Though somewhat chaotic, the city offers peaceful hideaways and classic culture
Pay a visit to the National Museum to see an impressive collection of Thai artifacts from Neolithic to modern times. The Royal Barges Museum is another noteworthy stop for its ornately designed longboats that were once used by Thai kings. The Vimanmek Teak Palace is the world’s largest teak building, and pays tribute to Thai architecture and art over 81 rooms filled with antiques and paintings. The Damnoen Saduak floating market (about 90 minutes outside of the city) is worth a trip for amazing photos and fun souvenirs. On the weekend, Chatuchak Weekend Market is another option for authentic Thai shopping.
Bangkok is home to some of the finest temples in all of Asia, the real must-see on a port stop in the city. Some of the best are located in Ko Rattanakosin, including the Grand Palace (in the old royal city) and Wat Phra Kaew, or the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. Wat Pho is just as impressive, with an enormous reclining Buddha. Other impressive and popular structures include Wat Arun (Temple of the Dawn) and Wat Traimit (Temple of the Golden Buddha). One of the finest ways to see the temples are on a cruise of the rivers and canals, particularly a luxurious evening barge cruise, when the temples are majestically lit.
Amazing street eats in Bangkok include local dishes such as tom yam kung (prawn soup), pad thai (fried noodles), and a range of colorful curries (gaeng). Other delicious treats include laap (chopped meat with spices) and som tam (green papaya salad with dried shrimp). Chote Chitr is a local treasure for classic and delicious Thai food served in a single room restaurant. For more high-end local flavors, the chic Basil offers creative riffs on traditional fare, while Blue Elephant brings unique ingredients such as foie gras to Thai cuisine.