Bangkok Holidays will undoubtedly be on the list if you plan to Thailand. Whether you’re in Bangkok for one night or a few days, there are a few things that must be on your Bangkok bucket list.
Bangkok holidays is a crazy and hectic city, but it’s also one of my favourite cities in South East Asia. It’s impossible to get bored here, and there is so much to do in Bangkok that it can be challenging to begin. So, in this article, I’ll tell you about the fantastic things you shouldn’t miss in Bangkok.
So, whether you’re looking for South-East Asia travel inspiration right now or are in the planning and wondering where to go in Bangkok, this Bangkok bucket list is sure to inspire you.
If you’re planning a holiday to Thailand, you should check out this incredible Bangkok Bucket List. Who knew Bangkok had so many things NOT TO MISS? This article covers many topics, including Bangkok’s famous temples, foodies, entertainment, and other just-plain-awesome things to see in Bangkok. As well as a few different ideas for short day trips from Bangkok if you have a little more time in the city and the Bangkok scene is becoming too hectic.
So let’s get started; keep reading to find out the complete list of everything that should be on your Bangkok bucket list, as well as the fantastic things not to miss in Bangkok.
Bangkok Bucket List – Summary
- Grand Palace & Wat Phra Kaew
- Watch a Muay Thai match
- Party on Khaosan Road
- Learn to cook authentic Thai food
- Tai Chi in Lumpini Park
- Chatuchak Weekend Market & the Floating Markets
- Tuk-Tuk Ride
- Drink Chang Beer
- Thai Massage
- Maeklong Train Market
- Ladyboy Show
- Buddha head in the tree at Ayutthaya
- Pad Thai and Mango Sticky Rice
- Chao Phraya River Cruise
- China Town food
- Wat Arun at sunrise or sunset
- Navigate the water taxis
- Giant reclining Buddha at Wat Pho
- Death Railway & bridge over the River Kwai at Kanchanaburi
- Cocktails at Lebua Sky Tower
Pay a visit to the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew
The Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew are Bangkok’s top tourist attractions, so expect crowds during peak hours (either go as soon as it opens or towards the end of the day).
Despite the crowds, this is a must-see in Bangkok because the two sites are unquestionably two of the best temples in the city. Thailand’s most important Buddha shrine, Wat Phra Kaew, is home to a lavishly decorated meditating Buddha carved from a single block of Jade.
This temple is the most expensive to visit and has the most stringent rules of all the temples. Make sure to cover shoulders and knees for both men and women.
On a guided walking tour of Bangkok, you can see both of these stunning temples as well as other iconic locations.
Attend a Muay Thai match or participate in a lesson
It would be sacrilege not to watch a live game of Muay Thai, Thailand’s national sport. Admire the boxers’ agility and join in the excitement with the locals.
If you don’t want to watch the sport, you can always enrol in a beginners class and learn the skills yourself.
Muay Thai, Thailand’s national sport, can be enjoyed as a spectator or participant.
Immerse yourself in Khaosan Road’s party atmosphere
Khaosan Road always divides opinion; some people adore it, while others despise it. All I can say is that you should form your own opinion.
Over the years, this is an institution; Khaosan Road has spread to include neighbouring streets and alleyways, all vying for a piece of the action.
It’s noisy, crowded, and tacky (this is where you’ll find nearly every stall selling Chang Beer T-shirts and elephant-clad Thai pants), and the streets are lined with tourists getting massages or eating from food carts. This is the party’s epicentre and a gathering place for groups of revellers looking to have a good time. Whether you like it or not, it’s a must-see on your Bangkok bucket list.
Learn how to make authentic Thai cuisine
I adore Thai food, so I couldn’t wait to take a cooking class to learn how to make some of my favourite dishes from home.
Most cooking classes include a trip to the market to familiarise you with some of the strange and beautiful fruits and vegetables you’ll be using. Then there’s a selection of classics like Pad Thai and Thai Green Curry.
The great thing about cooking authentic Thai food is that they will give you dietary alternatives (I’m a vegetarian) and show you how to adapt traditional recipes.
And, of course, you get to eat everything you make! As a result, go with an empty stomach. Book your Thai cooking class ahead of time; this is a popular activity in Thailand, and spaces fill up quickly. Any dietary restrictions, please let them know when you make your reservation to accommodate you.
Participate in Tai Chi in Lumpini Park
Bangkok can be a hectic city at times, but in the midst of it all, you’ll find Lumpini Park.
This is the city’s largest and oldest green space. There are plenty of shaded meandering paths as well as a large artificial lake to hire a boat on, so it’s nice to escape here just for a bit of time out.
Tai Chi is practised every morning if you have the energy (and coordination). It’s a fascinating insight into how the locals live, and it’s frequented mainly by the city’s elderly population. If you’re awake early enough, join them for a truly authentic start to your day.
Shop until your heart’s content at Chatuchak Weekend Market and the Floating Markets
Bangkok is teeming with shopping malls, but they lack the heart and soul of an actual market. To experience a more authentic Thai experience, visit one of Bangkok’s many open-air markets.
The Chatuchak Weekend Market is the world’s largest of its kind, not just in Thailand! Whatever you’re looking for, you’ll most likely find it here. Make room for souvenirs, trinkets, clothing, electronics, and other items.
Visiting one of Bangkok’s many floating markets is another excellent way to shop. The most well-known is the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, which takes place daily and features vendors selling their wares from a traditional longtail boat. Browse from boat to boat as you go. It’s a unique shopping experience.
Both options are excellent ways to experience Bangkok shopping and can be booked as part of a tour.
Take a Tuk-Tuk ride
A Tuk Tuk ride is synonymous with Thailand as Pad Thai and Massage. They’re as bright as they are loud, but something is thrilling about darting around in the back of one, driven by a crazy Thai.
It won’t take long to flag one down from the side of the road; however, be wary of inflated prices and agree on a fare to your destination BEFORE you board the plane.
You can also hire a Tuk Tuk and driver for a day or half-day and combine some of Bangkok’s classic attractions.
Consume Chang Beer, a local beer
Can find Chang beer’s elephant motif all over Thailand. Even if you aren’t a big beer drinker, it would be a crime to the country if you didn’t try the national beer at least once.
The iconic logo can be found on various souvenirs, mainly T-shirts along Khaosan Road. This appears to be proud of their beer, or perhaps tourists enjoy it so much. In either case, you could easily say, ‘been there, done that, got the T-shirt.’
Get a Thai massage
Look far to find a place that provides Thai massage. Most streets in the city centre will have employees standing outside the front door offering you a “special price.”
There are a plethora of them along Khaosan Road, each offering a variety of massage, spa treatments, manicures and pedicures, hair removal, and other services. The “best one” because they’re all pretty much the same. One thing all Thai massage parlours have in common is that they are inexpensive compared to British prices.
At the Maeklong Train Market, you can put your nerves to the test
One of the strongest markets globally, and a visit here is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!
On top of the train, the track is the iconic Maeklong Railway Market. With local trains that still use the railway regularly!
This market is known in Thai as Talat Rom Hup, which translates to ‘umbrella pulldown market.’ When a train approaches, the shopkeepers close the awnings, gather their wares off the tracks, and take a deep breath while waiting for the train to pass. The shops are replaced as soon as the train departs.
Take public transportation or book a tour to experience this strange market.
View a Ladyboy show
I had no idea how beautiful the Bangkok ladyboys were until I visited Thailand. I had a hazy vision of a pantomime dame in my head, which couldn’t be further from the truth!
Bangkok’s ladyboys are visually stunning, and some of them are highly talented singers, dancers, contortionists, and so on. I had completely forgotten they were transgender.
A ladyboy show is worth adding to your Bangkok bucket list if you want classic glamourous Broadway-style entertainment and be awed by their talents.
Check out one Broadway-style cabaret show for the whole Bangkok ladyboy experience.
At Ayutthaya, you can see the famous Buddha head in a tree
The ancient capital of Ayutthaya is one of the best day trips from Bangkok. After Sukhothai, the ancient city of Ayutthaya became the second capital of Siam.
The UNESCO-listed Ayutthaya Historical Park was established around 1350. Explore the ruins of palaces and Buddhist temples and see the infamous Buddha head trapped in the bodhi tree.
Ayutthaya is a day trip from Bangkok, and if you enjoy ruins, it should be on your Bangkok bucket list. Take the train there and then hire a driver for the day once you arrive in Ayutthaya.
Consume Pad Thai and Mango Sticky Rice
A holiday to Thailand would not be complete unless you tried two of their national dishes. Pad Thai and Mango Sticky Rice can be found at any street food market. Mango Sticky Rice is sickly sweet and filling, so start with the minor portion if you don’t like sticky desserts.
Take a cruise down the Chao Phraya River
The Chao Phraya River runs through Bangkok’s heart. As a result, cruise along it is a great way to see some of the city’s highlights from a new perspective. Can take a Chao Phraya River Cruise on any day, but the evening cruise is the best option.
The iconic landmarks, such as the Grand Palace, Wat Pho, and Wat Arun, are beautifully illuminated. You can book basic tours along the river at night, but these only consist of a small ferry-style boat riding up and down the river; this is excellent. This is an option if you want to see the palaces lit up but are on a tight budget.
If you want a complete experience, look into the full evening cruises, including dining and traditional Thai entertainment.
To get a feel for Bangkok at night while cruising down the Chao Phraya River,
In China Town, tantalise your tastebuds
There are ‘China Towns’ worldwide, but this one is the most significant outside of China!
Even before Bangkok became Thailand’s capital, the local Chinese population lived in villages here, and the area has since grown into a vibrant and exciting part of the city.
Wandering around the streets is a sensory overload; it always smells like something delicious is cooking, but you won’t know how much of it is! Find out is to give it a shot.
You could wander around China Town on your own, sampling whatever food appeals to you. Ready for a walking food tour with a guided tour to learn more about the history of the area in-depth guide to the cuisine around here.
Wat Arun will captivate you at sunrise or sunset
If you’ve been to Asia and seen ancient temples like Prambanan in Indonesia or Angkor Wat in Cambodia, you’ll recognise Wat Arun’s Khmer style. It’s also one of Bangkok’s best temples.
Four smaller towers surround the 86-metre-tall giant prang in the centre of the site. Wat Arun, which gets its name from the Indian God of Dawn – Arun, can be seen at any time of day, but it’s beautiful at sunrise and sunset.
Take a ride on the water taxis
The Chao Phraya River runs through the heart of Bangkok, and the river’s estuaries have historically served as essential transportation routes throughout the city. They are still necessary for local Thais to get around the city today.
Even if you’re not going anywhere, in particular, it’s worth at least one ride on the crazy water taxis that dart between the city’s canals.
However, keep an eye out because they can go so fast that the spray enters the boat. They are a great way to get around Bangkok and frequently overlook tourists.
Wat Pho is home to a massive reclining Buddha
Hundreds of Buddhas will greet you during your visit to Thailand, but One of the most memorable attractions will be the giant reclining Buddha at Wat Pho.
Wat Pho is Bangkok’s oldest and largest temple, and its giant reclining Buddha draws large crowds. It’s one of Bangkok’s best temples to visit. It’s 46 meters long and 15 meters tall, with its head rising 15 meters above the ground.
The giant reclining Buddha is 46 meters long, 15 meters high, and covered in gold leaf. It’s a sight to behold and one of the must-see attractions in Bangkok.
On a guided walking tour of Bangkok, you can see this stunning temple and other iconic locations.
Learn about the history of the Death Railway and cross the River Kwai in Kanchanaburi
Kanchanaburi province played a significant role in WWII by constructing the Burma-Siam railway to improve communications and connections for the Japanese army based in Burma.
Prisoners of war from the Commonwealth, the Netherlands, and the United States built the railway. The prison camp’s infamous reputation gave the railway ‘ Death Valley’ and ‘Hell Fire Pass.’
This area is densely packed with memorials and museums. You can also take a train ride through Death Valley and across the famous bridge over the River Kwai.
This full-day private tour includes the Death Railway, the bridge over the River Kwai, a ride in the famous train, and other highlights of Kanchanaburi. See the full itinerary below.
Have a drink at the Lebua Sky Tower
Not only does the Lebua Sky Tower claim to have the highest open-air bar in the world, but it was also featured in the hit film The Hangover II.
The Lebua sky bar, located on the 64th floor of Bangkok’s second tallest building, offers spectacular city views. Sip a cocktail watching the sunset, and then the city lights turn on.
Silom Road is where you’ll find the Lebua Sky Tower.
How many of this Bangkok must-dos are on your list?
So, what are your favourite and most eagerly anticipated activities? There’s something on this Bangkok bucket list for every type of traveller and budget; which ones will you tackle first?