A great idea for a day trip from Bangkok is the former royal capital of Ayutthaya. Ransacked and burned to the ground by the invading Burmese in 1767, the ruins of this once great kingdom now comprise an historical park. Hire a tuk-tuk and explore them for a day – a great dose of history and culture when traveling in Thailand.
Start your third and final day in Bangkok off by visiting the country’s most sacred temple – Wat Phra Kaew. Explore Chinatown and Little India a bit before chilling out on the lawn at Sanam Luang. Munch on what might be the best pad Thai in the world and then party it up on Khaosan Road to end an epic weekend in the Thai capital.
It’s been an epic couple of days in Bangkok so far, but we’ve got one more to go. Hopefully you’re not too tired from temple hopping on day one or perusing the weekend market on day two, because the last day is a good one. You’ve already seen a few of the city’s most famous temples, but we’ve definitely saved the best for last, and that’s precisely where we’ll begin our third and final day.
Wat Phra Kaew
Also known as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, this is far and away the most sacred and important temple in the entire country thanks to the cherished relic it contains. The Emerald Buddha, carved from a single jade stone, is said to have been created in India in 43 BC. As the legend goes, it traveled between India, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Laos, and northern Thailand before finally arriving at Wat Phra Kaew in 1784. It’s an impressive, sprawling complex that’s well worth half a day.
The biggest in all of Southeast Asia, the Bangkok National Museum is home to the largest collection of Thai artifacts and art in the country. Learn a bit about Thai culture and history while perusing the various buildings that were formerly part of King Rama I’s viceroy. Free guided tours are given a few days a week by volunteers, so check the schedule and see if you can join one. If so, you’ll want to switch up the order of this day and hit the museum first, as tours start at 9:30.
It’s been a big day exploring and learning in the temple and museum, so it’s time to relax a bit. Right across from Wat Phra Kaew, you’ll find this large field and public square. Get here around sunset to kick back and relax on the grass while you watch locals fly kites in a place that has held many important royal ceremonies throughout the country’s history.
Sure, it’s the most clichéd Thai dish you could possibly eat, but you can’t pass up an opportunity to eat what might very well be the best pad Thai (ผัดไทย – pàt tai) in the world. Head to famous Thip Samai for a plate of the famous noodles and a fresh squeezed orange juice. With a full and happy belly, you’ll be ready to tackle your last night in the Thai capital.
Khao San Road
Although it gets a bad reputation as the “backpacker ghetto” of Bangkok, infamous Khao San Road is a place you’ve got to check out while you’re here. Love it or hate it, this street full of hostels, bars, and street vendors is quite possibly the epicenter of the SE Asian backpacking culture. Grab a cold Chang beer or seven, meet fellow travelers, and dance the night away.
It’s been a wild ride in Bangkok, but it’s time for your Thailand journey to roll on. There are tons of possibilities for your next stop – adventures in the north, island hopping, or exploring the ruins of ancient kingdoms. Should you end up back in Bangkok at some point on your trip, never fear – there’s still plenty to do in this amazing city.