24 hours in...Bangkok

After my stopover in Bangkok on the way back from my travels through Cambodia, I'm now ready to share my best tips in this brand-new "24 hours in..."-post. As usual, it's ment for just a layover or a very short break on a trip through Thailand.

Wat Phra Keo Bangkok
Bangkok's most important sight Wat Phra Keo, part of the Royal Palace, is a must-see - whether rain or shine.

Of course in 24 hours you'll see just a fraction of all the attractions this bustling mega-city has to offer. So if you're staying longer or want to try out more, check out the Bangkok-section in my Thailand-post.

💰   Local Currency:

Thai Bath (THB) / 1 US$ = 33 THB (December 2017) / current rate

🚔    Emergency Hotline:

Police 191

Tourist Police 1155

🛫    National Airline: 

Thai Airways

🛬    Airports:

Suvarnabhumi Airport, IATA Code: BKK

Don Mueang, IATA Code: DMK

🗺    Tourist Info online and onsite:

There are many (semi) professional websites on Bangkok tourism online. I'd recommend the official website of the Tourism Authority of Thailand which does not lure you with 'objective' information just to sell you tours and other service.

Every hotel will supply you with a free map and brochures what to do in Bangkok.

🚆    Getting Downtown and Back

Most of the hotels in Bangkok offer a more or less costy pick up at the airports which might be necessary after a long, tiring flight e. g. from Europe. But if you've been to Thailand - or a neighbor country - for a while and had a short flight with now jet lag, you can save a lot of money by using public transportation - it will add up to about 2 $:

Hua Lamphong Station Bangkok
Hua Lamphong station is centrally located and a perfect hub
for exploring the city.
Suvarnabhumi airport: To get to the city center, e. g. to Hua Lamphong train resp. MRT station, you take the ARL (Airport Rail Link) at Suvarnabhumi Airport Station and go to Makkasan Station (approx. 20 minutes for 35 THB (=approx. 1 US$)). There you change to the MRT blue line - this station is called Phetchaburi, although it is connected to Makkasan station. From there it takes another 20 minutes to get to the Hua Lamphong station. From there it's a ten minutes walk to the Shanghai Mansion Hotel.

If you prefer to stay at the Vismaya, you just go to the 2nd floor at 'Arrivals' and ask for the complimentary shuttle service to the hotel. But note: The shuttle back to the airport is not complimentary anymore - they charge about 100 THM (approx. 3 US $) for it.

Don Mueang airport: To get downtown, the cheapest option is to take the bus #6 to Chatuchak Park/Mo Chit station (approx. 25 minutes for 30 THB)). There you change to the MRT blue line towards the city center (approx. 40 minutes to Hua Lamphong) or the BTS Sukhumvit line. A taxi from this station to Hua Lamphong resp. the Shanghai Mansion Hotel will charge about 200 THB which might be a better option if it's late, your tired or have much luggage to schlepp.

There is a direct shuttle bus connecting the two airports.

There is a very good and informative Website on all the public transportation in Bangkok.

🌞    Morning Activities

Chao Phraya Ferry Stop
Tourists and Buddhist alike are waiting for the ferry service
on Chao Phraya river.
On a sunny day, the best way of seeing Bangkok is to take a ferry on Chao Phraya river. It's a ten minutes walk from the Shanghai Mansion Hotel to the Ratchawong boat pier: Walk the Yaowarat road westward and turn left into Ratchawong road that brings you to the pier. Make sure to take on of the cheap Chao Phraya ferries that will cost you about 50 cents and not a posh, expensive tourist cruise ship!

Royal Palace Bangkok
How the other half lives: The Royal Palace in Bangkok.
There are countless 'Wats' to be admired in Bangkok: beautiful, colorful, gold plated Buddhist temples. The biggest and most important one is Wat Phra Keo located right next to the Royal Palace. To get there, get off the ferry at Tha Tien station. The entrance fee to the Wat and Palace for 'farangs', i. e. foreigners, is quite high - 500 Bath. With your ticket you can visit also the textile museum where you can admire Princess Sirikit's lavish wardrobe.

Talking 'bout wardrobe: Visiting the wats, again: the Buddhist temples (!), knees and shoulders should be covered, i. e. classic T-shirts with (short) sleeves and pants or long skirts are required. You can of course use a sarong resp. a scarf to cover, but often that's more complicated and hotter than simply dress appropriately in the first place.

Wat Phra Keo is open from 8.30 a. m. to 3.30 p. m.

Buddha reclining his 46 meters/150 feet long body at Wat Pho.

Like I said, although Wat Phra Keo is the most important complex, there are many more temples worth a visit, however, one of the nicest is right around the corner: Wat Pho housing i. a. an enormous reclining Buddha. To get there, exit Wat Phra Keo on Na Phra Lan road and turn right into Sanam Chai road where Wat Pho is located.

Wat Pho is open from 8 a. m. to 5 p. m. and entrance fee is 100 THB.

⛈    Morning Activities

A rainy day in a big city is never much fun: Racing quickly through the alleys where the dirt is washed into the gutters, making sure not to step in anything gross. I try to show you how to enjoy Bangkok even on a rainy day (which is seldom, anyway):

Tuk tuk in Bangkok
Colorful and fun, but the price has to be negotiated when
taking a tuk tuk in Bangkok.
Unless it's pouring cats and dogs, I think that Wat Phra Keo should be visited, but on a rainy day you might want to skip the short cruise on river Chao Phraya. Just get a tuk tuk or a cab straight to the palace complex. Nice touch: Taxis are metered in Bangkok - sometime, especially during rush hour, you have to remind - or even convince - the driver to switch the meter on, but in general there's no problem. Obviously the tuk tuks are not metered, so the risk to be cheated is much bigger. Simply ask at the hotel's reception how much you should pay for a ride to the palace complex.

Wat Phra Keo
Stupas at Wat Phra Keo
If it's raining, you might visit Wat Phra Keo faster than in the sun since you probably won't spend too much time outside the temples. Therefore you might have a little extra time before lunch, so that you could visit the National Museum and admire Thailand's rich history documented in the many beautiful exhibits.

Bangkok National Museum
4 Na Phra That Alley
Bangkok 10200
Phone: + 66 - 2 - 224 1333

The museum is open from Wednesday to Sunday 9 a. m. to 4 p. m., entrance fee is 40 THB

🍝     Lunch

Bowl full of yummy and healthy local
You can eat constantly and everywhere in Bangkok - from simple street food to posh fusion cuisine at one of the high class restaurants. Therefore I'm recommending this Thai restaurant mainly because of its convenient location to the afternoon activities; an alternative might be the food court at the Siam Paragon shopping center.

To get here either from Wat Pho or the National Museum, just take a taxi - it should cost you about 100 to 150 THB.

Ban Khun Mae Restaurant 
458/6-9 Siam Square Soi 8
Rama 1 Road
Patumwan District, Bangkok 10330
Phone: + 66  - 2 - 250 1952 and + 66  - 2 - 250 1953
Email: contact@bankhunmae.com

🌞    Afternoon Activities

Jim Thompson House Bangkok
It's still all about silk at Jim Thompson's estate in Bangkok.
The Ban Khun Mae Restaurant is very conveniently located for the afternoon's visit to the Jim Thompson house.

Jim Thompson did not only revolutionize Thailand's silk industry and made Thai silk really popular, he also had a great taste and deep admiration for the Thai cultures. He 'collected' six traditional houses all over Thailand, let them demount and re-assemble in the most eclectic fashion right here in Bangkok. The late Jim Thompson's home is now a museum and can be visited.

Jim Thompson House
6 Soi Kasemsan 2, Rama 1 Road,
Phone: + 66 - 2 - 216 73 68

The House is open daily from 9 a. m. to 6 p. m. and entrance fee is 150 THB (students under 22 pay 100 THB)

After the visit of a very sophisticated place, I dare you to take one of the small Klon Saen Saep water busses that will take you on the Saen Saep canal to the Golden Mount, another sight not to be missed, especially for the grand view of all Bangkok. The boat ride is a truly Thai experience, though.

Khlong Saen Saep Express Boat
Phone: + 66 - 2 - 375 23 69
Email: info@Khlongsaensaeb.com 

Golden Mount Bangkok
To climb the Golden Mount, you pay less than a Dollar for a
Wat Saket was built on a man-made hill. This 'Golden Mount' is on the one hand quite fun for tourists - who are climbing the 300 steps to the top (relatively easy, but due to the heat still a challenge; make sure to have enough water on you), at the same time it is a sacred pilgrimage site, so that too much brouhaha should be avoided. The Golden Mount can be visited from 9 a. m. to 5 p. m. and the entrance fee is 20 THB.

⛈    Afternoon Activities

Jim Thompson House Bangkok
A beautiful well at the patio of the Jim Thompson house.
Since Jim Thompson's estate consists of six houses made into one as well as a restaurant and a big gift shop, its visit is suitable even in heavy rains.

Please check the afternoon activities on a sunny day for the visitors' info.

Shop till you drop - at one of Bangkok's countless malls.
Is it still raining? Never mind, Bangkok is known to be one of world's most complete shopping destinations and most of the larger than life shopping malls are just a stone throw away from the Jim Thompson House. The three most popular would be the Siam Paragon, the CentralWorld, and the MBK - all open from 10 a. m. to 10 p. m., so knock yourself out!

🍝    Dinner

Steaming Wan Tan - always a culinary treat.
If you're staying at the Shanghai Mansion, you're already in the heart of Bangkok's Chinatown - so why not have some really good dim sun for dinner - just around the corner from your hotel!? Plus I think that you'll enjoy the very authentic atmosphere, too.

530 Yaowarat Road
Bangkok 10100
Phone: + 66 - 92 - 249 8299

Open daily 11 a. m. to 10 p. m.

🍸   Nightcap

Of course you can choose from a variety of cool bars in Bangkok - many of them on the roof tops of luxury hotels. But especially if you had a long day or will have an early flight, you might be more comfortable enjoying a cocktail right at the Shanghai Mansion's bar "Red Rose". It's not only a pleasant terrace facing the bustling Yaowarat street, they also have some cool live music at certain evenings.

😴    Accomodation

Depending on the departure time of your flight, I recommend one hotel - actually one of my most favorite hotels in the world! - in China town and another one just minutes from Suvarnabhumi airport.

Shanghai Mansion Hotel Bangkok
Whether you prefer a soak in the free-standing tub at the
Shanghai Mansion Hotel in Chinatown in the heart of
Shanghai Mansion Hotel Bangkok
479-481 Yaowarat Road
Samphantawong, Bangkok 10100
Phone: + 66 -2 - 221 2121
Email : inquiry@shanghaimansion.com

....or if you rather prefer a refreshing dip in The Vismaya's
pool before your flight home - a comfortable hotel will make
your stay perfect.
Vismaya Suvarnabhumi Luxury Resort
98 Moo15 Soi King Kaew 43, King Kaew Rd, Rachateva, Bangpee Samutprakran 10540
Phone: + 66 - 2 - 738 49 88
Email: contact@thevismaya.com

Need more ideas and inspiration for Bangkok? Check my post on Thailand.

Need assistance planning this or other trips? Check my service pages

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Here are more pins with 24 hours itineraries to great destinations for you:

going up!


  1. I've heard so many things about Bangkok. I really like these routes you have put into post. I've never seen that before it's very useful too :)

    1. Thanks so much, Marcella, very glad you like it!

  2. Oh very nicely written article about the things to do in Bangkok. I am more intrigued about the food they have. This article will be helpful when I am planning my trip to Bangkok next year. Cheers.

    1. Thank you, Fiona, glad you like it. If you need any further info, don't hesitate to get in touch. Happy travels!

  3. I have been several times to Bangkok (and was still there a couple months ago!) and I can only agree with the recommendations you give here - and these food pictures OMG so yummy! I already miss the food.

    1. Thank you, Julien, glad you like it. I hope to get back there for more days somewhen soon. Happy travels!

  4. this is so amazing - you clearly planned very extensively! I find I can move so much faster & see so much more when i'm by myself too

    1. Yes, time is a big plus when travelling by myself: nobody gets thirsty, nobody gets hungry, nobody needs to go to the bathroom or rest. My city trips are pure boot camp - but I wouldn't want it any other way! 😅😅😅

  5. Bangkok looks amazing. This sounds silly but the contestants from Britain's Next Top Model were in Bangkok in the last episode - the fashion scene over there looks insane.

    1. It doesn't sound silly - I appreciate your ability of learning something useful from a moronic show :-D

  6. Oh my gosh - it looks amazing in Bangkok! I've never been there but it looks like I'm going to have to go!!!

  7. I never been to Bangkok. What a wonderful place to visit. I really love the architecture of he Royal Palace! Stunning photo!

  8. The Royal Palace is breathtakingly beautiful! I would love to visit Bangkok someday! Thanks for including activities for all hours of the day.

    1. Yes, the Royal Palace is indeed...majestic! Hope you'll make it to Thailand, soon, it's a nice destination! Happy travels - and a merry Christmas season to you, Amber.

  9. Wow! I’ve never been to Bangkok but have heard it’s a gorgeous city. Seems like I can find almost anything and everything in the town! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Yes, and you can find the craziest things in the markets - it's a zoo!

  10. Great post. Very detailed with lots of useful information on Bangkok. I have always avoid SE Asia as it has always seemed 'too' touristic for me. What was your experience?

    1. It strongly depends on how and where you travel: I loved the trip from Bangkok north to Chiang Mai, staying one or two nights at the ancient Royal settlements - that was wonderful. Few tourists in Ayutthaya (besides the groups that come and quickly go), no(!) tourists in Kamphang Phet, few in Lop Buri and Pitsanulok etc. Then I went down south to Krabi: horrible! The places and beaches are beautiful, but there are far too many people for the limited space. Most beach destinations and islands were much too crowded for me.
      As a beach destination, I liked Malaysia much better, for the temples and culture, Thailand is just wonderful.

  11. Very good guide on what to do if you have 24 hours in Bangkok, both for a rainy and a sunny day. We only had 12 last September so we had a great Thai dinner, some night market, and sleep at the hotel plus the Wats near Don Muang.

    1. Yes, Carol, Don Muang is quite far and not so easily accessible as Suvarnabhumi. But Thai dinner and night market sounds perfect! Happy travels!

  12. Thanks fot sharing your adventures at Bangkok. It is indeed one of the best place in Asia and cheaper to live, no wonder many western expats chose Thailand as their retiring home.

    1. It is a very cool place, indeed - well, not temperature-wise 😅 I hope to have the chance to visit longer, soon - last time it was only a stopover coming from Cambodia.
      Where are you from, Blair?

  13. Yay! You were in my neighbor country :D I am loving the idea of such quick and short trip!

  14. What an awesome experience! I would love to visit some day!

  15. I feel like I'm ready to spend 24 hours in Bangkok now! Thanks for the great tip about the meters on the taxi, it's so easy to be taken advantage of but that was an insightful tip!

    1. Well, Karlee, I hope it will help. During a former stay, Friday night cab drivers simply refuse to turn the meter on: Since there were so many customers waiting, they could simply determine their price. So good luck - and happy travels!

  16. I love how detailed you are, so few bloggers share also the useful numbers and the exact information like you do! Also the transport is SO cheap!

    1. I thank you so much, Dany. It indeed takes a lot of time and thorough research to put a post like this together, but I'm going for quality - and am very, very happy to get a feed back that readers do notice and appreciate it. Very encouraging! Thanks again!!

  17. Great ideas here. We were in Bangkok for a conference and enjoyed checking out some of the produce markets.

  18. I have always wanted to go to Bangkok! The steaming Wan Tan looks great!

  19. Such an informative post! I really like how you divided up the activities based on the time of day. Very useful for anyone not familiar with the city.

    1. Thank you, Mary, glad you like it! Have a great New Year with lots of inspiring trips!

  20. I'm from Asia, but I've never been to Bangkok. I hope I can visit it one day. To see the temples/architectures. That Canton House, looks deli and of course their Pho.

  21. Bangkok is a vibrant and captivating city. We loved it when we were there a couple of years ago. We were there for 3 days and had a great time. Loved the Buddhist temples as well as the modern city. The best is of course the warmth of the people.

    1. Yes, it's amazing how diverse a city can be. Happy travels, guys!

  22. It's amazing how much you could fit into a layover day. I've never been to Thailand before but I'd love to spend some time in Bangkok x

    1. When I travel by myself, I'm practically racing...probably that's the reason why I have to travel by myself ;-) Happy travels, Rhian!

  23. Your trip reminds me of my first solo trip. I went stayed in Thailand for three weeks. :)

    1. Me too, Rye, and I'll post about that trip beginning of January. But even then I had only three days in Bangkok - there is so much to see in Thailand...happy travels to you!

  24. I LOVE this post - it's a quick-hit guide that covers all the important pieces of a speedy trip to Bangkok. I've never been, but I'd honestly feel comfortable planning a short itinerary just based on your experience. Thank you for sharing!!

    1. Thank you guys, I'm glad you like it. Yes, I think it's a good 'golden thread' if you don't have much time to plan and organize. Happy travels!

  25. Looks like an amazing place to visit! So much to do! What a fun packed 24 hours!

  26. Wow bangkok looks so incredible with the amazing structures. As a die hard architecture fan, I cant talk my eyes off the amazing structures.

  27. Feels like everyone is going to Bangkok. But Now I know why. But maybe I will think about visitng. Thanks for detailing out.

  28. I have heard so much about Bangkok and how wonderful it is, I think if I would ever visit, I would love to spend no less than a week. Sheri

    1. You're absolutely right, Sheri, one can spend oodles of time in this mega city without getting bored. Unfortunately, this time I was on my way back from Cambodia. Next time will be much longer. Happy travels!

  29. Great post, although your link to Bangkok Airport is broken (404), an alternative for those that want more info about the airport: https://bangkokairport.net/

    1. Thank you so much for pointing that out to me. I just fixed it! And glad you liked the post :-)


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