Welcome to our weekend in Bangkok guide! Having spent a fair number of weekends in Bangkok, 227 give or take a dozen, I am often prodded by my newly-minted ESL teacher and backpacker friends for ideas and suggestions on what to do in the city. To which I typically question back “Well, what do you want to do?” because Bangkok the problem here is not finding what to do, but finding entertaining ways to take in the entire city without spending a huge budget or sitting in traffic for 2 hours.
To that end, I have compiled a brief list of extremely enjoyable and relatively affordable places to go, things to eat, and stuff to do. Most of which can – and should – be attempted within 2 long days.
Please remember that these are my favorite picks (not strictly the most popular destinations available) and I generally tend to shun overly touristy, crowded places such as MBK and Siam Square especially on the weekend.
- Buy souvenirs in Chatuchak Market – Also known as JJ Market, this outdoor market provides an enormous selection with everything from puppies and $5 shirts to exotic Thai decorations and expensive jewelry. It can get uncomfortably hot, however, so time your visit accordingly and don’t forget to try the local ice-cream and various smoothies for sale. – BTS Mo chit
- Have a unique shopping experience in Terminal 21 – This airport-looking mall is designed to resemble a different country on each level including well-known streets such as Rome, Paris, Tokyo, London, and Istanbul. If you are looking for a great cinema, photo opportunities every 10 minutes, high-tech toilets and free wifi – this is your mall. – BTS Asok
- Socialize on Sukhumvit Soi 11 – Here you will find various groups of English teachers and expats sipping expensive cocktails and unwinding from a long week. Local favorites include Cheap Charlie’s, Above 11, Levels, and my favorite casual rooftop bar, Nest, located in Le Fenix Hotel. – BTS Nana
- Party on Khaosan Road – This is the place to go if you’re in the mood to drink cheap buckets, dance until dawn and stay in 300 baht hostels. A street full of outdoor bucket bars, noisy market vendors, cheap food stalls and young backpackers. Pick your poison, take a stool, and experience the wild side of Bangkok.
- Feast with friends at the Sunday Brunch in the Grand Millennium – If you are in the mood for some top notch cuisine and free flow champagne and wine, you can’t afford to miss this buffet offered at 50% discount on Sundays. The only catch: Tables must be reserved in groups of 4 in order to receive the discount.– BTS Asok
- Satisfy your cravings on Soi Thonglor (Sukumvit 55) – This popular street offers some of the best burgers, Mexican food, imported beers, devastating desserts and just all around amazing eats. This is the so-called ‘hi-so area of Bangkok’ so you might wanna dress up a bit. Don’t forget to bring your appetite and your wallet!– BTS Thong Lo
Things to See and Do
- Explore Lumphini Park – If you’re a lover of all-things outdoors and crave a naturistic adventure, head over to Bangkok’s largest and oldest park. Perfect for a relaxing, laid-back afternoon with friends, you can rent bicycles, paddle a swan boat on a lake, and enjoy a delicious picnic.
- Spend a day in Siam Park City – Serious fun for silly grown-ups. Here you can splash around in the Guinness World Record’s largest wave pool, chill on the man-made beach or scream on the World’s 2nd largest rollercoaster. This place is a water park, amusement park, and theme park all rolled into one and a sure success if you’re traveling with little ones.
A last word of advice: Getting around Bangkok is quite a difficult task even for those who hold a mailing address here. I attempted to select the easy-to-find locations but as I have learned, sometimes the best spots are the ones off the beaten BTS track. If you are not well familiar with the city, I would recommend that you research these destinations in advance and have the directions to each location on you just in case you need to show it to a taxi driver or helpful-looking local. That being said, have a great weekend in The Big Mango and swing by the comments section to let me know some of your favorite spots.