The 4D Bangkok Itinerary For First Timers

Bangkok is my absolute favourite destination for a short getaway from Singapore. Variety of shopping at great prices and delicious food, what’s not to love? This is a Bangkok Itinerary is something I’ve put together after having been to Bangkok a number of times and are spots I think shouldn’t be missed.

Overview of this Bangkok Itinerary

Day 1: Chatuchak, Chinatown, Jodd Fairs

Chatuchak Weekend Market

Chatuchak - Bangkok Itinerary

As it’s name suggests, Chatuchak Weekend Market is only open on the weekends, is one of the world’s largest markets. With over 15,000 stalls spread across 35 acres, you’ll find everything under the sun here (literally, it’s super hot here), from trendy clothes and unique handicrafts and housewares.

Though Chatuchak is quite a distance from the city centre and much hotter than shopping in the malls, I tend to find more interesting pieces at Chatuchak as compared to the malls. If you’re visiting, remember to dress comfortably and stay hydrated!

Nearest BTS station: Mo Chit (Sukhumvit Line)

Chinatown

Chinatown, also known as Yaowarat, filled with narrow alleys and vibrant markets selling colourful trinkets, traditional herbal shops, and glittering gold stores.

The hustle and bustle of Chinatown will immerse you in a world of rich history and traditions. Take your time to wander around, take pictures, and soak in the lively atmosphere. If you’re into night photography, Chinatown is also the place to be. Once the sun sets, Chinatown will be brightly lit up by the hundreds of neon signs that line the street.

Jodd Fairs Night Market

The old Ratchada Train Night Market has rebranded to Jodd Fairs and relocated from Ratchada to Rama 9, but not much has changed. There are over 700 stalls with a mix of fashion, handicrafts, live music, and street food. One of the most popular (and crowded) stalls here is Mae Klong Noodle & Leng Saap, which serves spicy pork spine soup, best eaten with rice!  

Jodd Fairs is one of the more accessible night markets in Bangkok; just a short walk from Phra Ram 9 MRT station. Most stalls start opening around 4-5pm and the market is open 7 days a week.

Opening hours: From 4pm till late
Address: Rama IX Rd, Huai Khwang, Bangkok 10310, Thailand

Day 2: Ayutthaya

Day Trip to Ayutthaya

It takes about an hour drive to get to the former capital of Thailand and it is one of the easiest day trips to take in terms of distance. The best way to get to Ayutthaya is by hiring a private driver, which you can get through Klook. Private car trips to Ayutthaya cost around SGD 150 for a day, per car.

Also read: 7 Temples To Visit During Your Ayutthaya Day Trip

Tip: Purchase the temple pass for THB 220 which grants you entrance to 6 temples — Wat Chaiwatthanaram, Wat Phra Si Sanphet, Wat Phra Mahathat, Wat Ratchaburana, Wat Phra Ram and Wat Maheyong

The ruin-city of Ayutthaya is filled with old and modern temples and these are some temples not to be missed, in my opinion.

Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon

Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon - Bangkok itinerary

The towering chedi and Buddha statues are the main attraction at Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon. Climb the steps of the chedi to witness panoramic views of the city and the lush surroundings – it’s truly a sight to behold.

Opening hours: 8am – 5pm
Entrance fee: THB 20

Wat (Phra) Mahathat

Ayutthaya - Wat Mahathat

Famous for its Buddha head that is engulfed by the roots of a growing tree, Wat Mahathat is a must see in Ayutthaya.

Opening hours: 8.30am – 5pm
Entrance: THB 50 (included in temple pass)

Wat Phra Si Sanphet and Wat Wihan Phra Mongkhon Bophit

Wat Phra Si Sanphet and Wat Wihan Phra Mongkhon Bophit
[Left] Wat Phra Si Sanphet [Right] Wat Wihan Phra Mongkhon Bophit

Wat Phra Si Sanphet was once part of the Royal Palace and houses three stunning chedis that stand as a testament to the city’s royal past.

A modern temple, Wat Wihan Phra Mongkhon Bophit, is right next to Wat Phra Si Sanphet and it’s worth visiting as well. The close proximity of an ancient and modern temple paints a huge contrast of the past and present, and is very interesting to take it all in.

Opening hours (Wat Phra Si Sanphet): 8am – 4.30pm
Entrance fee: THB 20 (included in temple pass)

Opening hours (Wat Wihan Phra Mongkhon Bophit): 7am – 6pm
Entrance fee: THB 20

Wat Chaiwatthanaram

Wat Chaiwatthanaram - Bangkok itinerary

This temple is situated along the Chao Phraya River and features stunning Khmer-style architecture. Opposite this temple are a number of shops where you can rent traditional thai outfits.

Opening hours: 8.30am – 5pm
Entrance fee: THB 50 (included in temple pass)

Day 3: Pratunam, Platinum Mall, Here Hai, Terminal 21 Asok

Pratunam Morning Market

The Pratunam Morning Market is a wholesale market so this is a good shopping spot if you’re in Bangkok with a couple of friends! Things at Pratunam market are often sold for a cheaper price if bought in bulk (usually 3 pieces or more). Pratunam Morning Market also turns into a night market in the evening.

Opening hours: 5am – 9pm (night market stalls open around 5pm)
Address: Soi Phetchaburi 21, Thanon Phaya Thai, Ratchathewi, Bangkok 10400, Thailand

Platinum Mall

Just a hop, skip, and a jump from Pratunam Morning Market, Platinum Mall is another shopper’s paradise. It’s slightly more expensive here though, as compared to the morning market, rightfully so as it is air-conditioned. There are also many more shops selling female fashion than male clothes. On the top floor, there is a newly renovated food court for you to refuel and recharge when needed.

Opening hours: 9am – 8pm
Address: 222 Phetchaburi Rd, Thanon Phaya Thai, Ratchathewi, Bangkok 10400, Thailand

Here Hai

Here Hai is a Michelin Bib Gourmand eatery that specialises in crab fried rice. The queues are long, so come early, or make a reservation via their Facebook page. We got a medium Insane Lump Crab Meat fried rice (THB 480) and a small Signature Omelette Crab with Rice (THB 380). The portions were generous, but I very much preferred the Signature Omelette Crab with Rice, so I’d recommend only getting that and some other side dishes, such as their mantis shrimp. Oh and we loved the chilli provided as well!

Pssst… if you’re staying in a hotel around Ekkamai, you can also try ordering on food delivery apps like Grab and Robinhood.

Opening hours: 10am – 3pm, 4pm – 5.30pm, closed on Mondays
Address: 112, 1 Ekkamai Rd, Khwaeng Khlong Tan Nuea, Watthana, Bangkok 10110, Thailand

Terminal 21 Asok

Terminal 21 Rama 3 - Bangkok Itinerary

Terminal 21 Asok is a themed mall and each floor themed after a different world-famous city. Besides the variety of shops, be sure to also check out the creatively designed restrooms. The restrooms are honestly the reason I visit Terminal 21! There are 2 Terminal 21 malls in Bangkok, one in Asok, and the other is at Rama 3, which is further from the city centre.

Opening hours: 10am – 10pm
Nearest BTS: Asok Station, Exit 1
Address: 88 Soi Sukhumvit 19 (Wattana), Sukhumvit Road, North Klongtoey, Wattana, Bangkok, Bangkok, Thailand, Bangkok

Day 4: The Grand Palace, Wat Pho, Wat Arun

Note: have your shoulders and knees covered for this day as the temples have strict dress codes. You will not be allowed to enter if your shoulders and knees are not covered.

Get dressed In Thai Traditional Outfit

Thai outfits from Sense of Thai

A fun way to experience the Thai culture is through understanding their traditional outfits. There are many shops around the temples that rent outfits but we went with Sense of Thai and even arranged for a photographer to take some photographs for us! Prices for female outfits range between THB 600 – 900 and cost THB 600 – 800 for male outfits. Photography services start at THB 2,600 per hour.

If you’re just looking to rent outfits, you can walk in at any time, but you’ll have to book in advance for the photography service. We booked via direct message on their Instagram page.

Opening hours: 10am – 6.30pm

The Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew

Wat Phra Kaew - Bangkok itinerary

The Grand Palace has served as the official residence of the Thai monarchy for centuries and is a testament to the city’s rich heritage. Within the grounds of the Grand Palace is Wat Phra Kaew — home to the Emerald Buddha, which is considered the most important Buddha statue in Thailand.

Opening hours: 8.30am – 3.30pm
Entrance fee: THB 500 (for both The Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew)

Wat Pho

A short walk away is Wat Pho, also known as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha. This temple complex is not only home to the famous 46-meter-long reclining Buddha statue but also home to the Wat Pho massage school!

Opening hours: 8am – 6.30pm
Entrance fee: TBH 200, but will be increased to THB 300 from Jan 2024

Wat Arun

Wat Arun - Bangkok Itinerary

Across the Chao Phraya River from Wat Pho is the stunning Wat Arun, also known as the Temple of Dawn. The central prang (tower) that gleams in the sunlight, adorned with intricate porcelain mosaics, is undoubtably the centrepiece of the temple. Climbing the steep steps of the prang rewards you with breathtaking panoramic views of the city and the river.

From Wat Pho, the fastest way to get to Wat Arun is a 3-minute ferry ride.

Opening hours: 8am – 6pm
Entrance fee: THB 100

J’AIME by Jean-Michel Lorain at U Sathorn

J'AIME by Jean-Michel Lorain at U Sathorn

J’AIME by Jean-Michel Lorain at U Sathorn is a Michelin starred restaurant that specialises in French cuisine, made with ingredients sourced locally. This was one of the best fine dining experience I’ve had. Price aside, the food was fresh, tasty, tender and crispy in all the right places. The 9-course set meal we had cost THB 3,500.

Okay I know this may not be what you see on a regular Bangkok itinerary, but hear me out. Fine dining in Bangkok is really affordable as compared to its SEA neighbours like Singapore. If this is something your budget allows, you should definitely try it.

Getting Around Bangkok

Tuktuk - Bangkok Itinerary

Public Trains

The train system is very efficient in Bangkok. Many popular locations can be reached by taking the BTS. You’ll just have to get the Rabbit card and top up via the machines at train stations. You can also get a single-ride ticket. Prices for public trains are also cheap, costing about THB 28 for a 5 minute journey. You can calculate your journey cost on the BTS website.

There is another train system called the MRT, which you would need the MRT card, but you can also buy a single-trip ticket.

Motorbikes

Motorbikes are great as they are able to weave through the traffic. If you not have a bike license, you can also try private hire apps like Grab.

Taxi/Private hire cars

This is the best option if you have luggages, but otherwise, you’ll likely be stuck in traffic for quite awhile.

Tuktuk

Similar to motorbikes, tuktuks are able to weave through the traffic, but are more comfortable and sheltered. These are usually quite pricey as compared to other modes of transport.

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