Heading to Bangkok again and you think you have shopped out the malls, drunk and eaten everything that could possibly be edible, seen the sights, got massaged till you couldn’t relax anymore, and you are all partied out? Think again. This is Bangkok, and the city never stops being new, extreme, entertaining, or startling you with its sights.
Here are some unique things to do in Bangkok even when you are visiting for the umpteenth time; and yes, the list still begins with shopping and sightseeing. So don’t forget to take along the best travel cards for your trip. Our picks include the HSBC Visa Infinite Card, DBS Altitude Visa Signature Credit Card, and Citi PremierMiles Visa Card.
Let’s start with shopping
So you know Pantip Plaza, Siam Paragon, MBK, Central World and Platinum like the back of your hand. We trust that your electronics stash, wardrobe, and impulse buys rack must be overflowing. Bangkok wears its tag of being retail heaven rather proudly – and why not? After you are all shopped out at conventional places, there are more options.
Try the Rod Fai market – an open to sky night bazaar, for its memorabilia, antiques and unending collection of retro items.
Another wonder shopping expedition you can embark upon is a trip to the Amulet Market in the centre of the city. Believers in talismans and lucky charms can spend the better part of the day rifling through trinkets and such looking for the one that suits their needs the best. Hoping to strike it big at work or change your luck in love? Amulet Market is the place for you!
Go sightseeing beyond the usual temples and floating markets
Bangkok’s sights start with the pretty spired temples, go on to the Grand Palace and its museum, and end with a cruise on the Chao Phraya River. You think? Well, not so fast.
For museum hoppers there are a couple of weird museums that you can visit – try the really creepy Forensic Museum with its morbid collection; or the straighter laced Thai Air Force Museum for a look at the history of Thai aviation.
More history? Visit the Bangkok Thonburi Khlongs for a look at how people used to live and still live, by the river in stilted wooden houses.
Then there is the Giant Swing, a 27-metre-high restored and renovated 18th century swing, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Experience something you’ll never forget
Bangkok can keep you really busy with the massages, spas, party strips, street food, Michelin starred restaurants, you name it. But that’s the joy of visiting the city, so much and there is still more to do.
Since you would have done all that, try your hand at this list. Spend a night in prison – at Sook Station you can check in, get dressed in stripes, pose for a mug shot, and get a feel of what it is to be locked up overnight. Remember to make your booking online with the HSBC Revolution Card and earn 2 miles/dollar spent!
Dig into what could possibly be the oldest soup in the world at Wattana Panich. Following an ancient Chinese technique, this street food stall has been saving a little bit of its soup for about 60 years, in the hope that it will be more flavourful than ever. Go on, take a bite.
Something for your early morning jaunts – visit the flower market Pak Thlong Talad starting 2am till sunrise. The freshly cut flowers, fruit, and vegetables are a sight for sore eyes!
Here’s an idea for an educational and informative option – visit a salt farm. Hook yourself up for a guided tour of a salt farm, and you can learn how salt is farmed from sea water.
Step out of Bangkok for something new
Include Bangkok’s surrounding areas in your itinerary the next time you visit. There are some interesting experiences to be had here.
Head to the Erawan Museum in Samut Prakan, less than an hour away, even if it is only for the huge multi-headed elephant statue on its exterior. The museum is interesting too, in a dreamy, psychedelic way.
Another very unique option is about two-and-a-half hours from Bangkok in Kanchanaburi. The River Kwai Jungle Rafts Resort is a ‘floatel’ with rooms made on rafts on the river. This resort uses no electricity and there is no internet, an eco-resort in the true sense of the word.
Before you go jetsetting again, make sure you learn what are the travel mistakes commonly made by Singaporeans, and avoid making them!