The perfect starting point for your trip through Thailand? Bangkok of course. Not entirely random, since all international flights arrive at Suvarnabhumi Airport. This airport is situated approximately 30km outside the city center. Other than the starting point of a vacation in Thailand, Bangkok is also a well-known stopover airport. So if you have the chance, just make your way into the city center for the day, because there is lots you can do. Curious what you should do when you have 1 day in Bangkok? In this blog, I’ll give you all the tips & tricks.
Your 1 day in Bangkok probably starts at the airport. So first of all you need to get from the airport to the city center. The best way to do this, is by using the Airport Rail Link. This high speed train transports passengers from about 6AM to midnight. During peak hours, the train leaves every 10 minutes.
So let’s get started.
Also read: the perfect 10 day Thailand itinerary >>
Experience one day in Bangkok with a TukTuk
Ah yes, the tuktuk will be your favourite means of transportation in Thailand. You can just hire a private driver for a few hours, and he will take you everywhere you want to go. Make sure to agree upon a price beforehand.
Are you on a budget? Take the cheap tuktuks. They will only charge you between 20 and 40 baht ($0,62 – $1,25) for a sightseeing tour, but they insist you visit a tailor and/or jewel shop of their choice too. You don’t have to buy anything, you just have to walk around for a bit. The drivers get paid by those shops to drop off tourists.
Some people see this as a scam, but I see it as a mutual beneficial agreement: you get a cheap tuktuk tour, they get an extra income.
During my tuktuk tour, the driver showed me the big Buddha, the Golden Mount (with a beautiful view over Bangkok) and some other pretty temples.
A quick visit to the Grand Palace
Very touristy, but worth a visit of you are in Bangkok for 1 day. The palace is situated in the historic center of Bangkok, near the Chao Phraya river. It was built by King Rama in the year 1782 and it is probably the most famous sight in Bangkok. The most important temple is Wat Phra Kaeo, because it’s the home of the emerald green Buddha, one of the most sacred Buddhas in Thailand.
If you want to see the whole thing, you can easily spend 2,5 hours at the Grand Palace. Make sure to wear an appropriate outfit. Both men and women need to have the shoulders and knees covered. A simple scarf won’t do: you actually need to wear some sort of shirt or vest. If you don’t have anything suitable to wear, you can rent something at the palace.
Food & drinks on Khao San Road or Rambuttri Road
In the evening it’s time for food & drinks! In that area, Khao San Road is the most famous street in Bangkok. Prepare for tourists, many street vendors and lots of “cheap cocktails much alcohol”, as they put it. Get yourself a three-course street food dinner with spring rolls as a starter, pad thai for main and some mango sticky rice for dessert. Do you prefer a restaurant? There are many to choose from. Tip: try cashew chicken with rice. De-lish!
Don’t forget to visit the street that partly runs parallel to Khao San Road: Rambuttri Road. In my opinion, this street is much nicer and has more athmosphere.
Also a nice evening activity: go to the Chao Phraya River. If you’re lucky, you’ll see a gorgeous sunset.
Where to sleep during your 1 day in Bangkok?
We stayed in Lamphu House on Rambuttri Road. We enjoyed our stay very much. The hotel itself is relatively quiet, but you’re still in the middle of all the fun. It’s just a few minute walk to Khao San Road, the rooms are clean and the staff is very friendly.
Something fun to do the next day: Co Van Kessel Bicycle Tour
Do you have half an extra day to spend in Bangkok and would you like to experience the city from another point of view? How about a bicycle?! The best bicycle tours in Bangkok are the Co van Kessel tours. He was a Dutch guy who pioneered these tours in Bangkok more than 30 years ago. He passed away in 2012, but the tours are still going strong.
It’s definitely the most Dutch thing you can do in Bangkok, but the tours are in English so they’re open for all nationalities. It’s a truly unique and fun experience which leads you through off-the-beaten-track parts of Bangkok. You’ll ride straight through buildings and markets and you will even do a few parts by boat. Definitely a must do!