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Bangkok: hop on the boat to explore the impressive and affordable sightseeing that Bangkok has to offer ⛴🍜⛩

Bangkok, my love ❤. I really cannot wait to get back! I’ll tell you what to do in Bangkok, Thailand. Even if you only have 3 days in Bangkok or a week or more, please read the things to do and places to visit in Bangkok, Thailand. Next to the points of interest I’ll also give you some advice on where to stay in Bangkok 🏨, about the location to book your hotel, hostel or Airbnb in Bangkok.

Plan your trip: How to travel to Bangkok city

Bangkok is located in the centre of Thailand. For a lot of travellers this is their port to the rest of Thailand and Asia. Lets start with how to travel to Bangkok.

Fly to Bangkok ✈

When you arrive internationally, you will probably come to Bangkok by plane. When you have (and want to) invest some time, it’s a good idea to keep track of the ticket prices 🎫. There are often good promotions for flight tickets to Bangkok.

From the airport it’s easy to take the Skytrain (BTS) to the city centre. When looking for a place to stay I would advise a place close to a Skytrain (BTS) station. When you’re not close to a Skytrain station you can better take a taxi 🚖 to get from the airport to your hotel. Always make sure the taxi is ‘on meter’, just insist and otherwise get out, just say ‘on meter’. Or you can arrange a price on forehand, so before the driver can start driving – before you get in and closed the doors.

Take the bus to Bangkok 🚌

When you are already in Asia you can take the bus to Bangkok. Good chance you will take a night bus because of the long distances 🌃. You won’t get the best sleep, but it’s the budget way to overcome the distances. My go-to website for busses in Asia is 12goasia. You can book via their website or in their offices. Or, when you know the name of the bus company you want to take, directly with that company (mostly cheaper because 12goasia doesn’t charge fees now).

Take the train to Bangkok 🚉

Taking the train to Bangkok is great! I’ve done night trains to Chiang Mai and Surat Thani. And a train at daytime to Ayutthaya. Night trains tend to run quite on time. About the day train I only remember standing still for hours with no purpose, but well, also an experience 😉, more locals on the day train. The main train station in Bangkok is called Bangkok Hua Lamphong Railway Station, or just Hua Lamphong. When you take the night train to Bangkok it's advisable to take your own breakfast, they sell it at the train but we didn't like it 😉 Some kind of rice-soup.
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What to do in Bangkok 🤗

Where to begin! Bangkok is big, it has só much to offer. Every street you will fall in love with something else. I love it. I will try to give you the best tips! 💌

Royal Grand Palace, Bangkok - พระบรมมหาราชวัง

Despite a minimum of 5 Thai will tell you that it is closed: it is not. 🏰 Admission fee is free of charge for Thais and 500 baht for foreigners. Opening Hours: Daily from 8:30 AM - 3.30 PM. It’s not cheap, but it’s worth it. If you have options: don’t visit in the weekends (too much Chinese).

Koh San Road 👨‍👩‍👦👩‍👩‍👦👨‍👩‍👧

Thé tourist street of Thailand: Koh San Road. Walk by, play some 4-in-a-row, look at other tourists, drink a beer 🍺🍻 at a table with a pineapple tablecloth 🍍, don’t eat a scorpion, eat some pad thai, take a picture, and check the box ☑.

Take a boat, take a tuktuk

As it is functional, it is also one of the things to do! You will get from point A to point B in a real Thailand way. To up the adrenaline, take a tuktuk at a busy moment when it rains, in the dark. Not safe but you will feel the kick. Boats are really practical and cheap to move through the city. You can just take them for sightseeing. Check google maps! The boat terminals are on google maps so when you plan your route they will be included 😊

Shopping in Bangkok!! 🛒🛍👝👜

Shopping in Bangkok is big. From cheaper traditional markets to big high fashion malls, it’s all here.

Bangkok shopping malls 🏬

There are a lot of shopping malls in Bangkok. This is a great place to shop, cool down from the Thai heat and go to have a meal or an ice-cream at the food courts.

Emporium and EmQuartier shopping mall
My favourite malls in Bangkok are Emporium and EmQuartier, they have an amazing food court and the malls looks just great with a big inside and outside garden. It is big! These are officially two malls but very close to each other. Just get to Skytrain/BTS station Phrom Phong and see it for yourself! Good to know, these malls have clean toilets.

MBK Center shopping mall in Bangkok
The MBK Center is a bit less fancy and elegant, but a mall of a different kind. It’s big, they sell cheaper products, more electronics, smaller shops, more tourist stuff and replicas. Great if you want to get good deals! Head to BTS/Skytrain station National Stadium (W1) and you will find the mall at the southside.

Night markets: the best place to shop in Bangkok (& eat! 🍜)

I – love – nightmarkets! ♥

Ratchada Rot Fai Night Market
My favourite nightmarket, by far, is the Ratchada Rot Fai Night Market. For Thai standards very well structured. What a vibe, what a food, amazing! It is located behind a shopping mall called Esplanade, so make sure to walk around this mall 🔃. Take the blue metro line to Thailand Cultural Centre (CUL-BP) to get there 🚇. Only a few minutes’ walk from this metro station. Have a very good night and make sure you come with an appetite. A lot of delicious mango sticky rice.

Patpong Night Market
The Patpong night market in Bangkok is also a great place for shopping. This market has more of a downtown vibe to it, more chaotic, less focussed on food and more touristy / replica stuff. But nevertheless, a great one to visit and see a ‘real’ Thai nightmarket. Take the BTS/Skytrain to Sala Daeng and you will get there, just follow the stalls.

Cycle in Bangkok 🚴‍♀️🚴‍♂️

A great way to explore Bangkok is by bike! But, I advise a tour on this one, as the traffic can be very dangerous if you ‘just’ go for a ride. We – as Dutchies – did a tour with Co van Kessel, this Dutch man started this cycle tour company over 30 years ago – he is not alive anymore, but his company still is alive and kicking. We had a such great time with this cycle tour, I can definitely recommend! We also went (with the bicycles) on the boat too explore the jungle, and had lunch during the tour. I can really recommend including this for the full experience.

Where and what to eat in Bangkok 🦆🥣🥢

Food is available all day, in really all price categories, from fine dining to street food all the way. I will give you the must-eats and a few more expensive but also great recommendations.

Street food in Bangkok

I’ll start with streetfood: it’s all good and all cheap. A bit reluctant at first maybe? Try to be openminded and do like the locals do. When it is busy: the food is good and fresh. To play on the safe side also take a look at the stand. Does it look (relatively 😊) clean, do you have a good feeling with it? Just go for it. Same for the little streetfood restaurants. I’ve never been sick of streetfood.

Streetstalls with noodles / rice

Do you speak Thai? No need 😊 The streetstalls with noodles and rice dishes are simple. In general they have: noodles or rice, chicken or shrimp or meat, wet or dry. So you choose what you want: dry (baked) noodles with chicken? Or rather a (wet) rice soup with chicken. Easy as that and always delicious! Prices... I guess... 50-100 Baht? Two or three euro’s/dollars.

Toasted sandwich at the 7Eleven

What? No, you are not misreading, haha. A toasted sandwich at the 7Eleven is the answer to any bread or cheese cravings you have in Asia. You choose your sandwich in the shop and after paying they prepare it in the toaster for you.

Pad thai!

Must eat in Thailand is the pad thai. It’s a dry noodle dish with chicken or shrimp. Delicious! Not spicy, you can add spices yourself, they are on the table or on the stand for self-service.

Mango sticky rice

Mango sticky rice is a reason to go to Bangkok in itself. I’m not kidding. The mango is so soft and sweet. It is served with rice cooked with sweetened coconut milk and salt and served with coconut cream. Price around 100 baht for a fair portion, small portions for 50 baht.

Peking duck at a Chinese restaurant

Not just a restaurant but an iconic and traditional place. It wasn’t that crowded with tourist when we were there, but a lot of locals – that is a good sign. The name of the place is Prachak Roasted Duck. They have also seating upstairs, and it’s not expensive.

Fine dining in Bangkok 💲💲💲

Want to enjoy more peace and luxury once in a while? A few ideas for you.

Rooftop bars 🌃

There are quite a lot of rooftop bars and restaurants in Bangkok. The view from there is amazing to overlook the city at night. But well, these places are quite expensive. We did one rooftop diner (at the Lebua), and we were not trilled by the quality of the food in comparison to the price, so I wouldn’t advise dining there. Best to do is a drink and a dessert at a rooftop restaurant. Less cost, same view 😊

Fine dining at Bo Lan 🥂

This was one of the best diners I’ve ever had. The restaurant Bo.lan has one Michelin star! Though it’s located in the busy hearth of Bangkok, at 24 Soi Sukhumvit 53, it’s a really quiet place. You can totally relax here. They will guide you through a-ma-zing food! Just one tip: don’t eat too much rice (even though this is great too, haha), because you will get a lot of food – you don’t want to fill yourself with rice too much. Too give you an indication of the price, we paid a total of 7900 Baht for two people, that’s around 210 euro’s or 240 US dollars. & Best to make a reservation via their website.

Where to sleep in Bangkok – How to pick the best location for your hotel 🏩

When you get to Bangkok for the first time, the number of hotels and Airbnb’s to choose from can be overwhelming. Let me help you a bit here with booking a hotel in Bangkok, Thailand 🛏.

Stay close to a skytrain station (BTS) when you come by plane 🗺🚄

Bangkok is really easy to get around, by boats, taxi (Grab-app!), skytrain, walking, and it’s all on Google Maps. But what I like is to get a place close to a Skytrain = BTS station. The Skytrain connects the airport to the city. So, you can just get of your plain and hop on the skytrain. After a long flight this is the best. No changing trains, no taxidrivers, just, hop on the skytrain/BTS, get off, and walk to your hotel or Airbnb.

Hotel or Airbnb?🏨

Both are great. Our maximum budget for sleeping for 2 persons is €20. We have had great Airbnb –apartments – for this price. Clean, comfortable, with air-conditioning. Don’t break the bank, absolutely not necessary. Hotels are available at great prices too – within our budget.

Want to spoil a bit 👑?

Want to live like queen once in a while? Sleep at Lebua! 😊 We slept here for one night and it was a great experience, such big rooms, amazing service, everything you need. The breakfast is one of the best breakfasts I’ve ever had (competing with Viroths in Siem Reap). At Lebua they even have sushi 🍣 at breakfast! You really cannot eat it all so walk around, see what you like, and choose wisely 😊 Take a swim in the swimming pool afterwards 🏊‍♂️.

Get around in Bangkok

Bangkok is big, and there are a lot of people that have to get from A to B. There roads are often fully blocked with cars 🚗🚙🚓, motorbikes 🏍🛵, tuktuks, but luckily there are more options to transport yourself in Bangkok! There is a subway 🚇, a sky train called the BTS, and my favourite: take the boat ⛴.

Subway and Skytrain (BTS) in Bangkok 🚇🚅

It’s one big party to get around in Bangkok. Most straightforward and easy are the metro and the skytrain called BTS (like a metro but overground). Everything is well indicated in English and it’s very easy to buy tickets/coins for public transport.

Get around by boat🚤

Even a better experience is taking the boats, they are so fun. Some are more stable then other, but they will always get you from A to B quickly and are cheap. Sometimes you need to buy a ticket before you get on the boat (bigger boats), sometimes they will get to you on the boat (smaller boats). Traffic is one big jam so boat is much quicker provided with a different view of the city. They are at Google Maps so when you have wifi you just plan your trip.

The traffic in Bangkok 🚥

The traffic in Bangkok is really crowded, there are countless cars, tuktuks and motorbikes. And to disremember: they drive at the left side. In Bangkok it is not always easy to cross the road as a pedestrian. Everybody drives like maniacs and traffic lights are more or less indicative. You need to watch out very well when you are in traffic. When you need to cross as a pedestrian look for a place with a pedestrian traffic light or even better; a pedestrian crossing bridge over the road. The skyline offers a good walking bridge for pedestrians. When you took a taxi and are getting out of the taxi, look out very well. Motorbikes often try to pass at apparently all “possible” moments.

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