7 ways to make the most of your stopover in Bangkok

The Bangkok skyline - with the Grand Palace in the foreground.

Bangkok is one of the gateways to Asia, and if you’ve ever been there, then you know just how much there is to do.

Even if you’re only stopping over in Bangkok for 24 hours between flights, there is so many different activities and sites for you to enjoy.

Whether you want to shop, sightsee, tour or eat, there is so much you can do in just one day.

From the iconic Maeklong Railway Market to the stunning Grand Palace, here are seven ways you can make the most of your stopover in Bangkok.

1. Maeklong Railway Market

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This was pretty cool 🚂🇹🇭 #MaeklongRailwayMarket

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If you’re in Bangkok for a whole day, and you have time to kill, then a tour of the Maeklong Railway Market is a must do. This iconic market is like no where else in the world. It’s set on the Maeklong Railway, with market stalls set up alongside the train tracks selling everything from clothes to fresh produce. But what makes the markets iconic is the fact the train runs right through the middle of them. Several times each day, an alarm sounds and stallholders hurriedly pack up their stalls before the train comes through. It’s a sight to behold! The only downside is it’s more than an hour long drive out of the centre of Bangkok. You can book a half-day tour that will take you from your hotel to the railway market, making a stop at one of the floating markets too if you wish. The tours start from as little as 2000 Baht or $75 per person.

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Choo-choo, move human! 🚂#makciksayurmarah #maeklongrailwaymarket #bangkok

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2. Floating markets

#sillaogkaroiasien Flydende marked @sillabruun 🍉🍋☀️ #floatingmarkets #bangkoktrip #thailand

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Bangkok is famous for its floating markets, where market stalls are replaced with boats loaded with fresh produce and local crafts. The canals and rivers in and around Bangkok are home to several iconic floating markets, and which one you choose to visit depends on how much time you have and when you’re visiting. In the centre of Bangkok you can visit the Taling Chan Floating Market, one of the smaller, less well known markets in the centre of the city. But if you have more time to kill and you want to check out the Maeklong Railway Market as well, then a trip to the larger and more popular Damnoen Saduak or Amphawa floating markets might be the way to go.  Unfortunately, Amphawa is only open on weekends. You can pair a half-day tour of the Maeklong Railway Market with a tour of Damnoen Saduak or Amphawa for as little as 2000 Baht or $75.

Floating Market. 😳

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3. Grand Palace

#Royalty 👑😍 #grandpalace #bangkok #thailand #fatherdaughtertrip #BBKK

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Arguably one of Bangkok’s most iconic landmarks, the Grand Palace is a must-see while you’re in the city. Home to the Thai royal family, the Grand Palace is a sprawling golden palace on the main river that flows through the centre of Bangkok – Chao Phraya River. It’s home to iconic architecture, gardens, golden statues and the infamous Temple of the Emerald Buddha – Wat Phra Kaew. One thing you need to remember when visiting the Grand Palace is to be respectful. There are strict dress codes at the Palace – including no showing your mid rift, shoulders, legs, back or chest. So don’t wear shorts, skirts, singlets or low-cut tops. Better to stick to a pair of jeans and a shirt. You’ll also need to keep in mind that some parts of the palace, such as the temples, require you to remove your shoes. The Grand Palace is open from 9am to 3.30pm each day, with a tour costing 500 Baht (around $20).

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4. Temples

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Dotted throughout Bangkok are an assortment of temples and wats – sacred places home to stunning buddha statues and orange-robed Buddhist monks. These sacred places are an ideal spot for a bit of quiet reflection away from the hustle and bustle of the streets of Bangkok. As well as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha at the Grand Palace (Wat Phra Kaew), Bangkok is home to several other iconic temples. Wat Pho (pronounced Po) is home to a giant golden reclining Buddha statue, and is surrounded by gorgeous gardens. It’s open from 8am to 5.30pm everyday, and a tour will set you back around 100 baht or $4. Another of Bangkok’s iconic temples is Wat Arun, alongside the Chao Phraya River. It’s an iconic landmark in the Bangkok skyline. You can either visit the temple itself and explore the surrounding grounds – or you can watch the sunset behind the temple from the opposite side of the river. The temple itself is open from 8am to 6pm, and a tour will set you back just 50 baht or $2.

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5. Shopping

Spent 4 hours at Chatuchak and saw 10% of the whole market. But as you know life works by request so I wanted to buy baggy pants, simple tank, fanny pack (uhhh I'm in love with them) and antique jewelry. And I did it!:) This is deffinately MY FAVORITE shop now. Japanese pants and bean bag that I'm in love with👘 Ребята, вам интересно узнать про чатучак? Я провела сегодня 4 часа и обошла одну десятую всего рынка, но нашла ровно то, что искала (как же тут запросы быстро исполняются, черт возьми!) этот магазин мой самый самый любимый: ох уж эти узоры! Теперь я счастливый обладатель японских широченных штанов, в которых удобно и на севере и на юге и то, без чего я не могу жить – сумку нажопник😂👍🏻 продолжение следует 😎 #чатучак #chatuchak #chatuchakmarket #bangkokshopping

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Bangkok could very well be the shopping capital of Asia, and for good reason! It’s a shoppers paradise, from it’s markets to tailors and giant shopping malls – Bangkok has something for every shopper. The Chatuchak Weekend Market in Bangkok has more than 15,000 stalls and sprawls over 35 acres. Most stalls only open Saturday and Sunday, offering clothing, collectibles, food, household items and so much more.

If you’re more into shopping malls, there are plenty to choose from. The Siam Paragon is 500,000 square metres and has more than 250 world class brand names. It’s connected to the popular MBK Center, which reports more than 100,000 visitors every day.  The MBK Center has an abundance of knock off items, plus a range of stores selling authentic merchandise. 

The owners of Siam Paragon also own The Emporium, a luxury shopping mall in the Khlong Toei district of Bangkok.

Almost everywhere you go in Bangkok you’ll find markets and street vendors, most of whom love to barter with you on a range of goods.

Stay Focused 😉 . . . #bangkokcity #bangkok #bangkokstory #thailand #mbkcenter

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6. Dining out

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If you’re a fan of Thai food, then Bangkok has plenty of options for you to enjoy! Whether you want to dine in style, or try out local delicacies at the markets, there is endless and affordable options for dining out while you’re in Bangkok – even if you’re only in the city for a few hours. Everywhere you turn in Bangkok is another opportunity for eating and it ranges from everything including curries, local fruits and vegetables, delicious street foods, seafood dishes and rice dishes. Be careful with street food though, especially if you’re eating meat based food or fresh fruits and vegetables – you never know where it has come from.

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7. Ayutthaya 

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If you’ve got the time on your hands, a tour to Ayutthaya is a great way to learn some of Thailand’s history. The UNESCO World Heritage site, the old capital of Siam, is home to an abundance of ancient royal towers and temples, plenty of Buddha statues and an iconic Buddha head, which is overgrown by an old fig tree. Ayutthaya is a sight to behold, even if it is 85km north of the centre of Bangkok.

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Have you ever been to Bangkok? What did you enjoy about your visit?

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