The Thai capital can be intimidating at first, but give it a chance and you will seriously love it. There are so many cool things to do in Bangkok that it is not hard to tell you where to go and what to do. But to name you the best things to do in Bangkok is a little harder. Some are so standard and touristy that you just have to tick them off regardless. If you are going to Paris you will also take a look at the Eiffel Tower, right? To me the city is more than just the Bangkok tourist attractions, I also like to walk around and enjoy the amazing street life. To me Bangkok is more like an experience!
You can never go wrong with a trip to Thailand I always say and whatever your itinerary for Thailand is, chances are you are passing by Bangkok. To make the most of your time in this bustling and crazy city I wrote this guideline for you. If you need more Thailand travel tips then have a look at these 62 things to know.
A list of the best 10 things to do in Bangkok
1. See the temples
Of course make sure you are going to see the best sights of Bangkok: its temples. My favorite one? Wat Saket, also known as Golden Mount, which is not too far from Khao San Area and offers great views over the city. Other top sights in Bangkok are Wat Pho, Wat Arun and of course Grand Palace.
Pic by Flickr
2. Party on Khao San Road
Can you rank a popular street full with travellers as one of the best things to do in Bangkok? Khao San Road became such an icon that you have to see it with your own eyes. Enjoy a night out here; it is the most famous backpacker area in the world. A street with 2 Mc Donald’s, 2 Burger Kings, 2 Starbucks, 482 shops, 691 street food carts, 177 bars, 15 massage salons and many more all within 500 meters. Even if you are not up for a party you have to come and see it and enjoy the market in Khao San Road.
Find your Thailand transportation here
Traveling around Thailand? Did you already hear about the transportation search engine? It helped me a lot on my trips through South East Asia. 12Go Asia works simple and easy and within a couple clicks you reserve your seat on a boat, bus, train and even plane. If you for example plan on traveling from Bangkok to Koh Tao they give you all the routes available by boat, train, bus and plane. You will find the timetables, the prices and a book here option. Traveling in Thailand should be simple, easy and convenient.
3. Boat tour Thonburi
Forget a trip over the crowded Chao Praya River. That is just a normal ferry and you will not see anything. Make it over to Thonburi, an area that has not lost much of its charm from the old days. The network of khlongs (canals) is why Bangkok sometimes is referred to as Venice of the East. Get yourself a seat in a boat tour through the khlongs of Thonburi and see how people still live in stilted houses on the water. Keep your eyes open for incredibly huge lizards that grow over 2 meters long.
4. Walking tour Chinatown
A Bangkok must visit is Chinatown, one of the most bustling and lively areas of the city where it is all about shopping and eating. Foodies can eat their heart out. Street food can literally be found everywhere and later in the night alcohol too. Drink beers with the locals, although they don’t speak English, if you drink enough of their shots you will speak Chinese and I bet you this will be one of the most fun things to do in Bangkok! :)
5. Bike tour
Want to see a different side of Bangkok then try a bike tour. Read here the article about the bike/boat combo tour I did with Co van Kessel bike tours and watch the GoPro video of the adventure. Bike tours take you to places you would not get on your own. Go off the beaten path in Bangkok and see banana plantations and farms. A bike tour is definitely something that has to end up in everyone's top 10 things to do in Bangkok.
6. Affordable rooftop bar
A must do in Bangkok is a drink on a rooftop bar. With so many sky bar around you would expect competitive prices, but be prepared to pay minimum $10 for any drink. There is one exception: Cloud 47, where a beer cost $6. Although the setting is a bit sober, views are equally stunning. Octave Skybar on Sukhumvit has happy hour an hour before sunset until an hour after sunset, get your drinks here at this time of the day and you pay only $7 for a cocktail. The Red Sky Bar on top of the Centara Grand has stunning 360 degrees views plus they have comfy lounge seats. Sirocco the rooftop bar of Le Bua often mentioned as one of the things not to miss in Bangkok is my least favorite one. It is overcrowded, extremely overpriced ($20 Mojito) and there is hardly any place to chill out. For a complete rooftop guide of Bangkok, click on the link.
Where to stay in Bangkok? This city is known to have some surprsingly affordable luxury hotels. Want to sleep in a 5* resort for less than $100 a night? Check out some of the hotels I stayed in: affordable luxury hotels in Bangkok.
7. Rent a bike in the Green Lung of Bangkok
My secret travel tip for Bangkok: drive a bike around the massive green island in the city center. Surrounded by the Chao Praya River the green Bang Kachao is as flat as a pancake and because of its shape named the green lung of Bangkok. It is perfect to cycle around on a bicycle. As soon as you cross the river you will stumble upon bike rentals. Take a bike and cycle around the green area and forget that you are in Bangkok.
8. Wakeboarding in Bangkok
It is a huge city and there are amazing things to do in Bangkok itself, but if you have enough of the top sights of Bangkok, a bit outside the city are a couple cool activities to do as well. One of my favorites is the Thai Wake Park where you can try out wakeboarding or if you already a pro ride the obstacles! Bring only your swim wear, the rest will be provided. It’s a cheap and fun place to learn wakeboarding.
9. Mae Klong Railway Market
The best Thai market is also just outside the city. The Mae Klong railway market is a must go if you are into markets. Unique in its kind and still super authentic, no souvenir shops, just fruits, vegetables, fish and meat. The market is unique for the fact that is it is set up on the sides of a railway track and about 6 times a day a train will pass through. I just had to create an item to name it in a list of places to visit in Bangkok, I loved it so much!
Are you vegan? Then have a look at these delicious vegan restaurants in Bangkok.
10. Floating market in Damnoen
Far from authentic is the Floating Market of Damnoen, mentioned often as one of the best floating markets around Bangkok. Prices for boat trips are ridiculously high and there are only a few local traders. The majority of the boats and shops are catered for tourists, not my favorite market at all. To me this is one of those things not to do in Bangkok.
These last 3 activities are a little outside Bangkok so you have to find transportation. Renting an Uber for a day is now possible or haggle with a nice taxi driver about a decent price. We paid $50 with 4 people to drive around a whole day with a taxi driver and see those fun things to do around Bangkok as well. Ok apart from the floating market which was a bit of a disappointing Bangkok tourist attraction!
Ideas on where to stay in Bangkok
These are my favorite places to stay in Bangkok, I have tried way more than the following hotels but these are my favorites.
From Bangkok airport to the city
How to get from Bangkok airport to the city is something I have been asked unlimited times. It is so easy: go down to lowest floor of the airport and buy for a 45THB ($1,30) a sky train ticket into the city. Get out there, take a meter-taxi and you will get to your destination for max $4 in total!
Buy a Thai SIM card and enjoy cheap and fast 4G internet, which one? Check out this blog: best Thai SIM card for travellers.
If you don't want to switch sim cards then a Teppy is a great option: a portable WiFi device that gives internet on the go and you only pay when you use it. Learn more about this and avoid high roaming costs: now with unlimited internet per 24 hours, click on the banner!
Blogs with tips for traveling to Thailand
Are you heading South after Bangkok? Then you should check out my places to visit in Thailand with friends in where I tell you my secret islands to escape the tourists trail. If you want to know the best island for diving, partying, islandlife, scuba diving, the best beaches and more then let me help you making your trip to Thailand a succes and guide you what to expect on the most famous Thai Islands. If you are looking for a tailored Thailand Itinerary Blog I can help you find the best Thailand backpacking routes. I have been to Thailand now almost 20 times and that is why I wrote all these articles about it. :)
Everything you need to know about traveling to Thailand! I created the ultimate guide for you with visa info, vaccinations, best time to go, must see places, street food info, parties, festivals, safety and more.
Do you need more specific tips for your trip to Thailand then click on the link. Or check out my article Is It Expensive To Travel To Thailand for a break down of the prices for transportation, accommodation, alcohol, parties, island hopping, etc.
Let me know if you have any other recommendations or fun things to do in Bangkok by leaving a comment. If you have specific questions also please let me know and I am more than happy to answer them. If you think this article is valuable to people in your social network please share it on Facebook, Google+ or Pin it on Pinterest. For you a small effort, for me a huge compliment! It would help me a lot. Thank you very much for helping out a stranger...