Looking for new things to do in Bangkok? Whether you’re a newbie on the backpacker scene, a Khao San Road veteran, or simply looking for something new to try in the sprawling, honking, and strangely infatuating metropolis that is Bangkok, it’s easy to mindlessly follow trends, guidebooks, or newfound hostel-friends to the various ‘must see’ locations. We’ve all done it, and to be fair it can sometimes be preferable to the effort of scoping out hidden gems alone. But Bangkok is an ever-changing city full of unexplored treasures, bars, markets, clubs and attractions opening their doors to visitors every single day. So we’re here to guide you in the direction of the latest trendy things to do! In no particular order, here’s our guide of awesome things to do in Bangkok.
Try a Bangkok Mule at SALT
And no, it’s not a particularly lively or smelly form of public transport. The Bangkok Mule consists of a combination of Mekhong rum, ginger ale, lemongrass, and brown sugar, delightfully served up in modern, hipster-esque decor and ‘old-fashioned’ style tumblers. A derivative of the infamous ‘Moscow Mule’, this catchy concoction and SALT bar/restaurant are relatively new to the emerging ex-pat populated district of Ari and promise not to disappoint. Possibly one of the more expensive things to do in Bangkok, but don’t let that put you off!
Take a Trip to the Erawan Museum
With gates guarded by a giant three-headed elephant, this museum and its eerie psychedelic interior were literally conceived in a dream. The man who designed it dreamt about building it, and so the designs follow his dreamlike, wacky vision. Sounds a bit trippy, right? That’s because it is. Think carnival mirror-room meets the Warhol museum in Amsterdam. Definitely worth a visit and one of our best things to do in Bangkok!
Thrift Shop at Rod Fai Market
Although this market situated near Chatuchak is well-known, there’s no predicting what you’ll find here. There’s nothing more hipster than thrift-shopping in a market where everything from second-hand Japanese anime figurines to an actual vintage Mustang is up for grabs. You might even consider swapping your beard for some of the funky, unique and downright crazy things on offer here! Also referred to as the ‘Train Market’ due to its original proximity to the train line.
Try Outdoor Samba at the Riverside
Pom Phra Sumen in downtown Bangkok offers free cardio & great craic in the form of surprisingly advanced-level outdoor samba classes by the fort. Classes take place near the riverside and are frequented predominantly by local old ladies, but open to everyone. Every evening from 7 pm – be prepared to shake up your evening routine! Incidentally, you will find the Mad Monkey Hostel in Rambuttri village, just a short skip and a jump from here.
Pop Up to the Penis Shrine
Yup. You heard correctly. Our Bangkok guide wouldn’t be complete without details of the shrine dedicated to the various shapes and sizes of phallic memorabilia that many Asian countries are so mystically fascinated with. In honor of the female spirit Chao Mae Tubtim who is said to live there, rumor has it that long ago a woman who could not get pregnant asked for a child here. 9 months later she gave birth. Wear protection (just kidding).
Learn Muay Thai
Muay Thai is Thailand’s traditional martial art. Akin to boxing, it is a hugely popular sport amongst locals. Whether you’re sporty & competitive or not, it’s a great way to spend an afternoon, get a workout, while also really immersing yourself in the Thai culture! There are numerous training schools around Bangkok, some of which focus more on the recreational side and catering to tourists than others. Off the Path has some great recommendations, yet you might want to ask in your hostel for the closest place to you for value and to ensure you’re getting exactly what you want for your baht!
Catch a Movie at the Paragon Cineplex
While many of us Westerners flock to the cinema to pass a rainy day, it’s often the opposite in Thailand. Especially hot days see cinemas packed out to escape the sweltering heat, and with both English and subtitled movies on show here there’s no reason not to enjoy the latest blockbusters and take a breather as you explore Bangkok. Paragon Cineplex is among the best theatres in the city.
Shop for Your Meal & Have it Cooked Before Your Eyes
You Hunt, We Cook is a unique new dining idea at Siam Paragon which sees customers shop for their own ingredients in a supermarket, and then have their meal prepared freshly for them in store. Whether you want to eat in or take it away, You Hunt We Cook is definitely a fresh approach to the more traditional ‘Deli’ counters we’ve become accustomed to in the West. Worth a gander even just to change up your usual lunch routine.
Dance to Alternative DJ beats at Studio Lam
Attracting some of the world’s most alternative DJ’s, Studio Lam on Sukhumvit Soi 51 is an emerging staple to Bangkok’s hipster bar scene. A different DJ and nationality on the decks almost every night of the week, there’s sure to be something of interest to any music and beer-enthusiasts in this orientally-decorated club. Highly recommended, though this Bangkok guide found it hard to choose between various alt DJ spots to include!
Dine in the Dark
This fascinating concept where diners agree to be either blindfolded or guided to eat in complete darkness has recently expanded past Europe and into Southeast Asia. Initially intended as a means to heighten the other senses by removing that of sight, many restaurants (including Bangkok’s DID on the Sukhumvit Road) now donate money for every diner to charities which help the blind. Not the cheapest dining option by far, but definitely a great experience to have with a group!
More Information About the Top Things to see and do in Bangkok
Did you love this article about the top things to see and do in Bangkok? Do you want even more information on how to spend your vacation in the City of Angels? Then check out these articles we have rounded up for your reading pleasure.
- 50 Things to see and do in Bangkok, Thailand by Kelly Iverson for Decorated Passport
- Bangkok, Thailand: a Complete Backpacker’s Guide to the Capital by Kelly Iverson and Stephanie Mayo for Mad Monkey Hostels
- Things To Do In Bangkok: 4 Day Itinerary for NomadicMatt
- A complete guide to Bangkok travel by Urban Adventures
- How to Spend One Day in Bangkok, Thailand by Kelly Iverson for Culture Trip