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Things to see and do in Bangkok

Bangkok is a fast-paced city with high-rise buildings, lively markets, and elegant temples. As one of the most bustling cities in Asia, you can expect endless energy and vibrant nightlife with an oriental flavor, which makes Bangkok so attractive.

Popular attractions in Bangkok

Grand Palace

Visit the Emerald Buddha Temple inside the palace grounds

Good for
  • Sightseeing
  • Museums
  • Top attractions
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Built in 1782, the Grand Palace was the home of Thai kings for 150 years. Truly magnificent from any angle, the golden, gilded stupas and curved roofs are unmistakably Thai and the whole complex stands as a homage to the kingdom's cultural sensibilities.

Inside the palace grounds, there are several temples to explore, including the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, housing the most revered Buddha image in all of Thailand. Do note that all guests must dress appropriately to enter the Grand Palace, which means shoulders and knees must be covered. There are shawls on offer at the entrance, if necessary.

Hotel prices near Grand Palace

3 stars
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$38
4 stars
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$60
5 stars
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$655
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Chatuchak Weekend Market

Shop 'til you drop. Eat, then shop some more

Good for
  • Activities
  • Shopping
  • Sightseeing
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Chatuchak Market, known as "JJ" to locals, is the granddaddy of them all. Widely confirmed as Southeast Asia's largest market and one of Bangkok's most popular weekend activities, it would be tough to spend a day at Chatuchak and not find something special to buy.

With 8,000 stalls selling all manner of goods, this market is far too big to explore in 1 day. Fear not; getting a little lost is all part of the fun, and the central clock tower can be used as a landmark. It's very easy to reach Chatuchak Market thanks to dedicated Skytrain, subway and buses ferrying the estimated 500,000 visitors there every weekend.

Hotel prices near Chatuchak Weekend Market

3 stars
from
$32
4 stars
from
$41
5 stars
from
$86
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Wat Pho

Get a photo in front of the Reclining Buddha

Good for
  • Sightseeing
  • Temple
  • Top attractions
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The Reclining Buddha at Wat Pho has inspired amazement from generations of wide-eyed wanderers. Measuring over 150 ft in length, nearly 50 ft in height, and covered in gold leaf, it looks almost too big for the temple, with the Buddha's head almost grazing the roof.

Beautiful from every angle, do look out for the mother of pearl inscriptions on the soles of the Buddha's feet. To capture the moment in photo, it's best to stand down by the feet of the Buddha but, because of its popularity, you may have to wait a while to get the perfect shot.

Hotel prices near Wat Pho

3 stars
from
$40
4 stars
from
$57
5 stars
from
$655
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Wat Arun

Watch the sunset from a cocktail bar opposite Wat Arun

Good for
  • Sightseeing
  • Temple
  • Top attractions
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Wat Arun, also known as the Temple of Dawn, is a magnificent monument located along the riverside in Bangkok. Standing nearly 230 ft tall at its highest point, the colorful spires have been decorated with shards of Chinese porcelain that glint in the sun.

Wat Arun's elegant Khmer-style stupas are quite distinctive in Bangkok, and look beautiful at any time day or night. Many people consider it the highlight of the many river cruises that sail up and down the Chao Phraya every evening. Alternatively, head to one of the rooftop bars on Maharat Road that offer uninterrupted views of the temple lit up in spotlights.

Hotel prices near Wat Arun

3 stars
from
$36
4 stars
from
$55
5 stars
from
$279
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Khao San Road

Walk the famous strip that started Thailand's backpacker scene

Good for
  • Activities
  • Shopping district
  • Shopping
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This 1km-long Khao San Road has a reputation that spans continents because of its place in backpacker folklore. Pretty much all young travelers visiting Southeast Asia will start and, in many cases, end their trip here.

Free spirits relax at bars and small restaurants, sharing their tales of adventure. As the night wears on, people move to clubs like Gulliver's and Brick Bar. You can shop throughout the day for beachwear, printed t-shirts, and second hand books at the many street stalls, while massage girls summon you with loud calls. It's a carnival atmosphere that's unlike anything else in the city.

Hotel prices near Khao San Road

2 stars
from
$39
3 stars
from
$30
4 stars
from
$57
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MBK Center

Browse thousands of stalls offering discount fashion and technology

Good for
  • Activities
  • Shopping centre
  • Shopping
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The legendary MBK Center is what you get when you take a fashion market and move it into a huge 8-story shopping mall. This is where people come for low prices and mind-blowing variety. Items on offer here include fashion, accessories, technology and appliances, homeware, luggage, and loads of local souvenirs.

The top floor of MBK is dedicated to leisure, with plenty of restaurants, a cinema, bowling alley, games arcade, and a live-action escape game. A Japanese department store, Tokyu, stocks some brand name items, but the vast majority of outlets sell bargain-basement goods.

Hotel prices near MBK Center

3 stars
from
$36
4 stars
from
$73
5 stars
from
$139
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Siam Paragon Mall

Enjoy shopping for luxury items with Bangkok's socialite crowd

Good for
  • Activities
  • Shopping centre
  • Shopping
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Siam Paragon Mall is a byword for luxury living in Bangkok. A who's who of famous brands compete for attention with fabulous window displays and, come mealtimes, there's a huge selection of world cuisines to enjoy.

On the lower floors, you'll find famous brand names like Hermes, Versache, and Hugo Boss but, as you move up, more affordable fashion is on offer from the likes of H&M and Gap. Siam Paragon is truly a lifestyle mall, with car dealerships, souvenir shops, and an entire I.T. section. For some family fun, check out the massive aquarium in the basement or the IMAX theater on the top floor.

Hotel prices near Siam Paragon Mall

3 stars
from
$43
4 stars
from
$75
5 stars
from
$148
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Jim Thompson House

Dine in the traditional teak house, and shop for Thai silks

Good for
  • Sightseeing
  • Museums
  • Art museums
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Jim Thompson House is the old teakwood home of the man whose name is still synonymous with Thai silk. Throughout the 1950s, he turned the age-old practice of Thai silk weaving into a world-famous art. His house in Siam tells the curious story of the man, from his life in Southeast Asia, to his unexplained disappearance in Malaysia.

Enjoy the lush, relaxing garden, before taking an informative tour of the house, where you'll see some of Jim Thompson's extensive Buddhist art collection. The on-site gift shop stocks scarfs, bags, souvenirs, and more mostly made of silk, naturally.

Hotel prices near Jim Thompson House

3 stars
from
$36
4 stars
from
$70
5 stars
from
$144
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Asiatique the River Front

Shop, dine, and see a live theater show at Asiatique

Good for
  • Activities
  • Shopping centre
  • Shopping
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Nowhere else in Bangkok can provide such a wealth of nighttime activities as Asiatique the Riverfront Night Market. Browsing the stalls for fashion, technology, or souvenirs is the most popular activity, but there's a variety of restaurants to choose from, several live shows (the Calypso Cabaret ladyboy show is especially popular) a Ferris wheel and several bars with live music.

The easiest way to reach Asiatique the River Front is by taking the free shuttle boat from in front of Saphan Taksin BTS Skytrain Station. Owing to its popularity, you may have to wait for more than one boat.

Hotel prices near Asiatique the River Front

3 stars
from
$38
4 stars
from
$63
5 stars
from
$159
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Platinum Fashion Mall

Buy items in bulk and enjoy huge savings at Platinum Fashion Mall

Good for
  • Activities
  • Shopping centre
  • Shopping
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Platinum Fashion Mall, in the Pratunam area of Bangkok, is the best spot in the city for wholesale fashion at rock bottom prices. It's quite a chaotic place because of the sheer number of stalls selling such a dizzying array of items.

Trending ladies fashion and apparel is the biggest draw, but really there are stalls specializing in everything from toddler's clothes to denim to seasonal fancy dress. If you need a break, stop for a coffee on the basement floor or head up to the 4th floor to enjoy some local Thai dishes at the food court.

Hotel prices near Platinum Fashion Mall

3 stars
from
$35
4 stars
from
$63
5 stars
from
$142
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