Those who thrive on discovery and adventure, arts and culture, fascinating day trips and extraordinary nightlife will find that every step they take in Bangkok, the City of Angels, is rewarded with an exuberance not found anywhere else in the world. We recommend that you plunge into our exotic and breathtaking city – and promise that your journey will be unforgettable.
Below is a list of top sights. Should you desire a bit of local insight, details on the best routes and times, ideas for more personalized excursions, or any other form of assistance on any destination, please contact our concierge team at +66 2624 9833 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bangkok Art and Culture Center
This new venue for cultural exchange and Bangkok's window on the international art scene is only six stops away (National Stadium station) from lebua on the SkyTrain. In addition to a number of spacious galleries, the center offers all the cafés, restaurants and bookshops required for a very civilized afternoon.
Hours: Tuesday-Sunday 10am–9pm
T: +66 2214 6630
Jim Thompson House
In the course of his 22 years in Thailand, Jim Thompson reinvented the Thai silk industry, became a world-renowned authority on Thai art, built this magnificent traditional Thai-style house out of six teak structures sourced from various parts of the country, and disappeared in 1967 without a trace. Located in the center of town, the historic house is conveniently reached by car, taxi, tuk-tuk or SkyTrain (National Stadium station).
Hours: Daily 9am – 5pm
T: +66 2216 7368
Bangkok's "Central Park" was created by King Rama VI in the 1920s and, despite the development of the thriving business district that surrounds it, has managed to remain a rare 140-acre open space in the heart of the city with trees, playgrounds and a lake where visitors can rent a variety of boats – all in a green, smoke- and dog-free bit of urban paradise that is easily accessible by foot, SkyTrain (Sala Daeng station) and subway (Lumphini station).
Hours: Daily 4:30am – 9pm
T: +66 2250 5500
The Temple of the Emerald Buddha and the Grand Palace
The Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew) and the adjoining Grand Palace together form what is perhaps the city's most extraordinary spectacle with more than a hundred brightly colored buildings, golden spires and glittering mosaics that date back to 1782, the year Bangkok was founded. The bad news is that the SkyTrain and subway don't go there; the good news is that you get to take a river boat and Sathorn Pier is just a 10-minute walk or a quick ride from the hotel. Take the orange-flag express boat to Tha Chang Pier and walk directly inland until you come to the entrance of the Grand Palace. We advise you to ignore any 'friendly strangers' who may approach you in the area.
Hours: Daily 8:30am – 4:30pm
T: +66 2224 3290
Rules: Please dress respectfully
The National Museum and Sanam Luang
Right across the Royal Field ('Sanam Luang') of the Grand Palace, you will find the National Museum, one of the largest and most comprehensive museums in Southeast Asia and a great place to learn about Thai culture, history, and the significance of Buddhism in daily life. The adventurous may want to take a stroll through Sanam Luang to get there.
Hours: Wednesday-Sunday 9am – 4pm
T: +66 2224 1404
As long as you're in the old Royal part of town, why not visit the city's oldest and largest temple? Officially known as Wat Phra Chetuphon Vimolmangklararm Rajwaramahaviharn, 'Wat Pho' is easier to say and will get you there just as fast. Once inside the 20-acre grounds, you'll be treated to more than a thousand Buddha images, including the impressive Reclining Buddha. Wat Pho is also known as the birthplace of traditional Thai massage, so seize the moment and reward yourself for a day well spent with an invigorating rubdown.
Hours: Daily 8.30am – 6pm
T: +66 2226 0335
To get to Wat Arun, which is on the left bank of the river, take the orange-flag express boat from Sathorn Pier near the hotel and hop off at Tha Tien Pier. From there, just take the ferry across the river. The famous Temple of the Dawn, as Wat Arun is generally called, is one of the best-known landmarks in the city and briefly hosted the Emerald Buddha, which is now at Wat Phra Kaew. Insider tip: this temple, which sparkles in the sunlight, really looks better from a distance than up close, and your view from the boat will probably suffice.
Hours: Daily 8:30am – 4pm
T: +66 2465 5640
Vimanmek Mansion on Ratchawithi Road has grown from a single restored royal residence to a complex of more than 20 structures from the old Dusit Palace displaying everything from ancient artifacts to contemporary photographs donated by His Majesty the King. Its uniqueness lies in the buildings themselves, which form part of the collection on display. While numerous tours to the museum are available, they rarely allow the time required to visit the entire complex, so it's best to go on your own and give allocate half a day.
Hours: Daily 9:30am – 4pm, closed on holidays
T: +66 2628 6300-9
Rules: Please dress respectfully, and no shoes or photos inside
You have half a day left and there's nothing like an afternoon at the zoo. Dusit Zoo, right next door to Vimanmek Mansion, offers relaxation and fun for all ages, with its colorful landscape, large ponds with foot-paddle boats, playgrounds for the kids and shady picnic areas. More than a zoo, this is a theme park with more than 280 mammals, 290 reptiles and 1,000 birds – plus the world's finest collection of gibbons. Two and a half million visitors a year can't be wrong.
Hours: Daily 9am – 6pm
T: +66 2281 2000 or +66 2282 7111-5
Chatuchak Weekend Market
There's no excuse for not spending a day at the country's biggest market with its 30+ acres lined with some 10,000 shops and stalls selling everything from household items, clothing, religious artifacts and collectibles. It's crowded, hot, bizarre, exciting, and a one-stop-shop-till-you-drop destination where you can buy enough souvenirs to last a lifetime and ship them home on the spot from one of the international courier booths. A huge selection of food and drink stalls will keep your body going, and the bargaining game, which you are expected to play, will keep your wits about you – bring lots of small bills.
Hours: Saturday & Sunday 9am – 6pm
Asiatique The Riverfront
Bangkok's first large-scale riverside community mall, which is a 15-minute taxi ride from the hotel, combines shopping, dining, sightseeing, activities and events under one roof, with over 1,500 boutiques selling souvenirs, clothing, textiles, accessories and home décor in addition to over 40 Thai, Chinese, Japanese, Italian and seafood restaurants that are open all night. What sets it apart from other malls, however, is its cultural roots that date back to the reign of King Chulalongkorn in the 1900s and the construction of East Asiatic pier, which is being restored to its original glory at Asiatique The Riverfront.
Hours: Daily 4pm – midnight
For more information on the numerous activities and attractions around Bangkok, including family and child-oriented excursions, please have a look at the guides below.