Bangkok Itinerary: A Family-Friendly Guide

I recently spent 6 days in Bangkok with my family. While the city didn’t meet my expectations, it was a mixed bag. Some parts were fascinating while others were a bit overwhelming.

The city’s rich history & culture and vibrant street life captivated me, yet, the intense heat, relentless hustle, chaotic pace (don’t judge me, though—I hail from India, where sensory overload is part of the charm), and strong seafood smell everywhere tested my patience.

Despite its reputation as a budget-friendly destination for backpackers, we found the costs for transport, meals, and activities surprisingly high, not to mention the numerous scams. As someone who loves the thrill of new experiences, Bangkok certainly kept me on my toes!

I’m sharing this six-day Bangkok itinerary to help families have a better experience than we did. You can easily adjust it to fit a 2, 3, 4, or 5-day trip by skipping the days that don’t fit your schedule. This way, you can have a great time in Bangkok and avoid the problems we ran into!

Also, we planned this itinerary with our teen daughter in mind, so it’s geared towards older kids. However, if you’re traveling with younger children, don’t worry—I’ve included plenty of alternative activities throughout the post to accommodate families with kids of all ages, making it easy to adjust according to your family’s needs.

Where to Stay in Bangkok with Family

our family room at chatrium hotel riverside bangkok thailandour family room at chatrium hotel riverside bangkok thailand

Bangkok, as one of the most visited cities in the world, has quite a choice regarding accommodation. However, it’s crucial to know family-friendly areas and accommodations.

For instance, Chinatown and the Khao San Road are great for solo and budget travelers but might not best fit for families as they tend to get crowded and noisy.

In my opinion, Siam and Riverside are great for families. Home to some of the most famous malls in the city, Siam is the heart of Bangkok’s shopping district. It’s spacious and neatly laid out and well-connected by public transport.

Plus, it has plenty of mid-range and luxury accommodation options. Siam Kempinski and Sindhorn Midtown are rated highly by families.

Riverside, on the other hand, offers a scenic and peaceful experience. Choose a hotel along the Chao Phraya River, ideally with a room that affords beautiful river views and, if possible, an infinity pool overlooking the river. You are sorted.

There are many hotels to pick from, but if you want a tried and tested recommendation, consider staying at Chatrium Riverside or Mandarin Oriental.

6 Days in Bangkok Itinerary: An Overview

Day 0: Arrive in Bangkok | Day at Leisure
Day 1: Explore Bangkok (Grand Palace and Temples) | Dinner at View ARUN Restaurant & Bar
Day 2: Day Trip to the Railway Market and Floating Market | Dinner at Asiatique the Riverfront
Day 3: Day Trip to Ayutthaya | Dinner at Skywalk at King Power Mahanakhon
Day 4: Explore Bangkok (China Town and Jim Thompson House Museum) | Dinner at a Rooftop Restaurant
Day 5: Explore Bangkok (Local Markets and Shopping Malls)
Day 6: Day Trip to Kanchanaburi

A Quick Note on Itinerary Structure: If you’ve been following my travels, you know I usually start my itineraries with ‘Day 0,’ the day you arrive. I don’t count it as a full day since flight timings vary. For example, if you land late at night, you won’t have time to explore, so that day doesn’t count. But if you arrive early in the morning and can use the day, you can consider it as ‘Day 1’ instead. For instance, when we arrived in Bangkok at 4 am, we checked into our hotel (booking an extra night since early check-ins aren’t typical in Thailand). After a short rest (we didn’t have a jetlag issue because it was only a 2.5-hour flight from India, but coming from the USA or another distant location might require more rest), we headed out late morning, to see the Grand Palace and temples. Yes, it was crowded but it was still a day of exploration. I hope this makes sense!

Detailed 6-Day Itinerary for Bangkok

Here’s a comprehensive itinerary designed & tested by yours truly to help you soak up the best of Bangkok in six days!

Day 0: Arrive in Bangkok | Day at Leisure

golden statue of a thai deity on a red platform, surrounded by green plants and velvet ropes on suvarnabhumi airport in bangkok thailandgolden statue of a thai deity on a red platform, surrounded by green plants and velvet ropes on suvarnabhumi airport in bangkok thailand

Most visitors land in Thailand via Bangkok as it has the busiest airport, Suvarnabhumi with the most direct flights from major cities worldwide.

PS: To get the best deals on flights to Bangkok, I recommend booking your tickets between three to six months ahead of time. Also, don’t forget to set up price alerts on Skyscanner so you can catch the deals as soon as they become available!

While some tourists go straight to Phuket as they associate Thailand with islands and beaches, I believe Bangkok is the true heart of the country.

Despite its chaos, Bangkok has a rich culture and history. IMO, if you want to get to know Thailand, adding Bangkok to your itinerary for Thailand is a must.

If you arrive late, use this day to rest and recover from jetlag. If you arrive early, take the first half of the day to shake off the jetlag, and then you can start exploring. In short, use your first day to refresh before you start exploring.

In the evening, you can enjoy some relaxing yet exciting activities. Consider a dinner cruise on the Chao Phraya River, fine dining at a rooftop restaurant with views of Bangkok’s lit-up skyline, or sipping a classic Thai tea at Cha Tra Mue.

If you’re feeling more energetic, take an evening tuk-tuk tour to see Bangkok’s temples, and markets, and try local food after dark.

Please Note: Thailand has two main airports—Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) and Don Mueang International Airport (DMK). Both are quite far from the city center, so I’d recommend booking a private airport transfer in advance.

Day 1: Explore Bangkok (Grand Palace and Temples)

the grand palce complex  in bangkok featuring spires and white statues the grand palce complex  in bangkok featuring spires and white statues

So, you must be up bright and early to beat the crowds so you can fully appreciate the intricate beauty of the temples in Bangkok.

There are as many as 400 temples, known as wats in the local language, in the city, which showcase the Buddhist culture and traditions that Thailand is famous for. I believe these temples are the real charm of the country.

With a staggering number of temples, choosing just a few can be overwhelming. If it’s your first trip, I recommend seeing Wat Arun, Wat Pho, Wat Saket, and the Grand Palace & Wat Phra Kaew at least.

We tried to visit as many as possible during our limited time. While some might find too many temple visits repetitive, as cultural enthusiasts, we, as a family, were never bored. We absolutely loved visiting each one.

If we ever go back to Bangkok (though it’s unlikely), we’ll make a point to see the temples we missed this time around.

Day 1: Morning

8:30 am: Explore Grand Palace & Wat Phra Kaew

Getting to the point, start your day at the Grand Palace and try to get there right when it opens (8:30 am) — I can’t emphasize this enough. Also, make sure you buy your tickets online.

The Grand Palace is so so beautifully stunning. While Wat Phra Kaew is the most famous section of the palace, home to the notable Emerald Buddha, the other lesser-known parts are just as breathtaking.

If you have an eye for detail, you’ll spend much time here, minutely checking out the intricate craftsmanship. You’ll end up taking countless photos since every corner is picture-perfect.

The ticket allows you to visit the Grand Palace, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha Museum, and the Queen Sirikit Museum of Textiles.

With the same ticket, you can also visit the Arts of the Kingdom Museum and the Masterpieces and watch Kon Performance at Sala Chalermkrung Royal Theatre. The Arts of the Kingdom Museum and the Masterpieces is located in Bang Pa-in, which is about 59 km or 36 miles from Bangkok – you can explore it on the way to Ayutthaya.

Opening Hours: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm
Entrance Ticket: 500 baht per person

Getting to Wat Pho: It’s about 900 meters from the Grand Palace and needs you to walk for 10 to 15 minutes via Maha Rat Road and Thai Wang Road. Alternatively, you can ride a tuk-tuk or Grab.

10 am: Visit Wat Pho

Wat Pho is one of the oldest temples in Bangkok. The magnum opus of the temple has to be the giant (46 meters long and 15 meters high) reclining golden Buddha statue that gave it its name – the Temple of the Reclining Buddha. Quite a sight!

With 108 auspicious symbols that represent the characteristics of a noble person, according to Indian traditions, the feet of the statue are impressive!

If you believe in the power of wishes as we do, consider purchasing a bowl of coins, which costs a small fee of 20 baht.

As you drop a coin into each of the 108 bronze bowls, make a wish. Whether or not your wish comes true, buying the coins is a good cause because it helps support the temple.

Once you’ve admired the revered statue, make it a point to explore the halls and pavilions on the temple grounds as they are equally beautiful.

You should also know that the temple is the birthplace of traditional Thai massage and was the site of one of Thailand’s first public universities, including the earliest school of medicine. If interested, you can sign up for a traditional massage here.

Opening Hours: 8:30 am to 6:30 pm
Entrance Ticket: 300 baht per person

Getting to Wat Arun: Just a short 3-minute walk (around 200 meters) from Wat Pho, cross the street via Tha Tian Market to get to No.8 Tah Tien Pier. From there, you can catch a scenic boat ride to Wat Arun.

11:30 am: Admire Wat Arun

As you hop on the ferry, the stunning view of Wat Arun across the Chao Phraya River will capture your attention. I snapped hundreds of photos before we even reached the temple’s entrance. Seriously.

This has to be one of the most beautiful ancient temples I ever visited. And, mind it, being an advocate of culture, religion, and spirituality, I’ve visited many including the iconic ones in India.

Named after the Hindu God Aruna, Wat Arun’s remarkable feature is its 82-meter-high central Khmer-style prang or tower.

It is adorned heavily with vibrant and intricate carvings and sculptures and flanked by four smaller prangs, symbolizing Mount Meru, the center of the universe in Hindu and Buddhist belief.

There are four steep stairways, one on each side of the tower, that you can climb to get beautiful views of the winding river and the city. If traveling with young children, be cautious as the stairs can be quite challenging.

After admiring the intricate artistic details on the spires and the view from the top, we spent another 40 minutes or so witnessing the other impressive structures on the temple grounds. So, ensure you set aside some extra time.

Opening Hours: 8 am to 6 pm
Entrance Ticket: 200 baht per person

Getting to Tha Suphan Alley: Board a cross-river ferry from Wat Arun ferry jetty back to the No.8 Tah Tien Pier and then walk about 3 to 4 minutes to reach Tha Suphan Alley.

Day 1: Afternoon

1:30 pm: Lunch @ Tha Supahn Alley
pad thai kratong thong aka ama art & eatery restaurant at tha suphan alley in bangkok pad thai kratong thong aka ama art & eatery restaurant at tha suphan alley in bangkok
A scene outside the famous Ama Art & Eatery at Tha Suphan Alley

Right opposite Wat Pho, Tha Suphan Alley has a lot of nice cafes and eateries – Tang Heng Kee, Heychom Thai Dessert Bar, Home Cafe Tha Tien, All Meals Sawasdee, Pad Thai Kratong Thong aka Ama Art & Eatery, and THE SIXTH 6th are some of the good ones.

We wanted to try THE SIXTH 6th for lunch since many travelers recommend it, but it’s a pretty small place with only about 4 or 5 tables.

When we got there, three tables were already taken, and only two smaller tables (seating capacity of two) were open.

We were three and asked the owner if we could add another chair to fit all of us at one of the smaller tables.

Unfortunately, the owner said no because adding another chair would make it too cramped and hard for them to serve other customers. We left feeling a bit let down and started thinking about what to do next.

We walked down the street, looking for another restaurant with vegetarian options, a friendly girl outside Tang Heng Kee invited us to try their food.

Even though they didn’t have a table ready, she quickly arranged some chairs for us and served us warmly. A big shout out to Tang Heng Kee for their exceptional hospitality and for making us feel so welcome!

After a satisfying lunch, we also visited Heychom Thai Dessert Bar to enjoy Thai sweets & coffee.

a plate of pad thaia plate of pad thai
Classically Thai: Pad Thai
the front page of a menu showcasing traditional thai desserts of heychom thai dessert bar at tha suphan alley in bangkok near wat pho templethe front page of a menu showcasing traditional thai desserts of heychom thai dessert bar at tha suphan alley in bangkok near wat pho temple
The sweet menu card of Heychom Thai Dessert Bar at Tha Suphan Alley

Getting to Wat Saket: An easy 10-minute Grab ride takes you to Wat Saket from Tha Supahn Alley.

3 pm: Explore Wat Saket
the start of the stairs leading to the top to the wat saket temple aka golden mount in bangkok thailandthe start of the stairs leading to the top to the wat saket temple aka golden mount in bangkok thailand
Beautiful entrance to the Golden Mount Temple

Perched on a man-made white hill, with its gleaming gold chedi (stupa), you need to climb 320 steps to admire the beauty of Wat Saket, famously known as the Golden Mount Temple!

Don’t worry, the climb is easy with low steps. The way up is meditative and scenic, with lush greens, gnarled vines, artificial waterfalls, and unique statues sprinkled along the path.

The spiritual sounds of bells, gongs, and chants playing from speakers add to the entire experience.

golden buddha statue at wat saket golden mount temple in bangkok thailandgolden buddha statue at wat saket golden mount temple in bangkok thailand
Inside Wat Saket
view of the city below from the window of wat saket golden mount temple in bangkokview of the city below from the window of wat saket golden mount temple in bangkok
Panoramic View from the window of Wat Saket

As you walk up to the temple, the panoramic views of the city’s skyline stretch before you and get better as you reach the top.

Inside, there’s a statue of Buddha in the center and as you circle the statue, you’ll find some of the most unique frescoes including the murals depicting scenes in Hell.

You’ll find a narrow staircase at the corner leading up to the large gold chedi on the top viewing platform. When I visited, the chedi was being renovated!

As you descend, you’ll find a few interesting sites, including the crematorium where 60,000 plague victims were once buried. The site showcases the grim image of vultures feasting on the decaying corpse. There’s an informational board that explains the historical relevance of the episode.

It can be unsettling to see, especially for kids, so you might want to prepare them in advance or decide if it’s appropriate for them to view.

Opening Hours: 7 am to 7 pm
Entrance Ticket: 100 baht per person

Getting to View Arun Restaurant & Bar: Take a Grab from Wat Saket to the riverside restaurant of View Arun. It’s about a 15-minute ride.

Day 1: Evening

5 pm: Dinner with an Iconic View of Wat Arun at Arun Restaurant & Bar
wat arun sunset view across chao phraya river wat arun sunset view across chao phraya river
Iconic view of Wat Arun across the Chao Phraya River during the sunset

View Arun Restaurant & Bar is a top choice for dining along the eastern bank of the Chao Phraya River, known for its iconic views of Wat Arun, also known as the Temple of Dawn.

The views are particularly stunning at sunset and nighttime.

It’s a popular place that gets crazy busy at sunset because everyone wants that picture-perfect view of the temple across the river. I recommend reserving your table early to make sure you get the seat.

Tip: If you are a culture addict like us and can explore more temples without getting templed out, here are the ones we enjoyed: Wat Ratchabophit, Wat Ratchanatdaram aka Loha Prasat, Wat Benchamabophit aka the Marble Temple, Wat Suthat, Wat Ratchapradit, Wat Traimit, and Wat Paknam.

Day 2: Day Trip to the Railway Market and Floating Market | Asiatique the Riverfront

maeklong railway station in bangkok thailandmaeklong railway station in bangkok thailand

Day 2 takes you to Thailand’s unique markets—the floating market & the railway market. Both the markets are a bit outside Bangkok, so pre-planning how to get there is vital.

We arranged a private car through our hotel, Chatrium Riverside. It worked out really well.

The driver, Mr. Wirot Phokao, was great. He charged a reasonable price of 1800 baht for the day trip. The car was comfy, and he let us spend as much time as we wanted at each place.

He even made extra stops along the way without worrying about the time.

Some tour companies we looked into wanted 2500 to 3000 baht just for four hours, and they would charge extra if we took longer, even if the delay was due to traffic, which didn’t seem fair.

You can also choose a guided tour which includes transport. This can help you avoid the hassles of figuring out public transportation.

When traveling with family, our experience says, it’s usually better to go with private transportation.

It’s often less expensive, more comfortable, and more flexible, particularly if you have young kids. This is especially true in Asian countries, where public transportation isn’t as organized as in Western countries.

Day 2: Morning

8:30 am: Visit Maeklong Railway Market
train arriving on a railway track right between the stalls at maeklong railway market aka talad rom hub near bangkoktrain arriving on a railway track right between the stalls at maeklong railway market aka talad rom hub near bangkok
Train arriving on a railway track right between the stalls at Maeklong Railway Market

So, whether you go on your own or join a tour, Maeklong Railway Market (Talad Rom Hub) will most likely be your first stop.

The railway market is open from 7 am to 5 pm, with 6 trains passing daily at scheduled times: 8:30 am, 9 am, 11:15 am, 11:30 am, 2:30, and 3:30 pm.

I recommend arriving early (around 8:15 am) so you can catch the sight of the 8:30 am train and finish exploring the market before the day heats up.

To see a market built right on the train tracks is pretty incredible. When we visited, we were amazed to see vendors quickly roll back their awnings and move their goods off the tracks whenever a train came through.

As soon as the train passed, they set everything back up again. It’s a daily ritual and impressively, they do this quite a few times a day with a smile on their faces, not to mention, while taking care of the visitor’s safety.

We watched the train approach the track and observed the vendors busy at work in the market.

If you want to experience the train ride as well, you can take one from Wongwian Yai Station in Bangkok straight to Maeklong.

This train takes you right in the middle of the market. You can then explore the market after your train ride. Most tours like this one include this train journey.

From fresh produce, seafood, meats, and spices to clothing and household items-you’ll find everything in the market.

If you’re a vegetarian or vegan like me, you might find the strong smell and sight of seafood a bit overwhelming.

I’m certain you’ll crave a cool drink after exploring the railway market in Thailand’s infamous heat. Pop into the Train Cafe right in the middle of the market.

It’s an air-conditioned cafe where you can enjoy refreshing shakes, juices, or Thai tea while watching the train go by while you sip and cool down.

I tried their mango juice, it was the best among all the shakes and juices I had in Thailand. It’s like every sip is packed with the taste of real, fresh mango, making it an ideal pick-me-up on a warm day.

the glasses of thai tea and mango juice at maeklong railway station in bangkok thailandthe glasses of thai tea and mango juice at maeklong railway station in bangkok thailand
Relishing cold beverages at the Train Cafe at Maeklong Railway Market
11:30 am: Explore Damnoen Saduak Floating Market

Next. you’ll visit Damnoen Saduak Floating Market. A lively part of Thai culture and traditions, unfortunately, it has turned into a tourist trap and thus, attracts scams.

Originally, the floating markets were an important part of daily life in areas where rivers and canals were the main routes for transportation and trade.

If you expect to see the traditional way of life at the floating markets, you might be disappointed as they’ve become quite touristy.

You’ll see stalls along the water and vendors selling items in wooden boats at very high prices. The feel isn’t authentic, to say the least.

However, sometimes it’s hard to resist trying out these tourist activities. As for me, I sometimes do things I wouldn’t normally choose, just so I can share the experience with my readers.

At the time of writing this, motor boat tours are priced at 2000 baht and row boat tours at 400 baht.

Make sure not to pay more than this—always check the price boards at the market entrance to avoid being overcharged.

I suggest you book a guided day tour that includes the boat ride so, you can enjoy the market while saving the hassle of negotiating prices on your own.

Visiting both markets will take about half a day, so you’ll likely be back in Bangkok by late afternoon.

Day 2: Afternoon

2:30 pm: Lunch and Rest at Hotel
assorted sushi platter at veg japan restaurant in bangkokassorted sushi platter at veg japan restaurant in bangkok
Assorted Sushi Platter
sweet matcha pudding at veg japan restaurant in bangkoksweet matcha pudding at veg japan restaurant in bangkok
Matcha Pudding

I’m guessing you’ll have lunch on your way back to the city, and then you can relax at your hotel for a while. Later, I recommend going to Asiatique the Riverfront.

We stopped by Veg Japan for lunch as it was near to our hotel, Chatrium Riverside.

We tried a sushi platter, yaki udon noodles, matcha pudding, and matcha tea. The food was authentically Japanese, something I never imagined enjoying outside of Japan. The staff is exceptionally kind and warm and the service is A-class.

If you find yourself in and around Bang Kho Laem, you definitely should try Veg Japan!

Day 2: Evening

5:30 pm: Play, Shop, and Dine at Asiatique the Riverfront
an open-air market scene at asiatique the riverfront in bangkok thailand featuring a central fountain with a bronze statue of a seated figure surrounded by shops with signage and pedestrians strolling byan open-air market scene at asiatique the riverfront in bangkok thailand featuring a central fountain with a bronze statue of a seated figure surrounded by shops with signage and pedestrians strolling by
Asiatique the Riverfront

We visited Asiatique several times during our stay in Bangkok and enjoyed it. It’s a vibrant, open-air mall and night market by the Chao Phraya River offering a diverse experience involving shopping, dining, culture, and entertainment.

While shopping, I noticed that the prices here are quite competitive and the products are of higher quality. It’s a great spot to pick up souvenirs.

Plus, there are many food outlets to choose from, with food prices also being quite reasonable.

Families with kids or teens can enjoy many entertainment activities such as the Sky Asiatique, Grand Carousel, Mystery House, and Disney Village.

Opening Hours: 11 am to 12 am daily (most shops & restaurants open in the evening at around 5 pm)
Entry Ticket: Free (you only pay for the individual activities)

Day 3: Day Trip to Ayutthaya | Skywalk at King Power Mahanakhon

the tree with an iconic buddha head at wat mahathat ayutthaya near bangkokthe tree with an iconic buddha head at wat mahathat ayutthaya near bangkok
Iconic Buddha Head at Wat Mahathat in Ayutthaya
steep stairs going up to the wat yai chai mongkhon in ayutthaya near bangkok in thailandsteep stairs going up to the wat yai chai mongkhon in ayutthaya near bangkok in thailand
Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon in Ayutthaya

Ayutthaya is another popular and well-deserved day trip destination from Bangkok. You’ll like it, particularly if you admire history and culture.

Once the capital of Thailand, the ancient city of Ayutthaya is famous for its impressive ruins and temples. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Day 3: Morning

8:30 am: Explore the Temples of Ayutthaya

As always, start early to avoid the crowds and heat. It normally takes about an hour or so to get to Ayutthaya from Bangkok. We called the same driver, Mr. Wirot Phokao, for a day trip to Ayutthaya.

If you plan to ride a train (about 24 trains per day from Bangkok to Ayutthaya), please book the 1st class AC sleeper in Special Express No. 7 for a comfortable journey.

You can also join one of the guided tours to Ayutthaya. There are several group tours and private tours available to choose from, as per your budget and travel style.

The temples in Ayutthaya are spread out, so having a vehicle makes it easier to get around. Those who visit by train can hire a tuk-tuk for a few hours to explore the temples. As per my research, they charge around 300 to 400 baht per hour.

Ayutthaya has many beautiful temples, but if you’re visiting as a half-day trip from Bangkok, I’d suggest you focus on the most famous ones to make the most of your time. Wat Phra Si Sanphet, Wat Mahathat, and Wat Chaiwatthanaram are the cream of the crop.

During our half-day trip, we also explored Wat Lokkayasutha, Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon, and Wat Phanan Choeng Worawihan.

The temples in Ayutthaya are open from 8 am to 5 pm. Each temple charges an entrance fee of 50 THB, but you can buy a combined ticket for 230 THB that covers up to six popular temples to save money.

Day 3: Afternoon

3 pm: Lunch & Rest at Hotel

Grab lunch in Ayutthaya or on your way to Bangkok. After returning in the afternoon, relax at your hotel before heading out to see one of the city’s most exciting modern sights, the Skywalk at King Power Mahanakhon.

We enjoyed a delicious vegetarian lunch at Sukunya Somtum. It’s a little family-run authentic Thai restaurant. The staff and services are praiseworthy and the food prices and portions are reasonable.

Day 3: Evening

6 pm: Dine & Marvel at Bangkok’s Iconic Skyline From King Power Mahanakhon
king power mahanakhon tower in bangkokking power mahanakhon tower in bangkok
King Power Mahanakhon Tower as seen from our hotel Eastin Grand

One of Bangkok’s tallest buildings, King Power Mahanakhon stands out for its design which looks like it has pixelated or digital patterns on its surface.

At the top (78th floor) of this skyscraper, there is a Skywalk with a glass floor, offering stunning views of the city from high above.

Walking on the glass tray of the 78th floor’s Skywalk and seeing the city right beneath your feet is mind-numbingly exciting.

panoramic view of the city of bangkok from Skywalk at king power mahanakhon at sunsetpanoramic view of the city of bangkok from Skywalk at king power mahanakhon at sunset
Bangkok skyline shines at night, as sen from the Skywalk at King Power Mahanakhon

However, if you’re afraid of heights like I am, you can still enjoy the stunning panoramic views of the city’s skyline from the safety of the indoor observation deck on the 74th floor.

Tickets become more expensive after sunset, but the views during and after sunset, with everything lit up, truly make the experience worth it.

As for dining at Mahanakhon, you have a range of restaurants, cafes, and street food eateries some of which are Michelin-starred. Or you can dine with a view at Mahanakhon SkyBar, located between the two observation decks.

Day 4: Explore Bangkok (Chinatown and Jim Thompson House Museum) | Dinner at a Rooftop Restaurant

bustling chinatown in bangkok bustling chinatown in bangkok
Bustling Chinatown

Like Chinatowns everywhere else, Chinatown in Bangkok is packed with narrow lanes bustling with crowds, street food stalls offering seafood, and heritage buildings.

The most notable sites here are Wat Traimit Temple and Sampheng Lane Market. If offbeat is your beat, you might find the idea of exploring Talat Noi exciting.

Day 4: Morning

8 am: Explore the Hidden Gem of Talat Noi in Chinatown
old entrance with rustic red door and blue walls and hanging chinese lanterns of so heng tai mansion in talat noi neighborhood of chinatown in bangkokold entrance with rustic red door and blue walls and hanging chinese lanterns of so heng tai mansion in talat noi neighborhood of chinatown in bangkok
Ah! the rustic charm of So Heng Tai Mansion in Talat Noi, Chinatown

If you’re traveling with older kids who enjoy culture, like my daughter, consider visiting the rustic neighborhood of Talat Noi in Chinatown.

It literally feels like an open-air museum where you can experience Chinese and Thai cultures blended into one.

Here, the narrow streets are lined with old shophouses, hidden temples, and colorful street art.

Highlights include So Heng Tai Mansion, Antique Turtle Car, Rong Kueak Shrine, Kularb Wittaya School, Holy Rosary Church, and Chow Sue Kong Shrine.

If you want to check out some vibrant street art, check out Trok San Chao Rong Kueak Alley.

After all the sightseeing on foot, you might want to relax, I recommend Hong Sieng Cafe & Museum. It’s a perfect venue for a relaxing coffee while enjoying the quaint, retro atmosphere.

Getting to Sampheng Lane Market: Walking is what I suggest as it’s only about a 15-minute walk and lets you experience the local culture along the way. Alternatively, you can take a classic tuk-tuk ride there.

10 am: Shop at Sampheng Market
a shop at sampheng market in chinatown in bangkok with a variety of items such as water bottles, backpacks, and trinkets at cheap prices a shop at sampheng market in chinatown in bangkok with a variety of items such as water bottles, backpacks, and trinkets at cheap prices
Variety store at Sampheng Lane Market in Chinatown

Sampheng Lane aka Soi Wanit 1 is a wholesale and retail market where you can find just about anything at dirt-cheap prices.

The quality isn’t the best, but shopping here is fun because you can explore an extensive selection of items and enjoy hunting for bargains.

The narrow alleyway of the market is filled with stalls and small shops, so there’s not much space for walking, making it quite crowded and chaotic.

Also, keep an eye on your belongings like mobile phones, as the crowded conditions can be overwhelming.

When I was there, I saw two tourists searching for their phones which they had lost, so I made sure to keep my phone safe in my crossbody bag. Because of this, I didn’t take many photos since I use my phone for pictures and couldn’t keep it out.

Getting to Wat Traimit: The temple is just under a kilometer from the market. You can walk there comfortably in the morning when it’s not too hot or take a tuk-tuk.

Day 4: Afternoon

12 pm: Explore Wat Traimit Temple
golden buddha at wat traimit temple in chinatown in bangkokgolden buddha at wat traimit temple in chinatown in bangkok
Golden Buddha Statue at Wat Traimit Temple in Chinatown

Located in Chinatown, Wat Traimit Temple is home to the world’s largest solid gold Buddha statue which gave it a moniker, the Temple of the Golden Buddha.

Originally, the statue was covered in plaster and stucco to protect its real gold value from invaders, and it stayed hidden like this for many years.

In the 1950s, while being moved to a new spot within the temple, the statue accidentally fell, causing the plaster to crack and revealing the gold underneath.

There’s also a museum in the temple complex that you can visit if you are curious to know more about the history of the area and the temple.

Opening Hours: 8 am to 5 pm
Entrance Ticket: 40 baht per person

Day 4 Alternative for Families Traveling with Younger Kids

Now, if you have younger children, you might want to skip Talat Noi (or maybe pass over Chinatown completely) and head to Dream World instead.

It’s a large family-friendly amusement park that’s perfect for a day of fun and rides for the little ones.

It’s open daily from 10 am to 5 pm on weekdays and 10 am to 6 pm on weekends. The entrance ticket costs around 1,000 baht per person over 9 years.

And, if you choose Dream World, there’ll be a little change in the plan. You’ll begin at Wat Traimit at 8 am, then move on to Sampheng Lane at 9 am, and finally head to Dream World at 11 am.

Or head straight to Dream World skipping Chinatown altogether.

3 pm: Visit Jim Thompson House Museum
jim thompson house museum in bangkokjim thompson house museum in bangkok

We had late lunch at Jim’s Terrace, a Thai-Tapas-style café near the Jim Thompson House Museum. The café has a lovely ambiance and a diverse menu including vegetarian options.

PS: While the Jim Thompson Museum is great for kids of all ages, if you think your younger children might not enjoy it or are too tired after visiting the amusement park, you can skip it and rest at your hotel before heading to the rooftop restaurant in the evening.

Who’s Jim Thompson? He was an American who helped revive the Thai silk industry in the mid-20th century.

The museum you see today was once his home and now preserves a vast collection of art and antiques he collected.

The best part is that the museum visit includes a guided tour thus, makes it easy to understand the history and relevance behind it.

Opening Hours: 10 am to 6 pm
Entrance Ticket: 200 baht per person

Day 4: Evening

6 pm: Dinner with a View at a Rooftop Restaurant
panoramic view of the city of bangkok from a rooftop restaurantpanoramic view of the city of bangkok from a rooftop restaurant
Don’t miss out on the rooftop dining experience in Bangkok!

Bangkok is famous for its stunning skyline and the mind-blowing 360° views from its towering heights. You wouldn’t want to miss out on this sky-high dining experience!

There’s no shortage of rooftop restaurants and bars in the city that promise an exhilarating experience for the eyes and the palate.

We spent a week in the city and had the chance to visit Vertigo and Sirocco, both of which we loved.

People often mention Baiyoke, Ojo Bangkok, Above Eleven, and Red Sky while talking about the best rooftop dining spots in Bangkok, however, I didn’t get a chance to check them out!

Day 5: Explore Bangkok (Local Markets and Shopping Malls)

siam discovery shopping mall in bangkoksiam discovery shopping mall in bangkok

I bet you are as excited as we were about this day. Who doesn’t love shopping? And shopping in Bangkok is another level!

The shopping experience here is a stark contrast: on one side, there are local markets with bargain prices, and on the other, there are upscale malls featuring high-end brands.

I focused most of my time on the local markets because they are rich in local culture, and since malls are pretty much the same worldwide, the shopping experience doesn’t vary much.

I also feel no trip to Bangkok is complete without a visit to the Siam-Pathumwan shopping district. It’s packed with swanky malls!

It’s worth a visit, especially if you have a teen daughter like mine who loves exploring malls.

Day 5: Morning

5 am: Yodpiman Flower Market
colorful flowers at pak khlong talat flower market yodpiman bangkok thailandcolorful flowers at pak khlong talat flower market yodpiman bangkok thailand

5 am? Sounds crazy? I’ll explain!

Yodpiman Flower Market aka Pak Khlong Talat Flower Market is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. But, the best times to visit are between midnight and early morning, from 3 am to 7 am.

It’s when the market is at its liveliest, with fresh deliveries coming in, vendors arranging their colorful and artistic flower displays, and buyers arriving to pick up the freshest flowers for temple offerings, weddings, gifts, or business purposes.

We decided to visit at 5 in the morning, which was ideal because it allowed mini-me to get a good night’s sleep and wake up refreshed for a long day ahead.

Located near the Chao Phraya River, this market is not only one of Thiland’s biggest wholesale and retail flower markets but also one of the world’s top ten flower markets.

About its history, Pak Khlong Talat started as a floating market and then evolved to a fish market before it became a flower market in the mid-20th century.

You’ll see a mind-boggling selection of flowers, from common flowers like roses and daisies to exotic orchids and lilies – all at very affordable prices.

IMO, your tweens or teens might not like the idea of waking up early to visit the flower market, but once they’re there, they’ll enjoy it.

However, the intense sensory experience might overwhelm your little ones, making it hard for them to enjoy.

How much time to spend in the market depends on your pace and of course, your interests. It took us a little over an hour to discover the market.

Once free, head to your hotel, freshen up, enjoy the buffet breakfast, and grab a Grab to visit the local market of your choice!

If it’s a weekend (I highly recommend planning a weekend in Bangkok), the clear winner will be Chatuchak Weekend Market, for a reason!

For all other days, Pratunam Market, Palladium Market, and Bang Lamphu Market are good.

Chatuchak Market is open on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, but during these days, not all sections are open, and the hours differ.

Alternatively, you can begin your day at the shopping district to explore the malls, and then delve into one or two famous night markets in Bangkok such as Talad Rod Fai Train Night Market and Patpong Night Market.

9 am: Chatuchak Weekend Market

One of the world’s largest weekend markets, Chatuchak or Jatujak or JJ Market is so fascinating! It’s huge. I absolutely enjoyed getting lost among its many stalls and shops selling everything from clothes to crafts and food.

We shopped till we dropped. I mean, how can you resist when the options are endless and the prices are incredibly reasonable?

But, don’t shy away from bargaining. The initial prices are often set higher than expected.

If you have time, you can visit another local market, Or Tor Kor Market, a 10-minute walk from Chatuchak.

Opening Hours: 7 am to 6 pm (Wednesday and Thursday – restricted access); 6 pm-12 pm (Friday – restricted access); and 9 am to 6 pm (Saturday and Sunday – whole market open)

Day 5: Afternoon

1 pm: Lunch at Chamlong’s Asoke Vegetarian Restaurant

If you are looking for vegetarian food in Bangkok, Chamlong’s Asoke is a real deal!

They have quite an expansive selection of vegetarian and vegan dishes. It’s a simple casual dining spot with a self-service system where you can buy vouchers at the entrance and use them for your meals.

If you don’t use up all the value on the vouchers, you can exchange them for cash when you’re done.

Day 5: Evening

5 pm: Explore the Shopping District of Siam-Pathumwan
the shops inside the centralworld shopping mall in pathumwan in bangkokthe shops inside the centralworld shopping mall in pathumwan in bangkok

Right in the heart of Bangkok, Siam-Pathumwan is the cultural and shopping hotspot.

Once there, start at Siam Square, a lively area filled with fashion stores, cafes, and bookshops. Across the road is the massive MBK Center where you can find everything from clothes to electronics at bargain prices.

A few meters away, you’ll find Siam Paragon, one of Asia’s biggest malls. It’s not just about shopping; there’s also a giant aquarium and a cinema.

Close by, CentralWorld is known for its classy shopping experience. It also has an ice skating rink and hosts big events all year.

Gaysorn Village is another upscale mall that provides luxury shopping focusing on sustainability.

Located just across from CentralWorld, The Market Bangkok is a newbie here. The variety you find at this lifestyle shopping complex is huge because it features both, local and international brands.

You can check out the Centerpoint of Siam Square for an authentic local vibe. My teen found some unique items here at affordable rates.

If you love art & culture, you can take some time to enjoy Thai art and performances at the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (BACC). It’s about a 5-minute walk from MBK Center. It’s open from 10 am to 8 pm all days except Monday and is free to enter.

About dinner, you’ll likely be full already! Seriously. You’ll find a bucketload of food options here. All the malls have food courts and the area is full of cozy cafes, restaurants, and street food stalls.

Day 6: Day Trip to Kanchanaburi

A yellowand red  train crossing a river on the death railway near the river kwai  in kanchanaburi in thailand with green scenery and a blue skyA yellowand red  train crossing a river on the death railway near the river kwai  in kanchanaburi in thailand with green scenery and a blue sky

Even if culture & history isn’t your cup of tea, Kanchanaburi will still impress you. Away from the urban hustle of Bangkok, it’s beautifully rustic and shows a different side of Thailand you must see. When we arrived, we were amazed by the beautiful rivers and mountains.

There’s a regular bus service between Bangkok and Kanchanaburi. A one-way ride costs between 140 to 250 baht per person.

Once you’re in town, you can find songthaews, tuk-tuks, and taxis, but the attractions are quite spread out, making it hard to get around.

So, I feel it’s wise to hire a private car from Bangkok for half a day or opt for a guided tour, either in a group or private. This way, you can see everything comfortably and learn more about each site.

As for us, we explored Kanchanaburi on this 12-hour private customizable tour and can safely recommend it to you all.

We visited Erawan National Park and Erawan Waterfall, the Death Railway and the River Kwai BridgeWat Tham Suea or Tiger Cave Temple, and the JEATH War Museum. Just so you know, this tour doesn’t include the entrance fees and lunch.

I was really interested in the World War II history of Kanchanaburi, so we focused on the Death Railway, the River Kwai Bridge, and the JEATH War Museum.

Mini-me loved walking across the River Kwai Bridge, and riding the train, all while learning about WWII. She found the museum experience quite moving.

It’s surprising that Tiger Cave Temple isn’t mentioned more often when talking about Kanchanaburi. Not only the architecture but the setting amidst the rice fields is stunning. For the full experience, you really must climb to the top.

Tourists visit Erawan National Park for Erawan Falls. It’s a waterfall with seven levels that runs through the forest and ends up in these really pretty green ponds. Each level of the waterfall has its own natural pool with clear, cool water that’s great for swimming.

The national park is open from 8 am to 4:30 pm, all days. The entrance fee is 300 baht per adult and 150 baht for children aged 3 to 14 years.

Day 6 Alternative for Families Traveling with Younger Kids

While Kanchanaburi has plenty of outdoor activities to keep young kids busy, like cycling around the town, paddling on the River Kwai, or hiking in Erawan National Park, still if you feel they might not fully appreciate this little town, the city of Bangkok still has a lot left to discover for families with children.

You can take your kids to Lumpini Park—the oldest & the largest urban space in Bangkok. Here, they can have fun in the playground while you relax and enjoy some peaceful moments way from the hustle and bustle of the city. The park’s open from 4:30 am to 10 pm and the entry is Free.

We loved starting our days with a morning jog in Lumpini Park during our stay in Bangkok. It kept us fit and energized, so we could easily handle the city’s crowds and heat all day.

You can visit SEA LIFE Bangkok Ocean World if your kids appreciate marine life. It’s open from 10 am to 8 pm. If you book online in advance, the entry ticket costs 1,190 baht per adult (12+) and 990 baht per child (2-11), however, the ticket prices are high if you buy at the ticket window.

Another option is to visit Muang Boran aka the Ancient City which I believe can be an exciting educational trip for young kids like they say learning with fun.

Known to be the largest outdoor museum in the world, it’s designed to resemble the shape of Thailand and features replicas of the country’s famous historical landmarks.

You can walk, ride a bike or golf cart, or even drive-thru to explore the museum. The park-like setting and expansive open spaces let the kids run and play if they get bored of exploration.

It’s open from 9 am to 6 pm and costs 700 baht per adult (14+) and 350 baht per child (6-14). You’ve to pay extra for the bike, golf cart, or drive-thru.

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