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By Andrew Thompson
Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, is a city known for its busy streets, intricate shrines, diverse street food and inimitable nightlife. There are many famous things to do in Bangkok throughout the year, and if you’re researching what to do in Bangkok, you’ll likely have heard of the Grand Palace, Temple of the Emerald Buddha, or the river Was Arun Ratchawararam. But the months of spring additional opportunities to explore over and above these traditional Bangkok tourist attractions.
Bangkok weather in spring is also the best of the year. Although temperatures are persistently high throughout the year, early spring is still tolerable and has significantly fewer rainy days than the wet summer months. March can have as few as two days of rain, but this increases steadily as you reach May, which has an average of 14 rainy days. Still, compared to the months that follow, this is certainly manageable, and even if you encounter some rain you will still be able to tick off most of the best things to do in Bangkok.
March is an ideal time to tick off some Bangkok tourist attractions. The weather is generally warm and dry, and it’s possibly the best time to be outdoors in the city. As the seasons change, you might also be lucky enough to be in Bangkok over the changing of the costume of the Emerald Buddha. It’s the most important Buddha image in Thailand, and it has three sets of gold seasonal costumes. The changing from winter to summer costumes takes place on March 21st.
If you’re unsure what do do in Bangkok in March, start with the most iconic attractions, including the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, Grand Palace, and Wat Arun. These should be included in any itinerary of things to do in Bangkok in 2 days, and if you choose a convenient place to stay in the city it’s easy to visit all as part of a busy itinerary. This is also a good time to discover Bangkok’s China Town. It’s a fascinating area home to a unique mix of Thai and Chinese cultures, and one of the best things to do in Bangkok at night. There you’ll find interesting street food, a selection of local hawkers, and impressive temples. Also in March is the annual World Wai Kru Muay Thai Ceremony. This is a massive gathering of Muay Thai practitioners now in its 12th year, and if you’re a fan of martial arts it’s an unmissable addition to the bucket list. The 2019 event takes place on March 17th at various important locations throughout the city.
April is still a good time to visit Bangkok, particularly if you’re hoping to avoid the rainy season. There are typically just five days of rain during this month, and so if you’re looking for things to do in Bangkok in 3 days there’s a chance you’ll escape without getting too hot and wet in April. If you’re unsure what do do in Bangkok in April, you’re in for a treat. The month is a particularly fun time to visit Thailand, with several nationwide festivals taking place throughout the month. The country observes Chakri Memorial Day on April 6th, with April 8th 2019 a public holiday. It’s a time for the country to commemorate the kings of Chakri dynasty, and its marked by celebrations and meritorious acts across the country. The King also presides over a religious ceremony held at the Temple of the Emerald Buddha.
Songkran Festival is a more relaxed celebration that takes place each year in April. In 2019 it will take place from April 13th to 15th, and it’s one of the more interesting and unusual things to do in Bangkok. It’s Thai New Year's national holiday, and is marked by large-scale water fights! Many major streets are closed in the cities across the country and people head outdoors with large water pistols to douse each other in a traditionally joyous day.
May in Bangkok can be hot and wet, and although this may interfere with plans to explore the city, it’s still well worth visiting at this time. If the weather turns wet, head indoors to try some non touristy things to do in Bangkok. Hidden gems that are particularly popular include Havana Social, a Cuban-themed speakeasy style bar, or Flow Coffee Roasters, one of the city’s best coffee shops. The Iron Fairies is another popular stop - it’s a repurposed ironsmith workshop that’s been transformed into a jazz bar, and a visit is one of the best things to do in Bangkok at night. When the skies clear, the Train Night Market Srinakarin is a fascinating experience where you’ll find a beautiful fleet of vintage cars and dozens of food stalls.
Visaka Bucha Day also falls in the middle of May each year. It commemorates three major events in the life of Buddha; his birth, enlightenment, and his death. The date changes each year, and in 2019 it will be on the May 19th. It’s a time when devout followers visit their local temples to give donations and participate in several important rituals. There are also sermons on Buddha’s teachings, and is a time for followers to remind and recommit themselves to the principals of the religion. Given the importance of the day no alcohol is sold on Visakha Bucha Day, and although most celebrations are private, most temples welcome visitors who wish to respectfully participate.
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