One of the most iconic places to visit in Bangkok is the Floating Market of Damnoen Saduak. Traditional markets like this have been around for years all over Thailand, with many being located a short distance from the capital. Damnoen Saduak is the most famous and is reached on a paddleboat ride.
Traveling on the water, you'll be in the thick of the action, so keep your camera handy. The vendors sell all manner of fresh produce from their wooden boats, plying their wares up and down the waterways. It's a picturesque scene that has changed little over time.
Damnoen Saduak is known for its fruit sellers – you can buy some lychees if you're feeling hungry! You'll also get to sample local specialties like sticky mango rice.
Many of these Bangkok tours also take in the Maeklong Railway Market. Situated right beside the train tracks, this market makes for epic photos. When a train comes, the stalls and awnings are pulled aside – you'll probably have seen pictures of it on social media.
Gleaming majestically in the sun, the golden spires of the Grand Palace have watched over Bangkok for centuries. This is the official residence of the Kings of Thailand and is the focus of many Bangkok tours.
As you explore the vast palace with your guide, you'll see that the golden architecture is just as dazzling up close. Temple visits and manicured gardens are all part of the adventure at this royal complex. Don't forget to pay your respects to the famous Emerald Buddha before you depart.
These Bangkok city tours often include a few other related stops in the capital, so you can tick off even more major sights. You'll jump on a shuttle boat across the Chaophraya River to visit Wat Arun and its giant tower.
Wat Pho is another favorite. This is the temple of the reclining Buddha – a huge gold statue lavishly decorated with mother-of-pearl ornamentation. The Wat is also the birthplace of traditional Thai massage – it's still practiced at the temple today.
If you want to discover a different side of the city, then Bangkok tours by boat are the way to go. You'll cruise along the Chaophraya River, checking out the sights from your unique vantage point.
There's a lot of choice when it comes to river excursions, so be sure to do your research before booking. First up is the hop-on hop-off boat, which is a fun way to explore at your own pace. You can jump off at the points that interest you, with day passes ensuring you make the most of your time.
Dinner cruises on the Chaophraya River are also popular, for something extra special. You'll tuck into delicious Thai dishes while watching the city go by. There's often live music to get you in the mood too.
Foodies will love taking a traditional klong boat ride through Nang Loeng Market. You'll float along scenic canals, stopping at local eateries to sample delicacies like Hokkien noodles and banana fritters. Sometimes you'll try food direct from the vendor.
For something a bit more energetic, take to two wheels and cycle around Bangkok with your trusty guide. You'll get to see places that most tourists miss as well as pass some of the famous city sights along the way.
The pace is relaxed so you can enjoy soaking up the scenery during your ride. These Bangkok tours usually operate on a small group basis to keep things intimate, but private excursions are also available.
Classic itineraries include pedaling through iconic districts like Chinatown and alongside the Chaophraya River. You'll wheel through the backstreets, checking out the historical architecture and hidden gems far from the crowds.
Discover the city after dark with a Bangkok night bike tour. This is a great way to see temples like Wat Arun and Wat Pho illuminated, and there's less traffic around at this hour too. These trips often stop at street food stalls so you can indulge in some tasty treats to keep yourself fueled for the journey.
Discover Bangkok's authentic underbelly on a tour around the city's street food neighborhoods. The most popular excursions whisk you off on an evening tuk-tuk adventure. Visit markets to try Thai snacks, slurp noodles in cozy bars and indulge in sweet treats in Chinatown.
Switch things up with a Michelin-starred dining experience on board Thailand's first food bus. You'll cruise around Rattanakosin Island in style on a double-decker sightseeing bus while tucking into lunch, afternoon tea or dinner. Don't forget to look out of the window and soak up those views.
Other Bangkok food experiences include a chef-designed walking tour in the backstreets of the old town. Enjoy four hours of feasting in Chinatown, with dishes like crispy chive dumplings, charcoal-grilled satay chicken and seafood soup on the menu.
You can also take food-themed Bangkok tours by boat with a visit to one of the local floating markets. Traveling in a klong boat, you'll explore the waterways with lots of stops to buy and sample traditional food from the vendors.
If you've enjoyed eating all the delicious Thai food on your travels, the next step is learning how to make it yourself. There are lots of Thai cooking classes to try, with most being around four hours long.
You'll often begin your experience with a trip to the market – this is sometimes done by tuk-tuk. Here, your guide will teach you about local produce and you'll come away with all the ingredients needed for your workshop. Then it's time to get to work.
The lessons take place in restaurants or dedicated cooking schools, so you know you're in safe hands. The chef will demonstrate all the stages of the meal, and you can follow along at your own workstation.
Usually, you'll prepare four different recipes and come away with a lavish banquet to enjoy at the end. Dishes may include things like spicy lemongrass salad, hot and sour shrimp soup, and Massaman curry. Sometimes you'll get to have a go at mango carving too.
Bangkok is a sprawling city, with a maze of districts to discover. It can be difficult to appreciate the scale of this Thai metropolis, so heading skyward is highly recommended. From the city's favorite observation decks, you'll get to see the lay of the land.
The Mahanakhon SkyWalk is one of the best observation decks in Bangkok. You'll be ascending the tallest building in Thailand, so the views promise to deliver. There are indoor and outdoor viewing platforms on floors 74 and 78 – the former offers breathtaking 360-degree panoramas. On the outer deck, you can walk on the glass floor, which is 310 meters from the ground. You'll need a head for heights! Learn about the city's landmarks using the Augmented Reality Experience to enhance your visit.
Another top spot for city views is the Baiyoke Sky Hotel. There are three locations where you can admire the panoramas. These are the observation deck on the 77th floor, the Revolving View Point on level 84 and finally, the beautiful rooftop bar.
Chinatown is one of the most sensory neighborhoods in the Thai capital and is often visited on Bangkok tours. Many of these excursions focus on the food that the area is famous for. You'll stop at markets to taste local delicacies and visit several restaurants for a staggered meal.
Yet a visit to Chinatown isn't just about eating. The area features on Bangkok walking tours too – these take you down hidden passageways and iconic streets in this buzzing district. In these centuries-old communities, you'll discover everything from shrines to shops.
Some excursions welcome you to Chinatown at night. This is when the place comes alive, with food stalls, traditional music and pretty lanterns setting the scene. Visiting with a guide means you'll get to experience the real Chinatown, beyond what the average tourist sees.
If you don't fancy walking, try a tuk-tuk tour or sign up for a bike excursion around Chinatown. Zipping around the vibrant streets with a knowledgeable local is a fun way to soak up the vibe.
Once you've ticked off the main city sights, why not head out of Bangkok for a change of scenery? The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ayutthaya is just 70 kilometers from the capital, so is the perfect place for a day trip from Bangkok.
During the 1700s, Ayutthaya was the beating heart of Thailand – it may have been the world's largest city. Today, it's a popular spot for cultural tourism with plenty of atmospheric ruins to explore.
Temples and statues are abundant at Ayutthaya, so it's a great location for photographers as well as historians. Wat Phra Si Sanphet is one of the highlights of a visit to the complex. It was the holiest temple at the Royal Palace and is remarkably well preserved.
Don't miss the Bang Pa-In Summer Palace which is just outside Ayutthaya – the throne room is particularly alluring. On some tours, you can enjoy a river cruise for a different view of Ayutthaya. You'll then return to Bangkok on the Chaophraya River as a bit of a bonus excursion.
There are lots of Bangkok tours to Pattaya – it's a favorite day trip for locals and tourists alike. The coastal city is just 150 kilometers southeast of the capital, but it has a totally different vibe. For one thing, Pattaya has its own beach!
From architecture and shopping to nightlife and golden sand, Pattaya has something for everyone. The first stop on most excursions is Khao Chi Chan – known as Buddha Mountain. This enormous cliff is home to a 70-meter-tall Buddha carving to honor King Bhumibol.
Next up is the famous Pattaya Viewpoint on the Khao Phra Tam Nak hill. Besides the views, you'll see another Buddha statue and a naval monument to add to the atmosphere. Other highlights can include snorkeling and water sports on Coral Island – jet skiing and parasailing are popular choices.
After relaxing on the beach, you'll head into Pattaya for a delicious Thai lunch in a local restaurant. There will be free time for shopping and wandering along the promenade to take in the sights.
Sitting pretty on the banks of the Chaophraya River, Bangkok is the energetic capital of Thailand. Known for its vibrant street life and abundance of temples, the city can be a bit overwhelming for first-time visitors. The best way to experience Bangkok is with a local guide, who will keep hassle to a minimum.
Bangkok is one of the world's most-loved cities. The people are friendly, the food is to die for and there's so much to do you could stay months without repeating your adventures. This former trading post is the cultural and commercial heart of Thailand, with the city being founded in 1782 by King Rama I.
Bangkok has long been center-stage on the global tourism map, and it's often the first point of call for travelers to Southeast Asia. As a result, the city is extremely well connected to the rest of the world by air.
Many visitors to Thailand begin their vacation with a stay in Bangkok before venturing further into the country. You can take trains or flights to several other popular destinations from here, including Phuket, Surat Thani and Chiang Mai.
Public transport is cheap and easy to navigate, with everything from taxis to tuk-tuks on hand. The Skytrain and subway are popular options, getting you to plenty of places across the city. You can also use the scenic river ferries to access many of the main attractions.
Bangkok hop-on hop-off bus tours are a relaxing way to explore. You can jump off at the locations that most excite you, and the experience will help you get your bearings.
Backpackers should head to the Khao San Road area for cheap and cheerful accommodation with a strong party scene. It's a buzzing neighborhood by day and night, with street food stalls and bars jostling for space on the sidewalks.
Other travelers may prefer to stay in the Bangkok Riverside district. This is a land of dazzling temples and is particularly atmospheric after dark. Here, you'll find boutique guest houses and luxury hotels, often with great river views.
The best time to visit Bangkok is between November and February when the weather is at its best. You can come here all year round but be mindful that it gets hot and humid during the rainy season from June to October.
If you haven't yet had your fill of temples, there are still plenty more you can see during Bangkok tours. Wat Traimit is a popular choice – it's known as the Temple of the Golden Buddha thanks to the 13th-century statue inside. Swing by Wat Benchamabophit too for its ornate marble architecture.
Escape the city with a few day trips if you're staying long enough in town. Day tours to Khao Yai National Park from Bangkok are a favorite with wildlife lovers – elephants and bears roam free here.
Bangkok is a relatively cheap city to visit, but there are lots of free things to do if you're watching your spending. Enjoy a walk in pretty Lumpini Park, join a meditation session at Wat Mahathat or breathe in the aromas at the old town flower market.