Places I recommend visiting in Bangkok, Thailand
Explore when you can.
As I mentioned in my Thailand post, here’re the top visited places in Bangkok, Thailand that is worth going to.
1. Chatuchak Weekend Market (aka. JJ Market)
Chatuchak Weekend Market is one of the busiest weekend markets I’d ever seen in Thailand, or perhaps in the whole world! There’s about 200,000+ shopping-craving tourists and local Thais that come to shop around every weekend, which is insane! Because think about it — if every person spends $5, that’s already one million bucks earned by those vendors. And it’s nice because there’re 15,000+ vendor stalls that pretty much sell everything you can think of, from trendy clothes, bags, jewelry, wood carvings, phone & tablet cases, toys, Buddhist amulets, handcrafted souvenirs, flowers, to small puppies.
My favorite part about Chatuchak market is being able to haggle (unless there’s a sign that explicitly says “Fixed price” or “No negotiations”). Things are relatively cheap. I remember getting a pair of shorts for 100 baht ($2.86) and a nice cardigan for $200 baht ($5.71), and walking away with a smile. Because honestly, I don’t think you could find any place cheaper.
But if you do know one that’s cheaper, tell meeeee!!!
By the way, if you tend to be the type that gets the munchies whenever you shop, Chatuchak Market has food & drinks stalls scattered everywhere. A few things you’d see: garlic bread, fresh coconut ice cream scooped into a real coconut, Thai tea popsicles, mango sticky rice (pictures here). But if you keep walking around, you’ll eventually reach the main “food court” where there’s even more food!
How about a quick glimpse?
Shopping tip: If you like something you see, note down the stall number location. Because the chances of you remembering where your favorite stall is very, very slim.
Cost: Depends on how much you wish to buy
Saturday & Sunday: 9am-6pm
Friday: 6pm-12am (not every shop is open though)
587/10 Kamphaeng Phet 2 Rd, Khwaeng Chatuchak, Khet Chatuchak, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10900, Thailand
2. Chinatown (Yaowarat)
If you crave human interaction, wild nightlife, fresh seafood, and ancient temples, then Chinatown is your kind of place! Here, you’ll see tourists and locals come together to enjoy exotic grub like shark fin soup (now illegal in US), bird’s nest soup, durian, grilled squid, and the famous Yaowarat toasted bread (highly recommended!). There’s also plenty of massage parlors and small shops selling Chinese herbal medicines and crunchy bugs (yum, bugs!).
By the way, I didn’t know this but Chinatown is loaded with gold shops. So if you’re looking to buy jewelry, you’ll probably get the best bang for your buck here.
Chinatown is open all day. I’d advise daytime for a better shopping & sightseeing experience, and nighttime for street food. Whichever time you choose though, it’ll be fully packed with people.
Cost: Depends on how much you want to spend on good food
All day, 24 hours
300 ซอย เยาวราช 6 Yaowarat Rd, Khwaeng Samphanthawong, Khet Samphanthawong, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10100, Thailand
3. Chao Phraya River (River of Kings)
Enjoy cruising on the river or getting a nicer view of the city? Then how about taking a day to take a boat or ferry ride on Chao Phraya River? It’s lined with soaring hotels, hole-in-the-wall restaurants, condos, ancient temples, bars and cafes with live music. And it’s extremely beautiful at night and a cool way to see the Grand Palace and Wat Arun (the colorful porcelain-encrusted Buddhist temple).
It does get a bit chaotic to book a boat, especially when rush hour hits. I remember hopping onto the wrong boat just because I stuck with the crowd. But don’t make the same mistake as I did. Check the flag color of the boat you paid for and see what direction the boat is heading towards (there’s only 2 paths: north or south). If anything, you can ask the ferry conductor for help.
Chao Phraya River sightseeing guide here.
Cost: Typically between 10–15 baht, although long journeys could go up to 30 baht. 150 baht for unlimited rides in one day. Pay your fares onboard.
All the piers
4. Terminal 21 (Shopping Mall)
Terminal 21 is a 9-story modern shopping center that features market streets around the world, including the Caribbean, Rome, Paris, Tokyo, London, Istanbul, San Francisco, and Hollywood. Each floor has its own theme and is nicely decorated to give you a memorable shopping experience. They even have a gourmet supermarket on the bottom floor and a cinema to watch movies at.
Terminal 21 sells tons of fashion items and designed/international products. There’s more quality in the things sold here, so prices aren’t as cheap. T-shirts, bags, and jeans would typically cost 250–1000 baht ($7.14-$28.57).
But despite the higher prices for clothes & accessories, there is one thing Terminal 21 has that no other mall can’t compete with — and that’s their incredibly cheap food court. You can get a plate of roasted duck rice or a bowl of boat noodles for 30–50 baht ($0.86-$1.43).
C’mon now, that’s street food price!
And the most awesome thing is, there’re 30+ options to choose from.
Let me show you what I got after circling the food court for 20 minutes: Cold roast duck noodles with a sweet savory soy sauce. 😋
Cost: Depends on how much you want to buy and eat. Bargaining is possible for a few shops.
88 Sukhumvit Soi 19 (Wattana) Sukhumvit Rd.
North Klongtoei, Wattana, Bangkok 10110
5. Street Food Stalls
Wait, Tiffany…this isn’t a tourist spot to check out.
I know, it isn’t. But I feel like 50% of the fun in Thailand is really just exploring the little alleyways and streets, and taking a glance at the street vendors — like the ones that sell silky garments, special sushi, design watches. Who knows, you might be surprised!
But it’s just pretty cool how every vendor is unique and has something in particular they’re best known for. You’ll know with one look — either through their displays or what you see on the table. It’ll be a great deal too.
Note: On Mondays, half of the street vendors will be gone because of street cleaning. So if you’re craving cheap grub, I advise going to the food centers or shopping mall food courts instead.
Now I realized I didn’t explore as many places as I wanted to in Thailand (since I started getting into the groove of working overseas). But if you’re interested, Mark Wien has some great recommendations in his video: 25 Amazing things to do in Bangkok, Thailand.