41 THINGS TO DO IN BANGKOK (Part 2: DOWNTOWN #16-41)
Downtown Bangkok has cosmopolitan and urban flair with a traditional heart. The architectural design of the cityscape is a mixture of both, paint worn old and brilliantly modern.
The list of things to do in downtown Bangkok is endless, so I’ll show you some highlights and secret ways make the most of your trip!
Here’s 41 Things to Do in Bangkok (Part 2: Downtown) . I’ll show you how to make the most of your trip!
41 Things to Do in Downtown Bangkok
16. Fresh Markets
Exploring the markets of Bangkok, you’ll find fresh markets galore, where you can see ingredients important in Thai households and cooking.
17. Thai Massage
A definite must if you’re in Thailand is to get a Thai massage. The Thai massage is different from others and is a full body rigorous style. You’ll find massage places from parlors to streets and even night markets. Massages can start at about 150 baht/hour for a foot massage (depending upon where you go) and prices are based upon service), while a neck and shoulder massage are premium service. Some massage parlors will use an acupressure method for your foot massage. Best place to get a massage: Wat Pho
18. Bangkok food tours
What better way to learn about Bangkok and Thai culture, that to take Bangkok food tour. I took a tour with the Taste of Thailand and spent an afternoon of food sampling in the foodie district of Bangrak, visiting local markets, learning about the Thai Michellin awards for food and 500 year old shop
19. Street Food
Mouth-watering and inexpensive street food is what Bangkok is known for. It’s hard to imagine the Thai even want to cook at home. My favorite spots to experience good street food is: Saladeng BTS area, Chinatown, Bangrak, Khao San Road
Written guide coming soon!
20. Yaowarat | Chinatown
Yaowarat is Bangkok’s Chinatown and it’s a foodie’s paradise if you love Chinese food, but I’m going to have sticky rice and mango, a dessert that’s a national favorite.
21. Motorbike Taxis
For local Thai, motorbike taxis are an inexpensive and easy way to get to work or their apartment. Best for short distances and hard to reach places, rides cost according to neighborhood and distance. Some have standard rates, but the price menu is in Thai. Short distances within the same neighborhood will likely ballpark between 10- 60 baht.
Lugging a huge backpack? Not to worry. These guys can balance both, you and your luggage for the ride
22. Terminal 21
Terminal 21 is like you’re at an airport. The signs above the escalators transport you to different destinations. There’s nine floors of over 600 stores and a cineplex . MRT- Sukhumvit; BTS- Asok (direct access via Skywalk).
23. Central World
Central World is the largest mall in Thailand and quite possibly Asia. Stretching a few blocks long it’s got over 500 stores & high-end flagship brands. At night, walking down this street towards Pratanum district, you’ll find street hawkers selling clothes and street snacks.
24. Beauty Salons & Spas
Bangkok has a competitive range of skin and beauty salons and spas, which offer skin/body care treatment from facials to skin lightening and facial hair removal. Some even offer promotional discounts. Getting a haircut at a nice salon in Bangkok is like getting it in the U.S… albeit, it will cost me around 200 baht.
25. Siam Square
Siam Square is possibly the heart of Bangkok for any traveler. As a main transfer hub, it’s a shopping and entertainment area connecting to other shopping malls via sky bridge. While you’re there, check out: Siam Center/Siam Discovery Center Aquarium, Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum, MBK Center, Siam Square One, Siam Paragon.
26. Siam Paragon & Cineplex
Siam Paragon is one of the main shopping malls in the Siam Square area. There’s a food court, Siam Discovery Center Aquarium and a cineplex. The Thai design theaters in a world-class way and thus, Siam Paragon Cineplex is a bucket list experience. They have IMAX, 4DX and luxury VIP options, where you can sit on anything from sofa seats to beanbags, while getting foot massage, alcohol or a buffet meal.
27. Royal Anthem
In Thailand, there’s an ongoing respect paid to the beloved King. One thing to note: You’ll have to stand up for the Royal Anthem before the start of every movie. You might even find it being played in the metro.
28. Hello Kitty Cafe
Hello Kitty House Bangkok is quite possibly the largest I’ve seen yet. With three spacious floors of Sanrio, there’s plenty of photo opps and space to throw your next party. Visit the Hello Kitty Store downstairs, where you can sift through souvenir curios. Location: Siam Square One (ground level), Rama I Road, Siam BTS station.
29. MBK shopping mall
If you’re shopping for cheap, check out MBK (aka Mahboonkrong) shopping mall. I like to browse their cheap mobile phones and chargers section, but there’s also jewelry and clothes, an arcade and theater. BTS: National Stadium
30. Medical Tourism
Thailand is known for medical tourism and houses some state of the art medical facilities for a fraction of the cost of what you’d normally pay elsewhere. Best of all, they make it quick and a visit to the doctor, you’re in and out.
31. Dental Tourism
Bangkok has many dentists and you’ll have many to choose from. Facilities can range from local to spa-like and prices are cheaper than the west. A popular and inexpensive cosmetic procedure travelers love is teeth whitening.
32. Seamstress and laundry services
Seamstresses and laundress are popular services for travelers, who have a load of laundry to do or some clothes for repair. They’re very good. Costs by weight in kilo, but usually tends to be under $2. Note: Launderers can perform tailor services or if not, recommend you to one!
33. Pantip Plaza
If you’re looking to geek out on computers, plug adapters and techie things, then Pantip Plaza is your spot. It also houses some computer repair shops.
34. The Big C
The Big C is Thailand’s K-Mart or WalMart. It’s a department store of groceries, household supplies and beauty products.
35. BTS Skytrain
The BTS Skytrain makes getting around Downtown Bangkok a breeze and I love it. It’s clean, quick, air conditioned, and is a great way to escape the heat. It’s also raises you up high so you can appreciate Bangkok’s amazing cityscape view.
36. Sidewalk Shopping
The Thai love to shop, boy do they love to shop, such that you’ll find food, clothes and market vendors set up on busy street sidewalks, metro stations and alleys at all hours of the day. Fave shopping streets:Khao San Road, Central World Mall, off BTS- Sala Deng & BTS- Siam. Victory Monument
37. Victory Monument
In for a good night market? Victory Monument is not only a hub for transportation, but at night you’ll find it a hub of shopping for working class Thais who want something affordable and cute.
38. Boat Noodles
If you love noodles, highly recommended is Boat Noodle Alley at Victory Monument. It’s tricky to find but worth the effort as you can choose the noodles you want and your broth. The noodle bowls are small and to die for, and they cost only 12 baht. As added incentive, if eat 12 bowls, you get a free bottle of Pepsi. My favorite: Best of the Boat Noodle restaurant
39. Khlong Saen Saeb commuter boat
During rush hour, the Khlong Saen Saeb commuter boat is a convenient mode of transportation for shopping, sightseeing. There are temples, markets, old simple wooden houses and interesting bridges, and it is possible to walk along the banks in many places. Note: the Khlong Saen Saeb route is limited and primarily services neighborhoods, but you can still use it to get around to some sights and it shows you a different side of Bangkok..
40. Thai Tea
Thai tea is a lightly spiced black tea flavor mixed with carnation milk for sweetness. It’s poured into a cup of ice. Note: No eating or drinking on the BTS & MRT, so often vendors, will bag your drinks up or tie a plastic carrying strap on it, so you can carry it onboard as takeout.
41. Deep Fried Insects
A popular fascination with western tourists are deep fried insects . They’re sold in carts wheeled around Bangkok’s streets at night. Deep fried insects are popular snacks in Thailand, especially with workers from the more rural regions of the country. Insects range from bamboo worms, wasps, grasshoppers, beetles and more. Some vendors even make their own salad mixes! (Watch my video; the bug cart is featured at the end). Costs tend to be 10 baht per handful. Where you might find carts:Khaosan Road, Soi Cowboy, Khlong Toey Market. Read more here and here.
Where to Stay in Downtown Bangkok: