Activity List – Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok is like no other. We arrived to the airport in the evening, greeted by Bank, a high school friend of Davids who grew up and lives in Bangkok. The city is filled with skyscrapers, malls, and unique experiences that only Southeast Asia could think to offer. Here is our activity list – a collection put together by myself and Bank and enjoyed with David.

1. Visit the Grand Palace

bangkok1You can take a ferry or water taxi there, which offers a great view of the city and a break from the traffic. Make a day of it by first going to Mandarin Oriental for high tea (more on this later) and after enjoy their hotel operated wooden ferry boat that will drop you off at the closest taxi dock.

The Grand Palace houses a large temple and is the home of the king. He had just passed the week before we arrived in Bangkok, so many Thais were coming to pay their respect. A large (4+ hour) line outside the palace entrance was filled with individuals wearing all black.

We did not go in. If you visit later in the year the wait should go down. Plan to wear black around the temple for the next year.

2. Erawan Shrine

bangkok2There are shrines all over Bangkok but the one to not miss is Erawan. This shine houses the Hindu god of creation. People come here to pray for good health, to do well on a test, to win the lottery, etc. Once your prayer has been answered you are supposed to return with a gift of thanks.

The shrine also has a building just behind it that houses 10 women who will bless your prayer. You pay a fee and the group dressed in traditional clothing will dance while you pray. This is a unique experience and I have not seen anything else quite like it in Asia.

3. Malls malls and oh yeah… malls!

bangkok5Their downtown is filled with places you can spend your money! From high end designer retailers to people selling “I ❤️ Bangkok” shirts. Malls are where the locals hangout. There are dozens of giant malls all connected by trains and walkways (it’s possible to not touch foot outside all day). In addition to stores they also host some great restaurants and nice grocery stores. We suggest going to the food courts, they are often located on the bottom floor and have samples of some of the best food in Asia. These food courts are quaint and well thought out, no Taco Bell or A&W here! Live like a local and hangout and eat at the mall. **our favorites were Siam Paragon, Terminal 21, CentralWorld.

4. Muay Thai


Muay Thai is a combat sport that is a full-body workout. We went to a beginner course at Big Box gym right in downtown Bangkok. The class was a great workout, beginning with a short warm up run, then followed by some ab work.


The instructor then led us through how to deliver proper kicks and punches. We used these combination techniques with partners and soon got the hang of it.


Strap on a pair of boxing gloves, get a great workout, and feel like a thai fighter for an hour. We loved it!

5. Epic Movie Theaters

bangkok4There are several ways to enjoy a movie in Bangkok. Since we only had time to see one movie while we were there, we went extreme. At Embassy Cineplex you get your own daybed complete with pillows, blankets, and slippers. If you need anything during your cinamax experience just press your call button and they would be happy to bring you dinner, additional snacks, or restock your complementary beer/soda mini fridge. This experience was like none other, a truly relaxing home away from home.

6. Floating markets

bangkok11There are several to choose from. We went to Kwan Riam, because it was the closest option to our hotel. This market is only open on Saturday and Sunday mornings. There were a few unique things here including a boat ride, dozens of animals to feed, and little reptiles to purchase that you can set free (for good fortune).
These things were all very interesting to me. However if you are looking for the traditional floating market where several boats are bumping into each other, selling fruit and veggies, this is not the one for you.

7. Chatuchak Market

The largest market in Thailand and filled with a huge variety of clothes, pottery, home goods, delicious street food, and small knick-knacks. The market is open Saturday and Sundays, I would go early before it gets really warm.

8. Skytrain (BTS) and Airport Rail Link

Bangkok6Both are elevated transit systems. Airport Link connects you from the airport or anywhere north of Bangkok to the BTS and is rather easy to use. Be mindful of the signs, if a monk is riding it is customary to give your seat to him.

Tip – you need coins to purchase tickets. The service desk is willing to break bills if you need to.

Bangkok is amazing and so different from Chiang Mai and Phuket. If you are looking for the big city feel in Thailand, you can’t beat it here!