Cities have multiple personalities, and it takes some exploring to see each one surface. For travelers, it can be hard to see cities in their entirety and really get a good feel for these urban wonders. The monumental City of Angels is no exception. Bangkok is unique, with one-of-a-kind attractions lurking in all its nooks and crannies. Here, the most incredible, off-the-tourist trail things you can only do in the city of Bangkok.
Thailand is one of the biggest exports of condoms, which might explain why there is an entire museum dedicated to rubbers. The Condom Museum, located in Nonthaburi, has all the information visitors will ever need to know about condoms. From what they are made of to how to put them on, visitors of this museum will leave as connoisseurs of condoms, if you will. The overall theme of the museum is to raise awareness about safe sex, as condom usage is often viewed in a negative way in Thailand. In addition to the condom museum, tourists should also head over to Cabbages & Condoms, a restaurant whose interiors are dedicated to latex. If restaurant-goers can look past the condom-covered fixtures and decorations, it actually provides it guests with a rather romantic atmosphere to enjoy delicious Thai food. Rubbers are even given to customers after finishing their meals.
Those with an eye for photography or who enjoy exploring eerie places must add a visit to Bangkok’s airplane graveyard to their itinerary. The abandoned lot in Ramkhamhaeng, located in eastern Bangkok, is filled with old, decrepit airplane parts and wreckage. The airplane graveyard is confined to the inside of a locked, metal gate. Those hoping to visit the strange sight can only do so by paying a fee to the three families who live there, who would otherwise be homeless if it were not for the abandoned aircraft.
What is with all of the train markets in Bangkok? Thai people seemingly love the idea of intertwining this form of public transportation with their popular markets and night bazaars. No train market, however, can compete with the Maeklong Railway Market, located in the Samut Songkhram region. It is just about an hour’s drive outside the city, and it is certainly worth the trek. Otherwise known as the ‘umbrella pulldown’ market, goods and food items are physically dragged from the tracks in order to make room for the train barreling forward. The train passes about eight times a day, and each and every time vendors are forced to once again bring in their items to allow it to pass.
Grab a surfboard and head to the … city? Yes, you read that correctly. Instead of making your way to one of Thailand’s incredible beaches, we urge you to instead head to downtown Bangkok to have one of the most incredible surfing experiences at Flow House Bangkok. It is here visitors will find FlowRider, the monstrous wave simulator upon which guests are welcome to ride out a hot afternoon. In addition to surfing, visitors can also enjoy an ice cold beer at the Chang Bar or chow down on any one of its delicious Thai dishes.
One of the most popular parks in the city of Bangkok is home to makeshift exercise equipment, tranquil bodies of water, and monitor lizards. These prehistoric-looking creatures can be found throughout the Lumpini Park, located in Bangkok’s financial district. Recently, efforts have been made by wildlife officials to clear the park, which is said to be the home of about 400 monitor lizards. That being said, you will still find plenty of these lizards strolling the park or diving into the lakes and ponds found throughout Lumpini Park.
Bangkok is one city where visitors can find hundreds of penises, all in one place … wooden and stone penises, that is. The Chao Mae Tuptim Shrine, otherwise known as the Bangkok Phallic Shrine, is home to a number of carved penises, or phalluses. These come in many shapes, sizes, and materials, with large wooden ones scattered among smaller stone versions. The reasoning behind the shrine is not as humorous as one might think, as it is actually believed that it helps women who are trying to conceive actually become pregnant. Rumor has it that the shrine has proven to be successful. The shrine was made to honor the female fertility spirit, Chao Mae Tubtim, hence the shrine’s name. This shrine is found on the grounds of at the Swissotel Nai Lert Hotel.
Swissotel Nai Lert Hotel, Wireless Road, Bangkok, Thailand, +66 66 2 253 0123
There are plenty of cities that allow visitors to explore its interior by boat. Bangkok’s canal system is a great way to see the city; however, many visitors to Thailand never have the chance to ride these khlong boats simply because they do not know that they exist. The tourist express boat on the Chao Phraya River remains a popular mode of transportation for visitors to see top attractions, such as Wat Pho or the Grand Palace. The khlong boats located on the canals are another interesting way to see the city, and these boats go to places the tourist boat cannot. Visitors can beat rush hour traffic by taking a khlong boat, and khlong boats can even take backpackers a short distance from Khao San Road, the infamous haven for travelers and backpackers.
It is hard to miss the towering Sathorn Unique Tower, otherwise known as the Ghost Tower. This tower, which had been planned as one of the most luxurious apartment buildings in all of Bangkok, has been abandoned since the 1990s. The tower sits at 43 stories high, each floor more creepy and eerie than the next. The building is apparently haunted for a number of reasons, and there was even a Swedish man found in the tower who died by suicide in 2014. Officials have since cracked on who can and cannot enter the building. The building has been permanently closed and no visitors are allowed access to it, but some still claim visitors are able to access the tower if they pay a small fee.
Tourists looking for an attraction that is a bit more gruesome should go to hell … Buddha Hell. Located just outside the city of Bangkok en route to Pattaya is a garden dedicated to portraying grisly sights of what Buddha Hell just might look like, otherwise known as the Wang Saen Suk Hell Garden. This garden is not for the fainthearted. It is here visitors will find life-size statues being attacked by a number of different things, including vultures, with blood and guts spilling from those who were sent to the hell to pay for their sins. This garden is certainly off the tourist itinerary, and it is worth visiting, if not just for the shock value.