Ran out of things do to for your next Bangkok trip and bored of the usual shopping? Thailand is a country that is so culturally rich and there’s way more to the country than just shopping. Here are some of my favourite things to do in Bangkok which you can consider adding to your itinerary to spice up your next getaway.
In This List Of Things To Do In Bangkok:
1. Get a Taste of Royalty in a Traditional Thai Outfit
The Chut Thai — which literally translates to ‘Thai dress’, is a royalty-endorsed charming traditional outfit. Although the Chut Thai is now seldom used in daily lives, the Thais still don on these ethnic wear for celebrations and festivals.
There are many shops over Bangkok that offer Chut Thai rental services, for both males and females, but arguably, one of the most famous shops would be Sense of Thai. The staff have a great eye for colours and can give you recommendations based on your chosen colour. My partner and I opted for a blue theme and they gave us a few blue options to choose from. Prices for female outfits range between THB 600 – 900 Baht and cost THB 600 – 800 for male outfits.
They also offer photography services, which start from THB 2,600. Do drop them an Instagram DM as appointments are required for photography services.
Address: 2F Tha Maharaj Mall
Opening hours: 10.30am – 7pm
2. Visit Temples
Wat Arun and Wat Pho are some of the must-see temples. Fun fact, Wat Pho is the birthplace of Thai massage and you can actually get a massage here, though slightly more expensive than Bangkok prices but can be a great indulgence for a massage lover.
To top it off, take a visit to Wat Phra Kaew, is where you will likely realise that all that glitters is GOLD, literally. Wat Phra Kaew sits within the precincts of The Grand Palace, which is an expansive area and can get pretty draining to walk in the hot sun. Just remember to bring some sunglasses to shade your eyes from the bling, and oh, the sun too.
There are many stunning temples in Bangkok but Wat Arun, Wat Pho and Wat Phra Kaew are the main 3 that most tourists visit.
Tip: Wat Arun, Wat Pho and The Grand Palace are within close vicinity of one another so you can visit all three temples on the same day.
I personally really liked Wat Ratchanadda when I visited and pictures I’ve seen of Wat Ratchabophit looked really pretty, so you can consider visited these 2 as well.
Entrance Fee: Ranges between THB 100 – 500
Dress appropriately when visiting temples. Females should have their shoulders and knees covered (no tank tops, sleeveless tops and shorts). Some temples are more strict than others and you will have to buy a scarf from a nearby shop to cover up.
Tip: You can combine this with point 1 and wear a traditional Thai outfit while roaming the temple grounds!
3. Take a Step Back in Time in Ayutthaya
The ruined city of Ayutthaya used to be the old capital of Thailand until it was invaded by the Burmese in 1767. Sitting about 80km north of Bangkok, this UNESCO World Heritage site has much to offer its visitors, both old and new temples.
Ayutthaya is a great option for a day trip as it is just an hour drive from Bangkok. You can either do a self-drive from Bangkok, or hire a private driver. For a cheaper option, you can also consider a group tour option.
We got a private driver for the day, check out our Ayutthaya temple guide for our favourite temples we think you should not miss.
4. Visit Terminal 21 For Its Unique Toilets
Yes you read that right. Toilets.
Every level of Terminal 21 is decorated to the theme of a different country and its toilets are also elaborately done up to fit the theme. There are 4 Terminal 21 malls across Thailand and 2 are in Bangkok. The Terminal 21 Asok branch is the most accessible and is right at the doorstep of the Asok BTS.
5. A Spot for Booklovers: Open House
Take a break from your usual Bangkok fare at Open House, an architectural stunner that houses a bookstore, 14 eateries and a co-working space. This quiet space will quickly make you forget the bustle of Bangkok city and reset your overwhelmed senses.
Address: Level 6, Central Embassy, 1031 Phloen Chit Rd, Khwaeng Lumphini, Pathum Wan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand
6. Have A Michelin Meal By The Road
It’s no surprise that Bangkok is home to many Michelin-starred eateries. Besides luxurious fine dining options, Bangkok has affordable Michelin eateries too. They may not all have a star, but there are numerous eateries in the Michelin Bib Gourmand.
Here Hai is known for its crab fried rice and fried mantis shrimp. The freshness of the seafood is the biggest draw but it is pretty expensive in my opinion. We paid THB 480 for a medium Insane Lump Crab Meat Fried Rice and THB 380 for a small Signature Omelette Crab with Rice. We much preferred the Signature Omelette Crab with Rice, so go for that and the mantis shrimp.
Note: Only cash payments
Opening hours: 10am – 3pm, 4pm – 5.30pm, closed on Mondays
Address: 112/1 Soi Sukhumvit 63, Khlong Tan Nuea, Vadhana, Bangkok, 10110, Thailand
7. The Most Value-For-Money Michelin Meal
If your budget allows, definitely schedule a fine dining experience during your trip. There are a quite a number of Michelin-starred options in Bangkok, so take your pick, but I’d advise you to look through Google and Tripadvisor reviews first as I found negative reviews for many restaurants.
J’AIME by Jean-Michel Lorain
After much research, we went with J’AIME by Jean-Michel Lorain, which serves French food made with local Thai ingredients. It was one of the best fine dining experiences I’ve had and everything just worked well together — the food, the ambience and the service. As of the time of writing in 2023, it costs THB 3,500 for a 9-course set menu, really reasonable by Michelin-starred restaurant standards. The location is not easy to get to though and the best way to get there is via taxi.
Opening hours: 12pm – 2pm, 6pm – 10pm, closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays
Address: 2F, U Sathorn Hotel, 105/1 Soi Ngam Du Phli, Thung Mahamek, Bangkok, 10120, Thailand