Most Fascinating Things To Do In Bangkok

Things to do in Bangkok

Bangkok’s name alone is fascinating.  It’s the longest name of any city in the world.  Bangkok’s name is Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Phop Noppharat Ratchatnhani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasatham Amon Phop Piman Awatan Sahit Sakkathatiya Witsanukam Prasit.   Try saying that three times fast.   Or you can just call it Krungthep (City of Angels) like the locals.

There are so many choices for fascinating things to do and see in Bangkok, that it’s hard to decide on which ones to do!  Here are 11 of the most fascinating places to go and things to do in Bangkok.

Prepare to be Enlightened

Of the 31,000 Buddhist temples, the two temples we cover are fascinating places to visit.  Because Buddhist temples are sacred, there are particular dress codes you’ll need to observe. Generally speaking, they involve no bare shoulders or knees and taking your shoes off.   Dress codes may differ from one temple to another, so it’s best to check with their website for specifics before you go.  

These temples are absolutely jaw-dropping.  Their level of craftsmanship is astounding. From delicate mural paintings to intricate glasswork and wood carvings, everything was created by the highest level of skilled artisans at the time.  Thai temples are so steeped in Thai culture and full of history that you’ll acquire fresh insight into the world of Thailand.  And, after visiting these temples, don’t be surprised if your experience there enlightens you with new insight into your own world too.

The Grand Palace and Wat Prakaeaw   

The immensity of the Grand Palace’s sheer beauty, wondrous architecture, and magnificent gold spires, is a source of endless fascination.  Built in 1768 it was home to the Thai kings of Siam and the royal court for 150 years.  Several amazing buildings are on the 214 square meters of Grand Palace grounds including Wat Phra Kaew, otherwise known as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha.  This temple is considered to be the most important Buddhist temple in Thailand and enshrines the Emerald Buddha (Phra Kaew Morako).  Carved from a single block of jade, the Emerald Buddha dates back to the 14th century.  

Today, kings no longer live in the Grand Palace.  It is now used for ceremonies and other important events.  Even though the Grand Palace will be indelibly etched into your memory, you may want to bring a camera to take some selfies!

  • Open: Daily from 8:30 am- 3:30 pm 
  • Location:  Maharat Road on the riverside of Chao Phraya River and directly behind Wat Pho. 
  • Admission: 500 Baht for foreign tourists
  • How to get there:  Sky Train, boat (one of the most popular ways), bus, taxi, or car
  • Website:

Wat Pho Temple of the Reclining Buddha

The Wat Pho Temple is famous for its Reclining Buddha sculpture.  This magnificent gold-leafed statue is 151 feet long and 164 feet high.  The Wat Pho Temple is also a Buddhist temple complex and contains an astounding 394 Buddhas, which is the most Buddhas in all of Thailand. These Buddhas can be found among four chapels that are in Wat Pho’s complex.

To add to this wondrous temple are its walls that are opulently decorated in mother of pearl murals.   Strangely enough, along with the grandeur of the Wat Pho temple, it’s more than a sacred place of worship.  This temple is also a massage teaching center where you even can get an authentic Thai massage.  Because it’s not anything like an American massage, it’s a fantastic way to experience Thai culture. 

However, be prepared.  The Thai massages can be somewhat painful, but weary, tourists often say their aches and pains felt noticeably better.

  • Open: Daily from 8:30 am – 3:30 pm
  • Admission:  Free
  • How to get there:  Sky Train, boat (one of the most popular ways), bus, taxi, or car

Wat Arun Temple of Majestic Dawn

This breathtaking and majestic white temple on the river is named after Arunah, the God of Dawn.  The revered Wat Arun temple is one of the most beautiful temples in Thailand. Wat Arun was created by King Taks in 1768 and is well-known for its towering spire that rises 229 feet into the sky. This spectacular spire is decorated top to bottom with pieces of colored glass and Chinese porcelain to create highly-detailed floral patterns.  There is also an ordination hall covered with intricate murals and an impressive mural of a golden Buddha. 

According to legend, the Wat Arun temple is guarded by two mythical giants.  As the story goes, after fighting his way out of a Burmese takeover, King Taks discovered this temple just as the sun was beginning to rise and renamed it Wat Chaeng, or The Temple of the Dawn. 

  • Open: Daily from 8:00 am – 5:30 pm 
  • Location: 158 Wangdoem Road almost directly opposite Wat Pho
  • Admission: 100 Baht for foreign tourists
  • How to get there:  Riverboat from  Saphan Taksin boat pier to Pier, then take a shuttle boat to the Temple  
  • Website:

Erawan Shrine 

Used for traditional Thai dances and holidays, the Erawan shrine presents an opportunity to deep dive into a Thai cultural experience.  The Braham shrine contains a four-faced Brahma god for whom people come in droves to lay floral garlands before the shrine so that their wishes will come true.  

What’s fascinating about the Erawan shrine is that it was built for the construction workers on a nearby hotel who were too superstitious to continue their work.  They believed that the land spirits were unhappy and wreaking havoc on the construction site.

  • Open: Daily from 6:00 am – 10:00 pm
  • Location: 494 Ratchdmri Rd
  • Admission: Free
  • How to get there: Train or car
  • Website:

Markets Like No Other   

No how many times you tell yourself that you’re only going to buy a few things, it will be hopeless to hold back.  Even if you leave your pocket book at home, you’ll find a way.  Like bartering with your shoes.  Before you arrive at the market get ready to be first stunned, next overwhelmed, and then once you get a map, be blown away by all the fascinating things you’ll find in every stall.  On the flip side, the markets in Bangkok are shopaholic heaven.

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market  

Another glimpse of a long-gone way of life is the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market near Bangkok.   It’s exactly as the name implies – a market that floats.  Aside from being fascinating, it’s also a beehive of local activity and one of the best opportunities to taste some of the greatest local foods. 

European pioneers called it the “Venice of the East”.  The name stuck and that’s what the canal has been called ever since. Getting to the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market requires a boat but that’s part of the fun. Visitors are picked from a departure point on the river by one of the colorfully decorated long-tail boats that take them down a winding, picturesque canal to the market.  Once you arrive, you’ll be fascinated by all the small boats packed together, loaded with fresh fruits and vegetables. To add to your fascination are the many traditional local dishes made right on the boats.  

  • Open: Daily from 8:00 am – 4:00 pm 
  • Location: 51 Damnoen Saduak
  • Admission: Free
  • How to get there:  Boat, bus or taxi
  • Website: none

Chatuchak Market

Last but definitely not least is the Chatuchak Market. This goes under the category of wide-eyed fascination.  Located in Chatuchak Park, there are 8,000 stalls on 27 acres with vendors selling everything imaginable under the sun.  This market holds the world record for the largest weekend market.  

If you have a wild imagination this market will probably exceed that unless amidst the Moroccan lamps and handmade embroidered sarongs, you find the pythons that are for sale (good luck getting those on the plane).   Pythons aside, you’re likely to find some fascinating finds to add to your growing pile of fascinating finds.

  • Open: Saturday and Sunday from 8:00 am – 8:00 pm 
  • Location:  Chatuchak Park
  • Admission: Free
  • How to get there:  Bus, taxi, or car
  • Website: None

Come for the Markets, Stay for the Museums

One of the best ways to learn about Thai culture is at one of Bangkok’s museums.  Here you will get a real sense of the long, incredible history that dates back to the Neolithic period.   After an immersion like this, you’ll forget you’re in the 21st century.  By the way, those things with wheels that go really fast are called cars.

Bangkok National Museum                                                            

One of the largest museums in Southeast Asia features exhibits of Thai art and history dating back to the Neolithic period circa 10,000 BC when humans began living in groups and hence the birth of a culture.  In addition to displaying the artifacts from this fascinating era, the Bangkok National Museum houses a collection of regional Asian Buddhist paintings and sculptures.  There is also a Decorative and Ethnological exhibit that displays an astounding collection including costumes and textiles, precious stones, ceramics, weapons, and gold treasures. 

The Bangkok National Museum provides another glimpse into Thai culture from a different perspective to round out your MOCA experience.

  • Open:  Wednesday – Sunday from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm 
  • Admission: 200 Baht for foreign tourists.
  • Location: Near the Grand Palace.
  • Website: Bangkok/
  • How to get there:   Express boat to Chang Pier.  The museum is a 15-minute walk from there.  Taxi or bus

Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA)

Four floors of contemporary, novel artworks where Thai culture, life, and art intersect.  A significant part of MOCA’s focus is on the contemporary era and social events.  The 2nd floor showcases the artworks from a wide-ranging world of independent thought. Kamol Tassananchaleek, a National Artist in Visual Arts, has a series of his mixed media artworks on display.  His subject matter is inspired by various themes, one of which is social knowledge and Buddhism.  The 3rd floor dedicates a room to “The House of Phimpphalai”, the Thai classical literature Khun Chang – Kuhn Paen.  

What’s interesting here is that two artists from two different generations create their interpretation of the story of Phimphila, a woman who is fought over by two men. There are two more floors of many kinds of fascinating artworks created by notable philosophers and artists, where their imaginative and creative talent is expressed through a variety of mediums and mixed media approaches.  It’s difficult not to leave MOCA with an expanded understanding of Thai culture and life in general.

  • Open Wednesday – Sunday from 9:00 am- 4:00 pm.
  • Location:  Grounds of the Grand Palace
  • General Admission:  $18
  • How to get there:  Taxi, bus or car
  • Website:

Off The Beaten Path

Airplane Graveyard

There’s no end to the imaginative things entrepreneurs come up with.  In this case it’s three Thai families living in long-abandoned junked planes, and turning them into a tourist attraction.  The planes consist of the nose section of two 747s and two MD-82s.  The Airplane Grave yard is east of the city just off Ramkhamhaeng Road, which is one of the busiest roads in Bangkok.   Look for a 747 lying on the side of the road, and when you see it, you’ll know you’re there.  

The Thai families that moved into the planes and created their homes, charge people to explore the inside of the planes, climb on top of them, and take photos.  The fee is arbitrary and depends on the mood of the of the seller.  No souvenir shop yet, but that’s probably next.

  • Open Saturday – Sunday from 9:00 am – 6:30 pm
  • Location:  Soi Ramkhamhaeng 103 just off Ramkhamhaeng Rd
  • General Admission:  200 –: 300 Baht
  • How to get there:  Khlong Saep Express Boat
  • Website:  none

Nai Lert Park Heritage Home 

‘Tubtoim’ or the fertility shrine at Nai Lert Park Heritage Home is definitely an attention-getting part of Bangkok’s folklore.  A spirit is thought to inhabit an old tree in the gardens.  According to the legend, if a woman prayed to the spirit’s shrine for a child and brought offerings, she would have her prayers answered.  The shrine gradually became a fertility shrine and to this day women come to have their wishes granted for a baby. 

So, here’s the “No. Way.”  part. There is another shrine of fertility that’s somewhat phallic.  Okay, make that very phallic.  It’s a shrine to The Goddess of Fertility where women also come in hopes of getting pregnant.  If a woman conceives, she returns to the shrine to offer, well, her own, ahem, phallic statue to a growing number of phallic statues left by previous women.  So basically, a pile of “family jewels” lay at this shine.  “Yes. Way.”

  • Open:  Wednesday – Sunday
  • Hours:  9:00 am-4:30 pm
  • Location: 2 2 Witthayu Rd
  • Admission:  250 THB
  • How to get there:   You can either take a taxi and bus or drive
  • Website:

Muay Thai Fights

Once an ancient Thai martial art for military combat, Muay Thai has become a highly charged spectator sport that’s much like boxing.  Actually this isn’t as off the beaten path as one might think.  The Muay Thai fights are popular and well-attended by locals and tourists alike.  These fights are held in large stadiums, the most popular being the New Lumpinee Boxing Stadium and the Rajadamnern Boxing Stadium.  Fights at the Lumpinee Stadium is one of the two top places to see the most famous Muay Thai fighters.  Rajadamnnern Stadium, is the other top venue and is the oldest boxing stadium in Bangkok. 

Lumpinee Stadium

  • Fight days:  Tuesdays, Fridays & Saturdays.                                                                                                   
  • Times:  6:30pm Tuesdays and Fridays, 5:00 pm Saturdays. 8:30 am- 3:30pm.  Elite fighters are on Tuesdays.
  • Location:  6 Ram Inthra Rd
  • Admission: Ringside seats are $82.93, but upper ties are less expensive
  • How to get there:   Subway, bus, taxi, or car
  • Website:

Rajadamnern Stadium

  • Fight days:  Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays,, and Sundays
  • Times:  6:00 pm every day
  • Location:  Ratchadamnoen Ave
  • Admission: .  Ringside seats are $82.93  and less expensive seats on the upper levels
  • How to get there:   Subway, bus, taxi, or car
  • Website:

Getting Around Bangkok

You’ve probably seen images of super congested traffic clogging the streets of Bangkok, and it is not pure exaggeration. Bangkok is probably a city where you want to rely on taxis – there are just too many other amazing ways to get around, and unlike many other cities, we consider these part of the experience – one of the many amazing things to do in Bangkok that you won’t want to miss.

You’ll quickly learn to appreciate the convenience and freedom of zipping around Thailand in a tuk-tuk, so that this the first and perhaps most obvious.

You might not be aware that Bangkok has not one, but two modern rapid transit systems that connect – and you can get to pretty much everyplace you want to go. Check out our Insiders Guide to Bangkok Rapid Transit which will make your stay in the Big Mango far more enjoyable.

Lastly, you will want to experience water taxis in Bangkok, which are surprisingly fast and convenient depending on where you want to go. This is definately a memorable thing to do in Bangkok during your visit.

More Fun Things To Do In Bangkok

It almost doesn’t matter really how long you plan to stay, Bangkok just has so more to offer that you won’t run out amazing activities. This is literally no shortage to fun and memorable things to do in Bangkok, so plan your time wisely!


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