Things to do in Bangkok

General travel tips for things to do while in Bangkok, Thailand

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Bangkok, Thailand, has a lot to offer tourists and business people passing through. With some of the best hotels in the world at the some of the best prices, there has never been a better time to explore this amazing country.

 As one of the only countries in Asia to have never been colonised, and even with the enormous kick into the 21st century that Bangkok has experienced recently, the Thai people have still managed to retain a lot of their beautiful culture and amazing hospitality.

There is a lot to do when you are in Bangkok, especially if you have not been before. It is important to prioritise, especially if you have to break away from the skytrain or underground system and get a taxi or tuk tuk, and a little planning will help you to make the most of your time there.

The section below will give you a few ideas of what there is to do in Bangkok, scroll down and see what grabs your interest. If you have any tips or questions do feel free to Contact Us.

 Spas: Thailand has some of the best spas in the world. Ever type of massage, and treatment is available at some of the best prices you will find anywhere. As this topic is so large we have devoted an entire page to the best Spas in Bangkok which list rates, treatments, pictures etc so that you can make an educated choice of where best to indulge in a bit of pampering.

 Golf: For golf enthusiasts, Thailand can quite easily be described as a golfers paradise, with so many golf courses to choose from at some of the best rates in the world. As with the spas, the topic of golf is too large to fit here so we have devoted a special page to golf giving you details of the best courses offered so you can enjoy Golf in Bangkok to the fullest.

 Cinemas: Believe it or not, Thailand has been internationally recognised as having some of the best cinemas in the world. Not only are they extremely modern, but most of the better cinemas have VIP or First Class cinemas. These cinemas with cinemas, are similar to an Executive Floor in a five-star hotel in that they often feature a lounge with complimentary snacks and beverages, and only have seating for around 20/40 people in a regular sized theatre. The seats are similar to what you would find in Business or First Class on a quality airline. They recline, often come complete with blanket and pillow and even have waiter service available. Of course, they do cost a lot more than the regular options (around THB 140) but at around THB 600/750 are still exceptional value for money and something not to miss!

 While these VIP cinemas can be found around Bangkok, we highly recommend the Nokia VIP cinema at Siam Paragon. With different VIP theatres, this VIP section of a large cinema complex plays the latest movies in such comfort, you won't mind telling your friends you went to the cinema in Bangkok!

Feeding Fish in Bangkok: After recommending the cinema above, it is only fair we be a little more creative with the next tip. Feeding fish in Bangkok, can be a fun and memorable experience, especially for children but equally so for people of all ages. We have a video, and full review for you to check out on our page about:  Feeding Fish in Bangkok.

 Shopping: With some of the shopping facilities in Asia, shopping is something you will not want to miss. Most of the shops, have some amazing discounts, sometimes as much as 80 % off. High quality goods can be had in the major shopping centres. Copy goods etc. can be found in most of the street stalls on Sukhumvit, or the sleazy Night Plaza in Patpong (not somewhere we recommend unless you like red light districts). To read about shopping in Bangkok please visit our page devoted to Shopping in Bangkok.

Cycling in Bangkok: Yes, despite the heat, holes in the road that can swallow you whole, a general lack of respect - or is it lack of knowledge - for the rules of the road, vicious dogs, motorbikes, taxis, mini vans and taxis who all seem out to get you, yes, despite all that, cycling in Bangkok is becoming more popular. Full review and tips to come. For now see our Review of Bike Shops in Bangkok.

 Night Life: Bangkok is famous around the world for its entertainment and night life. We have devoted a whole page to reviewing the Bars in Bangkok, please take a look.

Restaurants: Thailand is a culinary delight, and as the food is now becoming more and more popular around the world, many already have an idea of what to expect. There are thousands of restaurants in Bangkok, but knowing which are good and which mediocre is as difficult in a foreign land as it is in your home town. We do have a page devoted to restaurants in Restaurants in Bangkok, but do not be afraid to try the street food, that is where you will get a true taste of the real Thai food. As anywhere, if it is full of locals then chances are it is good, give it a try. Oh, and remember, Thailand may well be in Asia but not everyone uses chopsticks. In Thailand, chopsticks are used to eat noodles, especially those in soup, but for most dishes just a spoon and fork is used.

 Grand Palace: Is an absolute MUST, as it is an outstanding architectural achievement, that also houses the infamous Emerald Buddha, which is the most revered Buddha image in Thailand. We suggest that you go early in the morning to avoid the major crowds, it will still be busy but getting there around 9 am or 10 am will give you a little more space. Do not wear shorts when you visit, and if you are female we recommend that you do not wear sandals, skirts and instead wear a long  sleeved blouse or something. You will need to keep half the day if not more open to see everything and you will definitely need your camera with a lot of film or memory available. To get there, you can either take a boat, taxi, or the Sky train to National Stadium stop, and then a taxi from there. On the way back we recommend that you take one of the many taxi boats available from Saphan Taksin skytrain station. In fact we recommend you to go there and back by water taxi, it is great fun, beats the traffic and is cheap. The Grand Palace officially opens at 8.30 am and closes 3.30pm. Admission fee costs 200 Baht and includes a ticket to the Vimanmek Royal mansion. It may be advisable to rent a Personal Audio Guide that will only cost 100 Baht for two hours, and comes in English, French, German, Spanish, Russian, Japanese and Mandarin.

Snake Farm: Officially called the Queen Saovabha Memorial Institute, is definitely worth a visit. The snake farm is one of the largest producers of anti-venom Serum in Asia, and before going on to the show, they will explain to you how Serum is made, the difference between snakes and some other useful tips, such as what to do if you are faced by one! After the educational period you are led outside, shown around the different snake pits and then  to a stand where they will show you a snake show which includes feeding and other entertaining tricks. If you are a bit queasy around snakes sit at the back of the small stand. The snake farm can be found on Rama IV, opposite the Suriawongse Road, and not far from the Pan Pacific Hotel. The closest Sky train stop is SalaDaeng. The shows begin at 11am and 2.30 pm on weekdays and 11 am on holidays, admission is 70 Baht.

 Crocodile Farm: Is 30 kilometres away from Bangkok, and you can pretty much devote a whole day to it with transport etc included. It is very close to the Rose Garden so you might as well do them both at the same time.  It is an enormous place with over 60,000 fresh and seawater crocodiles to see. They have feeding where you can buy chicken to throw to the crocs, and they also have a show every hour, where a brave or perhaps crazy guy puts his head inside the crocs head etc. If you do not have much time in Bangkok, missing this will not be a serious mistake and something that you can always catch on another visit, or the one after that, or.... Admission is 300 Baht for adults and 200 Baht for children. The farm opens from 7 am to 6pm. The farm also houses other creatures such as snakes, gibbons, lions, and trained elephants. They even have a small dinosaur museum, where life size dinosaurs and their skeletons are on display.

 Floating Market: The most famous floating market is some 80 Kilometres outside of Bangkok. You can take an organised tour, or take a bus from the Southern Bus Terminal. Everyday, hundreds of vendors boats crowd the market area early morning until around noon. You will be able to travel around in boat and see a little of what Thai village life is like. Although do remember that this is now a very famous excursion / tourist attraction so it will not be your normal Thai village. It is best to get there early. Read our full Review of the Floating Market.

 National Museum: This museum which is within walking distance from the Grand Palace is one of the largest in Southeast Asia. The museum was once used as a palace and consists of several old yet beautiful buildings of colour. The museum also houses many artifacts found from all parts of the country ranging from Neolithic times, Sukhothai, Ayutthaya to the modern Bangkok period. Admission is 40 Baht per person, and the museum is open everyday except Mondays, Tuesdays and annual holidays, from 9 am to 4 pm.

 National Gallery Museum: Opposite the National Museum mentioned above, on Chao Fa Road, and exhibits traditional and contemporary works of art created by Thai artists. Opening times are the same as above, and the admission fee is 30 Baht.

Wha Mahathat: This is an old temple which was built during the reign of King Rama I. It is located on Na Phrathat Road near Thammasat University. The temple houses the Mahachulalongkorn Buddhist University, which is one of the two highest seats of Buddhist learning in Thailand. Foreigners can take advantage of the meditation classes that are offered. The temple opens from 9am to 5 pm daily.

 Wat Pho: Neighbouring the Grand Palace the Wat Pho is found along Thai Wang Road and houses the very impressive gigantic gold plated reclining Buddha which is some 46 metres long and 15 metres high!  Its soles are inlaid with mother of pole! Admission is 20 Baht and is open from 9 am to 5 pm.

Temple of Dawn (Wat Arun): Is on the other side of the Chao Phraya river. You can take a boat from the Tha Tien Pier near Wat Pho or by Arun Amarin Road. The temple is best known for its 79 metre high porcelain encrusted Pagoda that sparkles magnificently in the sun.

 Wat Ratchanatdaram: This temple was built during the reign of King Rama III, in 1846 and is found along Mahachai Road. Loha Prasat is the temples main attraction, and stands 36 metres high with 37 surrounding spires, it is the only one of its kind in the world. Next to the temple is a statue of King Rama III.

 Wat Indravihan: This temple is well known for its huge standing Buddha image called Luang Pho To, which measures 32 metres tall and 10 metres wide. It was built during the reign of King Rama IV, and is located on Wisutkasat Road in Bang Khun Phrom area.

 Wat Bowon Niwet: This temple built in 1829 is the shrine-hall of Phra Phutthachinnasi, a very beautiful Buddha image which was moulded in around 1357. Wat Bowon Niwet is one of the most temples in Bangkok, whose one time chief abbot was King Rama IV, before he ascended to the throne. Other Chakri kings who resided here during there monkhood, include King Rama IV, King Rama VII as well as His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej. The temple can be found on Phra Sumen Road in the Bang Lamphu area.

 Vimanmek Mansion Museum: Is definitely a great day out. The mansion is the worlds largest golden teak building. The 3 storey Royal mansion contains 81 rooms, halls and ante-chambers containing Royal memorabilia. The compound located in the Dusit Palace on Ratchawithi Road, is open daily from 9 am to 4 pm and admission is 50 Baht. The dancing shows begin at 10.30 am and 2.30 pm. Proper attire is required. So no shorts, sandals etc.

Wat Trai Mit: Is located on Yaowarat Road in China Town, near the Hulamphong train Station. This temple houses a very impressive solid gold Buddha which weighs  5 and a half tonnes and is three metres in height! This seated Buddha image was built in the Sukhothai period.

 Erawan Shine: You will most probably come across this shrine, on your shopping tours or perhaps as you notice that your taxi driver is no longer holding the wheel,  instead is performing a quick 'wai' and not looking at the road ahead of him! The shrine is located next to the Grand Hyatt Hotel and is devoted to Phra Phrom, a Hindu God, who is greatly revered by Thai people. Laced flowers (Malee) and small wooden elephants as well as Thai dancing performances are offered to this statue by grateful and hopeful devotees. The closest sky train station is Chidlom. 

Philatelic Museum: If stamps are your thing you may be interested in the stamp museum located on the 1st floor of the Metropolitan Postal Bureau, behind the Sam Sen Nai Post office. Stamps and such are for sale. It is open from Tuesday to Saturday from 9am to 4pm.

 Ancient City: The largest outdoor museum in the world, or so it claims, consists of gigantic sized replicas of famous buildings, monuments and temples that can be found all through Thailand. The area the museum covers is some staggering 280 acres, and is built into a shape that resembles the actual shape of Thailand. The Ancient City is at on Sukhumvit Road and is open daily from 8 am to 5 pm with admission costing 50 Baht per person.

Thai Boxing (Muay Thai): Thai Boxing or Muay Thai is becoming very well known around the world, and is a popular stop off for people who enjoy it. The two main stadiums are Ratchadamnoen Stadium on Ratchadamnoen Nok Road and is open Monday and Wednesday at 6 pm Thursday at 5 pm and 9 pm, and Sundays at 4 pm and 8 pm. The other major stadium is Lumpini Stadium on Rama IV Road, and fights are every Tuesday and Friday at 6pm and Saturday at 5 pm. You may want to ask the hotel where you are staying at for tips on the best seats and even to get the tickets for you.

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