Before I left for Bangkok I heard lots of people say that it’s crazy and as soon as you’re there you want to leave.
Crazy? True, it more than lives up to its reputation. Wanting to leave? That was definitely not the case for us. In fact, we were so overwhelmed with how much there was to do that we extended our stay an extra night. If you find yourself in Bangkok feeling taken back and not knowing where to start, or if you fancy finding out about my top picks then read on!
Here are my top 5 things to do in Bangkok:
#1 Wat Pho: Reclining Buddha
This temple is one of the largest temple complexes in Bangkok. It is huge! I didn’t cover it all as it was hard to keep track of the parts that we had seen. The architecture and details are phenomenal and it glitters with gold just about everywhere you look.
Unfortunately, we missed out on seeing the water features at this temple, but if they are as beautiful as the rest of it then you’ll be in for an absolute treat. Make sure that you check out its famous giant reclining Buddha, which we somehow missed, so be sure that you don’t!
#2 Wat Saket: Golden Mount
Views, views and more views! If you love a cityscape view then this temple is for you.
For all you observant beings out there you’ll have noticed that ‘Wat’ has come up twice so far. Ridiculously, it took me a while to realise that this is a word referring to a Thai temple.
I was a little bit nervous with this one at first, hearing the word mount, assuming it was a mountain and then thinking about climbing a mountain in the scorching sun was just a little bit scary, but I had heard about the amazing views and knew it would be worth it so we rocked up anyway.
When we arrived, my worst fears evaporated because there was no mountain to climb in the sweltering heat, just a series of staircases with super shallow steps that were easy to scale. Stopping periodically at the landings to soak up the views and explore the temple meant that by the time we reached the top we weren’t even out of breath… until we saw the views. It was a far cry from the mountain climb that I had imagined, but still, the views were no less breathtaking.
We were lucky enough to reach the top of the temple when there were people worshiping. I’m not sure exactly what the service was, but it was amazing to watch and hear. The worshippers were singing a chant and ringing bells, then towards the end they wrapped a blue cloth around the base of the chedi.
#3 Khao San Road
If you’ve been touristing it up all day and you’re in need of a quiet sit down and a drink, then DO NOT go to Khao San Road! Instead, take a short walk to the next road along, Soi Ram Buttri, there is a gentle buzz about this place with some great places for eating, drinking, listening to some live music and chilling after a long day.
However, if you are up for some crazy party scenes and can ward off attempts at being ushered into every single bar on the strip, then this is the road for you! Bangkok’s answer to Magaluf.
This was our initial reaction…
Alcohol from buckets, dancing in the street and people who are out for a good time can all be found in Khao San Road. If you’re looking for the party scene then this is where it’s at… you’re welcome!
#4 Wat Benchamabophit: Marble Temple
If you’ve read my previous post then you’ll know that I ended up here by chance as opposed to choice but sometimes those little unforeseen hiccoughs can take us to the most beautiful of places.
I don’t know whether I was so overwhelmed because this was the first Thai temple that I’ve ever visited, which maybe makes me bias by adding it to this list, but I really was astonished at how stunning this place was and the intricate details that went into everything.
The Marble Temple also has a river running through the grounds and there are quaint little foot bridges that were full of charm to cross from one side to the other, or to stand and watch the fountains of water that create a pretty little feature by the bridges.
Although this place wasn’t originally on our list of places to see, now that I’ve been there I would recommend a visit to anyone else who is in Bangkok. There was a golden lining to our taxi scam cloud after all!
#5 Grand Palace and Wat Phra: Emerald Buddah
These two places are on my list because I was gutted that I missed them! I’ve put them in together because they are located next to each other and have the same opening times too.
Annoyingly, we thought that we had loads of time for sightseeing and arrived at the Grand Palace at 3.15pm only to see flocks of people heading towards us and a sign that said it shut at 3.30pm. We decided not to pay to go in for just 15 minutes and instead had a little stroll around the grounds at the front.
Being two of the most famous tourist attractions in Bangkok, I will be making sure that I check the details and schedules carefully next time so that I can visit these two places with enough time to embrace everything they have to offer.
And… That’s your lot! There are so many other things to do and see in Bangkok, but these were definitely my favourite and therefore have made my recommendation list.
I hope you’ve found this helpful!
If you’ve been to Bangkok or are planning to go, let me know that you think of my What Not To Miss list in the comments.