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Thailand : Bangkok – 9 Unique And Different Things To Do In The Capital Of Thailand

Bangkok, Thailand's capital city, is full of contrasts – innovation versus history, beauty and luxury versus dirt and bustle, religion and faith versus impurity. You can find everything there… cheap street markets and upscale malls, street food and fancy restaurants, high-rise buildings and ancient historical buildings, temples and Godforsaken regions.

Bangkok - 9 unique and different things to do in the capital of ThailandBangkok - 9 unique and different things to do in the capital of Thailand Bangkok - 9 unique and different things to do in the capital of Thailand Bangkok - 9 unique and different things to do in the capital of Thailand Bangkok - 9 unique and different things to do in the capital of Thailand

The first time I visited Bangkok, I just didnโ€™t connect to it. The heat and humidity combined with the crazy air pollution, strong smell from the food stands on the street and crowds of tourists who flooded the city made me want to get back on a flight to Israel. Those who know me know that I canโ€™t get enough of traveling around the world, and itโ€™s rare for me to want to go home in the middle of a trip. Hey, even I was surprised that a familiar and loved place like Bangkok will make me give a sigh of relief the second I got to the airport on my way back home.

Aside from the days in Bangkok that were the end of our first trip to Thailand, you could say that I fell in love, head over heels, with Thailand and it was clear that we would travel there again sooner rather than later; and since Bangkok is the entrance gate and the exit to this stunning country, I figured I would meet her again, whether I like it or not.

When we planned our honeymoon trip to the southwestern islands of Thailand {Phuket and Krabi}, which ended in Bangkok this time, too, we debated how many days we should spend in the city. I was ready to skip Bangkok and fly back from the Phuket airport to Bangkok and from there, straight back home without stepping out of the airport, but Daniel was determined to change my perception regarding the city. Luckily, he insisted – because this time I got to know a completely different Bangkok that exactly suited my taste ย ๐Ÿ™‚

More posts you should readย :

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>> 20 Photos to Inspire You to Visit Phuket & Krabi

 

Bangkok - 9 unique and different things to do in the capital of Thailand Bangkok - 9 unique and different things to do in the capital of ThailandBangkok - 9 unique and different things to do in the capital of Thailand Bangkok - 9 unique and different things to do in the capital of ThailandThereโ€™s no doubt that I owe thanks to the Internet in general and to Pinterest in particular, which exposed me to a variety of less conventional and much cooler options of things to do in Bangkok. It's not that I refuse going to ordinary attractions like visiting temples and shopping in the famous MBK, but I decided that this trip to Bangkok will have special experiences and alternative attractions.

This guide is exactly what I was missing during my first visit in Bangkok โ€“ an urban guide to Bangkok that shows a different side of the city. In this guide, youโ€™ll find an alternative option for lounging, special coffee shops, markets that are under the radar and recommendations, of course, about food ย ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

1. Alternative lounging accommodations, or why you should sleep in an Airbnb apartment

As in all of Thailand, even in Bangkok you can find amazing hotels with more affordable prices compared to most of the world; so you may be wondering why we skipped a luxury hotel and chose an Airbnb apartment, in a case in which money was not an issue. The thing is that we knew based on our past experience that in Bangkok you hardly spend time in the hotel – there are so many things to see and do in the city, so to me, 2 things that were really important about sleeping in the city were a clean and tidy room thatโ€™s located close to the BTS {the cityโ€™s amazing skytrain}. Besides, as inexpensive as hotels in Bangkok are, the apartment prices are just on the floor! And if you're not going to spend time in the hotel anyway – you're better off investing your money elsewhere.

On the other hand, thereโ€™s no doubt that if you really want to get pampered and youโ€™re in the city for a longer period of time {or youโ€™re on your third trip to Bangkok}, and youโ€™re not on a race to get a taste of the whole city โ€“ itโ€™s worth investing in a hotel, because itโ€™s likely that you'll spend more time in the hotel and you'll get to take advantage of all its facilities.

After quite a bit of searching we found the apartment of our dreams {order through my link and get a coupon as a gift from the website!}. Unlike the main regions in which most of the hotels and hostels are located {like Sukumvit and Kwasen}, the apartment we chose was located in the less touristy and more local area โ€“ the neighborhood โ€˜Ariโ€™, which is considered one of the most fashionable and vibrant areas of the city {localsโ€™ opinions because itโ€™s still not on the traditional tourist map yet}.

Right near the apartment you can find everything you need โ€“ a BTS station which is a 5-minute walk away, 7-Eleven minimarket, a small shopping center with cafes and restaurants, an excellent spa, street food stands and even a McDonald's branch which is open 24/7 {you'd be surprised, but this is really useful when you discover that all restaurants there close at around 11 pm.. ย ๐Ÿ˜‰ }.

The apartment itself is in a large and safe apartment building {thereโ€™s a receptionist at the entrance and the door can be opened only by using a special chip attached to the key}, and it was exactly what we wanted! Very decorated and clean, with small seating areas, a large and very comfortable bed, a small balcony and a comfortable and equipped bathroom.

If youโ€™re considering sleeping in an apartment instead of in a hotel in Bangkok, I highly recommend this apartment โ€“ itโ€™s perfect! Just keep in mind that since itโ€™s not located in a touristy area there arenโ€™t any laundromats providing services in the area, so you should take care of your laundry in the destination before this {assuming you're not coming straight from home}.

Bangkok - 9 unique and different things to do in the capital of Thailand {airbnb in Bangkok}

 

2. Caturday Cat Cafรฉ, or a paradise for kitten lovers

I was first exposed to the phenomenon of cafes with cats in the fifth season of the series “Girls”, and I decided that I had to add a visit {at least one!} to one of these cafes to my bucket list! If you missed it and have no clue what a cat cafรฉ is, then hereโ€™s a brief explanation of the phenomenon taken from here: โ€œsince the Japanese live in tiny apartments that donโ€™t accommodate pets, cat cafes allow them to enjoy the company of cats and relieve their loneliness at an affordable for everyone.โ€.

It makes total sense considering that itโ€™s Japanese weโ€™re talking about and their delirious inventions bordering on genius

Bangkok - 9 unique and different things to do in the capital of Thailand {Caturday Cat Cafรฉ} Bangkok - 9 unique and different things to do in the capital of Thailand {Caturday Cat Cafรฉ} Bangkok - 9 unique and different things to do in the capital of Thailand {Caturday Cat Cafรฉ}

Anyway, this phenomenon spread throughout all of Asia and a few Western cities in the world, and I knew that during this trip to Thailand I would fulfill my dream! Even though I came across a few cat cafes in Phuket, I decided to save my first time for a high-level place. A quick search on TripAdvisor helped me find THE place, which was ranked as number one in the city, and rightly so.

This cafรฉ is just a paradise for cat lovers – dozens of beautiful and well cared for cats wandering freely in a sweet space, completely designed with a cat motif, a small souvenir shop and a menu offering hot and cold beverages and excellent sweet and salty food.

Youโ€™re not allowed to pick the cats up {not to bother them too much} but you can pet them and play with them non-stop and you can also buy there special food and snacks for cats.

Caturday Cat Cafรฉ is a few minutes' walk from the Siam Square, and can be found easily using the Google Maps app. Itโ€™s recommended to go there mid-week, since during the weekends youโ€™re more likely to wait in line to get a seat.

Bangkok - 9 unique and different things to do in the capital of Thailand {Caturday Cat Cafรฉ} Bangkok - 9 unique and different things to do in the capital of Thailand {Caturday Cat Cafรฉ} Bangkok - 9 unique and different things to do in the capital of Thailand {Caturday Cat Cafรฉ}

 

3. Hello Kitty House, or the pinkest cafe in the city

Until around four years ago, I was addicted to Hello Kitty. I loved her character in an exaggerated way and collected everything that was somehow related to her. Since then my new addictions replaced this old addiction, but things that have to do with Kitty still leave me with a spark in my heart. So you can imagine how I felt when I discovered that thereโ€™s a place in Bangkok called the โ€œHello Kitty Houseโ€! ย 

The Hello Kitty house in Bangkok is every girlโ€™s dream {or whoever is still a child in her soul } – a huge doll house that spreads over three floors, all pink and totally cute. In the entrance level and on the top floor thereโ€™s a Hello Kitty Cafรฉ that serves food and drinks all decorated in the spirit of this favorite character and are delicious accordingly. The bottom floor has a huge gift shop with Hello Kitty clothing, makeup, jewelry, home accessories and even food and they all have Kitty and her friends on them. Next to the souvenir shop is no other than the Hello Kitty Spa โ€“ yes, yes, exactly what you hear โ€“ a super sweet spa.

The Hello Kitty House is just a few minutes' walk from the Siam Square One and can be found easily using the Google Maps app {honestly, it's hard to miss such a pink building even from far…}.

Bangkok - 9 unique and different things to do in the capital of Thailand {Hello Kitty House} Bangkok - 9 unique and different things to do in the capital of Thailand {Hello Kitty House} Bangkok - 9 unique and different things to do in the capital of Thailand {Hello Kitty House} Bangkok - 9 unique and different things to do in the capital of Thailand {Hello Kitty House} Bangkok - 9 unique and different things to do in the capital of Thailand {Hello Kitty House} Bangkok - 9 unique and different things to do in the capital of Thailand {Hello Kitty House} Bangkok - 9 unique and different things to do in the capital of Thailand {Hello Kitty House} Bangkok - 9 unique and different things to do in the capital of Thailand {Hello Kitty House}

 

4. Unicorn Cafรฉ, or the trendiest cafรฉ of the year

One more cafรฉ, and thatโ€™s it! ย ๐Ÿ˜‰

If you still didnโ€™t get enough of the unicorn trend – you're going to die for this cafรฉ! Although itโ€™s a smaller cafรฉ than the previous ones, it has just as much character. Get ready to enter an imaginary world painted in pastel colors and full of dolls of unicorns and fairies, which also serves a variety of magical foods with a ton of food coloring.

Besides food, you can buy souvenirs of unicorns with crazy prices in my opinion, especially since you can find almost identical things {and sometimes even identical} in the markets of the city at ridiculous prices.

This cafรฉ has become famous thanks to the unicorn costumes that can be worn during your stay in place, promising perfect Instagram pictures – so keep in mind that the place fills up fast and you have to wait a long time to get a table.

Unicorn Cafรฉ at Sathorn is just a 5 minutes' walk from the BTS Silom line and can be found easily using the Google Maps app.

Bangkok - 9 unique and different things to do in the capital of Thailand {Unicorn Cafรฉ} Bangkok - 9 unique and different things to do in the capital of Thailand {Unicorn Cafรฉ} Bangkok - 9 unique and different things to do in the capital of Thailand {Unicorn Cafรฉ} Bangkok - 9 unique and different things to do in the capital of Thailand {Unicorn Cafรฉ}

 

5. Roof 409, or why itโ€™s not necessary to go to the city's most famous rooftop bar

Since the movie โ€œThe Hangover Part Two” which took place in Bangkok came out, the Sky Bar, which is the bar that appeared in the film, turned into one of the city's mandatory stops. I have no doubt that this is a very impressive bar with good cocktails and food – but with all due respect to the hype around this bar, I'd rather not pay $30 for a cocktail in Thailand; especially when thereโ€™s such a wide range of rooftop bars throughout the city.

So we decided to skip the Sky Bar and go to the Roof 409 bar & bistro located on the roof of one of the city's shopping centers. True, itโ€™s not as high as the famous one, but the view was still beautiful, the atmosphere was great, the food was excellent {we ordered hamburgers and nachos}, the cocktails were perfect and there was a large variety of imported beers.

Itโ€™s worth knowing that every Thursday, the bar offers mojitos for less than $5 and the cocktails donโ€™t pass the threshold of $9 {on all weekdays}.

Roof 409 bar & bistro is a one minute walk from the Chit Lom BTS line and can be found easily using the Google Maps app.

Bangkok - 9 unique and different things to do in the capital of Thailand {Roof 409 rooftop bar} Bangkok - 9 unique and different things to do in the capital of Thailand {Roof 409 rooftop bar}Bangkok - 9 unique and different things to do in the capital of Thailand {Roof 409 rooftop bar}

6. Paste, or THE place for foodies

After we broke the barrier of the familiar and good Thai food {Pad Thai, Som-Tam and sticky Rice with mango, for example} and we tasted a lot of unconventional Thai food in the market stands and homemade style restaurants {most of them, by the way, werenโ€™t as good in my opinion}, we decided that this time we must eat at one upscale Thai restaurant that will give us a bit of a different perspective on Bangkok in general, and especially on Thai food.

The Paste restaurant serves modern Thai food based on traditional recipes written centuries ago combined with new and creative ways to use the highest quality of raw ingredients {some local and organic and the rest flown in especially from all around the world}, special attention to the preparation of the dishes in unique techniques and the serving style of the dishes bordering on art.

Hedonistic foodies will enjoy every second of this feast โ€“ click here for the full review.

Paste is located in the Gaysorn Shopping Centre and you can find it easily using the Google Maps app.

Bangkok - 9 unique and different things to do in the capital of Thailand Paste Bangkok Thai Restaurant, Restaurants in Bangkok

 

7. The Flower Market, or the most blooming place in the city

One of the things I regretted most during my previous visit to Thailand was not having time to visit the cityโ€™s famous flower market, called The Pak Khlong Flower Market.

Thanks to its tropical climate, Thailand is blessed with lush and blooming greenery all year round. No matter where you look โ€“ from taxis and street stands to luxurious hotel rooms, they are always decorated with strings of fresh and fragrant flowers. As a devout lover of flowers, I have no idea how I skipped this market last time! A whole street decorated along its entire length with stunning floral sculptures and flower shops full of all sorts of flowers – it's exactly my cup of tea!

The Flower Market is located in the temples area and can be found easily using the Google Maps app.

Bangkok - 9 unique and different things to do in the capital of Thailand {The Pak Khlong Flower Market} Bangkok - 9 unique and different things to do in the capital of Thailand {The Pak Khlong Flower Market} Bangkok - 9 unique and different things to do in the capital of Thailand {The Pak Khlong Flower Market} Bangkok - 9 unique and different things to do in the capital of Thailand {The Pak Khlong Flower Market} Bangkok - 9 unique and different things to do in the capital of Thailand {The Pak Khlong Flower Market}

8.ย The New Rot Fai Market Ratchada, or the cityโ€™s best night market

We visited many markets in Thailand, and we came across some more successful and less successful ones. The best of all {which was also the best we visited in the world, not only in Thailand!} was the weekend night market known as The New Rot Fai Market in the Ratchada.

This marketโ€™s older brother, considered one of the oldest in the city, is located in the suburbs of Bangkok and only recently opened its second branch in the central area of โ€‹โ€‹the city. We visited both markets, and the new and central one was better in my opinion – not only because of its proximity, but mainly because the original felt a bit too big and busy.

Anyway, this is a big night market which combines market stands with authentic Thai food, a cool and hipster-y atmosphere with second-hand clothing stands, young designers, special accessories, vintage shops, the coolest barbers shops and super-cool bars {some located on the rooftops of buildings, providing a beautiful view on whatโ€™s happening in the market}.

Itโ€™s highly recommended stop for dinner at theย The Smokers Grill & Barย which serves excellent cocktails and a limited range of smoked pork dishes – we tasted the ribs and the pulled pork on a hamburger bun which were the best I ever ate, and the price? Simply funny.

The combination of vibrant nightlife, successful shopping and a food and drink experience that combines between East and West is super fun for people staying in Bangkok for a weekend.

The new Rot Fai Market in the Ratchada is close to the Esplanade Shopping Mall and can be found easily using the Google Maps app.

Bangkok - 9 unique and different things to do in the capital of Thailand {The New Rot Fai Market Ratchada} Bangkok - 9 unique and different things to do in the capital of Thailand {The New Rot Fai Market Ratchada} Bangkok - 9 unique and different things to do in the capital of Thailand {The New Rot Fai Market Ratchada} Bangkok - 9 unique and different things to do in the capital of Thailand {The New Rot Fai Market Ratchada} Bangkok - 9 unique and different things to do in the capital of Thailand {The New Rot Fai Market Ratchada}

9. Khlong Lat Mayom, or the localsโ€™ floating market

Another market that I really wanted to go to last time we were in Bangkok is the famous floating market of the city Damnoen Saduak. The early departure time includes a visit to this market and the tourism scent from it made us skip the pleasure. This time, I decided to investigate the matter further and I found a great site that offers tours with all kinds of attractions in the city with local people, and one of these tours was unsurprisingly a tour of a more local and intimate floating market than the one that everyoneโ€™s familiar with.

This is exactly what we were looking for! A tour of the localsโ€™ famous floating market with someone local explaining the local manners and customs is a much more enjoyable tour than a crowded tour in a tourist place. I think that we were the only Western people in the whole market – it canโ€™t get more authentic than this!

Bangkok - 9 unique and different things to do in the capital of Thailand }{Khlong Lat Mayom} Bangkok - 9 unique and different things to do in the capital of Thailand }{Khlong Lat Mayom} Bangkok - 9 unique and different things to do in the capital of Thailand }{Khlong Lat Mayom}

This floating market, which works on weekends, is about half an hour from Bangkok – we arranged to meet our local guide, Apple, at ten in the morning, at the last station of the train {the BTS}, and from there she drove us directly to the market in her car. The Khlong Lat Mayom market is much more relaxed than its touristy alternatives, and runs near a relatively narrow canal and most of the activities are held out of the water. There are several areas in the market densely filled with food stands near long plastic tables. There isnโ€™t a Thai dish you canโ€™t find in this market! Drinks, salads, stews, stir-fried, desserts – there's just everything.

Besides the tour of the food stands and an explanation of the various delicacies, we went on a short boat trip in the canal that surrounds the market and got to see the local lifestyle of those living in the suburbs of Bangkok from up close. The difference between the center of Bangkok and these suburbs is the best example of the contradictions I talked about at the beginning of this post – I canโ€™t believe that on one hand Bangkok looks like the most advanced city in the world, with fancy malls, designer shops and upscale restaurants, and on the other hand, people live in neglected houses by the river like the most distant villages you can imagine.

Itโ€™s an amazing experience you really shouldnโ€™t miss in Bangkok!

Bangkok - 9 unique and different things to do in the capital of Thailand }{Khlong Lat Mayom} Bangkok - 9 unique and different things to do in the capital of Thailand }{Khlong Lat Mayom} Bangkok - 9 unique and different things to do in the capital of Thailand }{Khlong Lat Mayom} Bangkok - 9 unique and different things to do in the capital of Thailand }{Khlong Lat Mayom} Bangkok - 9 unique and different things to do in the capital of Thailand }{Khlong Lat Mayom} Bangkok - 9 unique and different things to do in the capital of Thailand }{Khlong Lat Mayom} Bangkok - 9 unique and different things to do in the capital of Thailand

If thereโ€™s one thing I learned from this experience in Bangkok is that Bangkok really has everything โ€“ whether youโ€™re the urban type that enjoys the city life, a food lover or if you love exploring authentic historical places, this city is an amazing combination of opposites that anyone can enjoy.

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Have more recommendations of things to do in Bangkok? Tell me about them in the comments below ย ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

CLICK TO PIN ITย !ย ย ย 

This guide is exactly what I was missing during my first visit in Bangkok โ€“ an urban guide to Bangkok that shows a different side of the city. In this guide, youโ€™ll find tips for the city and an alternative option for lounging, special coffee shops, markets that are under the radar and recommendations, of course, about food ;) Click through to read the full guide @ hedonistit.com

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6 Responses

    1. I know! they’re not written on the conventional travel guides for Bangkok and I absolutely think that they’re a must when visiting the city ๐Ÿ™‚

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