Bangkok Travel Guide: Things To Do In Bangkok For First Time Travelers

Amazing Thailand – I couldn’t agree more with Thailand’s tourism slogan as I personally see how beautiful their country is for the first time. Its capital city, Bangkok, is one of the most visited city not just in Southeast Asia but also in the world as it offers so many things any tourist couldn’t resist to enjoy. From their thousands of temple that shows how rich their culture and heritage is, to their vibrant streets that holds parties everyone would surely enjoy, up to their gastronomies that are rich in flavor any tourist would definitely crave for. There are so many things to do and experience here that one couldn’t help but to keep coming back for more. Here are some of the must things to do in Bangkok and discover yourself why Thailand is amazing in the eyes of so many people.

1. Temple Hopping

Facade of the huge Golden Reclining Buddha

Over 40,000 temples can be found in Thailand, and your Thailand trip wouldn’t be complete without visiting any of them. Having Buddhism as the dominant religion in the country, these temples or what they call “wat” are part of every day lives of the most Thais and plays an important role in the Thailand’s rich heritage. Don’t miss the chance visiting the Temple of Emerald Buddha that can be found inside the Grand Palace Complex, the Temple of the Reclining Buddha and Wat Arun. These temples are located somehow near to each other so visiting these temples can cover half of your day. For more details about these temples, you can read more about it here.

2. See the Bangkok Skyline by Visiting Mahanakhon Skywalk

Glass tray experience

Mahanakhon Skywalk is known to be the highest observatory deck in Thailand standing 314 meters above ground level that offers a 360-degree panoramic view of the vibrant Bangkok skyline. It is located on the top of the King Power Mahanakhon Tower located in Bangkok’s Central Business District – Silom. You’ll definitely see yourself allured on this tower from outside as its architectural design will rise among other buildings surrounding it. The highlight of this attraction is their glass tray experience on 78th floor! A perfect experience for everyone who seeks thrill and adventure. For more details about Mahanakhon Skywalk, you can read more about here.

3. Try Michelin-starred restaurants/food stalls

Thipsamai's famous Pad Thai

Bangkok offers a lot of food selection and it is a must try once you visit the city. It is not a secret on how good their foods are, that a lot of restaurants and even food stalls that can be seen on the street are awarded with the Michelin Bib Gourmand – an award given to friendly establishments that offers good food at moderate prices. Many of these can be found on the streets of Bangkok serving quality food choices everyone would surely love. Some of these famous restaurants are Jay Fai, Go-ang Pratunam Chicken and Thipsamai.

4. Go Shopping


Bangkok is also a haven for all shopaholics! It might get overwhelming as the city has so many shopping centers and choices you could visit. You can shop ‘til you drop from their biggest malls up to their local markets depending on your budget. They offer a large selection of fashion choices from clothes, accessories and even souvenirs that you could bring home for your love ones. They sell every kind of cute, hip and up to date designs that every people would love to wear. I’ll recommend visiting Platinum Mall, Pratunam Market and Chatukchak Weekend Market if you want cheaper yet fashionable items. Also, you might opt to visit Iconsiam, Siam Paragon, Central World and Siam Square if you wish to visit high-end malls and shops.

5. Visit Ancient City


Ancient City (Muang Boran) is considered to be the world’s largest outdoor museum that occupies 200 acres in the shape of Thailand. It is about an hour away from the center of Bangkok but definitely a must-see attraction you should add on your Bangkok bucket list. The park is so huge that you have to ride a bike or a golf cart to go around it. It is such an amazing experience to go around this outdoor museum that highlights replicas of Thailand’s famous temples. They are not just miniature temples but real sized temples! Entrance fee is 700 Baht per pax (foreigner adult) and 350 Baht (foreigner children age 6-14 years old). On the other hand, golf rental costs 350 Baht good for 2-4 pax and 500 Baht for 6 pax.

6. Party at Khaosan Road


A more than 400-meter-long street found in the center of Bangkok famous for their parties and exotic street foods. It is also a backpacker haven for many of the foreign tourists as you can see a lot of cheap accommodations here. It is a must place for those who wants to experience Bangkok’s vibrant nightlife and get along with other tourists coming from all over the world. Just sit along its bars and clubs, for sure you’ll find yourself dancing and partying the night out. Take note that if you wish to stay here on your next Bangkok trip, you might consider that accommodations found here though relatively cheap, it could give you a lot of noise during the night because of all the happy parties on the street.

7. Have a food crawl at Chinatown – Yaowarat


Bangkok’s Chinatown main street can be found in the Yaowarat Road and considered to be one of the largest Chinatown in the world. It is one of my personal favorite part of this trip because aside from all the food we had, the street scenes are insane, colorful and beautifully chaotic especially during the night! Many would say, it is the best Chinatown to visit in the world. There’s a lot of famous food stalls here that you shouldn’t missed, from stalls with Michelin Bib Gourmand up to those who don’t have but definitely offers one of the best cuisines you could try.

8. Visit a rooftop bar


Bangkok is famous for their rooftop bars where you can spend your afternoon and night and be enthralled with Bangkok’s famous colorful sunset and skyline. One of its famous rooftop bars is Tichuca Rooftop Bar located at the top of T-One building in Sukhumvit area. It is a jungle themed bar famed for its tree powered by lights that became a famous photo ops spot for any of its visitor. There’s also a lot of other rooftop bars that can be spot on Bangkok’s party scenes, just search in the internet and see which bar will work for you.

9. Watch sunset along the Chao Phraya River


I would say, the sunset in Bangkok is one of the loveliests I’ve ever seen. There’s a lot of restaurants and cafes along the famous Chao Phraya River that you can visit to witness this scene but if you’re in a budget, you can also go to Iconsiam terrace for free. We settled on their terrace found on the 7th floor just beside their biggest Starbucks, the Starbucks Reserve Chao Phraya Riverfront. You’ll see the boats coming different ways down below and be allured by the tall buildings right in front of you while the sun slowly sets for the day.

10. Ride a boat in the Floating Market

Aside from its temples, Bangkok is also known for their floating markets. There are few floating markets you can visit near Bangkok and one of the largest and popular floating market to visit for foreigners is Damnoen Saduak Floating Market. It is located in the Ratchaburi Province which is about an hour and a half ride south of Bangkok City. Damnoen Saduak Canal is a 32 km long canal that was constructed to connect Maeklong and Ta Chin Rivers for more than hundred years ago. It is a very touristy place, lively and full of boats just how it is being presented in a tourist’s books. Goods are overpriced but still a good experience to at least try once your lifetime. It is not usual on many of our days, we’ll see vendors selling foods, fruits, goods and souvenirs on a boat or by the side of the canal. Some of the other floating markets you can visit are Amphawa Floating Market and Taling Chan Floating Market.

11. Visit the Maeklong Railway Market

Maeklong Railway Market is considered to be the most dangerous market in the world as the market lies at the heart of the Maeklong Railway tracks. It is such a different market experience based near the Maeklong Railway station. It is dubbed as the most dangerous market as the vendors needs to move back their tables and shop fronts every time a train approaches and bring it back on the tracks once the train has passed to continue selling. When you visit this place, make sure to get there on time and get a good spot to see the train as it approaches. I noticed that a lot of fresh seafoods are being sold here and souvenirs are cheaper compare to what we saw in the floating market and Chatukchak weekend market. We also got a chance to go inside the train and take many photos from it while the train waits for its next scheduled departure.

12. End your trip with a dinner cruise along Chao Phraya River

We booked for the Chao Phraya Princess River Cruise on our last night to conclude our trip and it is the best decision we had for this trip. Basically, you’ll be roving around along Chao Phraya River on a boat while eating a sumptuous meal in a buffet style. While eating, you’ll also be serenaded by their in-house performer and make you dance out all night. You can choose to take the lower deck or the upper deck of the boat but for the best experience, I suggest you to take the upper deck so better reserve it as soon as you can. While moving along the river, you’ll see Bangkok’s alluring scenes, from the grand hotels, the Ferris wheel of Asiatique mall, up to the Wat Arun beautifully lit at night. We opted to book our tickets on Chao Phraya Princess River Cruise office directly located in Iconsiam so we could choose our desired seats. The food choices are not that many, but the happy experience you’ll get after the night of socials is definitely worth every penny.

Overall, Bangkok is a must visit city where you can experience culture, socials and the modern city. What are you waiting for? Book those tickets now and be amazed by what Bangkok has to offer!

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