1. Wats and Temples
Bangkok has no lack of majestic temples, each more elegant and impressive than the other. They are a unique part of the capital’s heart and soul. A visit to Bangkok would not be complete without seeing at least two of them! The best time to visit the temples is in the early morning as it is cooler and generally less crowded. The temples ('wats') are not just tourist attractions as they also play an important part in Buddhist traditions. Do remember to dress respectfully when visiting any temple in Bangkok. Top temples to visit in Bangkok are namely Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of Emerald Buddha), Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha) and Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn).
Na Phra Lan Road, Phra Nakhon,
Bangkok 10200, Thailand
2 Sanamchai Road, Grand Palace Subdistrict,
Pranakorn District, Bangkok 10200, Thailand
Wat Arun, Bangkok Yai,
Bangkok 10600, Thailand
2. Klongs and Canals of Bangkok
Thonburi is Bangkok’s old capital situated on the western banks of the Chao Phraya River. It has avoided much of the modern development seen elsewhere so its man-made network of khlongs, including Khlong Mon and Khlong Bangkok Noi, retain much of their ramshackle charm. For a real sense of how people in Bangkok used to live, in stilted shacks, old wooden townhouses and dilapidated lean-tos, experience Bangkok’s Thonburi Khlongs first-hand.
3. Floating Markets
Visit Bangkok’s popular floating market and find boats loaded with tropical fruits and vegetables, fresh, ready-to-drink coconut juice and even local food prepared directly from kitchens located right on the boat. Explore the market freely, take photographs for keepsake or hire a paddle boat along the canal to soak up the atmosphere of this legendary market. The market is over an hour outside Bangkok, and the easiest way to get there is to join a tour. Other floating markets in Bangkok are namely the Taling Chan Market, Bang Ku Wiang Market and Tha Kha Market.
4. Street Markets
Bangkok is home to some of the biggest and arguably best markets across South East Asia. Markets around Bangkok offer fascinating shopping experiences. You may choose to bargain your way through the crowds in the heat during the day or do so at night if you prefer the buzz and energy. Apart from excellent bargains that you can find, the markets also offer a slice of local life and opportunities to taste food not found in most restaurants. Of all the markets in Bangkok, Chatuchak Weekend Market is a must visit, while others, such as those in Patpong, Khlong Thom and Saphan Phut offer exciting night-time shopping experiences.
5. Shopping Malls
Bangkok also has shopping malls to suit all kinds of lifestyles and budgets. From the well-known MBK, to the classy Emporium, chic Siam Discovery and Central World Plaza, or upscale Siam Paragon, Bangkok has what it takes to meet every budget and style. The latest additions to the city's 'mallscape' are the innovative Terminal 21 and Central Plaza Rama 9. Modern and air-conditioned, these malls are pleasant alternatives to the bustling hot markets, and most complexes are easily accessible via the city's modern and efficient Skytrain (BTS) system.
Chinatown retains a large ethnic Chinese community who still continue their own traditions and religious ceremonies. Famous for its markets and numerous gold shops, the area caters largely to the local population. It also contains numerous market areas concentrated around a network of roads, alleys and small streets. Chinatown has become a popular tourist attraction and a food haven for new generation foodies who flock here to explore the vibrant street-side cuisine. The energy that oozes from this endless rows of wooden shop-houses is plain contagious and is an experience not to be missed.