The Big Apple has nothing on the Big Mango. You could spend a sleepless month exploring the bustling Thai capital and never do the same thing twice. From ancient temples and luxury shopping malls to speakeasy bars and thrumming nightclubs, this city has it all. But if you only have a few days to tour Bangkok, you can still get a taste of the many wonders of this vibrant metropolis. Here, we’ve rounded up the best Bangkok day tour activities and must-see sites to add to your itinerary.
Boats are a great way to see the riverside area of Bangkok. On a boat ride down the Chao Phraya you’ll see some of Bangkok’s most iconic sites, including The Grand Palace, Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew), and Temple of Dawn (Wat Arun), along with intimate portraits of life along the banks of the River of Kings. There are a few different ways you can cruise these dreamy waters, from a simple ferry ride to a private longtail boat (price range from 1,000-2,500 Baht for a 90-minute ride).
Best way to get there: Catch the Chao Phraya River Express Boat (orange flag) at Sathorn Pier next to Saphan Taksin sky train station.
Chao Phraya Express Boat operation: Every day (6:00 a.m — 7:00 p.m)
Fares: 14 Baht to all stops
Malls abound in Bangkok, and our top stop for power spending is the Siam neighborhood. In a 2-kilometer radius you’ll find something for every budget and sense of style.
Siam Paragon: Siam Paragon is famous for three things. First, it is the third largest shopping mall in Thailand. Second, it houses the Bangkok Sea Life Ocean World, the largest aquarium in Southeast Asia and third, it has Kidzania, an indoor play city for kids. There is something for everyone!
Central World: Central World is a shopping and eating paradise. It is connected to two other shopping malls —Zen and Isetan. There is a big premium-level supermarket (Central Food Hall) and a food center on the 6th fl. SF World Cinema on 7th fl. will please movie-lovers.
Gaysorn Plaza: This is a luxurious shopping mall opposite Central World. Gaysorn Plaza houses high-end brands such as Gucci, Christian Dior and Louis Vuitton. If you have a chance to go to Gaysorn Plaza, don’t forget to visit the Erawan Shrine a bit down the street near the intersection.
Platinum Fashion Mall: If you like shopping for inexpensive clothes and accessories, Platinum Fashion Mall is a great place to stop by. 80% of their products are clothes with the remaining 20% being jewelry accessories, bags, and shoes. Since Platinum is a wholesale and retail shopping mall, you’ll get a better deal when you buy things in large quantity.
MBK: A huge shopping complex with souvenirs, clothes, and electronics. MBK has multiple restaurants to choose from and an entire section specifically for traditional Thai souvenirs. If you are looking for herbal and aromatherapy products, 3rd fl. of MBK is a good place to find. Prices range from cheap to expensive so you need to walk around to find your item at the desired price.
Street food in Bangkok is more than a symphony of flavors; it is a glimpse into long-standing local culture and tradition. Head to Victory Monument, Yaowarat (Chinatown), or Bang Rak to sample a few of the below snacks:
**The Asia Tip: If it’s your first time trying street food, you may be concerned about safety issues. Vegetarian pad thai is often a low-risk dish, as are most soups, since they are cooked at hot enough temperatures to kill most bacteria. In general, steer towards stalls where dishes are made to order.
The creative scene in Bangkok has been blossoming over the past few years, and these two museums offer something for everyone.
A day at a spa could be just what you need to help recharge those tired muscles. A day tour in Bangkok is not complete without a little self-indulgence, and while there are spa-options aplenty, here are a few of our favorites:
Urban Retreat: Urban Retreat is famous for their foot and body massages using only the finest-quality herbal ingredients. This spa is favored by many people due to its two great locations. One is next to the Asok sky train station and the second one is next to Phrom Phong station.
Oasis Spa: Friendly staff, nice atmosphere, and unique spa packages. You could relieve back tension with heated basalt stones or slough away dead skin cells with sweet-smelling coconut scrubs. With so many spa options, you could choose which part of your body you want to pamper.
Siladon Spa: A relaxing spa experience that will have you feeling energized in no time. Shiladon has many great promotions including the Buy 1 Get 1 Free package.
Divana Massage and Spa: Beautiful luxury spa located near the Asok sky train station. Divana even has its own spa products such as organic essential oils, natural body scrubs and night creams.