Thai time: Top 5 things to do in Bangkok

Sunrise with Grand Palace of Bangkok, Thailand

With only about 24 hours in Bangkok, a city used usually as a transportation stop before heading to the North or the islands of Thailand, you can really get a feel for the city and see all of the main spots if done efficiently.

Bangkok gets a bad reputation because it’s a massive, crowded city, but between its drop-dead gorgeous temples and rooftop bars with insane views, Bangkok, Thailand, is absolutely worth a visit. You can read more about what to do in Thailand here.

Photo by Rachel Shulman

Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha), The Royal Grand Palace and Wat Arun (Temple of the Dawn)

These three places are absolute must-visits when traveling to Bangkok as they are the most important and well-known temples and cultural spots in the city. All three of them are vastly different and should not be missed.

You must be fully covered (shoulders and knees, and not just with a wrap, you need full clothes) to visit the temples, they are very strict. The reclining Buddha was by far the highlight for me (and most people) but all of the stops are amazing and the architecture is amazing.

Photo by Rachel Shulman

Jim Thompson House

The Jim Thompson House is the museum for silk named after the American who saved the silk industry in Thailand. This museum is super interesting, especially for fashion lovers.

Photo by Rachel Shulman

Chatuchak Weekend Market or Chinatown

If you are in Bangkok over a Saturday or Sunday, visiting Chatuchak Weekend Market is a must. This is the biggest market I have ever seen in my entire life and has everything you could imagine and more, including massages. If you are not in Bangkok over the weekend, I suggest visiting Chinatown, it is one of the most lively neighborhoods in Bangkok and an amazing area to walk around.

Get a massage

Massages are notoriously cheap in Thailand, I’m pretty sure I had one every single day during my 10-day Thailand trip. Definitely get one when visiting Bangkok, you can walk into any place advertising massages, they all almost always offer AC (necessary in Bangkok’s heat) as well as WiFi.

Photo by Rachel Shulman

Eat dinner and drinks at a rooftop bar

With Bangkok’s massive skyscrapers, of course there are a ton of rooftops. There are various well-known rooftops, including Sky Bar @ Le Bua (where The Hangover movie was filmed). The views are unbeatable from all of the rooftops and the food and drinks looking over the city during sunset are the best.

Rachel Shulman is a seasoned travel blogger specializing in planning in-depth guides for destinations around the world. She has lived in 4 major cities in her 27 years of life (New York, New Orleans, Prague and Tel Aviv) and has traveled to 30+ countries with no intention of stopping soon. She owns From East To West, a travel blog outlining her travels and writing detailed, efficient guides and itineraries for cities and countries as well as reviewing locations, accommodations, restaurants and tips and tricks for traveling.