tips-and-inspiration Top Things to Do in Bangkok: the Must-See Guide

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Top Things to Do in Bangkok: the Must-See Guide

Bangkok is nothing like any city that you've visited before - in the very best way! Read this guide to the capital of Thailand and mark what you must see and do in Bangkok - בנגקוק

Most travelers who fly from Tel Aviv to Bangkok – בנגקוק continue almost immediately to the islands. However, you should consider spending a few days touring the Thai capital. From modest tradition to futuristic infrastructure, Bangkok has it all. Here’s what you shall not miss when visiting this exciting destination. 

1. Grand Palace & Wat Phra Kaew – Temple of Emerald Buddha

Grand Palace Bangkok - בנגקוק
Grand Palace Bangkok – בנגקוק

The Grand Palace is probably the most important attraction in Bangkok – בנגקוק. Even if you are spending only a short time at the capital of Thailand, The Grand Palace is a must. It was built in 1782 and includes the holiest Buddhist temple in all of Thailand, Wat Phra Kaew. In the main chapel sits the Emerald Buddha, a statue of about 60 cm high. It is made of green jade that supposed to protect the land and its people. This Buddha has three different costumes, one for each season, so keep an eye out for the changing ceremony completed by the King at the beginning of each season! You could easily spend a whole day admiring the architecture, statues, and museums that make up the King’s official residence. 

2. Wat Pho – Temple of the Reclining Buddha

Wat Pho, Bangkok בנגקוק
Wat Pho, Bangkok

One of the most beautiful Buddhist temples in Bangkok, Wat Pho. You can find it in just a short walk from the Grand Palace. The stunning complex consists of a collection of prayer halls and pagodas. To make things more charming, it is divided into smaller walled areas. Above all, you can find the star attraction of the temple – the Reclining Buddha. Not only it’s 46 meters long, but also 15 meters high! Also, superhuman granite statues guarding the various gates of the temple. They are of Chinese origin and are intended to represent how the Chinese introduced themselves to Europeans at the time. 

3. Wat Arun – Temple of the Dawn

Wat Arun, Bangkok - בנגקוק
Wat Arun, Bangkok – בנגקוק

You can find the Temple of the Dawn on the banks of the Chao Phraya River. Certainly, Wat Arun is one of the most romantic temples in Bangkok – בנגקוק. Despite its name, the temple is most beautiful when its silhouette stands out against the sky at sunset. The complex is dominated by a mighty, multi-level pagoda towering from its center, covered with Chinese porcelain pieces. During construction, the former king called on the population to donate their house porcelain. Apparently, the citizens eagerly followed his request. You can climb the Pagoda to about half the height. From there you can enjoy a great view of the river and the historical center of Bangkok – בנגקוק.

4. Wat Saket (Phukhao Thong) – Golden Mountain

The temple of Wat Saket is commonly referred to as the “Golden Mountain”. Once you see Wat Saket – you’ll understand very quickly why people call it that way. The approximately 60-meter-high elevation is crowned by a golden pagoda. Actually, it’s the result of a failed construction project. A Siamese king wanted to build the country’s tallest Pagoda in front of the former city gates of Bangkok – בנגקוק. However, the soft ground subsided under the weight, and the unfinished structure collapsed. But only in a later stage the ruin was secured and crowned with today’s Pagoda. You can climb over 300 steps, but no worries – it worth it! You will enjoy a fantastic view!

5. Bangkok Canal Tour

Canal Tour in Bangkok בנגקוק
Canal Tour in Bangkok

If you want a glimpse of the traditional Thai life, take a boat tour on the canal. The boat rushes past stilt houses, temples, and tropical orchards where time seems to have stopped. Once a city of canals, Bangkok was nicknamed the “Venice of the East”. This vast network of artificial waterways was virtually the only way to transport people and goods. Only later on in the late 19th century, the first fixed road was paved in Bangkok – בנגקוק. Since then, almost all channels have been filled and converted into streets. However, there are still several canals left, primarily through the district of Thonburi. You can explore this old face of Bangkok as part of a boat tour.

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6. Explore the Nightlife of Bangkok – בנגקוק

Stunning at night. Bangkok בנגקוק
Stunning at night. Bangkok בנגקוק

The legendary pop hit “One Night in Bangkok” may sound like the ears of Bangkok’s nightlife. And indeed, Thailand’s capital is alive and kicking as the night has fallen. Many are drawn to the once infamous red-light districts such as Patpong, Nana Plaza, and Soi Cowboy. But do not worry, you can enjoy just a drink there. Alternatively, if you are more into dancing, you can visit Royal City Avenue (RCA), a whole Streets full of discos, pubs, and restaurants. Also, there’s a dinner cruise on the Chao Phraya River where the illuminated silhouette of Bangkok passes leisurely.

7. Chatuchak Weekend Market

Over 200,000 visitors stop by at one of the over 15,000 stalls. Indeed, Chatuchak Market is a mini-city in itself. But don’t let that put you off if you’re afraid of chaotic places. In fact, the maze-like market is carefully ordered to help you get to where you want to go. For example, head to sections 2-4, 23-24, and 26-27 for food stalls. Sections 2-6 have accessories and jewelry. Alternatively, if you are looking for antiques and collectibles go sections 1 and 26. Section 2 is closest to the MRT train station and gives a great insight into the scale of the market. It’s the perfect one for travelers who are short on time. Chatuchak is open weekends only, 09:00-18:00. 

8. Bangkok National Museum and Wang Na Palace

If you are curious about Asian art and history, you should visit the National Museum. Here you can see the authentic history of Thailand in chronological order. There are sculptures, mural paintings, and even royal artifacts to see. The museum is housed on the grounds of the former palace of the viceroy – Wang Na Palace. Exhibits include weapons and uniforms, royal regalia, traditional musical instruments, as well as filigree religious artifacts. Worth to mention that some of the exhibits are dating back to the dawn of the first Siamese city-states in the 13th century. However, the top attractions are the incredible royal carriages and chariots that are still used on special occasions. Note that guided tours of art history and Buddhist Thailand are available every Wednesday and Thursday at 21:30.

9. Chinatown & Wat Traimit – Temple of the Golden Buddha

Temple of the Golden Buddha
Temple of the Golden Buddha

For centuries, Thailand was a popular destination for Chinese immigrates. After all, it is said that about 80% of Bangkok’s current citizens have Chinese roots. The center of Chinese culture in Bangkok is the Yaowarat district, the largest Chinatown in the world! It is recommended to visit one of the temples built in Chinese architecture as well as a trip to Sampeng Lane, a narrow street with shops that mainly offer Chinese goods. Also, you should not miss a real Chinese meal in a small restaurant or at one of the countless street stalls. Finally, on the outskirts of Yaowarat, near Hualamphong Central Station, you can find the stunning Buddhist temple Wat Traimit. It houses a 500-year-old, 3.5 meters high Buddha statue. 

10. The Jim Thompson House Museum 

The American businessman Jim Thompson became wealthy in Thailand after the Second World War. He revitalized the almost forgotten silk industry in Thailand. Thompson mysteriously disappeared in the jungles of Malaysia while going for a walk on Sunday, 26th of March 1968. Today, over 51 years since the last time he was seen, you can visit his house in Bangkok near the National Stadium. Here you can find an immensely valuable collection of art, as well as traditional houses that Thompson bought. These houses were dismantled and reassembled into Bangkok one by one, and some of them are hundreds of years of age! 

11. Eat Authentic Thai Food

Try some real Thai food
Try some real Thai food

When in Thailand – eat like Thai! The real Thai food in Bangkok – בנגקוק is nothing like you’ve experienced in Thai restaurants in Israel, Europe, or anywhere outside of Thailand. Regardless of how long your trip to Bangkok is, it probably won’t be long enough to sample all the great food that this city has to offer. But we’ll recommend you one of the best ones, it’s called Rub Aroon. It’s a small and cozy restaurant not far from the Sathorn Pier, which is located near the beautiful Wat Pho. They offer delicious Thai food and seasonal fruit juices. 

Tip: Thanks to the tropical climate, Thailand has many exotic fruits. There are three seasons, and each one offers different types of fruit. Try fruit juices like mango smoothies, coconut juice, and more!

12. Participate in a Full Moon Party

Party in Bangkok - בנגקוק
Party in Bangkok – בנגקוק

You may have heard of the famous “Full Moon Parties” – they all happen on the same day, but each one has its own character! To find out what’s going on when you’re in Bangkok, simply go through various event calendars. There are several Buddhist ceremonies and celebrations in Bangkok  – בנגקוק that you are welcome to attend. Especially beautiful is the candle procession to the full moon. 

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13. Thai Massages in Bangkok – בנגקוק

A trip to Bangkok can not be completed without at least one Thai massage! After a long day of sightseeing in Bangkok, a REAL Thai massage is just the thing to relax your muscles and relieve stress. Highly recommended is the Traditional Thai Massage Center in Wat Pho, where they use an ancient type of massage and also offer classes for those who want to learn this art.

Important Info about Bangkok – בנגקוק

Country 🇹🇭Thailand
Currency 💵Baht – ฿
Currency exchange 💱1 BHT ~ 0.12 ILS
Flight time from TLV Airport ✈️9:35 hours
Average temperatures in July-August 🌞26-33
Average temperatures in December-February ⛄21-33