Where to go in Bangkok if you only have three days? Here’s our guide on things to do. Hint: it includes Wat Arun!
Tha Thien Pier
Begin your whirlwind visit at Tha Thien Pier, the gateway to some of the most important landmarks in Bangkok. A short walk through the historic and bustling Tha Tien market will take you to Wat Pho. This religious monument is said to be the largest and oldest monastery in Bangkok; here, you can feast your eyes upon the world-famous golden Reclining Buddha, the largest in the country.
Beat the traffic and explore Bangkok through its winding network of khlong (canals). These historic canals are quintessential to the local way of life and are a fun, inexpensive way to get around the city.
Journey through Khlong Mon, Khlong Bangkok Yai or Khlong Bangkok Noi to see the quiet, rustic villages where locals live and children play by the water. You can even savour local coffee and grab delicacies like boat noodles from floating vendors as you sail by.
To experience Bangkok’s khlong, charter a long-tail boat (hang yao), available at major tourist piers like Chang or Maharaj pier. Tours are personalised to groups of six to eight people at no fixed prices, but an hour or so should cost no more than 1,500 to 1,800 baht in total.
Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn)
While on the river, admire Wat Arun, a majestic Buddhist temple located on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River in the Thonburi neighbourhood.
Locally known as Wat Chaeng, the riverside temple shines with colourful spires and rows of gilded Buddhist statues. When completely lit up at sunset, it makes for a truly breathtaking sight. Take in the view from afar or climb the 79-metre central prang (tower) for a spectacular city view.
Three days in Bangkok gives you enough time to enjoy the city’s culture and nightlife. Soi Rambuttri is the less touristy, laid-back neighbor to the popular Khao San Road. This street is shaded by leafy fronds and wandering along its brick-coloured path takes you to authentic local food at local prices and snazzy street bars at nightfall.
Penthai Food is a must-try for incredible value, fresh local produce and delicious traditional Thai food. In the evening, check out the jungle-themed Madame Musur for some great cocktails and northern Thai cuisine.
Other attractions along Soi Rambuttri include makeshift massage stands to rest your weary feet, local Muay Thai gyms where champions are groomed and loads of street food you can snack on. A visit is sure to add some truly authentic flavour to your three-day Bangkok itinerary.
Phra Arthit Road
Also on the shortlist of where to go in Bangkok is the historic yet vibrant Phra Athit Road. This shophouse-lined neighbourhood boasts a tranquil riverside park built around an ancient fort. Phra Sumen Fort is one of only two remaining forts built to protect the Royal Palace nearby and offers a picturesque setting to appreciate the city’s history.
Here, you will also find an eclectic mix of cafes, bars and shops that locals and tourists alike frequent. After a programme-packed couple of days, enjoy the live music and great vibe that the bars on Phra Arthit exude.