42 Things I Love About Bangkok

Wat Arun, Bangkok

My first trip to Southeast Asia was five years ago when my partner and I visited the exotic capital of Thailand, Bangkok. He had been before but it was my first visit and I was entranced. I returned to this favorite city recently and I’m happy to say the same feelings of awe and wonder were still there. After thinking about it, here are just a few reasons why I love Bangkok.

1. Wat Arun at sunset

2. Fresh mango

3. Even though it’s touristy, I always love the Grand Palace

4. Wandering through little neighborhoods

Bangkok market

5. Best meal in your life from a hawker – all for only a few bucks

6. Watching a muay thai fight

7. Crispy chicken with garlic and basil. Singha beer optional

8. Simple pleasure of a scented and icy cold washcloth

9. Accepting that 100% humidity is ok

10. Learning how to say thank you and hello within only a few minutes

River boat on the Chao Phraya River

11. Rich, fragrant smell of the exotic that only Bangkok has.

12. Gaudy bargaining at the Silom night market

13. Giving money to help the soi dogs

14. Novelty of fresh durian from a street vendor

15. Getting out and exploring the countryside around Bangkok

Khaosan Road, Bangkok

16. Mango and sticky rice

17. For the luck of finding a great restaurant tucked away in the middle of no-where

18. Traditional Thai massage, even though it hurts

19. To revel in the pride Thais rightly have of their country

20. The festivals, even the crazy ones like Songkran

21. Learning why it really is the Land of a Thousand Smiles

Wat Arun, Bangkok

22. Boat ride on the Chao Phraya River

23. Learn how to cook a Thai meal

24. Talking about life with a Thai

25. Exploring the hidden neighborhoods on a long tail boat

26. Haggling for anything, anywhere in town

27. Accepting that the river Chao Phraya is the lifeblood of the city and learning all about it

Demon Guardian Wat Arun Bangkok

28. The incredible scents and spices only found in Bangkok

29. Wat Arun at sunrise

30. High end food at budget prices

31. Buying a tailor made suit

32. Soda with a straw

33. Shopping at the many great malls

Bangkok sunset

34. It’s huge, but intimate at the same time

35. View of the city from the Golden Mount

36. Exploring the luxurious side of the city

37. Pineapple in a bag for $1

38. Old world majesty at the teak palace

39. Pick a temple, any temple

40. Sunset dinner at the In Love restaurant

41. Falling in love with one of the largest and most beautiful airports in the world – Suvarnabhumi Airport

42. Gardens of the Jim Thompson House

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By: Matt Long

Matt has a true passion for travel. As someone who has a bad case of the travel bug, Matt travels the world in order to share tips on where to go, what to see and how to experience the best the world has to offer. Also follow Matt on Twitter, Facebook and

36 Responses

  1. Deborah Thompson

    Wow, what a great article on Bangkok! Loved it, and the pictures are so wonderful. Thanks for bringing back so many great memories for me. Hope you will come by to check out my articles on Bangkok & Chiang Mai when you have time!

    Reply
  2. Roy Marvelous

    Yes, yes and yes. While Bangkok is not my favorite place in Thailand, it’s still awesome.

    Reply
  3. Lane

    Striking colors and photography!

    Reply
  4. Leyla

    My all-time favorite city… thank you!

    Reply
  5. Will - Gap Daemon

    No ping pong antics? No temple scams? No locals telling you temples are closed? Where’s the “real” Bangkok I’ve come to love eh?

    Reply
  6. George

    I cringe at calling myself a traveller when I have NEVER been to Asia. Every post I read though gets me a little more excited, in particular this one. Just can’t wait.

    Reply
    • Matt Long

      Traveling isn’t about how many stamps are in your passport, it’s about the spirit of adventure. πŸ™‚ You’ll love Asia when you get there though, it’s a great place.

      Reply
  7. Kent @ No Vacation Required

    Makes me want to get back to Bangkok! Ahhh… #30 πŸ™‚

    Reply
  8. Marshall

    Hated Bangkok. Huge dirty city. All the things mentioned can be found anywhere else. Not impressed.

    Reply
    • Matt Long

      Well no, they can’t be, but I’m sorry you didn’t like it! Not everyone can like every city

      Reply
    • Susan

      Dirty? Cleanest city I’ve ever visited. Loved BANGKOK. Can’t wait to go back.

      Reply
      • Matt Long

        I love Bangkok too but it certainly isn’t the cleanest city I’ve ever been to. πŸ™‚ Singapore, anywhere in Scandinavia, anywhere in Switzerland and so on.

  9. Ellysia Flores

    Wonderful perspective on Bangkok, thank you for sharing. I think it may be fun to tour this city with someone who knows and loves it, like you. Alas, I am stuck on my hotel room with a terrible case of food poisoning. Such is my life!

    Reply
  10. Enda @ Spicybuddha.com

    Fantastic read, we are down here in Koh Samui but reading this makes we want to go back to Bangkok to explore some more!

    Reply
  11. Elizabeth

    I live in Bangkok and while it is a pretty cool city, it seems to have lost its luster in my eyes. Now I only see the terrible traffic and awful weather. Thanks for helping to remind me why I live here πŸ™‚

    Reply
    • Matt Long

      I think that happens to most of us wherever we live. I know I’m guilty of the same thing here in DC. πŸ™‚

      Reply
  12. Jay

    couldn’t agree more πŸ™‚

    can’t wait to go back to Bangkok though

    Reply
  13. Escaping Abroad

    I’m dying to visit Thailand, and hope to spend a few months roaming Bangkok when I do!

    Reply
  14. Sascha

    Seriously? You don’t know what the ‘ping pong’ meant in one of the comments above? Come on =) (http://my-thai.org/thailands-ping-pong-show-its-not-a-sport/)

    Pictures are awesome, list mostly ok (from my point of view of course) but I personally will never become a friend of the hardcore bargaining and the fact that most people try to make a ‘special’ price for farangs (foreigners).

    Reply
  15. Wilson

    Brilliant article. Brought back wonderful memories of my holiday trip in Bangkok. A city with great shopping, delicious Thai food, exciting Thai culture, Thai massage, and impressive temples. I stayed in lovely serviced apartments, Fraser Suites Sukhumvit during my trip. My family love the spacious and modern ensuite bedrooms. Now I really feel like going back to Bangkok soon.

    Reply
  16. Alex

    Funny you’ve been to In Love. Never actually been there on a date, but have had a few amazing boo paht pong garee (crab in a dry curry sauce) many times there!

    Reply
    • Matt Long

      Really? It’s out favorite restaurant in Bangkok. I was so happy it was still there after five years! πŸ™‚

      Reply
  17. Jeremy (TravelApprentice)

    Watching Muai Thai was on my to-do list but i never went, still kicking myself for not going… great list though. I miss Bangkok!

    Reply
  18. Andy

    This is making a convincing argument for Bangkok, I must say. I am planning my first trip to South-East Asia next year and it looks like Bangkok will be my arrival point. What do you reckon – a good place to start as an introduction to the region?

    Reply
    • Matt Long

      Yeah I think it’s a great spot. It’s modern but with all the SE Asian trappings you would expect. The region can be overwhelming at first and Bangkok is a good way to ease into it.

      Reply
  19. Mike

    What a solid list, Bangkok is one of those places people either love or hate. Personally, I love it and don’t understand anyone who says they hate it. I think it’s the people who came for the islands and have no time for anything else. Of everything on the list my favorite is probably #18 the massage. I had one not long ago for $60 and couldn’t help but think of how many I could get in Bangkok.

    Oh yeah, you missed Khao San Road! πŸ˜‰

    Reply
  20. Mike

    Good read. My company’s looking to relocate me to their head office in Bangkok. Never been there before, so not sure what to expect. They’re offering me 180,000b per month. Is this enough to live comfortably?

    Reply
    • Matt Long

      First, I want a job that relocates me to Bangkok. πŸ™‚ It’s an awesome city and that should be more than enough to live comfortably there. I think you’ll love it

      Reply
  21. Passport Dave

    Great write up! Can’t wait until I get to Bangkok for the first time later this year!

    Reply
  22. Charli l Wanderlusters

    You had me sold at ‘mango and sticky rice’ but I’m glad I kept reading! looks like such a fascinating place. I started my travelling life in South and Central America and have made it over to the south Pacific before getting stuck in Aus and NZ each for a year. I’m looking forward o exploring Asia. The food and the colours are so alluring.

    Reply
  23. bangkokiloveyou

    What a great list! Mango and Sticky Rice is my favourite

    Reply
  24. Sharina

    I live in Asia for most part of my life and Bangkok is my favourite city in this part of the world (I have never lived there, only visits). Each visit to Bangkok is exciting. A vibrant, cultured city. And I love all the islands in Thai waters. Heavenly.

    Reply
    • Matt Long

      It’s an electric city that never fails to surprise me

      Reply
  25. Bev Hills

    I Love Bangkok too…I have been there about 10 or more times and each time I feel that same excitement as the Airport link rolls into it, I get butterflies in my tummy. I love this 24hour Gotham city there is a Buzz that you just do not get anywhere else very unique to BKK. I am not a drinker or a party person and I have done most of the sites years ago but still I continue to love this city and enjoy all it has to offer. I live in central london and we do not have any comparison both are Amazing but Bangkok is very,very special.

    Reply
  26. josh

    i had been to many countries but i love Bangkok it is like my second motherland in the world. there is nothing to hate Bangkok so that is the reason Today Bangkok is most visited city in the world.

    Reply

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