The capital of Thailand and possibly the most famous city in Southeast Asia, Bangkok is a treasure chest of sights and senses. With a smorgasbord of mouthwatering food, ancient temples, high-rise buildings, and outrageous nightlife, there really is something for everyone. Here’s how to experience the ultimate weekend in Bangkok:
Start your visit at Wat Arun. This is one of the most recognized temples in all of Southeast Asia and makes a wonderful place to start your weekend off. Created in the early 19th century, Wat Arun’s towering spires are remarkable to look at and symbolize the birth of the Rattanakosin Period, and in this case, the beginning of your weekend in Bangkok.
Next, make your way to the Grand Palace. Once the home of Thai Kings, the Grand Palace continues to draw visitors into its fantastic architecture and sheer beauty. Built in 1782, this palace is a must-see; it also houses the sacred Buddha image carved from a single block of emerald.
Afterwards, check out the Chatuchak Weekend Market. Thailand is famous with shoppers around the world, but this market is a must-visit for anyone new to Bangkok. With over 8,000 market stalls and 200,000 visitors, you’ll have no trouble finding new threads for the weekend.
Once you have your new outfit, take a taxi to Khao San Road. Love it or hate it, no visit to Bangkok would be complete without spending some time here. This is where East meets West and many travellers hang out. You’ll find dozens of market stalls, sleek clubs, cocktail bars, Western-style restaurants, and the cheapest hotels in Bangkok.
After a night on Khao San Road, start the next day off with a trip to the Floating Market. Although the market has become a little touristy, it continues to give off an authentic feel and insight into an ancient culture. Bring your camera, as you’ll find wooden boats floating by filled with fresh fruits, vegetables, and flowers. You can also fill your tummy with seafood skewers and noodles.
Next, head on over to Wat Pho to see a beautiful collection of murals, sculptures, and inscriptions that depict a variety of things such as astronomy, archeology, and warfare. You’ll also find a landscaped garden and a gigantic reclining Buddha.
Afterwards, pay a visit to Jim Thompson’s House; Thompson is famous for his dedication to the revival of the Thai silk industry and also for mysteriously disappearing into the Malaysian jungle. Luckily, his legacy lives on through an immaculate collection of Thai art as well as a complex of six beautifully preserved Thai-style teakwood houses.
End the day by taking a stroll along the riverside for a taste of some of the oldest settlements in Bangkok. Take the scenic route that goes from Wat Arun to Phra Sumeru Fortress. The glittering temples, stilted houses, river barges, and water-taxis will make this one of the highlights of your ultimate weekend.
Bangkok is a massive city with a tremendous amount of things to see and do. Whether you choose to follow the order set out in this guide or mix and match as you see fit, you’re bound to have an unforgettable weekend in this vibrant cosmopolitan city.
This article was written as party of the Hipmunk CityLove project. As a paid writer for Hipmunk, I’ve written about many world-class cities including Bangkok, Seattle, and Vancouver.