Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, is a city that is both exciting and enigmatic. It is full of laughter, of seemingly boundless energy, and always crowded by people who are enthralled by Asia’s version of “the city that never sleeps.” For those who have come to love the place for the hours upon hours of eating, shopping, sightseeing, and nonstop partying it offers, there is no place on earth like Bangkok.
But for people who will be travelling to the city for the first time, however, Bangkok can be so intense that they will either love it or hate it. Most would recover from the initial culture shock, but a good number will get so overwhelmed that they will swear they’ll never go back.
We understand that making that first trip to Bangkok memorable necessitates that you must have a well-planned itinerary. In order to help those who are ready to check off Bangkok on their bucket list, here are our top picks for the must-visit attractions in Bangkok.
1. Wat Phra Kaew and the Grand Palace. Featuring expansive grounds, mural paintings, sculptures, pagodas, and the equally stunning Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buhddha), the Grand Palace is Bangkok’s most popular tourist attraction. Truly breathtaking and awe-inspiring, this is one attraction in Bangkok you wouldn’t want to miss.
2. Wat Arun. Wat Arun is another must-visit attraction in Bangkok. Located on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River, the temple, also known as The Temple of the Dawn, is an iconic landmark in Bangkok. Its location and sheer beauty rightfully makes it one of the most-visited temples within and around Bangkok.
3. Wat Pho. Wat Pho is yet another major tourist attraction in the city. Also known as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, Wat Pho boasts of the famous 43-meter Buddha replica. The temple, located very near The Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew, also houses the first Traditional Thai Massage School.
4. Wat Saket. Wat Saket, located between Boriphat and Lan Luang Road, is another must-visit destination in Bangkok. Also called the Temple of the Golden Mount, Wat Saket features various structures, including the Golden Mount, which serves as a sacred pilgrimage site during worshipping ceremonies.
5. Chao Phraya River. They say you’ve never really visited Bangkok if you haven’t taken a boat ride along the Chao Phraya River, and we agree. The Chao Phraya River divides Bangkok into two areas and is one of the great ways to explore Bangkok. At nighttime, a cruise along the river will give you a very nice view of the city and its many landmarks.
6. Damnoen Saduak Floating Market. Considered the most popular floating market in Thailand, Damnoen Saduak is enormous and bustling with activity, full of vendors enticing tourists to buy their wares. The floating market is located in Ratchaburi, Thailand, about an hour’s drive from Bangkok.
7. Ayutthaya. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the historic city of Ayutthaya, should be on every Bangkok visitor’s must-visit list. Established in 1350, Ayutthaya, the old capital of Siam is located in Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya District, about 80 kilometres from Bangkok.
8. Sanctuary of Truth. The Sanctuary of Truth is an all-wood monument in Pattaya that boasts of complex architecture, intricate carvings, and stunning sculptures. Located in Pattaya, the Sanctuary of Truth is about 2.5 hour’s drive from Bangkok.
9. Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden. Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden is another must-visit attraction in Pattaya, Thailand. The 500-acre botanical garden features a landscaped park, themed gardens, nurseries, and cultural shows.
10. Erawan Museum. The Erawan Museum is just one of the must-visit museums in Bangkok. The eye-catching museum is built in the shape of a colossal three-headed elephant. Owned by Khun Lel Viriyaphant, the museum houses antiques and religious artifacts.
Planning to visit Bangkok anytime soon? Check out these top-rated tours and activities within and around Bangkok.
By: Brendelyn Balaga