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There’s so much to see and do in Bangkok and if you only have a short time in the city you’ll need to have a good plan of action to ensure you see its best bits. We’ve put together a 48-hour guide on what to do in Bangkok, so you can really make the most of your time in the city. From floating markets, through to cocktails with a panoramic view, here are the must-experience bits:
9 am – Thai Breakfast
It would be a criminal offense to travel to Thailand and not sample the street food culture. Start the day eating a traditional Thai breakfast of chicken or pork noodle soup from a street food seller near to your hotel or hostel — you can find food stalls on almost every street corner in Bangkok. If you’re only in Bangkok for a short time, one of the best places to stay is the backpacker district of the Khao San Road. Our top picks include hostels such as The Bed & Butler and The Alley Hostel & Bistro.
10 am – Exploring Temples
The main temples in Bangkok are in its Old City. If you’re staying near to the Khao San Road, hop in a taxi for twenty-minutes and visit the Wat Pho and Wat Wrun temples. The majestic temples are located within walking distance to one another and you will probably want to spend one hour at each temple. If you’re not wearing long clothes, you’ll have to buy or rent a sarong from a street seller to cover up before entering.
1 pm – Lunch
Head to the nearby Ama restaurant and dig into a tasty Thai lunch, such as a Tom Yum soup, Papaya salad or a green coconut curry. Order a plate of mango sticky rice for dessert.
3:30 pm – Tuk Tuk Time
Bangkok is filled with Tuk Tuks, which are small, three-wheeled rickety vehicles. Hop in a tuk tuk and ask the driver to take you around Bangkok for an hour or so. It’s a great way to see the city!
5 pm – Relax With A Thai Massage
There are tons of shops offering massages on the main streets in Thailand. Head back to the Khao San Road and go to a massage parlor. For a few dollars, you can have a back massage, head massage or foot massage (or all three if you want!) Have some much-needed downtime before heading back to your hostel or hotel to get ready for the evening.
7 pm – Dinner On The Go
Grab a quick dinner from a street food seller, such as a Pad Thai, which is a base of noodles cooked with shrimp, chicken, vegetables and egg. There are a few great Pad Thai stalls on the roads surrounding the Khao San Road. If you’re struggling to pick which food stall you want to eat from, head to whichever looks busiest.
8 pm – Cocktails With A View
Take a taxi to the Vertigo and Moon rooftop bar at the Banyan Tree Hotel for panoramic views of Bangkok at night. The cocktails are delicious and not too expensive, especially when you consider how incredible the view is. The dress code is smart-casual, so leave the flip flops at home.
9 am – Floating Market
Try to be in Bangkok on Friday, Saturday or Sunday, which are the days that the famous floating market takes place. Start the day early with a trip to the market. Hop in a boat, and buy fruits and breakfast foods, such as soup noodles, from sellers in passing boats.
11:30 am – Explore the Grand Palace
The Grand Palace is one of the most majestic buildings in Bangkok. It’s an ornate gold building that was built in 1782 for the royal family. Today it’s home to an interesting museum about the history of the palace and the ‘Emerald Temple’. Spend a few hours walking through the museum and checking out the temple.
2 pm – The House Of Jim Thompson
Head out in a taxi to the former house of Jim Thompson, an American who started the Thai silk industry in the 1940s. It’s a beautiful, tranquil house that today is home to a stunning collection of Asian art. It’s best to walk around the house with a guide, so you can learn the history of Thai silk and the unique role that it played in the development of the country. Before exploring the house and its grounds, grab lunch at the onsite restaurant.
6 pm – Night Market
Head to Silom Night Market for some delicious eats. Try something unique such as ‘red ant egg salad’ — it might sound grizzly, but it’s actually one of the most delicious dishes in Thailand. Meanwhile, there are tons of stalls selling knock-off price clothing, bags and watches, so it’s a good place to stock up on gifts.
9 pm – Backpacker Beers
Head back to the Khao San Road and grab some beers at one of the bars on the strip. There’s always a great party atmosphere and tons of drinks deals.