5 Must-See’s In Old Bangkok Where Culture & History Converge

Thankfully, the old part of the city is still wonderfully preserved with mind-blowing attractions.

PHOTO Nadia Cho

Downtown Bangkok is a sprawling, uber-modern cityscape that’s always buzzing and never rests. Thankfully the old part of the city is still wonderfully preserved and awaits with mind-blowing, historic attractions. Here, travelers can learn so much about Thai culture and the rich history that shaped Thailand into the amazing country it is today.

Here are the top 5 must-see’s you can’t miss in Old Siam!

1. Grand Palace

Na Phra Lan Rd, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok, 10200, Thailand (map, website)


PHOTO Nadia Cho

The Grand Palace is the crown jewel of Thai temples and palaces. The former residence of the King of Siam is a stunning collection of sparkling temples, courtyards and administrative buildings. One is endlessly stimulated by the impossibly intricate patterns and the beautiful Buddhist art adorning the grounds.

The palace is divided into many different parts, the most popular being the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. The Queen Sirikit Museum of Textiles is my personal favorite, as it showcases Thai textiles, designs and costumes. There’s also a collection of the Queen’s jetset wardrobe during her royal world tour during the 1960s.
Though it may be uber-touristy, the Grand Palace is a sight that can’t be missed when traveling to Bangkok.

2. Wat Pho Temple of the Reclining Buddha

2 Sanamchai Road, Grand Palace Subdistrict, Pranakorn District, Bangkok 10200, Thailand (map, website)


The most famous site in Old Bangkok after the Grand Palace is Wat Pho, a complex of Buddhist temples. The complex has served as a center for learning multiple disciplines such as medicine and Thai massage.

The grounds of Wat Pho are spacious with lots of interesting temples and lines of golden Buddhas. The biggest attraction is the huge 46 m long reclining Buddha which represents the entry of Buddha into nirvana. Seeing a gigantic golden Buddha who is chilling hard is a vision unlike anything you’ve ever seen, which you can only catch in Old Bangkok!

3. Pak Klong Talad Flower Market

Wang Burapha Phirom, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10200, Thailand (map)
PHOTO Nadia Cho

Pak Klong Talad Flower Market is a lovely feature of Old Siam. It’s housed multiple open air halls with tons of vendors selling vibrant flowers, fruits and vegetables. The best time to go is either early morning or after midnight when the market is bursting with color and movement. However, it’s open 24 hours and anytime is a good time to go and smell fresh flowers and spices at this lively market.

4. Chinatown

300 ซอย เยาวราช 6 Yaowarat Rd, Samphanthawong, Bangkok 10100, Thailand (map)
PHOTO Wendy Hung

Bangkok’s Chinatown is popping with tons of exciting food, sights and people. One can expect no less than a total sensory overload from a Chinatown in an energetic city like Bangkok.

There are lots of attractions worth going to Chinatown for like temples, markets and even a pond with crocodiles. As an area with a long history of trade and cultural exchange, Bangkok’s Chinatown is an exceptional must-see in Thailand’s capital.

5. Wat Arun Temple of Dawn

158 Wang Doem Rd, Khwaeng Wat Arun, Khet Bangkok Yai, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10600, Thailand (map, website)
Wat Arun.
Wat Arun. PHOTO Wendy Hung

Across the Chao Phraya River from the Grand Palace is another well-known landmark, Wat Arun or the Temple of Dawn. It’s easily the most noticeable site on the river and it lights up beautifully at night, making romantic boat rides possible. It’s been a Buddhist temple since the Ayutthaya Kingdom and is named after the Indian god of dawn, Aruna. Inside, visitors can see majestic Buddhist art, murals, and mosaics.

Nadia Cho

Communications Associate

As the empowered female behind the blog: International Women of Mystery, Nadia reps Team JST traveling the world in search of exclusive features on hidden gems and cool hotspots. You can find her exploring metropolitan cities or lounging on tropical beaches.

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