What to do & Where to visit in Bangkok? I’m Coming!
Yahooooo, I’m going to Bangkok tomorrow! Thursday till Sunday. What can I do in Bangkok? Where to visit in Bangkok? What’s nice in Bangkok? What to eat in Bangkok? I heard people saying tailor a set of suit in Bangkok is cheaper compared to here?
Any advise on my trip to Bangkok? Can you give me the answer to the above queries if you know or some suggestion then I would love to check that out!
I have done some research and come out with a list of things to do in Bangkok for my own reference and you may want to keep for your future reference too!
Let’s imagine the scenario: You’ve only got a limited amount of time in Bangkok: You want to see the must-sees and do the must-dos. Where to turn? Worry no more – here are some of the tips for your Bangkok’s Trip! (Just click on the link and it will bring you to the source of the tips in Bangkok)
Chatuchak Market in Bangkok
Bangkok Weekend Market
Once only popular among wholesalers and traders, Chatuchak Weekend Market has reached a landmark status as a must-visit place for tourists. Its sheer size and diverse collections of merchandise will bring any seasoned shoppers to their knees – this is where you can literally shop ‘till you drop’.
The 35-acre (68-rai) area of Chatuchak is home to more than 8,000 market stalls. On a typical weekend, more than 200,000 visitors come here to sift through the goods on offer. Veteran shoppers would agree that just about everything is on sale here, although not all at the best bargain rates. But if you have one weekend in Bangkok, squeeze in a day trip to Chatuchak Weekend Market and you will not be disappointed.
Navigating Chatuchak Weekend Market
For first-timers, ‘conquering’ Chatuchak may seem like an impossible task, but worry not. There is a system to help you navigate your way through Chatuchak. Inside, one main walkway encircles the entire market, and it branches off into a series of numbered alleyways called Soi 1, Soi 2, Soi 3, and so on.
These alleyways are grouped into sections, with 27 sections in all. You will find more than one category of goods contained in one section, and the same category of goods will appear again in the other sections. In terms of locating your category of goods, this system is rather useless; but it will come in handy when you try to locate your particular stall or where your exact location is on the Chatuchak map.
Another way to find your way around Chatuchak is to find points of reference as you go along. The BTS and MRT stations as well as banks and numbered entrance gates are good points of references, as you will come across them as you turn corners. Then again, use the map to locate these references to find your correct orientation.
What’s For Sale?
If you can dream it up, Chatuchak probably has it. Here, you will be amazed at the sheer variety of merchandise, whether a Moroccan lamp, an antique wooden chest, a pair of vintage Levi’s jeans, or, on the exotic side, a python.
Although it’s impossible to name all, the selection of goods being offered at Chatuchak can be roughly divided into 11 categories:
-Clothing & Accessories (sections 2-6, 10-26)
-Handicrafts (sections 8-11)
-Ceramics (sections 11, 13, 15, 17, 19, 25)
-Furniture and Home Decoration (sections 1,3,4,7,8)
-Food and Beverage (sections 2, 3, 4, 23, 24, 26, 27)
-Plants and Gardening tools (sections 3, 4)
-Art and Gallery (section 7)
-Pets and Pet Accessories (sections 8, 9, 11, 13)
-Books (sections 1, 27)
-Antiques and Collectibles (sections 1, 26)
-Miscellaneous and Used Clothing (sections 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 22, 25, 26)
When buying goods at Chatuchak, particularly ‘antiques’, it is wise to exercise a few precautions. Check your goods thoroughly to see whether there is any damage, as many vendors sell factory rejects. For ‘antiques’, don’t trust the vendor when he tells you it is genuine. It’s better to bring along an expert, unless you are happy with what you are paying for.
Chatuchak Weekend Market is the perfect place for bargain hunting, although whatever you buy here is probably no longer the best deal you can find. So brush up your negotiation skills and be prepared to walk away when the deal fails to go your way. Then, you’ll either be offered a lower price or simply find the same merchandise at another stall. It also helps to do a few practice runs before you actually start buying. Note that a friendly attitude and big smile are your biggest allies in securing the best possible deal.
How to Enjoy Your Shopping Experience
Few people go to Chatuchak knowing exactly what they want or which stall to go to. Many expect to be surprised and let the sights of all the goods take them through a journey down the maze of stalls. Most often, shoppers arrive with a rough idea of what they want, then are hypnotised by what they see and end up going home with more than a few extra shopping items.
So, the best advice is, if you are going for the first time, to pick a starting point then just follow your instincts, enjoy the experience and bring home your exciting new finds.
Before You Go to Chatuchak
Chances are you will end up spending at least half a day here so it is a good idea to prepare a few things to ensure that your shopping experience at Chatuchak is an enjoyable one.
-Wear light and comfortable clothing, e.g. shorts and a t-shirt/tank-top
-Wear comfortable shoes, e.g. a pair of sneakers or sandals
-Protect yourself against the sun, by wearing sunglasses, a hat and use sunscreen
-Bring a backpack for storing your new-found treasures. It is recommended that you wear your backpack on the front rather than on your back
-Always have bottled drinking water handy
-Bring enough cash. Most vendors do not accept credit cards, and it can be a long walk to the next ATM
-Beware of pickpockets and watch your belongings
-Plan to go in the morning, as it can get very hot and crowded in the afternoon
-Free maps are available from one of the information kiosks
How to Get to Chatuchak
Hop on the skytrain (BTS) to Mo Chit station, take exit no. 1 and follow the crowd until you see rows of canvas stalls selling clothes. Turn right while continuing to follow the crowd and you will see a small entrance that leads into the market (clothing section).
Another option is to take the subway (MRT) to Chatuchak Park station (exit no.1), then follow the crowd until you arrive at the small entrance that leads into the market (clothing section). For the plant and flower section, get off at Kampheng Phet MRT station (exit no. 1).
The weekend market is open on Saturdays and Sundays, 09:00 – 18:00, and Fridays 18:00 – 24:00. Plant sections are also open on Wednesdays and Thursdays, from 07:00 – 18:00.
Patpong Night Market
After recently cleaning up its act, Patpong’s become one of the ‘must’ night shopping destinations for avid shoppers. Found in the built-up area known as Silom, the place is always busy and chaotic with all the commotion from the GO-GO bars nearby and lots of foreign tourists. This market in Bangkok’s notorious nightlife district is often the first and easiest stop for many tourists just arriving to Bangkok, whilst lodging at one of several mid-to-upper-end hotels in Silom.
Be warned though, the quality and prices of most items sold are about as real and trustworthy as the girls shaking their wares in go-go bars flanking the area. Both market and go-go bars seem to complement each other well, but remember not to be fooled by first impressions, and to bargain hard.
Opening Hours: 18:00 – around 01:00 (every day)
How to get there: Coming from BTS Siam station, depart at Sala Daeng station and exit down one of the right-hand stairs. Follow the increasing trail of vendors along the sidewalk, and after five minutes, you’ll know you’re there.
Bangkok Go-Go Bars
What to Do & Where to Go at Night in Bangkok
Bangkok’s nightlife has a reputation for being wild and rowdy. But at the same time it’s relaxed, safe, enjoyable and great fun! Rapidly establishing itself as Asia’s capital of cool, Bangkok’s diverse nightlife scene features everything from excellent live music and good jazz clubs to ultra cool bars, trendy clubs and great restaurants – and go far beyond its once-upon-a-time sleazy and naughty image. Also have a look at our What’s On guide to get the lowdown on exciting events and happenings during your stay in Asia’s coolest capital.
Bikini-clad dancing girls, over-the-top ladyboys and lewd, eye-popping shows… Yes, the Go-Go bars that earned Bangkok its worldwide notoriety are still alive and letting it all hang out. For better or worse, Bangkok’s illustrious ‘After Dark’ reputation owes much to these spots.
The first area that springs to mind is Patpong. Nowadays, having become part of a wider entertainment scene that includes the popular Patpong Night Market, bars, nightclubs and a gay back street, it isn’t the aggressive red-light district it once was.
Open-minded visitors, lured in by hard-selling touts and their curiosity, treat the infamous upstairs shows like a circus show, coming in for a quick look at the inventive performances, a giggle and a couple of overpriced drinks before heading off to continue their shopping or hit a nearby club (these performances are also dubbed ‘ping-pong shows’, and a lot of imagination isn’t needed to guess the origins of this phrase.)
These are found predominantly at Nana Plaza and Soi Cowboy, red light districts both situated on lower Sukhumvit Road. Depending on the current level of police interference, both offer explicit shows featuring girls in various stages of undress; usually uniforms, bikinis or pretty much nothing bar a coy smile and a dash of Burberry Weekend. Nana even has its own on-site ‘guesthouse’ for clients.
Nana Plaza in Bangkok
Located in Sukhumvit Soi 4, Nana Entertainment Plaza is Bangkok’s sleaze central. Notorious for its racy themed go-go bars – from school-girl and leather dominatrix to ladyboy – it’s literally a ‘sex mall’, with three storeys of eye-popping activity all focused around a square-shaped central atrium. Unlike at the better-known Soi Cowboy or Patpong, Nana is a ‘more adult’ scene. That means no families, no markets and few curious tourists strolling in for a look. It is still worth a look if you are looking for an exotic visual experience, and a photo to talk about when back home.
Patpong in Bangkok
One of the world’s most (in)famous red-light districts, Patpong is where it all started (Thailand’s Go-Go culture). It has even been immortalised in a James Bond chase-sequence. Its two parallel side-streets, found between Silom and Surawongse Roads, house around 100 neon-lit strip bars offering risque sex shows, purchasable pole-dancers and post-op ladyboys.
But while for men Patpong is likely to mean ‘adult’, for women, families and the kids Patpong definitely means ‘market’. At night this teems with hawkers and humble stalls selling what is mostly tourist tat.
For the serious flesh-seekers, Patpong has long since been usurped as the ‘king of the scene’ by its counterparts around Sukhumvit. However, its reputation means it’s still a huge attraction, mainly for sightseers more interested in ogling at – rather than indulging in – the carnal delights on offer.
Bangkok Floating Markets
Even though transactions are more concerned with tourists rather than locals these days, the floating market;boats are still piled high with tropical fruit and vegetables, fresh, ready-to-drink coconut juice and local food cooked from floating kitchens located right on the boat.
To enjoy the atmosphere without haggling over prices, try relaxing on a guided boat tour of Damnoen Saduak market. Floating markets are Taling Chan Market, Bang Ku Wiang Market, Tha Kha, and Damnoen Saduak.
Bang Khu Wiang Floating Market
Perhaps the best choice to enjoy a traditional Thai floating market without the touristy push is Bang Khu Wiang. Monks arrive by boat in early morning on their daily ‘tak baat’ (alms round), and a variety of farm – fresh produce is offered.
Opening Hours: 04:00 – 07:00 (every day)
How to get there: One option is to rent a boat from Chang Pier (in Bangkok), and ask to be taken to Noi-Khlong Om-Bang Khu Wiang Floating Market. A cheaper option is to catch a boat from Wat Chalo Pier for a 45-minute ride to Bang Kruai (5 baht), which runs every 15 minutes from 05:00 – 20:00. From there it is a 10-minute boat ride to the market. If boats don’t suit you, no worries as taxis and tuk-tuks are available for hire at the market.
Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
Well on the tourist trail after the Bond films, the trip to the famous floating market at Damnoen Saduak is still worth doing. Totally chaotic, small ‘klongs’ or canals are filled with small flat boats jockeying for position, expertly paddled by mature ladies ready to stop and bargain at a moment’s notice. It’s colourful, noisy, totally touristy but great fun.
Opening Hours: 07:00 – 11:00 (every day)
How to get there: Take a bus from the Southern Bus Terminal (+66 (0)2 434 5557-8) to Samut Sangkhram Ratchaburi province, 80 km southwest of Bangkok. You can then walk along the passageway to the market, or take a boat to the market pier.
Tour Available: Bangkok Floating Market : Damnoen Saduak
Taling Chan Floating Market
This market is in close proximity to Bangkok, and so makes a nice weekend trip if you’re in for a new shopping experience. A strew of canals around the market can be visited by hired boat where small villages are revealed along the way. Homestays are also available for a truly Thai experience.
Opening Hours: 09:00 – 17:00 (weekends only)
How to get there: Take bus numbers 79 or 83, which cross the Chao Praya River to the Thonburi side of Bangkok. The market is located near the front of Taling Chan District Office.
Tha Kha Floating Market
Tha Kha has a much smaller amount of tourists compared to other floating markets in Samut Sangkhram. With a canopy of natural surroundings, it is protected from the commerical onslaught as experienced at nearby Damnoen Saduak market. Most importantly, don’t forget to take a look at the stars before embarking; the market is only open six days a month in accordance to the lunar calendar.
Opening Hours: 06:00 – 12:00 (weekends only)
How to get there: Little sister of and 10 kilometres from touristy Damnoen Saduak market, this market can be reached by following the same directions to Damnoen Saduak market, and then hiring a taxi to the market. Another option is to hire a taxi from Bangkok to Tha Kha (around 500 baht).
Tour Available: Ampawa & Tha Kha Floating Market
Popular Shopping Malls in Bangkok
Bangkok’s modern, multi-storey shopping malls are a shopaholic’s paradise… From the legendary Mah Boon Krong (MBK), to the sophisticated Emporium, trendy Siam Discovery or unashamedly upscale Siam Paragon, Bangkok’s accommodate every taste, pocket and style. The latest addition to the city’s ‘mallscape’ is the newly and fabulously revamped CentralWorld, officially the largest mall in Southeast Asia.
These malls are where you’ll find the city’s finest fashion stores, global brands, book shops, speciality stores, accessories stands and all kinds of luxury designer lifestyle goods. Not only are you spoiled for choice; it’s all super easy to navigate. Modern and air-conditioned, they’re also a pleasant alternative to the bustling hot markets, and most complexes are easily accessible via the city’s modern and efficient Skytrain (BTS) system. Just don’t forget to sport comfortable shoes.
Siam Paragon Shopping Centre
From a sporty yellow Ferrari to a pair of Jimmy Choo shoes straight from the set of Sex and the City, Siam Paragon is a shopping mall without rival in Southeast Asia when it comes to luxury goods.
This shopping and entertainment complex is an upmarket, five-storey colossus with 500,000 square metres of retail space. The gleaming, modern mall opened in December 2005 at a cost of 15 billion baht (US$ 375 million), and is home to more than 250 famed international and local luxury brands. Let’s take a closer look…
Shopping Tip: For 5% discount on most purchases, you can apply for a Tourist Discount Card at the information desk on the ground level.
Opening Hours: 10:00 – 22:00
Location: Next to Siam Centre, Pathumwan
BTS: Siam Station
MBK Shopping Center
The multi-storey MBK is probably Bangkok’s most legendary shopping mall, popular with both tourists and locals. Eight floors packed with 2,000 shops that sell everything from clothing, fashion accessories, handbags, leather products and luggage to furniture, mobile phones, electric appliances, cameras, stationery and DVD’s (and then some).
MBK (launched in 1986) is a beehive of activity, especially on weekends, when half of Bangkok converges to shop for bargains. And plenty of bargains are to be found here!
Opening Hours: 10:00 – 22:00
Location: Phayathai Road, Pathumwan
BTS: National Stadium Station
The mother of all IT shops, the entirety of Pantip Plaza is dedicated to computer and technology items. The multistory shopping centre on Petchaburi Road offers a wide selection of stores, selling everything from computers and computer-related accessories, including; parts, printers, digital cameras, MP3 players, PDAs, and much more.
Pantip Plaza is also (in)famous for its inexpensive counterfeit versions of software and DVDs. Although you might not be a techno-geek, it’s worth visiting when you’re in the area for the pure fascination value. Walking through the main entrance of this IT complex, you’ll be greeted with copies of the latest software for sale (100 – 150 baht), along with DVDs, MP3 CDs, and anything else that can be put on a disk. If you’re looking for a new wireless mouse, USB stick, CD-Rom drive, or whatever you can think of, sift your way through as many vendors as possible to compare prices and find the best deal.
Opening Hours: 10:00 – 21:00 (every day).
Location: Petchaburi Road, opposite Pratunam’s City Complex
BTS: Chidlom (but still quite a walk)
How to get there: From BTS Chidlom, either hire a tuk-tuk/taxi or walk ten minutes down Ratchadamri Road past Central World on your left, over the Saen Saeb canal and then left on Phetburi Road. Walk about two blocks, and Pantip should be on your left.
Few other cities offer such a vast choice of goods, much enhanced by the polite sales techniques and good-natured haggling that accompanies most transactions. Provided you have sufficient time, following the standard tourists’ shopping rules will help you secure some incredible deals.
Deciding what to buy, and comparing prices around, is a good start. Things start to get really cheap when you’re buying bulk. And don’t worry about carrying everything around with you; most places will package and deliver straight to your hotel, and there are also several shipping agents around. The golden rule for bargaining is to do so with a smile – your most important negotiating tool!
For more shopping venues, head towards the Ratchaprasong and Chidlom-Ploenchit areas, here you’ll find CentralWorld, and other options like the posh Gaysorn, a Big C Superstore (department store), as well as upmarket Amarin Plaza and Peninsula Plaza. A skywalk also connects from here all the way to that other of holy shopping grounds, Siam.
Platinum Fashion Mall Bangkok
A relatively new shopping center in the Petchburi area, Platinum Fashion Mall caters especially to wholesale clothing, selling a similar range of clothing to the Pratunam Market across the street, except in air-conditioned comfort. The mall has six floors which are filled with small outlets – most of them specialising in women’s clothing and fashion accessories. Since this is a wholesale mall, you can get items at very reasonable prices – provided you buy larger quantities, usually three items and up.
The price you pay will be about 30% lower per piece. Some shops allow you to mix different types of items, for example, purses and bags, shirts and trousers. And as with most shopping malls in the city, there is also a food court on the fifth floor, along with cafs and fast food chains. If you’re coming from CentralWorld, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding it. Just head north, cross the small canal, and turn left into Petchburi Road, a few metres along and you’re there.
Opening Hours: 10:00 – 22:00
Location: Petchburi, Ratchathewi (next to Pantip Plaza)
Pratunam Wholesale Market
Located at the intersection of Ratchaprop and Petchburi roads, Pratunam Wholesale Market is one of Bangkok’s major markets, selling clothes, shoes, and fashion accessories at wholesale prices. Entry the small alleys and jam-packed small streets and you will find yourself in the middle of a clothe-maze. Shops and tiny stalls dotted on both sides displaying all kind (literally) of clothes from; shorts, t-shirts, formal evening, suits, winter jackets or even bizarre outfits and fancy dress. Bargaining at the market is acceptable, though you barely need to – they’re cheap.
Bangkok Spas and Thai Massage
Thai massage draws significant influence from India’s ancient Ayurvedic traditions of medical practice. Ayurvedic medicine, also a holistic form of healing, plays an integral role in the practice of both Hinduism and Therevada Buddhism. Monks and similar practitioners of healing transmitted Ayurvedic techniques to Thailand some 2,500 years ago, thus giving birth to the wonderful phenomenon that is Thai massage.
From an aromatherapy and oil massage thought to trigger memory, amongst other things, a facial massage that will make your skin glow radiantly, or a Thai foot massage that will ensure your feet and legs are lavished with the attention they deserve, a proper massage treatment can be beneficial for everyone. Have a look here at the different types of massages available, and recommended places to go to.
You can see massage outlet everywhere you go and just look for a nice and decent one will do!
What to Eat in Bangkok
Food is very much a part of your Bangkok experience, and luckily you don’t have to walk very far to find something to eat. Shop-house restaurants and food carts can be found on almost every street corner, at pavement eateries with fold-up tables and chairs, and in the smallest of sois (lanes). In fact, the smell of food is omnipresent in this sprawling metropolis, which is home to more than seven million people.
Contrary to the ‘popularised’ version of Thai cuisine found in the West, there’s a lot more to it than Phad Thai or red, yellow and green curries. For starter, the variety is vast – be prepared to see some strange-looking dishes. Absolutely nothing goes to waste, pork innards, chicken feet, even creepy looking insects included. All in all, Thai food is not just a culinary feast, but an unrivaled adventure. Arrive with an open mind and you will be hooked in no time. And the best advice is: Don’t hesitate to try something new or different.
Birds Nest and Shark Fin Soup
Two of the most luxurious foods in the world are widely available in Bangkok. With dubious health benefits and extravagant price tags, both Birds Nest Soup and the controversial Shark Fin Soup are lovingly lapped up at Thai-Chinese wedding banquets, by businessmen looking to close the next big deal, or by those just intrigued when wandering Chinatown. You must try Birds Nest and Shark Fin Soup, it’s cheap in Thailand.
Price Range: Depending on the quality (grade of the fins), expect to pay anything between 600 baht and 2,000 baht for a portion, sometimes big enough to serve two.
Some of the phrase that might be handy and useful when you are in Bangkok:-
Hello >> Sawatdee (khrap/kha)
Thank you >> Khawp Khun (khrap/kha)
How much >> Tao rai
How much is this? >> Nee tao rai (khrap/kha)
That is a little expensive. >> แพงไหม (paeng bai)
Can you make it cheaper? >> ลดหน่อยได้ไหม (lot noi dai mai)
Good >> Dee
It’s more about visiting the famous places and shopping in Bangkok. What’s nice food and must try food in Bangkok?