The best free things to do in Bangkok

  • Posted onJune 17th, 2015

Chinatown Celebrations BangkokBangkok is known for its wealth of sites and entertainment, but regardless of your budget this is a city with heaps of free things to do, many of which no tourist should miss!

Here’s a list of our favourite free things to do in Bangkok:

Explore the madness of Chinatown

The oldest part of Bangkok, Chinatown was officially founded in the early 1780’s but had been home to a thriving Chinese community long before that. Some people head to Chinatown for the great food or for its wealth of gold shops and cheap markets, but simply taking an aimless stroll through this bustling borough of the capital can be an eye-opening adventure.

The areas is a maze of narrow alleys, many of which lead to packed out market places with stalls, food vendors, and brick-a-brac shops all fighting for your attention. This is Bangkok’s most colorful area and home to an array of historic sites and landmarks.

Explore the city’s temples

Bangkok is awash with temples and while some of the bigger temple attractions have a small entry charge many of the others don’t and are totally free to explore.

Among the many free temples in Bangkok you’ll find Wat Patum Wanaran, located next to the mammoth Central World Mall and Siam Paragon, and Wat Mangkorn Kamalawat, found in the previously mentioned Chinatown area of the city.

One particular temple not to miss if Wat Saket, aka The Golden Mount. Climbs it’s 318 steps and you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of Bangkok’s Old Town, and a chance to see the large golden Buddha.

Bangkok Khao San RoadPeople watch in Khao San Road

Khao San Road has gained almost cult like fame partly due to the novel ‘The Beach’ but also through the shared tales of the thousands of backpackers who have made this colourful soi a home away from home.

It’s filled with life day and night, dotted with weird and wonderful characters, and lined with lots of interesting street-side restaurants, bars, and cafes, perfect for watching the world go by and soaking up the energetic buzz. Late afternoon/early evening is perhaps the best time to experience this vibrant barrio of Bangkok city.

Bangkok Forensic MuseumMarvel at the free museums

Bangkok has a mass of free museums, many of which are totally fascinating and yet pushed down the bucket list by the Buddhist led attractions.

Among the most weird and wonderful are the Corrections Museum located on Maha Chai Road, set in a former maximum security prison, and the Siriraj Medical Museum, home to Bangkok’s infamous Forensic Museum (not for the faint of heart!). For a more cultural experience make sure to visit the Bangkokian Museum, with its exhibits on what it is to be Thai.

Walk with the Butterflies

Located at the Queen Sirikit Botanical Garden in Rot Fai Park this tranquil dome is home to more than 500 butterflies, as well as plenty of other insects too. It’s a rather unique way to escape the Bangkok bustle and enjoy something beautiful.

This is an experience where you’ll want to have your camera at hand, with lots of Kodak moments promised. It’s also close to the chaotic Chatuchak Weekend Market, and a good way to release the stress.

Chatuchak MarketGet lost at the Chatuchak Weekend Market

The insanely huge and busy Chatuchak Market is loved and loathed by many. It’s easily the biggest market of its kind in Thailand and attracts millions of visitors each year. Some have a love/hate relationship with it due to its immense size popularity which causes most first time visitors to get lost.

Now if you are looking for something in particular it can be frustrating losing your way in the maze of market stalls, but if you are just there to wander aimlessly and see what you find then it promises to be a fun and adventurous experience as you discover all kinds of pets, products, and produce, as well as lots of yummy food.

Take an outdoor Aeorobics class

If you’re looking to get active Thai style then why not take a free aerobics class. There are literally hundreds of outdoor aerobics classes popping up all over the city, the vast majority of which are totally free to join and are warmly open to foreigners.

All the major parks will have at least one or two regular aerobics class, usually taking place in the early morning, and again in the late afternoon once the sun cools down. One particularly good area for free aerobics classes is Lumpini Park, with several taking places every day at around 6 a.m. and 6 p.m., attracted crowds of over 100 exercisers.

Lumpini-Park-BangkokEnjoy the calm of Lumpini Park

You don’t have to wear your leotard for a trip to Lumpini, simply head here to amber around the 58 hectares of lush land, exploring the lakes and its wonderful wildlife. If you’re lucky you spot some of the large monitor lizards which live in the lakes and regular stroll around the park.

It really is a welcome haven from the busy streets which surround it on all side, and it’s amazing to think such a quiet and peaceful area can exist in the centre of such a chaotic city. Don’t miss the chance to release your Bangkok stress and charge up your batteries in this fascinating free park.

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