The capital city of Thailand and maybe the traffic jam capital of the planet, Bangkok is a fascinating, exciting and incredible city to visit. Like many other capital cities Bangkok never goes to sleep, there is always a hive of activity as people work around the clock in their various professions.
With eight million inhabitants living within the city you will find yourself encountering every walk of life, from the super poor to the mega rich they all congregate in the one city and each feels at home as the other.
Let’s have a look at the top things to do and see in Bangkok:
1. Visit the Grand Palace
Of all the places to visit in Bangkok the Grand Palace is the most famous attraction there is. You simply cannot move onto another city until you have taken the time to visit here. The palace at one time was the king’s home as well as the place where the government of Thailand carried out their work. A trip to the palace can take many hours as there are over 214,000 sq. meters to cover. Be aware of potential scams when outside the palace and only pay the entrance fee when you are actually going in.
2. Visit Wat Pho To See The Reclining Buddha
A visit to Wat Pho is a must for any traveler to Bangkok, it is the home to the Reclining Buddha which stands at fifteen metres tall and forty six metres long, the feet alone are measured at over five meters. The whole statue is covered in gold leaf and looks incredible when you get up close. Inside the temple there are 108 bowls and on the way in to the temple you can buy coins for the bowls. The history behind this is that Buddha completed 108 positive actions on his way to becoming perfect. Whilst you are at the temple you can also stop for a while to receive a traditional Thai Massage
3. Ride the Sky Train
There is only one way to get around Bangkok at any speed whilst keeping cool and that is to jump aboard one of the sky trains. With air conditioned carriages there is no better way to get around. In most instances you are high above the traffic below giving you a view of the city but also the train takes the most direct route. With nearly every part of Bangkok you would want to visit having a train station, travel could not be simpler.
4. Take a Boat Trip along the Chao Phraya River
Some people refer to Bangkok as the ‘Venice of the East’ this is due to the Chai Phraya River flowing through Bangkok and all of the little canals that feed off of it. The river is the lifeblood of Bangkok, even today 50,000 people still go to work on one of the many ferries that go up and down. Taking a boat trip down the river is fascinating as you will see high rise condominiums and fancy hotels in one part whilst you will see wooden shacks and children playing in the water in other parts. Feel free to get on and off at any of the stops the ferries make to further explore the city.
5. Take a trip around Chatuchak Market.
If you like shopping you need to check this place out. If you hate shopping you need to give this place a wide berth. With over 8000 stalls covering 27 acres of space this is one of the largest markets in the world. Open every Saturday and Sunday it attracts nearly 200,000 visitors a day, you will find everything you could ever imagine for sale here and mostly at local prices rather than tourist prices, it is certainly worth picking up a map before you go to avoid you being lost in the market for hours.
6. Visit The Bangkok National Museum
The Bangkok National Museum is home to the largest collection of artifacts and Thai art in all of Thailand. The museum was first opened by King Rama V to show off all the gifts that his father had given to him. There are many interesting things to see in the museum such as Chinese weapons, precious stones, puppets, clothing and textiles and Khon masks. If you go to the museum on a Thursday you can be given a tour in English to give you a greater understanding of everything in the museum.
7. Have a Thai Massage
Whatever country you come from you almost certainly would have heard of Thai massages and maybe even have seen a Thai massage parlour in your local village. But nowhere can you experience a traditional Thai massage done as well as you would in the country where it originated. The experience of a Thai massage will give you a new lease of life whilst making you feel invigorated as well as balanced. There are parlous absolutely everywhere so it is worth doing your research to find a good one near your hotel.
8. Eat Out At Chinatown
Every major city has its own Chinatown and Bangkok is no exception to this, you know you have arrived when you walk through the ceremonial Chinese gates and into Chinatown itself. Packed full of street stalls and restaurants the choice of places to eat will be endless, nowhere else in Bangkok will you get to try as many different kinds of Chinese food as you can here, especially at such good prices. If it is gold you are on the lookout for it is said that this is also the best place in Bangkok to look.
9. Eat Street Food
With Thai people choosing to eat almost every meal out instead of cooking at home the popularity of street food has never been stronger. Every busy road will have street food vendors selling their products to the locals and tourists alike, the prices are low because this is where the Thais choose to eat their meals as well. You have probably heard of Pad Thai but there is so much more to street food that this one dish. You will get stalls selling all sorts of foods from Som Tam (papaya salad) to Squid, all cooked in front of you ready for consumption straight away.
10. Visit Dusit Zoo
Dusit Zoo is the oldest zoo in Thailand and has been open for over 60 years. There is a large range of animals inside the zoo (approximately 1600) including monkeys, alligators, lions, tigers, penguins and kangaroos. The zoo is very much a working zoo and has an animal hospital which looks after all of the inhabitants of the zoo as well as an education center, museum and train.