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10 Day Trips from Bangkok to Add to Your Bucket List

City Guide January 5, 2024

 

 

Are you in Bangkok and itching to discover what lies beyond the city's vibrant hustle? Bangkok, Thailand's dynamic capital, isn't just about glittering temples and bustling tuk-tuks.

It's also an ideal launching pad for exploring the landscapes and rich cultural spots situated around the city. In this guide, we'll dive into 10 extraordinary day trips from Bangkok, each offering a unique window into Southeast Asia's diverse and captivating essence. From serene national parks to historical landmarks, awe-inspiring spots to visit near Bangkok. Get ready to explore and add these incredible destinations to your 'what to see around Bangkok' bucket list!

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With this handy service, you can roam freely, explore further, and make the most of your time outside the city, knowing your belongings are safe and sound. So, leave your luggage with Nannybag, and explore the wonders that lie just a short journey from Bangkok's bustling streets!

 

Bucket List Day Trips

Exploring beyond Bangkok can lead you to some of Thailand’s most picturesque and historically significant locations. Here are a few must-visit day trips to add to your bucket list:

 

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market

Venture to the vibrant and bustling Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, a quintessential Thai experience located just an hour southwest of Bangkok. This market is a feast for the senses, with countless boats filled with fruits, vegetables, and local delicacies. It's perfect for capturing colorful photos and tasting authentic Thai street food.

Glide through the canals on a traditional long-tail boat and soak in the lively atmosphere. Best visited early in the morning to avoid crowds and heat. Accessible by bus or guided tour from Bangkok. The market exploration typically takes about 1-2 hours.

 

Erawan National Park

Erawan National Park is a nature lover's paradise. Famous for its seven-tiered waterfall, each level offers a unique and natural pool for swimming. The park's lush greenery provides a perfect backdrop for hiking and wildlife spotting. The trails leading to the waterfalls are well-maintained, making it a suitable adventure for all ages.

Located about 3 hours from Bangkok by bus or car. Best visited during weekdays to avoid weekend crowds. Open daily with an entrance fee applicable. Remember to bring swimwear and comfortable walking shoes.

 

Ayutthaya Historic Park

For history enthusiasts, Ayutthaya Historic Park is a treasure trove. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it's home to ancient temple ruins, magnificent Buddha statues, and remnants of what was once a thriving kingdom. Explore the historical sites either on foot, by bike, or even on an elephant ride.

Ayutthaya offers a glimpse into Thailand's rich cultural and historical heritage. Located about 1 hour north of Bangkok. Easily accessible by train, bus, or boat, making it ideal for a full-day trip. The park has several significant sites spread out over a large area, so plan to spend most of the day exploring.

 

 

Maeklong Railway Market

The Maeklong Railway Market offers a truly unique experience. This bustling market is set on a train track, and multiple times a day, vendors quickly pull back their awnings and stalls to make way for the passing train. It's a fascinating blend of traditional market life and the unstoppable force of modern transportation.

The sight of the market transforming in seconds as the train approaches and then returning to normal is a thrilling and unforgettable. It's an excellent spot for capturing unique photos and experiencing the local way of life. Located about 1 hour southwest of Bangkok, the market is accessible by train or bus. The market operates daily, and it's recommended to check the train schedule to witness this unique event.

 

Khao Yai National Park

Khao Yai National Park, Thailand's first national park, is a haven for nature lovers. Known for its dense forests, diverse wildlife, and stunning waterfalls, it's an ideal destination for outdoor activities like hiking, bird watching, and wildlife spotting. The park is also home to various species of plants and animals, including elephants and gibbons, making it a perfect place for ecological exploration.

The fresh air and natural scenery provide a refreshing contrast to the hustle of Bangkok. Situated about 3 hours northeast of Bangkok, Khao Yai is best visited for a full day or even an overnight trip if you wish to immerse yourself in nature fully. There is a national park entry fee, and guided tours are available.

 

Hua Hin

Hua Hin, a tranquil beach town on the Gulf of Thailand, offers a welcome respite from the fast-paced life of Bangkok. Renowned for its long, beautiful sandy beaches, crystal-clear waters, and relaxed vibe, Hua Hin is a favorite getaway for locals and tourists.

The town is also known for its rich cultural heritage, evident in its traditional Thai markets where you can find a variety of local crafts and foods. Seafood lovers are in for a treat, as Hua Hin boasts some of the best seafood restaurants, offering fresh catches of the day cooked in authentic Thai style.

For those seeking outdoor activities, Hua Hin offers excellent opportunities for water sports, including jet-skiing, kite-surfing, and banana boat rides. The town also hosts several top-notch golf courses, attracting golf enthusiasts worldwide. Accommodation in Hua Hin caters to all budgets and preferences, from cozy guesthouses to opulent beachfront resorts. The town’s laid-back atmosphere extends to its nightlife, which is lively yet more subdued compared to Bangkok, perfect for those looking for a relaxing evening.

Hua Hin is located approximately 3 hours southwest of Bangkok and is easily accessible by bus or train. While a full-day trip is possible, an overnight stay is highly recommended to fully enjoy everything the town has to offer, from its stunning beaches to its vibrant night markets.

 

Bridge Over the River Kwai and Hellfire Pass

The Bridge Over the River Kwai and Hellfire Pass in Kanchanaburi are poignant reminders of World War II's impact on Thailand. The bridge, part of the infamous Death Railway, was built by Allied prisoners of war and is a symbol of their suffering and resilience. A visit to this historic site often includes a walk across the bridge and an opportunity to learn about its history.

A few kilometers away, Hellfire Pass is another significant site along the Death Railway. The Hellfire Pass Memorial Museum, run by the Australian government, offers a comprehensive and moving account of the railway's construction. The walking trail through the pass is a somber yet beautiful journey through a part of history that should not be forgotten.

Visiting these sites offers a chance to reflect on the hardships of war and the endurance of the human spirit. The natural beauty of the surrounding countryside, with its rivers and mountains, adds to the contemplative experience.

Kanchanaburi is about 2-3 hours away from Bangkok. The most scenic way to reach the Bridge Over the River Kwai is by train, which offers stunning views of the Thai countryside. Guided tours are also available, providing historical context and transportation. A full day is needed to explore both the bridge and Hellfire Pass, and for those interested in World War II history, an overnight stay in Kanchanaburi is recommended to visit other related sites in the area.

 

Wat Phra That Doi Suthep in Chiang Mai

Consider a trip to the sacred Wat Phra That Doi Suthep in Chiang Mai for a spiritual retreat. Perched on a mountain overlooking the city, this temple is one of the most revered in Thailand. A climb up the Naga staircase leads to the intricately decorated temple, offering stunning views of Chiang Mai and its surroundings. The temple's atmosphere is serene and spiritual, making it a perfect place to contemplate and appreciate Lanna’s architecture.

Chiang Mai is a 1-hour flight from Bangkok. The temple is situated about 30 minutes from the city center and is accessible by road. It's ideal for a full-day visit, but an overnight trip to Chiang Mai allows a more relaxed exploration of the temple and other local attractions.

 

Bang Krachao, Bangkok’s Green Lung

Bang Krachao, often referred to as Bangkok’s green lung, is an oasis of tranquility amidst the city’s chaos. This large, lush area, resembling an island, is located in the middle of the Chao Phraya River and is known for its verdant gardens, small waterways, and traditional way of life. It's a popular spot for biking, with well-marked paths leading through tropical forests, past wooden houses, and occasional temples. The area also hosts a floating market during weekends, adding to its charm.

Just 30 minutes from Bangkok’s city center, Bang Krachao is accessible by boat from various piers along the Chao Phraya River. It's an ideal destination for half-day trips, especially for those looking to experience nature and traditional Thai community life without straying too far from the city.

 

 

Sanam Luang Ceremonial Ground

Sanam Luang Ceremonial Ground is not only a vast open space in the heart of Bangkok but also a place steeped in history and cultural significance. This public square has been a focal point for significant royal ceremonies and public events for centuries. It's where many Thais gather for royal celebrations traditional festivals, and even as a leisure spot for flying kites. The ground holds a special place in the hearts of locals and is a symbol of the nation's rich heritage.

Historically, Sanam Luang was used for royal cremations, and in recent times, it has hosted some of the most important events in Thai history, including the Royal Ploughing Ceremony, which marks the start of the rice-growing season. The area is also surrounded by several notable landmarks, including the Grand Palace, Wat Phra Kaew, and the National Museum, making it a perfect starting point for exploring Bangkok's historical sites.

Sanam Luang is located in the historic center of Bangkok, adjacent to the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew. It's easily accessible by various modes of public transport, including buses and the Chao Phraya River boats. The area is particularly vibrant during special events and festivals, but it’s also pleasant to visit in the evening when it becomes a leisure space for locals. Visitors can enjoy a stroll, experience impromptu cultural performances, or relax in the open space, offering a different perspective of the bustling city.

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