Top 5 Things to do in Bangkok

A friend of mine who is planning a trip to Thailand recently asked me about my top 5 places to visit, things to do, and things to see in Thailand.  And I thought to myself, what an excellent blog post this would make! I’ve broken it down into 5 categories: Bangkok, Beaches, The North, Street Food, and Experiences.  Today I’ll just be sharing with you my favourite things to do in Bangkok, but be sure to check back for the rest of the posts in this series!

BANGKOK – The province where I spent the majority of my exchange year, and although I was technically living on the outskirts of the city, I still feel like I got to know the crazy city known as Bangkok quite well.  Here are some of my favourite things to see/do in and around BKK.

JJ Market.  Hands-down the best place for shopping in Bangkok is Chatuchak weekend market.  At almost 40acres, this sprawling market is not for the faint of heart!  It is easy to spend an entire day wandering around the market without realizing it.  The coolest part is when the Thai national anthem plays in the evening, and ALL of the Thai people instantly freeze until the anthem is over.  Not something you experience in many countries, that’s for sure.  But be warned, there are many pickpockets and purse slashers who may try to steal from you (I speak from experience).  Chutuchak (or JJ Market as the farang call it), is easily accessible by taking the BTS to Mo Chit station.

the depths of JJ Market.

the depths of JJ Market.

Khao San Road.  Possibly the most well-known area of Bangkok by backpacking standards.  As exchange students, Khao San was the place we always tried to visit without our host parents finding out.  It’s basically a street lined with hostels, restaurants, and lots of shopping, and it’s definitely worth a visit- especially during Song Kran festival.

walking down Khao San Road.

walking down Khao San Road.

Wat Phra Kaew.  One of the most popular attractions in Bangkok, Wat Phra Kaew is the home of the Emerald Buddha.  Although very beautiful, you may be surprised by how tiny the Emerald Buddha is in real life (similar to seeing the Mona Lisa in person).  Make sure that when you visit this temple you either wear or bring conservative clothing, or else you will not be let in to the grounds.  A good rule of thumb is to make sure you legs and shoulders are covered (no short shorts or tank tops).

the Royal Palace and Wat Phra Kaew.

the Royal Palace and Wat Phra Kaew.

Wat Phra Kaew.

Wat Phra Kaew.

Siam Ocean World.  Probably one of the coolest things I’ve done in Thailand (and in my entire life) was swimming with sharks at Siam Ocean World.  Located in the basement of Siam Paragon Shopping Centre, the aquarium is worth a visit even if you aren’t planning to walk with the sharks.

Laura and I, about to put on those helmets and walk with sharks!

Laura and I, about to put on those helmets and walk with sharks!

Floating market.  Another notable shopping experience is visiting the floating markets at Damnoen Saduak.  Even though many of the items for sale are the same that you would find at JJ Market, just the experience of shopping from a boat is worthwhile.

souvenirs for sale at the floating market.

souvenirs for sale at the floating market.

ladies selling fruit and flowers out of boats.

ladies selling fruit and flowers out of boats.

I hope you enjoyed reading this post as much as I enjoyed writing it and digging through my old pictures from Thailand.  Make sure you check back for the rest of the posts in this series!

-Kristen

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