Bangkok in Thailand is one of the most visited cities in the world. Whether you travel to Bangkok for the food, shopping, cultural and historical temples, colorful nightlife, or friendly locals, this bright and bustling metropolis is a haven for all kinds of travelers.
Bangkok is a chaotic, colourful city that will put your senses on overload and challenge your photography skills. The variety of things to see and do is impressive and range from intricate golden temples and other cultural destinations to street markets or culinary excellence, and so much more.
So if you are still weighing your options of what to do in Thailand, have no fear, because I’m breaking it down for you here the best things to do in Bangkok!
For the Instagram People
1. Go temple hopping in Bangkok
Are you a selfie king/queen and are proud of it? Then your best bet would be to grab a local tour guide to be your escort as you hop from one temple to another. While there are numerous temples scattered throughout Bangkok, some of the more IG-worthy ones include Wat Arun, Wat Pho, and Wat Saket.
For the History Buff
2. See the ruins of Ayutthaya
Load up on some history by spending the day exploring the ruins of the ancient capital of Ayutthaya. Located approximately 85 kilometers away, the previous capital of Thailand is every history buff’s dream. Marvel at the ancient architecture, listen to stories about Burmese invaders, Buddhist temples, and ancient Thai kings.
Pro tip: Don’t forget to bring your cameras too, because you’ll definitely want to capture some photos to keep in your memory bank!
For the Outdoor Adventurer
3. Visit Erawan National Park
It is the real Thailand that guidebooks and brochures barely talk about like the Erawan National Park. If you like hiking and nature, then a visit to Erawan National Park is an absolute must! Home to a multitude of hiking trails, caves, and the famous Erawan falls, this sanctuary is perfect for the outdoor adventurer.
While not exactly in Bangkok city itself, it’ll take about a 3 hour car ride to get there. And hey, if you’re lucky, you may even spot some elephants and deer too!
Pro tip: Bring your swimsuit and an extra change of clothes! You don’t want to miss out on swimming in the 7-tiered waterfall, would you?
For the Passionate Foodie
4. Stroll along Chinatown
I don’t know about you, but I find Thai food to be some of the most delicious food in the world! Yep, I’m a converted Thai foodie, and I make no apologies. One of the best places to find cheap and authentic Thai food? Chinatown. Don’t expect fancy restaurants in this place though, because you know what they say, the best food is on the streets!
Pro tip: Don’t know what to try? Start with these: pad thai (wok-fried noodles with condiments), som tam (papaya salad), yam woon sen (glass noodle salad), dim sum (dumplings), and hoikran luak (boiled cockles).
For the Obsessive Shopper
5. Ride a boat along the floating markets in Bangkok
Yes, there’s the ever popular Chatuchak Weekend Market where you can probably find anything and everything under the sun, but if you truly want an authentic Thai experience, I say go to the floating markets just to experience it. Cruise down the river on a wooden boat and bargain with vendors selling their wares on their own boats. I recommend visiting the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market or the Amphawa Floating Market as these have the most variety in terms of products and produce.
Pro tip: Another famous market you can visit (although not a floating one) is the Maeklong Railway Market. Set on the sides of an actual railway, the excitement happens when a train thunders through the tracks sending market vendors into a hurried frenzy to take down their tiny stalls!
For the Off the Beaten Path Explorer
6. Explore the city of Kanchanaburi
If you want to avoid the crowded temples and markets, then I’d recommend venturing about 3 hours outside the city of Bangkok to the peaceful yet historical province of Kanchanaburi. With its storied past, you can stop by the War Cemetery and the JEATH Museum, stroll along the famous Bridge over the River Kwai, and even board the Death Railway Train, which is known for its wild curving tracks and lush scenery.
Pro tip: If you want to, you can combine a trip to Kanchanaburi with a side stop at the Erawan National Park as both are fairly near each other.
Interesting Reads: What to Do in Bangkok for 3 Days
For the Beach Bum
7. Take a day trip to Pattaya Beach
Calling all beach bums! If the sun, sea, and sand are calling your name, then a day trip to Pattaya Beach and Coral Island is in order. It’s just a 3 hour trip one way (including the car and boat ride) which in my opinion is totally worth it! You can swim, snorkel, participate in some beach sports, or simply relax on the sand and get that tan you’ve always wanted.
Pro tip: While you’re there, head over to the Pattaya Viewpoint to soak up some panoramic views of the city. You can also choose to visit the nearby Sanctuary of Truth temple too!
Interesting Reads: Best Places in Thailand for Bachelorette Parties
About Author: Chinny is a 20-something writer based in Manila. One of TripGuru’s resident bloggers, she can usually be found buying cheap tickets and planning her next trip to wherever the wind takes her.