Bangkok is the capital and largest city of Thailand, and it is a city that is rich in history, culture, and diversity. There are many things that Bangkok is famous for, and in this blog post, we will be exploring 15 of the top reasons why Bangkok is such a popular and beloved destination.

From its delicious food and vibrant street markets to its stunning temples and bustling streets, there is something for everyone in Bangkok. Whether you are a foodie, a shopper, or a history buff, you will find plenty to love about this vibrant and exciting city. 

So without further ado, let’s take a look at 15 things that Bangkok is famous for.

Delicious Thai Food

Firstly, Bangkok is famous for its delicious Thai food, which is known for its bold flavours and aromatic herbs. From street food stalls to high-end restaurants, you can find a wide variety of delicious dishes in Bangkok. Some popular Thai dishes to try in Bangkok include tom yum goong (spicy shrimp soup), pad thai (stir-fried noodles), and green curry.

Street food at a Thai Market, one of the many reasons Bangkok is famous

Street food at a Thai Market

In addition to traditional Thai dishes, you can also find a wide variety of international cuisines in Bangkok, including Chinese, Indian, Italian, and more. China Town in Bangkok is always a busy part of the capital! The city is a food lover’s paradise, and it is a great destination for anyone looking to try new and delicious dishes.

Vibrant Street Markets

Another thing Bangkok is famous for is its vibrant street markets. These markets are a must-see attraction for any visitor to the city, and they offer a great way to experience the city’s culture and find unique and affordable items.

You can find just about anything at these markets, including local handicrafts and souvenirs, clothes, electronics, and more. Whether you are looking for traditional Thai crafts or modern souvenirs, you are sure to find something that catches your eye at one of Bangkok’s many markets.

Bustling Streets

Bangkok is known for its bustling streets, which are always full of life and energy. The city is known for its chaotic, but somehow organized, traffic, and there are always people on the go. It’s similar to Vietnam and the scooters, but not quite as hectic. Nonetheless, the bustling streets of Bangkok are just one of the many things that make this city such a vibrant and exciting place to visit.

Stunning Temples such as Wat Arun and Wat Pho

Bangkok is famous for its beautiful temples, and two of the most iconic and stunning temples in the city are Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn) and Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha). Wat Arun is known for its stunning architecture and intricate details.

The reclining Buddha at the Wat Pho Temple, one of the most famous sites in Bangkok

The reclining Buddha at the Wat Pho Temple

The temple’s central spire is adorned with ceramic tiles and seashells, and it stands over 80 metres (262 feet) tall. Wat Pho, on the other hand, is home to the largest reclining Buddha in Thailand, which is over 46 metres (151 feet) long and 15 metres (49 feet) high.

Of course, they are beautiful to look at, but these temples also have a rich cultural and spiritual significance in Bangkok and the rest of Thailand.

Shopping, including high-end malls and local markets

Bangkok is a paradise for shopping lovers. As already mentioned, there are plenty of excellent street markets. However, one of the most popular shopping destinations in Bangkok is the Chatuchak Weekend Market, which is astonishingly big and contains more than 15,000 stalls.

Other popular shopping areas in Bangkok include the Siam Square area, which is known for its high-end malls, and the Pratunam Market, which is a hub for wholesale fashion. There is without a doubt something for everyone in Bangkok’s vibrant shopping scene.

Thai Massage

Thai massages are very popular in Bangkok and can be found at many spas and massage parlours throughout the city. Thai massage is a traditional therapeutic massage that has been practised in Thailand for centuries. They involve the use of hands, elbows, knees, and feet to apply pressure to the body and stretch the muscles. Many spas in Bangkok also offer traditional Thai treatments such as herbal steam baths and oil massages.


The seventh thing Bangkok is famous for is its nightlife. The city is known for its vibrant and diverse nightlife scene, which caters to all tastes and budgets. From high-end rooftop bars and clubs to casual street food stalls and live music venues, there is something for everyone in Bangkok after dark.

One popular area for nightlife in Bangkok is the Sukhumvit Road area, which is home to many clubs, bars, and restaurants. A popular destination amongst those backpacking Thailand is the Khao San Road area, which is known for its budget-friendly bars and clubs.

The Chao Phraya River and Boat Tours

Taking a boat tour on the Chao Phraya River with Wat Arun in the background

Taking a boat tour on the Chao Phraya River with Wat Arun in the background

The Chao Phraya River is a major river in Thailand that flows through the centre of Bangkok. The river is an important transportation hub and is home to a network of waterways that are commonly referred to as the “Venice of the East.” Boat tours along the Chao Phraya River are a popular way to explore the city and experience its unique waterways. 

Museums, such as the Bangkok National Museum

Bangkok is home to a number of interesting and informative museums that offer visitors a chance to learn about the city’s rich history and culture. Some popular museums in Bangkok are the National Museum, which houses a large collection of Thai art and artefacts, and the Bangkok National Gallery, which features a diverse range of contemporary and traditional Thai art. Bangkok’s museums offer a fascinating insight into the city’s past and present and this is why they are famous around the world.

Beautiful Parks

Bringing in the 10th reason that Bangkok is famous is its beautiful parks.

Lumphini Park with the Bangkok skyline in the background

Lumphini Park with the Bangkok skyline in the background

is the largest and most well-known park in the city, and it is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. Located in the heart of Bangkok, the park features lush gardens, a lake, and numerous paths.


It is also home to a variety of wildlife, including turtles and monitor lizards. There are many other great parks in Bangkok too as they are an important part of the city’s attractions and contribute to its reputation as a destination for nature lovers.

Backpacking Culture and Communities

Backpacking is a form of budget travel, where a traveller lives out of a backpack, stays in hostels and tries to travel as cheaply as possible. Backpacking South East Asia, known as the Banana Pancake Trail is an extremely popular route for backpackers.

Thailand is in the heart of the trail and is commonly where the backpacking journey for many begins. Throughout Thailand, there are likely thousands of backpackers at any given time. The country is filled with hostels, backpacking bars and other cheap ways of life.

It’s clear to see why Thailand is so popular with backpackers, as it is a beautiful and affordable country. Backpackers would typically spend around a month in Thailand, if not more, and this allows for enough time to see most of the country. 

Cultural Attractions

At number 12 is Bangkok’s cultural attractions. They provide visitors with a glimpse into the city’s rich history and traditions. One of the most iconic cultural attractions in Bangkok is the Grand Palace, which is a complex of ornate buildings and temples that were once the residence of the Thai royal family. The palace is a popular tourist destination and is known for its intricate architecture and stunning decor. 

Floating Markets like Damnoen Saduak

Bangkok’s floating markets are a popular tourist destination and offer a unique and authentic look at Thai culture. The markets are held on the waterways that crisscross the city and are known for their colourful boats filled with fresh produce, flowers, and other goods.

The floating market of Damnoen Saduak, just outside of Bangkok

The floating market of Damnoen Saduak, just outside of Bangkok

The most well-known floating market in Bangkok is the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market. Visiting a floating market is a great way to see a different side of Bangkok and to purchase unique and locally-made products.

Bicycle Tours and other Outdoor Activities

Bangkok is famous for its cycling tours, which offer visitors a unique and active way to explore the city. There are several different cycling tour companies in Bangkok that offer guided tours of the city, ranging from leisurely sightseeing tours to more strenuous rides through the city’s streets and parks. Cycling is a popular mode of transportation in Bangkok and is a great way to get around and see the city from a different perspective. 

Cultural Festivals and Events

Lastly, Bangkok is known for its cultural festivals and events, which celebrate the city’s rich history, traditions, and religion. One of the most popular festivals in Bangkok is Songkran, which is the Thai New Year celebration and is held in April.

Songkran is known for its water-throwing celebrations, which take place on the streets of the city. Another important festival in Bangkok is Loy Krathong, which is held in November and involves the release of floating lanterns into the waterways.

The festival of Loy Krathong

The festival of Loy Krathong

Of course, there are endless other festivals too, Bangkok’s cultural festivals and events offer visitors a unique and authentic look at Thai culture and traditions.

What Is Bangkok Famous For: Conclusion

And there you have it, 15 reasons why Bangkok is famous around the world. Bangkok and the rest of Thailand are such a unique part of the world and are definitely worth visiting if you get the chance. As you can tell, there are plenty of reasons that Bangkok is famous and these reasons are appealing.

From the cultural landmarks and festivals to the street and floating markets, from the cuisine to the massages, Bangkok is one of the best cities in the world. And there are good reasons why it is famous. 

What do you think of when you think of Thailand? Is it the incredible beaches, the lush green jungles, and fascinating culture? This is what comes to mind for most visitors. Yet, hidden beneath all that is a landscape eager for company. So, consider skipping the tourist hotspots and  hitting the trails to do one of the best hikes when you’re in Thailand next. But, finding trails while traveling can be difficult. Luckily, I’ve done all the dirty work for you already. Enjoy.

Tiger Cave Temple Trail

One of the best hikes in Thailand near the Tiger Cave Tample

One of the best hikes in Thailand near the Tiger Cave Tample

Incredible views and one of the most sacred temples in Thailand? Can I count you in?

Less of a hike and more of a climb, this is one of Thailand’s top spots to visit. To make it easier for yourself, find accommodation in Krabi Town.

At the bottom of the mountain, you can explore the Tiger Cave temple, which has an intriguing story. After that, begin climbing the 1,260 steps to the top.

But all this hard work is worth it when you arrive at the top.

The tropical forest extends in all directions. The tree-covered mountains jut up and down like they’re playing an eternal game of whack-a-mole. 

In the distance, you see the azure waters of the Andaman Sea meet the mainland, and tiny islands dot its waters.

If you’re looking for the best time to go, aim for the late afternoon. Foreigners and locals alike rave about the sunsets from the summit of Tiger Cave Temple Mountain.

There are many mesmerizing sunsets in Thailand, but this one ranks up there with its best.

Hike Details

Length: .5 miles

Difficulty: Easy

Getting to the trail

From Krabi Town, you can take a bus or rent a motorbike. It’s around a 15-minute drive from the center of town to Wat Tham Seua (Tiger Cave Temple).

You can find the start on Google Maps here.

Ton Kloi Waterfall Hike

For this hike, you’ll head to Khao Sok National Park. An interesting fact about this park is the oldest evergreen forest in the world covers it.

And wildlife and plant life thrive in this environment.

This hike is an out-and-back hike that takes you along the Sok River. Along the trail, monkeys hide in trees, birds fly from branch to branch, and greenery erupts from the ground.

At the end, you can dive into the chilly waters at the base of the Ton Kloi waterfall to reward yourself for a job well done.

The trail has a few hills that are easy to handle initially. But, about halfway through the hike, the path becomes more difficult. There are guides you can book to navigate you through this section.

If you’re unsure of your navigational skills, I recommend a guide for this section.

Hike Details

Length: 8 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

Getting to the trail

Accommodation is plentiful near Khao Sok National Park, and it’s easiest to book a stay at a place nearby to fully explore the park. From there, you can enter Khao Sok National Park at the main entrance ($9 entrance fee). 

From there, follow the road down to the Khao Sok Park HQ. There’s a bridge where you cross the Sok River (it has a sign that says Ton Kloi Waterfall Nature Trail) until you arrive at the trailhead.

You can find the start on Google Maps here.

Doi Suthep Monk’s Trail

Markers along the Monk's Trail

Orange flags mark the path along the Monk’s Trail

Doi Suthep is located right next to Chiang Mai. In fact, it towers over the city like a behemoth, keeping watch for any intruders. But, trails make this behemoth a trekker’s playground.

Tropical forests surround you like a wet blanket, blocking out any sunlight trying to find its way to the forest floor. 

Yet, throughout all this, you will find a well-maintained trail system.

The Monk’s Trail is one of the most popular hikes in Chiang Mai. The hike is well-marked with orange flags and takes you to Wat Pha Lat, a temple built in the 14th century.

After the temple, you’ll head to a viewpoint that provides you with a vista you won’t forget. After this, it’s back to the starting point to finish the hike.

Tip: The hike itself isn’t strenuous, but you’ll be traversing over rocks and roots. So, bring proper footwear and avoid sneakers. And get plenty of water; the Thai heat will add to the difficulty.

Hike Details

Length: 4 miles

Difficulty: Easy

Getting to the trail

To find the trail, follow Suthep Road to the end, which is near Chiang Mai University. Keep going forward and turn right at the following intersection. It will head toward the rear entry of the Chiang Mai Zoo.

From here, keep your eye out for a large tower (painted red and white). Here’s the start of The Monk’s Trail.

You can find the start on Google Maps here.

Doi Luang Chiang Dao

Incredible vistas on the Doi Chiang Dao hike in Thailand

Incredible vistas on the Doi Chiang Dao hike in Thailand

We arrive at the only hike that requires a guide — the Doi Luang Chiang Dao trail. Being the third-tallest peak in Thailand, this hike is for experienced hikers. Hence why a guide is necessary.

You can’t book a guide on the day of the hike, so you should book in advance (at least one day if it’s not high season). Also, there’s a daily visitor limit of 150 people, so it’s best to secure your spot as soon as possible.

And that spot will be worth it as you reach the summit. Mountains extend in all directions, rolling up and down like ocean waves. But they truly shine at sunset/sunrise. Colors fill the valleys, providing a borderline religious experience.

The best place to stay is in Chiang Dao itself or Chiang Mai, about an hour and a half from the mountain.

If you’re looking for one of the best hikes in Thailand, Doi Luang Chiang Dao is with the best of them.

Hike Details

Length: 7.5 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

Getting to the trail

If you’re staying in Chiang Dao, you simply have to drive to the entrance of the Chiang Dao Wildlife Reserve. From here, meet your guide and enjoy the trek!

If you’re staying in Chiang Mai, you can rent a car/motorbike to drive to the Chiang Dao Wildlife Reserve entrance. Rental motorbikes run from $3-15 per day depending on the size. Car rentals range from $10-$30. 

Otherwise, you can get a taxi to drive you to the entrance (around $25-$35).

You can find the start on Google Maps here.

Phuket’s Manik Mining Trail

This is a hike you’re not going to find on other blogs — I can promise you that. I didn’t discover this trail, but I’ve run/hiked it so many times I could do it with my eyes closed. 

And the Manik Mining Trail is one of the best hikes in Phuket.

This hike starts near Manik Dam in Phuket — you can find the dam in the north-central part of the island. It’s an out-and-back that takes you up above the dam, where you get an incredible view over the island’s northern and southern parts.

You can even see Radar Hill and Big Buddha on a clear day!

Most people don’t think of hiking when they visit Phuket. Instead, visitors choose Phuket’s world-famous beaches and sky-blue waters. But, you miss out on the side of Thailand that most tourists don’t see.

Don’t be one of those tourists.

Hike Details

Length: 7.5 miles (a little over 3.5 miles one-way)

Difficulty: Moderate

Getting to the trail

Finding this trail will be easy. Head to Manik Dam (one of three dams on the island). Once you arrive, you can park in the dam’s parking lot. Head east on Sawatdirak Road until the road starts to go uphill. Here you will see a dirt road that veers off on the left side. 

Follow that trail until it comes to a three-way split — one going left, one going straight, and one going right. Follow the trail that goes right (and slightly uphill). This is the start of the hike.

You can find the start on Google Maps here.

Best Hikes in Thailand – Final Thoughts

While Thailand is a well-known backpacking destination, it’s less known for hiking, but that’s the beauty of it. As you hike, you’ll have the trails to yourself. So, take it slow, and enjoy the sights and sounds surrounding you. But you should get there quick. You won’t have them to yourself for much longer.