Get up to 45% Off All 6-month Plans. Hurry! Ends soon!
Get up to 45% Off All 6-month Plans. Hurry! Ends soon!
ThaiPod101.com Blog
Learn Thai with Free Daily
Audio and Video Lessons!
Start Your Free Trial 6 FREE Features

Bangkok Travel Guide – The Best Places to Visit

Thumbnail

Travel is one of the reasons many people decide to learn a new language. There’s something magical about visiting a foreign country and being able to speak with locals in their native tongue. 

Thailand—often labeled the Land of Smiles—is a wonderful travel destination, whether you’re learning the language or not. Bangkok, in particular, is known for its beauty and strong tourist appeal. 

In this Bangkok travel guide from ThaiPod101.com, we’ll provide you with a list of the most famous places to visit in Bangkok. We’ll also give you some tips on how to make the most of your trip and go over some basic travel vocabulary you should know. 

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Thai Table of Contents
  1. Facts About Bangkok, Thailand
  2. Where to Visit for a 1-3 Day Trip
  3. Highly Recommended Places for a 4-7 Day Trip (or Longer)
  4. Thai Survival Phrases for Travelers
  5. Conclusion

1. Facts About Bangkok, Thailand

Let’s start with some interesting information about Bangkok so that you know what to expect and how to prepare yourself for the trip.

Name

Did you know that Bangkok, in the native language, is the longest city name in the world

Most Thai people call the city กรุงเทพมหานคร (grung-thêep-má-hǎa-ná-khaawn) or simply กรุงเทพ (grung-thêep) for short. But the city’s full name is much longer:

กรุงเทพมหานคร อมรรัตนโกสินทร์ มหินทรายุธยา มหาดิลกภพ นพรัตนราชธานีบูรีรมย์ อุดมราชนิเวศน์มหาสถาน อมรพิมานอวตารสถิต สักกะทัตติย วิษณุกรรมประสิทธิ์ (grung-thêep-má-hǎa-ná-khaawn à-maawn-rát-dtà-ná-goo-sǐn má-hǐn-thá-raa-à-yút-thá-yaa má-hǎa-dì-lòk-phóp nóp-phá-rát-râat-chá-thaa-nii-buu-rii-rom ù-dom-râat-chá-ní-wêet-má-hǎa-sà-thǎan à-maawn-phí-maan-à-wá-dtaan-sà-thìt sàk-gà-thát-dtì-yá wít-sà-nú-gam-bprà-sìt)

It’s such a long name that Thai children sing it in a song when doing hand play.

General Information

Bangkok has been the capital city of Thailand since 1782. It’s home to around six million people, which makes it the largest city in the country

The currency of Thailand is Baht. Compared to other countries, the cost of living here isn’t very expensive.  The average cost of a normal meal is 50 Baht (1.61 USD) and the cost of a hotel starts at around 700 Baht (22.5 USD).

If you decide to come to Bangkok, do not worry about the language barrier. Not all Thai people can speak English, but they’re still willing to help you should you need it. That said, knowing a little bit of Thai can go a long way; for an even better travel experience, make sure to study our list of travel phrases at the end of the article. 

Weather

Since Thailand is located near the equator, the weather is hot and humid all year long, except during the rainy season from mid-May to mid-October. The temperature is normally around 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit).   

So, what is the best season to visit Bangkok? It all depends on what you want to see and do while you’re there! 

The best time to visit Bangkok for shopping is from November to January. The weather during this time frame isn’t very hot, the department stores have all been decorated for Christmas, and there are a lot of promotions going on. But if you want to join the Songkran Festival, April would be the best time to travel to Bangkok.

Travel Tips

Let’s start with the most important question: Is a visa required to visit Bangkok? 

For a concrete answer, you’ll need to check with the Thai embassy in your country. You may need a visa to visit Bangkok depending on your nationality. 

Because the currency in Thailand is Baht, you’ll need to prepare some cash before your trip. However, most hotels and department stores also accept credit or debit cards

In addition to your normal belongings, you may need to bring an umbrella as well as a hat or cap as the weather is hot and sunny. Other than that, if you forget anything, you can buy it in Bangkok.

2. Where to Visit for a 1-3 Day Trip 

If you plan to visit Bangkok in three days or less, there are a few locations you may want to prioritize. Following is a list of our recommendations, based on category; skim through and pick the ones that best match your tastes! 

Temples

The Thai word for “temple” is วัด (wát). 

If you come to Thailand, visiting temples is a must. Apart from their religious associations, temples reflect the architecture and culture of Thailand. Here are three temples in Bangkok we think you’ll love to see! Because they’re all nearby each other, you can visit all three on the same day. 

วัดพระศรีรัตนศาสดาราม (วัดพระแก้ว) / พระบรมมหาราชวัง

English name:
The Temple of the Emerald Buddha / The Grand Palace

Thai name:
wát-phrá-srǐi-rát-dtà-ná-sàat-sà-daa-raam  (wát-phrá-gâaeo) / phrá-bà-rom-má-hǎa-râat-chá-wang

Highlight:
The Temple of the Emerald Buddha is called “The Grand Palace” because in the past, kings lived inside of it. Due to its royal past, it boasts some beautiful architecture. Also, as its name suggests, another highlight is the Emerald Buddha. 

Things to do:
There’s a lot you can do here: pay respects to the Emerald Buddha, look at the wall painting of Ramayana, view the “Dusit Maha Prasat Throne Hall,” and visit “Queen Sirikit Museum of Textiles.”

What it’s most recommended for:

วัดพระเชตุพนวิมลมังคลารามราชวรมหาวิหาร (วัดโพธิ์)

English name:
Wat Pho

Thai name:
wát-phrá-chee-dtù-phon-wí-mon-mang-khá-laa-raam-râat-chá-wo-rá-má-hǎa-wí-hǎan (wát-phoo)

Highlight:
This temple is viewed as being the first university in Thailand because the names of various educational subjects are inscribed here. It’s also “The Memory of the World Programme of UNESCO.”

Things to do:
There are plenty of unique experiences to be had here. You can pay respects to the reclining Buddha, look at the beauty of various pagodas, and listen to the story of the Wat Pho giants. After you’ve gotten your fill of Thai culture and history, you can also get a Thai massage here.

What it’s most recommended for:
  • Learning about Thai culture
  • Viewing architecture
  • Sightseeing 

วัดอรุณราชวรารามราชวรมหาวิหาร (วัดอรุณ / วัดแจ้ง)

English name:
Temple of Dawn

Thai name:
wát-à-run-râat-chá-wá-raa-raam-râat-chá-waaw-rá-má-hǎa-wí-hǎan (wát-à-run / wát-jâaeng)

Highlight:
The Temple of Dawn is known for its incredible beauty and architecture, making it the perfect spot for sightseeing and photo-ops. 

Things to do:
Stupa of Wat Arun is one of the most popular Bangkok sightseeing places, offering a spectacular view of the sunrise and sunset at the riverside. And of course, to complete the story of the Wat Pho giants, you have to listen to the story of the Wat Jaaeng giants as well.

What it’s most recommended for:
  • Learning about Thai culture
  • Viewing architecture
  • Sightseeing
  • Taking pictures

Let’s Take Photos at the Temple of Dawn

Shows

There are a lot of interesting shows you can watch in Bangkok that reflect Thai culture, so you’re sure to find one you like! 

สยามนิรมิต

English name:
Siam Niramit Show

Thai name:
sà-yǎam-ní-rá-mít

Highlight of the show:
This is the show to see for an enthralling story of Thailand’s history and culture. It takes place on a gigantic stage and employs amazing special effects—there are even live elephants involved! This show has been the recipient of several prestigious awards, so you shouldn’t miss it.

What it’s most recommended for:
  • Learning about Thai culture
  • Good for kids
  • Good for a rainy day
  • Easy access for seniors and people with disabilities

มวยไทย

English name:
Thai boxing show

Thai name:
muuai-thai

Highlight of the show:
Thai boxing is a favorite sport of many people, both inside and outside of Thailand. If you enjoy sports or the martial arts, your visit to Bangkok should absolutely include a live Thai boxing match! 

What it’s most recommended for:
  • Good for a rainy day
  • Sports

คาลิปโซ่ คาบาเร่ต์

English name:
The Calypso Cabaret Show

Thai name:
khaa-líp-sôo khaa-baa-rêe

Highlight of the show:
The Calypso Cabaret Show provides a truly unique Broadway-style show. The cast is composed of transgender individuals who perform an array of shows, from dance numbers to dramas. The stage, music, and lighting are all phenomenal, and the shows are designed to cater to a wide variety of audiences and nationalities. 

What it’s most recommended for:
  • Good for a rainy day
  • Broadway-style show

The Cabaret Show Is So Fun!

Nature

Being in the city for a while might make you crave some time in nature. Despite being a big, crowded city, Bangkok does have several outdoor activities for tourists! These activities are budget-friendly, great for kids, and the perfect way to spend some quality outdoor time

สวนลุมพินี

English name:
Lumpini Park

Thai name:
sǔuan-lum-phí-nii

Highlight:
Lumpini Park is the first public park in Thailand and is over 142 acres in size. It’s located in the center of the city, and because it’s so big, entering the park is like going into another world. The weather in the morning and evening is very nice, so if you want to get some exercise during your trip, you should definitely add this park to your itinerary! The park is known to host a variety of meditation and aerobics classes (free of charge!), and you can also rent paddle boats anytime or enjoy listening to live jazz music on a Sunday.  

Things to do:
  • Exercise
  • Meditate
  • Jog
  • Ride a bicycle
  • Walk
  • Sightsee
  • Take pictures
  • Listen to live music
  • Rent paddle boats

สวนวชิรเบญจทัศ (สวนรถไฟ)

English name:
Rotfai Park

Thai name:
sǔuan-wá-chí-rá-ben-jà-thát (sǔuan-rót-fai)

Highlight:
This is another park in Bangkok you can visit. Its location may not be as convenient as Lumpini Park’s, but the atmosphere is quite pleasant. It’s slightly bigger than Lumpini Park, at over 148 acres. In addition to renting paddle boats for the lake or bicycles for the trails, you can pass some time in the park’s butterfly garden or admire the cute miniature version of Bangkok that features small replicas of popular buildings. 

Things to do:
  • Exercise
  • Jog
  • Ride a bicycle
  • Walk
  • Sightsee
  • Take pictures
  • Rent paddle boats
  • See butterflies
  • View the miniature Bangkok setup

บางกะเจ้า

English name:
Bangkachao

Thai name:
baang-gà-jâo

Highlight:
Bangkachao is called “the green lung” of Bangkok, and Time magazine even referred to it as “the best urban oasis” in Asia. You can come here to relax in a natural atmosphere, far from the worries of life and the bustling areas of the city. 

Things to do:
  • Ride a bicycle
  • Walk
  • Sightsee
  • Take pictures
  • Shop
  • Relax

Shopping

Now, for the favorite activity of many people: shopping! Going shopping in the local markets and seeing the different products and foods here is an easy, exciting way to really feel the Thai culture. Here are the best places to lighten your wallet in Bangkok. 

ถนนข้าวสาร

English name:
Khaosan Road

Thai name:
thà-nǒn-khâao-sǎan

Highlight:
ถนนข้าวสาร (thà-nǒn-khâao-sǎan) is one of the top places in Bangkok to get your shop on! There are numerous things you can buy here, including plenty of clothing items that reflect Thai culture. You can also find many restaurants and guesthouses here, in addition to budget-friendly hotels for solo travelers. And if you come here for the Songkran Festival, you can participate in water games with the locals! 

What it’s most recommended for:
  • Budget-friendly
  • Shopping place
  • Street food

ตลาดนัดจตุจักร

English name:
Chatuchak Weekend Market

Thai name:
dthà-làat-nát-jà-dtù-jàk

Highlight:
Chatujak Weekend Market is famous for being the biggest shopping market in Bangkok—and the most-visited weekend market worldwide. First opened in 1942, this is a market of massive scale featuring twenty-seven individual sections and numerous stalls. You can find an array of products and food items here, from clothing to plants and even vintage products. 

What it’s most recommended for:
  • Shopping place
  • Unique shopping experience

เยาวราช

English name:
Chinatown

Thai name:
yao-wá-râat

Highlight:
เยาวราช (yao-wá-râat), or Yaowarat Road, is where much of Bangkok’s Chinatown is located. You can enjoy a good day of shopping here and indulge in some of the area’s notorious street food. If you come here during the Vegetarian Festival (October), there will be a lot of delicious vegetarian foods for you to try. You’ll also get to experience a small bit of Thai-Chinese culture.

What it’s most recommended for:
  • Shopping place
  • Street food

Let’s Eat Something at Chinatown.

3. Highly Recommended Places for a 4-7 Day Trip (or Longer)

If you have a longer stay planned, there are more interesting places you can visit in Bangkok. Here are our recommendations.

Museums

If you want to learn more about Thai culture, history, or art, there are a few museums in Bangkok you shouldn’t miss. 

พิพิธภัณฑ์บ้านจิมทอมป์สัน

English name:
Jim Thompson House Museum

Thai name:
phí-phít-thá-phan-bâan-jim-thaawm-sǎn

Highlight:
You may be wondering about the name of this museum: Jim Thompson was an American businessman who founded a silk company in Thailand. He was known for his love of art collection, and over the years, he added to his collection of Southeast Asian art—especially that of Thailand. Thompson disappeared in 1967, after which his collection became open for public viewing via this museum. Here, you’ll find Thai-style houses and pottery in a natural and relaxing atmosphere at the center of Bangkok.

What it’s most recommended for:
  • Culture
  • Architecture
  • Restaurant

ท้องฟ้าจำลอง

English name:
Planetarium

Thai name:
tháawng-fáa-jam-laawng

Highlight:
If you love astronomy or stargazing, you need to make room for this on your itinerary at all costs. It’s a nice place to visit and children will definitely love it.

What it’s most recommended for:
  • Budget-friendly
  • Good for kids
  • Good for a rainy day
  • Honeymoon spot

Can We Stargaze During the Day?

พิพิธภัณฑ์สถานแห่งชาติ

English name:
National Museum

Thai name:
phí-phít-thá-phan-sà-thǎan-hàaeng-châat

Highlight:
If you want to know more about Thai history and Thai-style arts, this Bangkok art and culture museum is the perfect place. Because it used to be a palace, you’ll also be able to see beautiful architecture during your visit.

What it’s most recommended for:
  • Culture
  • Sightseeing
  • Thai arts

Animals

If you’re an animal-lover, there are plenty of exciting attractions in Bangkok you’ll have a blast visiting. 

ซีไลฟ์ แบงคอก โอเชี่ยน เวิลด์

English name:
Sealife Bangkok Ocean World

Thai name:
sii-lái-báaeng-khâawk-oo-chîian-wooen

Highlight:
Home to a large variety of sea life, Sealife Bangkok Ocean World boasts an aquarium of 10,000+ square meters. While here, you can get close to the sea stars and sea cucumbers, watch divers submerge themselves in a seven-meter tank to feed the sea life, and admire tropical freshwater species from around the world.

What it’s most recommended for:
  • Good for kids
  • Good for a rainy day
  • Easy access for seniors and people with disabilities

สถานเสาวภา สภากาชาดไทย (สวนงู)

English name:
Snake Farm

Thai name:
sà-thǎan-sǎo-wá-phaa sà-phaa-gaa-châat-thai (sǔuan-nguu)

Highlight:
This is an educational organization about snakes, located at the center of the city. During your visit here, you’ll be able to watch how venom is extracted from snakes, see snake handling up close, and take pictures with the snakes. It’s a great opportunity to learn more about snakes, including information about snake biology and snake bite treatment.

What it’s most recommended for:
  • Snake-lovers
  • Budget-friendly

อุทยานผีเสื้อและแมลงกรุงเทพ

English name:
Bangkok Butterfly Garden and Insectarium

Thai name:
ùt-thá-yaan-phǐi-sûuea-láe-má-laaeng-grung-thêep

Highlight:
At the Bangkok Butterfly Garden and Insectarium, you can learn about and watch over 500 butterflies of twenty different species in a large dome. There’s also a video to watch about insects and ecology, and you can see an exhibition about the larvae of butterflies and insects.

What it’s most recommended for:
  • Butterfly-lovers
  • Budget-friendly
  • Good for kids

I Want to Know How Larvae become Butterflies.

Nightlife

Wondering where to visit in Bangkok at night? Here are two locations you should definitely check out for an exhilarating night out (keep in mind that these are not family-friendly). 

ซอยคาวบอย

English name:
Soi Cowboy

Thai name:
saauy-khaao-baauy

Highlight:
Located in the Asoke area, Soi Cowboy is a popular nightlife destination for tourists. The place is named after an American named T.G. “Cowboy” Edwards, who opened the second bar in the area. Today, the area is mostly known for its string of go-go bars and pubs. 

What it’s most recommended for:
  • Adult-only
  • Drinking
  • Sexy show

ถนนพัฒน์พงศ์

English name:
Patpong Road

Thai name:
thà-nǒn-phát-phong

Highlight:
Patpong Road is located in the Silom area and is a “designated entertainment zone” as well as a red light district. Like Soi Cowboy, Patpong Road is popular for its go-go bars and pubs. 

What it’s most recommended for:
  • Adult only
  • Drinking
  • Sexy show

Department Stores

If you didn’t get enough shopping in earlier, now’s the time to get your fill! Here are two department stores in Bangkok we highly recommend. 

ไอคอน สยาม

English name:
Icon Siam

Thai name:
ai-khâawn-sà-yǎam

Highlight:
This is a department store near the riverside, and it’s composed of several areas, such as:

    ★ Siam Takashiyama (Japanese department store)
    ★ Sook Siam (Thai culture representation and products)
    ★ Dear Tummy (Premium supermarket)
    ★ Superpark (Theme park)

There are often beautiful shows here during festivals and holidays, such as on Christmas and New Year’s Day.

Things to do:
  • Shopping
  • Eating
  • Watching shows
  • Souvenir shopping


What it’s most recommended for:
  • Shopping
  • Restaurants
  • Good for a rainy day
  • Cinema

สยาม พารากอน

English name:
Siam Paragon

Thai name:
sà-yǎam-phaa-raa-gaawn

Highlight:
One of the top three biggest department stores in Thailand, this place is heaven for people who love shopping.  You can find everything here: all kinds of restaurants, a big supermarket, clothing shops, bag shops, watch shops, and the list goes on.

Things to do:
  • Shopping
  • Eating
  • Watching sea life at “Sealife Bangkok Ocean World”
  • Souvenir shopping


What it’s most recommended for:
  • Shopping
  • Restaurants
  • Good for a rainy day
  • Cinema

4. Thai Survival Phrases for Travelers

How Much Is It?

If you’re going to travel to Thailand, learning some basic phrases may prove very helpful in a variety of situations. To give you a nice head start, we’ll provide you with ten Thai survival phrases for travelers. Keep in mind that when Thai people greet each other, they do an action called ไหว้ (wâi)

  • สวัสดี (sà-wàt-dii) – “Hello.” / “Goodbye.”
  • ขอบคุณ (khàawp-khun) – “Thank you.”
  • ขอโทษ (khǎaw-thôot) – “Sorry.”
  • ดีมาก (dii-mâak) – “Very good.”
  • ไม่เข้าใจภาษาไทย (mâi-khâo-jai-phaa-sǎa-thai) – “I don’t understand Thai.”
  • ห้องน้ำอยู่ที่ไหน (hâawng-nám-yùu-thîi-nǎi) – “Where is the restroom?”
  • ราคาเท่าไหร่ (raa-khaa-thâo-rài) – “How much is it?”
  • ลดราคาหน่อยได้มั๊ย (lót-raa-khaa-nàauy-dâi-mái) – “Can I reduce the price?”
  • เอาอันนี้ (ao-an-níi) – “I want this.”
  • ช่วยด้วย (chûuay-dûuay) – “Help!”

Conclusion

If you were on the fence before, we hope this article has given you plenty of good reasons to visit Bangkok in the near future. And if you’ve been to Bangkok already, we would love to hear about your visit! Are there any impressive locations we didn’t include?  

We encourage you to learn a few additional Thai words or phrases to supplement the ones we listed above—this will make your trip much smoother and a lot more fun! ThaiPod101.com has plenty of useful language and culture resources to help you make the most of your time in Bangkok. After reading this article, you may want to check out these pages:

We’re wishing you happy Thai learning and safe travels!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Thai