Known by the locals as Krung Thep (City of Angels), exploration of Bangkok will lead to countless discoveries. Vibrant, fascinating, and an eclectic mix of old and new, Bangkok is a city not to be missed. The capital of Thailand, Bangkok offers a heady combination of ancient Buddhist temples, floating markets, effervescent nightlife, and even has a jungle. Ancient village dwellings sit comfortably next to huge shopping malls, food cart owners tout their wares, whilst nearby, chic restaurants deliver gourmet meals to discerning diners.
If you’re thinking of visiting Bangkok, you’re in good company; millions of tourists flock here year after year. With so much to see and do, how are you going to make the most of your vacation? Take a look at some of the best Bangkok tours and prepare to be mesmerized by what this captivating city has to offer.
1. Bangkok: 2-Hour Wat Arun, Royal Barge & Longtail Boat Tour
Bangkok is known as the Venice of the East, and what better way to explore than by a riding a traditional long-tail boat?
Get a feel for the Bangkok of old by visiting the ancient city of Thornburi and see how the nobles traveled at the Royal Barge Museum.
Immerse yourself in the beauty of War Arun (affectionately known as the Temple of Dawn) and look on in adoration at the central prang, an ornate pagoda resplendent with huge statues and vivid tiles.
2. Damnoen Saduak Floating Market 6-Hour Tour
Start with a visit to a traditional Thai home and coconut plantation, where you can find out how locals produce brown coconut sugar. From there, climb on board a long-tail boat and head towards Ratchaburi Province, home of the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market.
There’s a buzzing atmosphere, as local vendors tout their wares from market-stall-boats. They offer fresh fruit and veg and all manner of tasty delicacies – including Pad Thai and Coconut Ice Cream; it’s a feast for the eyes and the taste-buds.
3. Bangkok Chinatown 3.5-Hour Night Food Tour
You can’t visit Bangkok without experiencing Chinatown, the 200-year-old district that is home to some of the most delectable food on the planet. Get to know this vibrant area, check out the landmarks, and chat with the locals. Sample traditional cuisine; there are restaurants offering fine-dining and less formal street food vendors providing fast and tasty food to go.
The Dim Sum is to die for and you can wash it down with a refreshing herbal brew.
4. Bangkok Jungle Bike Tour: Morning or Afternoon Trip
Fancy peddling your way into the wilderness? Then hop on a bike and swap the bustle of the city for the wilds of the jungle. Don’t worry, you don’t have to be Lance Armstrong to join this tour, it isn’t too challenging (but there are a few slender walkways that are relatively high for you to negotiate).
You’ll have to board the ferry and cross the Chao Phraya river to get there, but it’s certainly worth the trip. Your journey will take you through villages. You will visit a workshop to see how incense is produced. En-route, you will also check out a temple from the Ayutthaya-period (estimated to be around 250 years old). Join a weekend tour if you fancy visiting the floating market.
5. Kanchanaburi: River Kwai & Death Railway Tour from Bangkok
History buffs will be in their element with this one. This tour takes you to view the renowned bridge over the River Kwai and allows you time to reflect as you visit Kanchanaburi Province, home of WWII memorials and museums.
The tour includes a ride along part of the Burma Railway (known as the infamous Death Railway); you can find out exactly how it got its macabre name. There’s also a visit to the JEATH War Museum, which highlights the harrowing plight of the prisoners of war who were forced to build the railway.
6. Baiyoke Sky Hotel: Observation Deck & Revolving Point Ticket
Reportedly standing at 309 meters tall, the Baiyoke Sky Hotel cuts an impressive swathe against the Bangkok skyline.
For a bird’s eye view of the city, head to the 77th floor Observation Deck, then go up even higher to the 84th floor, where you can take in the vista from all angles as you perch upon the revolving viewing platform.
Don’t forget your camera, the views are absolutely breath-taking.
7. Flexi Walking Temple Tour: Grand Palace, Wat Pho, Wat Arun
Culture vultures will just love this tour, which involves some of the most amazing attractions in Bangkok.
Marvel at the sacred Emerald Buddha Temple (Wat Phra Si Rattana Satsadaram), with its gilded spires and shimmering mosaics.
Lose yourself in the sights and sounds of the nearby amulet community market.
Look on in awe as you come face-to-face with the majestic Grand Palace, which played host to the Kings of Thailand and is used today for important functions, and as a place of worship.
You also have the chance to visit the Temple of Dawn (Wat Arun), with its pagoda and huge statues, and take in the vast area of Wat Pho, which has been acknowledged by UNESCO and is known as the birthplace of Thai massage.
8. Hop on Hop Off: Tuk Tuk & Tourist Boat on Chao Phraya River
Like to get about under your own steam? If so, take advantage of a one-day-pass which allows you to climb aboard a Tuk Tuk and Tourist Boat as often as you like during a 24-hour period. Tuk Tuk is the way to travel in Bangkok; you can sit back and relax as you discover the old town.
The lengthy Chao Phraya River also offers ample opportunity for adventure; float along it on board a tourist boat. Make your way around the city and sample everything Bangkok has to offer at your own leisurely pace.
9. Ayutthaya UNESCO Sites: Full-Day Guided Tour from Bangkok
Ayutthaya is home to palaces and temples, and on this tour, you get to witness them all for yourself.
Visit 17th century Bang Pa-in Palace, the summer retreat of the kings of Thailand. Prepare to be impressed by the huge golden Buddha at Wihan Phra Mongkhon Bophit. Discover Wat Phra Sri Sanphet and its links with archaeology and art.
Peruse the antique temple ruins at Wat Mahathat and top it all off by paying a brief visit to Wat Lokaya Sutha – where you will be able to see the gigantic reclining Buddha.
10 Local’s Favorite Dishes: Secret Food Tour of Bangkok
Hungry? Come and discover the local delicacies and get your taste buds tingling as you sample the street food of Thailand.
Savor the Som Tam Tai (a zingy papaya salad), enjoy the delicious dim sum and swallow down fishy noodles – finally wash the feast down with a traditional beer served at a hidden gem of a local bar.
11. Bangkok Bar Crawl: Sukhumvit or Thonglor
Bangkok takes its nightlife very seriously and you would be crazy not to grab a bit of that party atmosphere for yourself.
Join the Bangkok bar crawl on either a Wednesday or Thursday and make your way around the local pubs, bars, and clubs of Sukhumvit or Thonglor (depending on the day you choose). Make sure you’ve got your drinking head on – and let the fun commence.
12. From Bangkok: Full-Day Eco Zip Line Adventure with Transfers
Calling all adrenalin junkies: how about an adventure that takes you into the depths of the jungle and up high amongst the treetop canopy? If you’ve got a head for heights then this is for you. Find out about the delicate eco-system as you cross sky bridges and make daring rappel descents.
Zip-line your way through the lush greenery, safe in the knowledge that you’re not only having fun, but also supporting the conservation efforts.
13. Bangkok: Chinatown and Flower Market at Sunset Group Tour
Set off along the water in your private river taxi and take in the stunning scenery as you head towards your destination – Wat Saket (the Golden Mount).
Ascend the steps – there are 344 in total, which may seem daunting, but it’s worth the effort; from the temple, you will witness one of the most stunning sunsets ever.
From here, you will travel to vibrant (and huge) Chinatown, where you can enjoy a walking tour and sample the traditional fare on offer.
Next, jump in a Tuk and explore the enormous flower market (the largest in Thailand). End your evening with a visit to a bustling night market.
14. Bangkok: Jim Thompson House and Baan Krua Community Tour
Find out all about Jim Thompson, the American businessman famed for helping to revitalize the Thai silk industry during the 50s and 60s.
Discover where it all began at the Baan Krua Silk village and treat yourself to a few meters of authentic Thai silk.
You will find yourself embroiled in a mystery as you discover that Thompson went missing in 1967 and to this day no-one knows for sure what happened to him. However, his legacy remains and his name is still synonymous with the silk weaving industry.