Bangkok Bucket List – Amazing things NOT TO MISS in Bangkok

Bangkok Bucket List – Amazing things NOT TO MISS in Bangkok

If you are planning your Thailand itinerary, then most likely Bangkok will appear somewhere in your plan. Whether you’re spending just one night or a few days in Bangkok, there are some things that just HAVE to be on your Bangkok bucket list. 

Bangkok is a bit of a crazy and hectic city and because of this, it’s one of my favourite cities in South East Asia. It’s impossible to be bored. There’s no shortage of things to do in Bangkok so it’s sometimes tricky to know where to start. So in this article, I’m going to tell you about the amazing things not to miss in Bangkok.  

So whether you’re just looking for travel inspiration for South East Asia right now or are on to the planning stages and wondering where to go in Bangkok, this Bangkok bucket list is sure to give you some awesome ideas.

Visiting Thailand, then you need to check out this amazing Bangkok Bucket List. Who knew there were so many things NOT TO MISS in Bangkok. Includes DOWNLOADABLE CHECKLIST #Bangkok #Thailand #SEAsia

This article coveres a ton of stuff ranging from Bangkok’s famous temples, foodie, entertainment and other just-plain-awesome things to see in Bangkok as well as including a few extra ideas of really easy day trips from Bangkok if you have a little longer in the city and the Bangkok scene is getting too hectic.

Oh, and because I’m nice, I’ve even included a handy downloadable and printable checklist to make sure you don’t miss out on any Bangkok highlights. Pssssttt, it’s at the end of this article.

 

So let’s go… read on to find out the full list of everything that should be on your Bangkok bucket list and the amazing things not to miss in Bangkok.

This post may contain affiliate links. To find out what this means and more information visit my disclosure page.

BANGKOK BUCKET LIST - AMAZING THINGS NOT TO MISS IN BANGKOK

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This Bangkok bucket list includes tons of ideas to add to your own Thailand itinerary. The ideas on this list should give you a pretty decent Bangkok experience however long you plan to stay in the city for. Most of the things in this bucket list for Bangkok can be done independently using public transport, but if you are pushed for time, or want the easiest option then book onto a tour.

Want to have beautiful photos to remember your time in Bangkok?

Then why not hire a photographer for the day while you are in Bangkok to get the best Instagram worthy images?

Bangkok Bucket List - Summary

  • Grand Palace & Wat Phra Kaew
  • Watch a Muay Thai match
  • Party on Khaosan Road
  • Learn to cook authentic Thai food
  • Tai Chi in Lumpini Park
  • Chatuchak Weekend Market & the Floating Markets
  • Tuk-Tuk Ride
  • Drink Chang Beer
  • Thai Massage
  • Maeklong Train Market
  • Ladyboy Show
  • Buddha head in the tree at Ayutthaya
  • Pad Thai and Mango Sticky Rice
  • Chao Phraya River Cruise
  • China Town food
  • Wat Arun at sunrise or sunset
  • Navigate the water taxis
  • Giant reclining Buddha at Wat Pho
  • Death Railway & bridge over the River Kwai at Kanchanaburi
  • Cocktails at Lebua Sky Tower

Don’t forget, this Bangkok bucket list is available for you to Pin, Print or Download. You can find it at the end of this article.

Getting from the Airport to Bangkok

The main airport for Bangkok is Suvarnabhumi Airport. It’s located about 35km outside of the centre of Bangkok.

There are several options to get from Suvarnabhumi Airport to Bangkok. One of the most efficient is by taking the Airport Rail Link followed by a Sky Train to your nearest destination.

Alternatively, you can book your airport transfer directly to your hotel in advance with either a VIP Meet & Greet or a shared service. Booking in advance saves you both the hassle and avoids the hefty inflated fees from the taxi firms at the airport.

Prebook now: Suvarnabhumi Airport International Airport VIP Meet and Greet Transfer to Bangkok

Prebook now: Suvarnabhumi Airport International Airport Shared Transfer to Bangkok

BANGKOK BUCKET LIST - AMAZING THINGS NOT TO MISS IN BANGKOK

Visit the Grand Palace & Wat Phra Kaew

Bangkok’s number 1 tourist attraction is the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew, so expect crowds during peak times (either go as soon as it opens or towards the end of the day).

Despite the crowds, this is one thing not to miss in Bangkok as two sites are certainly up there as two of the best temples in Bangkok. Wat Phra Kaew is the home of Thailand’s most important Buddha shrine, a lavishly decorated meditating Buddha carved from a single block of Jade. 

Out of all the temples, this is the most expensive one to visit as well as having the most strict rules. For both men and women, make sure your shoulders and knees are covered.

Visit both of these stunning temples, as well as other iconic places in Bangkok, on a guided walking tour.

Prebook now: Bangkok Temples Walking Tour

Visiting Thailand, then you need to check out this amazing Bangkok Bucket List. Who knew there were so many things NOT TO MISS in Bangkok. Includes DOWNLOADABLE CHECKLIST #Bangkok #Thailand #SEAsia
The stunning Grand Palace in Bangkok

Go to watch a Muay Thai match or take part in a lesson

As Thailands national sport, Muay Thai, it would be sacrilege to not watch a live match. Marvel at the agility of the boxers and join in the excitement along with the locals. 

If you don’t fancy watching the sport, then you could always book onto a beginners class and learn the skills yourself. 

Experience Thailand’s national sport, Muay Thai either as a spectator or as a participant.

Prebook now: Muay Thai Live Boxing
Prebook now: Muay Thai Beginners Boxing Class

Visiting Thailand, then you need to check out this amazing Bangkok Bucket List. Who knew there were so many things NOT TO MISS in Bangkok. Includes DOWNLOADABLE CHECKLIST #Bangkok #Thailand #SEAsia
Xuan Nguyen | Unsplash

Immerse yourself in the party vibe of Khaosan Road

Khaosan Road always divides opinions, some people love it and others hate it. All I would say is go and make up your own opinion. 

It’s become a bit of an institution over the years and now Khaosan Road has spread to encompass adjacent streets and alleyways all after a piece of the action. 

It’s loud, it’s busy and very tacky (this is where you’ll find nearly every stall selling Chang Beer T-shirts and elephant clad Thai pants), streets are lined with tourists having a massage or food carts. This is party central and a hub for groups of revellers out for a good time. Love it or hate it, it’s a definite must for your Bangkok bucket list.

Visiting Thailand, then you need to check out this amazing Bangkok Bucket List. Who knew there were so many things NOT TO MISS in Bangkok. Includes DOWNLOADABLE CHECKLIST #Bangkok #Thailand #SEAsia
Joshua Rawson | Unsplash

Learn to cook authentic Thai food

I don’t know about you, but I love Thai food so I couldn’t wait to try out a cooking class to recreate some of my faves back home. 

Most cooking classes include a trip to the market so you get an insight into some of the weird and wonderful fruit and veg you’ll be using. Then a selection of iconic dishes like Pad Thai and Thai Green Curry. 

The great thing with learning to cook authentic Thai food is that they will give you get alternatives for dietary needs (I’m a veggie) and show you how to adapt the traditional recipes.

And of course, everything you cook you get to eat! So go with an empty stomach.

Book your Thai cooking class in advance, this is a popular activity in Thailand, so spaces do fill up quickly. If you have any dietary needs, make sure you state this at the time of booking so they can accommodate you.

Prebook now: Thai Cooking Class and Market Tour

Take part in Tai Chi in Lumpini Park

Bangkok is a full-on and hectic city at times, however, amongst all the chaos you’ll find Lumpini Park. 

This is the largest and oldest green space in the city. As well a giant man-made lake to hire a boat on, there are plenty of shaded meandering paths so its nice to escape here just for a bit of time out. 

If you’ve got the energy (and co-ordination) Tai Chi takes place every morning here. Mostly frequented by the city’s elderly population, its a fascinating insight into how the locals live. If you’re up early enough, feel free to join in with them for a truly authentic start to your day.

Shop til you drop at Chatuchak Weekend Market and the Floating Markets

Bangkok is full of shopping Malls, however, they do lack the heart and soul that a real market has. To get a more authentic Thailand feel head to one of the open-air markets, there are tons of them in Bangkok. 

The Chatuchak Weekend Market is the largest of its kind not only in Thailand, but the world! Whatever you’re after, you’ll no doubt find it here. Save space for souvenirs, trinkets, clothing, electronics and a load of other goods. 

Another great way to shop in Bangkok is to visit one of the many floating markets. The most famous is the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market which happens daily, where vendors sell their stuff from a traditional longtail boat. Move from boat to boat browsing as you go. It’s a totally different way to experience shopping.

Both are options are a great way to experience shopping in Bangkok and can be booked as part of a tour.

Prebook now: Chatuchak Weekend Market and Floating Markets

Prebook now: Daily Damnoen Saduak Floating Market 

Visiting Thailand, then you need to check out this amazing Bangkok Bucket List. Who knew there were so many things NOT TO MISS in Bangkok. Includes DOWNLOADABLE CHECKLIST #Bangkok #Thailand #SEAsia
Lisheng Chang | Unsplash

Take a ride in a Tuk-Tuk 

As synonymous to Thailand as Pad Thai and Massage are, is a ride in a Tuk Tuk. They’re as colourful as they are noisy but there’s something thrilling about darting about, sat in the back of one, with a crazy Thai at the helm.

It won’t take long to hail one down from the roadside, however, be careful of inflated prices and agree on the fare to your destination BEFORE you get in.   

Alternatively, you can hire a Tuk Tuk and driver for a day or half-day and combine some of the classic Bangkok attractions too. 

An easy way to see a load of Bangkok’s top attractions as well as getting a ride in a Tuk Tuk, is to hire a driver.

Prebook now: Bangkok Half Day Tuk Tuk Tour

Visiting Thailand, then you need to check out this amazing Bangkok Bucket List. Who knew there were so many things NOT TO MISS in Bangkok. Includes DOWNLOADABLE CHECKLIST #Bangkok #Thailand #SEAsia
Jakob Owens | Unsplash

Drink the local Chang Beer

You’ll see the elephant motif of Chang beer everywhere in Thailand. Even if you aren’t normally a big beer drinker it would be a crime to the nation to not try the national beer just once.

You’ll find the iconic logo printed onto tons of souvenirs, in particular T-shirts along Khaosan Road. The Thai’s seem to be proud of their beer, or maybe it’s that the tourists love the beer so much. Either way, you could easily say ‘been there, done that, bought the T-shirt’

Enjoy a Thai Massage

You won’t have to look far to find somewhere offering Thai massage. Most streets in the main centre will have staff outside the front door offering you ‘a special price’. 

There’s an abundance of them along Khaosan Road all of them offering a range of massage, spa treatments, manicures & pedicures as well as hair removal and more. It’s difficult to choose the ‘best one’, honestly, they are all much the same. One thing the Thai massage parlours have in common though, compared to British prices, these are a bargain. 

Test your nerves at the Maeklong Train Market

This is probably one of the most bizarre markets in the world and a trip here is certainly a unique experience!

The iconic Maeklong Railway Market is located on top of the train track. With locals trains that still frequently use the railway! 

The Thai nickname of this market is Talat Rom Hup which translates to ‘umbrella pulldown market’. Whenever a train approaches, the shopkeepers close the awnings, gather up their wares off the tracks, breath in as they wait for the train to pass. As soon as the train has gone, the shops are replaced.

To experience this very bizarre market you can take public transport or book onto a tour.

Prebook now: Maeklong Railway Market Tour

Visiting Thailand, then you need to check out this amazing Bangkok Bucket List. Who knew there were so many things NOT TO MISS in Bangkok. Includes DOWNLOADABLE CHECKLIST #Bangkok #Thailand #SEAsia
Schliff | Pixabay

Watch a Ladyboy show

Before I visited Thailand, I had no idea just quite how stunning the Bangkok ladyboys were. In my head, I had some dodgy vision of a pantomime dame, which couldn’t be further than the truth!

The ladyboys in Bangkok are visually stunning, not only that, some of them are incredibly talented singers, dancers, contortionists…you name it. I actually forgot they were transgender.

For classic glamourous Broadway-style entertainment, and basically, to be awed by their talents, it’s certainly worthwhile adding a ladyboy show to your Bangkok bucket list.  

For the full Bangkok ladyboy experience, check out one fo the Broadway-style cabaret shows.

Prebook now: Tickets to watch Bangkok Ladyboy Cabaret Show

See the famous Buddha head in the tree at Ayutthaya

One of the best day trips from Bangkok is to the ancient capital of Ayutthaya. The ancient city of Ayutthaya became the second capital of Siam after Sukhothai.  

The UNESCO listed Ayutthaya Historical Park was founded around 1350 and you can wander around the ruins of palaces, Buddhist temples as well as seeing the infamous Buddha head trapped in the bodhi tree.

Ayutthaya is an amazing day trip from Bangkok and if you love ruins, this needs to be on your Bangkok bucket list. You can get there by public train and then hire a driver for the day when you arrive in Ayutthaya.

Prebook now: Bangkok to Ayutthaya Full Day Trip

Visiting Thailand, then you need to check out this amazing Bangkok Bucket List. Who knew there were so many things NOT TO MISS in Bangkok. Includes DOWNLOADABLE CHECKLIST #Bangkok #Thailand #SEAsia
The iconic Buddha head stuck in a tree at Ayutthaya

Eat a Pad Thai and Mango Sticky Rice

No trip to Thailand would be complete without eating two of their national dishes. You’ll find Pad Thai and Mango Sticky Rice at every street food market you visit. Be warned, Mango Sticky Rice is sickly sweet and very filling, so if you aren’t a fan of sticky deserts, go for the smallest portion. 

Visiting Thailand, then you need to check out this amazing Bangkok Bucket List. Who knew there were so many things NOT TO MISS in Bangkok. Includes DOWNLOADABLE CHECKLIST #Bangkok #Thailand #SEAsia
Markus Winkler | Unsplash

Cruise along the Chao Phraya River 

The Chao Phraya River runs through the heart of Bangkok so taking a cruise along it is a great way to see some of the city’s highlights from a different perspective. You can take a Chao Phraya River Cruise at any time of the day, but the best option is the evening cruise.

All of the iconic landmarks, like the Grand Palace, Wat Pho and Wat Arun are beautifully lit up. You can book basic tours at night along the river, but these consist of a small ferry style boat just to ride up and down the river, this is a great option if you want to see the palaces lit up but are on a budget. 

If you’re after a better experience, take a look at the full evening cruises which also offer dining and traditional Thai entertainment as part of the package.

To experience Bangkok at night while cruising along the Chao Phraya River,

Book now: Chao Phraya River Cruise Dining Experience

Tease your tastebuds in China Town

 There are ‘China Towns’ all over the world, however, this is the biggest one outside of China! 

The local Chinese population in Bangkok lived in villages here even before Bangkok was the capital of Thailand and the area has spread since then into a vibrant and excicing part of the city.

Wandering around the streets is an absolute tease for the senses, there’s a constant smell of something delicious cooking, not that you’ll know what much of it is! the best way to find out is to try it.

You could wander through China Town on your own, sampling whichever food takes your fancy. If you want to know a little bit more about the history of the area and a more in-depth guide to the cuisine around here, book onto a walking food tour with a guided tour.

Prebook now: China Town Food Tour

Be mesmerised by Wat Arun at sunrise or sunset

If you’ve been to Asia and visited ancient temples before (like Prambanan, Indonesia and Angkor Wat, Cambodia) you’ll recognise the Khmer style of Wat Arun. It’s also one of the best temples in Bangkok.

The giant prang in the centre of the site stands at 86 metres tall and is surrounded by 4 smaller towers. Getting its name from the Indian God of Dawn – Arun, Wat Arun can be viewed at any time of the day, however, there’s something magical about seeing it during sunrise and sunset. 

Visiting Thailand, then you need to check out this amazing Bangkok Bucket List. Who knew there were so many things NOT TO MISS in Bangkok. Includes DOWNLOADABLE CHECKLIST #Bangkok #Thailand #SEAsia
Wat Arun at sunset

Ride on the water taxis

The Chao Phraya River runs through the middle of Bangkok and historically, the estuaries of the river provided important transport routes all over the city. They are still just as important today to the local Thais to get around the city.

Even if you’re not headed anywhere, in particular, it’s worth at least one journey on the crazy water taxies darting between the canals which network across the city. 

Watch out though, sometimes they go so fast that the spray comes into the boat. They are a really fun way of getting around Bangkok and often overlooked by tourists.

Visiting Thailand, then you need to check out this amazing Bangkok Bucket List. Who knew there were so many things NOT TO MISS in Bangkok. Includes DOWNLOADABLE CHECKLIST #Bangkok #Thailand #SEAsia
Sebastian Pichler | Unsplash

Discover the giant reclining Buddha at Wat Pho

During your time in Thailand, you’re going to see hundreds of Buddhas, however, the giant reclining Buddha at Wat Pho will be one of the more memorable ones. 

Wat Pho is the oldest and largest of the temples in Bangkok and the giant reclining Buddha that resides here draws big crowds. It’s easy to see why it’s one of the best temples to visit in Bangkok. At 46 metres in length and with the top of its head at 15 metres from the ground, it’s 

The giant reclining Buddha measures 46 metres long, 15 meters high and covered in gold leaf it’s really striking to look at and one of the things not to miss in Bangkok.

Visit this stunning temple, as well as other iconic places in Bangkok, on a guided walking tour.

Prebook now: Bangkok Temples Walking Tour

Visiting Thailand, then you need to check out this amazing Bangkok Bucket List. Who knew there were so many things NOT TO MISS in Bangkok. Includes DOWNLOADABLE CHECKLIST #Bangkok #Thailand #SEAsia
The Giant Reclining Buddha at Wat Pho

Learn the history surrounding Death Railway and cross the bridge over the River Kwai at Kanchanaburi 

Kanchanaburi province played a major role in WW2 with the building of Burma-Siam railway to improve communications and connections for the Japanese army who were based in Burma. 

The railway was built by Commonwealth, Dutch and American prisoners of war. The notorious reputation of this prison camp gave the railway the name of ‘Death Valley’ and ‘Hell Fire Pass’.

Several memorial sites and museums are dotted about this area. You can also take a train ride which follows along Death Valley and across the famous bridge over the River Kwai.

This full-day private tour covers the highlights of Kanchanaburi and includes the Death Railway, the bridge over the River Kwai, a ride in the famous train and more. Check out the full itinerary below.

Prebook now: Full-Day Kanchanaburi Private Tour

Visiting Thailand, then you need to check out this amazing Bangkok Bucket List. Who knew there were so many things NOT TO MISS in Bangkok. Includes DOWNLOADABLE CHECKLIST #Bangkok #Thailand #SEAsia
Death Railway alongside the River Kwai in Kanchanaburi

Have a cocktail at Lebua Sky Tower

Not only does the Lebua Sky Tower claims to have the highest open-air bar in the world, but it was also the bar featured in the hit movie, The Hangover II.

Located up on the 64th floor of the second tallest building in Bangkok, the Lebua skybar gives you amazing views across the city. Head here to watch the sunset and then the lights switch on over the city while sipping on a cocktail.

Lebua Sky Tower is located along Silom Road.

Visiting Thailand, then you need to check out this amazing Bangkok Bucket List. Who knew there were so many things NOT TO MISS in Bangkok. Includes DOWNLOADABLE CHECKLIST #Bangkok #Thailand #SEAsia
Sunset from the rooftops in Bangkok

How many of these things are on your Bangkok bucket list?

So which incredible activities are your favourite and can’t wait to do? There’s something in this Bangkok bucket list to suit every style of traveller on any budget, which ones are you going to do first?

I’ve created a Pinnable, Downloadable and Printable list just for you to make sure you don’t forget to add any of these to your Bangkok itinerary.

You can click here or on the image to download your FREE BANGKOK BUCKET LIST.

You might also find these other articles on Thailand and South East Asia useful

Pin it for later

If you loved this Bangkok bucket list, or know someone that will, then please like and share. Or if you’re planning a trip to Thailand, then why not pin it for future reference to see how many you can do? 

Have you visited Bangkok before? Do you think there are any other amazing things not to miss in Bangkok? I’d love to hear from you. 

Visiting Thailand, then you need to check out this amazing Bangkok Bucket List. Who knew there were so many things NOT TO MISS in Bangkok. Includes DOWNLOADABLE CHECKLIST #Bangkok #Thailand #SEAsia
Visiting Thailand, then you need to check out this amazing Bangkok Bucket List. Who knew there were so many things NOT TO MISS in Bangkok. Includes DOWNLOADABLE CHECKLIST #Bangkok #Thailand #SEAsia
Visiting Thailand, then you need to check out this amazing Bangkok Bucket List. Who knew there were so many things NOT TO MISS in Bangkok. Includes DOWNLOADABLE CHECKLIST #Bangkok #Thailand #SEAsia

Bangkok Bucket List - Amazing things NOT TO MISS in Bangkok 3

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Becki from Meet Me In Departures

Adventure travel blogger with a big addiction to the World. An ex-rat-racer who was fed up with sleep-work-eat-repeat materialistic mentality that plagues modern living. I love anything to do with off-beat travel, abandoned places, temples & ruins, street art, wildlife in its natural habitat, adventure sport.....basically anything but the 9-5!

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Wow…. really love this Bangkok bucket list. I will definitely visit Bangkok after this lockdown gets over in India.

    1. Thanks for reading, I’m glad you found it useful, I’ve visited Bangkok quite a few times and each time I go, I discover more amazing things to do. So I’ll add more to this Bangkok bucket list after my next visit.

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