Bangkok Itinerary – Things to do in Bangkok in 3 days
The huge Thai capital of Bangkok can appear to be rather overwhelming if you’re planning only a short stay, but fear not, our Bangkok itinerary will guide you through the best things to do in Bangkok in 3 days, including suggestions regarding where to stay in Bangkok and which markets to visit.
Bangkok is huge, with many contrasting regions, provinces and activities, so finding the best things to do in Bangkok in 3 days may feel mind-boggling, but having been to Bangkok several times, here is what we consider to be the best Bangkok itinerary with the most optimal things to do in Bangkok in 3 days.
Having trouble booking flights to the Bangkok (Don Mueang)? Choose Kiwi!
Check if you need a Visa to Thailand, and get it conveniently online with IVisa.com.
Worried about being hacked during your travels? Stay connected and secure with ExpressVPN.
Book your Train or Bus tickets in Thailand online using a foreign credit card with 12Go Asia.
Need help planning your trip? Check out these trips offered by GetYourGuide, Viator and G Adventures
Set your mind at rest by purchasing travel insurance. We highly recommend TrueTraveller.
Airports in Bangkok
Suvarnabhumi International Airport to Bangkok
First, something about the airports in Bangkok. If you’re coming from outside of Asia you are most likely to land at Bangkok’s massive Suvarnabhumi International Airport, South East Asia’s largest airport, located about 30 km east of central Bangkok. One thing you’ll quickly learn about Bangkok is the presence of huge traffic congestion, as traffic may be heavy and chaotic even at off-peak hours, so do allocate a lot more time than you would normally need to travel 30km.
There are several ways of getting into and out of the airport. The Airport Rail Link is one of the most convenient and fastest means of transportation to start off your Bangkok itinerary. This line links to the BTS Skytrain at Phaya Thai, which in turn services the main areas in Bangkok. The station is found at the basement level of the airport.
Private buses run from Suvarnabhumi International Airport to some favourite areas in Bangkok, whilst public buses or mini buses running to various destinations in Greater Bangkok, leave from the Public Transportation Centre just out of the airport. Shuttle buses run from the airport to the Public Transportation Centre.
A free shuttle bus runs to Don Mueang Airport, Bangkok’s second and smaller airport. This may be useful if you are connecting to a low-cost carrier for onward travel.
Taxis are also a convenient way of getting to downtown Bangkok from Suvarnabhumi International Airport. They are not as cheap as buses, but nonetheless affordable to most tourists. Metered taxis can be taken from the taxi stand on the first floor, where a booking is made according to your destination, after which you will be assigned to a driver. It is best to have your address written out in Thai. If you are traveling in a group, you may also wish to consider pre-booking a reliable private transfer with GetYourGuide.
Don Mueang International Airport to Bangkok
Don Mueang International Airport is served by budget airlines operating in and out of Bangkok, including the ever more popular Air Asia. It is located about 25km north of central Bangkok.
The most convenient (though not the cheapest) way of getting from Don Mueang to downtown Bangkok, to start off your Bangkok itinerary is probably by metered taxi. Just like at Suvarnabhumi International Airport, there’s a metered taxi stand at which you specify your destination, after which, a driver is assigned to you. A taxi from Don Mueang to our hotel on Khao San Road cost THB 285 (about €8.40) and THB 120 (about €3.50) in highway tolls. A direct bus which takes around 60 minutes, called the Airport Limo Bus Experience, leaves the airport and heads to Khao San Station for THB 150 (about €4.50) .
Alternatively, you can get the A1 bus to Mo Chit Skytrain (for THB 30/about €1) and use that to go to downtown Bangkok, or use the train from the train station which is a 15-minute walk away from the airport and stops at Hualamphong station in Bangkok. This may be the best option to beat traffic, but it also entails navigating different transportation systems on the onset of reaching a foreign country.
A free shuttle bus runs from Don Mueang International Airport to Suvarnabhumi International Airport and vice versa, but don’t get too smart as boarding passes need to be presented at both airports. If you are traveling in a group, you may also wish to consider pre-booking a reliable private transfer with GetYourGuide.
Getting Around in Bangkok
If you are based in Khao San road or the surrounding area, you are never too far from the Grand Palace and other top things to do in Bangkok in 3 days, and hence walking is a perfectly feasible option. This is ever more so if you have spent the previous night ‘finding yourself’ in Khao San’s bars, and having that beer too many! Certainly a good way to keep your waist thinner than your pockets.
As for the places to visit around Bangkok which are not around the city centre, oh well, you’d need to check some of the next options.
Bangkok is blessed by an extensive bus route network, which not only covers most of the territory, but is also very affordable. Most routes operate from 5am to 11pm (replaced by night buses thereafter), and are also very frequent. As the number of possible connections are endless, riding a bus can unfortunately be a bit off putting to tourists, particularly first-time visitors.
To make matters a little more challenging, there are also different classes of buses offering varying service levels (budget, airconditioned, express, etc.), each identifiable by the different livery. Although the fare varies according to the class (which means that the same route can be three times more expensive), they are all equally affordable, ranging from THB 8 to 25 (about €0.25 to €0.75), depending on the distance.
Major bus stations provide route maps, but we found that the best way to plan a route was to use Google Maps (applicable only if you have live data facilities). The fare will be collected on the bus by a conductor (very rarely by the driver), but make sure to have small change readily available, as they are easily irked and not particularly conversant in the art of customer care.
Bangkok’s love for colourful livery is not only reflected in the route buses, but also in its taxis. Unlike most of the remaining world, where taxis are usually yellow, white or black, Bangkok’s taxis are coloured pink, orange, purple, green, yellow and various combinations of these. The different colour coding distinguishes between the various companies, taxi rental agencies or privately owned vehicles.
There is little difference in service and fees between the various codes, although the bi-coloured yellow-green taxis are generally considered to be in better shape, since they would be privately owned by the driver.
Hauling a taxi is never an issue, however arriving to destination might be rather challenging considering the heavy traffic plaguing Bangkok. An idle rate applies, so getting stuck in traffic can increase your fee (though it is unlikely to break the bank). Nevertheless, make sure that the taxi driver is willing to use the meter before starting the ride.
Alternatively, you can use a cab hailing app like Grab, although a service charge may apply over and above the usual taxi fare. As many of the drivers speak English poorly, this may also be your safest bet to ensure you reach your intended destination. Tips are welcomed (and expected), or sometimes imposed by drivers claiming that they have no change, so make sure you travel with some small change.
TukTuk (or the 3 wheeled Sam Lor)
This is probably one of the favourite means of transportation by tourists, but once you get past their oriental charm, they are also the least convenient. Fares are hugely arbitrary and vary depending on distance, traffic, nationality (yours) and driver’s mood, i.e. anywhere from THB 30 (about €0.90) for a short ride to THB 250 (about €7.50) to cross the city.
Be sure to agree on the price beforehand, and haggle hard upon the first offer received. Also, be very wary of drivers who offer to take you to their “secret” places, that is always a guarantee you’ll be scammed. Use TukTuks sparsely and only for short distances. It is also best to avoid doing so in rush hour, as being stuck in an open vehicle at the heart of Bangkok’s pollution is certainly not on your Bangkok itinerary! A tip at the end of a good ride is always appreciated.
Metro – Bangkok’s MRT and BTS.
Bangkok has a reasonable metro network, composed of a number of rapid transit train routes (MRT) and the over ground BTS Skytrains. When considering the city’s traffic, the metro system is undoubtedly the most efficient way to travel between stops, especially if you are running a tight Bangkok itinerary.
The network interlinks directly with the Airport Rail Link, the express train to/from Suvarnabhumi International Airport, thus making it a very attractive option for travelers using that airport (unlike Don Mueng!).
It does have one major limitation though, as the metro system is notably absent from the city centre, Khao San and thereabout, servicing only the newer parts of the city.
Keep in mind that the MTS, BTS and Airport Rail are independent systems, and you would need to purchase separate tickets for them. Ticket prices depend on the number of stops traveled, ranging from THB 15 to 53 (about €0.45 to €1.50). Day tickets are also available.
Image by Quinn Kampschroer
By far, the most scenic way to travel around Bangkok is along its waterways. The transportation systems around the waterways are huge and could be off-putting, but the frequency, efficiency and budget-friendly price tag makes the little extra effort worthwhile. Traveling by ferry is worth putting on your list of things to do in Bangkok in 3 days!
There are various options to choose from, but the ones which you are most likely to encounter are the Chao Phraya Express Boats and the River Crossing Ferry, both operating on the Chao Phraya River. Another system to keep in mind are the local canal boats operating along the Khlong Saen Saep.
The Chao Phraya Express Boats operate along the river in both directions, with stops conveniently located next to some of the top things to do in Bangkok in 3 days, such as the Grand Palace, Wat Arun, Wat Pho, Khao San Road, Chinatown and others. In true Bangkok fashion, coloured flags distinguish the five different types of boats.
Image by Tatiana S.
A route map at every ferry stop will help you determine which colour to pick, as not all ferries stop at the same piers (with the exception of the boats with no flag, which cost THB 20/€0.60 a ride). The blue flag boats are known to be the tourist boats, which come at a slightly higher price, THB 40 (about €1.20), but conveniently stop at piers upon request, much like a bus. You can check the colour coding and different timetables on their official site.
The second system you are most likely to encounter is the River Crossing Ferry, which service is intended only for commuters wishing to cross the river from one side to another, i.e. unlike the Chao Phraya Express Boats which travel along the river route. These are particularly handy for those wishing to cross between Wat Arun and Wat Pho, or the Grand Palace and Wang Lang, all destinations which are worth putting on your Bangkok itinerary. The advantage over the express boats is that they are extremely affordable, carrying a price tag of just THB 4 (about €0.12)! We relied on Google Maps to determine the closest pier for each attraction.
Moving away from Chao Phraya, and bisecting central Bangkok from West to East is the Saen Saep Canal, which is also home to its own transportation system. This system is very local and not intended for tourists, although they’ve always been welcome.
The service costs anywhere between THB 10 and 20 (€0.30 and €0.60), depending on the distance, payable to the conductor onboard, who will let you know your dues once you inform him of your destination. The service is particularly handy as it serves areas which are not catered for by the metro lines. Again, Google Maps was very handy in determining where such stops are. Canal tours are also a fascinating way of experiencing the city which is why we included time for one in our Bangkok itinerary below.
If you’re looking for the best things to do in Bangkok in 3 days, here is what you should include on your Bangkok itinerary:
Day 1 of your Bangkok Itinerary
The Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha
Start off your Bangkok itinerary by spending a few hours at the Grand Palace, Bangkok’s ultimate gem, and the best and most important of the things to do in Bangkok in 3 days. Tickets cost 500 THB (about €14.85) for foreigners and entrance is free for Thai people. They can be bought online from the Grand Palace official website, or they can be bought at the door.
The Grand Palace is actually a complex of buildings rather than a single building, some of which are still used for various official events and ceremonies up to this day. The buildings are very grand, encompassing magnificent Thai architecture, statues, buddha images, golden stupas and pavilions. Among the most important of these is the Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew) and the Chapel of the Emerald Buddha (Phra Ubosot).
It is really important that the correct dress code is respected. Knees and shoulders must be covered for both males and females. Entry will be denied to those who do not strictly adhere to the dress code, although some long skirts to cover up are available for rent at the entrance. Be sure to take water with you! It is really important to stay hydrated when experiencing all the best things to do in Bangkok in 3 days, since it can get really hot, and the city can feel rather stifling!
The Grand Palace, with its vibrant colours, is a wonderful attraction, and easily one of the best things to do in Bangkok in 3 days, but do be prepared for LOTS of people. It is best to get there early, at around 8.30am, just before the hordes of tourists on package tours start making their way in. Having visited the Palace a few years back, I was shocked at how many more people were jostling about this time around, although I don’t regret putting this amazing palace complex again on my Bangkok itinerary in any way!
We also recommend that you wear shoes which can be removed easily since you will be taking them off and putting them on very frequently if you want to enter any of the buildings! We wore flipflops and it was fine.
Getting to the Grand Palace in Bangkok
The Grand Palace is located on the riverside and if you’re anywhere near the Khao San Road area, you can walk to the Grand Palace in 20 or 30 minutes.
Alternatively, you can reach the Grand palace via the BTS by taking the Silom Line and stopping at Saphan Taksin Station (S6 station). From there you should go to the Central Pier (Sathorn Pier) right underneath the station, and take the Chao Phraya express boat, stopping at the Tha Chang Pier (No. 9). You can take either a local boat or a tourist boat to the Tha Chang Pier. Tourist boats are more expensive and include an online commentary about the landmarks on the way. You can walk from there to the Grand Palace in about 10 minutes.
The ticket to the Grand Palace also includes entry to The Arts of Kingdom Museum, and for attending a classical Thai dance, both of which are valid for the duration of 7 days after purchase of the ticket.
Although certainly interesting, we do not consider these activities to be some of the best things to do in Bangkok in 3 days, so even though entrance is ‘free’, having been included as part of your Grand Palace entrance fee, we suggest going only if you have more time. If you’re staying in Bangkok for longer than 3 days, it would of course make sense to include them on your Bangkok itinerary!
Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha)
Wat Pho is only a short walk away from the Grand Palace, and visiting this temple, popular for its reclining buddha, is another of the best things to do in Bangkok in 3 days. We highly recommend that you plan your Bangkok itinerary to include this temple right after the Grand Palace.
Entrance to Wat Pho is of THB 200 (about €6). The greatest attraction in the temple is the 46m-long reclining buddha covered in gold leaf, with feet decorated with mother-of-pearl illustrations. Many people snap a selfie with the reclining buddha and leave, however we do recommend you take your time to wander around the temple grounds.
Wat Pho is considered to be the earliest point of public education in Thailand and is now popular as a traditional massage centre. The grounds are rather pretty and house of 1000 buddha images and several murals. As always dress appropriately when visiting temples.
Getting to Wat Pho in Bangkok
A 10-minute walk away from the Grand Palace. Follow the signage, or use Google Maps for directions.
You will probably need a lunch break by this time, at which we encourage you to try some of Bangkok’s great street food! Barbequed chicken accompanied by sticky rice is a great option! Expect to pay around 60 THB (about €1.75) for a single portion of chicken and rice.
Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn)
Wat Arun is most people’s favourite temple in the city and should definitely be included on your Bangkok itinerary due to its beauty, its majestic spire and unique decorations of glass and porcelain. Irrespective of its name, the temple makes for a great sunset setting, particularly from the opposite side of the river.
Entrance to Wat Arun costs THB 50 each (about €1.50). If you would like to take a tour Wat Arun, you can choose one of the many available by GetYourGuide or Viator. Be sure to include Wat Arun on your list of things to do in Bangkok in 3 days!
Getting to Wat Arun in Bangkok
Wat Arun is located almost exactly opposite Wat Pho, across the river so it very easy to get there by local boat. From Tha Tien boat pier you need to take the shuttle boat that takes you directly opposite, a short trip which costs THB 4 (about €0.12)
Canal (Khlong) Tour
Bangkok is home to a massive canal network (khlongs) covering hundreds of kilometres which were previously used for drainage purposes as well as transportation and irrigation. Canal tours on a long-tailed boat are a real eye-opener into a part of Bangkok which is not visible from land. We highly recommend this activity as one of the best things to do in Bangkok in 3 days!
Canal tours start from different areas on the river and once you are close to Wat Arun, you should find one starting from the vicinity. You don’t necessarily need to pre-book a tour, you can easily join one of the boats going on such tours which also make stops at piers to collect more tourists. Alternatively, you can prebook a tour available by GetYourGuide or Viator. Watch out for the monitor lizards!
Khao San Road
Even if you are past your partying days, you should nevertheless end the day with a visit to the legendary backpacker-friendly Khao San Road, keeping in mind that the vibe is not as wild as it used to be (as other areas have taken over). There are plenty of shops, restaurants and stalls with street food on Khao San Road itself and the roads in the vicinity, so it is easy to grab a casual bite to eat, or a more formal dinner.
Be aware that Khao San Road is a bit of a party place with loud nightlife, massages and cheap beer, so this is not the place to go if you’re looking for a quiet, upmarket or a romantic vibe. It does show you what made Bangkok so popular among backpackers in the 90’s though!
Getting to Khao San Road in Bangkok
Depending on where in Bangkok you are located, you can either walk, take a taxi (or a Grab), or use the Chao Phraya Express Boat to stop at Phra Arthit Pier from where Khao San Road is a short walk away.
Day 2 of your Bangkok Itinerary
Although there are really many things to do in Bangkok in 3 days, we highly suggest that on your second day, you take a look at the new part of Bangkok, especially if you followed our Bangkok itinerary through the older part on the previous day.
Ratchaprasong and Siam Square
If you spent the previous day of your Bangkok itinerary, exploring Bangkok’s most famous temples, you will wonder whether you are still in the same city once you arrive in Ratchaprasong.
Massive shopping malls, 5-star hotels and designer boutiques are the attractions around this area and if you’re interested in designer shopping, this is the place to spend your morning. Even if you’re not looking to spend your money here, it is interesting to experience the stark contrast between the older and the newer parts of Bangkok.
Getting to Ratchaprasong and Siam Square in Bangkok
Siam square is considered to be more or less the center of Bangkok and is very well-connected. Depending on where you’re located, you can get the BTS to Siam Station, accessible by both the Silom line and the Sukhumvit line. Alternatively, any taxi or Grab will drop you off at Siam Square.
The Siam Square area is full of trendy cafes, restaurants and food courts dishing up everything under the sun, so finding food to your liking is easy enough!
Image by Mike Mike
Watch a Muay Thai Fight
One of the best things to do in Bangkok in 3 days is to watch a unique Muay Thai boxing match at one of the stadiums in Bangkok. Even if you’re not a sporty type, watching Muay Thai is really an experience like nothing else and you would do well to include watching a match on your Bangkok itinerary!
If you’re not passionate about the sport, and wouldn’t like to spend much on watching a match, you can even watch some fights for free at the MBK shopping centre, located in the Siam Square area. Shows are not on every day (it was down to only once a month when we were there) but we were lucky enough to be in the right place, at the right time, to enjoy a free Muay Thai experience.
Chatuchak Weekend Market
If you’re lucky enough to be in Bangkok on the weekend, be sure to include Chatuchak market, on your Bangkok itinerary! Many people will tell you that it is only open on Saturdays and Sundays but we can assure you that quite a number of stalls (though not all) were open on a Friday evening too. It is open all day on Saturdays and Sundays.
The market is home to over 8000 stalls selling all kinds of tourist-ware, clothes, food and anything imaginable really and is genuinely quite fascinating.
Getting to Chatuchak Market in Bangkok
Take the BTS skytrain to Mochit station from where the market is a short 10-minute walk away. Alternatively get a taxi or a Grab right to the market.
Almost every large city’s Chinatown is fun to explore, and Bangkok’s is one of the world’s largest, so we highly recommend that you include Chinatown on your list of things to do in Bangkok in 3 days! Chinatown’s center is Yaowarat Road and this is where you should arrive.
Chinatown’s draw is the bustling narrow lanes and thriving community, and the best ways of discovering all that Chinatown has to offer is by getting lost along the little streets and wandering around the shrines and shops in the area.
Chinatown really comes alive at night when an array of street food vendors take over the streets, selling both Chinese and Thai foods, on the roadside around Yaowarat Road. We highly recommend that you include Chinatown as your last stop on the Day 2 of your Bangkok itinerary and grab an authentic dinner at one of the stalls.
Getting to Chinatown in Bangkok
Take an MRT to the Wat Mangkon station, as the central part of Yaowarat Road is a short 4-minute stroll south of the station. Alternatively get a taxi or a Grab!
Day 3 of your Bangkok Itinerary
Unless you want to stay right within Bangkok, we really recommend that you head over to Ayutthaya on your third day, which although, not right in the heart of Bangkok should be included on any Bangkok itinerary.
Ayutthaya Historical Park
The ancient city of Ayutthaya, is located an hour or so away from Bangkok and makes for an excellent day trip opportunity from the bustling city. Built in the mid-14th century, the second capital of the Siam Kingdom is thought to have been once the largest city in the world, and was a bustling trading city until it was razed to the ground following a war with the Burmese Kingdom in the 18th century.
The city was left in ruins and an easy prey to looters until the Thai government decided to revive the city in the 20th century. This restoration effort is luckily still ongoing, with the ruins being considered as one of the major world heritage sites to visit.
The proximity to Bangkok and increasing tourism has aided such restoration efforts, and whilst the site is visited by thousands of tourists, the grounds are huge and never feel too crowded. Whilst some travelers opt to stay for one night in the city, thus allowing sufficient time to visit more sites, visiting on a day trip from Bangkok is perfectly possible.
Getting to the site independently is not overly complicated. The most convenient way to reach the park is to travel by train (read the details below). As soon as we exited the train station, we were immediately approached by tuk-tuk drivers, armed with a site map and a few pictures of the different attractions, offering different trip combinations. Not settling for the first offers, we instead headed west towards the river (and the actual site).
This road takes you along a short street lined with a number of cafés and bicycle rental shops, eventually leading to a pier on one bank of the river. We got a ticket for THB 5 (about €0.15), which saw us getting across the river bank in a few minutes. As soon as we left the pier on the opposite side of the bank, we came across another group of drivers.
At this stage we approached a random driver, and negotiated a two-hour rental, visiting five major sites, for the price of THB 400 (about €12). This rate, we found to be cheaper than those offered to us at the train station. Renting a bicycle or scooter is of course also possible, though we opted for a more convenient ride due to the stifling heat!
There are many more sites you could visit, and three-hour packages were also available, however we opted for a shorter trip. We managed five sites in two hours without much stress, taking our time at each stop, without rushing.
Entrance fees for the different sites apply, each ranging from 20 THB to 50 THB (about €0.60 – €1.50) depending on the size of the site itself. The five sites we visited were Wat Maha That, Wat Ratchaburana, Wat Phra Si Sanphet, Wihan Phra Mongkhom Bophit and Wat Yai Chaimongkol. Whilst most of the sites are worth a mention, and all have their historical importance, the one site you should not miss is Wat Maha That, home to the much snapped Buddha head in the roots.
Getting to Ayutthaya Historical Park in Bangkok
You’ll read a lot about ways to get to Ayutthaya Historical Park which involve minibuses, an option which until a few years back was the most convenient, yet an option which is no longer available. Unless you consider taking an organised tour (some available starting from Eur 40 on GetYourGuide or Viator), we found that getting there by train was of no particular difficulty.
We made our way to Bangkok’s train station from our accommodation on Khao San Road by bus. There we got the first available ticket for Ayutthaya town. The cheapest ticket was a 3rd class unreserved ticket, which cost a mere THB 20 (about €0.60). The train is rather busy, which meant that we had to cede our seat to holders of reserved tickets almost immediately. We did spend most of the 1.5 hr trip standing, but it wasn’t that bad.
As we arrived at the destination, we opted to book our return trip immediately. This proved to be a good idea since upon our return the train station was jam packed with travelers! If you are not constrained by time, you may also wish to consider staying overnight at Ayutthaya, thus being able to visit more historical sites at ease. There are a number of great options to choose from, which are actually more affordable than Bangkok itself. Check out Booking.com for the latest accommodation options available.
We suggest that you treat yourself on your last night in Bangkok by grabbing a drink at the Vertigo and Moon Rooftop Bar at the top of the Banyan Tree Hotel for a fantastic view of Bangkok’s skyline. Trust us, the hefty drink prices are worth the view!
If you are looking for a great ending to your Bangkok itinerary and would like a change from street food, consider treating yourself to a buffet dinner at the Goji kitchen and bar at the Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park. We can’t wait to go back!
Other activities to include on your Bangkok itinerary
If you’re staying longer, or if the activities listed in our above Bangkok itinerary are not to your liking, here are a few other things to do in Bangkok in 3 days or longer:
Do not make the mistake of thinking that this is just one entity. There are plenty of floating markets around Bangkok’s outskirts, many of which have unfortunately fallen in the tourist trap category, and are killing any form of authenticity. Should you skip a visit then? Certainly not, but take this trip with a pinch of salt, an open mind, and a closed wallet due to the many scams luring in the shadows.
The largest and most popular floating market is probably the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market. Whilst it is the most vibrant and busy (or touristy and crowded depending on one’s point of view), and open daily, it is located in the Ratchaburi province, which is about 100km from Bangkok city centre, and is best visited with a tour (check the offers on Viator in combination with Ayutthaya or GetYourGuide). Should you opt for a private transfer, make sure to pre-arrange your return trip.
Image by Dean Moriarty
A closer alternative offering a slightly more authentic experience is the Amphawa Floating Market Bangkok, around half the distance away in the Samut Songkhram Province. To reach this market one can connect to Maeklong by train from Bangkok, and later get a 15-minute shared taxi (songthaew) ride to the market. Again, make sure to pre-arrange your return trip as tourists have fallen into a number of scams trying to figure their way back. The downside is that it is open only on weekends (Friday to Sunday) between 1pm and 8pm (give or take).
Located closer to town, at about 30 km from the city centre, one may also consider a visit to Bang Phli Floating Market, a market which has kept most of its traditional charm, although relatively close to the city. You are unlikely to come across English-speaking vendors, which makes the experience all the more interesting. You can reach this market by BTS (Bearing stop), and later arranging for a short 15-minute taxi ride. It is open daily from 8 am till around 2 pm.
Image by Dean Moriarty
Jim Thompson House Museum
Jim Thompson was an American businessman who had relocated to Thailand in the late 50’s to establish the Thai Silk Company Ltd. He was an avid collector of Asian art, not only Thai but also Burmese, Cambodian, Chinese and others. Of particular mention is the collection of white and blue porcelain from China, and a large collection of historical Buddha statues.
At the close of the decade, he built a house large enough for himself and his collection, in the vicinity of his own silk weavers. After his demise, the collection was transferred to a foundation which carries his namesake, which to date still operates the museum, offering entrance to the complex at THB 200 (about €6). It is located a few minutes away from the national stadium, which is in turn serviced regularly by means of the BTS.
Amusing as it may be, Bangkok can become quite tiring after a while, especially during periods when smog clogs the airways! A great way to escape city life, without getting too far from the hustle and bustle, is Lumphini Park, a 140-acre curated green lung commissioned in the 1920’s by King Rama VI.
The park is home to a number of facilities, including a public library, sports facilities and, more importantly, a refuge for homeless children. A music festival is held in the park on every Sunday in the late afternoon, during the peak season from January to April. It is very conveniently connected by both BTS and MTS lines.
Image credit: Igor Ovsyannykov
Where to stay in Bangkok
Khaosan Green House Hostel – about THB 800/€24 per night for a double room with private bathroom and breakfast, is the best budget option you will get in the area. Whilst being very well-located (bang in the centre of the road), the small rooms are well equipped and comfortable enough with AC, TV and minibar facilities. Dorm options are also available.
Prince Theatre Heritage Stay – about THB 3400/€100 per night for a King Suite. This quirky hotel has not only been decorated with inspiration from early-century films, but is actually set in a former film theatre. The hotel also offers a set of posh dorms and is located a few meters away from a BTS station.
Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park – about THB 6750/€200 per night for deluxe King room. The super luxury accommodation not only provides for an amazing roof terrace and pool, but is located right in the centre of the fanciest part of town. If the buffet breakfast is not sufficient, the hotel caters for an amazing buffet dinner!
Bangkok Red Light Districts
Bangkok is well-known for its very lively nightlife and its red-light districts, among which, Soi Cowboy, Nana Plaza and Patpong, are the most popular and are conveniently located close top each other. Most of the establishments here are GoGo bars, some of them being exclusively ladyboy bars. Ping pong shows are especially popular, if you are not travelling with kids that is!
We encourage to come to Bangkok with an open mind if you would like to experience all that Bangkok has to offer!