Bangkok is a mix city in which the beauty of a modern metropolis and the traditions of Asian culture intertwine in the most incredible way. Bangkok is the liberated center of Thailand, combining the daring wealth of business districts with the poverty of the squalid huts of poor areas. Only here you can feel the Thai culture, enjoy the amazing panorama of the city and taste the local cuisine. What to see in Bangkok? How will the exotic capital surprise tourists? In this review, we have selected for you the best sights of Bangkok that we recommend visiting during a trip to the capital of Thailand.
What to see in Bangkok first
The Thai capital is a city where you should not travel unaccompanied, especially since guides in Bangkok are not particularly expensive, speak Russian and English quite well and know everything about local rules and traditions. Therefore, having chosen the most interesting sights for yourself, hire a guide and start your acquaintance with this amazing metropolis.
1. Grand Palace
Grand Palace in Bangkok
The main attraction of Bangkok is considered to be the Grand Palace, built during the time of Rama I. It was then that the capital was moved to Bangkok. The Royal Palace complex combines quaint temples and galleries, statues of the heroes of the Thai epic, is located in the very center of Bangkok, bounded by Sanam Luang Square and the Chao Phraya River.
On the territory of the complex, covering more than 20,000 square meters, there are museums of weapons and textiles, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha is also located here. The place is rich in luxurious wall paintings and colorful frescoes, artsy elements and architecture. When visiting the sights of Thailand, be sure to include this palace in your travel itinerary.
Official website: https://uk.tourismthailand.org
2. Wat Arun
Buddhist temple Wat Arun in Bangkok
The temple and religious sites of Bangkok occupy an important place in the history of Thailand. There are many such buildings in Bangkok, but the attention of Buddhists and travelers is attracted by the mysterious Wat Arun, which means the Temple of the Dawn or the Temple of the Morning Dawn. During the confrontation between Burma and Ayutthaya, the ruler of Siam made a promise to build a temple dedicated to the god of dawn on the banks of the Chao Phraya River, and kept it. Wat Arun personifies Mount Meru, the tiers of which show different worlds of the universe. Features of the temple building:
- The temple is decorated with flowers from colorful fragments of ceramics and porcelain. Phra Bang Tower (79 meters). The pagoda is surrounded by four small towers. At the top there are two terraces overlooking the skyline of Bangkok. Phra Bang Pagoda can be reached by a steep staircase. Alcoves and platforms are decorated with statues of gods, guards and animals.
The Temple has beautiful pavilions, viharnas, you can visit the library, see the sculpture of Buddha, look into the bedchamber of the monks or the hall of initiations.
3. Wat Phrakew or the Temple of the “Emerald Buddha”
Temple of the Emerald Buddha in Bangkok
The most sacred and revered place in Thailand is the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. Exploring the sights of Bangkok, it is impossible to ignore the amazing temple. Here is a statue of a deity, the size of which is 66 cm in height. The jade figure of Buddha, sitting in a lotus position, is a shrine of the Thai people. If you look at the statue from a certain angle, the deity seems to glow from the inside with a soft greenish fire. According to ancient legends, when the Buddha reached the highest level of being, Nirvana, master Nagasen carved his figure out of jade, believing that he used a real emerald for work.
The temple is located on the territory of the Grand Royal Complex. There are two secondary entrances to the Temple for visitors, teak wood gates are open for the royal family. To visit the territory of the Temple, you must follow a certain “dress code” – wear things that cover your shoulders to the elbow, skirts and trousers that cover your knees, and sandals with a closed heel. People enter the Temple only with bare feet, as they do with any building of the Palace complex.
4. Jim Thompson House-Museum
Jim Thompson House Museum in Bangkok
What to visit in Bangkok is a must? The most beautiful place in Bangkok is the Thompson House Museum. The complex consists of six houses built according to Thai traditions. Why do Thais honor the memory of an American architect? Separate buildings of the complex are more than two hundred years old – by order of Thompson, the buildings were transported from different parts of Thailand. Jim revived the Thai silk industry when he arrived in Bangkok during World War II. What is unique about the house-museum:
- A wonderful collection of antiques and art. Antiques – Chinese porcelain, Cambodian sculptures. Paintings by Thai artists. Rare figurines from Burma. Thompson's unique collection of silverware.
It is not allowed to take pictures inside the museum – only the complex from the street is allowed to take pictures.
Official website: http://www.jimthompsonhouse.com/
5. Wat Saket
Wat Saket or Golden Mountain in Bangkok
The first mention of the Temple of the Golden Mountain dates back to the 16th century. It is no coincidence that the building was included in the sights of Bangkok – it is a temple of fabulous beauty. The complex symbolizes the purification of the soul and body, and is located on the site of ancient burials. The area is still referred to as the “Ghost Gate”. The main feature is that the Temple was erected on an artificially created embankment, and the building is crowned with a conical golden chedi. Here you can see a lot of interesting things:
- Buddha statues and places of worship. Hall of handshakes Bot for prayers and dedications. Viharn – assembly ceremonial hall. A wide staircase of 320 steps. Bells and bells. Relic of the Buddha located under the chedi.
From the roof of the Temple of the Golden Mountain, you can enjoy a stunning view of Bangkok – you can see the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, the famous monument of Democracy and the high towers of the business district of the metropolis. Wan Saket is especially interesting during the Loy Krathong celebrations in November. Fairs, solemn processions, colored lanterns, flags and fun attractions await tourists.
Official website: http://thegoldenmount.com
6. Baiyoke Tower 2
Night view of Bayuk II tower in Bangkok
304 meters – the breathtaking height of the most amazing building in Thailand. The Bayok 2 tower proudly raises its peak to the heavens, offering tourists to enjoy the beautiful view from the terrace of an architectural masterpiece. A modern skyscraper is a hotel with 85 floors and 650 rooms. Observation decks that offer a panoramic view of the sights of Bangkok are located on floors 77-84 of the tower. In good weather, you can see not only the city, but also the Gulf of Thailand, 25 km from Bangkok. On the 84th floor of Bayok Tower 2, a rotating platform is provided, so you can view the city from different angles. To get to the upper tiers of the tower, tourists can:
- Settle in a hotel – guests have unhindered access to the observation terraces. Book a table in the restaurant of the Bayok Towers 2 hotel and get a free ticket “to the roof”. Pay for visiting the observation decks at a special hotel ticket office and enjoy the wonderful view at different times of the day.
When the lights are on in the hotel and the city is full of bright colors, it's hard to find a more interesting picture to shoot.
7. Vimanmek Palace or Vimanmek Mansion
Vimanmek Palace in Bangkok
What you need to see in Bangkok is the Vimanmek Palace, which was built under King Rama V. When he visited Europe, he was fascinated by the masterpieces of local architecture and decided to embody a bold idea – to combine Victorian style with oriental traditions. The “castle in the clouds” seems to float above the ground thanks to the use of a special type of teak wood for the construction. Interesting features:
- Vimanmek is built without a single nail. The palace has eighty rooms. For some time, Vimanmek was the residence of the king and his family. The first elevator in Thailand was installed in the building, the first typewriter and an electric lamp are also stored here. Halls for receptions and rooms for guests of honor, apartments of the royal family look solemn.
To get even more experience while exploring the sights of Bangkok, tourists can visit the Aphisekdusit Throne Room, located near the “Castle in the Clouds”. Here is an interesting collection of clothes, fabrics and handicrafts, there are portraits of famous personalities and old carriages.
8. Safari world – theme park
Safari World in Bangkok
More than two hundred hectares of land in Bangkok are set aside for the zoo Safari World. The territory combines the Safari Park and the Marine Park – wildlife mixed with original shows and entertainment. Visitors to Safari World can enjoy an interesting walk in their own car or park bus. What visitors expect:
- Tigers and lions roam freely in the park. Giraffes, deer, hippos graze peacefully on open pastures. The inhabitants of the huge zoo are zebras, camels, rhinos, antelopes. There are also large birds – ostriches, pelicans, marabou. In the Marine Park you can see spectacular performances of dolphins.
What to visit in Bangkok if not the world famous zoo? The territory of predators is fenced off from herbivorous inhabitants of the park. However, when visiting Safari World, it seems that the animals are next to each other. Families with children will definitely enjoy the performance of fur seals and dolphins, visiting orangutan boxing. Park staff asks you to follow the rules – do not get out of the car, do not honk and do not perform intimidating actions.
Official website: http://www.safariworld.com/
9. Ananda Samakhom
Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall in Bangkok
The majestic Ananta Samakhom building is part of the Dusit architectural complex, as is Vimanmek Castle. The throne room meets the given style – the beauty of baroque, neoclassicism and Thai architecture is united under one massive dome. The Ananta Samakhom palace complex occupies a vast area of 5.5 hectares. There are many green corners here – while contemplating the lush flowering vegetation, walking along the alleys becomes doubly pleasant. What to see in Bangkok in the Throne Room:
- Palace walls decorated with rich frescoes. Exhibitions of works by Thai artists. Works of arts and crafts.
No photography is allowed in the Throne Room itself. But the beauty of the palace, its halls, exhibits, painted frescoes, bas-reliefs, high dome will forever remain in the heart of the traveler.
Official website: http://www.artsofthekingdom
10. Democracy Monument
Democracy Monument in Bangkok
Guides, showing tourists the sights of Bangkok, include a visit to the Democracy Monument in the route. The monument was erected in 1939 in honor of the military coup that led to a fundamental change in political power in the country. Architect Maeve Aiphaiwong and sculptor Corado Feroci laid 75 cannonballs at the base of the monument, symbolizing the year of the Buddhist Era.
The monument is located in the middle of a traffic roundabout. The main figures of the Democracy Monument are four tall sculptures and one low one, located in the center of the monument. The monument impresses with its majestic appearance and symbolic meaning.
Bangkok attractions: what else to visit while in Bangkok
Tourists who want a real exotic, without a doubt, will like excursions in Bangkok to local markets and parks, where a special national flavor reigns and civilization is subsiding. Naturally, it is better to go to such places with an escort in order to avoid problems with the locals and not miss all the fun!
11. Chatuchak Market
Souvenirs at Chatuchak Market in Bangkok
Chatuchak is a weekend market. Thais claim that it is the largest in the world. And what is especially interesting, the goods are sold at quite affordable prices. Chatuchak got into the sights of Bangkok quite deservedly – this is the largest clothing market. What can you buy here:
- electronics, appliances, furniture; souvenirs, crafts, antiques; flowers of all kinds and colors; clothes, dishes, household goods; parrots and other animals.
And this is not a complete list of goods that can be bargained with Thai sellers at a bargain price. Lively trade stretches on many streets and alleys, because the total territory of the Chatuchak market occupies about 11 hectares of land. Tourists need to be prepared that cash settlements are carried out throughout the market, and finding an ATM is very problematic. Every weekend, Chatuchak hosts up to two hundred thousand people, and a third of them are invariably foreigners.
Official website: https://www.chatuchakmarket
12. Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
Top view of Damnoen Saduak floating market
An interesting phenomenon that can only be seen in East Asia is the many rivers and canals that surround Bangkok, which not only move around the city, but are also used for brisk trade. What to see in Bangkok unusual? The Damnoen Saduak floating market is located on the water, so tourists can rent a boat and choose the goods they are interested in. The market presents mainly souvenirs, but there are vegetables and fruits for sale. In addition, the traveler will be able to order a Thai dish and watch how it is prepared right on the boat.
All merchants with goods are located on narrow boats. It is enough to make a sign with your hand, and the local seller swims up to the buyer to demonstrate his goods. The floating market is always bright, noisy, there is a brisk trade. This place is also famous for the fact that episodes of the James Bond movie were filmed here. Actually, thanks to such a kind of advertising, Damnoen Saduak gained worldwide fame.
Official website: http://www.thailandhighlight
13. Lumpini Park
Picturesque Lumpini Park in Bangkok
In the very center of Bangkok, there is a wonderful Lumpini Park, which got its name in honor of the place where Buddha was born. So that the townspeople could relax and enjoy the views of wildlife, almost a hundred years ago, by order of King Rama the Sixth, a beautiful park was laid out, covering an area of 57 hectares. What to visit in Bangkok at Lumpini Park:
- Tourists can see the statue of King Rama the Fourth, the foot of which is decorated with a scattering of wonderful flowers. Lake with birds and fish plus an added bonus – a fun ride on a catamaran. A town for children, located on the banks of a small river, with swings, sandboxes and other entertainment. A stage in the center of dense vegetation – it hosts musical performances and shows. Lawn with rare species of shrubs and flowers. Signs with the names of exotic plants are attached to green spaces. Live monitor lizards in large numbers. They live near water, but can also hide in trees.
Dogs, alcohol and smoking are not allowed in Lumpini Park, but outdoor picnics are welcome.
14. Samut Prakan Crocodile Farm
Crocodile Farm-Zoo Samut Prakan
The sights of Bangkok attract thousands of tourists from all over the world with their exoticism. Only in Thailand, travelers can see a farm with live crocodiles, located 25 km from Bangkok. Individuals of various sizes and ages with sharp teeth are the main inhabitants of Samut Prakan, and there are about 60,000 crocodiles here. Popular sights for vacationers:
- Crocodile show, when trainers put their head in the animal's mouth. Spectacular shocking performances featuring crocodiles, elephants and tigers. A resting place for crocodiles, where the inhabitants are fed and they rest in the sun. Tourists are offered to feed small crocodiles, but not from their hands, but with the help of a special stick on which meat is strung.
It is known that it takes 25 years for a crocodile to grow from an egg to a three-meter individual. There are so many crocodiles in Samut Prakan that it is difficult to figure out where their tails are and where their heads are. In the sights of Bangkok that you can visit in Thailand, you should definitely include a visit to Samut Prakan.
Official website: http://www.worldcrocodile
15. Giant swing
Giant swing in Bangkok
In the Phra Nakhon area, there is a Giant swing, which belongs to the monuments of religious purpose. Previously, this place was used for ceremonies, but the structure was damaged by a lightning strike. After several restorations, the Swing was included in the UNESCO heritage. Now the design is included in the most famous sights of Bangkok.
According to an ancient legend, when Brahma created the world, he sent Shiva to earth. But on earth, the insidious serpent Nag turned into rings around the mountains, guarding his possessions. Shiva defeated the Naga, and the construction of the swing symbolizes this duel. The swing represents the mountains and the earth. During the religious ritual, the men swung on the Giant Swing up to twenty meters in height. The last “swing” ceremony was held in 1935, after which the ritual was banned due to accidents. Every tourist must see this place. After visiting Bangkok, be sure to visit Pattaya! We have prepared for you an overview of the best attractions in Pattaya to inspire you on your further trip to Thailand.