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Things to do in Bangkok

Cruise the Chao Phraya River and stop off in Rattanakosin to marvel at the Grand Palace and Wat Pho temple's huge reclining Buddha. Away from the riverside, Asian interior design was born in Pathumwan at Jim Thompson's House. Get up early to watch crowds perform morning T'ai Chi in Lumpini Park, and cross the river to Bang Kra Jao to bicycle through Bangkok's wilderness.

Royal Barges procession, Bangkok. Courtesy of the Tourism Authority of Thailand
Siriraj Medical Museum, Bangkok. Courtesy of Rusa Vuong
1

Siriraj Medical Museum

Blood-curdling exhibits

The Siriraj Medical Museum in Siriraj Hospital at Bangkok Noi is not for the faint-hearted. The gruesome collection contains the embalmed bodies of murder, suicide and accident victims, and even the remains of Thailand's first serial killer.



Cost

THB40

Opening Hours

Mon-Sat 9am-4pm

Address

2, Prannok Road, Bangkok Noi, Bangkok 10700

Telephone

+66 (0) 2 419 7000

Transport

Cross-river ferry from Prachan or Tha Chang Piers to Wang Lang Pier

Website

Siriraj Medical Museum Website

National Museum, Bangkok. Courtesy of Joseph Chang
2

National Museum

National collection of treasures

The rooms of the National Museum in Rattanakosin hold a vast collection of Thai artefacts, including royal regalia and exquisite mother-of-pearl inlay work. Buildings devoted to royal cremation are also open. Multilingual guided tours run on Wednesday and Thursday mornings.



Cost

THB50

Opening Hours

Wed-Sun 9am-4pm

Address

Na Phrathat Road, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10200

Telephone

+66 (0) 2 224 1333

Transport

Taxi

Website

National Museum Website

Royal Barges procession, Bangkok. Courtesy of the Tourism Authority of Thailand
3

National Museum of Royal Barges

Ceremonial royal boats

The National Museum of Royal Barges in Bangkok Noi houses eight magnificently decorated boats, each requiring 50 rowers. Well over 100 years old, the barges are rarely used. When there is a river procession, it is a spectacular sight.



Cost

THB30

Opening Hours

Daily 9am-5pm

Address

Klong Bangkok Noi, Bangkok 10700

Telephone

+66 (0) 24 24 0004

Transport

Chao Phraya Express boat to Phra Pin Klao Bridge Pier

Website

National Museum of Royal Barges Website

Suan Pakkad Palace Museum, Bangkok. Courtesy of Thai Travel Info
4

Suan Pakkad Palace Museum

Royal collection of houses

Once a royal residence, the Suan Pakkad Palace Museum in Ratchathewi is a collection of eight delightful traditional wooden Thai houses set in lush tropical gardens. Antiquities belonging to Prince and Princess Chumbhot of Nagara Svarga are also on display.



Cost

THB100

Opening Hours

Daily 9am-4pm

Address

352-354, Sri Ayutthaya Road, Rajathevi, Bangkok 10400

Telephone

+66 (0) 2 245 4934

Transport

Phaya Thai Skytrain station

Website

Suan Pakkad Palace Museum Website

Jim Thompson's House, Bangkok. Photo by Hans Fonk, courtesy of Jim Thompson's House
5

Jim Thompson's House

Stylish home turned museum

Jim Thompson's House, in Pathumwan, is typical Thai architecture, created from six traditional teak houses and packed full of Asian artefacts. It was the stylish home of Bangkok's silk guru and larger-than-life US expat Jim Thompson.



Cost

THB100; students THB50

Opening Hours

Daily 9am-5pm; last guided tour at 5pm

Address

6, Soi Kasemsan 2, Rama 1 Rd, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330

Telephone

+66 (0) 2216 7368

Transport

National Stadium Skytrain station

Website

Jim Thompson's House Website

Wat Arun, Bangkok. Courtesy of the Tourism Authority of Thailand
6

Wat Arun

Imposing Temple of Dawn

Wat Arun's spectacular 76-metre high tower, decorated with colourful ceramic tiles, rises up dramatically from its location on the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok Yai. Climb the tower for delightful views across the river to the Royal Grand Palace.



Cost

THB20

Opening Hours

Daily 7.30am-5.30pm

Address

34, Arun-Amarin Rd, Kwang Wat Arun, Bangkok 10600

Telephone

+66 (0) 2 465 5640

Transport

Chao Phraya Express Boat to Tha Wat Arun Pier

Website

Wat Arun Website

Kamthieng House, Bangkok. Courtesy of the Siam Society
7

Kamthieng House

Thailand's rural past

Located in the Siam Society garden, Kamthieng House is a 160-year-old teak stilt house brought from northern Thailand. Its reconstruction as a museum illustrates how rural workers and fishermen lived and the tools they used, including ploughs and rice-harvesting devices.



Cost

THB100

Opening Hours

Tue-Sat 9am-5pm

Address

131, Asoke Montri Road, Sukhumvit 21, Bangkok 10110

Telephone

+66 (0) 2661 6470

Transport

Asok Skytrain station; Sukhumvit Metro station

Website

Siam Society Website

Grand Palace, Bangkok. Courtesy of the Tourism Authority Thailand
8

Grand Palace

The Thais' spiritual home

Bangkok's must-see attraction is the Grand Palace in Rattanakosin. A dazzling display of intricate carving and colour, the palace contains the Wat Phra Kaew temple. Here, Thailand's sacred Emerald Buddha is housed. Visitors must adhere to a strict dress code.



Cost

THB350 (also includes ticket to Vimanmek Palace, valid 7 days)

Opening Hours

Daily 8.30am-4.30pm; last ticket sold 3.30pm

Address

Na Phra Lan Rd, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok

Telephone

+66 (0) 2623 5500

Transport

Chao Phraya Express Boat to Tha Chang Pier

Website

Grand Palace Website

Wat Pho, Bangkok. Courtesy of the Tourism Authority of Thailand
9

Wat Pho

Golden reclining Buddha

Founded in the 17th century, Wat Pho in Rattanakosin is Bangkok's oldest and largest temple. It houses the impressive Reclining Buddha, which is 46 metres long and 15 metres high. The temple is also renowned for its teaching of traditional herbal medicine and massage.



Cost

THB50

Opening Hours

Daily 8am-5pm

Address

2, Sanamchai Rd, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok

Telephone

+66 (0) 2225 9595

Transport

Chao Phraya Express Boat to Tha Chang or Tha Tien Pier

Website

Wat Pho Website

Vimanmek Palace, Bangkok. Courtesy of the Tourism Authority of Thailand
10

Vimanmek Palace

Teak palace of treasures

Built using golden teak in 1900, the Vimanmek Palace in Dusit is known as the Cloud Mansion. It can only be visited on a guided tour and there is a strict dress code. Its 81 rooms house silver and ivory treasures, and royal coaches.



Cost

THB100; students THB20; included in Grand Palace ticket (valid for 7 days)

Opening Hours

Daily 9.30am-3.15pm

Address

Ratchawithi Road, Dusit, Bangkok 10300

Telephone

+66 (0) 2 280 5928

Transport

Taxi

Website

Palaces of the King Website

Bicycle Tours, Bangkok. Courtesy of the Tourism Authority of Thailand
11

Bicycle Tours

Exploring Bangkok's wilderness

Half-day-long 25km Bicycle Tours through Bang Kra Jao start at the Face bar on Sukhumvit Road. Bang Kra Jao is the wilderness area of Bangkok, complete with lush jungle, villages, temples, waterways, and the Bangkok skyline as a backdrop.



Cost

THB1000-THB1650

Opening Hours

Daily 1pm-4.30pm

Address

38, Sukhumvit Road, Bangkok 10110

Telephone

+66 (0) 2 7136 047

Transport

Thong Lor Skytrain

Website

Face Website

Chao Phraya Express Boat Trips, Bangkok. Courtesy of the Tourism Authority of Thailand
12

Chao Phraya Express Boat Trips

Navigating Bangkok by river

Visitors get a glimpse of river life aboard one of the Chao Phraya Express Boat Trips. They operate a service along the river from Ratburana. Stops are located at ten piers, convenient for a trip to the Grand Palace.



Cost

THB27

Opening Hours

Departure times vary. Please check website for details

Address

78, 24-29 Maharaj Road, Phranakorn, Bangkok 10200

Telephone

+66 (0) 2 623 6001

Transport

Saphan Taksin Skytrain station

Website

Chao Phraya Express Boat Trips Website

Lumpini Park, Bangkok. Courtesy of www.bangkoksite.com
13

Lumpini Park

Mass T'ai Chi venue

Named after Buddha's birthplace, Lumpini Park is Bangkok's green lung in Pathumwan. Mature trees, lakes, and gardens are bounded by business, shopping and residential districts. Thousands of citizens jog, stretch and practise T'ai Chi en masse here in the mornings.



Cost

Free

Opening Hours

Daily 5am-8pm

Address

Thanon Rama IV, Thanon Withayu, Thanon Ratchadamri & Thanon Sarasin, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10500

Transport

Sala Daeng Skytrain station; Silom Metro station

Siam Ocean World, Bangkok. Courtesy of www.richardbarrow.com
14

Siam Ocean World

Diving with sharks

Visitors discover an underwater world at Siam Ocean World, in the Siam Paragon Shopping Mall in Pathumwan. Turtles and over 3,000 species of aquatic life swim around the glass-bottomed boat. Brave souls take the plunge and dive with the sharks.



Cost

THB850; children (80-120cm in height) THB650

Opening Hours

Daily 10am-8pm

Address

991, Rama I Road, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330

Telephone

+66 (0) 2 687 2000

Transport

Siam Skytrain station

Website

Siam Ocean World Website

Lumpini Stadium, Bangkok. Courtesy of the Tourism Authority of Thailand
15

Lumpini Stadium

Thailand's most popular sport

Every Tuesday, Friday and Saturday at Lumpini Stadium devotees gather to witness Thailand's most popular martial art. Traditional Thai kickboxing is accompanied by music, ritual and frantic betting from the appreciative and noisy audience.



Cost

THB500-THB1500

Opening Hours

Tue & Fri fights at 6.30pm; Sat fights at 5pm & 8.30pm

Address

Rama IV Road, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330

Telephone

+66 (0) 2 251 4303

Transport

Lumphini Metro station

Website

Lumphini Stadium Website

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