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20 Essential places to see in Bangkok

Bangkok is one of the most complete cities in Southeast Asia. There is a mixture of tradition, culture and modernity that fits perfectly.

Bangkok is an essential stop on your trip to Thailand, you cannot travel to the country and not visit its capital. The ideal is that you invest a minimum of 4 to 5 days in the capital to be able to see the most essential places and their surroundings. Although if you have fewer days you can always give yourself more cane or choose the places that best suit your preferences.

In this post I tell you about 20 essential places to visit in Bangkok. Some of them are less popular places for tourists and with a very special magic.


Essential places to see in Bangkok

20 ESSENTIAL PLACES TO SEE IN BANGKOK


1. Khao San Road


My first time in Thailand, I arrived in Bangkok almost at dusk. And we were staying close to Khao San Road (the best area to stay, but I'll tell you about this later). And without much thought, with a baby in tow, we approached walking to this area.

In this street there is life, chaos and a madness of people throughout the day who come and go. When night falls, the restaurants fill up with people and it is a good place to eat.

In this street are the famous paraditas of bugs, for the brave ones who want to try them. There are little clothing stores, technology…


2. Grand Palace in Bangkok


The Grand Palace of Bangkok is located in an area sharing space with the Wat Phra Kaew temple (also known as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha).


The Grand Palace of Bangkok is a complex of buildings used as the official residence of the kings of Thailand between 1782 and 1925.


Although it is no longer an official royal residence, the Palace continues to be used for official royal events and ceremonies.


The Palace was ordered to be built by Rama I after appointing that the country's capital would move from Thonburi to Bangkok. It was built on an artificial island in the middle of the Chao Phraya River and throughout subsequent reigns, the Palace was expanded with many more buildings and it was not until the reign of King Rama II that it reached its current size, 218,400 m2.


Although the entire site is beautiful and you cannot miss any detail, what stands out the most and is the most popular is the Wat Phra Kaew temple (Temple of the Emerald Buddha).


Admission costs 500 bht (approximately 12 euros). The price includes entry to the recommended Vimanmek Mansion Museum (in the Dusit Palace) and the Royal Thai Decoration and Coin Pavilion, in the Grand Palace itself.

It is open every day from 8.30 am to 4.30 pm. Get up early, and arrive early!! The lines are long and the best time to visit the Palace is first thing in the morning.


 

The best way to save money in Bangkok is to hire GoCity Bangkok, to be able to access many attractions, temples, viewpoints... paying much less. 100% RECOMMENDED!



Essential places to see in Bangkok


3. Wat Pho or Reclining Buddha Temple


The temple of the reclining Buddha, Wat Pho, was built in the 17th century and is another of the essential places to see in Bangkok. It measures 46 meters long by 15 meters high. You can give offerings including a coin (or more) in each of the boats on the tour (it is voluntary).


The hours are every day from 8 am to 6:30 pm and the entrance price is 200 bth (about 5.70 euros).

It is located near the Grand Palace and Wat Arun, so it is a good idea to spend the entire morning at these three places.


Essential places to see in Bangkok

4. Wat Arun


This beautiful temple is located on the banks of the Chao Phraya River. And the best way to get there is by the river (taking the boat taxi, I'll tell you about it later). It is a Buddhist temple built in 1768 and its most striking feature is the central tower, Khmer style. Some fairly steep steps lead to the two terraces, the height being 77 meters. Seashells and pieces of porcelain were used in the decoration of the temple.

At the base of the towers there are different Chinese figures of different animals and soldiers. On the second terrace there are four statues of the Hindu god Indra riding the elephant Erawan.

It is one of the most beautiful temples, which despite not being as awarded in gold as others, has a special charm. Maybe it's due to your situation.


Open every day from 8 am to 6 pm.

The entrance price is 100 bht (about 2.80 euros)


There are some cruises that offer a ride at dusk with dinner, and where along the ride, among others, you will see the illuminated Wat Arun.



Essential places to see in Bangkok

5. Jim Thompson House Museum


The Jim Thompson House Museum is a traditional Thai house, built to be the home of Jim Thompson. This soldier voluntarily enlisted in the army during World War II. However, when he arrived in Bangkok it was shortly after the end of the war was declared, so he had to return to the United States.


Jim Thompson fell in love with Thailand and, convinced of its tourism potential, returned in 1946 to collaborate in a luxury hotel. He later became interested in the silk business, founding his own company, the Silk Company Limited. Jim lived in Thailand for 22 years. In 1977, while traveling through Malaysia, he disappeared without a trace.


The house is huge with 6 wooden buildings painted in red, in a traditional Thai style. Currently, it is a house museum and in addition to visiting the rooms, you can learn more about this American who left everything behind to live in Thailand. It is mandatory to book a guided tour to visit it and once you arrive at the ticket office to buy the ticket, they will tell you which tour is next.


It is open every day from 9 am to 6 pm.

The entrance fee is 150 bht (About 4 euros).



His house is more of a complex of 6 traditional Thai-style wooden buildings.

To gain access to the site you must pay a ticket and with it includes the guided tour. These visits must be done in guided groups (English or French) and last half an hour, although it is advisable to reserve a time. If you come here and there is no place available, you can always wait for the next turn.


It is open every day from 9 am to 6 pm.

The cost of admission is 150 bht (about 4 euros).


Essential places to see in Bangkok

6. Chatuchak Market


It is the largest market in the world, with an area of ​​140,000m2. T has between 8,000 and 15,000 seats. Here you have everything, from clothes, technology, toys, souvenirs, fruits, vegetables,... to a massage for a few bhts, works of art, pets, food from street stalls...

Opens every day.


7. Lumphini Park


It is a huge and beautiful park in the middle of the city of Bangkok. It is ideal to come to disconnect and escape a little from the beeps of the city. There is a huge artificial lake here that you can traverse through trails and bridges. Turtles, birds and small komodo dragons live in this park. Although they do not attack people, it is advisable not to get too close because a tail swipe from these lizards can take you to the hospital.

There is the possibility of having picnics, doing aerobics (there is always a group with the music on) or simply walking and having an ice cream.



8. Wat Saket


One of the most essential places to see in Bangkok is the Wat Saket temple, popularly known as the Golden Mountain. The temple was commissioned to be built during the reign of Rama II and its first location was completely destroyed by a mountain collapse. . They used the remains to rebuild the current temple. To get to the top of the mountain you must climb 328 steps. The best time to go is at sunset, although it is also the most popular time. Once at the top, you will have incredible views of the city.


Open every day from 8 am to 7 pm.

The ticket price is 50 bht (less than 1.50 euros)


9. Damnoen Saduak Floating Market


One of the best-known markets in Thailand is the Damnoen Saduak Floating Best and is located about two hours from Bangkok. You can go on your own by taxi or book an excursion with transportation included. The market is distributed along a network of canals and you will take the ride in a traditional boat. Although in the past, it was a 100% local market used to buy fresh fruit and vegetables, fish, etc... currently, it is a place dedicated to tourism, although they have taken care of continuing to maintain a very traditional air.



Essential places to see in Bangkok

10. Maeklong Market


Another market worth visiting is the Mae Klong market. This market literally sits on the train tracks. The locals set up their stalls on the side of life with fruit, fresh vegetables, meat, fish, live animals... the train track is used to be able to go through the stops and if you see the train arrive you have to move as far as you can. If you have been to Vietnam, it reminded me a bit of Hanoi's Train Street, where instead of stops there are many bars and small restaurants.


You can visit it on your own or you can hire the excursion where the two markets are included.



Essential places to see in Bangkok


11. Patpong Night Market


And since we are talking about markets, this market is an essential stop in Bangkok once night falls. Here you will find hundreds of stalls where most of them sell fakes. It will be up to you to take out your bargaining weapons and get a good price. Always start by lowering 70 or 80% of what they ask for.

In this area there are several strip shows, if you travel with children (as in my case) you can still visit this market, nobody forces you to enter any of the shows and the area is not dangerous.


Essential places to see in Bangkok

12. Chao Phraya


The Chao Phraya River, which runs through Bangkok, is the most important river in Thailand. One of the best things to do in the city is to take the taxi boat and sail observing the Wat Arun, the roofs of the Royal Palace... You also have the option of booking cruises along the Phraya River, although I recommend the taxi boat that It is much cheaper and you can get off whenever you want.


13. Baiyoke Tower


It is one of the best options to have spectacular views of the city. This 84-story skyscraper is a hotel and on one of the upper floors there is a restaurant and bar open to the public.

From above you will have a 360º panoramic view. To get to the top you will have to change elevators. Since from the reception to the top there is no direct elevator (although they had a project to change this and make a single direct elevator).

Although you can book lunch or dinner at the hotel, you can also go alone to see the sights. Once you arrive at the reception you must buy the ticket to go up.

(Especially I liked it more at night)



Essential places to see in Bangkok


14. Chinatown


Chinatown is one of the most authentic and frenetic neighborhoods in Bangkok. I recommend visiting in the afternoon and staying until nightfall. The most essential places to see in Bangkok's Chinatown are Traimit Temple (known as the Temple of the Golden Buddha) and Sampeng Market.


If you feel like it, you can also get to know Chinatown with a free tour. It's free! It is a tour that they do in the afternoon, around 4:00 p.m. and lasts about 2 hours.


15. Mangkon Kamalawat Temple


This temple is beautiful and not very popular. It does not stand out among the most famous in the city and that, added to the fact that it is very beautiful, makes this place a very special place. When we visited we were practically alone.

Mangkok Kamalawat Temple is the largest Chinese Buddhist temple to see in Bangkok. Its Chinese architectural style is appreciated from the first moment you arrive. Outside, you can see dragons on the ceiling and red predominating at all times. The interior stands out for its beautiful courtyards full of Buddha statues and Taoist statues.

Open every day from 9 am to 5 pm. Admission is free. And if you want inside the temple you can give an offering or donation (voluntarily).


16. Sri Nakhon Khuean Khan Park and Botanical Garden


If you want to disconnect from the chaos and isolate yourself a bit from so many people, the botanical garden is a good option. Filled with lush vegetation, the park has trails, a lake, and thousands of plants and animals. You can explore the trails walking, cycling...

It is a bit far from the center (40 minutes by car) so you will have to get here by taxi.


17. Wat Samphran


The Wat Samphran temple is located on the outskirts of Bangkok, 40 kilometers. And it was not well known, until the arrival of social networks. It is a very tall building, in red, with a huge dragon coiled along the building.



Essential places to see in Bangkok

18. Wat Suthat


Wat Suthat is a Buddhist temple that was ordered to be built by King Rama I in 1807. The main building was built around a huge bronze statue of Buddha dating from the 14th century. This statue had been transported from Sukhothai, which was the first capital of the kingdom of Siam. This temple is open every day from 8.30 am to 9 pm. The entrance fee is 20 bht. (about 0.50 euros).


19. Shopping Centers


In Bangkok you will find many shopping centers, among which MBK and Siam Paragon stand out. In addition to a large number of shops, there are also many restaurants and places to buy fast food to take away. If you travel with a child, shopping centers can be your ally. Since after a “boring” day visiting temples, you can take them to the recreational areas. There are areas of play centers, they have aquariums, little train rides... and everything with air conditioning.


20. Soy Cowboy


The red light district of Bangkok is a mandatory stop whenever you go with friends or a partner. Although we always travel with small children, on our last trip to Thailand we also traveled with my parents and finally we were able to get to know this place.


It is a street where pink neon lights predominate. In the street full of bar terraces you can have a drink while you see the atmosphere. In the street there are several girls and boys claiming your attention offering you to enter to see their shows. We didn't enter any of them, we just went to see the atmosphere. We got here in tuc tuc few baths.

Having known the red light districts of many places, we couldn't not visit the one in Bangkok!


(By the way, if you go with children and travel to Phuket, in the Phuket post I tell you about this red light district and how to visit it with children).



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