Bangkok is a city that has a profound effect on people who visit it. They all seem to fall in love with it, and it’s easy to see why. It’s crowded, noisy, eye-popping, and the clash of ancient culture and modernity make it completely unique.
Visiting the city for the first time, it can be difficult to narrow down your options in terms of what to do. To help you out, we’ve compiled this list of the 10 top-rated tourist attractions in Bangkok. You may not be able to see everything, but if you work your way through this list you’ll come away with a good overview of Bangkok and its wonders.
#1: Grand Palace: The Grand Palace is one of the most impressive structures in the world. Built in 1782, it served for years as a royal residence and is still used as a place to welcome visiting heads of state. It is also the home of Wat Phra Kaeo, which houses the famous Jade Buddha.
The Palace is open every day from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm daily. Your best bet is to take the half-day tour to ensure you don’t miss anything. Make sure to dress modestly and neatly with your arms and legs covered.
#2: Wat Pho: Wat Pho temple is within easy walking distance of the Grand Palace and it’s a good way to round out a day of sightseeing. It was built by King Rama I and is primarily known as a former university and place of healing. It’s also the home of the Reclining Buddha, a statue so massive that it cannot be viewed in its entirety from any one place. You’ll have to view it in sections. Wat Pho is open from 8:30 am to 6:00 pm daily.
#3: Wat Traimit
The story of Wat Traimit is a cautionary tale about not judging a book by its cover. In 1950, a company bought the land around the temple and planned to remove what they thought was a plaster statue of Buddha. It proved to be too heavy to move and they soon discovered why: it was made of solid gold. Weighing over 5.5 tons, the statue now holds a place of honor at Wat Traimit. The origins of the statue are unknown, but it is an impressive sight.
#4: Wat Arun
Wat Arun is also known as the Temple of the Dawn, but the best time to visit is at sunset. The view from the top of the prang allows you to take in the Chao Praya river in all its glory if you’re willing to make the climb – and even if you aren’t, it’s worth visiting. Wat Arun is open daily from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm.
#5: National Museum and Wang Na Palace
The National Museum is Thailand’s largest museum and houses an impressive collection that includes historic weaponry, religious artifacts, games, ceramics, and a huge collection of Buddha statues arranged in chronological order. It’s a must-see for history buffs.
#6: Wat Suthat
The temple at Wat Suthat is one of Thailand’s most beautiful, but it is less popular than some of the other temples on this list. It boasts an impressive collection of wall paintings in addition to the usual shrines and artifacts. It is also home to the Giant Swing, a massive 27-meter-tall frame that used to be used for religious ceremonies before it was banned.
#7: Khao San Road
If you’re in the mood to battle a crowd, head to Khao San Road, the famous backpackers’ district of Bangkok. It’s home to food and clothing vendors and is always jam-packed with tourists. Adding to the experience are a myriad of smells and sounds, including live music. It’s a good place to buy traditional fisherman’s pants, browse used books, and rub elbows with a huge cross-section of humanity.
#8: Jim Thompson Home
Jim Thompson was an American entrepreneur involved in the Thai silk trade. After he disappeared mysteriously during a trip to Malaysia, his home was converted into a museum. A visit reveals details about his life and work, as well as a glimpse into Bangkok’s history.
#9: Lumpini Park
Lumpini Park is an island of tranquility in the midst of the hubbub of Bangkok. It features trees and greenery with a view of the surrounding skyscrapers. Its primary attraction is as a place to relax, but if you choose you can take a boat on the lake to pass the time. There’s no admission charge and it’s open all day, but make sure to check if there are any protests going on before you go. If there are, pick a different destination for the day as protests have occasionally turned violent in the past.
#10: Terminal 21
Visiting a shopping mall might not be your idea of a vacation activity, but Terminal 21 is special. Every floor of the massive building has a different city theme, so you can shop in facsimiles of Paris, London, Tokyo, San Francisco, and Istanbul. It’s a truly unique shopping experience and a great place to pick up some souvenirs.
Bangkok is a feast for the senses. Visiting these ten attractions can give you a taste of everything the city has to offer, from ancient to modern.
Author Bio – This article is a work of Paul Mesh in support of Ferry Samui, a leading ferry agent in Thailand. If you’re on the lookout for transportation from Bangkok to Koh Tao, please do visit ferrysamui.com today for the best deal.