Places to Visit in Bangkok
Check Out: Travel Tips for First-Time Visitors
If it’s your first time visiting Bangkok, here is a non-exhaustive list of commonly visited tourist spots in Bangkok with directions. We are not adventurous travellers so these are just the common hangouts that most people already know, and they are all accessible by BTS (our equivalent of the MRT). While you are planning for your trip, do check out our recommendations for places to eat in Bangkok and travel tips for first-time visitors to Bangkok. Enjoy your trip!
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1) Siam Square Vicinity
How to get to Siam Paragon, Siam Square, Siam Center and Siam Discovery Center
Alight at BTS Station: Siam
Siam Paragon is one of the most iconic & posh shopping malls in Bangkok. In addition to the magnitude of shops and restaurants, it also houses a huge oceanarium (Siam Ocean World) and a IMAX 3D cineplex.
Siam Center and Siam Discovery Center are linked to Siam Paragon via a lined walkway. Madame Tussauds wax museum can be found in Siam Discovery Center.
Right opposite Siam Paragon on the other side of the main road (separated by the BTS track) is the open area known as Siam Square. Here you will find many shophouses and eateries. Checkout our review of Som Tam Nua, Ban Khun Mae and Mango Tango for some delicious eats in the area. Hard Rock Cafe Bangkok can also be found here.
How to get to MBK
Alight at BTS Station: National Stadium. It is also walkable from Siam Station by cutting through Siam Center and Siam Discovery Center.
MBK is still very popular with tourists and students even after the opening of the newer malls, probably due to the trendy, affordable fashion wear and accessories for sale. Tokyu is the anchor departmental store. There is a Tops supermarket at the ground floor. There are several eateries including MK steamboat, Hachiban Ramen, The Pizza and Shabushi, just to name a few. If you are looking for beverages, a popular chill-out spot would be Caffe Nero by Black Canyon Cafe.
3) Central World
How to get to Central World
It lies between BTS Siam and Chit Lom stations so you can alight at either station, and walk to Central World via the overhead walkway.
Centralworld is another major shopping mall. There are two anchor tenants, namely Zen and Isetan, as well as many international restaurants and famous brands.
4) Erawan Shrine
How to Get to Erawin Shrine
Alight at BTS Station Chit Lom. The shrine is right outside Grand Hyatt Erawan Hotel.
Since Thailand is a majority Buddhist country, you will find no lack of places of worship for Buddhists and Hindus alike. The famous and extremely popular Erawan Shrine housing the 4-faced Phra Phrom, the Thai representation of the Hindu god of creation, Brahma is worth a visit.
At the end of Centralworld, outside Isetan, you can find Trimurti Shrine, which is well-known for singles seeking love. See the appropriate movie poster in the background?
5) Platinum Fashion Mall
How to Get to Platinum Fashion Mall and Pratunam Market
Exit from Isetan at Centralworld and cross the small bridge to find Platinum Fashion Mall. There is an overhead bridge on the second floor which takes you over the main road to Pratunam Market (wholesale clothes).
The Platinum Fashion Mall is an air-conditioned mall housing several floors of wholesale clothing. The place is a popular hangout for the locals. Opposite it is Pratunam Market (wholesale clothes).
6) Asiatique The Riverfront
How to Get to Asiatique
Take the BTS to Saphan Taksin station. Alight and look for the pier. A free ferry ride on the river-taxi is provided at the pier, just look out for the signs. The journey each way takes about 15 minutes and intervals are frequent.
Asiatique The Riverfront is a relatively new attraction. It is an open-air flea market converted from a pier and warehouse area. It sits beautifully along the Chao Phraya River where you can enjoy alfresco dining.
7) Chatuchak (Jatujak or JJ) Weekend Market
How to Get to Chatchuk Market
What’s nearby: Chatuchak (Jatujak) Weekend Market, Or Tor Kor Market
No Bangkok holiday is complete without a trip to Chatuchak market. It is popular with both tourists and locals. Prices are usually marked and very reasonable. If you intend to visit every single shop in the market, be prepared to allocate two full days. It is only opened on Saturdays and Sundays and most shops operate from 9am to 6pm. The areas are categorized into sections serving food, housewares, pets, plants, clothes, handicrafts, etc, so be sure to check out the signages showing your location. Tip: Use the clock tower in the middle of the market as your landmark.
8) Or Tor Kor Market
How to get to Or Tor Kor Market
From Chatuchak Market, walk to Kamphaengpecth MRT station. Enter via the underground link mall from the entrance of the MRT station. When you emerge from the other side, you will be able to spot the large Or Tor Kor banner easily.
When you visit Chatuchak market, don’t miss the Or Tor Kor fresh food market for local fare, fresh fruits and snacks. You can buy fruits and eat it on the spot.
We bought a box of mangoes to make mango sticky rice when we reach home.
9) Terminal 21
How to get to Terminal 21
Alight at BTS station: Asok
Brands & Shopping
While you are at Central World, don’t forget to check out Naraya, Thailand’s homegrown brand. Famous for its fabric bags and accessories, they are extremely popular with tourists, who flock in bus-loads to the store.
If you are into authentic Sanrio products, Notto, located within Siam BTS station carries many cute and lovable plushies. Rilakumma is especially popular here. The products sold here are locally licensed and hence cheaper than Japanese imports.
We can’t resist going grocery shopping even when overseas. We bought some Thai food products from our favourite Gourmet Market at Siam Paragon (basement).
Spice Story used to be a stand-alone shop at basement of Siam Paragon, but have since shifted to Gourmet Market (the anchor supermarket at basement of Siam Paragon) at the same floor. They sell a variety of herbs and spices at attractive packaging and prices. I love their bottled chilli peppers and parsley. You can even find squid ink sachet here!
I brought back some Lobo spices for my friends (namely Pad Thai and Tom Yum) to rave reviews. They are inexpensive and can be found at Gourmet Market, Siam Paragon.