I have been to Bangkok twice in my life. Once during my 3 week Thailand Adventure and once on my way to Bali. Both times I only stayed for 2-3 days, but I think that was just enough time for me. Some of my favorite things to do in Bangkok are:
- The floating markets and temples– You can take a little river boat or ferry that stops along the river to see all of the temples and floating markets. There will be many sellers on the street that will try to convince you into renting a private river boat. Beware that if they recognize that you’re a tourist they will try to get you to pay more than you should, so don’t be afraid to bargain with them. We didn’t know any better the first time and paid about 10x what it should have actually cost us. You can also take the shared tourist ferry if you’re trying to stay on a budget, as a day pass is only about $5 and you can hop on and off as you please. Below is a map of the river with all of the temples. If you’re going to see any, make sure you see Wat Pho, which is the oldest and largest temple.
2. Rooftop Bars– The most notable rooftop bar in Bangkok is the Lebua, which many of you will know as the rooftop bar from the movie, The Hangover. While this is an amazing place to see, note that you’ll be paying about $20 per drink at this fancy schmancy place. Personally I think it is cool to check out for one drink, but then you should move on to another rooftop bar. There are several rooftop bars in Bangkok with incredible views of the city, so don’t just limit yourself to Lebua. As I mentioned, last time I visited Thailand was 4 years ago, so my list is a little outdated, but Timeout has an article of 2018’s Best Rooftop Bars in Bangkok.
3. Shopping Malls- This sounds silly, I know. Why would you want to go to a shopping mall when you’re on this lavish, exotic vacation in a foreign country? But their shopping malls are INSANE, so don’t knock it til ya rock it. Also, a tip one of the locals taught us is that the food in the food court is amazing and only about $1-3 for a meal. When you go into the food courts you put money on a card and then can use that card at any of the vendors. To be honest, one of my favorite pad thais was from one of the Bangkok Mall food courts.
4. Street Markets- The street markets were one of my favorite parts about Thai culture. The markets are where I purchased all of my souvenirs and gifts for family and friends back home and it’s also where I ate some of my favorite meals. Everyone loved the elephant pants I brought back for them and they were only about $3-5 a piece depending on how many I purchased at a time and how good my bargaining skills were on that given day. At first I was a little weary about eating food from the street vendors, but by the end of my trip I couldn’t get enough of it. It’s not just fruit and vegetables at these markets, like at our farmers markets, but whole meals like pad thai, spring rolls, papaya salad, etc. Here is a good blog about 6 Markets in Bangkok You Should Not Miss.