Bangkok, or as the locals call it, Krung Thep, is a city that never ceases to amaze. This dynamic metropolis, illuminated by a magnificent effigy at the dawn of each new year, exudes the allure of the far east. With its rich tapestry of experiences, spending 7 days in Bangkok is an adventure like no other.
I created the 7 Days Bangkok Itinerary carefully to strike the right balance between embracing Thai culture and savoring the unique flavors of this modern metropolis. As you traverse the city, you’ll find ancient palaces glowing under the brilliant sun in their golden adornments. These structures pay homage to the Thai royal family and offer a glimpse into the country’s regal history. Bangkok doesn’t dwell in the past; it’s a city that reaches for the sky with skyscrapers that seem to challenge the very heavens. Its calling as the “pearl of the east coast” is well deserved.
Bangkok is incomplete without world-famous Thai cuisine. In my 7 days Bangkok itinerary, you’ll find authentic Thai restaurants with delectable flavors of Pad Thai and Red Curry, and you’ll get a tantalizing taste of Red Curry.
So, as you embark on your 7 days in Bangkok, prepare to be enchanted by the ancient and modern, the traditional and contemporary, and the culinary wonders that this magnificent city has to offer.
Day One in Bangkok:
On day one of your 7 Days Bangkok Itinerary, you’ll want to start your adventure by checking into a hotel in one of Bangkok’s touristy neighborhoods. Ideally, this should be done during the daytime to make the most of your first day in this captivating city.
If your budget permits, I recommend staying close to the riverfront. The riverfront area offers tranquility with luxurious amenities. Alternatively, you can opt for accommodation near Sukhumvit, located in downtown Bangkok, where the city never sleeps, and the energy is electrifying. For a more budget-friendly experience that immerses you in local Thai culture, consider booking a stay near Khao San Road or China Town in Bangkok. These last two options provide an authentic experience, with possibilities like staying in an old shophouse turned into a BnB in Chinatown, Bangkok, for a truly intense cultural immersion.
After checking in and taking some time to rest in the afternoon, which is especially crucial if you’re jet-lagged and weary from a long flight, prepare yourself for Bangkok’s characteristic sticky heat. Give your body the opportunity to adapt to the climate and time zone.
As the sun sets, your next destination is the Asiatique Riverfront. From the Sapan Taksin metro station, you can hop on the free ferry ride to Asia’s largest open-air mall, a fantastic way to kick off your Bangkok exploration during your 7 days in Bangkok.
As you explore the Asiatique Mall, you’ll discover charming vintage corners where old-world pushcarts and trams coexist harmoniously with the glitzy branded brand stores. Entertainment options abound, with crowd-pullers like the captivating Thai puppet shows and the dazzling Ladyboy performances at the Calypso Cabaret. With over 40 fine dining restaurants, your taste buds are in for a treat as you delve into the culinary delights of this unique mall.
However, if you’re yearning for a more rustic and eclectic Bangkok experience, consider hopping onto one of the air-conditioned tourist vehicles and heading to Khao San Road to round off your day.
Khao San Road, often touted as the epicenter of the backpacking universe, is a vibrant 1-kilometer stretch. Street-side stalls offer a kaleidoscope of items, from travel tickets to fried insects, and even tattoos – there’s something for everyone. Khao San’s Walking Street is renowned for its quirky charm, a true embodiment of the city’s distinctive character. Here, you’ll find mid-range and budget guesthouses and hostels, along with affordable beer houses. Notably, Khao San appeared in the Leonardo DiCaprio-starrer movie, “The Beach,” set against idyllic Thai beaches. As you immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere of Khao San, exercise caution with your belongings. Keep a close eye on your purse and mobile phone while strolling along the bustling walking streets.
Day two in Bangkok:
On day two of your 7 Days Bangkok Itinerary, we’re diving into a day of exploration, with a particular focus on Bangkok’s vibrant markets.
Bangkok’s unique topography, nestled alongside the Chao Phraya river, features a network of canals, wetlands, and interconnected water bodies. This waterborne economy has a rich history that predates globalization. In the past, farmers from distant markets regularly brought fresh produce to the river’s edge to trade with royals and noblemen. These wet markets served as commerce hubs and social gathering spots for locals. Every weekend, these markets set sail on the river, creating a colorful spectacle.
The Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is a popular destination for tourists in Bangkok. Here, you can hop on a ferry, pay a nominal entry fee, and experience the bustling daily market. However, if you’re looking for a less touristy experience, you’ll find smaller, weekend-only floating markets on the outskirts of Bangkok, like the renowned Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market. Be prepared for a language barrier, as finding English-speaking shopkeepers can be difficult at these locales.
For a quirky twist, visit the century-old Maeklong Railway Market. Here, daily local trains pass along a narrow-gauge rail line, prompting savvy vendors to pack up their makeshift shops as the train approaches. From masks to fresh fruits, these markets offer everyday essentials for Thai households. Don’t miss out on Boat noodles, made with chicken or fish balls and generously topped with herbs. Once the train passes by, the market reassembles, with stalls springing back to life on the rail line.
These wet markets provide fantastic backdrops for colorful photo opportunities. For Instagram-worthy moments, stop at the Pak Klong Flower Market, where the air is filled with petals. While it operates 24 hours a day, the crowd thins out as evening approaches.
But the market extravaganza doesn’t end there. Bangkok boasts Asia’s largest weekend market, Chatuchak Market, with over 8,000 stalls offering an astonishing array of products. These products range from books, antiques, silk, and fabrics to souvenirs, pets, ceramics, jewelry, bags, and more. Be prepared to deal in cash and sharpen your bargaining skills here.
If you dedicate half a day to each of these markets, you can explore at least two in one day. We recommend choosing between the floating market and the Chatuchak market, unless you’re a speedy shopper and not seeking extensive purchases. These markets are conveniently located close to each other, so squeezing them into a single day is feasible. Just remember to schedule your visit on a weekend to catch Chatuchak’s vibrant energy.
Day three in Bangkok:
Paying a visit to the Monuments and river ferry
Bangkok’s river promenade is studded with ancient palaces and Buddhist temples. The area has an intangible old timer’s charm. From the Sapan Taskin pier, tourist ferry (hence more expensive and traditional looking small boats) as well as public service ferry (regular steamers and nominally priced) start for Wat Arun and Grand Palace. We suggest, start with the Grand palace first.
Once the residence of the Thai king and his family, the Grand Palace is a stunning sit of royal power with a jade Buddha temple housed inside. Entry to Grand palace will cost you 1000 Thai Baht. It will take at least two hours to cover the entire palace. Try to reach as early as possible since the area tends to get overrun by tourist footfall as the day unfolds.
You can pay a visit to Wat Pho, the temple of reclining Buddha located at a walking distance. All these places demand visitors to dress modestly and pay an entrance fee.
Hop back to the ferry and stop at Wat Arun. The ivory white Buddhist Stupa is painted ornate with intricate designs, resembling countless gems and mosaics. Wat Arun looks particularly beautiful if you can make it there during sunset.
These heritage attractions remain open from 8 am to 5 pm.
You can end the day with a dinner cruise on the Chao Phraya river where traditional Apsara dance takes place. You will be treated with an elaborate dinner menu and cocktail drinks as well.
Day four in Bangkok:
Day trip to Ayutthaya
Ayutthaya is a UNESCO heritage site and the erstwhile capital of Siam, ancient Thailand. Countless Buddhist monuments, dilapidated temples, and remain of ancient capital are scattered around the countryside. Using a Grab Taxi, Ayutthaya is only a couple of hour’s drive from downtown Bangkok. It should not cost you more than 2000 Baht one way. However, the cheapest way to reach Ayutthaya is to hop on the local train. From Hualamphong station, you can purchase a first or third class train ticket and reach Ayutthaya.
If you prefer a bus ride, you can board one of the frequent buses plying from Mo Chit terminus. The Bus runs from 6 in the morning till 5 in the evening. Ayutthaya is yet to develop tourist infrastructure, hence we would not recommend a night stay.
When at Ayutthaya, you can either rent a tuk–tuk or hire a bike to explore the old town.
Be cautious before venturing into the abandoned temple since they are the dens of venomous snakes oftentimes. You may also want to avoid the rainy season since stepping into the temples may cause erosion and other distressing effects.
Day five in Bangkok:
Eat your heart out in China Town & visit Mahanakhon Skywalk.
Bangkok’s China Town is one of the oldest Chinese settlements in Asia. The area is also known as Yaowarat Road among the locals, snaking up by the old port area. The Glass Noodles of Bangkok’s China Town are the best in this part of the world, served with steamed tiger prawns. Neon lights lit up the road brights.
To end the day, we highly recommend a sundowner cocktail on the top of Mahanakhon Skywalk. At the 73rd floor, the observation deck casts an impressive spell on the busy urban jungle that Bangkok is. Yet, you stand above all of these, feeling overwhelmed with a sense of detachment and empowerment!
The glass walk on top of Mahanakhon is unnerving and once in a lifetime experience.
Day Six in Bangkok:
Thai Cooking Class, Pub Hopping, and Relaxing Massage
Now that you have tasted Thai delicacies for the past 5 days and (assuming) loved it, you can dedicate a day to learn the tricks employed to conjure a traditional Thai meal. A Thai cooking class starts from picking up the freshest ingredients from a morning market and balancing the act of spices and chilies. Chef Leez and Bangkok Thai Cooking Academy are particularly famous among many.
Now that you have tasted Thai delicacies for past 5 days and (assuming) loved it, you can dedicate a day to learn the tricks employed to conjure a traditional Thai meal. A Thai cooking class starts from picking up the freshest ingredients from a morning market and balancing the act of spices and chilies. Chef Leez and Bangkok Thai Cooking Academy are particularly famous among many.
At night, you can pub crawl at Soi 11, often touted as the most happening nightlife area of Bangkok. Numerous bars, clubs, and restaurants adorn the streets, attracting a vast number of tourists and expats.
End the day with a little pampering for your body and soul. Sign up for an iconic Thai Massage. A full body Thai Massage and spa can take anywhere between one hour to three hours. Allow your body to distress at the hands of a trained masseuse. While the street side stalls are more economic, for an authentic, luxury experience you can visit Wat Pho traditional Thai Massage (closes by 7 PM), Spa Intercontinental and Health Land.
Day Seven in Bangkok:
Shop till you Drop and indulge in Nature at Lumbini Park
Considering this is the last day in Bangkok, you may choose to dedicate it to shopping. From souvenirs to fine clothing and leather bags and electronics, Bangkok offers excellent retail therapy. From budget-friendly options, choose to visit the Chatuchak Market, the night markets, street vendors near Pratunam Mall. Pratunam Mall and MBK centers are the premier choices for mid ranges cloth and jewelry shopping. For buying the choicest of silk cloth, Maneerat Thai Silk, The Silk Zone at The Old Siam Plaza are highly recommended. You can choose from rolling fabric and stitch it from the tailors. Bangkok is slowly growing as a hub of tailor-made clothes, coats and leather shoes of high quality.
Check out should be done keeping in mind Suvarnabhumi Airport is in a couple of hours away from downtown Bangkok. You are free to take a leisurely stroll at Lumbini Park, the breathing space at the heart of a concrete city. Lumbini Park has a water body. Be careful not to step on the tail of water monitors that frequently appear to sunbathe in the Lumbini park. They are mostly benign to humans though.
This was just a rough itinerary for Bangkok for seven days. Please remember erratic traffic congestion, drastic weather change, and unprecedented political circumstances may challenge this flow. You can, alternatively, take a few more day trips from Bangkok in you want to escape the maddening urban rush. A day trip to River Khwai, for example, will bring you close to the historical war sight of World War 2 fame.
Many prefer to shop in Bangkok till they drop. Needless to say, numerous malls and night markets help them indulge in the shopping spree. Shopping in Bangkok is surprisingly affordable and quite a rewarding experience. For upscale souvenirs and authentic silk, you can visit Jim Thompson’s House.
There are Sea World Marine Aquarium and Safari World in Bangkok for those willing to see wildlife in cages and confined spaces. They are particularly famous among family and group travelers. However, in recent times, they have come under scrutiny for unethical treatment of wild animals.
When in Bangkok, ensure you make the best use to BTS Skytrain and MRT (the underground) train system. The interwoven network connects distant parts of the city and is the best way to beat intense traffic situations and reach piers and central attractions.
Bangkok is the ultimate recluse for those with a penchant for exploring many nuances of urban life. An urban progressing life that is well based out of age-old tradition. Add to that your inclination to partying, you are in the quintessential heaven of world party hot spots. The city has something on offer for a recluse, an extrovert, a cultural explorer, a photographer, the list goes on. Chances are endless. It boils down to what you pick and choose really.
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