If you have just 5 days to spare and are wondering what to do in Bangkok and neighboring towns, then here are some great suggestions to add to your Bangkok itinerary.
To kick start your Thai adventures, pick spots and experiences that are truly unique. During my recent trip with Thai Authority of Tourism, I was taken to off beat attractions away from the usual walking streets and chaotic distractions of Bangkok and Pattaya.
These destinations and attractions are so distinctive, that even though this was my tenth trip to Thailand, I hadn’t yet uncovered these gems on my own.
Now you can bank on my knowledge and check out these attractions in and around the City of Angels.
Table of Content
- 9 “Off the Grid” Attractions to Add to Your Bangkok Itinerary
- Unmissable Things to do in Bangkok
- Where to stay in Bangkok
- Commuting in Bangkok
9 “Off the Grid” Attractions to Add to Your Bangkok Itinerary
Art in Paradise Museum
Wondering what to see in Bangkok that is ideal for all sorts of travelers (Solo, family, friends, etc)? Well, this 3D Art museum is a great place for your Instagram photos and an excellent attraction to spend several hours at.
Located in Bangkok, Pattaya and Chiang Mai; Art in Paradise is first of its kind 3D interactive imagery museum in Thailand.
There is not a minute to get bored as you walk from one room of fantasy into another, each with a different theme.
Open daily from 1000 – 2200 hrs, check out their website for tickets, virtual tour, reviews and more.
Chanthaburi or Chanthaboon is a eclectic town, 3.5 hours drive from Bangkok.
Chanthaboon old town by the waterfront is a fusion of stylish French architecture mixed with Chinese influence. The quaint city of Chanthaburi is a must visit for those who enjoy good food, cute cafes and a whole lot of culture and history.
This 1 km long street has become a backdrop of many films and photoshoots and showcases pop-up galleries and coffee shops all through.
Wouldn’t you want to add this unique stop to your Bangkok itinerary?
Ramayana Water Park
I don’t know about you, but I am still a kid at heart. So when in Thailand, why not visit the biggest water park in the country? Again, as a theme park lover, I was quite surprised I didn’t even know about Ramayana prior to this trip. With 50 awesome attractions, there is no dearth of things to do at Ramayana water park, near Pattaya.
For me, as always, the big thrill rides come first. So after the usual boomerangs and pythons, I went to the wave pool and lazy river to unwind in complete bliss. Spending a good 4 hours in the water park was exactly what the doctor ordered, though I wouldn’t mind spending the entire day there.
Especially since it took us forever to take a jump shot , fails galore . Obviously we all were too excited to get it right 😉
Don’t water parks simply take away all the madness and stress of daily routine? Yes! they do. Hence, this makes for a must “off-the-grid” addition if you want to explore unique parts in and around Bangkok.
KruKung is like entering into a time capsule.
42 years worth of over 25,000 Thai antique collections by Mr Kang (Hence it is also known as Kru Kang museum by some) – is what this delightful museum encompasses. It can take you back to the golden era of the 70’s instantly. Everything from salons to cinema halls, barber shop to diners have been re-created using artifacts dating back to the Ayutthaya period.
This lovely museum is worth a visit for its history, old world charm and just to take you back in time, even for a few hours. Lovely place to contemplate on the mesmerizing by-gone era and the grandeur that oozed off it.
It has only been open to public since 2016 so there is not much information online (or offline) about it. Nestled cozily in the Klaeng district, en-route from Rayong to Pattaya, it’s not really hard to find if you know what you are looking for.
Opening Hours – 9:00 to 16:00 pm.
Admission fee – 80 Baht Adult / 30 Baht Chile/ 150 Baht for foreigners.
For More information call- 087-1299405 or Check out their Facebook page
Underwater world, Pattaya
Walk into a glass tunnel and explore the magical deep sea creatures and exotic corals at the Underwater world in Pattaya. When one thinks of Pattaya, the first thing that pops in their minds is the nightlife – no one really goes beyond the usual walking street to explore other family friendly, fun and unique attractions Pattaya has to offer.
Underwater world Pattaya also has the largest collection of Jelly fish in Thailand, alongside a multitude of sea turtles, sting/manta rays, sharks and other gentle giants of the big blue. It is everything you can see in a real ocean diving experience but without a wet suit, oxygen tank or mask.
If you are wondering where to stay in Pattaya while you explore the underwater world, theme parks or the infamous walking street, then make your base at the beautiful Avani Pattaya Resort & Spa.
Not only is Avani centrally located for easy accessibility, their breakfast spread is one of the best in town. The well manicured gardens and chic grounds around the pool offer many lounge areas to unwind and relax after a long day out in Pattaya.
Chanthaburi Fruit Farms
Chanthaburi is also home to many a fruit farms which allow you to pick and taste seasonal fruits. Popular Thai fruits which are exported all over the world for their goodness can be freely picked and enjoyed here. People flock from all around for a taste of their favorite fruits like Durian, Mangosteen and Rambutan, among other common ones.
You are taken around in a small open van inside the farms and can stop at viewpoints or various fruit gardens.
Hey, there is a sheep farm inside too ..
With..real sheep 🙂
Cartoon Network Amazone
Alright then, another water park in the list you might think.. but as the first Cartoon network themed water park in the world and among top water parks in Asia, this surely deserves to be added to your unique Bangkok itinerary!
With kick ass rides like Humangaslide, Jake Jump, Banana spin, Alien Attack, Riptide rapids and over 150 total attractions, there is never a dull moment at Cartoon Network Amazone. You can even grab a cone at Dexter’s icecream lab or binge eat at Foodville. There is so much to do for kids and adults alike.
Amazone, situated close to Pattaya, is also the only water park I have seen, where surfing lessons at the Surf arena are absolutely free – yay. Usually, other parks have an add-on to use this area.
The Kaan Show
Wondering what to see in Bangkok? The new Kaan show is an unmissable crowd puller. As a big fan of live theater, this musical extravaganza left me gawking shamelessly.
With action-packed storybook sequences that keep you on edge of your seat and eye-opening performances, THIS tops my list of unique things to do in Bangkok. Simply a must-watch!
Timings – Tuesday to Sunday 1930 hours.
For trailers, tickets and story, check out their official website.
Get a Sak Yant Tattoo
Getting a sacred Sak Yant tattoo will be the most unique experience in Bangkok you can ever imagine. This spiritual high will keep you flying for days. The “feel good” factor of getting a hand held ink (no machines) by an Ajarn (ex-Monk) can be rewarding in my ways.
From giving offerings to getting blessed, this holy ink can literally change your life (of perception of it). Read in details about my Sak Yant ink experience here.
Unmissable Things to do in Bangkok
Now that you had your fair share of offbeat, there are few things which you simply CANNOT miss while in Bangkok. So whilst its important to go off the beaten path once in a while, it’s equally important to experience everything a city is popular for.
Indulge in a Luxury Spa
Bangkok is famous for its massage culture. You will literally find every other shop on the street to be a “spa” where local Thai girls will keep calling out to you for a cost effective one hour treatment. A 60 min massage on the street side spas usually costs in the ballpark of 250 – 300 Baht (Less than $10). These massages can be a hit or a miss – you might get lucky and find someone who knows pressure points and end up having a lovely massage. However, like everywhere else – you get what you pay for. If you like to get them every day or few times a week, these are surely the way to go.
Tip – Be careful with your wallets and aware of your surroundings at these road-side spas.
However, if you want to be pampered to the hilt then simply opt for an ultra luxury massage. Of course you end up spending 5 to 10 times more but the treatment you receive will be exceptional. I have tried luxury spas in Bangkok and other places before but NOTING came close to my 3 hour therapeutic detox treatment at Bhawa Spa.
Priced at a whooping 6590 Baht (Approx $201) , which by the way I got for $185 here, this treatment is 210 minutes of pure bliss.
Wondering how I got it for lower than original price?
Here’s my golden tip – Pre-book your spa package online on KKday. You get to choose ANY treatment from 60-210 minutes for JUST $53 – $185 each – its a STEAL! Click here to book this exact spa package.
Bhawa spa in itself is truly stunning. As soon as you enter, you will be showered with “sawadee ka“( Thai greeting) from all staff. After a warm cup of tea, you can check out their extensive menu to choose a package (but remember pre-booking through KKday gets you unbeatable deals, almost 1000 Baht off the walk-in/ direct booking price).
Modern oriental decor and calm, relaxed vibes will make you feel at ease instantly at Bhawa spa. My detox package included body scrub, hair treatment, Thai detox massage, Shower & tea break, Herbal compress, Body mud, foot scrub and all this goodness for $185. Bhawa Spa’s experienced masseuse and luxury treatments made me feel like royalty. So spending extra $$$ for my heavenly spa, was a no brainer really.
If you happen to be in Bangkok, getting a luxury massage at Bhawa spa, is a MUST DO!
Shop till you drop
Bangkok is a mecca for shopaholics. The first time I visited Bangkok, I pretty much went crazy shopping at the wholesale malls and got back home with excess baggage and a 42 inch flat screen TV. After my next few trips, I calmed down and controlled my shopping sprees a bit. In short, it is impossible to visit Bangkok and NOT shop. It’s that simple!
From street shops to luxury malls, wholesale outlets to digital malls – Bangkok has everything under the sun you can think of. My favorites are Bangkapi and Platinum malls for budget clothing, shoes and accessories. For lovely themed decor, I like Terminal 21 mall in Sukhumvit. Read my full guide to shopping in Bangkok for all budgets to find your favorite spot.
Where to stay in Bangkok
Budget – If you are on a budget or traveling solo, I would highly recommend staying at the awesome Mad Monkey Hostel in the bustling Khao San district. They have fun games every night and a smiling staff round the clock.
I happened to be there on Easter eve and they had a fun egg hunt going on. Mad monkey has a cool restaurant and open air bar, which entertains walk-in’s as well as in-house guests, making it a big gathering every evening. As always, I ended up making a friend almost immediately and since the hostel is conveniently located 5 mins walk from Khao San road, it’s easy to continue the party once the in-house bar closes. There is a 7-11 just across the street for your instant noodle cravings.
Check-in process was easy, private rooms are minimal and cozy. There are no lifts so travel light or be ready to tug your bags a few floors, like I did. While checking out, I even stored my bags for free with them while I headed off to Koh Tao for a few days of sun, sand and sea. This was a life saver as I really didn’t want to drag my big bag on the ferries.
At $20 a night, this hostel is the real deal from the reputed Mad Monkey brand. Click here for booking and info on Mad Monkey Bangkok.
Luxury – Looking for a classy home away from home? Marriott Executive Apartments – Sukhumvit park is the perfect abode.
With all modern amenities you can think of in an apartment hotel, Marriott executive apartments are the ultimate luxury suites for your short as well as long term stays in Bangkok. Located in the upscale Sukhumvit soi 24, Marriott has really outdone themselves with these stylish, classy and cozy residences.
A sprawling swimming pool with a full equipped gym is ideal for fitness lovers.
Bistro M, the in-house restaurant has an impeccable breakfast spread and an enticing menu which won’t break the bank. We had a lovely dinner at Marriott which was a lovely fusion of Thai and Indian spices, making our dining experience very unique. Service by all members of staff was always top-notch and after my two days stay, I simply felt too much at home (That’s the only drawback ;)).
Commuting in Bangkok
Exploring Bangkok using the local BTS – Skytrain, is perhaps the fastest and most convenient option. There is Uber and Grab taxi available too but I have learnt that getting a metered taxi on the streets is more cost-effective.
For safe and secure transfers in Bangkok it is advisable to book from a reputed company like Kiwitaxi beforehand. After all it is important to have peace of mind, especially if its your first time in the city of angels.
So, have you tried any unique experiences in Bangkok? Tell me what you would like to add to your Bangkok itinerary from the 9 offbeat places mentioned above?