s a good idea to head to Asiatique, the night bazaar/mall combination that offers a great deal to see and do in a contained area. The location for this shopping extravaganza was once a huge trade port and it has been transformed into a collection of boutiques, restaurants, and entertainment venues. Open from 5 pm every night.
6) Look at the Sunset
With a cocktail in hand. If you’re here for the night there is no better way to wind down than with a cocktail or beer in one of Bangkok’s sky bars – try the State Tower’s Sirocco or Vertigo and Moon Bar at the Banyan Tree. It’s amazing to watch the sunset over this huge city in peace and tranquility.
7) Walk Down Soi Rambuttri
Rambuttri is parallel to the more famous street Khao San, and it is much more laid back and provides a hint of what life was like in Bangkok before the massive development. It’s a leafy street for some good photo opportunities.
8) Take a Dinner Cruise
If you don’t feel like walking anywhere and you want to see the city without stress, a dinner cruise down the Chao Phraya River is ideal. You can choose from various dinner and entertainment options, different boats and different lengths to suit your budget. You’ll get a wonderful view of the city from a different angle and it’s lovely to see the sunset from the water.
Bangkok nightlife/ Image via Mark Murray/ Flickr
For more inspiration on Bangkok including Bangkok hotel choices, visit PhuketOn. Check out PhuketOn for Koh Samui, Phuket, Bangkok and Hua Hin travel tips.