Tips and Inspiration Top 10 things to do in Bangkok, Thailand

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Top 10 things to do in Bangkok, Thailand

Even if you don’t venture out of Bangkok, Thailand’s capital city, there’s a lot to keep you busy at Bangkok’s markets, shops and temples. Here’s our guide to the best things to do in the capital:

1. The Grand Palace

The Grand Palace was built in 1782 as a Thai royal residence and you can still see the majestic courtyards and pavilions today. It also houses the sacred Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew) and is considered one of Thailand’s most important temples. You can also visit the Museum of the Emerald Buddha, the Dust Maha Prasat Throne Hall and the Pavilion of Regalia, Royal Decorations and Coins.

Location: Na Phra Lan Road Entry: 500 Baht* (Dh50) will pay for entry to The Grand Palace as well as a number of other Bangkok tourist attractions, including the Vimanmek Mansion. The prices regularly change so double check before you go.

The Grand Palace is considered one of Thailand's most important temples.

2. The Erawan Shrine

This is the most visited of Bangkok’s many temples and is very popular with worshipers as well as the tourist crowd. It was constructed in the 1950s at the same time as the Grand Hyatt Erawan Hotel, a favorite Bangkok hotel, which was experiencing poor fortunes. It is home to a golden Lord Brahma statue, one of the most famous of its kind. Regular Thai dance shows are held in the pavilion opposite the statue.

Location: In the grounds of the Grand Hyatt Erawan Hotel

3. Wat Arun

Commonly known as the Temple of Dawn, the Wat Arun offers incredible views of Bangkok if you’re prepared to climb to the top of the stairs. Inside the temple, which stands at 70m high, you will find golden Buddha statues and intricate Chinese sculptures and murals. If you visit at dawn you’ll likely be rewarded with a quieter temple and a lovely sunrise. Or visit in early evening to catch the sunset.

Location: 158 Wang Doem Rd, War Arun, Bangkok Yai, Bangkok 10600 Entry: 50 Baht* (Dh5)

Visit Wat Arun in the evening to watch the sunset

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4. Wat Pho

Wat Pho sits across the river from Wat Arun and can be reached on a shuttle boat that costs around 3 Baht (30 fils). Its main attractions are the collection of historic Buddha images and the 15m long reclining golden Buddha. It also has the Thai Traditional Massage School where you can avail of a 30 minute massage for around 260 Bhat (Dh27). It’s a first come first served system so get there early if you want the chance to have a relaxing massage for under Dh30!

Location: 2 Sanamchair Road, Grand Palace Subdistrict, Pranakorn District, Bangkok 10200 Entry: 100 Baht* (Dh10)

See the 15m reclining Buddha at Wat Pho

5. Vimanmek Mansion Museum

This former Royal retreat is now the largest existing piece of teak architecture in the world, and the current home of the European treasures collected by King Chulalogkorn on his travels. It is a substantial property with 81 rooms over 3 floors, and each room follows a set color scheme. It is a must-see attraction on any visit to Bangkok. In the mansion grounds there are more halls and pavilions which are open to visitors. They display further collections of pottery, textiles, ceremonial art and historic timepieces acquired by Thai Royalty.

Location: Rajavithee Road Entry: 100 Baht* (Dh10)

Every one of the 81 rooms has its own color scheme

6. Siriraj Medical Museum

If you’re looking for something different to do in Bangkok, check out the Siriraj medical Museum’s gory yet fascinating collections of forensics, pathology, Thai medicine, anatomy and parasitology exhibits. There’s lots of mummified bodies, preserved organs, skeletons and pieces of tattooed skin to bring the information ‘to life’ for you!

Location: 2 Prannock Road, on the banks of the chao Phraya River Entry: 200 Baht* (Dh20)

7. Jim Thompson House

This successful American businessman is credited with saving Thailand’s silk industry in the 1950s and 1960s, earning him the prestigious ‘Order of the White Elephant’. The Jim Thompson House is a collection of Thai structures that the entrepreneur saved and transported from across Thailand, reconstructing them into a single structure. Inside you can see paintings, sculptures and other artifacts collected by Thompson during his travels in the Far East. The Jim Thompson Art Center is situated within the grounds and often hosts Thai art and textile exhibitions.

Location: Soi Kaseman 2 Entry: 150 Baht* (Dh15), guided tours run daily

8. The Moon Bar

The Moon Bar is one of the most iconic in the city and one of the best bits of Bangkok’s nightlife. At 61 storeys it’s one of Bangkok’s tallest buildings and thus gives you incredible 360 degree views of the glistening city below. You can enjoy some premium drinks or a meal on the terrace. Weather permitting, it’s open every evening.

Location: Banyan Tree Hotel rooftop Entry: Free*

9. Shopping in Bangkok

Bangkok has shops for every taste and budget – ranging from floating markets to massive shopping centers. Siam Paragon is one of the largest shopping malls in Asia, covering a huge 21 acres. It is filled with luxury designer shops, car showrooms, traditional Thai art shops, a cinema and a gourmet food market. MBK is popular with tourists with a slightly more manageable 2,000 shops, stalls and boutiques over 8 floors. Here you can pick up souvenirs, Thai foods, electronics, fashion and accessories. It also has the Tokyu department store, a cinema and a food court.

10. Safari World

Safari World is technically a city zoo but is a world away from Dubai Zoo. It’s divided into two separate sections: Marine World and the Safari Park. In the latter the animals (including tigers, bears, giraffes and rhinos) roam around 480 acres of parkland. You can travel across the parkland by car or on the park bus. In Marine World there are bird exhibits, chances to feed the giraffes, live western cowboy performances, river rides, as well as the actual marine life! It’s an ideal thing to do with children in Bangkok.

Location: Panyaintra Road Entry: Children 550 Baht (Dh56) adults 900 Baht (Dh92)*

This article was adapted from a piece by Skyscanner writer Rebecca Males.

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*Published January 2017. Prices correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change and/or availability.

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