Thailand is one of our most-booked destinations. Ancient temples, dazzling-white beaches and lush jungles all offer staggering beauty and relaxation, but a visit to Thailand isn’t complete without a stop in Bangkok.

Bangkok is a crazy mega-city. With so much to see and do, it’s almost impossible to stick all the  Bangkok attractions into a straightforward guide. This should go a long way to helping you, though.

The Still Beauty Of Bangkok’s Temples And Palaces

A cosmopolitan city with skyscraper horizons it might be, but Bangkok is still home to the country’s monarchy. The city’s oldest Rattanakosin district houses the 18th-century Grand Palace- an amalgamation of stunning Thai and Italianate architecture complete with the sacred Emerald Buddha. Walk 10 minutes, and you’ve reached Wat Pho Temple’s Reclining Buddha. The grounds here are beautiful, the ornate structures show real Thai craftsmanship and you can avoid Wat Pho’s crowds by visiting early in the morning.

For stellar city views, head across the river to the “Temple of Dawn” Wat Arun, although you’re spoiled for choice, really. There’s the white marble Wat Benchamabophit, Wat Saket’s Golden Mount and enough culture to solidly tick off the Bangkok sightseeing part of your bucket list.

Floating Markets And Street Food

It’s almost more where to eat than what to do in Bangkok- this city consistently tops street food lists, and with good reason. Khlong Lat Mayom and Thaling Chan are two floating markets just outside the city. Expect plenty of colour, fabulous smells and little old ladies cooking up fresh eats as they paddle past you. For a kaleidoscope of fruits and vegetables, take a trip out to Damnoen Floating Market. Street markets like Petchaburi Soi 5, Or Tor Kor farmer’s market and Chatuchak Weekend Market also offer live-cooked meals and snacks. For fragrant foral scents, head to Pak Klong Talad’s flower market just north of Chinatown (a whole world in itself).

The street food experience in Bangkok is like nothing you’ve seen. Whether you want fresh papaya salad or Pad Thai, you’ll find thousands of stands, vendors and cuisines. Try Boat Noodle Alley near Victory Monument or Kobe beef at Ratchawat Market, but absolutely make time for Chinatown. With night markets and endless restaurants, it’s your chance to sample delicacies like bird’s nest soup, Little India is also nearby.

Bustling crowds gearing up for their Chinese-style doughnuts and stir-fries are part of the street food experience, although for somewhere calmer, try Bang Khun Non. You can, of course, opt for fine dining in the glitzy hotels (where roof bars offer panoramic city views).

Shop Til You Drop- Malls & Night Markets

Bangkok is a shopping mecca. One side of it offers gleaming mega-malls with designer and discounted labels, but there’s an unusual twist- Siam Centre fuses shopping with art. Traffic-clogged but totally worth it is the Sukhumvit Road’s commercial zone, where you’ll find Terminal 21 mall, tons of bars and restaurants and everything from clothes to electronics.

Night markets form a core part of Bangkok’s street culture. They’re bustling, brightly-lit, exciting and so much fun. Chatuchak has over 8,000 stalls of vintage, indie and food bargains, and there’s even more on the main Khao San Road. It’s budget-friendly, slightly unpredictable and the atmosphere is simply infectious.

Nightlife Like Nowhere Else

Make the most of Bangkok nightlife if you’re in this city.  Expect it to be a bit kitschy or rowdy in parts- this city does, after all, have a Red Light District. Mostly though, you’re fine. Thonglor has upmarket bars and eateries, Silom and Sukhumvit are packed with late-night joints, plus there are endless clubs towards Royal City Avenue. Expect a classier setup from Ku De Ta Bangkok in the Sathorn Square Building or the highly rated Moon Bar.

Bangkok Attractions That Don’t Fall Into Boxes

For a step back in time to leafy balconies and teak woods, Jim Thompson’s House is the former home of this American spy and merchant. It offers an insight into silks and design, the setting is gorgeous and admission fees go to underprivileged children.

For wide open greenery and people watching, head to Lumpini Park. For contemporary culture, The Bangkok Art And Culture Centre has beautiful exhibits. There’s also the National Museum’s gold and red exteriors, indoor funeral chariots and ornate wood carvings. As you can see, plenty to do!

A Little Massage R&R (Plus How To Get Around Easily)

Exploring splendid temple grounds will have you on your legs a lot. You don’t have to walk everywhere, though. Tuk-tuks are cheap and plentiful, some offer city or foodie tours and the Chao Phraya River has relaxing boat trips and water taxis. Bangkok also has buses, taxis and sky trains.

If a massage is up your street, you’re in the country that invented them. From street corners to the renowned massage school in the Wat Pho Temple, you can experience everything from foot to full body massages (and they’re unbelievable).

An Escape Out Of The City

Bangkok can feel a touch chaotic. If you’re looking for what to do in Bangkok but want a bit of an escape, you’ve got plenty of options. Alongside the floating markets we’ve already given the thumbs-up, you’re within good reach of relaxing, white-sand beaches. Kanchanaburi National Park’s lush waterways and historic town are about 2 hours away. Ayutthaya’s city ruins and temple sunsets are half that. You can easily make any of these a day trip.

Make It Yours with a Multi Centre Holiday

Whether you want to twin Bangkok with other cities, turquoise-water beaches or secluded Thai islands, we’ve got the holiday for you. Browse our Thailand multi centre holidays today or get in touch for a tailored quote. Make sure to ask about our hotel recommendations- we don’t call ourselves experts for nothing!

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Michelle Porter Senior Travel Consultant

Michelle started with us here at eShores in early 2015, but has worked in travel most of her working life. Michelle has a wealth of knowledge from across the globe, so no destination is unknown to her. Although she does love booking trips to Asia, Australia and New Zealand, after falling in love with the region when she lived there.

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