Bangkok in 360º

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Highlights

Top Things To See In Bangkok

Great shopping, eating and drinking makes Bangkok an easy choice for all travellers, but don’t forget its fascinating temples and distinct Asian culture. Click through our 360° views for a virtual preview of the top things to see in the Thai capital.

Wat Pho
  • Wat Pho
  • Culture vultures wondering what to do in Bangkok can head straight for Wat Pho or the Temple of the Reclining Buddha. At 150 feet long and 50 feet high, the Reclining Buddha is one of the largest Buddha statues in Thailand. On the soles of the Buddha’s feet, you’ll find 108 panels illustrating auspicious symbols associated with the Buddha, while the temple corridors are lined with 108 bronze bowls representing the Buddha’s 108 auspicious characters. Visitors drop coins in the bowls to attract good fortune (and help the monks with the temple’s maintenance). Wat Pho also encompasses a traditional Thai massage school.

  • Culture vultures wondering what to do in Bangkok can head straight for Wat Pho or the Temple of the Reclining Buddha. At 150 feet long and 50 feet high, the Reclining Buddha is one of the largest Buddha statues in Thailand. On the soles of the Buddha’s feet, you’ll find 108 panels illustrating auspicious symbols associated with the Buddha, while the temple corridors are lined with 108 bronze bowls representing the Buddha’s 108 auspicious characters. Visitors drop coins in the bowls to attract good fortune (and help the monks with the temple’s maintenance). Wat Pho also encompasses a traditional Thai massage school.

  • Grand Palace, Emerald Buddha & Reclining Buddha Morning Visit
Grand Palace
  • Grand Palace
  • The residence of Thai kings from 1782 to 1925, Bangkok’s expansive Grand Palace has two zones: the royal residence, which houses several government offices and hosts important royal ceremonies, and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, whose titular 26-inch statue isn’t made from emerald, but carved from a single block of jade. Considered a most sacred image, the Emerald Buddha is covered with a monastic cloak. The Thai king – the only person allowed to touch the statue – ceremoniously changes the cloak three times a year to begin the hot, cool and rainy seasons. The Grand Palace complex also includes the Pavilion of Regalia, Royal Decorations and Coins.

  • The residence of Thai kings from 1782 to 1925, Bangkok’s expansive Grand Palace has two zones: the royal residence, which houses several government offices and hosts important royal ceremonies, and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, whose titular 26-inch statue isn’t made from emerald, but carved from a single block of jade. Considered a most sacred image, the Emerald Buddha is covered with a monastic cloak. The Thai king – the only person allowed to touch the statue – ceremoniously changes the cloak three times a year to begin the hot, cool and rainy seasons. The Grand Palace complex also includes the Pavilion of Regalia, Royal Decorations and Coins.

  • Grand Palace & Emerald Buddha Temple Tour
Khao San Road
  • Khao San Road
  • Khao San Road has long been known as Bangkok’s backpacker central. It’s still a lively row of cheap and cheerful lodgings, travel agencies, internet cafes, massage parlours and roadside souvenir shops, but these days, upmarket restaurants, bars and hotels have set up shop in the neighbourhood and the crowd isn’t limited to young travellers on a shoestring budget. Khao San Road and nearby Soi Rambuttri are especially buzzy in the evenings, when travellers from all over the world gather here for a bottle or two of Chang beer and a taste of Bangkok’s effervescent nightlife.

  • Khao San Road has long been known as Bangkok’s backpacker central. It’s still a lively row of cheap and cheerful lodgings, travel agencies, internet cafes, massage parlours and roadside souvenir shops, but these days, upmarket restaurants, bars and hotels have set up shop in the neighbourhood and the crowd isn’t limited to young travellers on a shoestring budget. Khao San Road and nearby Soi Rambuttri are especially buzzy in the evenings, when travellers from all over the world gather here for a bottle or two of Chang beer and a taste of Bangkok’s effervescent nightlife.

  • Bangkok by Night: Chinatown, Flower Market & Khao San Road
Chao Phraya River
  • Chao Phraya River
  • Bangkok is just one of the cities along Thailand’s major river, the Chao Phraya, which flows southward into the Gulf of Thailand. Some of Bangkok’s top attractions, such as the Grand Palace, Wat Pho and Wat Phra Kaew, are located on the riverbank. You can board an express boat that will take you to certain parts of the city for a small sum – it’s cheaper than most public transport options – or get a tourist pass that will let you hop on and off at eight piers. If you want a spot of luxury and romance, you can book a dinner cruise in an air-conditioned boat.

  • Bangkok is just one of the cities along Thailand’s major river, the Chao Phraya, which flows southward into the Gulf of Thailand. Some of Bangkok’s top attractions, such as the Grand Palace, Wat Pho and Wat Phra Kaew, are located on the riverbank. You can board an express boat that will take you to certain parts of the city for a small sum – it’s cheaper than most public transport options – or get a tourist pass that will let you hop on and off at eight piers. If you want a spot of luxury and romance, you can book a dinner cruise in an air-conditioned boat.

  • Full-Day Chao Phraya Canal Tour with Visit to Grand Palace & Reclining Buddha
Wat Arun
  • Wat Arun
  • The centrepiece of Wat Arun, the Temple of the Dawn, is a 270-foot-high 'prang' (Khmer-style tower) encrusted with Chinese porcelain tiles that form colourful floral mosaics. Visitors can climb a staircase to the top of the prang; the steep steps can be difficult to tackle, but you’ll be rewarded with views of the Chao Phraya River and the surrounding attractions. Back on the ground, you can visit the Ordination Hall, where Rama II’s ashes are interred at the base of the main Buddha image, rumoured to be designed by the king himself. Wat Arun was the Emerald Buddha’s home before it was moved to Wat Phra Kaew.

  • The centrepiece of Wat Arun, the Temple of the Dawn, is a 270-foot-high 'prang' (Khmer-style tower) encrusted with Chinese porcelain tiles that form colourful floral mosaics. Visitors can climb a staircase to the top of the prang; the steep steps can be difficult to tackle, but you’ll be rewarded with views of the Chao Phraya River and the surrounding attractions. Back on the ground, you can visit the Ordination Hall, where Rama II’s ashes are interred at the base of the main Buddha image, rumoured to be designed by the king himself. Wat Arun was the Emerald Buddha’s home before it was moved to Wat Phra Kaew.

  • Small-Group Sunset Culinary & Cultural Bike Tour with Dinner
Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
  • Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
  • King Rama IV ordered the construction of Damnoen Saduak, Thailand’s longest and straightest canal, in order to connect the Mae Klong River with Chinese waterways and strengthen trade and transport. The canal saw the birth of many floating markets, and you can head 300 miles southwest of Bangkok to see the most famous one, the century-old Damnoen Saduak Floating Market. As your rental boat paddles down the narrow canals, you’ll encounter vendors who have set up shop on the canal banks, or are rowing their own boats piled with colourful fruits and wares.

  • King Rama IV ordered the construction of Damnoen Saduak, Thailand’s longest and straightest canal, in order to connect the Mae Klong River with Chinese waterways and strengthen trade and transport. The canal saw the birth of many floating markets, and you can head 300 miles southwest of Bangkok to see the most famous one, the century-old Damnoen Saduak Floating Market. As your rental boat paddles down the narrow canals, you’ll encounter vendors who have set up shop on the canal banks, or are rowing their own boats piled with colourful fruits and wares.

  • Damnoen Saduak Floating Market Tour
Bridge on the River Kwai
  • Bridge on the River Kwai
  • The 1957 film 'The Bridge on the River Kwai', adapted from an eponymous 1954 French war novel, was inspired by a bridge that was part of the Burma Railway – also called the Death Railway, because tens of thousands of Asian labourers and Allied POWs, put to work by the Japanese Imperial Army, died during its construction. After the war, the Thai government rebuilt the damaged steel bridge, which is located in Kanchanaburi. Nearby, you’ll find the Kanchanaburi (or Don Rak) War Cemetery, where nearly 7,000 prisoners of war were buried, and the privately funded Thailand-Burma Railway Centre, a museum and research facility where you can learn more about the railroad and its bloody history.

  • The 1957 film 'The Bridge on the River Kwai', adapted from an eponymous 1954 French war novel, was inspired by a bridge that was part of the Burma Railway – also called the Death Railway, because tens of thousands of Asian labourers and Allied POWs, put to work by the Japanese Imperial Army, died during its construction. After the war, the Thai government rebuilt the damaged steel bridge, which is located in Kanchanaburi. Nearby, you’ll find the Kanchanaburi (or Don Rak) War Cemetery, where nearly 7,000 prisoners of war were buried, and the privately funded Thailand-Burma Railway Centre, a museum and research facility where you can learn more about the railroad and its bloody history.

  • Bridge on the River Kwai & Historic Railway Tour
Wat Saket
  • Wat Saket
  • Also known as the Temple of the Golden Mount, the ancient Wat Saket dates from the reign of the Ayutthaya Kingdom. Walk up the artificial hill to the 250-foot-high Golden Mount (or Phu Khao Thong), which contains many images of the Buddha and also offers 360-degree views over the Thai capital. A massive golden chedi crowns the Golden Mount and contains a relic of the Buddha. Every November, a festival takes place on the temple grounds and there’s a candlelit procession from the Golden Mount up to the chedi. Wat Saket includes a temple hall, a scripture hall and a sacred Sri Maha Bodhi tree.

  • Also known as the Temple of the Golden Mount, the ancient Wat Saket dates from the reign of the Ayutthaya Kingdom. Walk up the artificial hill to the 250-foot-high Golden Mount (or Phu Khao Thong), which contains many images of the Buddha and also offers 360-degree views over the Thai capital. A massive golden chedi crowns the Golden Mount and contains a relic of the Buddha. Every November, a festival takes place on the temple grounds and there’s a candlelit procession from the Golden Mount up to the chedi. Wat Saket includes a temple hall, a scripture hall and a sacred Sri Maha Bodhi tree.

  • Wat Saket, Chinatown & Flower Market Evening Tour
Jim Thompson's House
  • Jim Thompson's House
  • Jim Thompson wore many hats – he was an architect, spy and army officer at various times in his life – before settling in Bangkok after World War II and founding the Thai Silk Company Limited in 1948. He mysteriously disappeared while out for a walk in Malaysia’s Cameron Highlands in 1967. In the late 1950s, Thompson had built six traditional Thai houses using teak structures sourced from various parts of Thailand, and surrounded them with lush jungle-inspired foliage. Located opposite the National Stadium, Jim Thompson's House is now a museum containing the silk tycoon’s remarkable art and antique collection.

  • Jim Thompson wore many hats – he was an architect, spy and army officer at various times in his life – before settling in Bangkok after World War II and founding the Thai Silk Company Limited in 1948. He mysteriously disappeared while out for a walk in Malaysia’s Cameron Highlands in 1967. In the late 1950s, Thompson had built six traditional Thai houses using teak structures sourced from various parts of Thailand, and surrounded them with lush jungle-inspired foliage. Located opposite the National Stadium, Jim Thompson's House is now a museum containing the silk tycoon’s remarkable art and antique collection.

  • Jim Thompson's House & Suan Pakkard Palace Tour

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