The best things to do in Bangkok

Photo by © Can Stock Photo / muha04

Yay! We made the decision! We will be travelling to Thailand (again) in january of 2019. It’s been almost 13 years that we last were there so high time to renew the acquaintance!

I love Bangkok. I find it has that very special mix of a big modern city combined with the traditional Asian ways. You will find the best markets there, the biggest shopping malls (which we usually skip) and the best street food. May be that is the part I am most looking forward to! When we went to Thailand 13 years ago, we loved food, but we weren’t as much into food as we are these days. And I had no idea where we were going. Yes I know that we were going to Thailand of course but I hadn’t looked at anything. Didn’t prepare a thing. It was our second Asia experience (the first was Malaysia) and doing any type of research up front was simple something I didn’t do.

Nothing wrong with that perse but the risk is that you miss things. So high time to make a change there…. I am busy writing down all the highlights I want to see so what is easier than to share it here and make sure I don’t lose it in the process. And maybe it helps you too!

If you have any additional tips than please let me know. I will start with the must see markets in Bangkok because markets, to me, are the most fun part in Asia.

Which markets to go to in Bangkok?

Chatuchak weekend market

Chatuchak weekend markt

The largest and most comprehensive market in Bangkok is without a doubt Chatuchak weekend market. As the name suggests this market is only on the weekends. I do have to confess that I have mixed feelings about this market. You will find the best stuff here, the best streetfood and the largest collection of junk. But it is extremely busy (with a rough estimate of 200.000 visitors per day!) It is the busiest market and you have to make sure you do not accidentally wonder into the animal section. You do NOT want to go there. We stumbled upon it by mistake (which can happen easily if you just aimlessly wonder around) and it made me feel sick. So stay away if you can avoid it!

The market is divided in 27 different sections, so if you have a map, you can make sure you stay in the right sections. The market is opened on Saturday and Sunday from 6 am to 6 pm.

The next markets we haven’t visited yet but are on our to do list. What also sounds like a lot of fun is the market experience tour. So also on the list. I think we have no more than 1,5 day in Bangkok so not sure how far we’ll get down the list. haha..

  • Pak Klong Talat Flower Market
  • Klong San market
  • Klong Toey Fresh Market
  • Bangkok Farmers market
  • Pratunam market

Which sights to see in Bangkok ?

Do you have a minute? The list of things to do in Bangkok is seriously big. Considering it is my fourth time in Bangkok I have seen a lot of the major attractions already but even then the list remains way too long. A few things that are a must:

Grand Palace

Yes it is touristic and yes it is busy, but you cannot go to Bangkok and skip the Grand Palace. Because despite the heat, the chaos and the touristic level it is worth a visit.

Grand Palace Bangkok | papertravels.nl

Make sure you do wear appropriate clothing because you won’t get in wearing shorts and bare shoulders. And bring water as you’ll need it!

Ladyboy show

Maybe this one is a personal choice but we visited the Mambo show with the ladyboys (katoys) and I loved it. We had a good laugh and the show is worth spending an evening. After the show there are photo opportunities with the ‘girls’. What struck me was how big they all are! Weird if you consider how small the average Asian is. Not sure what the hormones they are probably taking do to their length?

Lumphini park

If you go to Lumphini park make sure you visit it in the morning. That is the moment that half Bangkok is in the park for their morning ritual. And it is fascinating to watch! The park is large and you can easily spend a couple of hours here because there is more to see than just Thai in their workout clothes. I ran into a monitor lizard that was just dragging a fish ashore. And while they’re not as big as a komodo dragon, they’re still pretty impressive! (so don’t get too close!)

What this lady is attempting to do is still not entirely clear! 🙂

Drinking cocktails in a skybar

if you want to have an escape from the heat of the city, visiting one of the skybars is recommended. The problem is that it might be difficult to get in if you’re not dressed properly. I found out when I went there 12 years ago when we were on a business trip for Nike and we wanted to go up with colleagues. With some trouble they let me in wearing that awful purple tshirt but only because we had a Thai girl with us.

But the view is amazing and the wind is refreshing. So just bring a nice dress and a half decent shirt and you’ll probably get in.

So very charming this photo with Joost and Sarah

Also fun to do:

  • Khao San Road or Backpackersroad
  • Visit Wat Pho (with the large reclining buddha)
  • Visit a mega shopping mall Siam paragon (to cool off)
  • Eat yourself silly at a street food stall
Wat Arun

Wat Arun is one of the prettier temples of Thailand and is located next to the Chao Praya river. if you go it is a good time to go there at dusk. The light of the sun is gorgeous on the golden temple and it’s busy with locals bringing an offering or lighting the candles.

Bezoek Wat Arun | papertravels.nl

Which food places should I not miss?

if you have any tips for the best food in Bangkok please let me know! After our trip I will – of course – write a post about it, but for now I’d love to get some Bangkok tips.

Citytrip Bangkok | papertravels.com

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Written by
Simone van den Berg

Travelling makes my heart beat just a little faster. Ever since I can remember I have wanted to discover the world and experience other cultures. Ever since our first far away trip to Mexico in 1997 I love to explore outside of Europe. Having said that: there is so much to see closer to home still! Combining travel with delicious food is the ultimate combination as far as I'm concerned. Of all my travels I have kept journals. That's why this site is called 'Paper Travels"

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Written by Simone van den Berg