1. MORNING - Discover Old Bangkok
The best time to see Bangkok’s big attractions is definitely the morning. Firstly, the earlier you come, the less busy it’s going to be. Secondly, a morning stroll around a temple is much more comfortable than during the day, when temperatures are often unbearably hot.
With only a few hours in the morning for sightseeing, we recommend you head to the Old City. This area – located in the northwest of the city and next the river – is where you’ll find most of Bangkok’s must-see attractions. Start off at the magnificent Grand Palace (opens at 08:30), before heading to the adjacent Wat Pho to see the famous reclining Buddha. If you’re not completely templed-out after this, make the short hop over the river to see Wat Arun; this ancient temple is much smaller and only needs 30-60 minutes to check out. If you need a break from all the culture, take a breezy longtail or ferry up or down the Chao Phraya River, or head to the Old City’s bustling Chinatown.
2. AFTERNOON - Cool down at the malls
By now you’ve probably worked up a bit of a sweat, so it’s time to escape the air-conditioned haven of a shopping mall. For some with only one day in Bangkok, the idea of browsing a mall might seem like a waste of time, but the shopping scene here – particularly around Siam – is something quite spectacular. Big names like CentralWorld and Siam Paragon offer hundreds and hundreds of shops and so much more, including excellent restaurants, cinemas, rooftop bars, galleries and exhibitions.
If you’re in Siam, we also recommend you the loveable MBK for some deals on fashion, electronics and everything in between. Other than that, you can easily jump on the BTS Skytrain from Siam and head to the funky Terminal 21 (at Asok Station) or explore the stunning new EmQuartier shopping complex (at Phrom Phong Station). The total journey time along the tracks is just 10-15 minutes.
3. EVENING – Get a bird’s eye view from a rooftop
You’ve done the sights and you’ve done the malls – now time for a bit of rest and relaxation with some evening drinks and dinner. But don’t settle for the norm; with only one day in Bangkok, make the most of your time and head to a rooftop bar above the city.
Finding a decent rooftop bar in Bangkok is not difficult – the city is full of them! For high-end, hit up one of the classics like Vertigo (at Banyan Tree Hotel) or Sky Bar (at Lebua). To make your money go a bit further, check out Cloud 47 in Silom, Octave at Marriot Hotel Sukhumvit or Above Eleven (Sukhumvit Soi 11). All guarantee fantastic views – just don’t forget to wear long trousers and closed shoes (which will also prepare you for the night ahead…)
4. NIGHT - Check those famous streets!
The sun has gone down. You’re in Bangkok for one night. It’s time to hit some of the streets that have put Bangkok on the world map when it comes to partying.
For guys looking for a good time (couples and girls are welcome too), the obvious starting point would be Nana and/or Soi Cowboy. Both are pretty close to each other on Sukhumvit Road, and both offer pretty much the same thing: girls, girls and more girls. Things here normally warm up from around 20:00 onwards. For the backpackers – or just anybody wanting some anything-goes fun in the company of other travelers, the famous Khao San Road is the answer, with its dozens of street side bars and clubs. For the hardcore clubbers that don’t mind dressing up and mingling with the locals, head to Royal City Avenue (RCA) for back-to-back clubs playing dance music into the early hours.
5. WHERE TO STAY?
Now we’ve given you the lowdown of what to do with your one day in Bangkok, the only question left is ‘where do I stay?’
We can help out on that front too, with our huge inventory of hotels across the capital, from 500-baht-a-night guesthouses, to luxurious five-star riverside retreats.
We have organized them into many different niche categories, from the best luxury and budget hotels, to hotels organized by area and type. Find some inspiration below, and don’t forget you can book a night’s stay directly using the links provided to each hotel.