Bangkok, one of the most visited cities in Southeast Asia, is a vibrant, dynamic metropolis that offers much more than just mouthwatering street cuisine (though there is plenty of it). Engulfed in a foggy mixture of motorbike smoke, incense, and charcoal grills, this chaotic city is also home to elegant hotels, Michelin-starred restaurants, quaint cocktail bars, and an abundance of good times, not to mention culture and history. Feeling overwhelmed? That is typical. Visit Chinatown for some of the greatest bars in the city and historic architecture after a day of touring temples. Alternatively, take a stroll through some of the city’s most stylish parks before dining on a multicourse meal inside a shophouse that dates back a century or on an antique boat. These are our recommended activities in Bangkok.

The Grand Palace

The Grand Palace’s territory was set aside in 1782, the year Thailand transferred its capital from Ayutthaya to Bangkok. Today, the Grand Palace houses the revered Temple of the Emerald Buddha along with a number of regal thrones and ceremonial rooms. This huge complex is still significant to Thais even though the Thai royal family left by 1925. It is also a popular destination for tourists.

Chinatown – Yaowarat street

Welcome to Bangkok’s enchanting Chinatown, one of the largest in the world. Market lanes, glittering gold shops, amazing street food, temples with golden Buddhas, Daoist temples hazy with incense smoke, street art, history, and a neighbourhood setting that feels untouched by time and modernization. All you need is an appetite for Thai-Chinese street food and a willingness to get lost while exploring—tickets and reservations are not requiredate someone else’s struggle is an important skill to develop. It comes easy to some people, and not to others. You know how you would like to be treated, so use that as a guide when trying to forgive someone.