Chatuchak Weekend Market and Platinum Mall may be overrated and boring to many who have visited Bangkok countless times. However, with these new thing to check out, you are definitely in for a treat! From abandoned aircrafts to eerie medical museums, Bangkok is revived again!
1. The Jam Factory Bangkok
Situated at Klong San Pier, behind Klong San Market, is the popular Jam Factory Bangkok. At 1600 square metres, the former factory was transformed by local architect Duangrit Bunnag into a hipster warehouse surrounded by enormous bodhi trees. Comprising of a bookstore (Candide books), Cafe (Li-bra-ry) and an art gallery, the factory is truly an artist’s paradise! Head to The Never Ending Summer for a meal after your exploration of the area. Weekends are the best times to visit the factory as The Knack Market will be set up offering a myriad of food, drinks, and artworks for your pleasure. There is also a live band performing with ample seating for you to enjoy a drink or two at the open air lawn. The Jam Factory is definitely worth checking out if you’re nearby to the riverside or the Chao Phraya Express Boats.
Address: 41/1-5 Charoennakorn Rd, Khlong San, Bangkok
Opening Hours: Daily 10am - 8pm
How to get there: Saphan Taksin Station → Take the Chao Phraya Express Boat to Si Phraya Pier → Ferry from Chao Phraya River to Klong San Pier → Walk into Klong San Market (find the ‘The Jam Factory’ sign)
2. Bangkok CityCity Gallery
With the aim of supporting local visionary artists with the focus and appreciation of contemporary culture, the gallery wishes to promote new ways of thinking through exhibitions and events. From paintings, video installations and live performances, founders AKapol ‘Op’ Sudasna and Supama Phahulo aspire to meld Bangkok’s art with western influences. Bangkok artists are often under-represented, which is also why the opening of the gallery was dedicated to 8 local artists.
Past exhibitions include Alex Face’s ALIVE which showcased a disillusioned child character lost in a waterlily pond and Grisana Eimeamkamol’s CHAT ROOM that promoted an open discussion of Thai design. Current exhibitions include Wisut Ponnimit’s LR which allows viewers to contemplate their actions and choices made in their everyday lives. The gallery is a must-visit if you are in the Sathorn area!
Address: 13/3 Sathorn 1, South Sathorn Road, Thung Mahamek, Bangkok, Thailand 10120
Opening Hours: Wed- Sun 1-7pm. Closed on Mon and Tues.
How to get there: Lumphini Station (5 mins walk)
3. Airplane Graveyard
Reminiscent of the scene from the TV series Lost , the airplane graveyard is a vast field with several dismantled old aircraft bodies strewn across tall grass. With seats torn out, overhead compartments and doors removed, it certainly makes you wonder what exactly happened to these aircrafts. One of the MD-82 model was involved in a fatal 89 person crash at Phuket International Airport in 2007. Since it is an abandoned area, it has become the homes of impoverished families seeking refuge. So, do respect the spaces of the inhabitants when visiting. Also, there is a small fee for entering the aircraft, roughly from 100-800 baht per person. Try to avoid heading there early mornings, lunch hour and any time after 4.30pm as Ramkamhaeng is one of the busiest and congested streets in Bangkok during rush hour.
Address: Ramkamhaeng Road Soi 101(walk for about 100m)
How to get there:
Phrakanong Station exit 3 → Bus 40
Airport Link → Ramkamhaeng Station → Bus 40, 58, 99 or 173 (take the bus on the same side of the street as the Airport Link station)
Klong (Canal) Ferry → Wat Sri Bunruang Pier
4. Chocolate Ville
Both a restaurant and a park, Chocolate Ville offers the dining-in-a-park concept with a European Village theme. Although the name suggests a chocolatey wonderland, chocolate isn’t sold here at all. There is only one huge restaurant that serves both Thai and Western food. The interesting thing about the restaurant is that it takes up the whole area and about accommodating 700 diners at once. Since the restaurant opens at 4pm, it’s best to arrive slightly earlier to explore the area or to reserve seats. Reservations are welcomed at the restaurant and you can call (083) 077-3738 or (081) 921-2016 to make a reservation. However, if you’re looking to dine in a huge group, it is recommended to get a table before 6pm on weekdays and 5pm on weekends. There is no entrance fee to Chocolate Ville, so you can even visit without dining at the restaurant.
Address: Soi Nawamin 74, Yak 3-8, Kaset-Nawamin Road, Klong Kum Subdistrict, Bueng Kum District, Bangkok 10230, Thailand
Opening Hours: Daily 4pm-12am
How to get there: 30 minutes from Pratunam by Taxi
5. Scala Cinema
If you’re looking to have a vintage movie experience, Scala Cinema is the place for you. Built in 1967, there are no digital displays for show times at the retro cinema, but instead, red signs are put up by hand. You will be greeted with a gigantic chandelier and a double staircase, which adds a nice touch to the allure of the Cinema lobby. A ticket costs 100 baht and a small box of popcorn costs 30 baht. Grab a bargained seat out of the 1000 red velvet seats to enjoy a night of art deco, indie vibes all for with a really cheap ticket! Scala Cinema is definitely a great alternative to the mainstream cinemas in malls.
Address: Scala Theatre, Siam Square Soi 1, Rama I Rd
How to get there: 5 minutes walk from Siam BTS Station
6. Siriraj Medical Museum
Located inside two separate building in the Siriraj Hospital, the museum features 6 distinct exhibitions, including pathology, anatomic, and forensics galleries.The first pathology room displays babies affected by genetic disorders, each preserved in formaldehyde. The Songkran Nyomsane Forensic Medicine Museum showcases bodies of accident victims and murderers including a dried body of a famous madman who was known to eat kid’s liver in the 1950s. Rows of dissected adults and children’s bodies kept in formaldehyde filled jars are displayed in the anatomical museum. The museum is currently used for educational purposes to doctors and staff members. Tickets are priced at 40 baht for adults while children go in for free.
Address: 2 Wanglung Road Khwaeng Siriraj, Khet Bangkok Noi, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10700, Thailand
Opening Hours: Daily 10am-4pm. Closed on Tuesdays.
How to get there: Take river shuttle near the Grand Palace → Boat at chang Pier/Praja Pier → Pranok Pier
7. Wat Mahathat
As an important centre for the study of buddhism and meditation, the Wat Mahathat is also a popular place to learn Vipassana Meditation. Originally built to house a relic of Buddha, the Wat is also known as the Monastery of the Great Relic. It is one of the oldest temples in Bangkok and houses Bangkok’s largest amulet market on Sundays. You can choose to tour around the Centre of Buddhist Studies, which is the first buddhist University in Bangkok.
The temple's courtyard is lined with tall buddha images on decorated pedestals, and the bases actually contain ashes of deceased people. If you’re looking to explore meditation as a practice, you can head to the Vipassana Meditation Centre for more insights on methods of breathing and relaxation. The highlight of the place is the Buddha’s head statue on the tree. With its rich history and cultural heritage, the well maintained temples should definitely be in your to-go list!
Address: 3 Thanon Maharat, Na Luk, Bangkok 10200, Thailand
Opening Hours: 7am- 5pm
How to get there: Take Chao Phraya river express boat → Drop off at Tha Chang Pier or Tha Prachan Nuea Pier
8. The Commons Market
With artisan cafe and eateries set in an eco friendly mall, The Commons Market is truly a hipster’s paradise. The space is also known as Thonglor’s backyard and is opened by people behind the famous coffee shop, Roast. The Commons Market is divided into 4 sections - Market, Village, Play Yard and the Top Yard. The market is a food section with cafes such as EMG (Egg My God) that serves up awesome brunch and Barrio Bonito, a Mexican establishment. You can find a range of lifestyle products at the Village section with NEX, Treasures and Plant House offering unique items. Kids can have fun at the Little Pea, which is a space created for families to enjoy multi-sensory play. The Top Yard consists of the BRIX Dessert Bar and Roast. The Truffle Alfredo with homemade Tagliatelle, bacon and mushrooms is a must try at Roast. The Commons Market is certainly a place not to be missed by foodies!
Address: 335 Soi Thonglor 17, Klongton Nue, Wattana
Opening Hours: Daily 8am- 11.30pm
How to get there: BTS Thong Lo Station → Uber to The commons
9. Bang Krachao
Known as the “green lungs” of Bangkok, Bang Krachao is a vast area of untouched mangroves and orchards. As the new haven for Bangkok cyclists, there are many biking tours organised to the area. Cycle and enjoy the views of Bangkok’s business district and the harbour! You can also choose to rent a bike from the bicycle rental shops on the island. There is a good map of the island from the Bangkok Tree House Hotel that allows you to navigate the area safely. If you would like to meet new people while biking, you can also sign up for a bicycle tour.
Besides cycling, there is also the firefly tour that costs roughly 30 baht per person. After the bike tour, visit the temples and Bang Nam Phueng floating market on the weekends. Do remember to bring mozzy spray or cover up as there are a lot of mosquitoes on the island. Bang Krachao is a great option for a day trip!
Address: Bang Krachao Phapradeang, Samut Prakan, Thailand
How to get there: BTS Klong Toei station → Take ferry from Khlong Toey Pier → Bang Krachao
10. Khao Yai National Park
With just a 3 hour drive from Bangkok, you will arrive at Khao Yai National Park. October to February are the best times to visit the park due to the cool weather. Witness Haew Narok waterfall, the largest and highest waterfall in the park stands at over a towering 3 levels. The area around the waterfall is the usual feeding grounds of wild elephants, so you might be able to spot them if you’re lucky!
There is also a campsite at Pha Kluai Mai that can accommodate up to 1000 visitors. It costs 10 baht for children and 20 baht for adults per night at the campsite. Tents and sleeping bags are available for rent as well as a restaurant round the corner. Apart from hiking and camping, you can also join the park-hosted safaris that are available daily from 7pm-8pm. Whitewater rafting is also available for booking at the park’s visitor centre. Entrance fee to the national park is 400 baht for adults, 200 baht for children and 50 baht for one car.
Opening Hours: Daily 8am - 9pm (visitor centre)
How to get there: 56 kilometer marker of Mitraparp Highway → turn onto Thanarat Road and proceed for approximately 23 kilometers
11. Talad Rot Fai
Previously located near Chatuchak weekend market, Talad Rot Fai is an open air bazaar that consists of 3 sections. The market zone has 2000 stalls selling fashion, shoes, and snacks with makeshift bars lining the area. If you’re looking to score some vintage furniture or decorations for your home, the Warehouse Zone is made for you. From household goods to old electronic appliances and second hand clothing, you can definitely take thrifting to the next level. Rod’s antiques comprise of premium vintage items such as cars, motorbikes and kitsch furniture. Since the items are guaranteed to be sourced from all over the world, they are usually one-of-a-kind and definitely difficult to find. The weekends are the best times to make the best out of the market!
Address: Srinakarin Road Soi 51 (behind Seacon Square)
Opening Hours: Thurs- Sun 5pm- 12am
How to get there: BTS On Nut Station/Udom Suk → Taxi