Anyone who has been to Bangkok can tell you what an assault to the senses the city is. It offers a unique and interesting combination of stunning sights and sounds, not to mention smells. It’s the kind of place you can’t visit just once. If you are planning on visiting the city, here are five amazing things to do in Bangkok. I have been to many Bangkok many times with my partner, and I can assure you from experience that it is truly a city that offers so much to see and do. Below, you can have a look at my top 5 recommendations for things to do.
Damnoen Saduak Floating Market & Maeklong Train Market Tour
The tour begins with a quick 45-minute trip to the Ban Na Kwang train station, where you’ll take a train to the Maeklong Railway Market. It’s here that you’ll see the incredible market – and the people working there – for yourself. The market has earned the nickname “Talat Rom Hup,” which translates from Thai to mean “umbrella pulldown market.”
The Railway market is among the largest fresh seafood markets in all of Thailand, and it is centered on the tracks of the Maeklong Railway, hence the name. This also adds an air of excitement as the railway track is still operational. When an approaching train is on the way, the shop fronts all move back to avoid it before being put back into place when the danger has passed. This was certainly a very exciting experience for me to see this happen in real-time, and it is something you definitely can’t miss.
“An absolute must when in Bangkok. It was so much better than we expected. One of the most unique experiences we have ever had! .”
After you’ve explored the Railway Market and seen what it has to offer, it’s time to visit the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market. This market has appeared in several films so you might recognize it. For example, it appeared in the James Bond movie The Man With the Golden Gun. This is your opportunity to see one of the famous floating markets of Thailand and marvel at all the wonderful sights and sounds on offer. Walk around the boats and strike up conversations with the vendors (and don’t forget to buy something if you’re interested). Just watch out because the market can get pretty busy. I went during rush hour, and I was caught off guard by just how fast paced everything gets.
This is your chance to take in all the wonderful varieties of Thai food such as Pad Thai and rice noodle soup, as well as the dessert delicacy mango with sticky rice. Thai food tastes the best when it is authentic, and there really is a dish for everyone to enjoy. Seeing the locals buy, sell, and cook on their boats is something incredible that you won’t soon forget. When everything is said and done, it’s time to go back to Bangkok and enjoy the rest of your day.
Ayutthaya Temples and Floating Market
The trip starts with a journey across Bangkok and Thailand to the ancient city of Ayutthaya. The city was founded around 1350, becoming the second capital of Siam after the first capital city of Sukhothai. The trip lasts a full day, and during that time, you’ll explore the city and see what it has to offer through the UNESCO-listed Ayutthaya Historical National Park. This national park is an archaeological site where you can see beautiful palaces, statues, monasteries, and Buddhist temples.
One of the most important stops is the Bang Pa-In Royal Palace. This palace was built by King Prasat Thong in 1632. This is where you can see many impressive buildings resplendent in a variety of different architectural styles, including traditional Thai architecture as well as Chinese and European. The tour continues with a visit to the Ayothaya floating market, where you’ll have a bit of time to take in lunch.
There are two more historical sites to visit after lunch; Wat Phra Sri Saphet and Wat Mahathra. Take in the sites and learn more about the history of these incredible ruins. Finally, the day comes to an end with a return trip to Bangkok.
The tour guides are very nice and very helpful. They’ll share with you many interesting facts about the tour, the important locations, and the history of Bangkok and Thailand. While some people have expressed they would have liked to have seen more temples, there are other tours that go into those temples too.
Flexi Walking Temple Tour
The Flexi Walking Temple Tour is one such tour that explores other temples and ruins and gives you a chance to take them in better. The journey begins with a quick walk to the Emerald Buddha Temple. This includes a trip to the amulet market, which is one of the more famous historical community markets of the island.
The first stop of the walking tour is the Wat Phra Kaew temple. The name of the temple translates to English as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, and it is known as the Wat Phra Si Rattana Satsadaram. The temple is one of the most important and sacred Buddhist temples in all of Thailand.
You’ll have the chance to explore the stunning Grand Palace where the old Kings of Thailand used to live. The palace is still used today for some official events. The walls play home to several state functions and royal ceremonies. The tour continues to Wat Pho for those who choose to go there. The walk to Wat Pho passes by the Tha Thien market, which is a cultural food market where you can buy wholesale products and traditional salted seafood.
Wat Pho is better known as the “Temple of the Reclining Buddha.” This is one of the six temples classified as being a first-class royal temple in Thailand. It’s here at the temple that you’ll learn more of King Rama, the First who rebuilt the temple on the ruins of an earlier temple. You’ll also learn how it became the main temple of Rama I. It was so important to him, in fact, that some of his ashes remain enshrined at the temple. I found this place to be incredibly peaceful, and it allowed me to reconnect with my spiritual side.
Wat Pho is the earliest center for public medical education. It is now officially recognized by UNESCO as part of its Memory of the World Program. Perhaps most importantly of all, though, it was where traditional Thai massage was born. Thai massage is still taught to those at the temple and practiced there. So don’t be afraid to take in a massage while you’re out.
The final temple on the tour is the Wat Arn temple, also known as the Temple of Dawn. This is one of the most famous landmarks in all of Thailand. Situated by the Chao Phraya River, this temple is known for its 70-meter tall tower. The interior of the temple is beautifully decorated by Chinese porcelain and colored glass. This is a sight that you simply must see.
Sea Life Bangkok Ocean World
Personally, I love watching marine life, and I was thrilled to find a Sea Life center in Bangkok. Visit Sea Life Bangkok and discover over 400 marine species and over 30,000 fish. There’s an endless array of incredible exotic marine life to see and enjoy. There’s an acrylic tunnel that passes through the main tank. It’s like you’re walking underwater as you get an up-close and personal look at all of the different marine life living at the sea life center. There’s everything from otters and water rats to penguins and other marine life, including birds and mammals. This is easily among the most impressive aquariums you’ll ever see.
Sea Life Bangkok Ocean World offers a variety of on-site options. One of the best options is the chance to ride through the main tank on a glass-bottomed boat for an even closer look. I highly recommend going through with this. If your feet get too worn out to carry on, then step in for a fish pedicure.
Check ahead of time to make sure you visit around one of the feeding times for the animals. The handlers make feeding time as engaging for the guests as it is for the animals. You’ll have the chance to ask the handlers questions about the animals and learn more about the stunning marine life and the work of the center.
This is a must for anyone traveling with kids. Just make sure to go in the mid-afternoon after the local schools let out. If not, you might get lost in a throng of schoolkids, and it could be a dampener on an otherwise excellent experience.
Chao Phraya River Boat Pass
The hop-on hop-off boat pass for the Chao Phraya River is the easiest and most convenient way to explore what the city has to offer. You’ll have the opportunity to travel through the city and stop off at piers connected to the main tourist attractions. Your pass means that you can hop off and on whenever you want and explore the city at your own pace.
There are nine piers in all, and the boat leaves piers one and nine (Sathorn Pier and Phra Arthit Pier, respectively) every thirty minutes. If you’re looking for a simple and effective way to take in the sights and sounds of the city, then it doesn’t get much better than this.
This is only a small sample of all the incredible things there are to do in Bangkok. It really is the kind of city you can’t visit just the once.