Bangkok is an awesome city but as an expat here, it is hard to avoid the crowds! That is why we are sharing 33 non-touristy things to do in Bangkok, including local markets and great places to eat in Bangkok.
Talat Huamum night market – Huamum is a fantastic market with a more relaxed vibe than you will find in other markets. You will find unique items here along with an array of clothing options. The market is also home to the popular Seafood Restaurant known as ‘Have Oyster Station’; with fresh oysters and water prawns.
Chang Chui – This market is known as a creative hub and not just because the market is shadowed by a disused airplane. This is where the hip and cool people go and enjoy some shopping for clothes, vintage items, books, home products, gifts, arts, crafts and stationary.
Khlong Lat Mayom Floating market – Not far from Bang Wa BTS Station, this floating market is a lot less touristy than other markets in the city. Jump on a boat and enjoy a stop at a local temple before you head to a florist and see the gorgeous vegetation and flowers of the market.
Wang Lang Market – Wang Lang Market is a fantastic local market that school children flock to at 4 pm and homemade food is the norm. You will be able to find clothing and the odd souvenir here but the market really is all about the fresh produce and food. Explore the nearby neighbourhood of Kudee Jeen for an insight into the Portuguese and Chinese influences.
Artbox – This trendy container market in Nana attracts people from all walks of life. Enjoy food on the picnic tables and explore the unique stalls and fashion available in the market.
Pak Klong Talad Flower Market – This is the biggest flower market in Thailand and is simply beautiful. This place makes for fantastic photography opportunities but also, the flowers are super cheap!
The Green Lung – Head to Bang Krachao (known as the green lung) and enjoy a walk or cycle around the gorgeous, luscious vegetation of the forest. It doesn’t even feel like you’re in Bangkok!
Guan Yin Shrine – This well-preserved temple is over 100 years old and is the perfect place to escape the crowds of Bangkok whilst learning more about the Thai history and culture.
Muang Boran – Just outside of Bangkok is Muang Boran, a unique day trip. The park is full of replicas of Thailand’s most famous temples, all in one place. You can even rent a golf cart to get around the complex.
Sathorn Unique Tower – This abandoned building started construction in the 1990s but was never completed. You can see the building on Charoen Krung Road near Saphan Taksin Station and you can even climb up the tower, however, it is not recommended for safety concerns.
Wat Saket – This is perhaps the most touristy attraction on this list but I still wanted to include it. You will find some tourists here but not nearly as many as you would find in other temples in the city. Known as the Golden Mountain, this temple offers stunning views of Bangkok whilst containing a relic of the Buddha inside.
Pottery class – Cooking classes are popular in Bangkok but pottery classes are often overlooked. Take a class on the spinning wheel and create your own pottery masterpiece.
Lhong 1919 – This museum exhibits the history of early Chinese merchants and their families within the walls of a renovated Courtyard mansion. With the original structures, buildings and styles, it is a unique bit of history along the Chao Phraya River.
Siriraj Medical Museum – This museum is also known as the museum of death because it is home to many exhibits of the taxidermy of humans. The museum has mummified the remains of Si Quey (the first known serial killer in Thai History who was known for abducting and eating the organs of children).
Airplane Graveyard – This abandoned airplane lot still remains relatively quiet but a great place to spend an afternoon. This is a unique place to visit in Bangkok and makes for some great Instagram shots in Bangkok, but aim for a weekday morning if you want to avoid sharing the space with anyone. Be careful where you step as you explore the shells of old jets.
NOTE: In 2022, parts of the planes have been removed and the area has signs saying “no entry”. It is still possible to visit the area and take photographs over the fence and some visitors have been able to enter when paying around 200B to the family that live near the Airplane Graveyard, but not everyone has had success in entering.
Khlong tour – Hire a boat or join a tour and head off around the Khlong’s of Bangkok. This is a more touristy activity but you can still escape the crowds as those longtail boats don’t hold too many people and you can hire a private boat too.
Papaya Vintage Shop – This is a shop with a difference. Here you will find a variety of strange, unusual things – from an old Vespa to antique furniture, lifesize figurines to superhero-inspired artwork.
Wat Pariwat – Also known as the David Beckham temple, this is a novel attraction in Bangkok. This temple is adorned with the most random of figures including Beckham, Pikachu, Batman, Obama and more.
Goddess Tuptim Shrine – This phallic forest can be found in a quiet corner of a car park… you can’t get any more unusual than that. With a collection of items contributing to this shrine, this is perhaps one of the most random things to see in Bangkok.
The elephant building – there isn’t much to say about this other than, elephants are greatly important in the Thai culture so someone decided to make a building that looks like an elephant. It is also known as the Chang Building and can be found in the Chatuchak district in the northern part of Bangkok.
Bangkok’s Giant Swing – Found in the Phra Nakhon district, this giant swing is a random but interesting structure to see in Bangkok. Originally constructed in 1784, it was used in Swing Ceremonies that were later discontinued as the structure was damaged by lightning.
The abandoned Bangkok mansions – Just outside of Bangkok sits a collection of mini-mansions, abandoned over 20 years ago. Once part of an upscale subdivision project, the homes were built for the wealthy before the construction company filed for bankruptcy. A caretaker now lives, with his family in two of these houses, leaving the uninhabited homes alone. You can visit and see these mansions from afar but they are still on private property so we do not encourage you to trespass.
Line Village – This is a strange but fun museum for the whole family. This museum is described as an indoor digital theme park with 23 zones of interactive activities. The locals love this place – take a photo with your favourite LINE character and interact with the settings and props.
GoSnoop – This interactive, outdoor detective game is a fun way to spend a day with friends. Explore Bangkok in a different way, solving riddles that take you across the city whilst tasting local delicacies as you move past gorgeous temples. This is sightseeing in a whole new way.
Art in Paradise – Beat the crowds and the heat and take your family to Art in Paradise. Move from artwork to artwork, posing in different positions and putting yourself into different fantasy scenes. See the full blog here.
The cinema – Yes, this sounds odd but the cinema’s in Bangkok are awesome! Go for a VIP experience and enjoy getting yourself a sofa or bed to watch your movie of choice. Some cinemas even include meals, snacks and in-cinema bars!
Corner 79 – This outdoor food court near On Nut BTS is a hub of young Thai locals and expats. With great food and cheap drinks, this is the perfect place to spend an evening relaxing and unwinding after a day exploring Bangkok.
Studio Lam – Studio Lam is a bar with unique music – think traditional Thai with a folk twist. Enjoy a cocktail after dinner but be warned, they are strong.
Backstage Bar – Head to Thonglor and enjoy an evening at the Backstage Bar. This is a cosy, intimate bar with theatre theming throughout, complete with heavy, red stage curtains.
Cheap Charlies – With most drinks costing just 80B, why would you say no to Cheap Charlies? This unique bar can be found in the On Nut area and offers super chilled vibes with an intriguing bar front and cheap drinks.
Cabbages & Condoms – This uniquely named restaurant is a great place to dine for a few reasons. Firstly, the restaurant generates money for local charities whilst raising awareness of safe sex and family planning. Along with that, the food is delicious and a fair price for the value you get. Read the full post here.
Haoma – This on-site urban farm and fish pond brings fresh produce to a whole new life. Take a seat at the trendy Haoma and enjoy the food at the country’s first zero-waste restaurant. You will take a tour of the vertical ponds and farms that supply the menu before seeing a large koi pond as long as the building.
Sometimes Blue Cafe – This is a very popular coffee shop, known for its hand dripped coffee. Head to Ari to experience a brew, named two-time winner of the National Thailand Brewers Cup.
Best Beef – This buffet grill restaurant in On Nut is the ideal place to have an interesting meal whilst trying delicious seafood. With a whole host of meats, seafood and veg available, you can order what you want and get cooking in your own private skillet. Make sure you head to Best Beef Bangkok on your next trip!
Those are just a few of our non-touristy things to do in Bangkok suggestions. What are you looking forward to doing in the Big Mango? Tell us in the comments below.