Tag Archives: bangkok

50 Things To Do in Bangkok, Thailand

A Chiang Mai local recently said to me ‘but yeah, there’s not much to do in Bangkok..’. Now while I agree that Chiang Mai has lots of adventure activities it left me feeling slightly indignant about Bangkok, my home for the last 3 years.

So I’ve decided to make an epic list of 50 things to do in Bangkok that will never leave you feeling bored in this crazy Thai capital:

For a slimmed down version, read my must do and must see activities in Bangkok here

  1. Visit Bangkok’s temples

  2. Jim Thompson’s House Museum

  3. Drink at a skybar

  4. Party on Khao San Road

  5. Watch a Muay Thai match

  6. Do yoga

  7. Go to Thailand’s oldest cinema – Scala in Siam

  8. Eat street food

  9. Go wake-boarding

  10. Enjoy local nightlife at Bangkok’s clubs

  11. Go to  a Pilates lesson

  12. Go swimming

  13. Try a  Muay Thai boxing class

  14. Have a chocolate buffet afternoon

  15. Rent a bicycle and cycle around a park

  16. Have afternoon tea at a posh hotel

  17. Go to a ladies night for free flow prosecco

  18. Visit a cat café

  19. Go rollerskating

  20. Take a cycling tour

  21. Visit a butterfly house

  22. Go market shopping

  23. Volunteer

  24. Go to a theme park – Dream world

  25. Have lunch by the river

  26. Sing karaoke

  27. Spot monitor lizards in Lumpini park

  28. Explore Chinatown

  29. Cross the river to cycle around Bang Krachao

  30. Visit the flower market

  31. Go to an art gallery

  32. Visit the science museum

  33. Go iceskating

  34. Take a cooking class

  35. Take photos from a viewpoint – the Golden Mount temple

  36. Go on a river boat

  37. Visit a floating market – mostly food and souvenirs

  38. Snack at the Unicorn Café

  39. Go on Bangkok’s wheel at Asiatique

  40. Get a manicure or pedicure

  41. Relax with a massage – Thai or other

  42. Try SUP or knee boarding

  43. Paint your own picture at Paintbar

  44. Go surfing at Flow House

  45. Spend the day at a water park – I love Jungle water park in the North of Bangkok

  46. Party on a boat

  47. Eat cheap at a food court

  48. Watch a show – Siam Niramit

  49. Shop at a night market

  50. Take a salsa class at La Rueda, Asok

If you’re pressed for time and just want the ‘don’t miss’ activities check out my top things to do in Bangkok

If you have longer and feel the need to get out of Bangkok, read my post on exploring around Bangkok for day trips and weekend getaways

Moving on from Bangkok? Book your trains, buses and ferries here! Discounts available for multiple trips and tickets…



Booking.com

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12 Reasons To Never Visit Thailand

Here are 12 reasons why you should never visit this awful country! The first time I visited Thailand was 4 years ago and after all these terrible activities I’m still unsure why I moved back to Thailand 3 years ago. Please avoid visiting Thailand because you may just get addicted…

  1. You will mostly likely get sunburnt while snorkelling the clear waters off of paradise islands

For more on Thailand’s best islands check out this post

reasons visit thailand
Snorkelling around coral reefs

2. You will be peer pressured drunkenly into eating scorpions on Khao San road (cue blurry photo)

For less gross things to do in Bangkok, check out these lists

Top Things to Do in Bangkok

50 Things to Do in Bangkok

reasons visit thailand
Yep, don’t remember this…but I have the photos to prove I did indeed eat a scorpion.

3. You’ll spend 7 days worth of Thai street food dinners on one cocktail at a swanky Bangkok skybar

reasons visit thailand
Cheers to Bangkok, my big bad adopted city

 

4. You will most likely vomit after drinking too many fuck-it buckets. If you don’t then I am extremely impressed with you. But your liver is doomed., especially if you go to the Full Moon Party on Koh Phangan

5. You’ll get a hangover from drinking cheap Chang every evening and decide maybe a Leo beer is worth the extra 10 baht. We nickname it a ‘changover’.

For budget Thailand ideas, read this

reasons visit thailand
Beaches and sunset beers. Avoid at all costs.

6. You’ll get so used to cockroaches in Thailand you won’t feel bothered by them any more… (just me?!). The big ones that run at your feet and the small ones hanging out by your toothbrush in the (slightly) dirty hostel, you are officially a real backpacker now. For wild animals you actually want to see, check out this post

7. In rainy season you’ll stroll through puddles the height of your knees trying not to think about what might be floating around in there

8.You’ll get stuck in Bangkok traffic and wonder how 8 million people can live like that! For the best and most efficient ways to travel around Thailand click here

reasons visit thailand
View from my window. It’s awful

9. You’ll risk rabies for a cuddle with a stray puppy. Read here for other things to avoid doing in Thailand

10. You will think you can ride a motorbike and then get a rude awakening along with a trip to the doctors clinic…and a bill!

Read this for the best ways to travel around Thailand

11. You will get seasick on a boat and possibly think you are about to die,  probably on the way to Maya Bay ” The Beach” beach where there never seem to be enough life jackets for everyone… #youcanswimthoughright

For alternate paradise island destinations read here

reasons visit Thailand
Cruising along the Gulf of Thailand on boats on my way to spot some whales!

12. You will fall in love with this country and move back here one day!

Especially these stunning holiday destinations around Thailand

Travelling Thailand Essentials

For when you do decide to travel Thailand, consider these items to help deal with the above issues:

I’m a recent convert to the humble backpack as you can always fit in a bottle of water comfortably (that just never happens with my handbags!) I love this turquoise Everest Backpack from Amazon
2. Alternatively, if you might be here in rainy season (May-October) then I recommend a dry bag as you will definitely get caught in a thunderstorm at some point! I love these dry bags Dry Bag (5L) from Amazon

3.  Mosquito spray is definitely one thing I recommend buying at home before you arrive in Thailand as I have never been able to buy stronger than 15% DEET here. Try this Repel 40% DEET Pump SprayRepel Insect Repellent 40-Percent DEET from Amazon

For more Backpacking Essentials read this post full of useful and practical items for your next trip to South East Asia

Reasons Visit Thailand 

Backpack Thailand: Travel Cheap

So you wanna backpack Thailand on a budget? Here are some tricks to keeping things wallet friendly and as cheap as possible giving you more money to spend on activities and adventures in Thailand. The cost of living in Thailand is incredibly cheap and you can make your money go far by following my budget Thailand tips below. As I live in Bangkok, I’m a frequent backpacker and like to keep things cheap so I can travel as much as possible and spend my money on scuba diving.

1. Eat local. Thai street food is delicious and cheap. Most dishes will cost between 30-60 baht. When on the islands, the most expensive restaurants are normally on the beach front, so I’d avoid these touristy restaurants if travelling Thailand on a budget. Western dishes such as pizzas and burgers etc are generally made using imported items which means they are much more expensive. Stick to noodles, rice and soup if you want to travel Thailand cheaply.

 2. 7-11 convenience store is your new best friend. Snacks, alcohol, toiletries…there’s nothing you can’t do here. (You can even pay in cash for flights here with Air Asia or Nok Air). Beer is obviously much cheaper here than at a bar and a large bottle of water costs around 13 baht.

3. Save the planet and save your money by refilling your water bottle at a water filling machines. You can fill up ONE large bottle for ONE baht. If you’re consuming around 5 bottles a day then that’s a serious saving and definite help for the environment. If you’re reluctant to refill plastic bottles then consider buying a refillable bottle instead. I bought my mum this one for Christmas as I think it is a great size, contains a filter and is available in various colours. 

4. Negotiate. Most prices in Thailand are up for negotiation and this includes accommodation. If you have unlimited time then you can haggle with hostels and hotels and if you stay longer then they might give you a discount. Always haggle with patience and a smile!

5. Having said that, you can find fantastic accommodation deals on both booking.com and Agoda. I usually compare the both to find the best deal. Agoda also do ‘insider deals’ once you have an account with them which I find to be very reasonable rates.

6. Drink local. Most travellers find that their biggest expense in Thailand is spending money on alcohol. While Thailand is generally cheap for alcohol, it can add up when drinking every night. Thai beers are great – Leo and Singha (I avoid cheap Chang at all costs…here we call it a Changover!). Thai rum Sangsom is also delicious with coke and costs next to nothing! Imported beers or wines is incredible expensive so avoid these if you want to keep it cheap. Tax is exceptionally high on most imported goods.

7. Shop around different tour operators when booking snorkelling/island hopping/day excursion trips. I often find your guesthouse charges you more than the street stalls tours.  Snorkelling tours in a long tail boat are often cheaper than in a speedboat. For the cheap tours, the agencies will fill up the boat as much as possible so be prepared for the boat to be busy and to make some new friends. Make sure to enquire if National Park fees are included as I have been caught out many times. For example booking a snorkelling trip for 400 baht which is a great price, only to find out the morning of the trip that National Park fees are an extra 400 baht, doubling the cost of my trip. These are fixed by the government and tour operators cannot reduce the cost of National Park fees. Read more about National Parks in Thailand here.

8. Shop in markets. I’m not sure how I can ever return to the world of H and M now that I have discovered 100 baht dresses and bikinis at Thai markets. As a general rule, I find that if the price is written on the items then haggling is not possible. My haggling tip for Thailand is to negotiate the price down for one, and then consider buying two or more to make it even cheaper again.

9. Use night buses. Not as comfortable as trains or planes but they are generally the cheapest way of travelling around Thailand. Package deals can often be booked which include ferries which I think is a good idea as they often take you all the way to the pier rather than dropping you in a town near the coast. From Bangkok you can leave from Mochit 2 Terminal (to go North), Ekkamai or Sai Tai Mai/Southern Bus Terminal (to go South). Some tourist companies leave from Khao San road and these tend to be the more comfortable buses in my experience. A friend has a travel company and you can get great discounts by booking multiple tickets and group tickets as well, as each time you add a trip it decreases in price, saving you money. 

10. For travelling to Thailand’s many islands there are often multiple options concerning boats. There are slower ferries, faster ferries, long tail boats and speed boats. The cheapest options are obviously the slower transport so if you aren’t in a hurry the always take the ferry or a long tail boat.

11. Take public transport. It’s an obvious one but taxis can be at least three times more expensive than local buses and songtaews (trucks) so stick to public transport to save a lot of money. If you’re in a group then a taxi might be worth sharing however as they still are very reasonably priced when on the meter.

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Thailand: Be aware of Culture

Planning to backpack Thailand? It’s important to be aware of culture in Thailand and how visitors can show respect to locals and their customs and traditions. For the last three years I have been trying to understand the strange, alien behaviour that can be part of culture in Thailand! Some aspects are amusing, others infuriating but I’m always learning more!

DISCLAIMER: sweeping generalisations and talking about Thai people like everyone is the same is clearly not ok. But these are some things I’ve found to be true…and wish visiting tourists would take note!

  • Don’t point the soles of your feet at people. Especially Buddha! To respect local culture, if in a temple, sit mermaid style or cross-legged. Particularly do NOT stretch your legs out in a tuktuk and point your shoes at the driver (my personal peev!). Moving things with your feet is also frowned upon.
  • Don’t wear shoes into someone’s house. This also applies to certain shops where the owners live in or above it. If you see flipflops outside a small convenience store on an island then do the same.
  • Cover your shoulders and knees when you are in a temple. This applies to both men and women #equality
  • Ask at least 3 people for directions. Thai people don’t like to lose face and admit they don’t know something, so will tell you the WRONG directions to not cause themselves embarrassment. Yes, unhelpful. Yes, annoying. But kind of endearing as well? Just me?
  • Thais HATE rain. It is not uncommon to see adults with paper bags on top of their heads in rainy season and no-one is laughing at them. (except me…and I’m already soaked!)
  • The Thai Walk: If you walk fast people will think you are mad. Also I really feel that people know I’m behind them and start walking in a zigzag so I can’t overtake. ( yes I’m paranoid…and often late ha!) Slow down and walk at ‘market shopping pace’.
  • Generally confronting people, shouting, losing your temper will only reflect badly on you (as in most cultures I assume!). Try to be patient, explain the situation and KEEP CALM (jai yen as the Thais say).
  • Bangkok Traffic – plan your day around rush hour traffic! Generally 6-9am and 4-8pm.
  • Visiting zoos/tiger temples/elephant riding camps – BIG no no and you are just funding animal abuse. Read reasons why
Travelling Thailand Culture What to Know
Visiting ethical elephant sanctuaries in Chiang Mai, Thailand
  • Bitching about the difference between ‘Thai price’ and ‘foreign prices’. If you know one of these people then please enlighten them. The average local Thai salary is 300 baht a day. I personally think it is fantastic that so many tourists in Thailand are Thai and it is because of these low prices that people can afford to travel in their own country.
  • Haggle with a smile. Shopping in Thailand is a pleasure and I find it frustrating to see tourists getting angry in markets. I used to dread haggling when I first arrived in South East Asia and now I’m in my element at JJ market, even haggling in Thai! Keep things light, smile and never go less than half the offered price. See more on JJ market shopping. Read more about Bangkok markets and more
  • Haggling TOO MUCH. You will offend people and ultimately think about what the item is worth and what you are happy to pay. This is a developing country and people need to make a living.
  • Treating Thailand like it is your own country. I see this over and over again. Tourists with no respect for local culture, customs, traditions and religions.
Travelling Thailand Culture Backpacking
Be Respectful of Buddha: Buddha Statue in Ayutthaya, Thailand
  • Taking Bangkok taxis who refuse to use the meter. Don’t do it. It is illegal. Just laugh at their inflated price and take another one. My record is 10 taxis before ONE of them would take me home. Perseverance is key! 😉 More on Travel in Thailand here
Travelling Thailand Culture Backpacking
Thailand culture- Taking Taxis in Bangkok
  • Taking taxis in Phuket. Very over-inflated prices and I’ve heard rumours about who pockets the money and it’s not the taxi drivers. Try and take minivans or songtaews (trucks).
  • Smiling – Thailand’s nickname is indeed the Land of Smiles. However, I found it VERY useful once I realised that people don’t always smile because they are happy but also because they are embarrassed, uncomfortable or confused!
  • Criticising the Monarchy or, for that matter, the government at the moment can get you on very dangerous ground. I’m talking jail time.
  • Tipping – a little for you and a lot for them. If in doubt go for 20 -50 baht for taxis/restaurants.

Any cultural quirks or differences you’ve picked up on in Thailand?

Visit Thailand: Explore beyond Bangkok

Most Thailand visitors find themselves in Bangkok at some point during their trip. I find many people have a love/hate relationship with Bangkok and it’s my mission to try to convert tourists to loving this crazy city that I call home! However, I understand Bangkok can be overwhelming and mental so here are some perfect day trips or weekend trips to escape the big bad city and explore more of Thailand.

Khao Yai National Park

Head into this jungle wilderness in one of Thailand’s oldest national parks. See wild elephants, monkeys, gibbons, snakes, porcupines, deer and many more while on a Greenleaf tour or rent motorbikes and head into the park yourself! 400 baht national park fee entrance. Camping overnight in the park is an option or stay in nearby Pak Chong. Minivans from Bangkok take about 2/3 hours.

Read here for more information about Thailand’s National Parks

Bangkok day trips
Get back to nature and spot wildlife in Khao Yai!
Koh Samet

Gorgeous white-sand beaches and lovely sunsets at Ao Prao beach. Go week days to avoid the crowds and be prepared to pay slightly more for accommodation than other islands. Take a minivan ride to Rayong and jump on a cheap ferry boat to Koh Samet. Spend the day lazing by the beach or swimming. I’ve stayed at some questionable accomadation on Koh Samet before but last time I stayed at the lovely Tubtim Resort, spacious wooden bungalows bang on the beach, with green lily pads growing everywhere.

Bangkok day trips
Koh Samet – Bangkok’s famous weekend trip island getaway
Lopburi

A few hours on the train from Bangkok (costing approximately 40 baht) you can find yourself in the ancient city of Lopburi, famous for its monkeys and temples. It’s all slightly off the tourist trail which might be a welcome sight for many. I recommend collecting a map of the different temples from the temple opposite the station and deciding on where to visit. All temples that I visited were walkable and there are certain ones that are home to huge families of macaques. Please be aware of not feeding the monkeys any food that is not natural for them. They also will grab your sunglasses or anything else in range so be careful. If you feel like renting a scooter then you can access the gorgeous sunflower fields (seasonal around November- January) and the Peacock temple is worth a visit as well. Along with the birds there is also a great viewpoint if you feel like some exercise up many stairs.

lopburi bangkok day trip

lopburi bangkok day trip
Monkeys in one of Lopburi’s temples
Whale Watching (seasonal Aug-Nov)

Only two hours from Bangkok, the enormous Bryde whales can be seen! Entering the Gulf of Thailand to feed on anchovies these gentle giants are incredible and one of the coolest experiences I’ve had in Thailand. Wildlife Encounters Thailand offer weekly trips for 2500 baht including transfer from Bangkok and lunch on the boat. An amazing day out!

For more about wildlife in Thailand, read this article

Bangkok day trips
A Bangkok day trip that was a whale of a time!

 

Koh Lan

One of my favourite weekend haunts, Koh Lan is an island just off of Pattaya. Cheap accommodation and a host of beautiful white sand beaches are there to welcome you. Jump in a songtaew (truck) or motorsi taxi for 20-30 baht and spend the day exploring lesser known beaches and taking in great views of the island! I really enjoyed my stay at this resort, it’s walkable to the pier.

Find out more about Thailand’s paradise islands and where to visit

Bangkok day trips
Monks on a beach in Koh Lan, Thailand. A lovely Bangkok weekend trip
Ayutthaya

A interesting and cultural Bangkok day trip. Head to this ancient temple town, one hour by train or minivan from Bangkok. Rent bicycles cheaply and enjoy cycling around and soaking in the culture of these ancient temples and a former capital of Siam. Don’t forget to try my favourite dessert roti sai mai – kinda like a rolled up candyfloss.

Bangkok day trips
The ideal cultural Bangkok day trip: explore the ruins of Ayutthaya
Kanchanaburi

Tourists come here to see the bridge over the River Kwai and understand more about the dark history of this area where prisoners of war were held by the Japanese during World War II. It is quite far for a Bangkok day trip but I have done it before in one day. I recommend staying one night though. Two hours by car/minivan or a little longer on the train.

Erawan Waterfall

You can combine this with a Bangkok day trip or overnight stay from Kanchanaburi. Visit these stunning, blue coloured waterfalls with 9 steps inside Erawan National Park. Around 45 minutes by car from Kanchanaburi, bring a picnic and spend the afternoon swimming in stunning pools, cliff jumping and getting back to nature.

Bangkok day trips
Bangkok Day trips: Swimming in blue waterfalls in Erawan National Park
Hua Hin

One of Bangkok’s nearest beaches and very big for kite surfing, this is definitely possible as a Bangok day trip or weekend stay. A large stretch of yellow sand beach for hanging out on and a wide range of accommodation is on offer here. Swimming is not always recommended as there are jellyfish lurking! Cha-am is another beach stop just before Hua Hin. You can take minivans or the train to either place from Bangkok.

Bangkok day trips
View of Hua Hin from Takiap Beach, a good Bangkok day trip or weekend visit.
Water Park

Water parks are a great Bangkok day trip and a fun day out. There are many both towards Pattaya or towards Hua Hin. I loved Splashdown, near Pattaya. It is more of an inflatable obstacle course, this brightly coloured water park will have you and your mates running around behaving like big kids, plus a few beers!

Bangkok day trips
Big Kids Day out in Splashdown – funnily enough no-one made it all the way across these giant floating obstacle courses!

Where are your favourite places for a Bangkok day trip? I’m always looking for more inspiration!