Over time, Bangkok has gained an international reputation for being one of the most vibrant cities in Asia. With its rich combination of past and present, cultural or historical sites are far from being the only thing this bustling metropolis has to offer, so here’s a list of local spots one must definitely give a visit to while in Bangkok!
THE MARKET CULTURE & THE FLOATING MARKET OF BANGKOK
The market culture is immensely prevalent in South East Asia and especially so in Bangkok. Very much different from its western counterpart, it has been the beating heart of the South East Asian economy for centuries and remains a vibrant and unmissable part of Thai culture to this very day. Famous for its extensive networks of waterways and canals, Bangkok has widely developed a reliance on the water transportation and trade of all sorts of goods, which later on earned the city the nickname of the Venice of Asia. Over decades and centuries, boats have been used to transport and trade goods both locally and regionally. Plenty of floating markets remain all over the kingdom of Thailand to this very day and visiting at least one of them is definitely a must while in Thailand. Indulge in this immensely charming aspect of the local culture, tourists are very well received. Explore, shop for locally handcrafted good and indulge with some local delicacies such as coconut water and the classic Boat Noodles!
The most popular floating market by far, and is located an hour and half away from the city of Bangkok. Other markets such as the Amphawa Market or the Talling Chan market are hit amongst tourists, the latter being particularly famous for its delicious selection of seafood. Should you want to avoid crowds and indulge in a more laid back atmosphere, the little Khlong Lat Mayom market will definitely please you, as we considered most of big floating markets around Bangkok have lost their authenticy, if not turned into tourist traps.
CHATTUCHAK WEEK END MARKET
This market in particular is also known as the JJ market with an incredible capacity of 8000 stalls! Indeed, the charming local spots also claims to be one of the largest markets in the world and sells goods of literally all sorts! Whether you are looking for antiques, locally handcrafted goods and ceramics, of for food, furniture or even pets! Don’t forget to indulge in one of the many food and drink stalls!
- Opening hours: 6:00 – 18:00
- Pro tip: Wednesdays and Thursdays are traditionally reserved for plants and flowers, while the weekends (Saturdays and Sundays) are the main opening days; Fridays are reserved to wholesale.
PAK KLONG TALAD FLOWER MARKET
This market in particular is definitely a must see for photographers and nature lovers alike. Indeed the breathtakingly gorgeous Pak Klong Talad Market is the largest wholesale and retail marketplace for flowers and plants in Bangkok, and its alleyways bustling with flowers in bloom will definitely be worth your time.
- Opening hours: This market is open 24/7
- Pro-tip: The name Pak Klong Talad directly translates to “market at the mouth of the canal” and this location has been a key part for trading goods for well over 200 years.
Next up, stop-over at one of Bangkok’s most iconic neighbourhoods…
Immerse yourself in one of the most iconic cultural neighbourhoods of Bangkok: Chinatown; explore the bustling streets and market places spreading out for blocks, find hidden gems in the concealed temples, shrines and pathways in Chinatown; or indulge in the beauty of the textile and silk markets of the Chinese neighbourhood. At nightfall, indulge in some of the best street food in town as the place turns into an incredible outdoor eatery. Speaking of food, travellers that are also dedicated foodies can pair their biking journey through the streets of Bangkok with a culinary one. Indeed, Bangkok is a definitive foodie’s dream, and offers a vast range of restaurants for all budgets, serving foods and delicacies from all over the world. Whether you are looking for a local street food eatery or a more refined dining experience, Bangkok will surely provide you with the tastiest of experiences. And more cultural wonders are yet to come in this incredible city.
Indeed, sitting at the very heart of a former Royal Palace, the National Museum of Bangkok open its doors to welcome every culture aficionado. This incredible place is home and guardian to the largest collection of artefacts in the kingdom and is definitely worth a visit for anyone seeking to go the extra mile and learn about the incredible history of Thailand.
- Opening Hours: The National Museum is open from Wednesdays to Sundays, from 9:00 to 16:00
- Entrance fee: 200 THB (Free for Thai Nationals)
- Pro-tip: It is possible for visitors to hire a guide. Guides are available in a variety of languages, as well as tours in English, which are traditionally scheduled at 9:30 on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
THE JIM THOMPSON HOUSE
Jim Thompson is man honoured by the Kingdom of Thailand. Indeed, he was an entrepreneur as well as the Founder of the Jim Thompson Thai Silk Company, for which he was honoured later on by the Kingdom that wished to thank him for his impact on the silk industry. Nowadays, the Jim Thompson house stands as a testament and legacy of the business man’s legendary past before his mysterious disappearance in Malaysia. The beautiful and architecturally complex house is now open to the public.
- Entrance Fee: 150 THB
- Pro-tip: Guided tours are mandatory. Students get a discount on the entrance fee
THE GREEN HUB OF BANGKOK BANG KRACHAO
Escape to Bang Krachao for a relaxing time-out. Known as Bangkok’s green lung, this gorgeous location is a biking haven with its elevated paths as well as its maze of dirt ground roads that are surely made for the most adventurous spirits. There, you’ll also be able to soak in the local and authentic ambiance of the Talad Bang Nampung Market, a local floating market; or indulge in the nature of the luxurious nature of the Bang Krachao Park, in search of the mysterious giant monitor lizard. This beautiful green peninsular district is easily accessible via a boat ride across the Chao Phraya River.
Lumpini Park could be dubbed Bangkok’s very own Central Park. Sitting right in the centre of the city and very easily accessible using public transportations, this gorgeous green spot is a breath of fresh air right in the heart of the city and even comes with its very own lake, swans and boats. The green hub hosts a fair amount of commemorative statues as well as Bangkok’s very first public library and is a popular spot for festivals and other cultural events and celebrations.
- Opening hours: 4:30 – 21:00
- Pro-tip: Cycling is only permitted during the day between 10:00 – 15:00
Dogs and smoking are not allowed in the park. During the weekend, the place shelters a gorgeous food market.