Thailand is famous for its party beaches and nightlife. Its bustling capital of Bangkok, one of the world’s top tourist destination cities, has ancient palaces and temples and a vibrant shopping and dining scene. But there’s much to explore in this land of smiles! Get a taste of its rich culture, minus the crowds by exploring it differently!
1. Take a tuktuk tour
The tuk-tuk, which originated from old-fashioned rickshaws during World War II, remains Bangkok’s most popular form of transport. For first-timers to Thailand, riding one is an experience in itself. Go beyond the usual tourist zones on this iconic three-wheeled vehicle and whiz to city sights and secret rooftop bars. You can even sample street food along the way.
2. Visit temples at night
There are more than 400 wats (or temples) all around Bangkok, and the three most popular ones: Wat Pra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha), Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha) and Wat Arun can get quite hot and crowded during the day. Once the crowds clear out, the same places can look pretty magical at night.
3. Head to the market
Floating markets can be found in several areas including Amphawa, where vendors on boats sell everything from souvenirs, snacks, and sweets in the canal flanked by houses, cafes and inns. Another unique market experience is Rom Hub Market, located on an active railway track. Stalls selling fruits, vegetables and meat line both sides of the track, and everyone needs to step aside to make way for the train to pass.
4. Learn to cook from locals
Instead of just sampling the amazing Thai cuisine, learn valuable life skills by going on culinary tours. In a community-based program in Ampahawa, visitors get to learn how to harvest and prepare coconut sugar, as well as prepare traditional Thai desserts made from sticky rice and coconut.