No two minutes and Bangkok will ever be the same - this is a city which is constantly shifting, and is jam packed with people who never seem to stop moving! One moment will see you stuck in infuriating traffic, the next could see you calming soaring above the city on the BTS Sky Train. Looking for things to do in Bangkok can seem overwhelming at first - with so many Buddhist Temples, never ending markets and historic landmarks to discover, how can you know where to start? Start with these 5 attractions in Bangkok and you’ll fall in love with the city and its hidden gems in no time!
Temple of the Reclining Buddha
Wat Pho, the Temple of the Reclining Buddha is one of the largest temples in Bangkok, and as the name suggests is famous for its giant reclining Buddha. You’ll wonder how the 46m long, larger-than-life statue was ever squeezed in! Lavishly covered with gold leaf and painstakingly decorated with mother-of-pearl depictions of the 108 laksanas or characteristics of Buddha, the impressive statue commands attention and you’ll quickly realize that no photograph can ever do it justice! Mirroring the 108 laksanas are 108 bronze bowls along the walls. Buy a bowl of coins when you enter and drop them into the bowls for good luck! Within the grounds of the temple is also the country’s most famous massage school. Once you’ve strolled through the sprawling temple compound and marveled at the Reclining Buddha, you could enjoy a traditional massage and know you’re in good hands!
The Grand Palace
Built in 1782, The Grand Palace was home to Thai royalty and the Royal Court for 150 years and even today is regarded as the spiritual and administrative heart of Thailand. This is undoubtedly one of Bangkok’s most recognizable landmarks, and you should set aside as much time as you can to really take in all of its majestic beauty. At the heart of the palace is the Grand Palace Hall, an imposing building with more ornate detail than you could have dreamed possible. There are three other majestic halls to discover, each with its own historic purpose and architectural style. Within the palace walls is also Wat Prah Kaew, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. This is one of the most important Buddhist temples in the whole of Thailand, and enshrines the Emerald Buddha. This exquisitely carved image of Buddha is made from a single block of jade - you can’t miss paying homage to this sacred wonder.
Chatuchak Weekend Market
Chatuchak is one of the largest markets in the world, and your first visit can feel a little overwhelming! A labyrinth of over 15,000 stalls, separated into 27 sections that branch off numbered alleyways. Each section is home to one type of goods, so you can’t go wrong amongst the organized chaos. With everything from antiques to street fashion, garden plants to traditional Thai silks, you really could spend all day weaving your way through this maze-like market. Try to arrive early to beat the crowds and the heat, and bring your best bargaining skills! Prices here are reasonable despite being Bangkok’s biggest market, but it never hurts to haggle - you can't go wrong with these market tips.
Wat Arun, also known as the Temple of the Dawn, is one of the most beautiful Buddhist temples in Bangkok. There’s something magical about the colorful ceramic tiles and porcelain details lit up by the first light of the morning. This spot on the riverside is an oasis of calm even amongst the overwhelming traffic and hustle of central Bangkok. The temple was named after Aruna, God of the Dawn, so it’s no surprise that the temple is at its most beautiful as the sun peeks over the city. Its majestic, 79m tower looking almost as though it rose from the waters of the Chao Phraya River. The unusual design of the temple along with the mythical giants watching over the grounds make Wat Arun a must-see in Bangkok and if you go early you’ll also beat the crowds.
With out-of-this-world street eats and markets which only really come alive at night, Chinatown, known locally as Yaowarat. This market is a vibrant explosion of colors, sights, smells, and sounds that will have you wanting to come back again and again. Shop your way along the organized chaos of Sampeng Lane, check out the gold shops (Chinatown has the highest concentration of these in the city), and pay a visit to Wat Traimit to see the largest gold Buddha in the world. A microcosm of the city itself, Yaowarat offers incredible cheap eats, a thriving night market culture, and sacred religious sites. It's the perfect place to spend the night like a local amongst hustle and bustle and you won’t be disappointed.
Hello, curious traveler!
Embark on a unique experience with Hello, curious traveler!
Embark on a unique experience with Our personalized, private tours, led by local hosts, make you feel like you’re exploring the city with a knowledgeable friend. We’ll take you to well-known sights and reveal Bangkok’s hidden gems, unveiling stories typically missed by traditional tours. So unscript your journey, and see Bangkok through the eyes of our local hosts!
Top private experiences in Bangkok
We’ll pair you with the perfect host
There is no better way to see a city than with a friend who lives there. This is why we carefully match guests with their perfect host based on interested, personality and type of experience so they can discover a city beyond the tourist trail.
Make your inbox happy with our travel tips and inspiration as well as exclusive offers and first access to new services.