How to Spend 1 Day in Bangkok
Cramming all of Bangkok’s top sights and best bites into one day is no easy feat. Maximize your time by planning your itinerary carefully, swapping taxis for tuk-tuks, and taking in multiple attractions on one tour. Here’s are some ideas for how to spend an unforgettable 24 hours in Bangkok.
Morning: Temples and Palaces
Set out early on a sightseeing tour of Bangkok’s must-sees before the crowds arrive, starting with the magnificent Temple of the Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho). The Grand Palace is just a short stroll away and visiting with a guide ensures you cover all the highlights of the vast palace complex. Don’t miss a visit to the Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew), the king’s residence, and the Royal Courts. Next, ride the cross-river ferry from the Grand Palace Pier to visit the Temple of Dawn (Wat Arun) and enjoy stunning views of the sacred temple.
Afternoon: Chinatown and the Chao Phraya
Hop in a tuk-tuk for a scenic ride to Chinatown, one of Bangkok’s most atmospheric districts and among the largest Chinatowns in the world. Hiring a guide is a great way to explore the maze-like streets; otherwise else simply wander around on your own, browsing the lively street markets and filling up on tasty street food. From Chinatown it’s a short stroll down to the pier, where sightseeing cruises set sail along the Chao Phraya. Relax on-board as you float past the riverfront sights, then enjoy a glimpse of local life along the klongs (canals).
Evening: Night Markets and Nightlife
Choose between Bangkok’s two main nighttime entertainment areas—Khao San Road or Sukhumvit. The backpacker hostels, street markets, and cocktail bars along Khao San Road are great value and offer the chance to pick up some last-minute souvenirs as well as party into the early hours. Alternatively, Sukhumvit is home to Bangkok’s infamous red-light district (Soi Cowboy), but also some of its most luxurious hotels, shopping malls, and restaurants. Enjoy a drink with a view at the Octave Rooftop Bar, stroll around Soi Cowboy, or party at one of the many bars and nightclubs along Sukhumvit Soi 11.