One Day in Bangkok: 9 Things to Do and See

By Mark Wiens 33 Comments
One Day in Bangkok
One Day in Bangkok

Bangkok is a huge city with an everlasting supply of exciting attractions, superbly interesting sites and more delicious street food than you could ever imagine (until it’s in your mouth).

After living in Bangkok on and off for a few years now, I decided to share a few things that I would recommend to do if you just have one day in Bangkok!

Note: Khlong Lat Mayom floating market and Chatuchak market are only open on the weekends. The rest of the activities featured on this list are open daily.

One Day Tour of Bangkok

One Day in Bangkok Tour
Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market

1. Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market

Located on the outskirts of Bangkok in a lush area of town is the relaxing Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market. Every weekend, vendors dock their boats under the shade and serve delicious Thai food.

One Day in Bangkok

You can choose to have a seat next to the boat restaurants and choose a few items to eat, or you can browse around the dry section of the market which is filled with little trinkets and an endless supply of more food.

If you’re interested, you can even hire a boat to slowly drift down the calm canal as you sit back and enjoy the scenery.

Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market (ตลาดน้ำคลองลัดมะยม) is more low-key than Damnoen Saduak or Amphawa (more famous floating markets), but it is very close to Bangkok and I personally prefer it over any other floating markets due to its quiet nature oriented atmosphere.

The market opens at 9:30 on Saturdays and Sundays.

Getting There: Take the BTS Skytrain to Wang Wian Yai station. From there it’s easiest to jump in a taxi, ask the driver to take you to “Talad Nam Khlong Lat Mayom.” Should cost right around 100 THB for the ride. To make it easier, print off these directions.

One Day Tour in Bangkok
Details at Wat Arun

2. Wat Arun

Wat Arun is the temple of dawn, and it’s probably my favorite historical temple in Bangkok.

If you just have one day in Bangkok, you’ve got to climb to the top of the temple on the narrow staircase and peer over Bangkok’s Chao Phraya River.

The entrance fee is 20 THB and the hours are from 7:30 – 17:30.

Getting There: Since Khlong Lat Mayom floating market is a little bit on the outskirts of Bangkok, again it’s easiest to take a taxi. Tell the driver to take you to Wat Arun (วัดอรุณ).

Wat Phra Kaew in Bangkok, Thailand
Wat Phra Kaew in Bangkok, Thailand

3. Grand Palace / Wat Phra Kaew

Though they are the most crowded tourist attractions in all of Thailand, Wat Phra Kaew (วัดพระแก้ว) and the Royal Grand Palace (พระบรมมหาราชวัง) really are the most respected and admired iconic symbols of Thailand and should be visited once during any visit to Bangkok.

The palace was once the home of the King of Thailand and Wat Phra Kaew is the temple that houses the emerald Buddha.

Getting There: From Wat Arun, board the quick ferry to cross the river and you’ll be right at the Grand Palace grounds.

One Day in Bangkok
Wang Lang, Bangkok, Thailand

4. Wang Lang Market

Just opposite the Chao Phraya River from the Grand Palace is Bangkok’s most important hospital known as Siriraj. Surrounding the hospital is a fabulous market packed with local style shopping and lots of street food!

One Day in Bangkok, Thailand

Walk around Wang Lang and be sure to sample whatever calls your name. You can sit down at a number of indoor restaurants or if you’re up for sampling southern Thai food (lots of curries, chillies and coconut milk) take the short walk over to Lan Luam Dtai.

Getting There: From Tha Chang Pier take the boat across the river and get off at Wang Lang Pier.

Khlong Toey Market, Bangkok, Thailand
Khlong Toey Market, Bangkok, Thailand

5. Khlong Toey Market or Chatuchak Weekend Market

A great experience and one of the most interesting things to do in Bangkok is walk around a large local market. Wherever you travel, markets offer a great introduction to the culture and it’s a free opportunity to see daily life while spending one day in Bangkok.

Khlong Toey Market (ตลาดคลองเตย) is one of Bangkok’s biggest and busiest markets and there’s always something action packed to observe. After a delicious lunch at Wang Lang, it’s time to make the trek to a whole different type of market and discover meat, veggies and all thai ingredients in bulk.

If you prefer, you can also head to Chatuchak Weekend Market (ซื้อของที่ตลาดนัดจตุจักร), a shopping mecca.

Khlong Toey is open nearly 24 hours a day and Chatuchak is open from 6 am to 6 pm on Saturdays and Sundays.

Getting There: At Wang Lang Pier, take the river boat south to Sathon Pier / Saphan Taksin central station. Get on the BTS at Saphan Taksin and purchase a ticket to Silom Station. Then transfer to the MRT underground train and get a ticket to Khlong Toei station. From there, the market is just a short walk away.

To get to Chatuchak Weekend Market, take the BTS all the way to Mo Chit station and shop until you drop.

Benjakiti Park, Bangkok, Thailand
Benjakiti Park

6. Benjakiti Park

My favorite park in all of Bangkok is Benjakiti Park located on Ratchada Road, near Khlong Toey.

Beautiful flora, fauna and a huge lake make the park extremely scenic. This is a great place to walk around and enjoy some relaxation (you’ll need some relaxation even for just one day in Bangkok) – especially when the sun fades behind the sky-rise building for some much needed shade.

Getting There: From Khlong Toey, jump in a tuk tuk or taxi for a short ride over to the park. The ride should cost around 40 THB – 50 THB.

Victory Monument - One Day in Bangkok
Victory Monument – One Day in Bangkok

7. Victory Monument

Victory Monument is a famous landmark in Bangkok and one of the central transportation hubs.

With so much action, you can bet there’s countless vendors selling cheap Thai street food dishes, as well as everything else you can imagine. Walk around and find something interesting or sit down for a cool beverage at the Victory Point bars.

Getting There: From Benjakiti Park, you can either walk, or take a short taxi ride to Asoke BTS station. Then take the BTS to Victory Monument station.

Bonus Snack: Boat Noodles Boat Noodles at Victory Monument

If you’re starting to get hungry again, a few bowls of boat noodles from boat noodle alley are what you need. Boat noodles (VIDEO) are little bowls of famously tasty noodles covered in rich porky broth.

One day in Bangkok should definitely include boat noodles.

Getting There:  Located on the northeast corner of Victory Monument roundabout

Kuang Sea Foods
Kuang Sea Foods

8. Dinner at Kuang Seafoods

Interested in delicious seafood? Kuang Seafoods is a restaurant located on the end of Rangnam Road that serves a fantastic selection of Thai seafood favorites at relatively decent prices. It’s one of my favorite Thai seafood restaurants in all of Bangkok!

Don’t miss the Boo Pad Pongali (crab yellow curry ปูผัดผงกะหรี่), Or Suan (sizzling oyster omelet ออส่วน), or the Pla Kahpung Neung See Ew (steamed fish in soy sauce ปลากะพงนึ่งซีอิ๊ว). For the comprehensive Thai food guide,be sure to check out the Eating Thai Food Guide.

Getting There: Walk from Victory Monument to Thanon Rangnam. Walk all the way down the street until you almost reach the intersection with Ratchaprarop and Kuang Seafoods is on the left side of the street, opposite the petrol station.

One Day in Bangkok
Night in Yaowarat

9. Yaowarat Night Walk / Silom Nightlife

If you aren’t totally out of energy, Bangkok is still full of options for night activities.

Attractions in Bangkok

One of my favorite things to do in Bangkok is to head to Yaowarat  (Bangkok’s Chinatown) for some outstanding nighttime street food in a bustling atmosphere.

Getting There: Take the BTS to Silom station, transfer to the MRT and get off at Hua Lamphong, now you can either walk or take a tuk tuk to Yaowarat Road.

If you’re looking for more Bangkok nightlife, you may want to take the BTS to Silom station for some more street shopping and a chance to stop into a bar for a few drinks.

So there it is, a long one day in Bangkok – but you’ll come away with some incredible memories and hopefully a nice full stomach. Have fun!

Are you looking for accommodation in Bangkok? Click here to see a few of my personal suggestions for where to stay.



33 comments. I'd love to hear from you!

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  • Sandra

    6 months ago

    I am going to be in Bangkok from 3pm until 9am the following day want to see as much as I can in that very short time any suggestions thanks Sandra

  • Sheps Travels

    7 months ago

    Nice tips for a quick trip to Bangkok, there’s so much more to see here than people first realize. I especially like exploring the small inner city islands along the Chao Praya River too!

  • Julia

    10 months ago

    Hey Mark! You’re awesome! I’m a flight attendant based in Dubai, with a love for Southeast Asia. I’m a foodie like you, and I’m vegan, and I found you through your video of the vegetarian food court in Bangkok. Loved it! Looking forward to going there on my next trip.
    Keep up the inspiring work!!

    • Mark Wiens

      10 months ago

      Hi Julia, great to hear from you, glad you love Asian food as well. Hope you can check out the vegetarian food court next time you’re in Bangkok.

  • Richard Viau

    1 year ago

    Hi Mark, i discovered your web site a few days ago and been indulging myself since 🙂 My wife and me will be in BKK on the 12-13-14 Feb 2016, and would like to thank you very much for all your wonderful tips. It is our second visit to BKK, the last one was in 2014 and was unfortunately shortened by a snow storm in Tokyo on our way there that ended up costing us our 3 days in BKK. This time I hope we don’t get stuck in Tokyo, although we were lucky enough to spend 2 full days there and enjoyed this lucky break, it was cold and wet everywhere. and as a Canadian I did not need that 🙂

    This year our trip is taking us from BKK to Siem Reap, then off to Kuching then to Kuala Lumpur and a quick visit to Langkawi (1 day) and a return to BKK to fly away 2 weeks later 🙂

    I have watched your VLOG on Kuala Lumpur and will certainly take time to follow your precious tips, on food end sightseeing. This will also be our second visit to KL, and I’m certainly looking forward to it, KL is a fabulous place, (along with New York City), it is one place I love to go !

    Just a quick note, we want to go to the floating market (Khlong Lat Mayom) and altough your indication are good and clear the link at the bottom:

    (Getting There: Take the BTS Skytrain to Wang Wian Yai station. From there it’s easiest to jump in a taxi, ask the driver to take you to “Talad Nam Khlong Lat Mayom.” Should cost right around 100 THB for the ride. To make it easier, print off these directions.

    The link is broken, it does not work anymore.

    I am thinking about buying your Green T-Shirt and get it delivered at the hotel were we will be staying in BKK (sorry i won’t be able to stay in one of your recommendation as I had booked it all before discovering your Migrationology.com site) how can we arrange that?

    Thanks again for your fabulous web site, looking ahead for our time in BKK now that I have a lot of tips and pointers I feel much more confident.

    Au Revoir !!! 🙂

  • Brian

    2 years ago

    This article is exactly my cup of tea. We are stopping over Bangkok for a day, then head to Myanmar/Burma for a few days, then India. I believe I saw your videos and guide to India as well. But everything in this article is within distance from our hotel. Awesome!

    • Mark Wiens

      2 years ago

      Hey Brian, glad to hear that. Hope you have a wonderful tip to Bangkok and on to Myanmar and India. Enjoy!

  • shobhit

    2 years ago

    Hi mark ..thanks for all the information.. I am visiting Bangkok for 3 days in Jan 2015 with my wife…can you please help choose the best location to stay in bangkok.

    Thanks
    Shobhit

  • ann

    3 years ago

    Where are the Elephants?hehehe 🙂 ..We’re going to visit Bangkok in November this year and honestly we have no idea what to do aside from food trip..hehe…Thanks for this blog, it helps!!!..

    God bless you more!!!

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hey Ann, great to hear from you, glad you’re going to visit Bangkok soon. Let me know if you have any questions about your visit.

      • ann

        3 years ago

        Hmmmm praised God i can ask questions here for free..hehehe

        Seriously, I already printed this blog as our itinerary for day 1
        Any suggestion for day 2? We are coming as a group (5 girls)

        Thanks Mark!!God bless you more ^_^

        • Mark Wiens

          3 years ago

          Hey Ann, good to hear from you, glad this is helpful. Actually, though you could do all of this in one day, it would be a packed day, and I think it would be best to do this in 2 days, and then you can take your time and eat more things along the way. These are my top suggestions. Hope you have a wonderful time.

  • isabella Shaw

    3 years ago

    Just read this sounds good . There is big group of us who wld like to do this. We are docked in Laem Chabang. Cld you advise which way you would do the items on your list./
    We are going to hire a mini bus and don.t wont to be waste time. Your advise would be great as I am nervous about organising for all of us.

    Your reply wld be great

    Isabella

  • Wilmi

    3 years ago

    Hi Mark

    Thank you so much for this guide.

    My husband and I were in Bangkok from the 28/12/13 and left for Krabi on the 30/12/13.

    This was our first time in South East Asia and I am so happy that you shared your “to do list”.

    It was so strange walking around in a foreign country, following a complete strangers instructions. At times we looked at each other and said that it felt like you where walking around with us. It was a bit weird but wonderful! I loved that you included how to get there using public transport. It made us feel like locals.

    When people ask me about our trip I say that Bangkok was my favourite. (people always look very surprised)

    We live in Cape Town if you ever decide to visit the Western Cape we would love to return the favour.

    Regards

    Wilmi

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hey Wilmi, it’s great to hear from you and thank you very much for sharing, I really appreciate it. I’m so glad this helped you with your time in Bangkok! Would love to visit Cape Town someday, will definitely let you know, thank you!

  • Angie Lardizabal

    4 years ago

    Hi Mark..
    Just love ur page..very helpful…been to Bangkok a few times..still can’t get enough of it..will be visiting again in May..this time bringing along my son (1 year n 9 months old)..any suggestion?..planning to spend a Sunday visiting Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market for breakfast and continue to Chatuchak afterwards…do you think that’s possible? I mean how far are both places from each other. We’ll be renting a tour van since we are in a big group. Looking forward to your advice. By the way, keep up the good job..

    Regards..

    • Mark Wiens

      4 years ago

      Hey Angie, great to hear from you and glad you like Bangkok too! Khlong Lat Mayom is a great floating market, that’s a good choice. They are far, but on the weekend and with a van you can easily make it to both in the day. The drive between the two might take 1 – 1.5 hours, so not too bad. Other than that, you might check out Or Tok Kor Market (video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8ZVyPTYVEI) while you’re there too. Hope you have a great trip!

  • jy

    4 years ago

    hello there
    would like to know if it is safe as were first time in BKK this june with my friend as we arrived about 8pm in the airport.. were both girls…any recommended hotel not far from the airport?

    your reply will be very helpful… btw are you still in BKK?

    regards,
    Jy

  • Len

    5 years ago

    It is really inspiring me to visit Thailand someday. Going to Thailand is my first destination before others. I am there, when I read your article Mark. I hope to see new posts from Bangkok and anywhere you go. However, could you pls tell me what is the Victory Monument for? Why did they built it? Because generally , if one country build this kind of building, they might remind of sth such as success or winning.
    Thanks for your sharing , I love it.
    Hope to meet you someday there,
    from Cambodia

  • Joel Bruner

    5 years ago

    man, that picture from Ruam Thai near Ta Wang Lang…. oh man. Need to get there immediately! And then the Ultimate: Kuang Seafood.

    Awesome article man 🙂

    • Mark Wiens

      5 years ago

      Thanks man! I think a little Kuang would be in order… very soon.

  • Maria

    5 years ago

    Benjakiti Park looks like a ‘stay-cation’ – relax and take in the city, people watch, listen to birds… Ahhh!

    • Mark Wiens

      5 years ago

      Hehe, yes it really is a stay-cation place Maria!

  • Kaushik Pal

    5 years ago

    I would have loved to see you also mention about “Tom Yum” their soup that is prepared in various formats. I really loved them.
    Have travelled to BKK on business for over 15-20 times and I definitely admire it for being such a wonderful mix of tourism, shopper’s delight and food hunts.
    Highly recommend it for a 2N/3D tour or even more 😉

    – Kaushik

    • Mark Wiens

      5 years ago

      Hi Kaushik, thanks for checking this article out and for the comment! Yes, I also love tom yum soup – I have another blog where I cover lots of Thai food http://eatingthaifood.com/.
      Great to hear that you travel to Bangkok frequently, it’s a great city!
      Hope you are doing well and thanks for stopping by,
      Mark

  • Colleen

    5 years ago

    Another winner of an article. = ) Ready to go to Bangkok, now!