The capital of Thailand, Bangkok, is the world’s most visited city. On average, just over a million tourists visit Bangkok each month, some for food and others for the culture. If you’re planning a trip or wondering if it’s for you, then here are ten of the top reasons to visit Bangkok.
What temples to visit in Bangkok?
If you’re looking for temples (also known as wats), then Bangkok has over 400. A lot of them are worth visiting and will truly impress you.
Which is the most beautiful temple in Bangkok?
Many people consider Wat Phra Kaew, or The Temple of The Emerald Buddha, one of Thailand’s most beautiful temples. It’s also one the most popular temples in Bangkok, thanks to its location on the grounds of the Grand Palace. Admire the gilded and glazed tiles, statues, and glittering facades before getting lost in the Ramakien gallery, a collection of 178 scenes depicting the triumph of good over evil.
Inside Wat Phra Kaew, guests can view The Emerald Buddha, an icon carved of solid jade. The Emerald Buddha was discovered in 1464 when the temple where it once resided was struck by lightning.
If you’re only here for a few days here are a few you should definitely visit:
- Wat Phra Kaew
- Wat Pho
- Wat Arun
- Wat Saket
- Wat Traimit
A trip to Bangkok would be incomplete without visiting at least one of the multiple floating markets. Floating markets are a real taste of Thai life. They give you a whole new shopping experience, and a taste of Thai cuisine.
Many years ago, the city of Bangkok was connected by a large network of canals, and many people spent their lives on the waterways. Many traditional floating markets are still around today and offer visitors a wide range of food from coconut juice to Thai street food.
Take a gorgeously decorated long-tail boat down the winding waterways to one of the markets. Once you hop off, you’ll be surrounded by market stalls, selling everything from t-shirts and other souvenirs to locally harvested deliciously sweet tropical fruit.
Not sure which one you should visit? Damneon Saduak floating market is the largest, most popular of its kind in Thailand. Make sure you arrive early to avoid the crowds.
If you have the time, visit some of the other floating markets in Bangkok:
- Bang Phli Floating Market
- Amphawa Floating Market
- Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market
- Taling Chan Floating Market
Should I get a Thai Massage?
Have you really been to Thailand if you haven’t experienced having a Thai massage? The somewhat painful but traditional massage techniques are known worldwide for their health benefits. As long as you can endure an hour of pulling and stretching of your muscles and limbs, you’re guaranteed to feel relaxed afterward.
The perfect way to wind down and re-energize after a long day exploring the beautiful city of Bangkok.
Is it easy to travel in Bangkok?
Bangkok is super easy to get around. It’s cheap, hassle-free, and most of the options you have will get you are pretty quickly too. The tuk-tuks offer great fun and a chance to experience Bangkok in a different way, whereas the underground and sky train systems offer quick transport that is announced in English, making them easy to use.
Even though taxis offer a fairly inexpensive way of getting around Bangkok, but keep in mind that traffic can be susceptible to gridlock. If your taxi is stuck in traffic, there’s a surcharge of 1.25 baht. Normally, the first two kilometers (a little more than one mile) traveled costs 35 baht (about $1.10), with prices increasing by 2 baht per kilometer traveled. Taxis have meters, and you should avoid any that don’t to protect yourself from scams. If you are staying at a hotel, ask the concierge or front desk to help you call for a cab, as they often have relationships with honest companies. The ride-hailing app, Uber, also works in Bangkok.
Metro and Skytrain
The most reliable way to get around Bangkok is by Metro or Skytrain. Both options are air-conditioned, fast, affordable and easily navigable for travelers. Many travelers find the metro and Skytrain to be the most convenient transportation option in Bangkok. If there is one side, it’s that neither metro nor Skytrain is as extensive as the bus system.
The Metro (MRT) covers a smaller section of the city. The MRT has its own rates that are similar in price to Skytrain. The tickets to ride the Skytrain run between 15 and 42 baht (about $0.48 and $1.35) depending on your destination, while one-day passes cost 140 baht (roughly $4.50). You’ll be glad to know that signs in both transit systems are in English and you can purchase tickets at automated machines (in English) in the station or from ticket offices. The mass transit system operates from 5:30 a.m. until midnight depending on your route. Hours and fares for the Airport Rail Link from Suvarnabhumi Airport are comparable to the trains.
Does Bangkok have gardens and parks?
Bangkok has a number of large gardens and parks that are open to the public. The green spaces in the capital are great to take time out from the busy streets and take in a bit of nature.
Here are some of the best gardens and parks to visit in Bangkok:
- Lumphini Park
- King Rama IX Park
- Benjasiri Park
- Chatuchak Park
- Wachira Benchathat Park
Street Food in Bangkok
There’s truly no better way to experience Thai food. One of the most famous places to find it among tourists is Sukhumvit Soi 38.
Here’s some of the best street food options for you to try:
- Pork Noodles
- Singapore Boiled Rice
- Kui Chai (chive dumplings)
- Fishball Noodle Soup
- Mango Sticky Rice
Movie Theaters in Bangkok
Bangkok is well known for taking things to another level. One of the ways it does this is in front of the big screen. Luxurious reclining leather seats with blankets and other extras can set you back the same as a standard seat in the western world.
Some of the cinemas here offer showings in 4D. Great family fun and entertaining, or maybe just a nice place to take some time out from the city!
- Scala Theatre
- Paragon Cineplex
- SF Cinema City
History of Bangkok
Being the countries capital, Bangkok has heaps of history and culture to share. The National Museum is the home to Thai culture and history and gives amazing insights into this country’s heritage.
Theirs is so much to learn about Bangkok’s history and how it became the city it is today.
Top historical attractions to visit:
- The Grand Palace
- The many temples
- The National Museum
Bangkok is Cheap
Staying somewhere upmarket or more luxury is much more affordable in Bangkok that other major cities in the world. Five-star hotels can cost as little as $100 a night. Here’s a quick breakdown of average costs for typical things that you’d pay for on your travels;
Average Costs in Bangkok:
- Hotel – $82 per night (for 2 people)
- Meal – $3 to $5 (per person in a restaurant)
- Beer – $2 to $3 (depending on which area you are in)
Thailand is known as the “Land of Smiles,” and Bangkok is no exception. The locals here are always friendly and happy to help you with anything. Make sure you take some time to learn how to communicate with people as this goes a long way. Thai people greet each other using a gesture known as a ‘wai.’ Bend your head back, push your palms together, and touch your nose with your fingertips.
Bangkok is a truly beautiful city and one that you won’t regret visiting. Full of culture, great food, and kind people, it’s definitely one for the bucket list!