63 Attractions You Must Visit in Bangkok

| Alejandro Cartagena 🇲🇽🏳‍🌈 / Unsplash
Kelly Iverson

Bangkok is an incredible city with a very eclectic list of attractions you must visit. The Thai capital has many identities. A foodie city. A holy city. The City of Sin. Sampling all of them is a big ask, but Culture Trip has pulled together the complete list of things to do so you can squeeze out every last drop of Bangkok’s potential.

1. Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew

Buddhist Temple

Wat Phra Kaew, Na Phra Lan Road, Phra Borom Maha Ratchawang, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok, Thailand
srihari kapu / Unsplash
The Grand Palace more than lives up to its name. The white exterior walls keep the priceless relics hidden from the public, but upon paying the entrance fee, visitors are treated to views of towering spires and stunning temples across the grounds. A second must-see inside the palace walls is Wat Phra Kaew, otherwise known as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. Inside, a smallish emerald and gold-laden Buddha dons a cloak that the king changes with the passing of each season.

2. Wat Pho

Buddhist Temple

Wat Pho, Bang Ramat, Taling Chan, Bangkok, Thailand
Jacob Guse / Unsplash
Nothing can quite prepare you for the jaw-dropping size of the Reclining Buddha, so try to act natural upon entry. Wat Pho, or the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, surrounds the 46-metre-long (151-foot-long), 15-metre-high (49-foot-high) statue that stares up at the ceiling in a gaze of enlightenment. Though the statue is the focal point of the temple grounds, visitors will also find colourful murals illustrating over 400 images of the Buddha, in addition to a traditional Thai massage school.

3. Chatuchak Weekend Market

Market

Overwhelming to say the least, the Chatuchak Weekend Market is one of the biggest flea markets in the world where you can buy (almost) anything if you know where to look. Everything from rare art pieces and northern handicrafts to kitchenware and genitalia-shaped soap can be found in the nooks and crannies of this claustrophobic space. If crowds aren’t your thing, you should visit first thing in the morning when it’s easier to manoeuvre through the aisles. It’s not as hot, and you might even get a better deal as the first sale of the day is meant to bring good luck. Just remember, every price is merely a suggestion, so barter at will.

4. Wat Arun

Buddhist Temple

Recently renovated and reopened to the public at the end of 2017, Wat Arun, or the Temple of the Dawn, is a majestic white temple that sits on the western banks of the Chao Phraya River in the old capital of Thonburi. The temple is home to five towering prangs (towers), which are visible from the river and covered with vibrant porcelain and colourful ceramic tiles, many of which look like pieces of foliage. Like most major attractions in Bangkok, it’s best to go when it opens to avoid the crowds.

5. Wat Traimit

Building

Golden Buddha Statue at Wat Traimit in Bangkok
© Telnyawka / Getty Images
Just a short walk from Yaowarat Road on the southeast end of Chinatown is Wat Traimit, one of the most noteworthy temples in the capital. The stunning building, also known as the Temple of the Golden Buddha, is home to a 5.5-tonne Sukhothai-style Buddha statue made entirely of gold and dates to the 14th century. The Buddha might be worth a fortune, but the entrance fee to see it is not.

6. Khao San Road

Architectural Landmark, Market

Known as a haven for backpackers, Khao San Road is a kilometre-long street filled with countless bars, street-food vendors, chain restaurants and some of the cheapest hotels and hostels. Backpackers flock here to mix, mingle and party day and night as bar girls entice onlookers with happy-hour deals and buckets filled with beer. Drugs run rampant around this stretch, but getting caught in Bangkok comes with serious ramifications – stick to the booze.

7. Bangkok National Museum

Museum

Lovers of Thai art and culture can spend hours gawking at the treasures inside the Bangkok National Museum. Home to one of the most enticing Asian art collections, the museum also features Neolithic artefacts, religious works and regional crafts. A guided tour of the collections includes learning about court traditions and the religious history of the region that continues to influence artistic expression to this day.

8. Wat Suthat

Buddhist Temple

Golden Buddha Statues In Wat Suthat Temple
© Possathorn Hanratchata / Getty Images
Wat Suthat is perhaps best known for the giant red swing that sits just outside its entrance. The 21-metre-tall (69-foot-tall) swing is made of teak wood and was brought to Bangkok from the province of Phrae. It was used during an old Brahman festival in which men flung themselves using the two side poles in hopes of reaching a bag of gold that hung at the top. The 19th-century temple is one of the oldest in the city.

9. Erawan Shrine

Shrine

Religious relics can be found along the many streets of Bangkok, and one of the most stunning of them all is the Erawan Shrine. It sits at one of the biggest and busiest intersections in the heart of the city, and Thais and tourists alike often flock to the site for prayer, traditional Thai dance and generally for any Buddhist holiday. Tragically, the shrine was partly destroyed during a terrorist bombing in 2015, but has since been restored to its original glory, albeit with a much heavier police presence.

10. ASIATIQUE The Riverfront

Market

Located along the murky banks of the Chao Phraya River is ASIATIQUE The Riverfront, a trendy and unique market. Counter to other Bangkok markets, Asiatique is cleaner, more organised and completely devoid of counterfeit goods and street-side stalls. The market is chock-full of high-end bars and restaurants, fashionable boutiques and one of the wildest cabaret shows in Bangkok. There is also a 61-metre-tall (200-foot-tall) Ferris wheel equipped with 42 gondolas – it is a great way to see the city and river from incredible heights.

11. Lumpini Park

Park

Coming in at a whopping 2.5 kilometres (1.5 miles) in length, the trail at Lumpini Park is a favourite stomping ground for joggers, skaters and cyclists. In addition to tackling the long path, the park is home to several sporadic aerobic classes that visitors are always welcome to join. For water enthusiasts, you can rent paddle boats for the day to slowly explore the lake that sits at the park’s core. With regularly scheduled events throughout the year, you never know what you are going to stumble on while visiting this massive green space in the heart of the city.

12. Yaowarat Road

Market

Busy street in Yaowarat (Chinatown), Bangkok, Thailand
Kelvin Han / Unsplash
Built in 1891, Yaowarat Road is the 1.5-kilometre (0.9-mile) street that cuts through Bangkok’s thriving Chinatown, one of the best attractions in the crowded city. Here, visitors will discover some of the most delicious street food after the sun goes down. Beyond the food, Yaowarat is also home to Wat Traimit; Sampeng Lane, a claustrophobic labyrinthine market; and Wat Chakawat Ratchawat, otherwise known as The Crocodile Temple, where three giant crocs eagerly wait for their next meal.

13. Bang Krachao

Park

Dubbed the green lung of Bangkok, Bang Krachao is an island located in the province of Phra Pradaeng just outside the city. What’s ideal about the island is that it lacks any urban trimmings and features an extensive park, small yet stunning temples, spirit houses, a floating market and extremely friendly residents. If you want to escape the confines of the city, this is one place where you’ll feel far away without really getting away.

14. Baiyoke Observation Deck

Architectural Landmark

Set atop the Baiyoke Sky Hotel, one of the tallest hotels in the world, the Baiyoke observation deck soars 77 floors above Bangkok, while the revolving viewpoint is on the 84th floor, providing some of the most stellar views of the city. One of the best ways to experience it is to go for dinner at the Baiyoke Sky Restaurant, which serves up a scrumptious seafood buffet as the sun sets over the skyscrapers around the city.

15. Chao Phraya River

Natural Feature

Bangkok has often been called the Venice of the East for its winding river and canals. A very cool way to experience the waterways is to take a riverboat cruise on a vintage rice barge. For 2.5 hours, you’ll get to explore Bangkok’s banks and see how local merchants move up and down the canals, selling food, trinkets and other things.

16. Muay Thai Show

Theater

Referee announcing winner of a Muay Thai bout
Jonathan Tomas / Unsplash
Muay Thai, otherwise known as Thai boxing, has a long and violent history as one of Thailand’s biggest sports. This performance is an incredibly unique way to learn about the 300-year history while also watching an actual fight. The show takes place at ASIATIQUE in a 600-person stadium. It comprises an opening that explains the history through theatre, acrobatics and staged fighting and five real Thai boxing matches.

17. Art in Paradise Bangkok

Amusement Park

Dubbed as Thailand’s largest 3D art museum, Art in Paradise is an interactive museum filled with 3D paintings in a wide range of styles. There are six permanent exhibits with varying concepts, such as riding a flying carpet or stairway to hell, where you can make yourself part of the painting and, of course, fill your Instagram feed with the results. There are 150 paintings in all that took nearly three months to complete, and visitors are encouraged to touch, play and get inside the 3D world.

18. The Khlongs

Architectural Landmark

Bangkok was once a flourishing trade centre, connecting areas of the expansive Siam Kingdom through its series of canals – or khlongs – throughout the Chao Phraya River Delta. Today, these narrow waterways of Thonburi still evoke the city’s old soul, lined as they are with floating wooden shopfronts, weathered teak homes and quiet temples. You can hire a colourful long-tail boat from any of the major tourist piers, like Tha Tien, or go hassle-free with a tour that picks you up right from your hotel. Pandan Tours are recommended, and cost around 500THB (£13) an hour for a boat rental, or 2,000THB (£53) per person for a day-long tour. Recommended by Leslie Finlay.

19. Jay Fai, the world's only Michelin-star street cart

Food Stall, Thai

The so-called ‘Queen of Thai street food’ runs the city’s only Michelin-star street cart, serving up fiery portions of noodles and curries from her two woks. Known locally as Jay Fai – or Sister Mole, a nod to her quirky style and the ski goggles she wears for eye protection – her shopfront is famous for its huge crab omelettes, earning her a spot on the recent Netflix special Street Food. If seafood is not your thing, there are plenty more savoury takes on Thai staples on the menu, from gravy-laden drunken noodles to spicy glass-noodle salad. Recommended by Leslie Finlay.

20. Blue Elephant culinary school

Restaurant, Asian

Royal Thai cuisine refers to dishes originally only served in Thailand’s palaces, with its recipes and methods closely guarded for centuries. Preparation starts with the art of choosing the finest, freshest ingredients and combining flavours to achieve a perfect balance and presentation. Long-standing culinary schools like the famous Blue Elephant adhere rigidly to these ancient traditions, passing down the secrets of recipes such as lon tao jiew puu, soy paste with crab and classically prepared massaman beef. Recommended by Leslie Finlay.

21. Mahanakhon Skywalk

Architectural Landmark

Sun setting over Bangkok, view from King pPower Mahanakhon Skyscraper, Bangkok, Thailand
Waranont (Joe) / Unsplash

At 310 metres (1,017 feet) high, this transparent glass skydeck extends over the edge of the King Power Mahanakhon building – Thailand’s tallest building – with uninterrupted views of Bangkok in every direction. The rooftop features Thailand’s newly crowned highest bar, with a full menu of champagne, spirits, wines and beers available in case you need a little liquid courage before stepping out over the edge. There’s also an indoor observation deck and the building’s highest point, The Peak, which offers full 360-degree panoramic views over the massive capital city. Recommended by Leslie Finlay.

22. Pak Khlong Talat flower market

Market

Phuang Malai are floral garlands intricately woven in different styles, serving as a symbol of respect, reverence or luck in Thai culture. They’re used for good fortune and are tied to taxis and boats, draped over the shoulder of athletes and politicians and displayed in Thai households countrywide. At the huge 24-hour flower market Pak Khlong Talat, thousands of these garlands are handmade daily by skilled artisans. You can wander on your own at any hour – midnight is a good time, to see the arrival of millions of fresh flowers – or learn how to identify and prepare your own. Check out The Market Experience by Expique for its traditional tour and garland-making class. Recommended by Leslie Finlay.

23. Ko Kret

Natural Feature

Bangkok’s largest river island lies in the northern district of Nonthaburi. Here urbanity fades to sleepy rural landscapes of small villages and paddy fields. The island has long been famous for its traditional pottery makers, who sculpt elaborately decorated earthenware – water containers, vases – from the local clay. Riverboats for Koh Kret leave from a pier under the Rama IV Bridge. Tour the island by bike – locals rent them at the arrival jetty. Recommended by Alex Robinson.

24. Jim Thompson House Museum

Museum

797124_laurendecicca_JimThompsonHouseandSuanPakkadPalaceMuseum-26-2
© Viator
The Jim Thompson House Museum comprises six traditional Thai teak homes that once belonged to American entrepreneur Jim Thompson, who is credited with making Thai silk famous around the world. The museum showcases Thompson’s relics and unique art pieces that he collected from different parts of Thailand, and of course, Thai silk abounds. One of the most intriguing aspects of Thompson’s life is that he went missing in Malaysia back in 1967, never to be found again. Part of the museum explores the various theories about this unsolved mystery.

25. Democracy Monument

Building

Also found in the area of Banglamphu is the Democracy Monument. Situated in the middle of a busy traffic circle in the area, it features four rising pillars surrounding a central pedestal. Constructed after the country became a constitutional monarchy, the monument’s centrepiece has a copy of the original constitution. The pillars stand 24 metres (79 feet) tall, and the monument is best viewed at night, when each pillar is lit up with fluorescent lights. Mew Aphaiwong, a Thai architect, constructed the Democracy Monument with the help of Tuscan-born sculptor and artist Silpa Bhirasri.

26. Rama VIII Bridge

Bridge

One of the most noteworthy finds on the Chao Phraya River is the Rama VIII Bridge, one of the largest asymmetric cable-stayed bridges in the world, coming in at a whopping 474 metres (1,555 feet) in length. Construction of the bridge began in 1999 and finished in 2002, and it was built to help alleviate traffic in the city. In addition to doing this, the structure is absolutely stunning, especially after dark when the entire bridge is lit up.

27. Patpong Night Market

Market

The Patpong Night Market is certainly the most notorious of all the markets in the capital, as strippers and go-go bars sit adjacent to a plethora of goods and souvenirs. Located in Silom, the incredibly popular market and surrounding streets attract tourists and residents looking for deals on counterfeit watches, belts, toys and gadgets. Amid the overabundance of Thai souvenir favourites, illicit bars pedalling their infamous ping-pong and snake shows – for which you can use your imagination – line the street.

Rod Fai Night Market Srinakarin

Well known for its antique zone, the Rod Fai Night Market is a vintage lover’s dream store, packed with classic cars, antique furniture and other relics of a bygone era. The market is a bit outside the city; to get there, take the BTS Skytrain to the On Nut station. From there, it’s a short 15-minute taxi ride.

Soi Cowboy

Bangkok is no stranger to seedy nightlife, and one of the liveliest areas to experience all things illicit is at Soi Cowboy. This street blinds you with neon lights advertising go-go bars, strip shows and generally anything else you could think of. The street itself is named after the man who opened up the first bar here and was known for wearing a cowboy hat, hence the name Soi Cowboy.

Artist’s House

The Artist’s House in Thonburi is a unique attraction in Bangkok that sits right along the banks of one of the many khlongs (canals). It is a place where creative minds can gather, work, grab a coffee and watch a traditional Thai puppetry show, which takes place at 2pm on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. The Artist’s House is over 200 years old and is a great place to spend a quiet afternoon and witness brooding Thai teens spending time hanging out and getting away from the otherwise hectic city.

Siam Paragon

Bangkok is truly a shopper’s paradise. For lovers of all things fashion, there’s Siam Paragon, a bustling and gleaming shopping centre filled with high-end boutiques and major design labels. The building’s recognisable exterior is visible from the platform of the Sky Train, as gold pillars rise in a large glass entryway, beckoning shoppers to swipe their credit cards. Also, inside the megaplex is a giant aquarium, ultra-lux movie theatre and an ever-changing lot of exhibitions in art, design and fashion.

International Buddhist Meditation Centre at Wat Mahathat

The Land of Smiles didn’t earn its moniker without a bit of soul-searching. Thailand’s Buddhist tradition is grounded in Vipassana meditation, a practice centred on mindfulness and gratitude. There are centres throughout the city that offer everything from introductory classes to multi-week silent retreats, or to just test the waters you could check out the International Buddhist Meditation Centre at Wat Mahathat, right near the Grand Palace. Three free guided meditation classes are held daily from 7am to 10am, 1pm to 4pm and 6pm to 8pm, assisted by English-speaking monks. Recommended by Leslie Finlay.

The murals of Phra Nakhon

In 2018, the Thai government commissioned 10 street artists to design murals throughout the Phra Nakhon neighbourhood. Beginning at the Pipit Banglamphu Museum, you can follow a self-guided walking or bicycle tour through Bangkok’s Old Town. The murals on the route reflect the spirit of the neighbourhood’s unique communities, depicting artists’ interpretations of local crafts, traditions and foods. You can also take a break from the city heat at the museum itself, which highlights the area’s long history of mixed cultures, music, silver and goldsmithing and unique crafts like banana stalk carving. Recommended by Leslie Finlay.

Wattana Panich, for the city’s oldest soup

The chefs at Wattana Panich have been cooking the same pot of soup for the last 60 years and over three generations. This family-run kitchen in Ekkamai is famous for its beef stew, and they are constantly topping up the enormous cauldron with fresh ingredients that are absorbed into the broth, ever deepening the flavour. The exact recipe is a prized family secret. Each morning, 25 kilograms (55 pounds) of fresh beef is added straight to the pot and cooked twice, then served with a selection of menu items. Recommended by Leslie Finlay.

Tha Prachan Market

This century-old market along the Chao Phraya features enormous collections of amulets with images of the Buddha, enlightened monks, Thai kings and more. In Thai Buddhist tradition, amulets are blessed by monks to guard against bad fortune or bring good luck. The most powerful ones are made with additions like ash from a sacred temple, or hair from a famous monk, to bolster their protective powers. Replicas fetch a few dozen baht and are considered good enough for garnering a daily dose of good fortune. But throughout the market there are prized pieces that attract the attention of dedicated collectors, who conduct their own appraisals and argue over the backstories and histories of individual amulets. Recommended by Leslie Finlay.

Thipsamai, for an authentic pad thai

This famous noodle dish has a unique – and surprisingly recent – history. Developed by the country’s prime minister after World War II in response to the high cost of rice production, its creation also served to unite the country’s provinces with a single national dish. Thipsamai in Bangkok’s Old City opened in the 1950s as one of the country’s first pad thai stalls, and adheres to the same family recipe today. Using soft sen chan noodles, a secret prawn-oil recipe and expertly thin egg wrap, Thipsamai whips up its signature dish over searing hot charcoal with a routine that takes its resident chefs more than three months to learn. The effort recently earned the local haunt a Bib Gourmand Award for exceptionally good food at a modest price. Recommended by Leslie Finlay.

Baan Dok Pud for sweet tooth delights

Thailand’s cuisine is famously spicy, but its menus also offer decadently sweet dessert options, beautifully prepared and infused with local flavours. Staples like mango sticky rice are available at any street market or Thai restaurant, and different communities feature their own unique fare, like the Portuguese-inspired Kudeejeen cupcake from Bangkok’s Old City. But don’t miss treating yourself to the full spread of traditional Thai sweets. Baan Dok Pud in Lad Phrao has a gorgeous – and air-conditioned – space surrounded by a quiet koi pond, and serves colourful dessert sets afternoon tea-style. Try the bua loy, glutinous rice balls filled with mung bean paste drenched in coconut milk, or the popular tong yip, flower-shaped egg yolk tarts. Some Thai desserts are even believed to bring good luck, so there’s no need for sweetness in moderation. Recommended by Leslie Finlay.

Bangkok Float Center

Thailand’s wellness tradition has forged full-speed into the 21st century. At Bangkok Float, floaters are immersed in magnesium-infused saltwater kept exactly at room temperature, fooling your body into thinking it’s hovering in mid-air. The experience is designed for floaters to achieve the deep delta-wave state of mind of Buddhist monks more easily than through traditional meditation, while reportedly resetting the body’s hormonal and metabolic balance, improving immunity and generating high levels of endorphins. Recommended by Leslie Finlay.

Banjakitti Park

Banjakitti is an island of cool green in the city’s sweltering, concrete centre. The nearest metro station is Queen Sirikit and you’ll arrive to find it set around a lake of slowly circling turtles, between Sukhumvit road and the skyscraper-spiked mall district of Pathum Wan. A popular spot for a morning walk – a shady path runs around the lake – it attracts couples in the evenings, taking selfies against the neon skyline, mirrored like a liquid mosaic in the water. Recommended by Alex Robinson.

Bangkok University Gallery (BUG)

Housed in a striking neo-brutalist concrete building on the Bangkok University campus in the far north of the city, BUG is one of the largest spaces devoted to contemporary art in Southeast Asia. Much of the work on display is by artists from the university’s School of Fine and Applied Arts – one of the leading private education art institutions in the country. There are occasional shows by visiting international names, as well as by the current artist in residence. You will be absolutely captivated as you wander. Recommended by Alex Robinson.

Thailand Art and Culture Centre

Bangkok’s leading cultural centre combines gallery spaces, performance venues, theatres and workshops. It’s the best place in the land to see work by the cream of contemporary Thai creatives like Pinaree Sanpitak, whose work uses abstract shapes to meditate on the female form. There are also works by Buddhist-inspired painters such as Kanokpon Somchua and polemical photographers like Manit Sriwanichpoom. There’s a shop selling arty accessories and cards as well as a small movie theatre. Recommended by Alex Robinson.

Wat Ratchabophit

Few visitors ever make it to this peaceful temple – only a ten-minute stroll from the tourist-teeming Grand Palace. But it’s one of Thailand’s most illustrious: a royal temple, it is the home of the country’s Supreme Patriarch. The garden grounds are tranquil, the great golden chedi covered in glistening ceramic tiles and the main ubosot, or ordination hall, is built in the English neo-gothic style loved by King Rama V, resembling an Anglican chapel. Recommended by Alex Robinson.

Neilson Hays Library

Looking like a library from an Oxbridge college, this stately neoclassical building sits in a leafy garden in the busy, business-orientated Bangrak district. The establishment preserves the largest collection of English-language books in Thailand and was founded in 1869 by the Bangkok Ladies’ Library Association – a small group of British and North American women who set up an association to exchange books within the then tiny expat population. The library is open to non-members for a small fee. Recommended by Alex Robinson.

Jesada Technik Museum

You’ll find this quirky museum on the banks of the Chao Phraya River next to the Phra Pin Klao Bridge in Thonburi. Comprising the personal transport collection of Thai millionaire (and President of Chase Engineering), Jesada Dejsakulrit, there are military transport aircraft, double-decker buses, a submarine, classic British, French and American town cars and one of the world’s largest fleets of bubble cars. Recommended by Alex Robinson.

Victory Monument

Victory Monument is one of the most recognisable architectural landmarks in the city. The military monument, constructed in 1941, sits in the centre of one of the largest intersections in Bangkok, in the Ratchathewi district. The rising obelisk at its centre resembles a sword, its point facing the sky as if trying to slice through the smog-ridden city air. Around the focal point of the monument are five smaller statues that represent Thailand’s police, navy, army, air force and militia.

PTT Forest in the City

The aim of PTT Forest in the City was to create a more balanced local ecosystem by transforming what was previously a garbage dump into a green space. Designed by oil and gas company PTT, the park includes a skywalk where you can see the trees from above, which leads to a tower with a 360-degree view of the forest. It’s a great example of how architecture and innovative city planning can be tools to help fight climate change, and one of Ueasangkhomset’s recommendations for Bangkok visitors.

Phra Sumeru Fortress

Located on the banks of the Chao Phraya River, the Phra Sumeru Fortress is one architectural landmark few tourists frequent. The fortress, located in Banglamphu, is surprisingly close to the infamous Khao San Road, a stretch of road that welcomes backpackers from all over the world. Those who find themselves wanting to escape the buckets of booze and herds of foreigners should take an afternoon to check out this landmark, one of the largest fortresses in the city. Though visitors cannot go into the structure, it sits in a quaint park, and can be photographed from afar. The Phra Sumeru Fortress was built in 1783 during the reign of King Rama I and was one of 14 fortresses constructed in Bangkok during this time. Today, it is one of two forts that remain in the capital.

Bangkok Art and Culture Centre

The Bangkok Art and Culture Centre is a must-see gallery for any art-loving traveller exploring the city. The building was meticulously designed to provide visitors with an amazing visual experience, as its winding shape is ideal for displaying art. The centre is also home to numerous cafés, restaurants, an art library, eco-friendly souvenir shops, a prayer room and more.

Santa Cruz Church

The Santa Cruz Church, also known as the Church of the Holy Cross, is one of the most iconic structures located along the western banks of the Chao Phraya River. Located in the old capital of Thonburi, the church is one of the oldest in the capital, built during the reign of King Taksin in the 18th century. The King gave the Portuguese community that was dwelling in Thonburi a plot of land so that they could build and expand their community. Even though the Portuguese built the church, its architecture is heavily influenced by Chinese aesthetics.

Kalawar Church

When the Roman Catholic Portuguese community relocated to Bangkok, they made their home in the riverside community of Talad Noi, one of the oldest neighbourhoods in the city, found in Chinatown. The community constructed a religious structure here known as the Kalawar Church, built in 1787 and previously known as Kalawario. The original church burned down, but was rebuilt in 1897. Its Gothic architecture is complemented by its riverside location, with its grand entrance facing the Chao Phraya River. Today, it is also known as the Holy Rosary Church.

Bank of Thailand Learning Centre

Designed by architects Creative Crews in 2018, the Bank of Thailand Learning Centre revived an old factory – the country’s first note printing works – and turned it into an educational centre. While retaining some of the original features, Creative Crews also added a slew of new details. They created landscape steps that invite visitors to the second floor, and removed solid walls to evoke a feeling of openness. The location, on the much-loved Chao Phraya River, means the centre also benefits from lovely water views through its giant windows.

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Recommended by Paul Feinstein.

28. Dine down the river on an antique rice barge

Natural Feature

Iconsiam, shot from the Chao Phraya side
Kylle Pangan / Unsplash

One of the best ways to see Bangkok’s most famous sites is to cruise up and down the Chao Phraya River while dining on authentic Thai cuisine. A typical river cruise slowly moves up the water around sunset so you can see the glistening temples against the low light. This experience allows you to enjoy a two-hour dinner, along with traditional music and Thai dancing.

29. Siam Amazing Park

Amusement Park, Park

Siam Amazing Park is Bangkok’s largest amusement park, with around 30 rides that include rollercoasters, a Jurassic safari with animatronic dinosaurs, a log flume, water slides and even a sandy beach. The park holds the Guinness World Record for the largest wave pool, features multiple restaurants and has free Wi-Fi throughout. Siam Amazing Park is on the eastern edge of Bangkok and is accessible by public bus or minivan from areas around the city centre.

Flight of the Gibbon

If you’re looking to get your heart pumping while basking in Thailand’s lush rainforests, there’s nothing quite like a zip-line excursion on the outskirts of the city. Flight of the Gibbon is a zip-line company that will pick you up and drop you off in Bangkok, escorting you south to Pattaya where they have three kilometres (1.9 miles) of zip lines that rise above the Chonburi forest canopy. Guides also teach visitors about the merits of eco-tourism and the state of the jungle in today’s hectic world.

Safari World

For lovers of animals but not necessarily zoos, Safari World on the outskirts of Bangkok hits the sweet spot. The amusement park features two sections: Marine Park – which is like SeaWorld – and Safari Park, where you can drive your car to see all the animals. The Safari Park has hundreds of species, including zebras, rhinos and giraffes, in addition to more predatory animals like lions, tigers and bears. The animals all roam free, and you can get very close to the action in your vehicle or one of the park’s shuttles. Getting here requires a car, bus, minivan or taxi as there’s no rail service to this area of the city.

Taki Racing School

For the thrill seeker, there’s a racing experience in Bangkok that is not to be missed. Experience Formula Renault driving at the Taki Racing School, where you can achieve speeds of up to 230 kilometres (143 miles) per hour. The costs here are not cheap, with a half-day running in the 15,000 Thai baht (£379) range and a full day at 35,000 baht (£884), but this experience is unlike any other racing opportunity you’ll ever get.

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30. Dream World

Amusement Park, Park

Dream World is the perfect amusement park for children of all ages. There are three packages available for purchase at Dream World that start at ฿1,200 and include access to Dream World’s rides, an unlimited buffet and entrance into Snow Town. Snow Town is made up of snowy slides and other winter activities, making it a great escape from Bangkok’s unbearable heat.

31. Flow House Bangkok

Natural Feature

Don’t have time to make it to one of Thailand’s famous beaches? No problem. At Flow House Bangkok all you need is a swimsuit to enjoy surfing Bangkok’s biggest waves. With professional trainers on staff ready to teach, your child will be wake boarding or surfing in no time. Feel free to grab one of the delicious meals Flow House Bangkok offers and relax as your child enjoys the giant wave simulator. For walk-ins, admission to ride is ฿750 (about $21) per hour. Flow House Bangkok also offers discounted prices for those who purchase FlowCards. To get to Flow House Bangkok, take the BTS Skytrain to Phrom Prong; from there, it is about a 20-minute walk.

Siam Ocean World

Explore the ocean from the comfort of Siam Paragon, one of the most luxurious malls in Bangkok. It is here where you will find Siam Ocean World, an underwater oasis filled with exotic marine creatures. Once inside, you will travel through an all glass tunnel that showcases a wide array of sea life swimming in every direction. Online tickets must be purchased at least 24 hours in advance and they start at ฿790 for children aged 3-11 years old (children under the age of three get in for free). Siam Ocean World can be found inside Siam Paragon. To get here, you can either take a taxi (every driver will know Siam) or you can take the BTS Skytrain to the Siam station.

BOUNCEinc Thailand

BOUNCEinc Thailand is unlike any attraction in Bangkok; with floor to ceiling trampolines, kids can bounce from one area to the next with ease. There are over 80 trampolines in BOUNCEinc Thailand’s facility, which just opened last December. Prices range anywhere from ‎฿350 (about $10) for students and juniors to ‎฿1,400 (about $40) for a family of four.

Easykart

Speed demons will love Easykart Bangkok, one of the only racetracks in the city, and this attraction has cars specially designed for children. Its intricate course weaves in and out of its indoor facility with excitement at every curve. There is a lounging area with a pool table, foosball table, restaurant and more that you can enjoy while your child speeds (safely) around the course. Children race for ฿500-600 (about $17); however, the price depends on their size. Riders who are 15 years old and older, or those who are at least 150 centimeters tall, can purchase two races for ฿1,300 (about $37). To get here, take the BTS Skytrain to the Thonglor station; it is about a 40-minute walk from the station, so grabbing a taxi is suggested.

The Commons

Let your kids loose and have the freedom and ability to get creative at The Commons. This outdoor mall has an entire level dedicated to play, known as the Play Yard. It is on this level you will find Little Pea, a restaurant that doubles as a playroom. With fun activities, children’s books, art classes and more, Little Pea is so much more than a place to grab a bite to eat. To get here, take the BTS Skytrain to the Thonglor station; it is about a 20-minute walk from the there or a short taxi ride.

Children’s Discovery Museum

If you are looking for a family-fun activity that is a little less action packed than the activities listed above, then be sure to head to the Children’s Discovery Museum. The museum just underwent renovations in 2014 and will have your family entertained for the entire day. The museum is filled with interactive exhibits, educational displays that encourage play and even a science gallery. To get to the Children’s Discovery Museum, take the BTS Skytrain to Mochit.

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