7 Things to Do in Bangkok
by Katie McCabe | @awelltraveledpair | April 5th, 2016
Bangkok is a vibrant city filled with great food, friendly people, and amazing sights. While traveling through Thailand, I knew that I had to spend some time in this magnificent place. I ended loving everything about it. The street food was incredibly delicious, the people were so lovely, and the sights were breathtaking. If you're thinking about taking a trip to Bangkok, here are seven things you mustn't miss!
Visit the Temples
Bangkok's most famous structures are definitely the three main temples - Wat Arun, Wat Pho, and Wat Phra Kaew. These three temples are absolutely stunning and definitely worth a visit. Please dress accordingly (long pants, long skirts, long sleeved tops), remove shoes before entering the temples, and observe silence while people are praying. Visiting hours and admission fees are as follows...
Wat Arun - 8:30 - 17:30 30 Baht / $1 USD
Wat Pho - 8:00 - 18:30 100 Baht / $3 USD
Wat Phra Kaew - 8:30 - 15:30 500 Baht / $16 USD
Eat All the Food You Can
If you need a reason to take a trip to Thailand, go for the food. The INCREDIBLE food! I'm talking authentic pad thai, mango sticky rice, crab omelettes, crispy pork belly, spring rolls, chocolate and banana roti, coconut ice cream...I could go on and on. Hands down, my favorite thing about Thailand is the food. I'm a big seafood lover, so I was in heaven in Bangkok, but there are also a lot of options for meat eaters and vegans. Ask anyone who has been to Thailand about the food, I guarantee they will rave and reminisce about every delectable bite they tasted.
If you're wondering where in Bangkok to eat, head to either Chinatown or Khao San Road. Both places have top-notch dishes, and you can have a feast for around 150 Baht / $5 USD.
Go to Moon Bar
Bangkok has quite a few rooftop bars to choose from, but none of them exceed the greatness of Moon Bar. Located on the 61st floor of the Banyan Tree hotel, this hotspot boasts spectacular 360-degree views, and is often referred to as one of the best rooftop bars in the world. There's no better place to raise a glass and cheers to an epic Bangkok vacation than at Moon Bar.
Ride in a Tuk-tuk
In most countries, if you need a ride, you call a taxi. In Thailand, you hop in a tuk-tuk. This three-wheeled rickshaw has a small engine, and usually seats no more than two people at a time. It can get you around town...and quickly. Rides are fast, fun, and inexpensive. An average ten minute ride should cost around 30 Baht / $1 USD.
Khao San Road
Known as the popular backpackers area, Khao San Road is where you'll find cheap hostels, lively bars, and tasty street food. This is definitely the most happening area in all of Bangkok, and it's a great place to meet fellow travelers while enjoying local dishes and drinks. It can get quite loud until all hours of the night, so I only recommend staying here if you don't mind the noise. Otherwise, I suggest staying in a quieter area, such as Rattanakosin.
Visit the Floating Markets
You can't travel to Bangkok and not visit one of the floating markets. This traditional way of buying and selling goods is so unique and fun, and cruising down a canal watching it all happen is a great way to spend a day. A couple of popular floating markets not too far from Bangkok are Talin Chan and Amphawa. But the creme de la creme of floating markets is definitely Damnoen Saduak. Located about one hour outside of Bangkok, this popular market is colorful, crowded, and lively. Whether you choose to visit one of the smaller markets, or make the trip out to Damnoen Saduak, experiencing a floating market is a must-do while in Bangkok!
Cruise Down the Chao Phraya River
A great way to see some of Bangkok's riverside sights, like Wat Arun, is by taking a relaxing cruise down the Chao Phraya. During the daytime, the hop-on-hop-off boat is a convenient and easy way to see the sights. Prices vary depending which boat you take, and for how long, but you can buy an 'all-day unlimited rides' pass for 100 Baht / $3 USD. During the evening, a dinner cruise is a wonderful option, as the sights are illuminated under the moonlight and the ambiance cannot be beat. Dinner cruises start around 1,000 Baht / $32 USD.
Phuket & Chiang Mai
These two places aren't located in Bangkok but if you've traveled all the way to Thailand, why not take another quick flight to one (or both) of these spectacular places.
Phuket is located in southern Thailand, and has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Flights to Phuket from Bangkok are around 90 minutes long, and cost around $50 USD.
Chiang Mai is in northern Thailand, in the land of misty mountains and rolling green hills. Flights to Chiang Mai from Bangkok are around 75 minutes long, and cost around $40 USD.
I ended up traveling to both places, and I am glad I did. I loved experiencing three different aspects of Thailand - city, country, and beach.
Weather: Bangkok has three main seasons - hot season from March to June, rainy season from July to October, and cool season from November to February. Remember, even the cool season is warm. I visited in February, and temperatures were between 80 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit every day. During the hot season, temperatures can reach, and possibly exceed, 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The rainiest months are May through October.
Where to stay: We stayed at the Sala Rattanakosin Bangkok and we thoroughly enjoyed this hotel. Nightly prices start around $100 USD, but we upgraded to a Wat Arun River View Room for $220 USD / night because the room views are stunning. Also, breakfast on the riverside patio is incredible, and the hotel's location is unbeatable. Wat Pho is right next door, Wat Arun is straight across the river, and Khao San Road is a ten minute tuk-tuk ride away.