Bangkok, the cosmopolitan capital of Thailand, is renowned for its rich culture, friendly locals and famous tourist attractions. In early 2018, Bangkok was voted as the "Best City Destination in the Asia Pacific" for the third year in a row by readers of DestinAsian magazine, a leading travel and lifestyle magazine. Let us give you a lowdown on some of the best places to visit in this amazing city.
Admire the Awe-Inspiring Landmark of Bangkok
No visit to Bangkok is complete without a visit to The Grand Palace, a magnificent complex and one of the most famous landmarks in Thailand. Located in the area known as Rattanakosin Island on the east side of the Chao Phraya River, the palace was built in 1782 during the reign of King Rama I. With its beautiful architecture and spectacular decorations, The Grand Palace has become a focal point in the city's skyline.
The grounds of The Grand Palace are made up of three different courts - Outer Court, Middle Court and Inner Court. The Temple of the Emerald Buddha, one of Thailand's most sacred sites which enshrines the Phra Kaew Morakot (Emerald Buddha), is located in one corner of the Outer Court and welcomes thousands of visitors from around the world every day.
Other highlights within the grounds that should not be missed include the Dusit Maha Prasat Throne Hall and Borom Phiman Mansion. Nowadays, the Grand Palace is used for a number of royal rituals, state banquets and other official functions. The Inner Court is not open to the public.
Pro tip: The Grand Palace is considered a religious site and a strict dress code applies. It is recommended that visitors wear long pants, a top that covers the shoulders and avoid footwear that shows bare feet.
The Grand Palace
THB 500 (Foreigners), Complimentary Admission (Thais)
Daily, 8.30am to 3.30pm
Indulge in Some Retail Therapy at the Weekend Market
Shopping in Bangkok can be both exciting and rewarding, especially if you experience it in the world's largest weekend market. Chatuchak Weekend Market, which spreads across 35 acres and 26 sections with over 15,000 stalls, attracts more than 200,000 visitors every weekend. No matter what you might be searching for, you will most likely be able to find it here.
Enjoy strolling though the maze of stalls, browsing the wide range of offerings, including antiques and collectibles, art galleries, books, ceramics, fashion and apparels, furniture and home decoration, pet and pet accessories, plants and gardening tools, traditional souvenirs and much more! There is also an array of food and beverage options, from authentic local snacks to fusion street food.
Chatuchak Market is easily accessible. Visitors could grab a taxi or tuk tuk, or catch the skytrain (BTS) to Mo Chit station (exit 1) or hop on the metro (MRT) to Chatuchak Park station (exit 1). The public bus is also available (bus number 524 or 3 from Khao San Road) and costs as little as 20 baht.
Pro tip: Bring enough cash, for most vendors do not accept credit card, and it can be quite a long walk to the nearest ATM.
Chatuchak Weekend Market
Every Saturday and Sunday, 9am to 6pm
Take in Stunning Views of the City Skyline from a Rooftop Bar
Looking for a place to relax, quench your thirst, while you enjoy the beauty of the city? There is no better option than one of the many rooftop bars in Bangkok. Whether you prefer to catch the morning dawn, admire the cityscape in the sunshine, or bask in the romantic saturated sunset, these entertainment hot spots have become a must-visit for both locals and tourists alike.
Perched atop the 46th floor, Cielo Sky Bar and Restaurant provides a blend of Art Deco, the elegance of 1960s and 360° panorama of Bangkok, especially as the sun sets and the evening romance descends. Uno Mas restaurant at Central World offers an exquisite setting with authentic Spanish and Mediterranean flavours, complemented by glorious views from the heart of the city.
For the ultimate experience, rooftop bars by the pool combine the pleasure of lounging by the poolside, unwinding with a drink and admiring the city skyline. AkaAza rooftop bar at Amara Bangkok is next to a stunning infinity pool and well-loved by visitors from around the world. Not only does it offer magnificent views of the iconic Mahanakhon building, Thailand's tallest building, it also serves delicious food and drinks, available from day to night.
AkaAza Rooftop Bar
Daily, 8am to 1am