10 Short Things to Do in Bangkok

What to Do in Bangkok in One Day

    You have 1 day in Bangkok and need a list of things to do – what are the places you shouldn't miss? This list of the best short things to do in Bangkok offers some good starting points. Choose a few or try to fit them all if you feel up to it, and you'll get a feel for what Bangkok is all about. The selection below has a good mix of cultural and leisure activities, each with recommended times to visit.

    As any seasoned visitor would tell you, Bangkok is ‘an all-out attack on the senses’. The bustling city is a combination of weird and wonderful sights, sounds and smells. We find it fascinating and we're sure you will too. Have a look at the places in Bangkok just waiting to be discovered.

    1

    Grand Palace and Wat Prakeaw

    The Grand Palace continues to have visitors in awe with its beautiful architecture and intricate detail. Built in 1782, it served as the home of the Thai King, the Royal court and the administrative seat of government for 150 years. Wat Pra Kaew enshrines Phra Kaew Morakot (the Emerald Buddha), a highly revered Buddha image meticulously carved from a single block of emerald, dating from the 15th century.

    • Families
    • History
    • Photo
    2

    Khlong Tour

    For a real sense of how people in Bangkok used to live (in stilted shacks, old wooden townhouses and dilapidated lean-tos), explore the Bangkok Thonburi khlongs (canals). As you'll see, there are quite a few people who still live on the banks of the city's canals and waterways.

    • History
    • Photo
    3

    Wat Arun (The Temple of Dawn)

    The impressive silhouette of Wat Arun’s towering spires is one of the most recognized in Southeast Asia. Constructed during the first half of the 19th century, this ancient Khmer-style stupa is equally stunning up-close, showcasing an ornate floral pattern decked out in glazed porcelain. Apart from its beauty, Wat Arun symbolizes the birth of the Rattanakosin Period and the founding of the new capital after the fall of Ayutthaya.

    Map
    • Families
    • History
    • Photo
    • Budget
    4

    Chinatown Market

    A must-do when in Bangkok is to venture down to Chinatown for delicious Chinese food. At the old market, you'll find some of the city's best-tasting and most reasonably-priced fare. From the obscure (bird's nest soup) to the ostentatious (Peking duck), there will be something to enlighten your taste buds and provide a feast for the eyes.

    • Shoppers
    • Food
    5

    Cocktails at a Bangkok rooftop bar

    Long gone are the days of chilling out in a hotel lounge after sunset. Hit the rooftop of the iconic State Tower’s Sirocco or the Banyan Tree’s Vertigo and Moon bar and claim your first-class ticket to the most amazing sunset vista Bangkok has to offer. From this height, the bustle of downtown feels like a distant hum, while the glittering skyline creates a backdrop before which romance unfolds.

    • Nightlife
    6

    Asiatique: The Riverfront

    Asiatique: The Riverfront has successfully combined 2 of the most popular shopping experiences in the city: a night bazaar and a mall. 10 minutes downriver from the Saphan Taksin BTS Skytrain Station, this once-bustling international trade port has over 1,500 boutiques and 40 restaurants within a huge replica warehouse complex. Open from 5pm, spending an evening here is no problem. You’ll have good fun browsing the boutiques, picking up gifts or something for yourself. If this isn’t enough entertainment, shows are performed nightly.

    Map
    • Shoppers
    • Food
    • Nightlife
    7

    Soi Rambuttri

    Parallel to Khao San Road, Soi Rambuttri gives you a taste of how Bangkok used to look before all the skyscrapers arrived. Leafy banyan trees shade the sidewalks and the vibe sways more towards local than foreign, despite the high number of travelers choosing to stay here rather than on the infamous street itself.

    • Food
    • Nightlife
    8

    Dinner cruise

    As the sky turns from tawny gold to twilight, life along the Chao Phraya River seems to slow down, and its beauty takes on another dimension. Embark on a dinner cruise in a restored teakwood boat or luxurious yacht and watch as the skyline unfolds along the Chao Phraya, from Wat Arun’s iconic silhouettes to Saphan Bhut’s strong industrial lines and the Grand Palace’s graceful curves.

    • Couples
    • Food
    • Nightlife
    9

    Soi Cowboy

    Soi Cowboy was named after the cowboy-hat-wearing African-American who opened the first bar here in the early 1970s. This red-light district has a more laid-back, carnival-like feel to it than some of the other risque parts of Bangkok like Patpong or Nana Plaza. Flashing neon lights up a colorful streetscape, which you've got to see to believe (and you might not even believe it after that!).

    Map
    • Nightlife
    10

    Partying in Bangkok's club districts

    Bangkok’s electrifying nightlife scene has been rated as one of the best in the world. Much has changed since the early days of go-go bars and clubs. While Soi Cowboy, Patpong and Nana slowly fade into the background, Khao San, RCA, Sukhumvit 11 and Thonglor have emerged as the most-happening places after sundown, where international DJs rock the house with their latest mixes.

    • Nightlife
    Willy Thuan | Compulsive Traveler

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