There are literally hundreds of things to do in Bangkok. You could happily fill several weeks in this bustling city and still not see it all! The capital of Thailand has something for everyone, from its temples to its markets and shopping malls, museums, palaces and beautiful architecture, so if you’re stuck for what to do in Bangkok read on for our top 5 list of the best Bangkok attractions.
Sea Life Bangkok
One of the largest aquariums in Southeast Asia, SEA LIFE Bangkok (previously known as Ocean World) is a welcome break from the heat and crowds you find in many of Bangkok’s outdoor attractions. If you’re looking for what to do in Bangkok with kids this should be on your list of places to visit. Admission prices are quite steep if you’re only planning to be here for an hour, but stay for longer and you’re more likely to get your money’s worth. Also consider upgrading your ticket to include a ride on the glass bottom boat through the shark tank. This is the closest many of us will ever get to a shark! The upgraded entry also includes the 5D cinema, and a souvenir photo, plus there’s an option to get a combined ticket for the aquarium and Madam Tussauds.
Khao San Road
It’s only a short street but Khao San Road is probably the best known street in the city, making a visit to the backpacker’s paradise one of the top things to do in Bangkok. You could call it a tourist trap, but if you’re wondering what to do in Bangkok one evening, this is a great place to try. It’s friendly and has a fun and laid back atmosphere thanks to the welcoming locals and the worldly tourists. If you wanted cheap, backpacker accommodation you would come here, and you’d also come here to pick up many of the buses that leave for other parts of Thailand each day.
But if you’re not staying in a cheap hostel in the heart of this Bangkok attraction, what does Khao San Road offer? During the day you can buy cheap goods from the stores that line the street; anything from pirated CDs to handicrafts to essential backpacker items. Come evening and this short street is packed with people looking for a fun night out. Music blasts from the shops and bars and there are ample places to grab some authentic Thai food. Try a cheap foot massage after a day of sightseeing or watch one of the far-out shows and entertainment offerings. Even if you just have a short visit to see what all the fuss is about this Bangkok attraction really is one to experience.
Chao Phraya River
The Chao Phraya River meanders its way right through the heart of Bangkok and adds to the charm and appeal of this bustling metropolis. Getting out on the water offers a break from the crowds and the heat, making a trip along the river a popular thing to do in Bangkok. River ferries dart back and forth between hotels and landmarks so even if you just take a quick trip from one side to the other it’s a nice experience. The best way to see this Bangkok attraction though is on a river cruise or by renting a boat and travelling at your own speeds. Longboats can be rented from a couple of different piers and the price includes a driver so you don’t have to worry about finding your way around. Ask him to take you to the canals as this is a wonderful thing to do in Bangkok that many visitors to the city don’t get to see.There are guided river cruises as well if you want to learn all about the river while cruising on it. Dinner cruises are the perfect end to a day and allow you to see the city from a different perspective as the sun goes down and the temples and palaces are lit up.
Lumpini Park is to Bangkok as Central Park is to New York! It is the largest public park in the city and one of the few places around the city centre that you can come to enjoy open spaces and greenery, away from the crowded streets, traffic congestion, noise and fumes. Just like Central Park there is a variety of things to see and do here, and after a couple of days experiencing Bangkok, Lumpini Park really is an oasis of calm.
The park was created in the 1920s on royal land, and back then it was actually on the outskirts of the city. Today it has been swallowed up by the city, and is situated right in the heart of the main business district, making this an easy Bangkok attraction to get to.
Dusit Palace wasn’t the official residence of King Rama V, but it was his primary residence. The king had this complex built between 1897 and 1901 as a place to go to beat the heat of the Grand Palace. This palace complex is really quite different to the elaborate architecture and ornamentation of the Grand Palace, but even so, it is still among the top things to do in Bangkok because of its differences.
The main structure at Dusit Palace is Vimanmek Mansion. The architecture is more akin to traditional Thai but what sets this building apart is that it is reputedly the largest golden teakwood house in the world. It is very beautiful with its sometimes intricate details, and amazing to think that its walls are built entirely of wood. The palace grounds are also beautiful and to make the most of your visit be sure to pick up an audio guide. Other points to mention are that it’s best to visit in the morning before the tour buses arrive. You will have to walk around in bare feet and be appropriately dressed, and finally, if you visit the Grand Palace before this one you should keep your ticket as it gives you free entry into the mansion.