Top 15 Things to do in Bangkok – Don’t miss this Bangkok guide

Trip Index (what we have published so far):

Air France Economy Class Review Paris (CDG) to Bangkok, Thailand (BKK), Asia – AF 166

Eat fabulous Bangkok street food at Soi 36 (near BTS Thong Lo) and Victory Monument

Sample original Thai food at Somtam Nua, Bangkok near Siam Square – Bangkok’s best papaya salad?

Bangkok’s Top 5 best coffee places – where to work and drink delicious coffee in Bangkok

10 reasons to visit Bangkok’s stunning rooftop bars Vertigo and Moon Bar at Banyan Tree

Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Bangkok Review – a wonderful thing to do in Bangkok

Cathay Pacific Regional Business Class Review – Bangkok (BKK) to Hong Kong (HKG)

A lounge to forget – Cathay Pacific Lounge Bangkok Airport (BKK) Review

The Wing First Class Lounge by Cathay Pacific Review at Hong Kong Airport

The magnificent temples of Ayutthaya – Why this is a perfect day trip from Bangkok

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Safety

Safety seems to be a non-issue in Bangkok. It’s really hard (albeit not impossible) to become a victim of violent crime in this city. There are a few scam artists in touristy areas, but nothing that will spoil your visit too much.

Annoyances

While the road traffic still faces constant gridlock, things have gotten much better in the last 10 years. The pollution from traffic has been reduced a great deal and the public transport system (MRT and BTS) now absorb the bulk of people transport.

The biggest issue is usually the heat, which drenches you in your own sweat after 10-15 minutes of walking – so walking tours of the city are a very sticky affair.

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Feast on incredible Thai Food

The city of Bangkok is chock-full of great restaurants and street food stalls all over the city. It is hard to find such an abundance of quality and affordable food anywhere in the world.

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Here are some recommendations of places I enjoyed. Use the Foursquare app to find places around you.

Somtam Nua – probably the best papaya salad in Bangkok

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Bangkok street food at Victory Monument and Sukhumvit Soi 36

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The Local restaurant at Sukhumvit Soi 23

Delicious Coffee in Bangkok

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While Bangkok as a coffee destination is just starting out, there are some great places for your high-quality caffeine fix:

Ceresia Coffee Roasters in Sukhumvit
Little Spoon also in Sukhumvit
Roast at Seenspace 13 in Thong Lor

Bangkok Shopping Indulgence

Bangkok has it all – huge indoor shopping malls and too-big-to-be-believed outdoor ‘wet markets’.

The MBK is my favorite, although older, mall, with its many non-chain shops. The mobile phone floor is pretty impressive and there is no cell phone ailment that can’t be taken care of here for under $10.

Directly opposite is the Siam Paragon Mall, which is more upmarket, but has a great lower floor with food and and an interesting supermarket.

Siam Square is another city square that has been overtaken by several interconnected malls. It’s a great place, where you can cool down from the heat.

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Just a few BTS stops further is the Terminal 21 mall, which has a lot of upmarket options and a great upstairs food court.

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The Pantip Plaza mall is dedicated to electronics and camera equipment.

The most popular outdoor market is the Chatuchak Weekend Market. Plan a whole day and get ready for crowds and debilitating heat!

Get a Thai Massage in Bangkok

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While there is no shortage of mom-and-pop massage places, I tried out Health Land and Urban Retreat on my last visit in March 2015. Both have places dotted all over the city.

Two-hour Thai massages start at 500 baht ($17, Health Land) and 800 baht ($26, Urban Retreat). It is usually necessary to call ahead for an appointment, especially at the weekend, as these places fill up completely.

The massage therapists are usually well-trained and won’t break your back (as I always fear with some of the painful Thai massage techniques).

An impromptu Chao Phraya River cruise

Getting on the Chao Phraya River is a great way to see Bangkok in a different light. It is cooler and the perspectives show more of the old charm the city must have had 20 years ago.

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There is no need to join one of the touristy tours – just take the BTS Skytrain Saphan Taksin and then get on one of the local boats that run up and down the river.

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I recommend going all the way north, about 45-60 minutes one-way, to get a real feel of the city.

Bangkok Temple Tour

When you use the Chao Phraya boats, you will come across two of Bangkok’s landmark religious symbols – Wat Pho and Wat Arun.

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(Picture courtesy of Greenwood Travel)

They are both very worthwhile seeing and the entry fees are minimal.

Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Bangkok

This museum takes a bit of effort to get to (though it is close to Chatuchak Market).

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It is surprisingly well-organized and the art on display is superb.

Bangkok Rooftop Bars

Bangkok just looks very different from above, if you can escape the urban jungle for a bit.

While several hotels have a rooftop bar, these two places are very high up and give you the best view of the city:

Sky Bar at Lebua State Tower

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Moon and Vertigo at Banyan Tree Hotel

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Take a day trip to Ayutthaya

Ayutthaya is a pleasant town just one hour north of Bangkok. It is easy to reach by minibus (just 50 baht one-way) and impresses with fabulous temples.

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