Got 24 hours in Bangkok? As one of the most visited cities in the world, the capital of Thailand has so much to offer…
Bangkok has been named by Forbes as the most visited city in the entire world for three years running. Full of tourists from all over, the capital of Thailand is bustling with life 24/7.
With two airports, numerous long-haul bus opportunities and the option of hopping on a sleeper train, Bangkok is a main hub for the Southeast Asia region. Bangkok may even be a short stop off for those travelling further afield, but not taking advantage of what this city has to offer would be a mistake.
Even if you have just 24 hours in Bangkok, there is lots to see and do that can be achieved in a short amount of time.
Getting around Bangkok
The transport in Bangkok is unfortunately not the best considering the amount of tourism they receive. There are taxis available in most places but they can be expensive. If you take a taxi, insist on using the meter! Never agree on a fixed price. Especially if you have just landed it can take some time to adjust to the currency and learn what you should be paying for things.
Tuk Tuk’s are another option however, you do need to be careful with these guys! We have heard of many scams and had a very strange experience ourselves. They often try to say that the destination you want to visit is closed for the day and take you to where they want to go instead, where they will receive petrol vouchers.
Walking is the cheapest option, and of course, hassle-free. The only downside is the extreme heat and humidity during the day which can make it very unappealing.
You could download the Grab app, South East Asia’s equivalent to Uber, to book a car ride from your smartphone.
The Bangkok MRT (Underground) serves 18 stations around the city. Alternatively, the BTS Skytrain offers two lines with stops around the city. For more information on the routes offered, have a look at the Bangkok BTS Map.
There are many options for accommodation, from high-end hotels to super cheap hostels if you don’t mind a bunk bed for a short stopover.
If you fancy a splash of luxury, that isn’t all too expensive, stay at CHILLAX heritage hotel. With an amazing room, huge bath and rooftop pool to take advantage of. We paid ฿2300 (£61 / $73 US) a night between two. In comparison to hotels in the UK of similar nature, this is very well priced.
Hostels are also frequent amongst the built-up concrete jungle. We stayed at two separate hostels while in Bangkok. The “Alley Hostel” located just a couple of streets down from Khao San Road. A perfect place to rest your head if you fancy a night on the town. A night at the Alley Hostel costs around ฿480 (£13 / $15.50 US) for two single beds in a 20-bed-dorm.
New Joe Khao San was another hostel that we tried and was again, very close to the main party strip. The beds are clean and there is also a tourist office right next door where you can book buses to travel to your next destination. We booked our bus to Siem Reap from here (read Our Thailand Cambodia border crossing experience to find out more). Two beds in a 4-bed dorm room at New Joe Guest House cost just ฿300 (£8 / $9.70 US).
Thai phrases to know
It is important to note in the Thai language most sentences are ended with either Khrap (for men) and Kha (for women). For example, the word for ‘Hello’ is ‘Sawadee’. But you would say either ‘sawadee khrap’ or ‘Sawadee Kha’ depending on your gender. So all of these phrases you should know will be followed either by ‘kha’ or ‘khrap’ (can be pronounced without the ‘r’ too).
Hello – Sawadee
How are you? – Sabai dee mai?
I am good – Sabai dee
I am not good – Mai sabai
Thank you – Khob khun
To start off your 24 hours in Bangkok the right way, grab a quick bite to eat from your hotel or restaurant nearby. For the full budget backpacker experience try a cheese and ham toastie from 7/11 for ฿25 (70p / 80c). We cannot even tell you how many of these we must have had during our time in Thailand but honestly, they hit the spot (especially after a few drinks)!
To make the most of the morning get up early and head to the stunning Wat Arun. Known as Temple of Dawn, this beautiful Buddhist temple is easily accessible by taking the ferry from ‘Tha Tien’. The temple is open from 8:30 – 17:30 and costs ฿100 (£2.80 / $3.20) per person. Read more about riverboats and ferries in Bangkok here.
Hop back on the ferry towards Tha Tien and stop by the Temple of Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho) with an entrance fee of just ฿100 (£2.80 / $3.20) each. This temple houses the famous 46m long buddha coated in gold leaf! The temple complex is also famous for being home to one of the leading schools of Thai massage in the country. Open from 8:00 – 18:30 p.m. daily.
The Grand Palace
When spending 24 hours in Bangkok, The Grand Palace, home to the king of Thailand, is not to be missed! An extraordinary complex of buildings and temples coloured in beautiful bold blue, golds and green colours, with ornate decorations and statues. The entrance fee is quite expensive for a budget traveller at ฿500 (£13.40 / $16.20 US) per person. In our opinion, the fee is worth it. The palace is open from 8:30am – 3:30pm and can get rather crowded during peak times so be aware.
Another option: Visit floating markets
Another option for the morning is a visit to the Floating Market at Khlong Lat Mayom. You can take an organised tour or a taxi for around ฿200. Experience the proper local way of life along the waterways.
The tours will return you around midday so make sure to grab some authentic Thai food at one of the food vendors along the river whilst you are there!
National Museum Bangkok
During the day, the heat in Bangkok can be rather overwhelming. If that is the case, it’s better to make your way to an indoor attraction such as the National Museum Bangkok. The museum is home to a vast array of Thai artefacts from all eras. Definitely worth checking out if you want to learn more about the history of Thai culture and art. Entry will cost ฿200 (£5.40 / $6.50 US).
Temple of the Golden Mount
When the evening begins to draw in, head for some higher ground to make the most of the sun setting over the city. Make your way to Temple of the Golden Mount (Wat Saket), a beautiful Buddhist temple that sits above the surrounding land. Saunter up the winding stairs to reach the top and enjoy views over Bangkok from this great vantage point. The temple entry costs ฿50 per person (£1.30 / $1.60 US). According to Google, this temple closes at 5pm, so be sure to arrive before then.
Thipsamai Pad Thai
A three-minute walk from Wat Saket is the world-renowned Thipsamai Pad Thai restaurant, made famous by Lonely Planet. This busy eatery will most likely have queues down the road! But do not fret. The line moves extremely fast and you can watch the pad thai masters at work while you wait. Two portions of pad thai and a fresh orange juice cost ฿520 (£6.60 / $8.10 US) by no means the cheapest pad thai in Bangkok but very tasty none the less.
Chinatown is around a 25-minute walk from this area too if that’s something you wanted to check out.
Khao San Road
Well, what is 24 hours in Bangkok without visiting the fabled Khao San Road? The hub of all things ‘stereotypical backpacker’. Khao San Road is one of those places that needs to be experienced to be fully understood. Coming alive at night, this loud, busy street is lined with bars and market stalls, selling banana shirts and harem pants. Street vendors sell insects on sticks, cheap alcohol and laughing gas.
Take advantage of the cheap drinks deals and dance the night away. Maybe even get a street-side massage if you missed out at the temple of the reclining buddha. The options on Khao San Road are endless. If it’s not your thing, at least take a short walk down the strip to take it all in. It’s an experience you will never forget, that is for sure.
If there is any more information that you want to know before heading to Bangkok, let us know in the comments section below. We will do our best to help you out! If you’ve found this helpful, please share this post.
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