Hi everyone – my name’s Thanai otherwise known as “James”. Thanks for checking out my locals guide to Bangkok (Thailand). I was born in Bangkok and work as a freelance photographer, content creator and traveller.
I chose this career path because I have a passion for travel as well as meeting new people and creating new experiences. The most important thing about travelling is that it gives me the freedom to understand the meaning of life by opening my mind to the wider world.
Bangkok – Your Gateway to the Land of Smiles
Thailand is known as the ‘Land of Smiles’. Thai people are so friendly and welcoming. When you travel to Thailand you will see many people smiling, laughing and enjoying life. This makes my country unique in the world.
What I love most about Bangkok is the mixture of cultures you can find here. Of course, most people come to Bangkok to experience authentic Thai culture. However, travellers will get to experience a whole lot more when they visit. This is the charm of one of Southeast Asia’s greatest cities.
Exploring Every Corner of the City of Angels
Bangkok is a massive city, even for myself. I haven’t finished exploring it yet. The city has this incredible fusion of ancient heritage and modern style. For example, beautiful old ancient temples and brand new shopping malls are placed next to each other making for an incredible contrast.
Every time I go out, I try to find new places to visit and new photography spots to shoot at. There is so much beauty to uncover in Bangkok that you could spend weeks and weeks on end exploring the hidden gems.
My Favourite Place in Bangkok – Wat Arun
I would say that the old temples are my favourite places to visit in Bangkok. The city is bursting with so many majestic temples. One of my favourites which I highly recommend is the amazing Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn).
Wat Arun has a distinctive style that you can’t miss on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River. The intricate details of the stupa (Buddhist architecture) combined with the tiles and decorations make for a stunning temple.
The most beautiful time to see the temple is at sunset. You can watch the sunset over the temple from a rooftop bar on the opposite side of the river. My first tip for you in this locals guide to Bangkok is to go to a bar before 5pm to get the best spot and wait to see the temple light up. It’s magic!
Locals Guide to Bangkok: Glorious Street Food
You will find street food stalls on every corner of the city – from the famous Khao San Road, to Chinatown, to the amazing night markets. The most popular dishes for tourists are Pad Thai, Tom Yum and Mango Sticky Rice. I also recommend Moo Ping (grilled pork) and Khao Man Gai (chicken).
Furthermore, Bangkok has many outdoor markets such as the Chatuchak Weekend Market. Many photographers will be familiar with the Rainbow Market (Talad Rot Fai). This is the place where you can get something delicious to eat and go shopping all in one place.
It’s also the market where you can take some amazing photos from a nearby parking lot. The 5th floor is the best spot to take those photos.
Wander around Bangkok without a Rigid Plan
It would be easy for me to give a long laundry list of places that you should visit in Bangkok, but where’s the fun in that? This city is best experienced without a rigid plan. Be open to new experiences and go with the flow.
In my opinion, travelling without a plan will make your visit to Bangkok so much more memorable as anything can happen that way. You never know who you might meet or what surprising experiences you might have. Of course, book some accommodation and then keep an open mind.
One thing that you will see many travellers experience is the chance to eat some bugs. Everytime I go to the market I see foreigners trying all sorts of strange bugs like worms, scorpions and spiders. I would say 30% of them are successful with this challenge and I recommend giving it a shot too!
If photography is a passion of yours then you will love exploring the streets and architecture of Bangkok. We have many high rise buildings and interesting pieces of architecture such as the King Power MahaNakhon.
Locals Guide to Bangkok: Respecting Local Culture
I’m a big believer in educating yourself on local customs and culture when you travel. This way you can enjoy the destination in a respectful manner.
One piece of advice I would give when visiting the many temples of Bangkok is to never touch the head of a Buddhist statue. The head is the most important part of the body and touching it is considered rude.
If you have any doubts on your trip to Bangkok don’t hesitate to ask local Thai people. We are friendly people who are always happy to help.
Locals Guide to Bangkok: Tips for your Visit
Firstly, I would recommend doing a little bit of research about Bangkok before you visit just to familiarise yourself. You can search the name of the city on Instagram, for example, and it will show you where to go.
Secondly, when I travel I never have any expectations because I always like to be pleasantly surprised by a destination. I try to let things happen naturally and enjoy the moment that’s in front of me. I’m sure this way you will have a much more enjoyable and unique experience.
My final tip (saving the best for last) is to meet local Thai people and go exploring together. Locals know the ins and outs of the city better than tourists. You never know what amazing secret spots you will find!
Thanks for reading my locals guide to Bangkok! I hope it has inspired you to visit this amazing city and experience it in your own unique way.