Bangkok, the city of angels, is rated as one of the world’s best tourist destinations. In addition to being the capital of Thailand since 1782, it is the largest, most populous, and most developed city of Thailand. In the modern world, Bangkok stands as a beautiful example of ethnic diversity. Here, the towering skyscrapers, luxury shopping malls, and flashy night-clubs stand in delightful harmony with the historical, cultural, traditional, and architectural beauty.
From the glittering lights of shrines to the dynamic street life, Bangkok is everything you would expect the capital of Thailand to be. Royal palaces, museums, temples, and cultural performances are always a major attraction for not only foreign tourists but for the local’s Thai visitors as well.
Following are some of the most popular places in Bangkok:
1. The Grand Palace
The grand palace is one of the major sites to attract tourists’ attention. The palace roughly resembles a triangular complex in shape. It is built on a combined area of 218,400 square meters (2,351,000 sq. ft.), surrounded by walls on the four sides. The grand palace isn’t built as a single structure, but it embodies halls, buildings, gardens, courtyards, and pavilions set around the open lawns.
It is well-known and popular for the diverse array of Buddhist sculptures and temples that blankets within their walls a history of 200 years.
The grand palace is divided into a number of quarters, each unveiling a story of an ancient era. These courts include:
- The Temple of the Emerald Buddha or the Outer Court, with many buildings open to the public. This temple is most popular among tourists.
- The Middle Court, including the PhraMahaMonthien buildings, the PhraMahaPrasat buildings as well as the ChakriMahaPrasat buildings
- The Inner Court
- The Siwalai Gardens quarter.
The grand palace in the present century serves as a hub of royal offices. Moreover, it is also open as a “historical museum” for the public. The Thai people can visit this beautiful masonry of ancient Thai history free of cost, but foreigners need to pay some amount to enter this aesthetic palace of Thailand.
2. Wat Pho
Wat Pho, or “The Temple of Reclining Buddha,” is the largest temple of Bangkok, located to the south of Emerald temple and Great Palace. Here you will find the prodigious statue of Buddha in the reclining pose. This statue is so gigantic, and it can’t be viewed in its entirety. However, it can be viewed and appreciated in sections. Its feet, adorned at the soles with a medley of precious stones, is a sight to behold.
In religious terms, it has been appreciated as a place for healing. Centuries ago, it used to be famous as the first university in Thailand.
3. Wat Arun
WatArun, also known as “The Temple of Dawn,” is amongst the best landmarks of Thailand. It gets this name from its pearly opalescent appearance in the early hours of the dawn. It is situated opposite the Grand Palace on the west bank of the river “Chao Phraya.” The spire situated on the bank is decorated with small pieces of Chinese porcelain and colorful glass.
After climbing this 70-meter-high spire, you could treat yourself to the best views of Bangkok skylines. It is a sight to behold at night time, with the golden iridescence lighting it up beautifully.
4. Wat Traimit
WatTraimit or “The Temple of Golden Buddha” is one of the most attractive sights due to the sensational tale linked to it. In 1950, the land around this temple was purchased by the East Asian Company. They intended to remove the statue of Buddha that was made of plaster. But the statue proved to be heavier than it looked, and the crane couldn’t transfer it. Consequently, it was dropped and left overnight, where it fell. Coincidently, it was the rainy season, and the night-showers were frequent.
In the morning, some monks discovered the statue that seemed to be glittering under the sun. When the plaster covering was removed, a 4-meter Buddha statue made of solid gold was revealed. It is said to weigh 5 tons. No traces of its origin are found to date, but this interesting story and alluring statue attract thousands of tourists every year.
5. The Giant Swing
The giant swing is a religious structure located at the heart of the busy square in front of WatSuthat. It was used to be a part of traditional Brahmin ceremonies and is one of the most eye-catching sights.
It was built back in the 1700s, but the swing later damaged by lightning. Now, its 27-meter frame stands just as a decorative site in the city of Bangkok.
6. Wat Suthat
WatSuthat is one of the oldest and most beautiful Buddhist temples, located adjacent to the Great swing. Three kings contributed to its construction, namely, Rama I, Rama II, and Rama III. This castle attracts tourists not only due to its impressive architecture but for the exceptionally interesting wall paintings as well. Although not as famous as some of the other temples, it gains the attention of art-loving tourists.
7. National Museum & Wang Na Palace
National Museum of Bangkok is one of the largest museums in Southeast Asia, and until the mid-1970’s it used to be Thailand’s only museum. Now it is considered the main branch of the National Museums. It has a big and diverse collection of Thai art and history. This museum is a tourist attraction because every exhibit is not only labeled in Thai but English as well, and “guided tours” in English are also offered.
This museum is on the grounds of Wang Na “Front Palace,” built for the Vice King. However, King Rama I’s palace remained as it was and stood as a testimonial to Thai history and traditions. It provides insight into religious and ceremonial artifacts, games, weaponry, musical instruments, and the Viceroy’s throne. Moreover, it also contains an impressive collection of Buddha figures arranged according to period.
8. Floating Markets
This is one of those sights you won’t see anywhere out of South-east Asia. Bangkok was nicknamed “Venice of the East” based on the popularity of these floating markets.
Anchored on either side of the river, beautifully decorated long-tail boats stocked to the brim with fresh fruits, grilled foods, fresh juices, including coconut juice, are highly touristic enterprises. The best floating markets of Bangkok include:
- Amphawa and
Amongst them, DamnoenSaduak is considered the most popular floating market in the country. The best-suited way to visit these markets is to join one of the many guided boat tours on offer.
9. Khao San Road
Khao San Road is infamous for being home to backpackers, young travelers, and late-night revelers. The traveler hub of South East Asia is jam-packed with mobile street bars, raucous bars, food vendors, clothing stalls, bookstalls, restaurants, guest houses, and budget hostels. This is a visit-must street for all the youngsters who came to Bangkok with its revered nightlife scenes and carefree atmosphere.
10. Bang Krachao
Bang Krachao, or “the Green Lung of Bangkok,” is a human-made island located in the city’s heart. This urban jungle is ornamented with lush tropical trees, lakes, and raised embankments on which unique houses are built along the Chao Phraya River’s edge.
The best way to explore Bang Krachao is to rent a bicycle and drive it leisurely along all the main trails of the Bang Krachao to revel in the beauty. However, a visit to Bang Krachao is incomplete without visiting the “Sri NakhonKhuean Khan Park and Botanical Gardens.”
With all the appealing flowers and the alluring water bodies, including various ponds and lakes, these are well known for the local wildlife as well as the fish-food.
11. Sky Bar and Hotel
Sky Bar and Hotel is the tallest building in Thailand, standing at 820 feet with all its 88 stories. It not only provides luxurious accommodation but also serves as the country’s highest bar.Moreover, it bestows the visitors a scenery of Bangkok’s entire skyline with breath-taking views reaching out to the horizon.
12. Chatuchak Weekend Market
Chatuchak Weekend Market is the largest market in Thailand. It is also known as the JJ market with more than 15,000 stalls. Covering an area of 35 acres, this market attracts over 200,000 visitors each weekend.
Many different kinds of goods are available for sale including, fresh and dry foods and beverages,plants, antiques, pets, garden supplies, handcrafts, consumer electronics, cosmetics, ceramics, furniture and home accessories, clothing, and books.
13. The Thai Massage
Although not a sight to see or a monument to visit, Thai massagers still attract many tourists. Due to the special techniques and massage ointments, Thailand massage has gained a reputation. After living through the hustle and bustle of the Thai streets, shopping malls, and sight-seeing the temples and other monuments, the one-hour massage not only relaxes the recipient but also makes him ready for the excitement of the next day.
A variety of massages are available, including oil massage, back and shoulder massage, neck massage, foot massage, and more. Massage parlors can be found all over the city, which provides one hour of Thai massage.
Bangkok is one of the most popular tourist destinations of South-East Asia, and that too for so many reasons. Each year, tourists from all over the world visit Bangkok to explore its beauty and culture. We hope you have got several reasons to visit this beautiful capital of Thailand after reading this article.
If you want to learn more about Thailand check out Illuminating Facts deep dive into the amazing country and check out their awesome timeline infographic: