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Best experiences:

Grand Palace

Bangkok, Central Thailand, Thailand

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Bucket List Experience
Close look at the roofs of the palace

A glittering complex of jaw-dropping magnificence dating back to 1782. This former seat of power of Siamese kings houses the Emerald Buddha – Thailand’s palladium.

Adult price: £11

Bangkok’s Temples & Shrines

Bangkok, Central Thailand, Thailand

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Bucket List Experience
Bangkok’s Temples & Shrines

The best of Bangkok’s glittering Buddhist temples. Temples form the centrepiece of everyday spiritual life.

Best for ages 13+

Ayutthaya Historical Park

Bangkok, Central Thailand, Thailand

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Bucket List Experience
Exterior of ancient temple

Thailand’s ancient capital flourished in the 14th-18th centuries. Today. it’s home to ruined palaces and crumbling Buddha statues, offering a fascinating glimpse of past glories.

Adult price: £3

Best for ages 13+

Jim Thompson’s House

Bangkok, Central Thailand, Thailand

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Bucket List Experience
Exterior of the house, surrounded by lush greenery

The former home of silk magnate Jim Thompson – who mysteriously disappeared in the jungles of Malaysia – is a must-see for its well-preserved teak buildings and art.

Adult price: £4

Best for ages 13+

Bangkok’s best food & drink

Bangkok, Central Thailand, Thailand

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Bucket List Experience
A plate of delicious fresh Thai food

As the epicentre of one of the world’s most beloved cuisines, Bangkok is a superb spot to hunt down little-known dishes from all corners of the country.

Best for ages 18+

Duration: -

Boat tours of Bangkok

Bangkok, Central Thailand, Thailand

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Bucket List Experience
Long tail boat cruising through temples

From fancy river cruises to public transport boats, seeing Bangkok from its many waterways gives you a whole new perspective of the city and lives of the locals.

Adult price: £3

Best for ages 4+

Duration: 30+ minutes

Wat Pho

Bangkok, Central Thailand, Thailand

Head of giant reclining Buddha

A colossal gold reclining Buddha with auspicious symbols on the soles of his feet is the main attraction at Wat Pho. The temple complex is also home to Thailand’s largest collection of glittering gold Buddha images.

Adult price: £2

Best for ages 13+

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The Death Railway [Bridge on the River Kwai]

Kanchanaburi, Central Thailand, Thailand

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Bucket List Experience
Train going along hillside tracks

Some two hours west of Bangkok, hard labour and human suffering turned this WWII-era railway bridge into a heart-gripping monument of war.

Best for ages 13+

Bangkok’s best shopping

Bangkok, Central Thailand, Thailand

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Bucket List Experience
Items ready to be purchased in a market

With its gleaming mega-malls and ramshackle riverside markets, Bangkok makes it dangerously easy to part with a whole lot of baht.

Best for ages 13+

Duration: 1+ hours

Thai kick boxing at Rajadamnern Boxing Stadium

Bangkok, Central Thailand, Thailand

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Bucket List Experience
Two men competing in a kick boxing match inside of the ring, surrounded by onlookers

Blood, sweat, and muscled men in tiny shorts – there are few better ways to see Thailand’s national sport than a Muay Thai match at Bangkok’s Rjadamnern Boxing Stadium.

Adult price: £11

Best for ages 16+

Duration: 3.5 hrs

When: Mon, Wed, Thur, Sun

Wat Arun

Bangkok, Central Thailand, Thailand

External view of the temple with columns

One of Bangkok’s most photographed temples, Wat Arun is beautifully decorated with colourful porcelain pieces. Situated in a sublime location on the Chao Phraya river, it was renamed Wat Chaeng by King Taksin, who arrived here at dawn having escaped the Burmese during the Ayutthaya siege.

Adult price: £2

Best for ages 13+

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Wat Saket

Bangkok, Central Thailand, Thailand

View of temple at dusk

Set within the Wat Saket temple complex, Phu Khao Thong (the Golden Mount) boasts a 58m gleaming golden chedi. Most visitors climb the 318 steps to savour the views over Bangkok, which are particularly spectacular at sunset.

Adult price: £1

Best for ages 13+

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Bicycle tours of Chinatown

Bangkok, Central Thailand, Thailand

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Bucket List Experience
View of Yaowarat Road, the main street of China town, at night

Bicycle tours through the back-alleys of Chinatown and Bangkok’s rural suburbs offer a fascinating peek into the daily lives of the city’s residents.

Adult price: £20

Min age 3

Best for ages 10+

Duration: 3-5 hours

Bangkokian Museum

Bangkok, Central Thailand, Thailand

Teak house surrounded by lush greenery

One of Bangkok’s most popular little museums. The charming, 70-year-old restored teak house offers a compelling glimpse of family life in Bangkok from the 1930s to the 1960s.

Best for ages 13+

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Bangkok’s breathtaking sky bars

Bangkok, Central Thailand, Thailand

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Bucket List Experience
Glittering view from a rooftop bar

The best way to see Bangkok from above, ranging from cosy riverside rooftops strung with fairy lights to ritzy rooftop hotel bars.

Min age 18

Best for ages 18+

Wat Phra Kaew

Bangkok, Central Thailand, Thailand

Wat Phra Kaew

This eye-popping temple, decorated in shimmering mosaics and vivid murals, is the centrepiece of the Grand Palace. It’s also home to the famous Emerald Buddha statue that stands 66cm tall and was carved from a single jade stone in the 14th century.

Adult price: £12

Best for ages 13+

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Chatuchak Weekend Market

Bangkok, Central Thailand, Thailand

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Bucket List Experience
Bustling market at night

The world’s biggest weekend market is a treasure trove of antiques, handicrafts and quirky fashion by homegrown designers, and a walking buffet of Thai comfort food.

Best for ages 13+

Duration: Weekend

When: Friday pm -Sunday

Frequency: weekly

Srinagarindra Train Night Market

Bangkok, Central Thailand, Thailand

The busy night market lit up with white lights against a pitch black sky

Taking over a set of warehouses in the Prawet suburb some 30 minutes from downtown, this 2,000-stall night market is a magnet for Thai hipsters on the hunt for vintage film posters, second-hand sneakers and Japanese collectibles.

Best for ages 13+

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Koh Kret

Bangkok, Central Thailand, Thailand

Stone lion statue beside temple

A laid-back island escape in the Chao Phraya River, within day-trip distance from Bangkok’s city centre.

Best for ages 13+

Wat Samphran

Nakhom Pathom, Central Thailand, Thailand

Wat Samphran

Shaped like a giant dragon coiled around a concrete skyscraper, off-the-beaten-track Wat Samphran proves that not every temple is a riot of glitter and gold. A steep pathway through the dragon’s belly leads to the rooftop shrine with spectacular views over the countryside some 40km from Bangkok. It’s an extraordinary creation – and worth making the effort to go see it for yourself.

Best for ages 13+

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Bang Krachao

Bangkok, Central Thailand, Thailand

Bang Krachao

This island in the horseshoe of the Chao Phraya River is only a 10-minute hop from the city centre, but feels like a world away. Rent a bicycle and follow stilted pathways through lush jungle and laid-back villages.

Best for ages 18+

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Floating Markets

Bangkok, Central Thailand, Thailand

Overhead view of long tail boats with vendors selling food products

Flaming woks balancing on tiny canoes, mountains of fresh fruits – Bangkok’s floating markets are a kaleidoscope of Thai-tinged wonder. That said, their old-timey charm has long faded as souvenirs shops have replaced most noodle joints. It’s a fun day out, but no longer an authentic experience.

Best for ages 13+

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Flower Markets

Bangkok, Central Thailand, Thailand

Vibrant flowers in large woven baskets for sale

Heaving with jasmine, orchids and marigolds, Bangkok’s flower market is a mesmerising riot of colours, floral scents and boisterous vendors. Visit after midnight, when wholesalers drop off their wares and the market is at its liveliest.

Best for ages 13+

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A bustling road with a historical building in the background and tuktuks in the foreground

With galleries, concept stores and art markets amalgamating into a kaleidoscope of creativity, Bangkok’s de-facto design district offers an excellent primer on the city’s burgeoning creative scene.

Best for ages 13+

Songkran

Bangkok, Central Thailand, Thailand

A parade of people having a water fight

Once a sombre festival to celebrate cleansing and starting afresh in the New Year, the yearly Songkran festivities have since grown into a rowdy mass water fight with little cultural value. Couples are better off escaping town, but it’s fun for solo travellers.

Best for ages 13+

Duration: 3 days

When: 13th-15th April

Frequency: annually

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Erawan Shrine

Bangkok, Central Thailand, Thailand

Shrine gilded with flowers

The Erawan Shrine is the most important religious symbol in Bangkok – despite it actually being a Hindu rather than Buddhist shrine. Each day, there’s a constant stream of locals offering flowers or carved wooden elephants in the hope of having wishes (mostly financial) granted.

Best for ages 13+

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Lumphini Park

Bangkok, Central Thailand, Thailand

Overhead view of the park, showing the lake in the centre and the distinct skyline in the background

When you feel the need to escape Bangkok’s oppressive traffic fumes, Lumphini Park is a lush central oasis and a fantastic place for a stroll. Go early morning and late afternoon when locals come for sports and you’ll find elderly ladies practicing sword fighting and Tai-Chi.

Best for ages 4+

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Nang Loeng Market

Bangkok, Central Thailand, Thailand

People shopping at a food market

Tucked away in an unassuming street snaking off Ratanakosin, the little-visited Nang Loeng Market feels frozen in time. It’s a street food hotspot, especially in the early mornings – don’t miss the crispy roasted pork at Jib Ki and the traditional Thai desserts at Nanta.

Best for ages 13+

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Siam Square

Bangkok, Central Thailand, Thailand

Brightly lit up Siam Square mall in Bangkok

Tucked behind Siam’s air-conditioned mega-malls, this labyrinth of alleys is a creative hub for artsy boutiques, trinket stores and beauty salons frequented by Bangkok’s hip young things.

Best for ages 13+

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Central Embassy

Bangkok, Central Thailand, Thailand

Luxury mall in Bangkok

Rising from the ground like a giant swirl of steel, this ultra-luxurious mall in Phloen Chit houses the typical Chanel, Hermes and Jimmy Choo, but is also an excellent spot to pick up smart (albeit pricy) souvenirs from homegrown luxury labels like Jim Thompson, Siwilai and S’uvimol.

Best for ages 13+

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Papaya Studio

Bangkok, Central Thailand, Thailand

A warmly lit, cosy room filled with objects and paintings

Part furniture rental studio, part cabinet of curiosities, Papaya Studio in the little-visited Lad Phrao suburb is a kooky spot to browse everything from life-sized Spiderman figures, Rococo mirrors and vintage pinball machines. Four stories filled with a million pieces of furniture and decoration.

Best for ages 13+

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Mahanakhon Bangkok Sky Bar

Bangkok, Central Thailand, Thailand

Mahanakhon Bangkok Sky Bar

Bangkok’s highest sky bar on the 77th floor of the pixelated King Power Mahanakhon towers at least 14 floors above the competition. Views from this inside-outside rooftop bar and restaurant are second to none, and the multi-sensory elevator ride up is an experience on its own.

Min age 18

Best for ages 18+

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Moon Bar

Bangkok, Central Thailand, Thailand

Moon Bar

This dazzling sky bar on top of the Banyan Tree hotel is one of Bangkok’s most popular rooftop spots for a reason: its spectacular 360-degree views reach well beyond the city’s suburbs and, while pricey, the drink list is top-notch.

Min age 18

Best for ages 18+

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