Fun things to do in Bangkok
During your month of training at ISM you will have the opportunity on weekends and during the week as part of our schedule to experience a few of the highlights in the amazing city of Bangkok. Here are some of our favorite activities!
• Ancient City (Muang Boran) This is on our ISM calendar!
This is a large, green park with smaller replicas of many of the monuments, etc., found throughout Thailand. There are Thai restaurants, a mini-market area, and souvenirs all set up in models of Thai villages. With the admission price, you get to use a bike that you can ride around to see and take pictures. You can also pay about $5 per hour to rent a golf cart, which makes the experience even more fun!
• Dinner Cruise on the Chao Praya River
While you can find cheaper cruises, if you want a really peaceful and excellent dinner experience, we recommend Manohra Cruises. For approximately 1500THB, you get a lovely set Thai menu delivered restaurant style to your table on an old rice barge boat that holds a max of maybe 30 people.
• Flight of the Gibbons
This is a zip line experience through the jungle. We’ve never been, but everyone we know who has gone, loved it!
• Floating Market
There are several, most of which cater to tourists. Some are just regular markets with a few vendors in boats, while others allow tourists the chance to get into boats themselves, which is worth the trouble getting there for the novelty. We have been to one called Damnoen Saduak Floating Market. Expect to barter for a boat and guide.
• Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew – This is on our ISM Calendar
The palace has been the official residence of the Kings of Siam (and later Thailand) since 1782. The king, his court and his royal government were based on the grounds of the palace until 1925. The present monarch, King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX), currently resides at Chitralada Palace, but the Grand Palace is still used for official events. Several royal ceremonies and state functions are held within the walls of the palace every year. You will learn so much about Thai culture and religion.
Wat Pho – This is on our ISM Calendar!
This is the Reclining Buddha. It is truly a sight to be seen – breathtakingly huge. It is near to the Grand Palace, so it is good to do both on the same day.
• Jim Thompson House
Tour a “traditional” Thai house with some Western twists and learn about the man behind the flourishing silk industry in Thailand – and his mysterious disappearance! There are truly beautiful gardens and buildings here!
Getting a massage is a popular tourist activity. However, you need to be very, very careful because many are covers for less-than- reputable activities. We recommend Baan Dalah Mind Body Spa, which is on Sukhumvit 8, right near the corner with the Indian restaurant. The price is fantastic, the atmosphere is lovely (many feel like cheap clinics – not this one!), and it is family-friendly. You can browse the menu on their website ahead of time.
Be aware that a traditional Thai massage includes stretches, cracking, etc. Some people love it, but other people actually hurt so much afterward that they are in pain for days. Just be aware, and don’t be afraid to ask them to go lighter and lighter. You can also get other types of massages.
River Taxi Ride o Take a River Taxi down the Chao Praya River in Bangkok! This is on our ISM Calendar!
This is a great way to get to the Grand Palace area.
Silom Thai Cooking School – an option on our ISM Calendar!
There are many Thai cooking schools in Bangkok, but this is the one we recommend. It is the cheapest, but also has a truly great and educational experience. For only 1000THB, you start at a market and learn about foods, then go back to the school to make five dishes that you also get to eat. You leave with a cookbook, too. Book ahead online.
This is a great stage show (every night) that is definitely worth your time!
You will see traditional Thai dancing, costumes and music used to show you stories that explain different elements of Thai culture, from history to religion to festivals. It is truly spectacular.
• Chatuchak Weekend Market o Also called “JJ Market,” Chatuchak is only open on Saturday and Sunday. It is a HUGE, fantastic weekend market with pretty much whatever you might need to find, as long as you’re willing to look for it. It may be better to go without an agenda and see what you find. You can buy a map to help you find your way! Bargain here.
• China Town – This is an outdoor market with lots of stalls crammed close together. It is definitely an experience! Sometimes you have to buy things in bulk. If you know where to look, you can find beautiful fabrics, delicious food, and lots of other stuff. Bargain here.
• MBK – This big mall is like an indoor market. It is full of stalls with vendors. It is huge, but fun, and a lot cooler than the hot outdoor markets! Bargain in most places. There are some ‘proper’ stores here, too, where you usually don’t bargain.
• Panthip Plaza – This is a massive indoor market of just computer things. If you are “into” techie things, you may enjoy this.
This is the mall with all of the big designer expensive stores. It’s fun to window shop and has a massive food court on the basement level.
Terminal 21 – It is designed to be like an airport, which is so cool! Also, each floor is decorated like a different city, including the bathrooms and the staff! More expensive stores are at entry level, and the higher you go, the more market-like it gets. Definitely worth visiting just to see how creative it is!
Mega Bangna- near ISM – beautiful new mall with a very western feel.
There are many, many other malls around town. These are just a few of the highlights!
Food – Restaurants – too many amazing restaurants to name them all!
• Akiyoshi o Japanese just off BTS Phra Khanong (Sukhumvit Soi 67)
• Beirut – Lebanese food – Ploen Chit Plaza, Sukhumvit Soi 2 • Bourbon Street
Creole & Mexican – Tuesdaynight buffet o Sukhumvit Soi 63 aka Soi Ekkamai, near Soi 1
• Crepes and Co. o Lunch and Dessert Crepes o Sukhumvit Soi 55 Thonglor 8
• Flying Chicken – If you order the flying chicken, a man on a unicycle will catch your dinner on his head on a plate as he flies through the air. Sometimes they do it with veggies, too, and catch it with a poker. Other than this feature, it’s a pretty average restaurant, but the flying thing makes it worth going! Near ISM
* Bangna Trat • Ma-Cool-Ya – Your table has a grill in the center and you cook anything you want from an unlimited selection of meat, vegetables, etc. You can even make your own ice cream at the end!
* At Seacon Square mall • Olivie’ Cafe Dinner “buffet” where you can order as much food as you can eat off the menu- pizza, pasta, etc.
* At Paradise Park and Terminal 21 malls • Royal Dragon Thai food is served to you by waiters on roller-skates. There is also a short cultural dance in the evening.
* Bangna Trat • Scoozis – Italian-stylepizza
• Starbucks – Starbucks are almost everywhere here. Almost every mall will have one, and several plazas do, as well.
• Sunrise Tacos – Equivalent to Qdoba/Chipotle – Several locations downtown
Food – Delivery
• ChefsXP.com – You can order from a variety of types of restaurants downtown. They will deliver it on a motorbike for about $2 delivery charge. Delivery depends on your distance from the restaurant and the traffic. They say it takes an hour, and on average, it usually does.
• McDonalds – You can order drinks and ice-creams and everything! This is definitely
something you should do once, just to say you did!
• KFC • Pizza Hut • Pizza Company (Similar to Pizza Hut) • Swenson’s (Ice Cream)