Bangkok is considered to be one of the top tourist destinations around the world. Tourists see Bangkok as their gateway to the rest of the countries in Southeast Asia. In fact, the Suvarnabhumi Airport receives thousands of visitors on a daily basis. But Bangkok is more than a just a gateway for almost any traveller will instantly fall in love with the city of Angels in S.E.A. the minute they set their eyes on it.
In case you are planning to visit Bangkok, be sure to check your accommodations online since there are many cheap hotels in Bangkok that will fit your travel budget. Although you can also be spontaneous and travel to Bangkok without making any hotel/hostel/guesthouse reservations, going through online booking sites proves useful as they offer bigger discounts for your hotel bookings.
The most crucial part of planning a trip to Bangkok would probably have to involve planning your itinerary. Trying to determine the things to do in Bangkok for a day or two can be tiresome especially when you can’t make up your mind on where to go or what to do in Bangkok. So, sit back and relax as I’ll show you how to maximize your time so that you will know the things to do in Bangkok in 1 day.
How to Spend 1 Day in Bangkok
Bangkok is blessed with its strong cultural ties. You won’t run out of things to do in this city. If you are into shopping, knowing where to shop in Bangkok won’t be difficult. If you are into temples and want to immerse yourself with the city’s rich cultural heritage, better head over to the Rattanakosin district for that’s where we’ll start our day tour.
The best thing about staying near the Rattanakosin area is the close proximity of famous tourist spots in Bangkok. All you need to do is bring a map with you and wear your most comfortable shoes since you’ll be walking all day if you’re up to the challenge.
If you are staying near the Pratunam Shopping District, just find the river pier and be sure you hop on the accurate river canal boat. Tell them you want to go to the Panfa Leelard Pier to see Wat Saket or better yet mention Khao San Road. 😉 Otherwise, you can always ride a bus or taxi, never a tuk-tuk.
A Trip to The Golden Mount (Wat Saket)
Once you reach the end line of the canal boat, you will find yourself near Khao San Road. For those who are already in the area, just ride a bus going to Wat Saket or simply refer to your map to start your walking tour. Start looking up to find a temple on a hilltop.
Wat Saket or The Golden Mount is a huge temple which you will find sitting on top of a hill. Once you reach the top, you will have a breathtaking view of the city of Bangkok. On a clear day, the windy atmosphere will help soothe your soul and appreciate the beauty of the city below you.
If you still have energy left at the end of your day trip, you can head back to the Golden Mount since the night view of the temple is a sight to behold.
Check out the Giant Swing
After your trip to Wat Saket, head over to the Giant Swing along Bangkok’s Old District. The Giant Swing is one historical landmark in Bangkok. The Giant Swing, constructed in 1784, is a religious structure in Bangkok. The swing was used in an old Brahmin ceremony (Swing ceremony) where people would use it to grab a flying bag of silver coins. But the act was dangerous as it caused some serious injuries even leading to death putting an end to the fatal tradition.
Across the street is the Wat Suthat Thepwararam, another huge temple situated at the Old District of Bangkok, which was the residential area of the royal goldsmiths before. On the other side is Bangkok’s City Hall and a few meters away is Khao San Road. The Democracy Monument is also nearby. Once you’re done with the sight seeing in this area, you are now ready to see the Grand Palace.
Touring the Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew)
The Grand Palace is probably the most visited temple in the city of Bangkok. The impressive structures were used as the residence of the Kings of Thailand till 1925. Just beside it is the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. The huge grounds are filled with blinding golden temples and beautiful architecture. Foreigners have to pay a certain fee to get inside but if you can pass off as a Thai, you can always sneak around and use the entrance for Thai folks to avoid paying the fee. hehehe. Just be sure you dress properly since they have strict dress codes in there.
If you prefer to just visit the Grand Palace, it is better to take a cab or the bus. Avoid riding tuk-tuks for they will only tell you that the palace is closed so that they can take you to jewelry and textile factories instead to get free gas for bringing tourists to those establishments. Again, avoid tuk-tuks!
Visiting the Temple of the Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho)
Once you are done checking out the Grand Palace, you can either check your map or ask for directions to find the Temple of the Reclining Buddha a.k.a. Wat Pho. This is one of the biggest reclining buddhas in the city and one of Bangkok’s largest and oldest temples. The buddha’s so big that it’s difficult to take a full front view photo of the whole image because of the limited space of the temple that houses it.
Enjoying the Night Scene of the Temple of Dawn (Wat Arun)
After seeing the Reclining Buddha, you can hop on the river boat express and cross the Chao Phraya River. The Temple of Dawn or the Wat Arun will be waiting for you on the other side. There’s an entrance fee of 50 baht to get inside the temple. Once you are done exploring the place, you can head back to the mainland since the river boats only operate till 6pm. Once you made it back, you can stay at the pier and wait for the sunset to enjoy the night view of the Temple of Dawn. This temple is one of best landmarks representing Thailand. Wat Arun is also best viewed before sunrise since the first light of the morning reflects off the surface of the temple with pearly iridescence.
There are too many temples scattered all over Bangkok. Seeing 2-3 temples should be enough as your eyes will get bored if you see too many in a day, unless you really want to. So, that’s basically the temples that I recommend you check out. There area really more but those mentioned will do for now.
Chao Phraya River Cruise
But before you end your day in Bangkok, you may want to try out experiencing a river cruise down the Chao Phraya river where you can dine with other locals and tourist as the sun sets.
The river cruise includes authentic Thai meals for you to savor while Thais entertain you with their traditional dances as you enjoy a charming scene as the city turns on its night lights.
Party all Night
When you visit Bangkok, experiencing the city’s night life is something you should not miss out too. After your day tour, you can head over to Khao San Road – the backpacking mecca of Bangkok, or the more tamed Soi Rambuttri. You can even go to the highest buildings in Bangkok and party. For those who are seeking a different kind of fun, there’s always Soi Cowboy and Patpong.
Your trip to Bangkok will never be complete if you do not try out the delectable Thai food that’s scattered almost everywhere. From street food to fine dining cuisines, there’s certainly one Thai food that will appease any sensitive palate so be sure to be brave and try them out or you’ll pretty much regret it.
Explore the nearby provinces of Thailand
If it is not your first time visiting Bangkok, or if you still got time, you can also head out to nearby provinces in Thailand to maximize your trip. After seeing all the major tourist destinations in Bangkok, you might want to try following a 1 day D-I-Y trip around Thailand or book one of those day tours from different tour operators in the city. You can choose from adventurous packages where you get to ride trains, go river rafting, visit a war museum and a waterfall or perhaps drown yourself with more temple tours from the nearby province of Ayutthaya, Pattaya and more.
When you travel to Thailand, just remember to take your time and don’t rush everything. Don’t forget to shop too!
Anyway, if you can’t see all of those beautiful tourist destinations, this will give you more reason to keep coming back for more.