67 Best Things to Do in Bangkok

What is Bangkok Most Famous For?

    The best things to do in Bangkok tell the story of this fascinating city, which began as a small trading center and port community on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River some 200 years ago. Today, while the city is up to speed with modern times, the grandeur and glory of its illustrious past still prevail. Be it dazzling temples, spectacular palaces, a world-famous floating market or colorful Chinatown, each of these famous Bangkok places has an intriguing story to tell.

    What are the best things to do in Bangkok?

    1

    Grand Palace and Wat Prakeaw

    Old Town

    The Grand Palace and Wat Prakaew command respect from all who have walked in their sacred grounds. Built in 1782, and served as the home of Thai Kings and the Royal court for 150 years, The Grand Palace continues to have visitors in awe with its beautiful architecture and intricate detail. Wat Pra Kaew enshrines Phra Kaew Morakot (the Emerald Buddha), a sacred Buddha image meticulously carved from a single block of emerald.

    Location: Na Phra Lan Rd, Phra Borom Maha Ratchawang, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10200, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 8.30am to 3.30pm

    Phone: +66 (0)2 623 5500

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    2

    Wat Arun (The Temple of Dawn)

    Riverside

    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 in the ancient Khmer style, the stupa showcasing ornate floral pattern is decked out in glazed porcelain. It's especially stunning up close. 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.

    Location: 158 Thanon Wang Doem, Wat Arun, Bangkok Yai, Bangkok 10600, Thailand

    Phone: +66 (0)2 891 2185

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    3

    Damnoen Saduak floating market

    Damnoen Saduak

    The pioneer of Bangkok floating markets, Damnoen Saduak continues to offer an authentic experience despite its increasingly touristy atmosphere. Imagine dozens of wooden row boats floating by, each laden to the brim with farm-fresh fruits, vegetables or flowers. Food vendors fill their vessels with cauldrons and charcoal broils, ready to whip up a bowl of ‘boat noodle’ or seafood skewers upon request. The market is around 100 km southwest of Bangkok.

    Location: Damnoen Saduak, Damnoen Saduak District, Ratchaburi 70130, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 7am to 5pm

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    photo by Dennis Jarvis (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

    4

    Chinatown (Yaowarat)

    Chinatown

    Bangkok's Chinatown is a colorful, exotic and pleasingly chaotic area, packed with market stalls and probably the highest concentration of gold shops in the city. During major festivities like Chinese New Year and the Vegetarian Festival, the dynamism and spirit of celebration spread across town like wildfire, and if you happen to be around, don’t miss an opportunity to witness Chinatown Bangkok at its best.

    Location: Yaowarat Road, Samphanthawong, Bangkok 10100, Thailand

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    5

    Wat Pho

    Old Town

    There’s more to Wat Pho than its gigantic reclining Buddha and traditional Thai massage. This iconic temple harbors a fascinating collection of murals, inscriptions and sculptures that delve into various subjects, from warfare to astronomy to archeology. The vast temple complex also contains a landscaped garden with stone sculptures, stupas adorned with glazed porcelain, a souvenir shop, and the College of Traditional Medicine.

    Location: 2 Sanam Chai Rd, Phra Borom Maha Ratchawang, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10200, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 8am to 6.30pm

    Phone: +66 (0)2 226 0335

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    6

    Chao Phraya river & waterways

    Riverside

    One of the most scenic areas, the Chao Phraya riverside reflects a constantly changing scene day and night: water-taxis and heavily laden rice barges chugging upstream, set against a backdrop of glittering temples and luxury hotels. The areas from Wat Arun to Phra Sumeru Fortress are home to some of the oldest settlements in Bangkok, particularly Bangkok Noi and its charming ambience of stilt houses flanking the complex waterways.

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    7

    Chatuchak Weekend Market

    Chatuchak

    Once only popular among wholesalers and traders, Chatuchak Weekend Market has reached a landmark status as a must-visit place for tourists. Its sheer size and diverse collections of merchandise will bring any seasoned shoppers to their knees. The market is home to more than 8,000 market stalls. On a typical weekend, more than 200,000 visitors come here to sift through the goods on offer.

    Location: Kamphaeng Phet 2 Rd, Chatuchak, Bangkok 10900, Thailand

    Open: Friday from 6pm to midnight, Saturday–Sunday from 9am to 6pm

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    8

    Khao San Road

    Old Town

    If Bangkok is a city where East greets West, then Khao San Road is the scene of their collision. With travelers from every corner of the modern world, sleek clubs playing sophisticated sounds, eclectic market stalls, converted VW cocktail bars, and foods tamed to suit the Western palate, this area is extremely popular with the backpacker crowd who use Bangkok as a hub to explore all of Thailand and Southeast Asia.

    Location: Khao San, Talat Yot, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10200, Thailand

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    9

    Soi Cowboy

    Sukhumvit (Asoke)

    Soi Cowboy was named after the cowboy hat-wearing African-American who opened the first bar here in the early 1970s. This adult-themed district has a more laid-back, carnival-like feel to it than Patpong or Nana Plaza. Flashing neon lights up a colorful streetscape comprised mainly of middle-aged expats, Japanese and western tourists.

    Location: Soi Cowboy, Khlong Toei Nuea, Watthana, Bangkok 10110, Thailand

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    10

    Jim Thompson’s House

    Siam

    Jim Thompson’s 3 decades of dedication to the revival of Thai silk, then a dying art, changed the industry forever. After he mysteriously disappeared into the jungles of Malaysia, he left a legacy behind, which is reflected through his vast collections of Thai art and antiques now on display at the Jim Thompson’s House and Museum. It's a lovely complex of 6 Thai-style teakwood houses that are preserved in their original glory.

    Location: 6 Rama I Rd, Wang Mai, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 9am to 6pm

    Phone: +66 (0)2 216 7368

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    photo by Clay Gilliland (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

    11

    Bangkok floating markets

    The floating markets of Bangkok are must-visits on any visit to the Thai capital. Among the few is Amphawa, one of the most popular floating market near Bangkok. It may not be as large as Damnoen Saduak, but it’s more authentic. It’s become such a magnet for Thai weekenders that food stalls have grown from the riverbanks and stretched far into the surrounding streets.

    The main draw is, of course, eating seafood grilled precariously on wooden boats moored around the famous central bridge, serving an appetizing array of huge prawns, shellfish and squid. The smell is simply irresistible and customers flock to each side of the river from noon until late in the evening,

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    photo by Kieron Wood (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    12

    Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall

    Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall is the centerpiece of Bangkok's own Champs D'Elysee. This impressive 2-storey white marble palace sits at the end of Dusit's long, wide Royal Plaza, a leafy ceremonial boulevard that's often the focus of regal pomp and ceremony during royal celebrations.

    Ordered by King Rama V in 1907 and finished in the reign of King Rama VI, the neo-classical Renaissance architecture of Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall – particularly its central dome – dominate the scene just as Italian architects Mario Tamango and Annibale Rigotti intended.

    Location: Royal Plaza, 71 Uthong Nai Alley, Dusit, Bangkok 10300, Thailand

    Open: Tuesday–Sunday from 10am to 3.30pm (closed on Mondays)

    Phone: +66 (0)2 283 9411

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    photo by Iudexvivorum (CC0 1.0) modified

    13

    Asiatique: The Riverfront

    Asiatique: The Riverfront is a successful combination of 2 of Bangkok’s most popular shopping experiences: a night bazaar and a mall. You can find it 10 minutes downriver from the Saphan Taksin BTS Skytrain Station. Once a bustling international trade port, it has been transformed with over 1,500 boutiques and 40 restaurants housed inside a huge replica warehouse complex.

    An evening here presents you with good fun browsing the boutiques, picking up gifts or something for yourself. Shows are performed nightly – you can expect the Calypso ladyboy cabaret, as well as a Muay Thai show and a classic Thai puppets performance.

    Location: 2194 Charoenkrung Road, Wat Phraya Krai, Bang Kho Laem, Bangkok 10120, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 4pm to midnight

    Phone: +66 (0)92 246 0812

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    photo by chee.hong (CC BY 2.0) modified

    14

    Assumption Cathedral

    Assumption Cathedral is Bangkok's principal Roman Catholic cathedral and the main church of the Archdiocese of Bangkok, which dates back to 1662. Located in Bang Rak, the church was built between 1910 and 1918 to replace an earlier church on the same spot and was repaired after sustaining severe damage during World War II. Pope John Paul II visited the church during his trip in 1984. To get to the church, you can either take a taxi or embark on the Chao Phraya Express Boat to Oriental Pier (N1).

    Location: 23 Soi Charoenkrung 40, Bangrak, Bangkok 10500, Thailand

    Open: Monday and Friday from 8.30am to 5pm, Saturday–Sunday from 8.30am to 12pm (closed from Tuesdays to Thursdays)

    Phone: +66 (0)2 234 8556

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    photo by Panyawat boontanom (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    15

    Baiyoke Tower II

    At 304 meters tall, Baiyoke Tower II is one of Bangkok's (and Thailand's) tallest buildings. The 88-storey building has a public observatory deck on the 77th floor, while the top floor is an open-air, 360-degree revolving roof deck (an admission applies). Both venues offer a bird's-eye view of the sprawling Thai capital. Baiyoke Sky Hotel covers from the 22nd to the 74th floor.

    Taking in the Bangkok skyline from your hotel window is one thing, but watching it from the 84th-floor outdoor revolving deck is another experience entirely. Up at the top, the excitement, open space and the sense that you’re on top of one of Thailand’s tallest buildings make all the difference.

    Location: Soi Ratchaprarob 3, Phaya Thai, Ratchathewi, Bangkok 10400, Thailand

    Open: Skywalk and observation deck: daily from 10am to 10.30pm

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    16

    Bang Pa-In Royal Palace

    Bang Pa-In Royal Palace was used as a summer dwelling by the Siamese royalty and their consorts. It is about 60 km north of Bangkok and within easy reach of Ayutthaya. Also called Bang Pa-In Summer Palace, the complex comprises several iconic buildings all around a large park. Renting an electric cart is a good way to go around, especially on hot days.

    Coming all the way from Bangkok just for the palace might not be worth the trip, but it is a great stop on the way to Ayutthaya. Proper attire is required similar to visiting the Grand Palace, meaning no short skirts, sleeveless shirts, and shorts.

    Location: Tambon Ban Len, Amphoe Bang Pa-in, Chang Wat Phra Nakhon, Ayutthaya 13160, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 8.30am to 5pm

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    photo by JJ Harrison (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    17

    Bangkok parks

    Bangkok has a collection of beautiful parks where you can briefly escape from the big city’s skyscrapers, malls and traffic. Parks in Bangkok provide its residents with fresh air and lots of healthy outdoor activities in lush, landscaped areas.

    Some offer picturesque views of the downtown Bangkok skyline, with swathes of green and expansive lakes and with dedicated bicycle and jogging tracks. Most Bangkok parks come with additional sports facilities such as tennis courts, swimming pools and soccer fields. Bangkok’s most popular parks are usually close to a BTS Skytrain or MRT station, making them convenient spots for relaxation during your vacation.

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    Bangkok Butterfly Garden & Insectarium

    Bangkok Butterfly Garden & Insectarium is where you can take the family for a day out admiring nature’s artistry in Chatuchak. You enter the huge and lofty enclosure of the conservatory with rockeries, shady ferns, wildflowers and a cooling waterfall – all the elements that make up the insects' natural habitat.

    Unfortunately, only a few species of beautiful winged creatures hide within the dome. So, if you’re quiet and still, you may be able to lure 1 out of hiding. Combine your visit with a tour of Queen Sirikit Gardens, which lies between here and the Children's Discovery Museum.

    Location: Kamphaengpet 3 Road, Lad Yao, Chatuchak, Bangkok 10900, Thailand

    Open: Tuesday–Sunday from 8.30am to 4.30pm (closed on Mondays)

    Phone: +66 (0)2 272 4359

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    19

    Christ Church Bangkok

    Christ Church Bangkok is an Anglican church that continues to be a popular place of worship among Bangkok expatriates. After an influx of protestant missionaries between the early and mid-19th century, King Rama IV granted land for a church to be built to serve them in Charoenkrung Road.

    It wasn't long until the English Church (as it was then known due to its mainly English congregation) was overstretched. In 1904, King Rama V granted permission for a bigger and more centrally located church to be built. As an attraction on its own, the clean-white simple Gothic church is a sight to behold.

    Location: 11 Convent Rd, Silom, Bang Rak, Bangkok 10500, Thailand

    Open: Monday–Friday from 8.30am to 5pm, Sunday from 7.30am to 8.30am and from 10am to 11.30am (closed on Saturdays)

    Phone: +66 (0)2 234 3634

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    photo by กสิณธร ราชโอรส (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    20

    Unusual sights in Bangkok

    Bangkok has a host of unusual sights that are simply must-sees which also offer you a good break from the shopping malls, skyscrapers and hotels. Some are the result of centuries-old Buddhist culture being pushed into the 21st century – take the so-called ‘David Beckham Temple’ (Wat Pariwat) as an example. The back corner of its main altar has a Garuda that’s been replaced by the English soccer legend!

    There are museums inside massive, pure copper statues or those that present a dedicated collection of morbid exhibits of human body parts. Some of Bangkok’s buildings are designed with outright quirky architecture – like the one in Chatuchak that resembles an elephant, or the one in Sathorn shaped like a robot!

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    21

    Democracy Monument

    Circled by perpetual swarms of traffic, the Democracy Monument on Ratchadamnoen Road is a large western-style symbol of Thailand's adoption of democracy and liberty. Field Marshall Plaek Pibulsonggram commissioned it to commemorate the June 1932 military coup that led to the country's first democratic constitution in place of absolute rule.

    Location: Ratchadamnoen Avenue, Wat Bowon Niwet, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10200, Thailand

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    photo by Y.Thanongsak (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    22

    Flight Experience Bangkok

    Flight Experience Bangkok is a flight simulator that's great for anyone wanting to know how it feels like flying a jumbo jet. It's an extra-special gift for everyone, from young children who dream of being pilots to those who have a passion for planes. According to research, it can even help alleviate the fear of flying. Flight Experience Bangkok feels so realistic that its cockpit has even been used in local films and TV shows.

    Location: Gateway Ekamai Shopping Mall, 2nd Floor, 22 Sukhumvit Road, Khlong Toei, Phra Khanong, Bangkok 10110, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 10am to 9pm

    Phone: +66 (0)2 048 9922

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    23

    Bangkok markets

    Bangkok markets offer unique shopping experiences compared to the air-conditioned megamalls of the city. You’ll explore mazes with alleys after alleys of shops selling everything from one-off fashion accessories to knock-off and kitschy items. There are also markets dedicated to farm-fresh flowers and agricultural products like Pak Klong Talad, the biggest wholesale and retail fresh flower market in Bangkok.

    In all, they offer excellent bargains as well as a glimpse into the local life. For foodies, it’s a great opportunity to sample dishes you won't find in most restaurants. Must-visit markets in Bangkok include the Chatuchak Weekend Market, while the Patpong, Khlong Thom and Saphan Phut markets offer exciting shopping experiences after dark.

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    24

    Gurudwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha Temple

    Gurudwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha is a Sikh temple in Pahurat, on the edge of Chinatown. This area is the heart of Bangkok's small but lively Sikh community. The white, 6-storey temple is topped with a golden dome. It was built in 1932 and is the second largest of its kind outside India.

    You’ll find the congregation hall on the 4th floor, and an international school on the 5th floor of Gurudwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha Temple. The top floor is the main prayer area, with a copy of Sikhism's holy book, Sri Guru Granth Sahib, interned on a flower-filled altar.

    Location: 571 Chakkraphet Rd, Wang Burapha Phirom, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10200, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 10am to 6pm

    Phone: +66 (0)2 221 1011

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    photo by Ddalbiez (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    25

    Holy Rosary Church

    The Holy Rosary Church was originally built on the banks of the Chao Phraya River in 1768, following a land grant by King Rama I. The Portuguese Catholic church that you can see near the Bangkok riverside today is the result of rebuilding work between 1891 and 1898.

    This restoration lent it its neo-gothic style, showcasing an impressive statue of the Virgin Mary, towering central spire, marigold facade, curving gilded stucco ceilings and beautiful stained glass windows, depicting stories from the Old and New Testament. The easiest way to get there is by taking the Chao Phraya Express Boat to Si Phraya Pier.

    Location: 987 Soi Wanit 2, Talat Noi, Samphanthawong, Bangkok 10100, Thailand

    Phone: +66 (0)2 266 4849

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    photo by Jeffrey Beall (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

    26

    Bangkok museums

    Bangkok museums are among the city’s finest cultural venues, where you can admire centuries-old artifacts of historical significance, Buddhist relics, and modern art pieces. Some are housed in buildings just as interesting as their contents. Bangkok’s many museums exhibit some of the most sublime and strangest collections of relics you can imagine, giving you a wonderful insight into Thailand's colorful culture and unique heritage.

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    27

    Khlongs of Thonburi

    Thonburi is the old Bangkok capital situated on the western banks of the Chao Phraya River. Having stayed an independent province until it was merged into Bangkok in 1972, Thonburi has avoided much of the modern development seen elsewhere. Its manmade network of khlongs (canals), including Khlong Mon and Khlong Bangkok Noi, retains much of its ramshackle charm.

    Location: Thonburi, Bangkok 10600, Thailand

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    photo by David Broad (CC BY 3.0) modified

    28

    King Rama I Monument

    The monument of King Rama I, otherwise known as King Puttayodfa, is a double lifesize monument to the Thai royal that was built to mark the city's 150th anniversary in 1932. It was built along with the Puttayodfa Memorial Bridge next to which it sits.

    The monument was designed by HRH Prince Naris, and architect Silpa Bhirasri sculpted it in bronze. Born on March 20, 1736, King Rama I was the first king in the Chakri Dynasty which continues to this day. He ascended to the throne on April 6, 1782, and died 27 years later.

    Location: Prachathipok Rd, Wang Burapha Phirom, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10200, Thailand

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    29

    Calypso Cabaret

    Calypso Cabaret in Bangkok is an entertaining show that takes place every night at Asiatique: The Riverfront. Thailand's katoeys (ladyboys) are some of the most beautiful (and convincing) transvestites in the world, mostly accepted and embraced by a highly tolerant Thai society.

    The ladyboy cabaret show takes place within Warehouse 3, near Asiatique’s town square. Decorated with rainbow neon lights, the auditorium can accommodate up to 350 people per show. Tickets come with a free drink and it's possible to purchase a dinner and show package.

    Location: Asiatique The Riverfront (Warehouse 3), 2194 Charoenkrung 72-76 Rd, Prayakrai, Bangkorlaem, Bangkok 10120, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 7.30pm to 8.40pm and from 9pm to 10.10pm

    Phone: +66 (0)2 688 1415

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    30

    Bangkok Science Museum and Planetarium

    The Bangkok Science Museum and Planetarium is an interactive museum and planetarium in Sukhumvit. Also known as the National Science Center for Education, it's designed to educate the youth and general public about science and astronomy. There are interesting activities, exhibits, models, multimedia presentations and real objects.

    The museum occupies 4 main buildings – the Planetarium, the Natural Science building, the Science Museum and the Aquatic Life building. The semi-dome planetarium (the oldest in Thailand) is probably its most popular permanent fixture.

    Location: 928 Sukhumvit Rd, Phra Khanong, Khlong Toei, Bangkok 10110, Thailand

    Open: Tuesday–Sunday from 8.30am to 4.30pm (closed on Mondays)

    Phone: +66 (0)2 392 1773

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    31

    OP Place

    Though mainly a popular sojourn for those looking to pick up Thai silk, antiques, jewelry, carpets and art, OP Place is also something of a destination in itself. Built in 1908 and constructed in an elegant neo-classical style, this impressive white-stone mall, originally known as the Falck & Beidek Store, exudes an atmosphere reminiscent of old Bangkok.

    Location: 10500 Charoen Krung 38 Alley, Charter Bank, Bang Rak, Bangkok 10500, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 11am to 7pm

    Phone: +66 (0)2 266 0186

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    Papaya Studio

    Papaya Studio is like no other vintage shop you may have seen before. Trying to list the amazing objects, items, figures, toys, household objects and furniture tightly packed next to each other would be impossible, but you can’t help but notice the pinball machines, Vespas, and full-sized comic book characters. It’s so bizarre that some of the genuine vintage items on display aren't even for sale. Go there if you’re a vintage lover and dive into a world of fantasy and fun memories... it's like a free museum!

    Location: 306/1 Soi Lat Phrao 55/2 Lat Phrao Rd, Phlabphla, Wang Thonglang, Bangkok 10310, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 9am to 6.30pm

    Phone: +66 (0)2 539 8220

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    Phra Sumen Fort

    14 forts were built during the reign of King Rama I to protect the borders of the Old City, but most have disappeared over the years. Only Phra Sumen Fort and Mahakhan Fort have managed to remain in Bangkok.

    This pale white concrete fort with battlements is nestled in the quiet Suan Santichaiparkran Park, which straddles the banks of the Chao Phraya River. You can get there by taxi or the Chao Phraya Express Boat (disembark at Phra Athit Pier).

    Location: Phra Athit Rd, Chana Songkhram, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10200, Thailand

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    photo by Supanut Arunoprayote (CC BY 4.0) modified

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    Phyathai Palace

    Built in 1909 during King Rama V’s reign as a temporary royal residence, Phyathai Palace comprises 5 buildings all constructed in a combination of neo-gothic and Romanesque styles. The interiors showcase a rococo influence, complete with beautiful ceiling frescos, gilded Corinthian columns, and elaborately carved fretworks.

    Guided tours are often available on Saturdays at 9.30am and 1.30pm. Otherwise, you are usually free to walk around the palace grounds.

    Location: 315 Ratchawithi Rd, Thung Phaya Thai, Ratchathewi, Bangkok 10400, Thailand

    Open: Saturday–Sunday from 9.30am to 11.30am and from 1.30pm to 3.30pm, Tuesday and Thursday from 1pm to 3pm (closed on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays)

    Phone: +66 (0)2 354 7987

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    photo by Hdamm (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

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    Bangkok art galleries

    Bangkok art galleries offer glimpses into the Thai capital’s vibrant contemporary art scene. Most of the city's small private or commercial galleries promote Thai and regional artists. Through a day of gallery-hopping, you’ll discover that the city's art galleries and museums are pretty much scattered all over town.

    Several large art complexes in the city center offer an all-integrated art experience. Those like the Queen's Gallery promote the works of both established and up-and-coming Thai artists. The Bangkok Art and Cultural Center (BACC) offers a wide range of contemporary art, design, music, theatre and film. Bangkok National Gallery displays work by Thai artists from the 17th century onwards, as well as permanent exhibitions of works by King Rama VI and King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

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    Samut Prakan Crocodile Farm

    Samut Prakan Crocodile Farm is home to over 60,000 crocodiles, making it one of the largest in the world. You can take your family for a visit to this farm that’s around 30 km from central Bangkok and be thrilled by exciting crocodile shows and demonstrations. This old-school Thai attraction also has other wild animals, including tigers and bears.

    Location: 555 Thanon Thai Ban, Pak Nam, Samut Prakan 10270, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 8am to 6pm

    Phone: +66 (0)2 703 4891

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    Sanam Chandra Palace

    Sanam Chandra Palace is set in a beautiful park full of giant trees and perfectly manicured lawns winding around ponds and lakes. In the middle of this garden stands a very unlikely building: a yellow castle worthy of a Cinderella fairytale.

    Located 50 km west of Bangkok, Nakhon Pathom was built in 1907 in the small town of Nakhon Pathom. It's well-known for housing the world's tallest stupa called Phra Pathom Chedi. Despite being located only 1 km from it, this unusual royal palace sees very few local visitors.

    Location: Nakhon Pathom, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 5am to 9am and from 4pm to 8pm

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    photo by Mr.Peerapong Prasutr (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

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    Santa Cruz Church

    Santa Cruz Church is a Roman Catholic church in Thonburi that offers an impressive sight with its imposing neoclassical architecture. The Portuguese have allied with Thailand since 1516 when they began supplying the country with arms and ammunitions to help ward off the Burmese aggression at the time.

    After the destruction of Ayutthaya in 1767, and with it the Catholic church there, King Taksin granted permission for them to build another one in the new capital Thonburi, a gift in recognition of their vital services. The church and the surrounding area are a good starting point for discovering the traces of Portugal in the Thai capital.

    Location: 112 Soi Kudeejeen, Wat Kanlaya, Thon Buri, Bangkok 10600, Thailand

    Phone: +66 (0)2 472 0154

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    photo by กสิณธร ราชโอรส (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

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    Siam Niramit Show

    Siam Niramit is a spectacular show in Bangkok. With its rich history that reads like an epic novel, Thailand is undoubtedly one of the most intriguing Asian nations, replete with over 700 years of captivating culture, customs and traditions. But just how Thailand's spawning seven centuries are brilliantly captured into a 90-minute production, Siam Niramit has the answer.

    Location: 19 Thiam Ruam Mit Road, Huai Khwang, Bangkok 10310, Thailand

    Phone: +66 (0)2 649 9222

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    SEA LIFE Bangkok Ocean World

    SEA LIFE Bangkok Ocean World is a large aquarium that is 3 storeys underneath the glitzy Siam Paragon shopping mall. It’s an aquatic wonderland the size of 3 Olympic swimming pools – the underground aquarium is one of the largest in Southeast Asia.

    The aquarium will dazzle you with innovative world-class exhibits and over 30,000 curious-looking creatures from various depths and aquatic regions across the globe. To get there, take Exit 5 from the Siam BTS Skytrain Station, which provides direct access to Siam Paragon. Read more...

    Location: B1-B2 Floor, Siam Paragon Building, 991 Rama I Rd, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 10am to 9pm

    Phone: +66 (0)2 687 2000

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    Sky Bar Bangkok

    Sky Bar boasts sweeping views from the top of State Tower, one of Bangkok's tallest buildings. With its highly visible golden dome, the bar is tucked away in a corner of the award-winning, open-air Sirocco restaurant on the 64th floor. Sky Bar's counter is illuminated and changes color every few minutes.

    Sky Bar is where you'd find some of the best live jazz in Bangkok. Also located at the Dome is Distil, another place where everyone likes to be seen. Part DJ bar, part smoking lounge, and part restaurant, Distil serves fine single-malt Scotches like Macallan and Glenmorangie, accompanied by a small carafe of genuine Scottish water.

    Location: Lebua at State Tower, 1055 Si Lom, Silom, Bang Rak, Bangkok 10500, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 4pm to 1am

    Phone: +66 (0)2 624 9555

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    Snake Farm

    The Snake Farm was set up to produce antivenom serums for snakebite victims nationwide, but it’s also an attraction in Bangkok. It’s the place to see poisonous snakes that range from cobras, Malayan pit vipers and king cobras to banded kraits and Russell’s vipers.

    All snakes are 'milked' (their venom extracted) and there’s lots of information and close-up encounters with these slithery animals. You can also watch a live show about the history and function of the snake farm. You can find it at the corner of Henry Dunant and Rama IV Roads, on the grounds of Chulalongkorn University.

    Location: Queen Saovabha Memorial Institute, 1871 Thanon Rama IV, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand

    Open: Monday–Friday from 9.30am to 3.30pm, Saturday–Sunday from 9.30am to 1pm

    Phone: +66 (0)2 252 0167

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    Soi Rambuttri

    Soi Rambuttri is Khao San's more attractive, well-behaved brother. This street 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 backpacker despite a number of them now choosing to stay here rather than on the infamous Khao San Road.

    Soi Rambuttri has a great mix of guesthouses, restaurants, bars and street food stalls. Most of the shops are similar to those you find anywhere in the area selling the usual T-shirts, DVDs and other tourist trinkets. You can explore the entire horseshoe-shaped road on foot within 30 minutes.

    Location: Soi Rambuttri, Talat Yot, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10200, Thailand

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    Sri Maha Mariamman Temple

    Sri Maha Mariamman Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to the Goddess Mariamman. It was built by Tamil immigrants in the 1860s, featuring a riotous blend of rich colors and ornate decoration that makes for rather unexpected sight in Silom. It’s a great site for a little taste of Indian architecture right in the heart of Bangkok.

    The tall central structure is plastered full of detailed, entwining Hindu deities. The shrines inside the temple are dedicated to both Shiva's consort and the elephant-headed Ganesha, with others paying homage to Vishnu and Krishna.

    Location: 2 Pan Rd, Silom, Bang Rak, Bangkok 10500, Thailand

    Phone: +66 (0)2 238 4007

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    Suan Pakkad Palace

    Suan Pakkad Palace is a place to find visions of Thailand you thought long since vanished in Bangkok. Its name means 'cabbage patch', referring to times when the land was nothing more than just that. Today, however, it's a well-tended tropical garden with serene ponds surrounding 8 traditional Thai houses, each of which brims with fine arts, antiques and oddities belonging to Prince and Princess Chumbhot.

    Location: 352-354 Si Ayutthaya Road, Phaya Thai, Ratchathewi, Bangkok 10400, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 9am to 4pm

    Phone: +66 (0)2 245 4934

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    46

    Bangkok shrines

    You’ll come across a variety of impressive shrines on your stroll around Bangkok. Some are unique and quirky – others are hidden among the skyscrapers while a few are laid out in bare sight. There’s even a shrine that’s famous for lovelorn singles! Shrines are places of worship honoring sacred religious icons who’d grant you love, happiness, good fortune, success, luck or even fertility.

    An easy one to get to is Erawan Shrine, which attracts more visitors than many of the city's temples. A very interesting shrine requiring a little more effort to find is the Tubtim Shrine dedicated to a fertility goddess. It’s adorned with literally hundreds of phalluses – from small wooden carvings to big stone sculptures standing 10 feet tall and decorated with ribbons!

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    Vertigo at Banyan Tree

    Vertigo at Banyan Tree is an open-air bar and restaurant located 61 floors above the bustling streets of Bangkok. Indulge in some of the world's finest champagne, exotic cocktails, wine-by-the-glass or non-alcoholic beverages in the bar area, or go all the way for a memorable dinner of seafood.

    Stylish, sophisticated, romantic, the magical atmosphere makes for a memorable evening, weather permitting. A telescope is available for star-gazing, and on most nights there is live jazz too. Due to its popularity, reservations are required for the restaurant.

    Location: 61st Floor, Banyan Tree Bangkok, 21/100 South Sathon Road, Sathon, Bangkok 10120, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 5pm to 1am (dinner from 6pm to 10pm)

    Phone: +66 (0)2 679 1200

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    Victory Monument

    Victory Monument in Bangkok marks a brief and relatively bloodless war that led to Thailand regaining disputed land on its borders with Indochina. It was built to commemorate the country's victory over French colonialists in Indochina. If you travel by Skytrain to Mo Chit (en route to Chatuchak Weekend Market), you'll catch the best view possible of this large military monument.

    Location: Thanon Phaya Thai, Ratchathewi, Bangkok 10400, Thailand

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    photo by ooohsnap (CC BY 2.0) modified

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    Wangderm Palace

    Wangderm Palace, also called Phra Racha Wang Derm, was built to mark the establishment of the new capital in Thonburi. After liberating Siam from the Burmese in 1767, a general and provincial governor named Taksin was crowned King. He built this palace on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River near Wat Arun (The Temple of Dawn).

    The Thonburi palace occupies a site once of great strategic importance, behind the Wichayen Fort and other fortifications that guarded access to the Kingdom's port. Visits are by appointment and limited to only 2 groups of 5 or more.

    Location: 1 Thanon Wang Doem, Wat Arun, Bangkok Yai, Bangkok 10600, Thailand

    Open: Monday–Friday from 9.30am to 11.30am and from 1pm to 4pm (closed on Saturdays and Sundays)

    Phone: +66 (0)2 475 4117

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    photo by Toey19863 (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

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    Bangkok temples

    You can find Bangkok temples spread throughout the city. The 3 most famous ones are Wat Pra Kaew, Wat Arun, and Wat Pho. Once you’ve seen them all, there are still many other temples worth visiting.

    Fortunately, many of the most famous temples in Bangkok are located near the Grand Palace, excellent for a day of fun exploration. With any temple visit, remember to not only to bring your camera but also to wear appropriate temple attire: long pants and clothing that covers your shoulders and proper shoes (no flip-flops).

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    Wat Mangkon Kamalawat

    Wat Mangkon Kamalawat, also known as Wat Leng Noei Yi, is a temple that’s nestled in the heart of Chinatown. The temple is the hub of activities during festivals like Chinese New Year. It’s often referred to as one of Bangkok's most important and largest Chinese-Buddhist temples.

    The temple contains spectacular Buddhist, Taoist and Confucian shrines and dates back to 1872 when it was called Wat Leng Nui Yee. King Rama V then changed its name to Wat Mangkon Kamalawat (which means Dragon Lotus Temple).

    Location: 423 Charoen Krung Rd, Pom Prap, Pom Prap Sattru Phai, Bangkok 10100, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 9am to 5pm

    Phone: +66 (0)2 222 3975

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    photo by กสิณธร ราชโอรส (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

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    Zanook Wake Park Bangkok

    Zanook Wake Park is one of Bangkok's busiest wakeboarding lake, with the fun addition of a floating, inflatable playground in the center of the lake. Whether this is your first time trying to wakeboard or you are an experienced rider, Zanook Bangkok is where you can strap on a board and carve up the water close to the city center. It’s close to the Bang Wa BTS Skytrain Station on the Silom Line.

    Location: 77 Thanon Bang Bon 3, Bang Bon, Bangkok 10150, Thailand

    Open: Monday–Friday from 11.30am to 9.30pm, Saturday–Sunday from 9am to 9.30pm

    Phone: +66 (0)2 104 9053

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    Cycling in Bangkok

    Cycling in Bangkok takes you pedaling off the well-beaten tourist track and beyond. It also offers you an immediate connection to your surroundings, something you won't experience with other modes of transportation. Head out of the city on 2 wheels and you'll quickly discover places of hidden interest and unsung beauty like lush fruit orchards, quaint country villages, and ancient temples.

    Take a Saturday night tour around the historic heart of Bangkok – Rattanakosin Island, Wat Pho, Wat Suthat and Khao San Road, or a Sunday morning cycle tour along the Thonburi khlongs (canals) to discover a different side of Thai life. Some tours involve taking a ferry and/or a train to the starting point.

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    Golfing in Bangkok

    Bangkok golf courses offer great value for money with many excellent golf clubs offering a high level of service and very competitive prices. Golf tours and holidays have grown rapidly across Thailand, particularly in Bangkok where there are scores of great golf courses and clubs within easy reach of the city center. Most of them have been renovated and developed to world-class standards.

    While golfing in Bangkok, you can enjoy a great round while experiencing the beauty of manicured links and fairways. Many golfers in Bangkok prefer setting off in the early mornings to avoid Thailand’s intense midday sun – the cool breeze through the palms and the orange sun hanging low adds up to a memorable experience.

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    Flow House Bangkok

    Flow House Bangkok has an artificial wave machine as its centerpiece. It provides a great way for the whole family to have fun, keep fit and cool off – all while learning a new sport. Flowriding is basically an amalgamation of surfing and wakeboarding on an inflatable ramp, which has a thin sheet of water pumped up and over it to simulate a perpetual breaking wave.

    Experienced boarders of any variety will soon pick it up and enjoy practicing flicks and grabs, while children can jump straight into it – literally – with a bodyboard. Staff are on hand to guide you with a rope at first, and continually offer you advice, correct your posture, and generally give encouragement.

    Location: 120/1 A-Square, Soi Sukhumvit 26, Khlong Toei, Bangkok 10110, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 11am to 10pm

    Phone: +66 (0)99 083 8787

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    Lumpini Park

    Lumpini Park, after the birthplace of the Lord Buddha in Nepal, is one of the largest parks in downtown Bangkok. It's as big as 93 soccer fields, housing numerous benches, walking paths, and picnic spots as well as various flora and fauna.

    Lumpini Park appeals to just about everyone – you'll often find the elderly practicing tai chi and couples lounging by the lakeside, along with 9-to-5 workers relaxing on benches or exercising in the evenings. This green space is often populated by families, especially on weekends.

    Location: Rama IV Rd, Lumphini, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 4.30am to 9pm

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    Bangkok spas and massages

    A rejuvenating spa treatment in one of Bangkok's luxurious spas or a famous traditional Thai massage can be the antidote after a long day of walking, shopping and sightseeing. Despite being a thriving and bustling metropolis, Bangkok is also a haven for relaxation, rejuvenation and regeneration.

    There are several ways you can enjoy a massage in Bangkok. Soothing treatments range from an aromatherapy and oil massage to facial massages that will make your skin glow radiantly.

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    Ice skating in Bangkok

    Ice-skating rinks in Bangkok help you beat the heat of the city and stage your vacation on the ice. They can be an ideal way to spend time with your family, as ice-skating offers plenty of fun for both kids and parents. Remember to wear something warm and comfortable, such as long, thick socks, jeans, and gloves to help cushion you against unexpected falls.

    Many Bangkok ice rinks are within the city’s famous shopping malls, so you can easily enjoy some shopping and dining after some rounds. One rink is even Olympic-sized. If you're a bit wobbly on skates, sign up for a lesson. If you can glide on the ice like a pro, you're in for great winter-style fun in the hot Thai capital!

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    EasyKart Bangkok go-karting

    You can enjoy go-karting in Bangkok at EasyKart Bangkok at Royal City Avenue (RCA). It’s an exhilarating experience that can be enjoyed by everyone and in any weather. You can find a range of karts catering to different age groups and levels of experience.

    For those with a competitive spirit, lap times are recorded electronically and displayed on an overhead screen, and a print out of your lap times are also given to racers afterwards. EasyKart Bangkok even has a viewing deck above the long straight for cheering on your friends or family.

    Location: 31/11 RCA Plaza, 2nd Floor, Rama 9 Road, Bangkapi, Huaykwang, Bangkok 10320, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 1pm to midnight

    Phone: +66 (0)2 203 1205 ext. 24

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    Muay Thai in Bangkok

    Though Muay Thai seems like a violent sport, learning it properly can be a fun and worthwhile experience. One of the best places to go (if you want a comprehensive learning experience) is Muay Thai Institute in Rangsit, just 12 km northeast of Don Mueang International Airport. Even so, there are many Muay Thai gyms in central Bangkok if you just want to enjoy a few rounds of Thai kickboxing with an experienced motorcoach bus.

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    Cooking class

    Cooking classes in Bangkok are great for budding cooks interested in Thai culinary arts. Learn directly from professional Thai cooks who’ll teach you about the flavors, ingredients and techniques in cooking. At the end of your class, you'll get an apron and certificate to take home with you.

    Most cooking classes include a market visit, so you can see where the ingredients come from. Others will combine some classroom learning with time in the kitchen, putting your new knowledge to good use. Whichever Bangkok cooking class you choose, your friends and family will be happy to test your new skills once you return home.

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    Bowling in Bangkok

    Bowling in Bangkok can be a great time for family fun. It’s a good way to stay active and light-hearted and can be a great way to spend a rainy day or evening out. Movie theaters, bowling alleys, and karaoke usually go hand-in-hand in most Bangkok malls, so teens can hang out in a fun environment while their parents enjoy some shopping.

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    Baan Bat

    Baan Bat is perhaps the last existing place in Bangkok that still hammers out – by hand – the brass bowl that Buddhist monks carry with them during the morning alms round. Its name literally means ‘house of monk’s alms bowl’. The community has been producing monk’s alms bowls since the late 18th Century, but today less than 5 households continue to make a living selling their craft here.

    You can find Baan Bat in a narrow backstreet just south of Wat Saket (The Golden Mount Temple). The common view here is stacks of unfinished brass bowls lying about, as well as constant banging noise echoing from all the forging.

    Location: 55 Boriphat Road, Baan Bat, Pom Prap Sattru Phai, Bangkok 10100, Thailand

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    Haroon Mosque

    Haroon Mosque is one of the busiest and oldest mosques in Bangkok. The original 1-storey wooden structure was replaced by brick-colored concrete after it crumbled down beyond repair. Inside, the mosque showcases intricately carved Arabic script and can hold up to 500 people at a time. You can find the mosque amid a web of alleyways near the famous Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Bangkok's Riverside area.

    Location: 25 Charoen Krung Rd, Bang Rak, Bangkok 10500, Thailand

    Phone: +66 (0)81 488 8154

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    Pridi Banomyong Institute

    Pridi Banomyong Institute is a tree-shrouded building complex dedicated to the important historical Thai figure, Pridi Banomyong. It's a venue for promoting Thai arts and culture and hosts monthly art movies, stage performances by aspiring artists as well as cultural seminars and workshops. If you go on a non-event day, you’ll find it quite deserted. Walk to the open courtyard in the back, passing through a wooden walkway.

    Location: 65/1 55 Sukhumvit Rd, Khlong Tan Nuea, Watthana, Bangkok 10110, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 9am to 5.30pm

    Phone: +66 (0)2 381 3860

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    66

    Wat Pathum Khongkha - the first execution chamber

    Chinatown's Wat Pathum Khongkha is a pretty temple dating back to the Ayutthaya period, but once served an extraordinary, rather grisly purpose. It was used as an execution site for members of the Royal Family in the early Rattanakosin period. Several members from the first and third reigns were disposed of on the temple's execution stone.

    Location: 1620 Song Wat Rd, Samphanthawong, Bangkok 10100, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 5am to 9pm

    Phone: +66 (0)2 639 1952

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    Saphanthawong Museum

    Saphanthawong Museum is a community museum in Bangkok Chinatown. It presents exhibits on the city's early Chinese immigrants. Set within the same compound as Wat Traimit, it's worth checking out if you’re eager to learn more about the history of the place while exploring the culturally vibrant neighborhood.

    Several exhibition rooms tell of the history of Chinatown through old photographs. There’s one that features the earliest shops in the neighborhood, some of which you can still find today. After browsing through the museum, you can continue your walk through Chinatown with a better sense of history.

    Location: 1620/1 Song Wat Rd, Samphanthawong, Bangkok 10100, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 9am to 5pm

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    Willy Thuan | Compulsive Traveler

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