A place where over 8 million people call home, and spend their lives in the warm, welcoming “sabai sabai” Thai way of life, you’ll quickly find that Bangkok is a magical oasis for solo travellers on a mission for adventure.
From sky trains to water taxis, this is one of the few cities in the world where you can walk just about anywhere or hop on public transportation without worrying about getting too lost or putting yourself in a sticky situation.
Come for the temples and stay for the food! That’s what usually ends up happening in this ancient foodie city.
There's an adventure for every budget and every interest. Come discover yours.
1. Visit The Grand Palace & Wat Prakeaw
What used to be the home of the King Rama I and his harem, guarded by combat-trained female sentries, is now the most popular tourist attraction in Bangkok. Prepare to spend hours exploring this royal compound with over 100 golden buildings featuring over 200 years of royal and governmental history.
Head to the Outer Court where you’ll find the main attraction- The Emerald Buddha (Wat Prakeaw). With French-inspired structures, ancient thrones and sparkling rooftops, the entire scene is purely captivating. Hire a guide inside the walls to get the full story.
Entrance Fee: 500 Baht
Open: Daily 8:30am- 3:30pm
Location: Khao San Area
Address: Na Phra Lan Road, Old City near Khao San Road
2. Tour the Amphawa Floating Market
There are 5 floating markets in Bangkok; Amphawa being our top pick for the perfect balance of humans to stalls. In other words, less crowded than others and more space for you to explore. Here’s how it works: boat vendors offering soups, grilled meat, coconuts, beverages and more paddle to you along the board walk. You’ll be given a tiny stool to enjoy your treats while you gaze out at the mesmerizing sights.
When you’ve had enough to eat, take an hour-long boat tour along the river, which stops to visit temples and a zany petting zoo; rent a bicycle to tour the town; shop til you drop with plenty of clothing and souvenir stalls; or stay until nightfall to go firefly watching on the river. All of these activities will be available to arrange once you show up to the market- just keep your eye out for ad signs.
PS. Boat tours are 50 baht per person in the public tour or 500 baht for a private tour.
Entrance Fee: Free
Open: Friday – Sunday 8:00am-7:00pm
Location: Amphawa- 50km from Bangkok
3. Explore the Botanical Gardens
Sri Nakhon Khuean Khan Botanical Garden is Bangkok's hidden treasure. Escape the city for some fresh air in what is called “The Lungs of Bangkok”. There, you can rent a bike and explore park after park nestled amongst groves of palm trees, aquatic plants, botanical gardens, and ponds filled with wildlife. Wooden bridges and a tall tower offer spectacular views- so bring your camera.
Also accessible by bike, explore the Incense & Herbal House or the Fighting Fish Gallery. Not many tourists know about this park so enjoy the open space- open everyday from 6am-8pm.
How to Get There: Take a water taxi to Klong Toey Pier & rent a bike from there
4. Wander Chatuchak Weekend Market
Clear your schedule for the day, lather on the sunscreen, and prepare to shop til you drop! JJ Weekend Market is the biggest outdoor shopping market that you ever did see. Handmade purses, vintage records, essential oil infused soaps, souvenirs in bulk- you’re about to hit the jackpot. This market is divided into sections- some with clothing, some with high-end & handmade leather bags, some with furniture, some with animals…anything and everything you could want can be found at Chatuchak.
If you see something you like and think, “Oh, I’ll come back for it later”- you won’t. You’re going to get lost in in the winding corridors of stalls and restaurants, but if you shop with a ‘life is short’ attitude and you’ll have no regrets. Chatuchak closes around 5pm, but attached, you’ll find JJ Green market kicking off around that time with live music, good food, and of course, more shopping.
Open: Friday 6:00pm - Midnight / Saturday & Sunday 9:00am - 6:00pm
How to Get There: BTS Mo Chit (Exit 1) or MRT Kamphaeng Phet (Exit 2) or Take a taxi from Khao San
Pro Tip 2: Getting off at MRT Chatuchak is actually a super inconvenient walk!
5. Get a Thai Massage
While you can consider Thai Massage as a form of relaxation, it’s actually a centuries old spiritual practice. You’ll be bent like a pretzel, squeezed like a lemon and walked on like a pretty little doormat- but it feels so good in the end. Thai massage releases toxins from your body and leaves you feeling like a new, more flexible, woman. No oils here, in fact, you’ll be provided clothing to wear during the process. You’ll see Thai massage parlors everywhere!
Price: Starting at around $6 USD / 200 baht per hour
6. Take a Thai Cooking Class
“Oh, here’s just a little something I learned how to whip up while in Thailand”. This cooking class is great for anyone with just a few days to spend in Bangkok! When you sign up with the renowned 'Cooking with Poo and Friends' they’ll pick you up at the conveniently located meeting point- Emporium Sweets next to BTS Prom Pong at 8:30am- where you’ll be whisked away with your Thai chefs to shop in the local morning market to buy all of the ingredients you’ll be cooking with that day. You’ll learn how to prepare a 4-course Thai meal and then…you get to eat it. Win-win. Book ahead via their website!
When: Daily! 8:30am – 1:00pm
Price: 1,500 baht / $45 USD per person
Location: Klong Toey Slum (not as scary as it sounds, I promise)
7. Visit a Cat Cafe
In my next life, I want to be a cat at Caturday Cat Café. All day, these cats get to lounge around on humans’ tables, chase feathery toys, eat healthy treats, get lots of love- and when they’ve had enough, nap in skyscraping cat towers. Meanwhile, the humans sip on Matcha Tea Frappes and eat wasabi french-fries. There’s no minimum fee or any rush to push the human guests out the door. Meow.
Open: Daily 12pm-9pm
How to Get There: BTS Ratchathewi (Exit 2)
Address: 115 Phayathai Rd
8. Go on a Bangkok Bike Tour
Some of the best Bangkok adventures are not available by foot. After all, this city is massive. But on two wheels, you can access off-the-beaten path temples, small-town neighborhoods, and rural pockets of the city that would otherwise be unreachable. Link up with the amazing crew at ‘Follow Me Bike Tour’ for an unforgettable local experience. There are tons of bike tours to choose from including jungle tours, street food tours, night tours and more. Tours range from 4-8 hours with entertaining guides and all gear provided.
When: Daily! Times depend on the tour!
Price: Starting at 1,300 baht / $40 USD per person
Location: Sathorn Soi 9, 126 (33/6)Visit followmebiketour.com
9. Have a Seafood Dinner in China Town
Chinatown is the place to be for fantastic seafood at backpacker prices. My go-to place? T&K Seafood. This bustling establishment is hard to miss with their sprawling row of charcoal grills slowly cooking whole salted fish and juicy prawns. You’ll notice the staff in bright green shirts, hustling hard to cater to every table. They’ve got an English menu with pictures so you can order to your heart’s desire. Remember: it’s Chinatown so plan to share!
Open: Daily 4:30PM–2AM
How to Get There: Take a taxi to Chinatown (Yaowarat)
Address: 49-51 Soi Phadung Dao, Yaowarat Rd, Bangkok (corner of Yaowarat Road and Soi Phadung Dao)
10. Have a Skybar Cocktail
‘Holy shit’ is the only way to describe Bangkok’s #1 sky bar- Octave. The 360 ° view of BKK’s city skyline, the playful EDM beats, the breezy sunset- it all feels so surreal and euphoric at the same time. Happy Hour is everyday from 5-7pm with killer cocktails for 220 baht. You can easily snag a table if you show up at 5pm, but reserving a table ahead of time is a smart move, too. FYI: there is a dress code. Come looking polished instead of wearing your elephant pants.
Open: Daily 5pm-2am
Happy Hour: Daily 5-7pm
How to Get There: Thong Lor BTS – Exit 3- Rooftop of the Marriot Hotel
Address: 57 Sukhumvit Rd, Klongtan-Nua
For the ultimate guide to Bangkok, download 'A Girl in Bangkok: The Solo Girl's Travel Guide'