The major sights in Bangkok are, of course, stunning. The Grand Palace, Wat Arun, the reclining Buddha at Wat Pho, the bustling Chinatown, Chatuchak Weekend Market... all are must-visits for your first time in Bangkok. However, after a few hours of dealing with the stampeding hordes of scantily clad and sunburnt tourists, you might be looking for an escape. It is almost impossible to completely avoid the crowds in Bangkok, but here are 4 slightly-off-the-beaten-path activities we recommend.
Explore A More Local Floating Market
There are a lot of floating markets to choose from in Bangkok. Damnoen Saduak and Amphawa are the biggest, however they are also by far the most popular. Show up to either of them during lunch time and you might as well be in Times Square. Instead, we suggest heading out to the smaller and less crazy Khlong Lat Mayom market. The market lines either side of a canal, and longtail boats cruise up and down the waterway peddling fruits and vegetable. There are endless stalls selling every kind of tasty Thai food you can imagine. Grab a fire-grilled fish and some spicy papaya salad, then take a longtail cruise of the surrounding waterways. In years past you might have been the only foreigner at Khlong Lat Mayom, but it has gotten a lot more popular recently. Still, the crowd is more locals than tourists which is a nice change of pace from the more popular markets.
Catch A Movie In The Super Fancy Paragon Cineplex
Some people don't believe in going to movie theaters while traveling because it is something they can do at home anytime. Needless to say, we are not those people. Sometimes after a day of sightseeing in 90-degree heat, there is nothing better than relaxing in a dark, air-conditioned theater for a few hours. We love seeing movies abroad and we have been to movie theaters all over the world. So when we say that Paragon Cineplex is easily one of the nicest theaters we have ever been to, you know it's got to be pretty good! There are 16 state-of-the-art cinemas, including a two-story 1,000 seat theater, an IMAX theater, a 4DX theater, and 4 different VIP theaters with couch seating, beverage service, and free foot massages! Its crazy!
Watch Live Muy Thai For Free
On Sundays, they shoot live Muy Thai fights at the Channel 7 Television studio near Chatuchak Market. The fights are free and open to anyone, so it's a perfect way to see some high-level Muy Thai on a budget. The fights start around 2PM and last for a few hours. Although this hasn't yet been overrun by tourists, it still gets PACKED with Thai men, like shoulder to shoulder, can't-even-move packed. That being said, there is air-conditioning and seating, so it's not too bad. Plus watching the crowd yelling and making all kinds of crazy hand-gestures as they place bets is half of the fun!
See How Many Bowls Of Noodles You Can Eat At Boat Noodle Alley
Despite the name, there aren't any actual boats at Boat Noodle Alley, nor is there even really an alley. It's actually just a couple neighboring noodle restaurants perched along a canal. The name refers to the style of noodle, which traditionally would have been sold by vendors on longtail boats. The servings are small (just a few bites of noodle in each bowl), but they only cost about 40 cents a pop, so people will eat 3-5 orders in one sitting. We even saw some people with 10-15 empty bowls in front of them!! There are different kinds of noodle, sauce, and toppings to choose from, so you can try a bunch of different options. Located just North of Victory Monument BTS station, Boat Noodle Alley is very convenient to get to from most places in Central Bangkok.