Many tourists do Bangkok with jaunts to the Grand Palace and the Reclining Buddha mixed in with a bit of illicit nightlife. But don’t short-shrift this city. Bangkok is also home to incredible experiences like Muay Thai (Thai boxing) classes, Thai cooking classes and blissful massages. These are some of the best.
Bangkok is a city of a thousand smells, sights, sounds and tastes. And to indulge in everything this magical city has to offer, it’s worth going beyond the typical tourist traps. While the Grand Palace is stunning, the Reclining Buddha is jaw-dropping and the street food definitely worth exploring, it’s a whole other thing to experience Thai culture at its core. We’ve scoured the streets of this city to bring you some of the best, most authentic experiences you can have in Bangkok.
Art and culture
One of the best ways to see the city is to embark on a cruise along the Chao Phraya River. But to take things up a notch, grab your significant other for a luxury experience aboard an antique rice barge while dining on decadent Thai delicacies. This two-hour trip takes you past major sites while you drink bubbly under the stars.
If you’re looking for a little Zen in your life, you can learn the art of Buddhist meditation at Wat Mahathat, a temple next door to the Grand Palace. This experience is led by a Buddhist monk who can help you find inner peace in ways you probably didn’t think possible. Namaste.
Classes and workshops
Thailand is known for its wide range of cuisine and spices, and there’s nothing like taking a little cooking knowledge home with you. This class brings you through Bangkok’s famed flower market, where you’ll buy local ingredients and then learn to cook some of Thailand’s most sumptuous dishes like pad Thai, red curry and miang khum (leaf-wrapped salad).
Ever wondered how make intricate designs out of fruit? Wonder no longer with this mind-blowing class on the art of fruit carving. Fruit carving is an ancient Thai tradition and you’ll be able to learn everything from watermelon flowers and animal carvings to intricate floral designs. When you get home, your dinner parties will be the most Instagrammable of all your friends’.
For the uninitiated, Muay Thai is Thai boxing, a no-holds-barred contact sport where all your appendages do damage to your opponent. This hour-long course gives you a full introduction to this ruthless world as Muay Thai martial artists show you the basics of punching, kicking, blocking, clinching and maybe an elbow shot or two. Prepare to work up a sweat.
Sports tours and spa days
This 160-minute Thai massage experience will make you feel like a king or queen. The Royal Thai package includes a 90-minute Thai massage, a 40-minute head massage and a 30-minute foot and leg massage. All the practitioners are trained at elite massage schools, so when they’re bending your body into a pretzel, it’s because they know what they’re doing.
If Thailand’s endless massage options haven’t given you the relaxation you’re looking for, you might want to try floating for a change. Head over to the Float Center Day Spa where you’ll experience weightlessness within a float tank of Epsom salts-infused water. The hour-long session starts with hypnotic Celtic music to help relax you as you hover in your own tank and let the stresses of life float away.
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Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.