Bangkok, which received the title of a kind of gateway to Southeast Asia, is a city where you can spend a very interesting time. The capital of Thailand attracts tourists because of its special Asian atmosphere, and there are many diverse sights. Here we will write about the most iconic places that you must see in Bangkok, first in this article and you can see them yourself.
Since this metropolis is quite large, when you get to know it, walking will sometimes be relevant, but mostly you will have to travel by public transport or taxi. By the way, in a taxi, even before the start of the trip, you should agree with the driver that the payment will be on the counter. This is much cheaper to hire a taxi than the fixed price option.
Let’s explore the best places to see in Bangkok.
Grand Palace and Temple Wat Phra Kaew
The Royal Palace and Wat Phra Kaew is a comprehensive attraction open to the public.
In the Grand Palace, which since the 18th century served as the residence of the kings of Thailand, ceremonial state receptions and ceremonies now take place.
Wat Phra Kaew, which is also known as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, is not only a famous attraction among Bangkok’s visitors, but also a pilgrimage site for all Buddhists.
Tourists who plan to visit this complex on their own can use a map of Bangkok, as well as this article with more detailed information.
Wat Pho Temple
This shrine, often called the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, is located near the complex of buildings of the Grand Palace. When you go through this oldest temple in Bangkok, also one of the largest in Thailand, you can see a 1000 images of Buddha.
But the most impressive attraction is the reclining Buddha statue, depicting him lying. This huge gilded figure, decorated with mother of pearl, is perhaps the largest Buddha sculpture in the world: its length is 46 meters and its height is 15 meters.
Wat Sathat Temple and the Giant Swing
This religious attraction is located at Bamrung Mueang Road, Bangkok 10200. On the map of Bangkok’s attractions, it is clearly visible that the building is in close proximity to the temples of Wat Phra Kaew and Wat Pho. It is worth considering this when planning a visit to these places.
Wat Sathat Temple is largely known for its famous Giant Swings (Sauching), standing in the square in front of its entrance. This unusual religious building has the shape of the letter “P”: at the top of two wooden columns 21 meters high there is a crossbar decorated with openwork carvings.
In past times, when a ceremony of gratitude to Shiva was held after rice harvest, a bag filled with silver coins was tied to the crossbar. On the same crossbar, ropes were tied, swaying on which the volunteers tried to get the valuable bag.
In 1932, local authorities forbade such a ceremony because of the injuries inflicted to participants during the mad dash, and the Swings were converted into a symbolic monument.
But Wat Sathat has more than just the Swing. The walls inside the central pavilion (wihan) are covered with original paintings of the early 19th century. In the central part of the wihan, there is a bronze statue of Buddha 8 meters high, and around the entire perimeter of the outer walls of the courtyard there are 156 gilded figures of the deity.
- Giant Swings can be seen at any time. Wat Sathat is open every day from 8:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., but entering the wihan is allowed from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
- As a rule, there is no influx of tourists. Thanks to this, it is very convenient to come to this attraction of Bangkok on your own, in order to visit shrines of Buddhism in silence and peace.
- Entrance is only 20 baht.
Temple Wat Traimit
In the Chinatown district, near the Central Railway Station, there is another famous attraction – the Temple of the Golden Buddha, or Wat Traimit.
The Golden Buddha Temple was listed in the Guinness Book of Records after it was recognized as the most expensive religious site. This is not surprising, because in this shrine there is a Buddha figure made of gold.
The statue weighs about 5.5 tons, and is about 2.5 meters high. The whites of the eyes of the Golden Buddha are made of pearls, and the pupils are made of black Thai sapphires.
According to the Americans, who estimated this worth of the statue, its cost is about $ 250 million. But it should be noted that no one checked the purity and quality of gold. There is also no reliable information as to whether the statue is entirely made of gold or not.
The Buddha statue, created back in the XIII-XIV centuries from a single piece of gold, was covered with plaster during the Burmese war and decorated with shards of colored glass so that it would not attract too much attention of the enemies. When a new religious building was made in Bangkok in 1957, it was decided to house an old statue brought from the north of the country. During transportation, part of the gypsum broke off, due to which the gold was discovered, which can still be seen at Wat Traimit.
- Address: 661 Chaoren Krung Road | Talad Noi, Samphanthawong, Bangkok 10100.
- It is open to visitors daily from 8:00 to 17:00.
- The entrance fee to the hall with the Buddha statue is 40 baht. After paying 100 baht, you can also see the exhibits of the museum, located on the floor below.
- Video is not permitted inside the building, but photography is permitted.
Wat Saket Temple
The Golden Mount Temple is located in the eastern part of the Old Town, between Boriphat Road and Lan Luang Road.
The best way to get to this attraction on your own is to order a taxi directly from the hotel. You won’t be able to get here by metro, but you can use city buses No. 8, 15, 37, 47, 49. The fare will vary, it depends on the category of the bus and the distance of the trip.
Until skyscrapers began to be erected in Bangkok, this religious building remained the highest point on the east bank of the Chao Phraya River. First, an artificial hill was made and then the temple was built on it with a gilded pagoda crowning it – their total height is 76 meters.
To get to the top of the hill, you need to climb the wide spiral staircase of 320 steps. The climb is not difficult, as the slope is small and comfortable benches for rest are installed along the way.
The interior of the shrine is quite simple, the main decorations are sculptures of the Buddha in various poses. In the back corner of the room is a narrow staircase leading to the roof. The first thing you notice when you get there is a large pagoda covered with a myriad of gold mosaic tiles.
Huge gongs and bells are installed around the structure as well as along the entire ascent. They can be drummed because it is believed that this attracts luck. And the gong can also be simply rubbed with your hand – if you do it right, it will emit an even beautiful hum, which is considered a sign of purity of the soul!
On the top floor of Wat Saket, where a gilded pagoda is installed, there is an observation deck. From it, a surreal circular landscape and a panoramic view of Bangkok are revealed.
- Address: 344 Chakkraphat Diphong Road | Prap Sattru Phai Krung Thep Maha Nakhon, Bangkok 10100.
- You can climb the Golden Mountain any day from 07:30 to 17:30.
- Entrance to the premises is free, but in order to enter the building, climb to the pagoda and to the observation platform, a donation of 50 baht is required. Here there is no need to take off your shoes, as is customary to do at the entrance to all sacred places.
Tourists recommend visiting the Golden Mountain in November if possible. Each year, this month in Thailand, the Loykratong holiday is celebrated, so for 2 days in Bangkok there is something to see on a larger scale than usual.
During this Thai festival, Wat Saket organizes a large-scale weekly fair, which begins with a spectacular candlelight procession from the base of the hill to its top.
Wat Arun Temple
The Temple of Dawn or Morning Dawn ranks first among all 31,200 Buddhist places of worship in Thailand due to its significance and beauty. It is definitely worth a visit, especially since it is completely possible to do it yourself, without a guide.
On the location of this religious complex there are many pagodas directed upwards, the most famous of which is considered to be Phra Bang with a height of 79 meters. It is decorated with rich carvings, inlaid with pieces of colored glass and porcelain, sea shells and mirrors.
Four smaller pagodas stand in the corners of Phra Bang, and equestrian statues of Vayu (the God of the wind) are installed in the niches. At the very foot of Phra Bang there are various statues: traditionally sitting Buddha, animal figures and exotic deities.
Quite steep stairs lead to the top of the central pagoda, where a viewing platform is arranged. The climb, although not simple, but the efforts made are fully paid off with the views of the immediate surroundings, the Chao Phraya River and Bangkok.
- The attraction is opposite the Grand Palace, on the opposite bank of the Chao Phraya River, at 34 Wang Doem Road | Wat Arun, Bang Kok Yai, Bangkok 10600.
- Wat Arun is open for visits every day from 9:00 to 17:00, but it is best to come to the opening or around 16:00. There are not too many tourists at this time, so it will be possible to calmly see everything, not to jostle in the queue at the stairs to the observation deck and on the platform itself.
- Entrance to the territory of this religious attraction is free, but in order to enter the Phra Bang Pagoda and climb its roof, you need to pay 50 baht.
Modern Art Museum
In the capital of Thailand, you can always step back from standard tourist routes and go to such attractions that not every tourist knows about.
How many travelers know that in Bangkok you can see the Museum of Contemporary Art on your own?
Unfortunately, not all local taxi drivers know about its existence. And you can get to this city attraction yourself only by taxi. Therefore, after taking a taxi, you need to call the museum and give the taxi driver the phone so that the museum staff will explain the way to him.
The Museum of Contemporary Art building itself is an architectural masterpiece, and on six floors there are interesting and diverse exhibits: sculptures, paintings, installations.
It is clear that there are no world masterpieces here. However, all these fascinating exhibits reflect the worldview of the Thai people, talk about their life and traditions. Photography is permitted in the halls, but only without a flash.
There is also a shop that offers a variety of souvenirs: fridge magnets, prints, postcards, photos of Bangkok’s attractions with a description.
- The museum is located near Don Muanaga Airport, at 499, Kamphaengpet 6th Road | Lad Yao, Chatuchak, Bangkok 10900.
- Tickets to the museum cost 250 baht and 100 baht for students. Children under 13 years old and people over the age of 60 can go for free. A card is issued along with a ticket, and large bags are accepted for storage.
- You can watch works of modern Thai art on any day except Monday: from Tuesday to Friday from 10:00 to 17:00, and on Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 to 18:00.
Museum of Art in Paradise
In Bangkok, there is something to see for families with children, because this city offers very diverse destinations for recreation. There are various amusement parks for children in the Thai capital, works of art in exhibition halls. There are even specific attraction museums, for example, a museum of 3D paintings. It occupies the upper floors of Esplanade Shopping Center, next to Thailand Cultural Center Subway Station.
Interactive Museum Art in Paradise consists of 5,800 m² of entertainment and educational events for visitors of all ages. It consists of many halls with various forms of 3D painting, including themed halls decorated under the underwater world, the world of dinosaurs, Egypt, waterfalls, famous sights of the world, etc.
In reality, the pictures look “flat,” but the bottom line is that guests should take a certain place in this picture, and the photographer must take them from a certain point marked on the floor. In some places, this point has to be searched independently. Photos acquire a certain depth from this angle.
It may not be the best idea to visit this huge museum alone, although it is also possible if you bring a camera with a tripod to keep you occupied. However, it’s better to come with someone’s company.
- Address: 99 Esplanade Shopping Mall, 4th Floor | Ratchadapisek Road, Din Daeng, Din Daeng, Bangkok 10400.
- Art in Paradise is open to visitors daily from 10:00 to 22:00, but it is advisable to be here by the opening, as in the morning hours the number of visitors is the smallest. This is important because groups of tourists create huge lines near each exposition, which often makes it difficult to take the necessary position for a good shot.
- At the entrance you need to take off your shoes and take them to the storage room: the museum is very clean, everyone walks barefoot or in socks.
- Entrance ticket for adults costs 400 baht, for children – 250 baht.
Aquarium Siam Ocean World
The fact that in Bangkok there is the largest oceanarium in Asia (its area is 10,000 m²), many travelers know. It is better to come here on your own in order to have a reserve of time and calmly see all the inhabitants.
Siam Ocean World is divided into 7 unique thematic locations, and in huge and very small aquariums live more than 30,000 fish and aquatic mammals.
Before you go on an excursion to Siam Ocean World on your own, it makes sense to find out as much as possible about this attraction by reading the article.
Even when visiting Bangkok for only 2 days, it makes sense to see a tourist attraction like the Snake Farm. During a trip to a snake farm, you can watch an interesting show with snakes, try dishes prepared from snake meat, and also buy preparations made on the basis of snake venom or fat.
On the farm, right on the street, aviaries are installed in which snakes live. Sometimes they hide under stones and are not visible at all. And sometimes these cold-blooded reptiles can be clearly seen, and they also try to make out those who look at them – quite creepy, but interesting.
Terrariums are also indoors, but almost all the snakes contained in them are in the zoo in Dusit city.
On the second floor you can see a really interesting exhibition: a collection of snake skeletons, embalmed embryos, snake eggs, a huge python’s body in a section (you can see the internal structure in details). Visitors are shown videos about the anatomy and reproduction of snakes, as well as how to provide first aid on their own with their bites.
From Monday to Friday at Snake Farm you can watch the procedure for extracting venom from snakes and a 30-minute show with the participation of different types of snakes. During the show, snakes are taken out one at a time, some are simply held in the arms, while some are caressed with arms or legs.
All these actions are accompanied by stories and comments in English. It should be noted that the schedule of these two events is not very convenient: the poison is removed show at 11:00, and the performance takes place at 14:30 – if you want to see both, then you have to wait a long time.
- Snake Farm is open to visitors all days of the week: Monday through Friday from 9:30 to 15:30, and on Saturday and Sunday from 9:30 to 13:00.
- Entrance for adults is 200 baht, for children – 50 baht.
- This attraction is located in Bangkok at 1871 Rama IV Road | Phathumwan, 10330.
This park is open to all comers every day from early morning until sunset, and the entrance is completely free. To visit, arrive at the Silom Metro Station ( address: Rama 4 Road | Wangmai, Pathumwan), as it is located near Lumpini Park. You can read more about Bangkok’s metro system in our blog post.
Lumpini Park occupies a vast territory in the heart of the metropolis. It is very beautiful thanks to perfectly maintained lawns and small ponds, on which you can go boating. Lumpini also has several children’s playgrounds.
Bangkok residents massively come to the park to play sports: in the early morning and afternoon, group classes are held here, in the evenings – jogging, fitness, aerobics. But even in these hours you can always find places for a secluded holiday.
In the mornings at the reservoirs of the park, lizards bask in the sun. If you do not disturb these animals and behave quietly, they calmly pose in front of tourists’ cameras. There are also large turtles in the local ponds.
Panoramic views from Baiyoke Sky
“Baiyoke Sky” is a famous landmark of Bangkok and Tailanda, because this building is the highest in the country. The height of the skyscraper is 305 meters.
On the 77th floor there is an observatory area equipped with interactive maps and telescopes. From here you can see Bangkok and its environs up to the Gulf of Thailand.
On the last, 84th floor, there is a rotating observation platform (rotates around its axis by 360°), from which even more stunning views open up.
You can find out more here about how you can get to Baiyoke Sky yourself, how much it costs to get to the site, and when it is better to do it.
Ratchada Night Market
Night Market of Ratchada can be considered a unique attraction of the Thai capital. It is known for selling almost everything on its shopping arcade: disks, phones, gramophones and records for them, books, clothes, as well as all kinds of automotive products from used tires to small car models from different times. They offer delicious Thai food, a cafe with fresh seafood, and bars with live music.
Ratchad market prices are low. There is always a crowd, mostly of locals. There are not so many tourists walking among the sea of Bangkok locals.
- You can find the night market at this address: next to Ratchada Criminal Court, Ratchadapisek Road, Bangkok.
- It is open from Thursday to Sunday inclusive, from 17:00 to 01:00.
Khao San Street
Although Kao San Street is considered a landmark in Bangkok, it is unlikely that it will ever make it to the UNESCO list. To be precise, Khao San is a colorful party place where Thai transvestites and prostitutes gather, as well as backpackers who go to Taiwan.
There are many cheap hotels, Thai food in carts, souvenirs, clothes, fake IDs, pirated video copies, products with “diamonds”, drugs of varying severity.
But gradually Khao San is slowly but surely turning into a normal tourist destination, and in a few years it will be absolutely safe here even for those tourists who are used to traveling on their own.
Prices on the page are for September 2018.
We talked about what to see in Bangkok. If you stay here for a short time, choose the sights that are most interesting to you to get acquainted with this amazing metropolis. If independent trips do not appeal to you, you can always hire a guide, especially since Thai guides are not too expensive and speak English and other foreign languages quite well.
Below we have aggregated the list of Bangkok’s attractions for you once again.
14 best places to visit in Bangkok
- Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew Temple
- Wat Pho Temple
- Wat Sathat Temple and the Giant Swing
- Temple Wat Traimit
- Wat Saket Temple
- Wat Arun Temple
- Modern Art Museum
- Museum of Art in Paradise
- Aquarium Siam Ocean World
- Snake farm
- Lumpini Park
- Baiyoke Sky Hotel
- Ratchada Night Market
- Khao San Street