Bangkok, or the ‘city of angels’ is an intriguing Southeast Asian metropolis known for it’s vibrant street life and excellent dining and nightlife venues. Bustling Bangkok has been a favored destination since the 1980’s, luring millions of nature, culture & food lovers each year. With a massive influx of Chinese tourists in recent times the city’s popularity has taken another major leap, allowing it to claim the title of ‘most visited city in the world’ not less than three times over the past 5 years (2012, 2013, 2016). To help visitors save time choosing which of the city’s many sights to see, we have put together the following list of Top 5 must see attractions in Bangkok:
1. Wat Phra Kaeo (Wat Phrasrirattana Sasadaram) or the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, situated within the Grand Palace, near Sanam Luang, is definitely one of the top attractions in Bangkok. This sacred city symbol is the most important Buddhist temple in Thailand and one of the country’s most famous religious landmarks. It was built by King Rama I, the founder of the Chakri Dynasty, at the same time as the Grand Palace in 1782, when he established Bangkok as his capital, in order to serve as the palace chapel, in which traditional royal ceremonies would be conducted. It thus has a sanctuary for the performance of Buddhist rites, but no residences for monks.
2. Yaowarat is Bangkok’s oldest Chinese community and has existed for over 200 years. Free up a day for sightseeing in Bangkok’s Chinatown and discover local market, gold trade and pay a visit to one of the Chinese temple. “Yaowarat” at night is certainly one of the world’s most famous street food destination. Simply order a few bottles of beers, sit back and enjoy outstanding seafood, Thai-Chinese specialties and just about any other dish from all regions of Thailand.
3. Ko Kret is a small island in the Chao Phraya River in the province of Nonthaburi, Ko Kret is known for its rural atmosphere, its distinctive pottery and its busy weekend market and he island is served by ferries. The real fun of Ko Kret is cruising through the tiny hamlets, enjoying the soothing rural views and stopping for a cool drink as the mood strikes. However, there are a few tourist attractions on the island. Arguably the biggest sight is Wat Poramai Yikawat. Located across from Ko Kret’s main pier, this Buddhist temple has a Mon-style marble Buddha statue and a museum with religious objects and exhibits on local pottery. But the temple’s most famous landmark is undoubtedly the 200-year-old leaning stupa that juts out from the island’s northeastern corner.
4. Khao San Road the home of the backpacker hordes of South East Asia. For years it’s been the base camp for travelers making expeditions to outlying parts of Thailand or into neighboring countries like Laos or Cambodia. The street stalls sell cheap noodles, cheap buckets of alcohol and cheap t-shirts that are designed to prolong laundry day rather than take pride of place in a wardrobe. Large throngs of backpackers from every part of the world mixing together, sharing tales from the adventures they’ve just come back from or talking excitedly about the ones they’re about to embark on.
5. Dinner Cruise Another fun activity you shouldn’t miss is going for a Chao Phraya cruise where you can dine in a luxurious setting and enjoy a vast Thai and International Buffet. Whether sipping on cocktails prepared by world-class bartenders or tasting wines from some exotic vineyard from around the world, you’re sure to be mesmerised by some of the best scenery that Bangkok has to offer as it cruises down the Chao Praya River. The ambience of live jazz and popular music performed by Thai and International artists alone is enough to make you fall in love with this amazing cruise.
Tip: Whether you are visiting for the temples, nightlife or shopping, a day tour in Bangkok is a good way of saving time by covering all of the best attractions in Bangkok in the span of a single day.