Bangkok is one of Southeast Asia’s finest tourist destinations. The bustling cosmopolitan capital features an eclectic variety of attractions, including cultural establishments, recreational parks, unique markets, the Chao Phraya River of Thailand, luxury hotels, cozy cocktail bars, and architectural sites.
Getting around the city is relatively easy as it has one of the best metro systems in the country and an extensive network of buses. The best way to travel to Bangkok is via a direct flight. Cathay Pacific offers both stopover and direct flights to Bangkok from all major cities in the United States. Whether you are a first-timer or have been to Bangkok before, your itinerary must include the following places:
Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew
An ornate complex of buildings that was built in 1782 and has been the official residence of the Kings of Siam since then. The Grand Palace features beautiful white exterior walls behind which you’ll find a treasure of priceless relics, artifacts, and period pieces.
Situated within the place’s walls is the Temple of the Emerald Buddha or Wat Phra Kaew, a royal chapel housing structures and buildings for a myriad of purposes. Located in the heart of Bangkok, the Grand Palace is open to visitors every day from morning until late afternoon.
Located on the Thonburi western banks of the Chao Phraya River, Wat Arun is a Buddhist temple that derives its name from the Hindu deity Aruna. It’s the best place to visit in Bangkok if you want to avoid the crowds.
Wat Arun is the epitome of fine craftsmanship featuring five soaring towers, covered with small pieces of colored grass and vibrant porcelain tiles placed into intricate patterns. The highest point of the temple offers stunning views of the winding Chao Phraya River and the Grand Palace.
Chatuchak Weekend Market
Chatuchak Weekend Market is the largest market in Thailand featuring over 27 sections with 15,000 stalls and 11,505 vendors. You’ll find an impressive variety of goods at the market, including antiques, ceramics, furniture, home accessories, kitchenware, fresh and dry food and drinks, consumer electronics, cosmetics, pets, plants, books, and clothing.
It is the world’s biggest flea market and most diverse weekend market. Every weekend, over 200,000 visitors head to Chatuchak to get lost in this massive network of shops.
Khao San Road
A short street in Central Bangkok filled with a variety of street-food vendors, chain restaurants, bars, and some of the most inexpensive hotels. Khao San Road is a sanctuary for foreign backpackers where they can eat, party, and experience the city’s amazing nightlife. From spring rolls to hamburgers to falafel, you’ll find a great variety of food options here.
Bangkok Art and Culture Center
A contemporary arts center housing commercial art galleries, craft shops, an art library, bookshops, and cafes. The spiral shape of the center’s building honors Thai architecture and culture.
Bangkok Art and Culture Center gives the city an operational base on the global art scene. It’s where artists and the public meet for networking, cultural dialogue, and creating new cultural resources for the coming generations.
The Multi-Function Room on the center’s first floor supports different activities, such as press conferences, art exhibitions, and educational events. The central atrium, on the other hand, is where film screenings, music events, and art performances take place.
Rod Fai Night Market Srinakarin
Another lively outdoor market with plenty of antique and vintage stores, eateries, and bars. From classic cars to antique furniture to vintage clothes, the market offers everything an antique lover dreams of. This open-air, carnival-themed market is synonymous with mouth-watering food, rip-roaring entertainment, and extravagant shopping.
Rod Fai Night Market Srinakarin is divided into three zones, namely the market zone, the warehouse zone, and Rod’s antique zone. Each zone boasts different kinds of collections, allowing visitors to explore the market according to their interest.
Like Khaosan Road, Soi Cowboy is another short street in Bangkok, featuring over 40 go-go bars. Located near Sukhumvit Road, the street is one of the most vibrant areas of the city, offering seedy nightlife. Filled with neon lights, Soi Cowboy is the ultimate destination for people looking for adult entertainment in Bangkok.
An ancient house turned gallery with a puppet theater sitting right along the banks of Bangkok’s many canals. Artist’s House is a must on the travel itinerary of anyone with the slightest note of creativity.
The 200-years-old house is where visitors and locals of all ages flock to enjoy food, drinks, and puppet shows. It’s one of the best places for those wanting a quiet afternoon away from the commotion of the city.
A central urban park on Witthayu Road offering a range of outdoor activities including skating, cycling, jogging, and paddle-boating. It is home to meticulously manicured lawns, large playgrounds, and an artificial lake with boat rentals. The park features a walking trail of 1.5 miles, fringed with lush vegetation.
A shrine sitting at one of the biggest intersections in the heart of Bangkok. Locals and tourists alike head to Erawan Shrine for prayer, performances by Thai dance tripes, and Buddhist festival celebrations.
The shrine also houses a statue of Phra Phrom, the Thai representation of the Hindu god of creation. Though the shrine was partly wrecked during the 2015 Bangkok bombing, it has since been restored to its original form.
Patpong Night Market
Located in a well-built-up area off Siloam road, Patpong Night Market is where Thai visitors flock to shop for knockoff products, souvenirs, and other inexpensive goods. It’s famous as Bangkok’s adult entertainment area with a plethora of strip clubs and go-go bars pedaling ping-pong and snake shows.
A night out in Patpong Night Market is a must on every Thai visitor’s itinerary. The wide-ranging food options and Thai and international stores on Silom make it worth a visit during the daytime as well.
Baiyoke Observation Deck
Located on the 77th floor of the Baiyoke Sky Hotel, Baiyoke Observation Deck offers some of the most outstanding views of Bangkok. The 84th floor of the building features a revolving viewpoint that provides beautiful panoramas of the Thai capital. You can soak in the beautiful scenery while having a freshly prepared meal at Baiyoke Sky Restaurant.