#1 Grand Palace, Wat Prakeaw (The Temple of Emerald Buddha) and Wat Pho – Bangkok Top Five Tourist Places is a list of things which can and should be done in your first visit to Thailand. Built in 178, it continues to have visitors in awe with its beautiful architecture and intricate detail, all of which is a proud salute to the creativity and craftsmanship of Thai people. For 150 years it is the home of the Thai King, the Royal court and the administrative seat of government. The complex remains the spiritual heart of the Thai Kingdom.
Within the palace complex are several impressive buildings including Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha), which contains the small, very famous and greatly revered Emerald Buddha that dates back to the 14th century.
- Grand Palace Opening Hours: Daily 08:30 – 15:30
- Location: Na Phra Lan Road, Old City (Rattanakosin)
- Price Range: Tickets sold from 8:30 – 15:30 and cost 500 baht! One ticket includes entry to Vimanmek Palace and Abhisek Dusit Throne Hall.
Dress Code: A strict dress code applies. The Grand Palace with The Temple of the Emerald Buddha is Thailand’s most sacred site. Visitors must be properly dressed before being allowed entry to the temple.
Wat Pho – Located immediately south of the Grand Palace precinct, Wat Pho makes an excellent addition to your tour, provided your feet are up for more walking. Wat Pho is known as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, where you’ll find a statue so big (45 m long and 15 m high. The soles of the feet, inlaid with a myriad of precious stones, are particularly interesting with the 108 signs of true faith.
- Opening Hours: 8:30 AM – 6:00 PM daily
- Admission: 100 baht
- Address: 2 Sanamchai Road, Grand Palace Subdistrict, Pranakorn District
#2 Wat Arun (The Temple of Dawn)
Next, on the to-do list of Bangkok Top Five Tourist Places is Wat Arun. It’s absolutely stunning at sunset, particularly when lit up at night. The quietest time to visit, however, is early morning, before the crowds. Head into the ordination hall and you can admire a golden Buddha image and the detailed murals that decorate the walls. The design is very different to the other temples you see in Bangkok.
Wat Arun is almost directly opposite Wat Pho, so it is very easy to get to from Sapphan Taksin boat pier you can take a riverboat that stops at pier 8. From here a small shuttle boat takes you from one side of the river to the other for only 3 baht.
- Opening Hours: 08:00 -17:30
- Location: Located on the west side of Chao Praya River (opposite Tha Thien Pier)
- Price Range: 100 Baht
#3 Chinatown (Yaowarat) Bangkok Top Five Tourist Places
I have China Town in my Bangkok Top Five Tourist Places because you will get the feel of Bangkok Street Food. Many options are there, I have listed them here. This district has been a center of Chinese settlement since 1782. Just explore this place, don’t use any map or GPS. Take a huge breath and walk down every alley and turn every left, right or center. Explore food stalls, teas, gingko nuts, chestnuts, dried ginger, whole barbecued piglets, chicken feet and plastic bags full of crunchy dried frogskins.
At daytime, it’s no less busy, as hordes of shoppers descend upon this 1-km strip and adjacent Charoenkrung Road. Packed with market stalls, street-side restaurants and a dense concentration of gold shops, Chinatown is an experience not to miss.
- Address: 300, 6 Yaowarat Rd, Samphanthawong, Bangkok 10100, Thailand
- Open: 24 hours
#4 Jim Thompson’s House Siam
The Jim Thompson House is a museum in central Bangkok. Built in 1959, the museum spans approximately half an acre. The museum has an elegant residential enclave, comprising six traditional Thai teakwood houses. They are no ordinary teak wood villa complex filled with incongruous collections of antiques, but a breathing museum. He dedicated over 30 years to reviving Thai silk and introduced it to the world’s most respected fashion houses and catwalks in Paris, New York, London, and Milan.
He mysteriously disappeared into the Malaysian jungle in 1967.
- Opening Hours: 09:00-17:00 (last guided tour at 17:00)
- Location: Soi Kasemsan 2, opposite the National Stadium on Rama I Road.
- Address: 6/1 Soi Kasemsan 2, Rama 1 Road
- Phone: +66 (0)2 216 7368
#5 Khao San Road
Another street food area in Bangkok Top Five Tourist Places, for the simple reason Bangkok is full of great street food options. It is a short (410 meters long) street in central Bangkok, Thailand. It is in the Banglamphu area of (Phra Nakhon district) about 1 kilometer north of the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew. My Indian friends won’t have a problem here; it is same as Chandni Chowk or Sadar Bazar in Delhi or a `bazaar’ in any city in India.
Khaosan shops sell handicrafts, paintings, clothes, local fruits, unlicensed CDs, DVDs, a wide range of fake IDs, used books, plus many useful backpacker items.
Location: It is in the Banglamphu area of (Phra Nakhon district) about 1 kilometer north of the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew.