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The 10 Best Art And Culture Tours In Bangkok, Thailand

These 10 tours offer the perfect guide to this extraordinary South East Asian city © Bernard Spragg. NZ / Flickr
These 10 tours offer the perfect guide to this extraordinary South East Asian city © Bernard Spragg. NZ / Flickr
Travelers often struggle to navigate the chaos and commotion of Bangkok, risking missing out on the many profound cultural activities that can be found throughout the Thai capital. These 10 tours offer the perfect guide to this extraordinary South East Asian city, and reveal the best art, culture, food and history that Bangkok has to offer.
Wat Arun at night © Mark Fischer/Flickr

The Bangkok Foodie Tour – The Fresh Market Tour

The ideal way to discover the culinary secrets of the Thai capital. The Bangkok Foodie Tour company offers a range of gastronomic experiences for curious gourmands. The company specializes in offering an authentic, local experience of Thai food culture; something that is becoming increasingly hard to find in the rapidly developing Thai capital. They take the risk element out of street food whilst offering explanations for the gastronomically perplexed with their encyclopedic knowledge of the city’s restaurant and market scene. The Fresh Market Tour is particularly recommended as it lets participants into the esoteric world of Thai ingredients at Aor Tor Kor Market, which has been ranked the fourth best in the world, offering them a glimpse of how local Thai people shop for their food. Bangkok Foodie Tour also offers a Chinatown Night Tour, a Floating Market Tour and a Private Group Tour, in which participants can have their experience tailored to suit their culinary desires.

Sightseeing Bangkok – Bangkok Landmark Tour

The Bangkok Temple & City Tour run by Sightseeing Bangkok is one of their most popular in the city, and has gained rave reviews for its insightful introduction to the wealth of Thai culture and history. Featuring most of the major temples, shrines and monuments in Bangkok, as well as several hidden gems, participants will be guided by local experts who are able to explain the historical, cultural and religious context in which the city developed. The tour features the incredible 45 meter Reclining Buddha of Wat Pho, the marble temple of Wat Benchamabopit, the magnificent Royal Chapel, and much more.

Asian Trails – Jim Thompson’s House Tour

Jim Thompson was a self-made American entrepreneur who played a central role in revitalizing the Thai silk industry in the mid-20th century. Whilst his work in Thailand was hugely influential, the mystery surrounding his death is another reason that the Thompson mythology is so persistent in Thailand. He disappeared when visiting the Cameron Highlands and was never heard from again, giving rise to a host of conspiracy theories that persist to this day. Thompson’s Bangkok house has been turned into a monument to the man and the Thai silk he celebrated,. It is explored extensively in this Asian Trails Tour. The tour takes participants through the incredible collection of art and antiques which Thompson amassed, whilst retelling his life story in a gripping introduction to this fascinating figure.

Jim Thompson’s House Bangkok © Deror Avi/WikiCommons

Vayable – Bangkok Art Tour

Bangkok’s art scene is small but thriving, with a host of young up and coming artists, and a range of independent art galleries which support them. The Bangkok Art Tour from Vayable is the best way to experience the diverse delights of this art scene, which range from tiny hidden away artists’ studios to quirky galleries. The Bangkok Art And Culture Center, an ‘all-integrated art experience’ is also on the list. Guide Vincent, who describes himself as an ‘artist/creative director guide with international experience as travel/lifestyle writer/photographer’, is willing to cater the experience to fit each individual participant, and will also try to fit in any openings or events that are happening at the time. Other Vayable Tours include Unseen And Hidden Bangkok, Thai Tasting Tour and a Thai Jazz Funk Lesson.

Bangkok Art and Culture Centre © Thomas Wanhoff/Flickr

Bangkok Food Tours – Historic Bang Rak Food Tasting & Culture Tours

Bang Rak is one of the Thai capital’s most historical districts and it is particularly renowned for its extensive food and drink scene. The Bang Rak Food Tasting & Culture Tour offers a comprehensive guide to the culinary treasures of the area, taking participants to the best restaurants, bars and cafes where they are introduced to chefs and restaurant owners and of course, allowing them to sample some of the foodie delights of the district. Standout dishes participants try include original roasted duck with rice (Kao-Nha-Ped), crispy catfish with green mango sauce, Thai beef satay with peanut sauce, and many more. Other tours on offer from Bangkok Food Tours include Yaowarat Night Foodie Walk (Bangkok Chinatown), Bangkok Best Eats Midnight Food Tour and Ancient Ayutthaya Food And History Tour.

Bangkok Food Tours, +6689-1263657

Bangkok Urban Adventures – Tuk Tuk Experience

Delving into parts of Bangkok life which are often hidden from tourists, Bangkok Urban Adventures claims to offer a Bangkok tour with a difference, allowing participants to truly experience the ‘bustling and energetic soul’ of the city. Their Tuk Tuk Experience embodies this energetic spirit, as guests are ferried around the city in one of Bangkok’s iconic vehicles, which weave around the famously chaotic traffic to visit sites that exude the best of local life, heritage and culture. Stops on the tour include the Phra Sumeru Fortress, The Amulet Market, Woeng Nakorn Kasem Market and The Golden Mount. Bangkok Urban Adventures offers a range of other tours including Bangkok Chinatown Food Discovery, Temple & River Of Kings and Bangkok By Bike, all of which are imbued with their signature adventurous spirit.

Tuks, Bangkok © BriYYZ/WikiCommons

Grasshopper Adventures – Bike Historic Bangkok

Cited as one of the best tours in Bangkok, Bike Historic Bangkok offers travelers an opportunity to experience the quiet charm of the city through a leisurely bike ride. Eschewing the tourist heavy sites for a glimpse of hidden Bangkok, this is a relaxed but informative way to explore the city. Grasshopper Adventures prides itself on its local knowledge; the guides’ ability to navigate the back streets and ‘soi’ of Bangkok is astounding. The tiny lanes that make up most of the city are often ignored by tourists, but these contain some fascinating historical and cultural sites that are well worth a visit.

Bangkok Bicycle Tour © David McKelvey/Flickr

Pandan Tours – Small Teak Boat Canal Adventure

Bangkok’s canals are remnants of a more traditional and bucolic time in the city when transport was largely water bound. The canal boat trips offered by Bangkok Canal Tour grant visitors an insight into this historical method of transportation, whilst also allowing them to see how the city interacts with these myriad labyrinthine waterways. The long thin teak boats which are used to navigate the canals evoke this bygone era of traditional river life, although the motors strapped to their backs are presumably new arrivals. The tours take participants to the Fresh Produce Market, Riverside Floating Market, Orchid Nursery in Green Rush, a Hidden Forest Temple and a Traditional Thai House (the Artist’s House).

Travel Hub – Floating Market Tour

Travel Hub’s Floating Market Tour is another reminder of Bangkok’s riverine heritage and the persistence of age old traditions in the modern city. It takes travelers to the world-famous Damnoen Saduak floating market, which is situated on the outskirts of the city, and is one of the best examples of water borne commerce in the world. The many canals which make up the market are packed with fruit, vegetables and fish, as well as arts and crafts and other artisanal products. Visitors can either be driven through the canal or can disembark and flag down any passing boats.

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market © BrokenSphere/WikiCommons

Asian Trails – Bangkok by Night

Exploring the many night markets and late night restaurants is an incredible way to see another side of the city, as well as the ideal end to a busy Bangkok day. This Asian Trails’ Tour starts in the hustle and bustle of Chinatown before moving off to Pakklong Talaad, the biggest wholesale and retail fresh flower market in Bangkok, taking in Wat Suthat and The Giant Swing, and stopping for dinner at the Sidewalk Cafe Rajchadamnoen. After dinner, participants are taken by tram around some of the must see attractions of Bangkok, which are transformed as night takes hold.

Asian Trails Ltd. 9th Floor, SG Tower, 161/1 Soi Mahadlek Luang 3, Rajdamri Road,Lunpini Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330, +662 626 2000

Night Market, Bangkok © Side Guacamole/Flickr