Bangkok is Thailand’s biggest urban centre, housing nearly 13% of the country’s population. Bangkok is also one of the most visited cities in Southeast Asia, making it a beacon for all kinds of travellers.
If you’re set to visit Thailand but you’re not sure if Bangkok is worth the visit, here are some of the reasons why you should add the city to your itinerary.
Muay Thai, also known as Thai boxing, is the most famous sport in the country. There are various Muay Thai camps and fight camps found across Bangkok where you could witness an exciting show or take a shot at learning the sport’s stand-up striking and throwing techniques.
Some of the most famous fight camps include Bangkok Flight Lab, Legend Thai Boxing, and Petchyindee Academy. If you’re looking to watch a theatrical show combining Thai boxing and entertaining performances, consider dropping by The Muay Thai Live show in Asiatique.
It might not seem like it, but Nuat Thai (Thai massage) is one of the most famous industries in Bangkok. Thai massages use a traditional therapy system that combines acupressure, yoga postures, and Ayurvedic principles to massage and stretch your body.
Unlike other massages, Nuat Thai does not traditionally use oils or lotions. Clients also typically remain clothed during a massage session. Having said that, Thai massage is not gentle, but it is a unique experience guaranteed to release tension in your joints and relax your muscles.
Located on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River, Wat Arun boasts a 70-metre high spire and a stupa showcasing intricate floral patterns encrusted with coloured glass and Chinese porcelain.
Wat Pho is one of the oldest and largest temples in the city of Bangkok. The temple is known for its 46-metre long and 15-metre high Reclining Buddha, which is a gold-plated statue featuring mother-of-pearl soles. The Reclining Buddha symbolizes the passing of Buddha into nirvana.
Apart from the Reclining Buddha, Wat Pho is also a public university where guests can learn about Thai traditional medicine, Thai midwifery, and Thai massage.
Wat Phra Kaew is a spiritual and architectural wonder located within the glorified Grand Palace. The Wat Phra Kaew houses a 14th-century Buddha image carved from a single block of emerald.
Wat Saket is one of the oldest temples in Bangkok and dates back to at least the Ayutthaya period. The temple is set atop an 80-metre tall manmade hill and features a 5.8-metre-tall golden chedi. Guests walking up the 318 steps to the temple’s entrance will be greeted with prayer bells that Buddhists ring to bring in good luck.
The Wat Traimit is home to a magnificent 15-foot tall Buddha image comprised of about 83% of pure gold and weighs five and a half tons. The Buddha image was fashioned in the 13th century and had only revealed its golden layer in 1995 after years of hiding underneath plaster and stucco.
In 2018, Bangkok was lauded as the World’s Street Food Capital, and it’s easy to see why. While street food is generally regarded as an affordable and convenient way to get meals, street food is actually a quintessential part of Bangkok living and is one of the purest ways you can get in touch with the Thai culture.
Bangkok street food comes in many shapes and forms. It might come from humble street stalls located on the side of the road. It may come off of a collection of stalls in the local market. It may also come off of the menus of traditional shophouses with tables spilling out onto the street.
Pad Thai is an extremely popular dish meaning “Thai stir-fry.” Pad Thai typically has rice noodles, eggs, tofu, and meat, all mixed with a slightly spicy sweet sauce. The dish is then topped with crushed peanuts, fresh vegetables, and a dash of cilantro, making it the perfect summer dish.
Do note that Pad Thai sauce often contains dried shrimp and fish sauce, which you should take into consideration if you have allergies.
Pad See Ew, or Thai Stir Fried Noodles, offers guests a salty and sour flavor with a balanced sweet kick from caramelized noodles.Pad See Ew is made up of a tangle of chewy caramelized rice noodles, crispy chicken, tender Chinese broccoli, and soft eggs tossed in a light and savory sauce. Pad See Ew is perfect for people looking for big flavors and contrasting textures.
Milk tea has taken over the world by storm, and Thai Milk Tea is definitely part of the craze. Unlike other drinks in the milk tea family, Thailand’s version of the drink boasts a complex blend of sweet and floral flavours that complements the warmth from the cardamom and star anise.
Thai Milk Tea is a great mix of several ingredients, including Ceylon black tea, a blend of earthy spices, a healthy dose of sugar, and milk.
Bangkok’s Fried Sweet Potato Balls are sort of a cross between a dessert and an afternoon snack. The treat is famous in Bangkok markets and is often served freshly cooked.
The sweet potato balls are made from a mixture of flour, sugar, salt, and sweet potato. Each bite offers you a slightly crispy outer shell and fluffy inside.
Mango sticky rice, also called Khao Niaow Ma Muang, is a classic Thai dessert that’s both heavenly and scrumptious. This sweet dish completes anyone’s tropical paradise experience, making it the perfect plate to order during your trip to Thailand.
Traditionally, mango sticky rice is made from steamed glutinous rice, sweetened coconut milk, and the freshest and ripest mangoes. Some stores would also colour their rice blue, green, or purple.
Tom Yum Goong is a famous Thai soup dish characterized by its distinct hot and sour flavours. The dish features flavours from three herbs, lemongrass, galanga, and kaffir lime leaves. Thai chili paste, which has shrimp paste in it, may also be added to give the soup a bit of a kick.
There are tons of different versions of tom yum, with the most popular being one that features shrimp or Tom Yum Goong ต้มยำกุ้ง (Goong means shrimp).
Thai Green Papaya Salad (Som Tam) is a light, fresh, and fragrant salad that embodies the best flavours of Northern Thailand. This dish is a riot of fresh colours and crunchy textures, all tossed in a glistening sour-sweet-savoury sauce and topped with a whack of fresh Thai chilli.
There are tons of ingredients found in Thai papaya salad, some of which may not be familiar in the West. Common ingredients include shredded green papaya, lime juice, pickled fish sauce, palm sugar, bird’s eye chilis, garlic, Chinese long beans, cherry tomatoes, and peanuts.
The Full Moon Party, which first entered the scene in the 80s, is arguably the biggest and wildest party in Southeast Asia. Millions of people fly into Thailand to revel in the music and partake in the festivities from sunset to sunrise. While the party takes place in Koh Phangan, travellers would likely have to fly into Bangkok before going to the coastal island.
Travellers experiencing Thailand’s Full Moon Party for the first time are treated to a unique festival-like event featuring trance, house, dance, reggae, and R&B music. Guests will also be treated to a crowd wearing bright clothing, glow-in-the-dark body paint, and wild dancing. If you’re a party lover, the Full Moon Party is definitely something you will never forget.
The Bangkok of today is a melting pot of a variety of cultures and traditions. However, the city never forgets its humble roots.
Bangkok started out as a quiet farming and trading community set along the banks of the mighty Chao Phraya River. However, the city boomed in the 15th and 16th centuries after new waterways allows ships to pass up the river.
Today, Bangkok still celebrates its history through the architecture of its temples, its vibrant nightlife, and unique cultural shows.
Bangkok’s nightlife is one of the main reasons why people visit Thailand. But unlike other places, Bangkok’s nightlife doesn’t stop only at bars and clubs. In actuality, the most popular nightlife options in Bangkok feature drag performances and cabaret shows presented by artists of a variety of gender identities.
There are three popular cabaret shows across the city: Calypso Cabaret, Mirinn Cabaret, and Golden Dome Cabaret Show
Being a city, Bangkok itself does not have any beaches. However, it’s a great gateway that gives visitors access to stunning remote beaches and coral reefs in islands along the Andaman Sea.
Having said that, there are plenty of things to do in Bangkok. Some of the best sites to visit include the Chatuchak Weekend Market, Grand Palace, Khao San Road, Wat Pra Kaew, Bangkok’s Skyline, and Jim Thompson’s House.
The floating markets in Bangkok offer visitors an explosion of colours, flavours, atmosphere, and chaos, making it an experience like no other. While markets are usually only open in the morning, Bangkok features several floating markets that are open all day.
The best-known Thailand floating market is Damnoen Saduak. Its popularity comes, in no small part, from being featured in the 007 movie and the Man with the Golden Gun. The market itself is huge and full of boats selling fresh fruits and snacks.