hide map

15 things you should know about Bangkok

Officially known as the world’s hottest city, this steamy metropolitan is home to more than 10 million Bangkokians. If you look beyond the traffic jams and smog, Thailand’s capital has a lot to offer; from peaceful temples to vibrant night markets.
Wat Arun
© photo: Szymon KochaƄski    

Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew)

The Grand Palace is no longer used by the King and his family, still the apartments remain closed to the public as it is sometimes used for certain ceremonial occasions and to house visiting royalty from other countries. Wat Phra Kaew is a royal temple built within the Grand Palace compound and home to Thailand’s most sacred Buddha statue.
» discover Grand Palace & Wat Phra Kaew

Emerald Palace

Emerald Palace, photo by: WanderingtheWorld



Baiyoke Tower II

Baiyoke Tower II will be Thailand’s tallest building until 2011 when a higher skyscraper will be completed in Pattaya. From the 77th floor observatory and revolving roof deck you have great 360-degree views over Bangkok. Entry tickets also include a complementary drink in the Roof Top Bar on the 83rd floor.
» discover Baiyoke Tower II


Baiyoke Tower II

photo by: Captain Kimo - Back in Action



Chatuchak Weekend Market

More than 200,000 visitors come to shop at  the world’s biggest weekend market. Basically everything can be found at more than 15,000 shops and stalls, from religious items to second hand shoes and from handicrafts to puppies.
» discover Chatuchak Weekend Market


Chatuchak Weekend Market

photo by: digitalsadhu



Crazy traffic

During most hours of the day Bangkok’s roads are packed with traffic jams and it does require a lot of patience to get from A to B. Drivers use the left hand side of the road and cars always have the right way, even on pedestrian walkings. The worst day to travel by road is payday, the last Friday of the month. Travel times can triplicate on payday.

Crazy traffic Bangkok

photo by: ToGa Wanderings



Damnoen Saduak Floating Market

A little more than 100 kilometers from Bangkok in Ratchaburi, the Floating Market takes place every morning. Back in the days more than 200 canals (khlongs) were dug out to provide farmers with water for agricultural purposes and to transport their products to the markets. Nowadays the Floating Market is concentrated around Khlong Damnoen Saduak and focuses mainly on selling souvenirs, fruits and fingerfood to tourists.
» discover Ratchaburi and Damnoen Saduak Floating Market


Damnoen Saduak Floating Market

photo by: GoGap

Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn)

This landmark temple is situated on the west bank of Chao Phraya river. Very steep and narrow steps are leading to a balcony on the ornately decorated tower, offering a spectacular view across the river including the Grand Palace, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha and Wat Po.
» discover Wat Arun

Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn)

photo by: superciliousness



Skytrain & Tuk Tuks

You can’t leave Bangkok before you have tried at least one ride on the skytrain and zigzagged through the capital’s traffic in a tuk tuk. High above the street you have a nice view over the city from the skytrain. Nothing beats exploring Bangkok sights by tuk tuk, this way you really get to see, hear and smell the city.
» more about BTS Skytrain


Tuk-Tuk, Bangkok

photo by: Jody Art



Skytrain, Bangkok

photo by: UweBKK




Patpong is notorious for its gathering of sex shows, go go bars, blowjob bars and massage parlors. When the night falls, tourists and others come to see the ping pong shows or are in search of a lady-for-rent in the neon lit streets of Patpong entertainment district. Besides being a redlight district, Patpong also offers a night bazaar, full of genuine fake bags and pirate DVDs.
» discover Patpong



photo by: adaptorplug



Lumpini Park

In between busy roads with lots of fumes lies Lumpini Park like a green oasis. Walk the jogging track, rent a rowboat on the artificial lake, watch the guys play sepak takraw and practise along with tai chi classes or try to spot one of the many monitor lizards.
» discover Lumpini Park


Lumpini Park

photo by: StarvingFox




It is often said that the best food in Thailand is served by street vendors who can be found all over the city. Food prepared by hawkers is delicious, cheap and hygienic standards are high. Streetfood is designed to meet Thai habits of eating many small meals instead of the usual breakfast, lunch and dinner and Thai people also prefer to eat outside the house.

Streetfood, Bangkok

photo by: dachalan



Muay Thai

The Thai version of kickboxing has become more and more popular as Muay Thai has been featured in martial art movies and computer games. Thailand’s national sport is often referred to as ‘Science of the Eight Limbs’ as it makes use of  8 points of contact; punches, kicks, elbows and knee strikes. Games are broadcasted live on television, but nothing beats to witness a game live at Lumphini Stadium or Ratchadamnoen Stadium.

Muay Thai

photo by: AkumAPRIME



Chao Praya & Khlongs

Chao Praya, meaning ‘River of Kings’, runs through Bangkok and empties into the Gulf of Thailand. It can be convenient to take one of the many river taxis or boat services to escape the congested roads. Not only Chao Praya river is one of the capital’s vains of life, Bangkok gained the title ‘Venice of the East’ from the crisscross of khlongs (artificial canals). Today many khlongs are filled and converted into streets.
» discover Chao Praya River


Chao Praya

photo by: spotter_nl



Khlongs, Bangkok

photo by: ne*



Trooping of the Colors

Each year on 2 December a parade of palace guards in colourful uniforms is held in the Royal Plaza near Dusit Palace to celebrate the King’s birthday. All branches of the armed forces march past King Bhumibhol and his wife and pledge allegiance to the monarch. The military parade is broadcasted live on television all over the nation.

Royal Thai Marine Corps

photo by: Wikipedia



Khao San Road

Think of anything that isn’t possible at Khao San Road; eating deepfried bugs, drinking a freshly squeezed fruit shake, getting a massage, either by a friendly Thai lady or a bunch of fish in a tank, dancing the night away at outdoor cafes.
» discover Khao San Road


Streetfood, Bangkok

photo by: patrikmloeff




One of Thailand’s ancient capital’s Ayutthaya is located 76 kilometers north of Bangkok and makes an easy day trip from Bangkok. The old city of Ayutthaya is on an island surrounded by rivers and klongs. The most popular reason to visit Ayutthaya is for its historical park, an UNESCO World Heritage Site. The many ruins are best explored by bicycle.
» more about Ayutthaya


Streetfood, Bangkok

photo by: CmdrGravy

we'd love to hear your feedback about Backpacking Asia and what you think we can do better. suggestions to add something new? something not working for you? drop us a line!