Bangkok is a necessary evil. Chances are, that at some point during your trip to Southeast Asia you will be finding yourself flying in or out of the Bangkok airport and spending some time in the city. If you’ve read any blogs about Thailand you have read the countless complaints of bloggers everywhere about their dislike for the city, but there are actually some really fun ways to spend your time there. I spent a week collectively in Bangkok and have compiled a list of the things I did there to give you some ideas.
1. Canal Tour
Take a longtail speed boat through the canals in Bangkok and see the city from a different perspective than on foot. I took a canal tour around 5 in the evening and the breeze from the ride provided relief from the heat of the city, keep your eyes out and you might catch a glimpse of a crocodile or a water monitor!
2. Temple Tour
For 35 baht ($1 USD) we rented a tuk tuk for the day that took us to five different temples to explore. It’s something I recommend in Bangkok, but you will be totally templed out by the end of it, you have been warned! Our tuk tuk driver did make us stop at a suit shop and a travel agency, but we didn’t have to buy anything and only stayed in each place for a couple of minutes. Also, if people on the streets try to tell you the temple you are going to is closed for the day do not listen to them, they are most definitely lying to you.
3. Bicycle Tour
Taking a bicycle tour of Bangkok is a great way to get you away from Khao San Road and into other parts of the gigantic city. I took my bicycle tour with Bodega Hostel, but I know other hostels offer a tour as well. With Bodega hostel we went to Lumphini Park, and took a boat to a river island in Bangkok I never knew even existed. On the island we rode our bikes over bridges and along the water, stopping at a local place to have lunch where I had the BEST soup I had on my entire trip, which is saying a lot, I ate a lot of soup in Thailand!
4. Rooftop Bar
Bangkok has the world’s highest, open air bar. Sky Bar is on the 64th floor of the state tower and has incredible cityscape views that make it worth the visit despite it’s expensive drink prices. Make sure to follow the dress code, including no flip flops, even for girls. If you came with a backpack with limited clothing options you can still visit Cloud 47. Cloud 47 is where my friends and I went, and is an open air bar located on the 47th floor that also provides an amazing view of Bangkok. You don’t need to spend an entire night here, but it’s definitely a must visit.
5. Rooftop Pool
Find a hotel with a rooftop pool to spend the day at! Splitting the cost of a hotel room in Bangkok with a friend can be as cheap as staying in a hostel, or some of the hotels will let you pay for entry to the pool. My friend and I stayed at Khao San Palace on Khao San Road (you can’t miss it) and we were able to bring a friend to the pool with us all day. This is a great way to get some relaxation in one of the busiest cities I have ever seen.
6. Eat bugs
A trip to Thailand will not be complete until you eat an insect. Street vendors all over Bangkok will be waiting for you with carts of spiders, grasshoppers, scorpions, and mealworms on sticks. Do it to say you did it.
Bangkok might not be where you plan to spend a majority of your time in Thailand, but your time there can be worthwhile. If you’ve already been to Thailand, what did you do there? Let me know in the comments!