Holidays in Bangkok: what do I have to know
The capital of the Thailand is a city full of surprises. From the very beginning of your holiday in Bangkok, you will be surprised by its many facets and its tug of war between tradition and modernity. On the one hand, its floating markets, its houses on stilts or its temples. On the other hand, skyscrapers and more. It would be a shame to describe it otherwise than with a light spirit. So VeryChic offers you to prepare yourself for your trip to Bangkok. With this list of must-see places followed by a few tips, you'll be ready to go to your destination by the end of this read!
What to do in Bangkok from the traditional perspective;
Never colonised, Bangkok has a unique ambience that you can explore on historical tours. Here is our selection.
The temples of Bangkok
Here are three temples of Bangkok not to be missed:
- The Wat Pho is certainly the best known temple in the Thai capital. It is considered one of the largest and oldest Buddhist temples in the city. In particular, it is here that the famous Bangkok Reclining Buddha is located, measuring some 46 metres in length. It has the largest collection of Buddhas in Thailand. There is also a massage room and air-conditioned massage pavilions inside. The Bangkok massage is also a must.
- Wat Arun is one of Bangkok's holiest temples. Its Khmer-style tower (prang) is 82 metres high. It is covered with mosaic made from pieces of colourful Chinese porcelain. At night, the temple lights up and offers a marvellous spectacle by reflecting on the waters of the Chao Phraya River.
- The Wat Phra Kaeo, also known as the Buddha Temple, and also considered a must-see, is located in the centre of the city in the Bangkok Royal Palace. This is the home of the Emerald Buddha, the most famous statue in Thailand. Note that few buildings in the palace are open to the public.
The markets of Bangkok
After the temples, head to one of Bangkok’s many markets. Night or day, land or floating, they will charm you!
- The Pak Khlong Flower Market is the largest fresh flower market in Thailand. It is open 24 hours a day and is located in Bangkok's Old Town. Its peak time is at night, between sunset and dawn. Here you can buy things to make your own typical flower necklace of yellow carnations, or get seeds to take home.
- Chatuchak Market is one of the largest markets in the world and takes place every weekend. It is best to take a whole day to browse it. And when you feel a little hungry, you can visit one of the food stalls. Alternatively, you can take your meal with you and take a break in the nearby park. A relaxing moment away from the crowds!
- The floating market of Khlong Lat Mayom is a traditional market for locals. It is located only a few kilometres from the centre of Bangkok. In addition to the fruit and vegetables sold on boats, you can also taste some freshly prepared food. All this in a peaceful atmosphere, far from the hustle and bustle of the city centre. And if you don't have anything to buy, you can simply enjoy the market on a two-hour longtail boat ride. The price you will be offered will be so low that you cannot refuse.
Museums are the best way to learn about a country’s history and culture. Here are a few not to be missed during your holidays in Bangkok:
- The Bangkok National Museum is the largest museum in the country. It will allow you to explore Buddhism and Thai art from pre-history to the 20th century. You will start with the Thai history and prehistory galleries before moving on to the Buddhaisawan Chapel. The Buddhaisawan Chapel contains a very old statue of Buddha (Phra Buddha Sihing) and the oldest frescoes in the city. Finally, you will also discover prestigious royal collections in the old palace (jewels, furniture, porcelain and ceremonial costumes).
- The Bangkok Royal Barges Museum is a standard hangar where historical photos and magnificent barges with richly decorated bows are displayed. It will allow you to relive great traditional events, such as the procession on the Chao Phraya River. The royal barge Suphannahong with its swan head as a figurehead is the main attraction.
- The Jim Thompson House is a traditional teak house nestled in the heart of a garden in central Bangkok. It houses a museum displaying the Asian art collection of the American businessman for whom the house is named. Statues, tapestries, silks, etc. You are likely to be impressed!
What to do in modern Bangkok
With your historical tours completed, set out to discover the other side of Bangkok. The high-tech mall, the towering skyscrapers, the breathtaking shopping malls, where to start to discover the other side of Bangkok.
A rooftop view on Bangkok at Sukhumvit district
The Sukhumvit district is organised around the road of the same name. Here, temples and rice fields have been replaced by shopping malls, nightclubs and a variety of venues for the Thai middle class, expatriates and tourists. It has some of the best restaurants and nightclubs in the city. You'll also find a great rooftop in Bagkok here, giving you a great view of the whole city: the Octave Rooftop Lounge & Bar is our reccomendation. Day or night, this lively neighbourhood will amaze you.
The shopping malls
The malls represent one of the best ways to escape the heat. Popular with locals and tourists alike, here are our top 3:
- IconSiam is the largest shopping mall in Thailand. It is even nicknamed the "Mother of All Malls". 7,000 Thai and international brands (including the first Apple shop in Thailand) are spread out over eight floors. There is something for everyone. The Iconluxe area, for example, houses high-end brands, while SookSiam is an area that promotes the arts, culture and gastronomy of Thailand's 77 provinces. The River Park is the largest multi-purpose water park in Southeast Asia.
- Terminal 21 is a rather atypical shopping centre. Indeed, each of the eight floors represents a city in the world. You can go from Rome to Paris, Istanbul or San Francisco in the same day. You can end this amazing experience in London and Tokyo, two other cities represented here.
- The MBK is certainly Bangkok's most famous and popular shopping centre. It has 2,000 shops selling all kinds of products. You will find clothes, fashion accessories, handbags, leather goods, luggage, furniture, mobile phones, appliances, cameras, stationery and DVDs. As much appreciated by tourists as by locals, this is certainly due to the low prices it offers.
Other modern sites in Bangkok to discover
- The MahaNakhon (also called King Power MahaNakhon) is a 314-metre skyscraper built in 2016 in Bangkok. It features the highest observation deck in Bangkok.
- The Ratchadamnoen Stadium is the first centre built solely for Muay Thai, Thai boxing, and is therefore considered the home of the sport. It is located in the northwest of the city.
- The Lumphini Park will allow you to relax in the city centre while mingling with the people of Bangkog. This is where they come in the morning or at the end of the day to play sports. You can go for a swim on its artificial lake, follow the tree-lined paths or have fun on its playgrounds.
Overnight in Bangkok
Want to find a hotel in Bangkok that suits you? That's good because at VeryChic we know how to offer you different addresses that are made for you. Here is an overview of them:
- A hotel on Bangkok's Khao San Road. It will be the occasion to cross all the backpackers. This place allows you to get to the city centre and to visit Bangkok in a very easy way. But to avoid being surrounded by a large number of tourists at all times, choose to spend your day around Khao San Road instead.
- So Sofitel Bangkok, a hotel in Bangkok with a rooftop pool, but also a five-star address; It is also a five-star address that is environmentally friendly and provides bicycles to explore the city's surroundings in a different way.
- An address such as the Pullman Bangkok, otherwise known as a luxury Bangkok hotel ideally located in the heart of Bangkok, in the Silom district. This type of hotel will allow you to visit the city easily before enjoying its facilities, including rooms and suites with panoramic views, or the various bars and restaurants.
When to visit Bangkok?
The best time to travel to Bangkok is when it is not too hot but not too rainy either. This period is between November and March. It is also a good time to go because you will be able to take part in many festivities. For example, you will be able to:
- Follow Chinese New Year in February (remember to check the exact date as it varies according to the lunar calendar).
- Participate in Loi Krathong in November, considered the most spectacular festival in Thailand. In order to thank the God of the waters, the Thais make small lotus-shaped boats with a lit candle inside. They then let the boat sail on the waters of the Chao Phraya or elsewhere.
- Wishing the King a happy birthday on December 5 and helping the Thai people to prepare their accommodation for the occasion. This celebration will take place on the same day as the festivities in Thailand.
Winter is the mildest season but also the most touristy so think carefully about booking your holiday in advance (especially between late December and early January).