If you’ve been traveling in Southeast Asia for a while or backpacking chances are you’re going to pass through Bangkok at some point in time. At least a few times. We’re going to show you 25 Relaxing Things to Do in Bangkok (Thailand). Let’s check it out.
So we are currently visiting the Grand Palace and this is the most iconic sight in all of Bangkok and for good reason. It is breathtaking. Like seriously if you look at the details, the little mosaics, the mirrors, the gold. It is impressive and it is huge so we’re going to give you a quick tour. Actually, it is going to be a long tour so stick around. The Grand Palace was once the residence of the Kings of Siam, and while the current monarchy resides in Dusit Palace, the Grand Palace is still used for official events and functions. There is a strict dress code in order to visit, so dress modestly; that means no bare legs or shoulders for both men and women. It’s also a good idea to carry your passport as security can be tight; we were asked for ours.
Wat Phra Kaew aka ‘Temple of the Emerald Buddha’
You’ll also find Wat Phra Kaew. This Wat houses the Emerald Buddha, which is a figure of a seated Buddha said to have originated in India. Unfortunately, no video or photography is allowed, but be sure to visit if you’re already there. Alright, so we just avoided the tourist boat which was going to cost us 100 Baht.
Chao Phraya Express Boat ride along the Chao Phraya River
Right, so there is a lot of tourist boat options but if you want to travel like a local you’re going to take the Chao Phraya Express Boat. And this is something you absolutely have to do in Bangkok. It is just such an iconic experience. Yeah. So we can’t wait to take a ride. And tickets are only 14 Baht per person. That is right.
Wat Arun aka ‘Temple of Dawn’
Let’s get on. We’re heading to Wat Arun. The Chao Phraya is a major river that flows through Bangkok and then continues its downward journey to the Gulf of Thailand. Many tourist attractions sit along the river’s edge, so depending on where you’re going, taking the Chao Phraya Express can be one of the most efficient ways to get around. It’s also quite the experience as you’re guaranteed to see all sorts of vessels competing for space on the water. Wat Arun, also known as the Temple of Dawn, is said to be most beautiful when the sun casts its first light. What really sets it apart is the porcelain decorations against an all-white background.
Chatuchak Weekend Market aka Jatujak or JJ Market
It is a massive market. It is open only on the weekends and we’re going to get to eat a lot of Thai street food today. That is the plan. We are now officially entering the market and it is packed. We’re here around noon and it is just full of people. And this is just the entrance. Ah! Chatuchak, also called JJ Market, is huge! It has over 8,000 stalls, and it is divided into 27 sections – each specializing in something different be it books and antiques, or clothes and home decor.
Bangkok Street Food – Thai street food
We focused on street food, and after wandering for a few hours, we still left feeling like we had barely put a dent on the map. And since we’re talking about Thai street food (อาหารไทย), a few of our personal favorites are banana roti, mango sticky rice, and coconut ice cream! So we finally stumbled upon a stand that was making roti and we got my favorite. Banana egg and I think it is condensed milk and chocolate as well. Yeah.
Oh, it looks so good. It’s got it all on this one. It is freshly made. Man, we love Thai banana pancakes. This is like quintessential Thai street food. It is so sweet. Oh my gosh. I’m loving it. Isn’t that good? Really really loving it. We’ve really had a sweet tooth today. Hahaha. We have. Sammy boy is going big. Going big. Going for a huge slice of mango. Lots of rice. That is one bite for a big boy. Oh man.
It is so good. This is one of those Thai desserts that no matter how much I’ve eaten for the day I would like to be totally stuffed and I’m still got a bit of room for this. There is always room for sticky rice. It is just that good. It is just that good. Love that stuff. And if you’re coming here I mean at 50 Baht it is really cheap and I highly recommend trying this. You can have it on the street, you can have it in restaurants. You can have it just about anywhere. This is a classic Thai dessert.
So not too far from Chatuchak Market you also have Chatuchak Park. And this appears to be a very popular place on the weekend with blue skies, the sun is out. So we’re just enjoying a quick stroll here. Cause why not. It is nearby. At the park, you can rent straw mats for a picnic, hire a paddleboat, or just enjoy a leisurely stroll. It is pretty spectacular I have to say. So if you enjoy that kind of thing this museum is definitely worth visiting. And also being the budget travelers that we are then we were like maybe let’s just have drinks on our pool on the rooftop. It is on the ninth floor. The views will be nice. But no we were like we need to get out of this rut.
Cloud 47 Rooftop Bar for sunset views of Bangkok and Bangkok nightlife
We need to do something exciting. So we’re at Cloud 47. It is a casual rooftop bar in Bangkok and we’re here for drinks. And the views are just insane up here. Yeah. So worth it. I’ve got a cold Chang in my hand. A pint of Chang. It was all worth it. It was only like a ten-minute walk from our hotel. And what else are you having aside from Chang? Because there is something else you always enjoy drinking. Baileys for dessert. There are lots of rooftop bars in Bangkok, perhaps none more famous than Sky Bar at Lebua, where they filmed part of The Hangover 2. That being said, we appreciated Cloud 47’s casual feel and the fact that they have a relaxed dress code.
Wat Saket ‘Golden Mount Temple’
So next up we’re visiting Wat Saket. It is also known as the Golden Mount and the special thing about this temple is you get some amazing views of Bangkok from the top. It is very lush. We’ve got little waterfalls and streams trickling through. There is mist blowing at tired hikers. So it is pretty cool. We hope you’re not feeling too templed out yet because we still have a few more to show you.
Wat Po ‘Reclining Buddha’
Next up is Wat Po, better known as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha. Inside you’ll find a Buddha stretched out 46 meters in length, which is quite the sight to behold. This temple is also famed as the birthplace of traditional Thai massage, and the art is still taught there. So transportation is a big thing here in Bangkok and next up we’re going to be riding the boat down the canals and I can already smell that water. The water is black.
Bangkok canal river taxi
Another thing you need to make time for while in Bangkok is riding the water taxis, which zip through the city’s canals avoiding heavy traffic. The service is fast and cheap, but the water is beyond dirty, so you’ll want to keep your mouth shut and pull up the plastic sheets so you don’t get sprayed in the face.
Pak Khlong Talat Flower Market
Another cool place to visit in Bangkok is Pak Klong, which is the biggest fresh flower market in the city. Apparently, it’s most active between midnight and dawn when fresh flowers are delivered and buyers get their stock, but that would have been a bit too early for us. So there are lots of flower shops in this area but then you also have the actual market which is like a huge warehouse with hundreds of different booths and all of these different flowers. So we’ve finally found that. We thought we had seen the market but really we were just looking at the little shops.
Chinatown along Yaowarat Road
Next up is Chinatown, which sits along Yaowarat Road. The red paper lanterns and dim sum restaurants will let you know you’ve arrived.
Golden Buddha at Wat Traimit
One of the most popular sites here is Wat Traimit, also known as the Temple of the Golden Buddha. This temple is home to the largest buddha made out of solid gold in the world. The statue is 3 meters tall and weighs a whopping five and a half tonnes.
Siam Square for shopping in Bangkok
So if you’re in Bangkok and your aim is to go shopping you need to come to Siam Station because it is literally surrounded by malls.
MBK mall in Bangkok ‘Mahboonkrong‘
You have MBK
Central World entertainment & shopping in Bangkok
Central World, Siam Discovery, Siam Centre and Siam Paragon. So it is like shopping Mecca. It is insane. We’re going to show you some clips from all of the malls right now. It is a little bit overwhelming. Whether you want to watch a movie, shop for clothes, or grab a bite at a restaurant, this is a great place to do so.
Just across from Central World, you’ll find the Erawan Shrine, which is another prominent site in Bangkok. This Hindu shrine houses a statue of Phra Phrom, the Thai representation of the Hindu god of creation Brahma, and you can often catch Thai dance troupes performing in the background.
Bangkok National Museum
If you enjoy museums, another place you should make time for is the National Museum, which has exhibits focused on Thai art and history. No cameras allowed inside. It is a massive massive grounds. And there are so many different like sections to the museum. Lots of galleries. Lots of different galleries. And it is also really close to the Grand Palace. Yeah, literally within walking distance. So on a day that you’re going to go visit the Grand Palace and Wat Po you can also come and visit this museum as well.
Lumphini Park for recreation and sports
This is a really awesome park because Bangkok does have a reputation for being a bit of concrete jungle. Oh yes. And that is well earned. But this is like a nice oasis within the city. And it is just such a nice park. You can come from four-thirty in the morning to nine PM at night. And it is just so nice to get a green escape here in the city.
Another place we visited was the Democracy Monument (อนุสาวรีย์ประชาธิปไตย) which was commissioned in 1939 to commemorate the 1932 Siamese coup d’état which led to the establishment of a constitutional monarchy.
Tuk-Tuk ride around Bangkok
Riding a tuk-tuk. Hop in. Also, it wouldn’t be a proper trip to Bangkok without hopping in at least one tuk-tuk. This is a fun way to zip around the city in the form of transportation you may have never tried before.
Unicorn cafe for a quirky experience in Bangkok
The atmosphere you go for. I’d say the food was okay. It was decent. Yeah, we enjoyed the mains but the desserts were a little so so. We weren’t completely sold on the icing but we had a lot of fun playing with the unicorns. They were dancing. We shared our food. So yeah, if you’re in Bangkok definitely check it out. So getting around in Bangkok.
BTS Skytrain aka Bangkok Skytrain
It is just so efficient. It is air-conditioned inside and we just got our Rabbit Card which allows us just to scan in and out. We can top up the money whenever we want. And that’s a wrap for our visit to Bangkok.