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Best things to do in Bangkok

Discover the city according to locals. Find the best things to do, places to eat, and get priceless advice from the people who live here.

Palace
“Must-see destination for all first-time visitors, one exceptional example of Thai traditional architecture and culture.”
228local recommendations
Shopping Mall
“Terminal 21 brings the dream of traveling the world to downtown Bangkok, with its cutting-edge concept that places several world-famous cities under one roof. Find yourself wandering around a maze of shops in Tokyo City, sauntering down London’s Carnaby Street, bagging a bargain in an Istanbul zouk, or shopping for something to fill your growling stomach at the Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco. Part of the same building as Grande Centre Point Sukhumvit, Terminal 21’s curvilinear glass-and-steel façade resembles a 21st-century airport, and the theme continues once you step inside. The floor signs that signal the arrivals in particular cities, a crisscrossing network of escalators, electronic display boards that bring to mind flight information displays at an airport terminal and the information desk receptionists donning air hostesses’ uniforms – these are all part of the shopping experience at Terminal 21. Lifestyle mall with a personality The nine floors at Terminal 21 house some 600 shops, a Cineplex, Gourmet Market (supermarket) and a food court with all kinds of mouthwatering Thai and international fare. The basement level (LG) has a Caribbean theme and is where you will find the Gourmet Market, take-away food outlets, market-style food vendors as well as banks and bookstores. Take an escalator up one level and the ground floor (G) brings you to Rome, with all kinds of international and local fashion labels such as Kipling, Fox, CC:OO, Nike, Jaspal, Adidas, Levi’s, and more. Paris on M floor takes you to the Champs-Élysées, where more fashion brands await your discovery. The 1st to 3rd floors are home to smaller shops by local independent labels. Women’s fashion is found on the 1st floor (Tokyo) and men’s on the 2nd floor (London). The 3rd floor (Istanbul) is for gifts, jewellery, fashion accessories, toys, beauty products and home décor. With an eclectic collection of shops, this floor has a look and feel of a Middle Eastern zouk but with a modern twist. Haven for food lovers Now to the main highlight, San Francisco on the 4th and 5th floors, where you will find more than 50 restaurants and cafés vying for your attention. Both restaurant chains and independent outlets are represented here, among them Pepper Lunch, MK, Chabuton, Dory Seafood Bistro, Secret Recipe, Tohkai Yakiniku, Tony Roma’s, Fuji, Ootoya, The Canton House, Baanying Café and Swensen’s. If you like a food court experience, head up to Pier 21 on the 5th floor. This is perhaps the best food court in town in terms of price, taste and variety. Find everything from dim sum to grilled seafood (fast food style), Hainanese chicken rice to delicious phad thai, roast duck noodles to vegetarian ready-to-eats. Don’t forget to leave some room for desserts, as there’s mango sticky rice, shaved ice dessert, ice creams, and more. A breath of fresh air To complete the lifestyle experience, Terminal 21 also has an eight-screen cineplex on the 6th floor operated by SF Cinema City. Two of these eight cinemas have digital 3D screens. All in all, Terminal 21 is a delightful shopping and dining experience. It has particular appeal for the younger generation of shoppers, specifically university students to young executives. The diversity is good and price tag even better. When compared to other luxury shopping malls along downtown Sukhumvit Road, Terminal 21 definitely has its own edge and is definitely worth visiting. Terminal 21 Opening Hours: 10:00-22:00 Location: Sukhumvit Road (between Soi 19 and 21) MRT: Sukhumvit BTS: Asok (direct access via Skywalk)”
234local recommendations
Shopping Mall
“MBK Center is probably Bangkok's most legendary shopping mall, popular with both tourists and locals, and busy with shoppers every day. There are eight floors packed with 2,000 shops that sell everything from clothing, fashion accessories, handbags, leather products and luggage to furniture, mobile phones, electric appliances, cameras, stationery and DVDs. Launched in 1986, MBK Center is a beehive of activity, especially on weekends, when half of Bangkok converges to shop for bargains. It's not as up-market or stylish as neighbouring Siam Discovery, Siam Centre and the glitzy Siam Paragon, but it offers a mind-boggling range of goods spread over 89,000 square metres and is considerably less expensive. MBK Center is particularly easy to reach thanks to a direct walkway linking to National Stadium BTS Skytrain Station. Literally every taxi driver knows this most famous of shopping malls in Bangkok too, so you can hail a cab from anywhere but traffic can be intense. On the ground floor of MBK you will find lines of stalls selling fashion, shoes and handbags, fast food outlets and a Tops Supermarket, with an open space dedicated to sales offering prices discounted by 30% to 50%. As you move up the levels you will find enclaves of products almost-randomly placed. Part of the fun of MBK is exploring the long straight paths looking out for things that take your fancy. As a rough guide, fashion can be found on the lower floors, a mass of electronics on the third and fourth floors, with home furnishings and souvenirs on the fifth and sixth. Like every shopping complex in Bangkok, there are plenty of options when you get hungry. There are two food courts - one local (sixth floor), one international (fifth floor) - with lots of choice. The top floor comprises of an entertainment complex boasting a multi-screen cinema, karaoke, a computer games arcade and plenty of other restaurants. MBK have also added a 3D Trick Art Museum, which is a fun family activity just perfect for a rainy day. Bargains galore – and free air-conditioning! To start with, fashion outlets cover everything from jeans, outsized clothing (for the 'larger' Western frame), shoes, handbags, accessories, jewellery, trendy apparel and famous-name brands. The bargain prices of many of these items mean that merchandise is often copy products or from questionable origin. It's important to take a closer look at the quality and craftsmanship. But if your idea of a shopping bargain is to pay a few dollars for an Adidas T-shirt or a Gucci belt – and authenticity is not an issue – head straight to MBK. Many of the products that can be found here are similar to that at markets, but the convenience of shopping in an air-conditioned environment beats hot and sticky markets – especially in the hot season. And, just like the markets, all prices are negotiable; MBK is probably the only mall in Bangkok where you can put your bartering skills to the test. You'll be surprised how much a big smile can knock off the original asking price. If you're shopping wholesale, prices get even more competitive. Heaven for Electronic Goods and Mobile Phones The fourth floor is dedicated to mobile phones, DVDs, CDs and all kinds of related gadgets and paraphernalia in a market-type environment with stalls crammed into every available space. New phones, second-hand phones, starter packs, the latest (copy) DVDs, PC games and games consoles, MP3 players and what have you... A flagship tenant is the four-storey Tokyu Department Store, the only one in Bangkok and a leading department store in Japan, which offers a wide range of quality merchandise like clothing, apparel, cosmetics and household goods at reasonable prices. On the fourth level is has a supermarket too. There's also a TOPS supermarket at MBK (ground level) and a mini indoor craft market (on the sixth floor) with a range of arts and crafts from all over Thailand – a lot of it though the typical souvenir-type items targeted at tourists. MBK Center Opening Hours: 10:00 - 22:00 Location: Pathumwan Intersection, diagonally opposite Siam Discovery Centre BTS: National Stadium Tel: +66 (0)2 620 9000”
208local recommendations
Flea Market
“Chatuchak Weekend Market has reached a landmark status as a must-visit place for tourists. Its sheer size and diverse collections of merchandise will bring any seasoned shoppers to their knees – this is where you can literally shop ‘till you drop’. The 35-acre (68-rai) area of Chatuchak is home to more than 8,000 market stalls. On a typical weekend, more than 200,000 visitors come here to sift through the goods on offer. Veteran shoppers would agree that just about everything is on sale here, although not all at the best bargain rates. But if you have one weekend in Bangkok, squeeze in a day trip to Chatuchak Weekend Market and you will not be disappointed.”
325local recommendations
Shopping Mall
$$
“One of the biggest mall in Bangkok - surrounded by other big shopping malls (Siam Center, MBK, Siam Square, Central World).”
291local recommendations
Building
“CentralWorld mega-shopping complex offers one of the most exciting shopping experiences in Bangkok. It has everything from brand name clothing boutiques, funky fashion, high-tech gadgets, bookshops and designer furniture to imported groceries, a lineup of banks, beauty salons, gourmet eateries and even an ice-skating rink. With so many tantalising options to explore, you could easily spend half a day here without realising it. It will come as no surprise to anyone who has experienced the incredible size of CentralWorld that this is, in fact, the largest mall in Thailand and among the largest in the world. We think it’s safe to say that if you are looking for a shopping fix in Bangkok this place will deliver. Occupying some 550,000 square metres of retail space and a total area size of 830,000 square metres – that is 30% larger than any other shopping centre in central Bangkok – CentralWorld has a range of offerings that encompass more than 500 stores, 100 restaurants and cafes, 15 cinemas, Kids' Zone and Learning Centre(Genius Planet Zone), two anchor department stores, as well as a trendy food court, an expansive supermarket and an outdoor square for large-scale events like Bangkok's official New Year countdown party. The location is slap-bang in the heart of the Chidlom 'battleground of the malls' with direct Skytrain (BTS) access and home to the two famous shrines, Erawan Shrine and Trimurti Shrine. The shopping street concept – in a mall CentralWorld's retail layout is influenced by the shopping street concept, allowing shoppers to spec several storefronts at a glance, whilst its overall design has placed a lot of emphasis on natural light / daylight that filters through the many skylights and open wells. Spectacular sculptures by famous artists are used as decoration features, and a glass mobile consisting of 3,500 glass balls hanging in an open well has had the crowds in awe. Specialised anchor 'mega-stores' – measuring between 2,000 and 8,200 square metres – include SuperSports, PowerBuy, B2S, Central Food Hall, SB Furniture and Toys 'R' Us. The department store Zen spans seven floors, while Zen World on 13 floors offer a fitness centre, spa, yoga, beauty centre, as well as an educational and tourist promotion centre. Among the 500 world-class stores count 35 flagship brands like Zara, Miss Sixty and Timberland, and 36 'first stores' – the likes of the Japanese brand Uniqlo and the English brand Next. FLOOR BY FLOOR DIRECTORY Brands found on Level 1 of CentralWorld – Big Brand Fashion Marks & Spencer Nautica Miss Selfridge Furla 5cm H.E. by Mango Theoddyssee CK Jeans Watch Station B+AB Massimo Dutti Kenneth Cole New York Fred Perry Charles & Keith Accessorize Kate Spade Samsonite Coach Calvin Klein Topshop Brands found on Level 2 of CentralWorld – Male and Female Fashion and Accessories Topman Lee Urban studio Mango Guess Evita 4x4 men Mango touch Segafredo Lacoste The Body Shop Thann Zara XXI Forever 4x4 Man Kipling Brands found on Level 3 of CentralWorld – Young Fashion and Lifestyle G 2000 Auntie Anne The Terrace Harnn Karma Kamet NY LA Guitar Avenue CC Double O Hybrid Outfitters GAP Clarks The North Face Adidas Fox Crocs Xaact Brands found on Level 4 of CentralWorld – Communications and Banking Power Buy B2S Nai In Jay Mart Nokia TG Fone Yumeya Big Camera Galleria World Camera TRUE Brands found on Level 5 of CentralWorld – Beauty Clinics and Home Furnishings Meko Clinic Slim Up Centre Perfect Slim Sparsha Slimming Center Vieng Joom On Teahouse Practika Gallery T.M.D S.B. Furniture Logica Lotus Sleep Studio Brands found on Level 6 of CentralWorld – Restaurants and Children’s Shops Cold Stone KFC Ootoya Yoshinoya Mister Donut Pepper Lunch Chabuton Asia Books Mother Care Toy R Us Brands found on Level 7 of CentralWorld – Cinema, Groceries and Restaurants Central Food Hall SF World Cinema Din Tai Fung Kalaprapreuk Nobu Shabu Nara CentralWorld Much more than a shopping mall, CentralWorld also caters to the lifestyles of young urbanites, families and teens. Entertainment options include The Rink, an open ice skating rink, Toys 'R' Us and 15-screen SF World Cinema. Good news for parents is the Genius Planet Zone (kids' zone and learning centre) and Thailand Knowledge Park (TK Park), where specialised supervision is provided in an 'edutainment' environment. Go right ahead, here you can drop the kids off with a clear conscience that they will have fun and their minds stimulated while you're getting a good old-fashioned dose of retail therapy. CentralWorld has arrived. Bigger. Better. And, unmistakably, a shopping experience not to be missed. All that's missing is mini golf karts for rent. ”
189local recommendations
Shopping Plaza
“ASIATIQUE The Riverfront will be Bangkok's first large-scale riverside project combining shopping, dining, sightseeing, activities and events under one roof. ”
209local recommendations
Place of Worship
“National headquarters and the center of education of traditional Thai medicine and massage.”
170local recommendations
Shopping Mall
“EmQuartier Bangkok opened in March 2015, and is part of The Mall Group’s multi-billion-baht ‘EM District’ project to transform Phrom Phong into one of the biggest retail hubs of the city. You may have already heard of or visited the popular Emporium Shopping Mall – the new EmQuartier mall stands tall on the opposite side of Sukhumvit Road. Expect to find a long list of designer brands at the new EmQuartier Bangkok, as well as a distinctly futuristic design with dozens of restaurants, offices, event halls and a cool atrium garden – complete with a waterfall. There’s also direct access from Phrom Phong BTS Skytrain and a link to the original Emporium mall across the road. Shopping options at EmQuartier definitely lean towards the more luxury side of Bangkok’s booming mall scene, with designers like Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Chanel, Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, Dior, Jimmy Choo, Valentino and Fendi all opening up on the ground or second floor spaces. However, as you head up to the higher levels, expect a mix or more affordable high street brands such as Zara, Uniqlo, H&M, Gap and Super Dry, as well as a good selection of homegrown brands, including Fly Now, Greyhound, Kloset and Soda. There’re a whopping 400 labels in total over 4,000 square metres of floor space. The design of EmQuartier Bangkok is nothing short of impressive, with giant glass panels fronting the mall and its sweeping futuristic floors enclosing a cool outside concourse space. There’s also plenty of grass, plants and trees added to each level; a much needed dose of greenery in the dense concrete jungle that is Sukhumvit Road, and also fitting-in nicely with the nearby Benjasiri Park. The mall is split up into three different zones, one of which is actually in a separate building connected by several walkways. These include ‘The Glass Quartier’, ‘The Helix Quartier’ (where you'll find almost 50 restaurants by heading up an impressive spiral walkway) and ‘The Waterfall Quartier’, which, true to its name, is fronted by a modestly-sized waterfall in a pretty cool central atrium area – which is already proving EmQuartier’s most popular selfie spot. EmQuartier Bangkok joins the recently renovated Emporium mall (originally opened in 1997), and will be the second in a trio of malls at the site, with the additional ‘EmSphere’ set to be the third and final venue as part of the EM District project. True to its name, the Emsphere will take on a distinct spherical design with a giant glass roof and mostly luxury stores inside. Once completed in 2016, the entire site will cover 600,000 square metres of downtown Bangkok and offer over 1,000 international local and international retail stores. Find EmQuartier Bangkok and Emporium opposite by taking the BTS Skytrain to Phrom Phong BTS and following the directions from there. EmQuartier Bangkok Opening Hours: 10:00-22:00 daily Location: 637 Sukhumvit Road, Bangkok BTS: Phrom Phong”
158local recommendations
Park
“This Lumpini park, first park in Bangkok by King Rama VI, is a popular area for morning and evening joggers. The paths around the park totaling approximately 2.5 km in length. The park contains an artificial lake where visitors can rent boats. Opening hours: Daily from 4.30 am till 21.00 pm. How to Get There : SkyTrain from Chong Nonsi (S3) to Sala Daeng Station (S2) and leave via Exit No.6, then walk across Rama IV Road to the memorial statue of King Rama VI which located in front of the park”
118local recommendations
Shopping Mall
“The Platinum Fashion Mall is Thailand largest Fashion Mall and One Stop Wholesale shopping. This Fashion Mall is designed in the national wholesale shopping concept. This Fashion mall supports many services for fashion traders, retailers and people such as inventory cargo, outbound and inbound transportations, car parks, elevators and others. These services help everyone in the Platinum Fashion Mall to more convenient for shopping and trading.”
157local recommendations
Bar
$$$
“Khaosan Road has developed into a world-famous "backpacker ghetto".[2][3] It offers cheap accommodation, ranging from "mattress in a box"-style hotels to reasonably priced three-star hotels. In an essay on the backpacker culture of Khaosan Road.”
128local recommendations
Park
“Built in 1992 to celebrate Queen Sirikit's 60th birthday, Benjasiri Park is often referred to as 'Queen's Park'. This is definitely the place to be for sculpture lovers, as several of the best examples of Thai sculpture are scattered around the park. The centrepiece fountain, showcasing the work of master sculptor Mesium Yipinsoy, feature multimedia 'water dance' shows three times daily (at 6:00, 12:00 and 18:00). ”
129local recommendations
Art Museum
“Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (BACC) Is a contemporary arts centre in Bangkok, Thailand.”
95local recommendations
Outdoor Sculpture
“Wat Arun, locally known as Wat Chaeng, is situated on the west (Thonburi) bank of the Chao Phraya River. It is easily one of the most stunning temples in Bangkok, not only because of its riverside location, but also because the design is very different to the other temples you can visit in Bangkok. Wat Arun (or temple of the dawn) is partly made up of colourfully decorated spires and stands majestically over the water. Wat Arun is almost directly opposite Wat Pho, so it is very easy to get to. Entry to the temple is 100 baht. The temple is open daily from 08:30 to 17:30.”
69local recommendations
Museum
“one of the best low-key destinations in Bangkok, the old colonial house of a British traveler from a century ago, perfectly preserved, with abundant memories from a time long gone. The shops (which you also find at airport and malls) are great places to buy fine affordable Thai clothing, or souvenirs for home”
108local recommendations