Things to Do

Your comprehensive guide to the best things to do in Bangkok

Neilson Hays Library reveals a new old look following its biggest-ever restoration since 1921
News

Neilson Hays Library reveals a new old look following its biggest-ever restoration since 1921

“Something old, something new” seems to be what the post-renovation Neilson Hays Library is all about. 

8 a.m.
Art

8 a.m.

Not that novice photographer Thamarong Wanarithikul is placing himself above all men; it just so happened that on the way to work one day along the pedestrian overpass, his idly pointing camera lens ranging over the road below came across some workmen in the back of a pick-up truck.

Kawita Vatanajyankur to perform Knit live performance at the Peninsula Bangkok for Bangkok Art Biennale
News

Kawita Vatanajyankur to perform Knit live performance at the Peninsula Bangkok for Bangkok Art Biennale

The artist is going to portray what happens when incompatible forces participate in the performance space which will bring together the producer (the artist) and the consumers (the audience) to represent the society.

There is one less way to get to ICONSIAM
News

There is one less way to get to ICONSIAM

ICONSIAM, the city’s newest riverside shopping complex, is packed with cool new stores and eateries. It’s been receiving tons of visitors on a daily basis, causing migraine-inducing traffic on both the roads and the river.

The historic East Asiatic Building is now open to the public to showcase Bangkok Art Biennale art works
News

The historic East Asiatic Building is now open to the public to showcase Bangkok Art Biennale art works

It has always been there, precisely at the riverfront location next to Mandarin Oriental Hotel, but you probably never noticed it as it’s never been open to the public—until now! 

Sights and attractions in Bangkok

Bangkok best attractions
Attractions

Bangkok best attractions

We'll call it right now: Bangkok is one of the most vibrant cities in the world. A curious mix of old and new, and East meets West, Bangkok asaults the senses with its majestic sights, exotic destinations, flavorful cuisine and exhilarating nightlife. This city has some of the best restaurants in Asia, the grandest temples and the most energizing massages this side of the world. There are too many sights to be seen, food to be eaten, and merriment to be made. We zone in on the most memorable experiences this exuberant city has to offer. 

Devasathan & the Giant Swing
Attractions

Devasathan & the Giant Swing

Standing in City Hall square, the Giant Swing (Sao Ching Cha) was originally erected in 1784 as part of the adjacent Devasathan, a Brahmin compound of shrines to Shiva, Ganesha and Vishnu. The Brahmin priests based here still officiate at royal and other official ceremonies (although no longer at the Brahmin New Year rite). In the past, a ceremony, meant to celebrate an exploit of the god Shiva, would require four brave men to swing from this lofty red frame to grab at pouches of coins. However, due to fatal casualties, the ritual stopped in the 1930s. The poles were erected in 1919 by the Louis T Leonowens Company to honour of the son of Anna Leonowens (the contentious governess in The King and I and a teacher in the Siamese court of King Rama IV). In 2006, the rickety timbers were replaced by the structure you see today

The Grand Palace & Wat Phra Kaew
Attractions

The Grand Palace & Wat Phra Kaew

The Grand Palace Bangkok's paramount must-see sight is this architectural and spiritual treasure, which is twice as dazzling if you see it on a sunny day. Ignore the gem touts claiming 'it's shut', and immerse yourself in the palace's palpable dignity (while observing the ban on sandals, shorts and bare shoulders). Nearly two kilometers of walls with lotus-shaped crenellations enclose what was once a self-contained city of throne halls, royal chambers, servants' quarters, ministries and a prison. Built in 1782, it was modified by each Chakri king. It now only gets ceremonial use, but remains the kingdom's holiest landmark. Allow at least a two-hour visit. Wat Phra Kaew Wat Phra Sri Rattana Sasadaram, better known as Wat Phra Kaew, is the temple of the Emerald Buddha, the palladium of Thai independence. Modelled on royal chapels in Sukhothai and Ayutthaya, and embellished to an astonishing degree, it omits monastic living quarters since there are no resident monks.

Time Out says
5 out of 5 stars
Wat Arun
Attractions

Wat Arun

Seen on the TAT logo and 10-baht coin, this five-spired landmark has been known as the 'Temple of Dawn' ever since the soon-to-be King Taksin landed by the then Wat Magog at sunrise in October 1767. Briefly home to the Emerald Buddha, Wat Arun features a pair of yaksa (giant) statues, ceramic gables and 120 Buddha images. Don't rush a visit on a canal tour. Instead, access the temple via the public ferry from Tha Tien, and wander the temple grounds for as long as you wish.

Time Out says
5 out of 5 stars