When I was in University I had never really thought of traveling in Bangkok. Having grown up there I normally overlook most of the tourist attractions. It was when my foreign childhood friends started to graduate that I have been welcoming more and more visitors. Since then have been doing some research on where to take my guest around. This September I will be taking some of my classmates to visit my hometown so it is a good opportunity to really come up with a proper blog post. So here’s my top ten list what to visit in Bangkok.
1. Grand Palace and Emerald Buddha Temple – พระบรมมหาราชวัง และ วัดพระศรีรัตนศาสดาราม (วัดพระแก้ว)
Let’s start with the main highlight. The Grand Palace and the Emerald Buddha Temple is a must visit for Bangkok. It’s located on the old Ratanakosin Island (old town district). The temple area itself is pretty big and you would see plenty of beautiful architecture. Strict dress code is applied here. But don’t worry if you forgot to wear proper cloths you can borrow some cloths from the office (with some deposit).
Admission fee ~ $12.
2. Wat Pho – วัดโพธิ์
Wat Pho has the giant reclining Buddha image and the temple is just right behind the Emerald Buddha temple. It’s only 10 minutes walk from the Grand palace.
3. Wat Arun (Wat Arunratchawararam Ratchaworamahawihan) – วัดอรุณราชวรารามราชวรมหาวิหาร
From Wat Pho you can take the ferry across the Chao Phraya River to Wat Arun. The temple has magnificent view especially at night from the river. You can find this temple image on a regular 10 Baht coin.
The entrance fee to the main pagoda is around ~ $2.
4. Chao Phraya river cruise – ล่องแม่น้ำเจ้าพระยา
From the same Tha Tien pier there is a cheap Chao Phraya tourist boat. It is a nice way to enjoy the scenery of one of the most important rivers that flows through Bangkok. You could also choose to go for the dinner cruise for the night view.
Chao Phraya tourist boat ticket: ~ $5 for the whole day. For dinner cruise, depend on the ship.
5. Jim Thompson House – พิพิธภัณฑ์บ้านไทย จิม ทอมป์สัน
Located in downtown area, a Thai-style house of James H.W. Thompson who is founder of the ‘Jim Thompson’ famous Thai silk brand is now a very famous museum.
Admission : Adult ~ $3.5 baht; Students ~ $1.7
6. Baiyoke Sky Hotel – อาคารใบหยก 2
The Baiyoke Sky Hotel or Baiyok tower II is a great place to enjoy the sunset metropolitan scenery. Ihis tallest building in Bangkok has revolving rooftop that is accessible if you pay for entrance fee around $7 or pay for the meal there. There are many restaurant up there on the top (see the list of restaurant here). My favorite one that I usually take my guest to is the international buffet at “BANGKOK SKY RESTAURANT“. If you are planning to go there during peak season or on the weekend it would be a good idea to call and make a reservation.
7. Sea Life Bangkok – ซีไลฟ์ แบงคอก โอเชี่ยน เวิลด์
This is one of the largest aquariums in South East Asia. To be honest for people who live in Bangkok it was kind of expensive for us and not many local friends of mine have been there. I finally got to see this place because my German friend who went to Phuket for a scuba diving lesson came to visit me. In the end we both really enjoyed the place. You can basically spend the whole afternoon there as there are many other activities to do there such as getting on glass bottom boat, tour the back of the house, enjoy the 5D cinema or sit back and enjoy many feeding shows.
Admission fee: Adult Normal Price ~ $30, Online price ~ $23.
8. Chatuchak Weekend Market (JJ market) – ตลาดนัดจตุจักร
This is a huge market that only open on weekend. The market is divided into zones selling different goods. You can find handcraft item, antiques, cloths, foods, animals, etc. It is a good place to find some souvenir. The area is not air-conditioned therefore it can be quite hot in summer.
9. Funky Villa Pub – ฟังกี้ วิลล่า
For Bangkok nightlife, one of my foreign friend really recommend this place. Every time he visit me we will always go to this nightclub. The place can get very crowded on weekend as well as Friday nights. So better be there early to secure the place (around 8-9pm).
10. Siam Niramit – สยามนิรมิต
Again, another place that I have heard of for a long time and didn’t feel like going because it was mainly a show for foreigner. But since I went there last time with my friend it was pretty cool. Before the show begin you can enjoy the buffet there. And outside they have a small village with old houses represent how Thai people used to live in the old day. For the show, the state is huge and at one point elephants actually came out. The story and theme reflect many Thai characteristics and the quality of the show is very good. Oh and you can ride the elephant there as well!
Admission fee: Dinner & show ~ $62, Show only ~ $50 (book your ticket here)
I have plotted them on the google map below. If you take a close look you will see that 1-4 are in the same area. 5-7 are in the downtown area:
If you have extra time for a day trip from outside Bangkok, I would suggest the trip below:
– one day trip to Lan Island in Pattaya. For people who prefer nice beach.
– one day trip to Ayutthaya, the old capital. Historical temple ruins and the Bang Pa-In Royal Palace.
– one day trip to Damnoen Saduak Floating Market.