Experience the rich heritage of Thailand through its temples, royal palaces and well-manicured parks and gardens around Bangkok. If you are in Bangkok for 2 days, then here is our recommendation on the list of places to visit in Bangkok. Staying at Mercure Bangkok Sukhumvit soi 11 makes it much easier to get around the city with convenient location.
Here is our 2-day itinerary to explore Bangkok city during the day & evening, to experience the best of both worlds.
Day 1 (during the day)
On the short-list of what to do in Bangkok there is one must-see sight, the dazzling, spectacular Grand Palace, hands down the city’s most famous landmark. Built in 1782 – and for 150 years the home of the Thai King – the Grand Palace remains the spiritual heart of Thailand and continues to leave visitors in awe with its beautiful architecture and intricate detail.
Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Keaw)
Located within the grounds of the Grand Palace is Wat Phra Kaew , the Temple of the Emerald Buddha , generally regarded as the most sacred Buddhist temple in Thailand. The Emerald Buddha is a highly revered Buddha statue painstakingly carved from a single block of jade. According to legend, it originated in India, where the sage Nagasena predicted that the Emerald Buddha would bring “prosperity and pre-eminence to each country in which it resides”. The Emerald Buddha is therefore deeply venerated in Thailand as the protector of the country. Historical records date its finding to the 15th century in Chiang Rai, it was brought to Bangkok in the 18th century and enshrined at Phra Kaew Temple in 1782.
Wat Pho is considered Thailand’s first university and the spiritual home of Thai massage. The majestic temple complex is one of Bangkok’s largest and oldest, existing before Bangkok was established as the capital in 1782. It has served as a medical teaching center since the mid-19th century and remains a school for Thai massage and a center for traditional medicine. Have a Thai foot, face, or total body massage while visiting the temple, which is also home to more than 1,000 Buddha images (the largest collection in Thailand), and Bangkok’s largest reclining Buddha, 46 meters long.
Wat Arun is situated on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River and easily one of the most stunning temples in Bangkok, not only because of its riverside location, but also because of its different Khmer design. Wat Arun is made up of decorated spires, the tallest spire over 70 meters high, all beautifully decorated with tiny pieces of colored glass and Chinese porcelain. Although it is known as the Temple of the Dawn, it’s absolutely stunning at sunset and when lit up at night. For some magnificent photographs of Wat Arun, grab a table at the rooftop bar of Arun Residence, directly across the river from the temple. At the temple itself, you can climb the central spire, but the steps are very steep. When you reach the highest point, you can see the winding Chao Phraya River, with the Grand Palace and Wat Pho opposite. Although Wat Arun is very popular with tourists, it’s also an important place of worship for Buddhists, so, as with all Thai temples, make sure you dress appropriately.
During the night
After a full day of temple gazing, the question of what to do in Bangkok after sundown is easily answered once you’re back to Sukhumvit Soi 11. Listen to live music and sip on your favorite drinks at the many lively bars or enjoy a delicious dinner of Thai or international cuisines at the many the restaurants in the neighborhood. Treat your tired feet to a relaxing Thai foot massage at many of the local spas around Bangkok.
Day 2 (during the day)
A trip to Bangkok city is not complete until you have visited the many local markets. Visit the unique floating markets of Bangkok, there is plenty of places for you to explore. Pick up local & artisanal souvenirs for friends & family back home at the local markets in Bangkok.
Damnoen Saduak has been Thailand’s best-known floating market for a long time, it’s huge, lively, full of boats selling food and fruits, and it’s colorful – the quintessential floating market.
Amphawa, the second most popular market in Thailand, is located 90 km southwest of Bangkok. It’s cute and fun, very authentic with many little wooden houses neatly lined up along the canal, selling souvenirs, snacks and sweets. Tip: don’t miss the amazing little temple swallowed by a giant tree right across the river.
The third most visited market is Taling Chan. Located only 12 km from downtown Bangkok, Taling Chan is open all day and has a large local market attached to it. There are small long-tail boat cruises to take you around the nearby canals to get a relaxing glimpse of the surrounding neighborhoods.
Night 2. (during the evening)
Bangkok is a shopper’s paradise and with its many malls you can truly shop till you drop. After a day of exploring the markets, unwind and enjoy a leisurely experience at Terminal 21, located on Sukhumvit Soi 21. Take advantage of Mercure Bangkok’s complimentary shuttle service drop off to Terminal 21, where every floor is designed in the theme of the popular shopping districts of the world. From clothing, accessories, tech & perfumes, take your pick at the many international & local brands.
Catch a movie at Cineplex to help you unwind or pamper yourself to a relaxing massage. The mall also has several restaurants that are delightful and affordable. With perhaps the best food court in town find everything from dim sum and Phad Thai to Hainanese chicken rice and vegetarian ready-to-eats. Don’t forget to leave some room for the many desserts on offer. Terminal 21 is a delightful shopping and dining experience with its own edge and is definitely worth visiting.