Bangkok is the number one place which most travellers start their South East Asia trips. The capital of Thailand offers a lot that many travellers sometimes miss due to them being in such a rush to visit other places. Although it doesn’t have the golden sand beaches of the islands or the spectacular mountain views of the north, Bangkok still has a lot to offer. For this Bangkok Itinerary 4 days is ideal, but if you can stretch your time in Bangkok to 5 days or even a week I would recommend this.
Bangkok Itinerary 4 Days
Day 1 – Grand Palace, Wat Pho and Wat Arun
Personally, the first place you’ll need to visit is the Grand Palace! The palace is an architectures dream and is quite incredible. Wandering around the grounds of the palace allow you to appreciate the beautiful design. Although a little overpriced at 500THB per entry, the Royal Palace is a grand symbol of Thai Monarchism.
Bangkok has temples located practically everywhere around the city. My favourite was Wat Pho – the Temple of the reclining Buddha. This temple was quite different from the other temples which seem to all be the same and become quite repetitive. Wat Pho is another vast complex, with many corridors, stupas, statues and a beautiful garden. The reclining Buddha is a whopping 15m tall for 46m long, all covered in gold!
Next, head across the river to Wat Arun (Temple of the Dawn) and get stellar views of the city from atop the temple. Visiting the temple is an incredible experience, especially if you climb to the top of the pagoda. A warning here, the starts are steep and 67m high! BUT the view from the top is simply stunning! If you have more time on your hands, you could split this into Grand Palace and Wat Pho on one day and then Wat Arun and maybe another interesting spot such as Lumphini park.
Like most of your time in Bangkok, the night time will be spent on Khao San Road. Here, you can get tasty food, buy some authentic Thai souvenirs or party away to your heart is content!
Day 2 – Floating Market Tour
A proper introduction to Thai culture and the old way of living is taking a tour of a floating market – make sure you get to see a real one, not a tourist trap. The tour I chose is called “A Perfect Floating Market Day” with TakeMeTour. During the visit, you get to have in-depth experience in the Thai way of life. You get to see how people trade on the banks of the canals, the constant cooking of Thai food, and much more! You’ll even get the chance to cook with some locals and learn how to cook the best Thai food ever. You can also book online with GetYourGuide.
The tour will take up much of your day, so there won’t be many sights seeing on day 2.
Day 3 – Bangkok Chinatown
Typically, I always find Chinatowns in most cities are a big let down and never worth going. However, the one in Bangkok is entirely different! If you want to have some of the best food you’ll ever taste, then this is the place to be. I’ve never really been a big fan of Chinese food, but when I come here, I make sure I arrive very hungry!
Chinatown is a different world, especially if you venture yourself beyond Yaowarat Road. The key is to give yourself plenty of time for you to be able to explore all the different streets and alleys.
Beyond Yaowarat Road, you’ll be able to explore all the different shops, delicious food on offer and even visit the temples they have here. Arrive in Chinatown before 5:00 PM and visit the Wat Traimit Temple, there you can see a giant gold Buddha standing 3 meters wide and 3.91 meters tall. It’s beautiful!
One of my favourite memories in Bangkok is going on a river cruise during the evening time. If you are looking for something more romantic on your first time in Bangkok, go on a private longtail cruise. The best place to catch a cruise is at the Sathorn-Taksin Pier [Central Pier], there you will find many boats waiting for tourists. Here you’ll be able to take a cruise around Bangkok by water and enjoy an all you can eat buffet and onboard entertainment!
Day 4 – Khao San Road
You can’t say you’ve been to Bangkok until you’ve been able to explore Khao San Road. In the day time, the market is bustling with locals and tourists alike. While walking around be prepared to be inundated with vendors coming up to you regularly. The cool thing about the market is that you’ll be able to buy anything you would want!
I prefer Khao San Road in the night time. At night time, the bars stretch their tables and chairs over the street, and Khao San Road turns into a big party.
Insiders tip for you: Be sure to visit Brick Bar, the hidden-away Thai ska bar where only locals go.
There are other little things you can while in Bangkok, like visit one of its many roof-top bars which offer some great views across the city. Or you may want to go and visit a Thai Boxing match and get to grips with why it’s such a massive sport in Thailand.
I prefer to go and visit as many local food vendors as much as I possibly can. There are loads of different vendors on random street corners making food and offering it out at incredibly low prices.
More than 4-5 Days? Try these add ons and Day Trips
Shopping – Asiatique and Siam
There are more great destinations to explore in Bangkok. If you fancy a spot of shopping, head to Asiatique and also Siam. Be prepared – the metro could be busy and the shopping centres near Siam are on another level!
If you would like to explore a park in Bangkok, head to Lumphini Park. But BEWARE! There are giant monitor lizards in that lake – some visit just for that reason!
Day Trips from Bangkok
If you find that you have even more spare time in Bangkok, then day trips to another close by Thai cities are a great option. Two I would recommend are Samut Prukan the Ancient City and also the ancient capital of Thailand – Ayutthaya. Both make for an incredible day out and offer something incredibly authentic. There’s also the floating markets which are a popular day trip for tourists.
Samut Prakan – The Ancient City
An excellent day trip from Bangkok is Samut Prakan known as the ancient city (Mueang Boran). It is one of the world’s largest outdoor museums and features a 200-acre city with 109 scaled-down copies of Thailand’s most famous monuments and architectural attractions.
Ayitthaya is the ancient capital and there are many day trips to Ayutthaya from Bangkok with travel companies. However, it is possible to do as a day trip from Bangkok if you get up early. Another option is to stay one night the night before and enjoy some food at the night market. You should spend a full day around some of the amazing temples of Ayutthaya. Don’t miss Wat Mahatat with the famous Buddha head in the Bodhi tree and Wat Chawattanaram. You can read more about an Ayutthaya day trip from Bangkok here.
More Floating Markets
Many tour operators do a trip to a range of floating markets where local fruit and veg sellers are operating their retail outlet from their boat! There are actually 6 floating markets around Bangkok…
- Damnoen Saduak Floating Market.
- Amphawa Floating Market.
- Taling Chan Floating Market.
- Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market.
- Bang Nam Pheung Floating Market.
- Tha Kha Floating Market.
Damnoen Saduak is the most popular one that most of the tours seem to include.
If you enjoyed this ‘Bangkok Itinerary 4 Days’ then you also might like to read our Chiang Mai itinerary. Chiang Mai is an excellent Northern destination popular with tourists and digital nomads. it has an abundance of temples, restaurants, bars and co-working spaces.