How to explore Bangkok Solo - The Good Obeserver Blog

4 Things To Do In Bangkok Alone

Bangkok is not what you think it is. Even if you’ve been to Asia before, Bangkok will still be nothing like what you would expect. But let me tell you, exploring Bangkok solo will blow your mind and it will make you question everything you know about ways of living. In this blog post, I will tell you the absolute must-try 4 things to do in Bangkok alone – trust me you won’t regret them!

This city caused me an immediate culture shock as soon as I arrived. My senses were super receptive and embracing new colours, scents, sounds, flavours and textures I’d never seen and felt before!

If the above sounds good to you, keep reading.

Things to do in Bangkok

The first thing you will notice is how modern this city is! But still, it’s nothing like a city you’ve ever seen before. You will be surprised to see the contrast between traditional Thai houses and amazing ancient temples next to the tall state-of-the-art commercial buildings and shopping malls. If that doesn’t sound intriguing enough, try to imagine a city divided in two by a long river called Chao Phraya and most of the most famous temples sitting exactly by the river.

#1 Visit the Temples

How to explore Bangkok solo - Grand Palace
Grand Palace, Bangkok

There are so many temples in Bangkok, I don’t think you could avoid seeing them even if you wanted to. The most amazing one is the Temple of the Emerald Buddha located at the Grand Palace. The Emerald Buddha would wear a different outfit based on the season of the year (hot, cool, wet) which is changed by His Majesty The King. The Grand Palace itself tells you a lot about the local culture and the history of Thailand so make sure it’s on your list.

There are other amazing temples to visit and you can do that by just getting a one-day ferry ticket because as mentioned previously you will be able to see most of the temples from the river. One of these temples is Wat Arun. You will notice a lot of signs including “Wat” because it means temples. Wat Arun is unmissable from the ferry, as it’s 70 meters tall and it’s absolutely one of Bangkok’s most beautiful landmarks both day and night.

#2 Explore China Town

China Town, Bangkok
4 things to do in Bangkok alone. China Town market in Bangkok
China Town Market, Bangkok

Bangkok’s Chinatown is absolutely the place to be. You will never have a clue about what’s going on around you; what is sold at the market and what everyone is eating. Because for sure everyone is eating, that’s a constant you will see everywhere. It’s total chaos, but beautiful chaos of words, food, colours, traffic, cats without tails and monks with their saffron robes. But that’s how it is, you don’t have to understand what’s going on, you can just be for once and absorb what you can.

#3 Go to the Mall, no seriously! Go to the Mall

Close your eyes and think about a shopping centre. Now erase everything you know about a shopping centre because in this city nothing is what you think it is.

In Bangkok, you go to a mall and find a river (yes, made of real water) with boats, and fast food stands I even found a huge Chinese dancing dragon held by 10 people followed by musicians playing traditional Chinese songs. My favourite is ICONSIAM.

#4 Book the Night Cruise

You will notice many night cruises on the river at night and assume it’s a tourist attraction. Again, wrong! When I went, I was the only non-Thai person on board. Locals absolutely love the night cruise and I totally get the hype. You would get a delicious buffet, amazing traditional music, dances and the most beautiful view ever – Bangkok with its lit-up temples and buildings at night! I know it will look cheesy when you see it but trust me, book your ticket!

Where to stay

4 things to do in Bangkok alone. Bedroom at the Shangri-La in Bangkok, Thailand
Shangri-La, Bangkok

When I visited Bangkok early this year, Thailand had really strict Covid restrictions, so although I really wanted to book some amazing hostels (see this post to check the best hostels in Thailand and in the world) I decided to play it safe and book 2 luxurious hotels. I totally fell in love with both of them.

  • Hilton Sukhumvit Bangkok – the rooms are spacious and beautiful. Incredible service and the restaurant/breakfast area is absolutely breathtaking as it’s right by the river. I enjoyed every moment there and never felt lonely even at dinner!
  • Shangri-La – I can’t brag enough about this place. All I can say is that I’ve never experienced anything like this. You enter the most luxurious hotel you can imagine and at the same time, you are part of a big family. You are welcomed from the minute you step into the door. Not because it’s their job but because they mean it. The location is perfect, not far from the Skytrain and you can even walk around quite easily reaching shopping centres, massage shops and nice food shops!

How to get around

#1 Ferry

For your most touristy days, I would suggest taking the ferry. It would cover most of the city’s attractions and it’s lovely when the weather is very hot. I took the Chao Phraya Express Boat. The ferry is mostly cash-only just so you know.

#2 Skytrain

The BTS Skytrain is an overground train which stops everywhere in the city and it’s the cleanest train I’ve ever seen. It has air conditioning and it’s incredibly easy and intuitive to use! I got a daily pass which I paid with my debit card.

#3 GrabCar (Thailand’s Uber)

Grab is the most important app you will need to download for this trip. It’s very similar to Uber so it’s your best friend when it comes to not only taxis but food delivery or grocery shopping too. GrabCar is easy to use and just like Uber all you need to do is upload your debit card details and you’re set!

#4 Tuk-Tuk

Tuk-tuks are fun but only if used the right way. You don’t want to sit in the Bangkok traffic melting and wishing you were on the ferry. Book your Tuk-tuk for an evening tour of the city or for a short trip on your way to the hotel when the sun goes down. Make sure you talk to a few of the drivers to understand how much the price would be, before saying yes to the first one and make sure you agree on the price before getting on (also it’s cash-only!).

Where to eat

Food in Bangkok is absolutely delicious so be brave and taste everything you see at the food markets. There are many restaurants dotted around the city as well with international cuisine. I had a lot of tropical fruits so I stopped at many cafes on the way to get smoothies or Acai bowls.

In case of allergies, I would strongly recommend using the Grab app. You can order customised meals and it’s in English. I used it a lot as I’m allergic to soy and shellfish!

Conclusion

Bangkok is a must in Thailand, even if everyone advises you to go straight to the most amazing beaches. Because a holiday is not just about lying by the beach but experiencing something new. For example, whilst you walk by a canal, you might notice a huge Komodo Dragon coming out from the water or walking next to your sunbed by the pool. Don’t panic like I did, thinking it was a massive crocodile and I was about to die. Take a deep breath, you’re in Thailand, and it’s normal.

Ciao for now,

Silvia x

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