Top 10 Things to See & Do in Bangkok

Old Jan 7th, 2020, 09:54 AM
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Top 10 Things to See & Do in Bangkok

My posts, I know, are far from perfect – not to mention there are so many outstanding full-time professional Youtubers and bloggers out there, who are making a living out of their traveling. However, I do hope to show you a different perspective. Here, I have my own platform to archive and revisit my journeys, and noting travel tips or two to those who are planning to visit there next. Sometimes, it got quite hectic on the road and memories tend to fade. Here, I have a chance to flip through my photos and videos and remind myself of what I missed and prepare myself for my second visit.

Go Back in Time: Historic Monuments, Temples and Landmarks

If you visit Bangkok for the first time, you simply must soak into the rich history of Thailand. Thailand remains the only country in Southeast Asia not colonized by Europeans.

Theravada Buddhism is the primary religion in Thailand for hundreds of years, from Sukhothai, Ayutthaya, Thonburi, Rattanakosin Kingdoms to now. While Sukhothai and Ayutthaya’s capitals are now famous heritage sites in Thailand (also Sukhothai and Ayutthaya respectively), Bangkok (including Thonburi) has been the capital of Thailand since the Thonburi reign from 1768. Hence, the city is filled with iconic landmarks – highlights include the Royal Palace, Wat Arun, and Wat Pho.

Traffic in Bangkok could be quite hectic at times, and the Bangkok subway could not reach its old town along the Chao Phraya River; A good way to explore this part of Bangkok is by the
Chao Phraya Tourist Hop-on-hop-off boat. Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha) is probably one of the most featured temples in Bangkok. The temple is located within the grounds of the Grand Palace. What impressed me the most is the Ubosot – it is a perfect example of the Rattanakosin architectural style: The exterior of the building is surrounded by statues of Garuda and Naga, paved by golden embellishments and covered by blue and orange mosaic tiles; don’t miss out the frescoes inside that depict the life journeying of the Buddha.
If you have more time, have an excursion to
Ayutthaya (one of the five Unesco World Heritage Sites in Thailand) and explore the historic park, ruins, Bang Pa-In Palace, Bodhi tree root in Wat Maha Thai, and Wat Lokayasutharam.

Go Artsy: Museum and Art Space

While the historic buildings embrace religious and traditional arts, refresh your art eyes with contemporary art created by local and regional artists. MOCA Bangkok has been purposely built to showcase and exhibit the exceptional works of art collected over the past three decades by Boonchai Bencharongkul.
Check out the creative art scene in Bangkok at the diverse art space and galleries, including Bangkok Art & Culture Centre (BACC), Kathmandu Photo Gallery, Chulalongkorn Art Centre, Bangkok University Gallery, H Art Gallery, Toot Yung Art Center, The Queen’s Gallery, and La Lanta Fine Art Gallery.

Go Nature: Safari World and Aquarium

Once you have feasted your eyes, go active in the sub-urban area! Visit the Safari World – a classic tourist attraction that consists of two parks named Marine Park and Safari Park that takes up a total area of 480 acres for its open zoo and 180 acres for its bird park.

Take a drive through the open area where you will meet a great diversity of wildlife from elephants, big cats, bears, giraffe, and more. Take a picture with a baby tiger, feed a camel, or walk thought the Jungle Walk
To get close the aqua life, Sea Life Bangkok Ocean World is located in the basement of Siam Paragon shopping mall. It is the largest in Southeast Asia, covering approximately 10,000 sq meters with hundreds of different species on display in the exhibit.

Go Market: Floating Markets and Train Market

There is no way that you are in Bangkok you don’t somehow end up in a market. Street food, local handicrafts or souvenirs are basically anywhere in the streets and alleys in the city. Hop on a boat and sail through the canals where hawkers try to make a sell for whatever they have on their boats: from fruits, arts, toys, handicrafts to fashion. The floating market was originated from a time when water transport plays an important role in daily life. Today, most floating markets are mainly for tourists:

For the list of Floating Markets:

Go Fine Dining: Asia Best Restaurants

Check out the list of “Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2019”… 10 Asia’s Best Restaurants are in Tokyo, 9 in Hong Kong, 8 in Singapore, and huh… Bangkok has 8 as well. Namely: Gaggan, Paste, Sühring, Modern German food in a beautifully restored townhouse, GAA, BO.LAN, LE DU, NAHM, and SORN…

I have yet to taste them all (and yes some of them – like Gaggan could be quite difficult to get a table. Their booking is always full and you could be on the waiting list forever, and they are closed on 25 August 2019). I visited Sühring recently with my group of friends this year and I was happy to know that it rose to the top of the list and ranked #4 in 2019.

Go Yummylicious: Thai food

Obviously, it is impossible to introduce and list out all delicious local Thai food and it deserves a post on its own. Anyway, there is no way you are leaving Bangkok without a taste of some local dish. The night markets are good place to start: chicken rice, seafood barbecue, coconut, mango sticky rice, steam fish, pork rib stew, novelty pancakes… the possibilities are endless; Venture to alleys or street where you may discover some hidden treasures, go to China town, you may find some classic Chinese delicacies with a touch of Thai flavor. Resturants like Somboon Seafood is renowned for unique tastes developed over the years and today still there is a long line outside many of its restaurants all over Bangkok every day.

Ans for me, as much as I want to resist, I let myself go and I couldn’t say no to the temptation of the dessert dishes in many dessert bars and cafes! Today, After You Dessert Cafe is basically everywhere; but don’t forget to try the local souffle pancake places like Brix Dessert Bar, Pancake Cafe Fluff, and GRAM for a miracle pancake.

Mango rice is technically a national dish. go to Make me Mango or Mango Tango for a delightful mango dessert after dinner, it will definitely light up your evening.

Go Out! Night Markets and Shows

Carrying on from the hypes and fun of traditional markets, Bangkok has an exciting variety of bazaars, clubs, and theatres that operates until late at night.
I think by now literally everyone knows about the popular Chatuchak Weekend Market – it is now conveniently connected by both BTS and MRT Blue Line at the Chatuchak Park Station. Recently, J.J market’s new extension J.J Green Market was closed in 2018 – but well, there are other plans install and so stay-tuned.
For more about the night markets:

Go High: Rooftop & SkyWalk

While sky bars are no exactly invented, nor it’s exclusive in Bangkok, there are so many fabulous rooftop bars in the city making it one of the must-dos while you are here. Besides, going to the rooftop bars has become a great way for a group of friends to have a fun night out, enjoy the neon lights panoramic views of the Bangkok city skyline, and feel the cooling breeze getting away from the hustle and bustle on the ground.
To me, it is an option to the sky bar experience. The entrance fee is a bit expensive in Bangkok standard, but the visit has no time limit, so you could visit any time of the day and stay there until midnight!
The observatory, consists of three levels, starting from an indoor section in the 74/F. Sit down on the beanbags and enjoy a 360 panoramic of the Bangkok skyline, from the line of skyscrapers along the BTS line to the palace and monuments on the riverside.
Move your way up to the 76/F to the rooftop and sky garden. There, there’s a cafe where you could not only enjoy the view but also some cooling breeze. Be thrilled as you walk down the glass platform only to see Bangkok from its highest peak! It’s said to be the highest! No photo-taking on the glass platform, that you could have someone to stay behind the ropes and take the photos for you.

Go Relax: Massage and Spa

I remember once enjoying a massage and spa in Bangkok is a must. Some of the spa centers open till late that we could enjoy a good rub down after dinner and a fun day out. Now some of the spa centers close earlier and remember to make a reservation before visiting.

Go on a Shopping Spree: Shopping Malls!

While Bangkok is still under development, the number of upscale shopping malls in the city is enchanting. Visitors may find a number of luxurious retail brand setting up their flagship stores, they have a number of local brands, boutique, designer stores and food chain that makes a day in the mall so much more exciting.

Siam Center, Siam Paragon, Central World, and Gayson are some classic shopping malls that are connected through skywalk all the way from Siam to Chit Lom BTS station. Emporium, with its new extension, EmQuartier, has a great food hall at Phrom Phong. Central Embassy is a rather new luxury shopping complex and hotel featuring dozens of high-end retailers, boutiques, restaurants, and Park Hyatt. I just love their book tower and art tower on level 6. It features an open playground that kids would just love exploring the slides. The book tower is an open area for shoppers to read books and look for designer products. The Raw Bar, Meat bar, and many cafes offer a lot of interesting dishes on their menu.
For the popular malls:

If you are too tired to get out to eat after your shopping spree; it’s perfectly fine to stay in the mall and have a nice dinner in the malls. Many shopping arcades usually has a great array of restaurants, or an exciting food hall and go beyond your imagination. They are no commercial fast food – renowned food chain and the international franchise also set up stalls here that offers authentic and delicious dishes. Like in Siam Discovery is a recent addition with a new dining experience; it has restaurants, cafes, and bakeries like Brix Dessert Bar, Café Chilli, Jamie’s Italian, Phufu, and Man Fu Yuan.

Don’t forget to visit one of those local supermarkets like Big C to shop for local merchandise and snacks before heading back home. Some of the superstores open until 2am and popular products include Kohkae peanuts, tube-shaped honey, big lava sheets… some of my friends like local home products like fabric softeners with the flavor of babies~

knycx_journeying is offline  
Old Jan 8th, 2020, 05:51 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Thanks for posting this.
isabel is offline  
Old Jan 8th, 2020, 08:18 AM
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Posts: 191
Originally Posted by knycx_journeying View Post
My posts, I know, are far from perfect – not to mention there are so many outstanding full-time professional Youtubers and bloggers out there, who are making a living out of their traveling. However, I do hope to show you a different perspective. Here, I have my own platform to archive and revisit my journeys, and noting travel tips or two to those who are planning to visit there next. Sometimes, it got quite hectic on the road and memories tend to fade. Here, I have a chance to flip through my photos and videos and remind myself of what I missed and prepare myself for my second visit.
Thanks for sharing. Just some constructive criticism, but your style would be better if it were more personalized and written from the heart. The "full-time professional Youtubers and bloggers out there" aren't actually outstanding; they're mostly self-promoting, fake and phony garbage solely designed to make the author money. These authors have to convey that they're living a certain lifestyle (everything is fun and cool and perfect with their jetsetting life), and never post anything "real," such as negatives of a destination, struggles they experienced, bad decisions they made in their planning. The goal isn't to be helpful to future travelers to that destination; it's to promote their brand and their image.

I'd encourage you to eschew this sort of style, and try to make your posts more "real." Your post reads like a generic travel article that someone who has never even been to BKK could have written based on some internet research. It's very hard to figure out where you actually went and what is your personal opinion (helpful information) versus what is generic info that is all over the internet (unhelpful information).
LAX_Esq is offline  
Old Jan 8th, 2020, 04:31 PM
Join Date: Nov 2006
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Honestly, I have to agree with LAX_Esq. I follow many (and perhaps far too many) travel blogs and this one reads like an ordinary, to me, "Who Cares?" travel blog.

Share your personal experiences more than generic information that can be found in any guidebook

Last edited by Moderator1; Jan 11th, 2020 at 04:17 PM. Reason: edited to remove a word that could be considered insulting
fourfortravel is offline  
Old Jan 8th, 2020, 07:16 PM
Join Date: Aug 2011
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The Dusit Zoo, a long loved Bangkok attraction, has been closed. The Zoo director cannot give a reason, but he only can say the animals have moved away.
The unspeakable reason in well known: The King speaks and takes the land. He claims the land as His and His alone and no one can speak contrary.
A medieval system of power, Monarchy colluding with Military, rules Thailand, of course to the detriment of the common man.
jobin is offline  
Old Jan 8th, 2020, 07:23 PM
Join Date: Jul 2003
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Thank you for posting this. Lots of good information.
No ones posts are perfect.
I say well done.

Last edited by jacketwatch; Jan 8th, 2020 at 07:31 PM.
jacketwatch is offline  
Old Jan 8th, 2020, 08:13 PM
Join Date: Nov 2009
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I agree with LAX. The OP is regularly posting trip reports of this nature, and they are largely ignored by the people here. I'm not one to bash other posters, but let's see more of a personal report with impressions about an area, and how you did your planning.
CaliforniaLady is offline  
Old Jan 9th, 2020, 03:10 AM
Join Date: Mar 2014
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Another in full agreement with ^^^^^. That said there's still some useful tips in the OP, though far preferable to read tips as part of an authenticate experience written in the first person.

Last edited by LancasterLad; Jan 9th, 2020 at 03:14 AM.
LancasterLad is offline  
Old Jan 10th, 2020, 08:58 PM
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Thank you Isabel ~
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