Bangkok is a vast city with plenty of things to do. However, if you have limited time then you might want to try a Bangkok day tour that covers several key sights. Some day tours offered by travel agencies in Bangkok may require you to travel outside of Bangkok to nearby cities like Pattaya, Ayutthaya, or Kanchanaburi. Since we’re aiming for a one-day trip, let’s pick one destination out of these three. Pattaya is a good choice because there are many activities you could do there in one day. To go to Pattaya you can either take the bus or the train, although it’s cheaper (maybe even faster) to take the bus. If you’ve decided to take the bus, you have to go to Ekamai Bus Terminal. To go to the Ekamai Bus Terminal, you can take the taxi or ride the sky train (BTS) and get off at Ekamai station and go out Exit 2. Ticket to Pattaya costs between 100-150 baht and you don’t have to pre-book it or anything. Just go to the counter and make the purchase. It takes about two hours for the bus to reach Pattaya Bus Terminal to which you can then choose to take the motorcycle or song-taew (a modified open-air pick-up truck) to your destination. If you book a one day tour, you might not be able to experience everything so we’ve put together a list of key attractions and things to do in Bangkok and nearby for your convenience:
1.) Pattaya— One of Thailand’s most popular beach resorts is located only 150km southeast of Bangkok (about 2 hours drive) and features a great tourism infrastructure as well as many family-friendly attractions such as Teddy bear Museum, Cartoon Network Amazone waterpark, Art in Paradise Museum, Nong Nooch botanical garden, and Pattaya Dolphin World.
2.) Koh Lan— Koh Lan is an island to the south of Pattaya. You can hop on a speedboat or ferry and you’ll be there in no time flat. Activities you could do at Koh Lan includes swimming, snorkeling, jet skiing, parasailing, and banana boat ride. Have you tried parasailing before? It’s basically a recreational activity in which you’ll have a small parachute called a ‘wing’ attached to your harness and then a speed boat will tow you in the water until you eventually rise into the air. If you don’t like the idea of your feet dangling in mid-air with parasailing, then you can try something less scary like snorkeling and swimming. Don’t worry, there are many activities to choose from.
3.) Sai Kaew Beach— In Thai, the word ‘sai’ means ‘sand’, and the word ‘kaew’ means ‘glass’. Roughly translated Sai Kaew Beach means ‘beach with clear glassy sand’. It’s a perfect name because this beach is very clean and has crystal clear aquamarine water. Sai Kaew Beach is about 30 km. south of Pattaya and is located in the Naval Base territory. You could do various beach activities at Sai Kaew but be warned that this beach can get very crowded especially on the weekends. Also, if you’re a foreigner, be sure to have your passport (or some form of ID) to show at the entrance. Entrance fee for foreigner is 100 baht and Thai is 50 baht.
4.) Nanta Show— This is an onstage Korean comedy show that revolves around a kitchen theme. Children and adults will enjoy the hilarious non-verbal performance that includes acrobatic stunts, magic tricks, and pantomime. The show is located at RCA Plaza in Bangkok and you can get there by taking the subway (MRT) and get off at either Petchaburi or Rama 9 station. From there you could choose to hop on the motorcycle or grab a taxi to go to RCA Plaza. It should take about ten minutes to reach there, depending on traffic of course.
5.) Siam area attractions—If you’re in the Siam area of Bangkok, there is no doubt that there are many places to visit. If you get off the sky train (BTS) at Siam station, there are at least eight major shopping malls within walking distance. Central World, Platinum Fashion Mall, Big C at Rajdamri, Pantip, Siam Discovery, Siam Center, Siam Square One, and Siam Paragon. Platinum Fashion Mall sells inexpensive clothes while Big C is a big hypermarket that is great for finding snacks and other household necessity. After you’ve finished with your shopping don’t forget to stop by Madame Tussauds wax museum on the 6th floor of Siam Discovery. You’ll have fun taking pictures with celebrity-look-a-like figures.
6.) Aromatherapy spa— Relax and refresh yourself at Bangkok’s many spas. Most spas in Thailand uses coconut oil and warm herbal compress balls to help nourish your skin and take the tension away. The massage therapist will knead different areas of your body (especially the back and neck) with the compress ball to release those tight muscles you get from sitting long hours in front of the computer. Lemongrass is a common herb used in Thai aromatherapy so you’ll probably smell that when you visit the spa. Lemongrass is used in Thai cooking and can be made into tea and essential oil. When made into tea, lemongrass helps detoxify your body due to its diuretic properties. When made into essential oil and applied on the body, lemongrass helps relieve achy muscle and also acts as an insect repellent. You will feel relaxed in the air-conditioned room that is infused with delicate scents of flowers and herbs. Here are two suggestions for spa places in Bangkok: Oasis Spa and Varuna Spa & Massage.
7.) Bangkok boat tour— The Chao Phraya River is an important river that flows through Bangkok. In the Thai language, ‘chao phraya’ means ‘kings’. So Chao Phraya River is the ‘river of the kings’. You can choose to explore the city by boat and get to see the famous Emerald Buddha and Temple of Dawn which are located along the river. Bangkok boat tours are especially popular with romantics and people who dislike traffic jams and sitting for hours on a tour bus. Among the most popular boat-related activities in the ‘city of angels’ are Bangkok dinner cruises and boat trips to Ayutthaya, the ancient capital of Thailand.