Bangkok, known not only for its golden shrines but also for vibrant city life, offers an exhilarating and unforgettable experience for first-timers. The city offers lots to offer from delicious street food, night markets, bustling street life, and stunning temples. Visitors can choose to shop in one of the city’s mega-malls or the local market.
At the heart of everything is a deep-rooted tradition and culture of the city. Wondering why Bangkok visit?
There are many places to visit in Bangkok, and things to see and do, from floating markets, night markets to stunning and glittering golden temples. Bangkok boasts of not just being the capital but also the largest city in Thailand. This fast-paced city is the perfect place to begin your trip.
You will have a memorable Bangkok sightseeing adventure in the city before you head off to some relaxation beachside cities such as Khao Lak, Phuket, or Hua Hin. Your Bangkok travel can also involve touring the city and, later, heading towards the mountains of Chang Rai and Chang Mai.
If you have just 8 hours, Bangkok is not a short place you can tour within this little time. During your Bangkok tours, you get to experience Thai culture as well as see some of the most fabulous sites in the city.
Here Are Our Recommended Bangkok Main Places To Visit
Here is a sample list with details of places to visit in Bangkok. To learn more about what you can do in 8 hours in Bangkok, you can check out our “Bangkok Private and Custom Tour” experience. Our experts will advice you an itinerary based on your request.
- The Grand Palace and the temple of Emerald Buddha
Built-in 1782, Bangkok’s Grand Palace is a significant historic site not only in the city but also in the country. Located in the heart of Thai capital, this palace was the home of the Thais royal family, and its opulence evidences the kind of life that the family lived back in the eighteenth century.
Although today’s royal family does not live in the Grand Palace, the Grand Palace is used by the King and royal family to conduct ritual ceremonies and activities.
During your Bangkok travel within the palace’s ground, you will find the Wat Phra Kaew, a temple of the Emerald Buddha. This temple regards as one of the highly sacred places to visit in Bangkok. It believes that Emerald Buddha brings pre-eminence and prosperity wherever it is located.
Both locals and visitors can get into this temple as well as the Grand Palace Central Court. Finding your way to the entrance is easy due to the well-signed streets and the many people who get into this white-walled palace.
Due to the Emerald Buddha’s sacredness, there is a specific dress code for touring the Grand Palace. Men should put on long pants that cover their knees and sleeved shirts. Similarly, women should dress the same.
Make sure to meet these requirements. Otherwise, you will be directed to a loaning shop located outside the entrance gate where you will access modest clothes. Here, they will require you to leave a small amount deposit for loaning clothes. You can also purchase new clothes at a small price like 100-200 baht if you like it and don’t want to return it. You don’t want to have such surprises during your Bangkok tours.
The Palace’s ground buildings not only glisten under the sun but are very stunning with their golden exteriors and ornate designs.
A comfortable way to see the Palace is from the nearby river. During your Bangkok travel, you can take an evening dinner cruise to see the attractively illuminated palace. The Palace is no doubt one of the Bangkok travel stopovers for most visitors.
You can get to the Grand Palace using an MRT Subway, riverboat, tuk-tuk, or taxi. Any mode of travel will afford you an amazing Bangkok sightseeing experience. It’s one of the best places to visit in Bangkok.
Visitors can access the palace between 8:30 am and 4:30 pm. Note that the last entry is at 3:30 pm.
The entrance fee for an adult or a child is 500 That Baht.
- Wat Pho
Wat Po also spelled Wat Pho, which is one of the most attractive Bangkok’s temples. Located right behind the Grand Palace, this temple also stands out as one of the oldest temples. Wat Pho receives lots of visitors due to its nearness to the Grand Palace. Besides, it houses the biggest collection of Buddha images in the country.
Most images in this temple came from deserted temples as ordered by King of Rama I. After the Grand Palace was built in 1782, the King commissioned the construction of Wat Pho. The temple complex was enlarged and renovated during King Rama III’s reign.
Wat Pho’s most famous image is the Reclining Buddha statue that is 46-metre long with 15 metres in height. A gold leaf covers the entire stature. This image, which is named Phra Phuttha Saiyat, was constructed during King Rama III’s reign.
Buddha’s feet soles have a height of about 3 metres and almost 5 metres long. They have a striking mother of pearl inland design. They show in detail the auspicious conduct or 108 lakshanas of the Buddha.
Along with this eminent image is a matching 108 bronze bowls. This is the point at which people donate coins expecting to bring good fortune.
The Wat Po temple complex is home to various structures, including a scripture hall, several viharns, an ordination or ubosot hall, and almost 100 chedis. The four biggest chedis are devoted to the Chakri dynasty’s first four kings.
The main Buddha image of the temple, called Phra Buddha Deva Patimakorn, is housed in ubosot. This magnificent image displays the meditation mudra sitting on a richly adorned pedestal where some King Rama I’s ashes were buried.
Within Wat Pho complex is a massage school, surrounds by stone statues that display different massage techniques. Other than being recognized as a center for studying and knowledge about traditional Thailand medicine, this temple is acknowledged as the origin of Thai massage. Anyone can learn massage courses at Wat Pho.
You will find Wat Po in the old Rattanakosin area toward the east bank of Chao Phraya River. To get there, visitors can use a taxi, riverboat, MRT Subway, or tuk-tuk. You would enjoy your tour as it’s the most attractive places to visit in Bangkok.
- Business hours
The temple complex is open from 8 am to 6: 30 pm daily. As you plan your Bangkok tours, note that there is a one-hour lunch break from noon to 1 pm.
- Admission fee
The admission fee charged is (Thai Baht):
- Wat Arun
Wat Arun is one of the oldest and most spectacular temples in Thailand. Built-in 1656, the temple is famous for its ornate central spire around 80 metres high. Besides, its glazed and colorful ceramic tiles, which are reportedly more than a million, make it very remarkable. These make the temple one of the top places to visit in Bangkok for any first-timer.
One aspect that makes the temple unique and unusual is its tiles’ origin: they were broken pieces of Chinese dishes. These pieces were recovered from a wrecked ship. These were utilized as ballast in boats that originated from China. They were then crafted to make ornate flower petals and later ingrained into prang to have a glittery effect under the sun.
During the Ayutthaya Period in 1768, it was named The Temple of Dawn. As King Taksin who was then a soldier was fleeing away from the battle took place in Ayutthaya between Thai and Burmese army by boat to Bangkok, he spotted the site. The king approached the city at dawn and gave the temple its ancient name. Later on, the temple’s signature central pagoda spire, Buddha statues, tiny seashells, and elaborate ceramic tiles were added by King Rama III.
The central spire, which is the most iconic part of Wat Arun, is encircled by four smaller towers. That central structure was actually added in the nineteenth century, long after the temple was built. Its architectures and walls are magnificent. Its design tells much about how majestic and impressive it was during the era it was constructed.
In the past century, Wat Arun used to be a jaw-dropping sight. Today, however, Bangkok is sprinkled with immense towers that compete in design and height.
The Best Way to View Wat Arun
Wat Arun’s full scope is best seen at sunset from the riverside. Although its design touches, including spires and several Buddha statues, can be seen in detail during the day, the temple’s appearance is mostly spectacular when lit up to a radiant at night. But visitors can still enjoy its beauty during the day, especially in the morning or just before sunset.
The prangs are prettily ornated with colorful pieces of porcelain and shells. Mythical soldiers and animals surround the temple base while its top is ornated with elephants.
The stupas in Wat Arun make Bangkok sightseeing a thrilling experience. You can explore the entire ground of the temple and get in the side temples. The ordination hall that has lined golden sitting Buddhas is thrilling. Inside the temple, you get to witness chanting monks, which is one of the things that remind you to slow down and take your time to enjoy the unique moments afforded in this magnificent site.
Since Wat Arun is just opposite Wat Pho and The Grand Palace, you can spend your little time in Bangkok to tour these important and memorable sites.
Like other sacred places to visit in Bangkok, there is a dress code for Wat Arun. Short pants or skirts, or sleeveless attire are not allowed in the temple.
- Business hours
The temple is open between 8 am and 6 pm
- Admission fee
50 Baht per person
- China Town
If you`re thinking of China Town as your first Bangkok travel hot spot, you should come prepared. Primarily, you would get lost in the place’s frenzy, including the multiple market alleys and street food vendors.
Photo credit: กองการท่องเที่ยวกรุงเทพมหานคร
Moreover, the mix of Thai and Chinese cultures makes it fascinating to visit in Bangkok. Everything begs to be captured in memorable moments- from stunning street scenes and food to exotic temples such as the Wat Traimit. The largest golden Buddha in the world brings you a revered statue, and breathtaking Thai Golden arches, to mention a few.
China Town also prides itself in crowning its glory with the Grand China Hotel. One also gets to enjoy a panoramic sky view of the town and beyond, which stretches to the Chao Phraya River. Even better, a rotating restaurant in the hotel serves Chinese, Thai, Japanese, and European dishes. You would love it, because China Town has so much to offer, and yes considers as one of the top places to visit in Bangkok.
- Lunch at a Restaurant along Chao Phraya River
Popularly known as the `River of Kings,` the Chao Phraya River does more than aiding transportation, cruising, and housing a center for one to enjoy gorgeous views. If you are looking for a nice restaurant for lunch in old Bangkok, restaurants along the river might just be it. Put merely, what would make the moment more memorable than enjoying an explicit meal with awing views?
Photo credit: shopback.co.th
Nearby Wat Pho along the river (very close to the temple), there are many riverside restaurants that you can choose during Bangkok tours. Our favourite ones would be “The Deck by Arun Residnece,” “Eat Sight Story Deck,” and “Above Riva.” These restaurants offer you a scenic view of Wat Arun and the river. While small signage makes the restaurants almost undiscoverable, the yummy Thai dishes would soothe you to go inside. The welcoming atmosphere of the places to visit in Bangkok also makes it the ideal spot for anyone who wants to make their relaxing time worthwhile.
- 24 Hours Flower Market
The Bangkok Flower Market (Pak Khlong Talad) is the primary (used to be the largest) market selling retail and wholesale flowers. You would find the ideal flowers and anything related to them in the market. The most popular ones include lilies, roses, Jasmine, Gerbera, Chrysanthemum, and orchids, to mention a few.
Photo credit: กองการท่องเที่ยวกรุงเทพมหานคร
Interestingly, you can buy 50 to 100 packs of different flowers at an amazingly affordable price. Typically, it is set to change on special occasions such as Mother`s Day, Valentine`s, or graduation season.
The Flower Market is open 24 hours and has more vibe after midnight. Like any other market, this one presents its full awe at around 3 or 4 am. It goes into full action to transform into bright and blooming colors as more floral goods enter the market.
Photo credit: กองการท่องเที่ยวกรุงเทพมหานคร
In essence, this time of the morning would be more satisfying if you just get lost in a frenzy Bangkok rooftop bars atmosphere instead of buying flowers. The activity of retailers and traders buying flowers in bulk may be chaotic-to a point where vendors wouldn’t have enough time or patience to attend to visitors.
- Site Seeing along Chao Phraya River By Chao Phraya Express Boat
The Chao Phraya River houses a handful of attractions and places that interest anyone visiting Bangkok for the first time. For instance, site seeing covers various attraction sites to make one`s moment complete. Taking a pubic boat service going to old Bangkok along the river will show you a scenic view of Bangkok that is impressive.
Besides offering a great escape from congestion and heavy traffic, the river presents many fascinating temples to behold. Other centers of awe include multiple ferry piers, quaint markets, and countless fun activities for one to engage in. For a short VDO clip of cruising the river, click here
One Bangkok sightseeing place of interest is Asiatique The River Front. The popular shopping area includes a Sky Wheel to provide great Bangkok sightseeing views from 5 in the evening to midnight. Moreover, the place bursts with locals and tourists who appreciate the excellence of several restaurants, boutiques, cool massage spots, and vendors.
In essence, any first time visitor to the Asiatique would more likely get lost amidst every overwhelming action. For convenience, it is divided into the Factory, Waterfront, Town Square, and the Chareonkrung Districts. The sections make it easier to access Thai souvenirs, event grounds, fancy restaurants, best rooftop bar Bangkok, shopping centers, and dining locations.
- Tuk Tuk Riding
Tuk Tuk is one of the most appreciated traditional symbols in Bangkok. Primarily, tours on these rides feel amazingly great. As the experience may not be luxurious as one would expect, the iconic transportation surprisingly amazes many travelers. Certainly, being inside a Tuk-Tuk gets you deep into the heart of Bangkok culture and a taste of its amazing touches.
The fun Tuk Tuk tours enable you to enjoy multiple sites at a glance better, smell the city`s atmosphere, fell the tropical heat under your skin, the cool breezes together with car exhausts.
Hiring the right Tuk Tuk traveling agency would also make your experience in Bangkok sightseeing more fun. Simply put, the last thing you would want as the city`s first-time visitor is to enjoy a hassle-free and scam-free ride. The ideal one would take you through nice dining neighborhoods and local restaurants for amazing night experiences.
- Bangkok`s Old Canal in Thonburi Side
First-time visitors can add the Old Canal on the list of places to visit in Bangkok. To delve back into a little history, the first canal was dug towards the end of the 18th century to link the Chao Phraya River.
Later on, more canals were built as Bangkok city continued to grow. Their primary purpose was to enhance trade, drainage, transportation, and irrigation. Even though the canals’ significance is not highly appreciated nowadays, Bangkok locals and tourists always fancy taking Bangkok tours on the canals to explore the awe that has stood the test of time.
The famous Wat Arun Temple lies on the canals of the Thonburi area west of Chao Phraya River. The temple can be explored on a long-tail boat, including a scenic view of the southern part of the neighborhood.
One exciting canal to explore is the Khlong Bangkok Noi and Bangkok Yai located on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River. Best experience to view the canal is to take a long-tail boat for one or two hours. The deeper you cruise along the canals, the older the city would be. You can check out our Venice of the East Sunset Experience the canal experience that will show you the other side of Bangkok that can only be seen by the boat.
- Perhaps Ending the Day at a Rooftop bar in Old Bangkok
Another experience that you can do in your 8 hours Bangkok tour would be visiting a rooftop bar in Bangkok old quarter for fine dinning or sunset watching. Below are the sites we enjoy visiting for this experience.
10.1 Sala Rattanakosin
Sala Rattanakosin is a rooftop bar that offer magnificent view of the Chao Phraya River along with historical sites. The bar services a variety of exceptional dishes to enhance locals’ experience or tourists visiting Bangkok for the first time. Simply put, the Bangkok tour dining experience is calm and quiet.
10.2 The Eagles Nest Bar
Consider the Eagles Nest Bar as one of the best rooftop bar Bangkok. Located on the side of the Chao Phraya River, the bar provides a great spot for enjoying a stunning view from the rooftop.
Ideally, the relaxing hangout is perfect for crowning the day after visiting other nourishing places such as the surrounding temple Wat Arun temple. It is perfect for a few drinks at night in the cool breeze.
Photo credit: siam2nite.com
The best rooftop bar Bangkok is one of the places that would remind anyone of home from the above insight. Several spots have been established to take care of locals’ attraction needs and people who want to enjoy the visit for the first time.
From multiple charismatic activities such as shopping, fine dining in great restaurants, luxurious hotels for accommodation, convenient locations to explore, and Bangkok rooftop bars, one would never go wrong when in the city. Ideally, it runs down to using the above Bangkok tours guide to identify the places that would suit your interests and budget well.
So here is just an example list of the best places to visit in Bangkok for the first time. We hope this guide will help you a lot in learning about various places to visit in Bangkok. As an experienced operator for private and custom tour in and around Bangkok, we can advice you an itinerary and customize it the way you like based on your request. Our travel experts will assist you in building your unique itinerary that you prefer. Hope to see you in Bangkok!