Whether you’re on a backpacking trip or planning a luxury vacation in Southeast Asia, there’s no denying that Bangkok is usually one of the top destinations people want to visit. If your vacation plans include a stop in Thailand’s capital, don’t miss some of the city’s best experiences.
Visit a Temple, or “Wat”
Most residents of Thailand are Buddhist, which means there is no shortage of beautiful temples, or “Wats” in Thailand. Bangkok is said to have over 400 Wats in the city alone! Some of the most popular, or significant ones, include Wat Arun, or the Temple of the Dawn that sits on the Chao Phraya River, Wat Phra Kaew, where the Grand Palace is located, and Wat Pho, home to the country’s biggest reclining Buddha statue.
If you want to get a feel for everyday life in Bangkok, explore areas like Sukhumvit. It’s technically the longest road in Thailand and has well known “sois,” or sub-streets, known for various specialties. You’ll find a little bit of everything that Bangkok is known for here. Trendy restaurants, hip clubs, beautiful shopping malls, and even some of the notorious red light districts are here in Sukhumvit. Hotels like Hotel Indigo Bangkok on Wireless Road, are located in the heart of Sukhumvit, giving you easy access to many of the city’s best attractions, shopping, and food.
Buy Produce at a Floating Market
There are a number of floating markets in Bangkok, and even some outside of the city that are worth a day trip. One of these is Damnoen Saduak, one of the more famous ones, located in Ratchaburi, which is about 1.5 hours outside the city. Bangkok was once known as the “Venice of the East,” and while some think some floating markets are more of a tourist trap these days, they provide a great opportunity to purchase delicious fresh foods and interact with locals.
Party at Khao San Road
Even if you aren’t a backpacker, consider a visit to Khao San Road, especially at night. The area really comes alive when the sun goes down, with street vendors selling all sorts of delicious foods, including a few bizarre options like fried insects. You can also find lots of cheap clothing, eats, and drinks, and it’s a great place to meet other travelers from all across the globe.
The popularity of Muay Thai, the combat sport of Thailand, has spread all around the world, with people coming to visit gyms, learn how to fight in Muay Thai camps, or catch a fight in a stadium. Bangkok is home to several of the country’s main Muay Thai stadiums, where only the best of the best have the honor to fight for the most prestigious titles. Built in 1945, Rajadamnern Stadium, is the oldest of the main big ones. Its central location and history of legendary fights make it one of the most exciting experiences in Bangkok. Check the schedule for the five-star fight nights, but recognize it’s also one of the priciest options.
These five experiences are just a glimpse into a myriad list of things you can see and do in Bangkok. It’s one of best cities for travelers looking to visit Southeast Asia as it appeals to everyone from budget backpackers hanging out on Khao San Road to luxury travelers vying for reservations at some of Asia’s top restaurants.
This post was in conjunction with IHG Hotels, but as always, all views and opinions are my own.