What to See in Bangkok

With a lot of landmarks and attractions, it can be hard to decide what to see in Bangkok during one trip. Try to make a list that will let you take in a little bit of each aspect the city has to offer.

Start with some shopping centres and markets to see the bustling, commercial side of Bangkok. Then put in a few hours among the famed nightlife districts. Add a wat (or temple) or two to see the spiritual side. At the end of it all, add spas and restaurants to your list for some relaxation and holiday indulgence.

Khao San Road

Famously described as ‘the centre of the backpacking universe’, expect a frenzy of activity when visiting Khao San Road. Although popular with a young tourist crowd, the 1km stretch of shops and bars also attracts a lot of locals and is a popular meeting place. Close to other Bangkok landmarks, this is a great sightseeing springboard when walking around the city.

Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew

One of the most beautiful places in Bangkok, the Grand Palace was the home of the Royal Family. Arrive early to soak up all the beautiful architecture, mosaics, and furnishings. Inside the complex you'll also find Wat Phra Kaew, the most important Buddhist temple in Thailand. It houses the Emerald Buddha, which was carved from a single jade block.

Wat Arun (The Temple of the Dawn)

Located on the western bank of the Chao Phraya River, Wat Arun is a beautiful Bangkok landmark. Watch the sun set over the stone temple and you’ll see it lit up gold by the setting sun. Named after a Hindu god who is the embodiment of the rays of the rising sun, Wat Arun means the ‘Temple of the Dawn’.

Floating Markets

The floating markets are one of the must-see Bangkok tourist attractions. Sellers ply their wares of fresh produce and handmade souvenirs while riding slim boats. Many markets have tours where you can hop on a motorised boat and be whisked around the floating stalls. Take the time to enjoy the local food specialties, such as grilled meats and noodle soups, which are cooked right in front of you.

Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha)

Inside Wat Pho, you'll find intricate engravings and beautiful figures, including the famed Reclining Buddha. Apart from the large golden statue, many visitors also flock to Wat Pho because it's the birthplace of traditional Thai massage. Experience this invigorating massage for yourself while visiting the temple grounds. If you have time, you can even learn a few techniques for yourself.

The Jim Thompson House

Jim Thompson was an American entrepreneur who revitalised the Thai silk industry. After leading a colourful life, he mysteriously disappeared in 1967. One of the legacies he left behind was his home, comprising of six traditional Thai teak structures, which were brought to this Bangkok location from all around the country. Visiting the Jim Thompson House allows you to learn more about the ‘Legendary American of Thailand’.