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Pre-covid days, Bangkok was a very popular travel destination among Singaporeans. Finally, after two years of living with the coronavirus, the world of travel is slowly beginning to see the light.
With effect from 1 May 2022, Thailand will remove its COVID-19 requirements for fully vaccinated travellers arriving in Thailand. Fully vaccinated travellers entering Thailand will no longer need to apply to enter under the Test & Go or Sandbox scheme – Woohoo! Fully vaccinated travellers will also not be required to do any on arrival testing or perform any isolation when arriving in Thailand. Fully vaccinated travellers will also not be required to do any pre-departure testing. Instead, travellers are encouraged to perform antigen self-tests during their stay as a safety precaution. With the easing of travel restrictions, we reckon it’s high time to start booking a trip to the land of smiles!
But, seeing that it has been two years (or more) since your last trip to Thailand, it might be a little tricky planning your itinerary because a lot has changed since the start of the pandemic. If you’re planning to fly over to the land of smiles but not quite sure what to expect, or if your favourite shopping places are still around, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve curated some new and unique places to check out in shopping haven, Bangkok.
1. JODD Fairs
Bangkok is the land of night markets galore, with famous spots like Artbox and Train Night Market. You can’t really say you’ve been to Bangkok if you didn’t stuff your face with street food and venture through the streets lined with night market stalls. During Covid, the Train Night Market Ratchada was hit with a temporary closure. But fret not, they are back bigger and better than before, revamped into the swanky new JODD Fairs.
The night market occupies the entire carpark space behind Central Plaza Grand Rama 9 Mall. You’ll want to dedicate an entire evening here as it houses over 600 food stalls. Pro tip: make sure you come on an empty stomach so that you can enjoy the glorious offerings at this night market including the Mala BBQ skewers and Leng Saap or a “mountain” of spicy pork. Once you’re stuffed, you can burn some calories by walking the entire night market and doing some retail therapy.
Address: Rama IX Rd, Huai Khwang, Bangkok 10310, Thailand
Opening hours: 11am to 12am, Daily
Website: Jodd Fairs Facebook
2. Bangkok E-Gokart Track – Monowheel
After conquering all the night markets in Bangkok, you would probably be looking for a more thrilling activity. This E-Gokart track in Bangkok is just the thing for you. The electric gokarts used here are suitable for both kids and adults as their speed limits can be adjusted to suit the user. If you’re travelling with young kids, they’re going to love this because it’s not often that they get the chance to drive a moving car.
This activity is even more fun with friends. Unleash your inner formula one driver and race down the tracks with your friends. No prizes for the winners but maybe the loser can buy a round of drinks after the match. But of course, you’re going to need some pictures on the gram or it didn’t happen, so remember to head over to the photo corner to snap some keepsake photos to remember your victorious win.
Address: Banthat Thong Rd., Alley, Wang Mai, Pathum Wan District, Bangkok 10330, Thailand
Opening hours: Mon – Fri, 4pm to 7.30pm ; Sat & Sun 11am to 7.30pm (last admission is 30 mins before closing)
3. RakDok LaLagoon
RakDok LaLagoon is one of the most instagrammable places to visit. If you’re coming here, make sure your camera is loaded with battery as we reckon you’re going to spend quite a bit of time here just taking photos.
RakDok LaLagoon is a quick getaway from the bustling city. It houses some beautiful outdoor floral displays as well as a cafe and other eateries where you can soak in the breathtaking view as you relax and enjoy your meal. There are various display zones throughout the entire compound for you to explore and of course snap some photos for the gram. Each zone is unique in its own way and is meant to exude different vibes and feelings. The entrance fee is free but you’re going to need to pay 150baht/pax (~S$6.10) if you plan on skipping the refreshments. This is truly instagram, tiktok and #OOTD paradise, a must visit to stock up on your photo bank!
Address: 894 Maitrijit Road, Sam Wa Tawan Ok, Khlong Sam Wa, Bangkok 10510
Opening hours: Mon – Fri, 9am to 6pm ; Sat & Sun 7am to 6pm
Website: RakDok LaLagoon Facebook
4. Sugar Rush
Sugar Rush truly lives up to its name as not only is this whimsical dessert cafe decked in candy colours from head to toe, it also houses an array of dessert shops in its community space. There’s always space for dessert and Sugar Rush brings you a wide variety of desserts housed in one place at your access. It is also easily accessible as it sits right smack in the middle of the city at 515 Victory Community Space.
They have very tempting treats like burnt marshmallows stuffed with ice cream, flaky and sweet stuffed mash up of croissants and Japanese taiyaki, as well as hearty milkshake frappes. The desserts are also reasonably priced which makes things even sweeter.
Address: 5, 15 Phaya Thai Road, Thanon Phaya Thai, Ratchathewi, Bangkok 10400, Thailand
Opening hours: 11am to 7pm, Daily
5. 747 Cafe
We get it, you already experienced having an in-flight meal on your flight to Bangkok. But hear us out, this meal is different from the meals served onboard your flight. Enter 747 Cafe, which has made its home in a retired Boeing 747 aircraft.
As you step inside, you would notice that most of the original architecture is still pretty much intact, such as the cockpit, reactors and windows. Just like your flight to Bangkok, you will be required to purchase a ticket before you enter the restaurant. Once inside, you’ll get to peruse the menu and pick dishes starting from just ฿110 (~S$4.50). Don’t worry, there’s plenty of window and aisle seats to go around so you don’t have to fight for a seat with a view.
Address: 627 1 Luang Phaeng Road, Khwaeng Thap Yao, Khet Lat Krabang, Bangkok 10520, Thailand
Opening hours: 10am to 7pm, Daily
Website: 747 Cafe Facebook
6. Benjakitti Forest Park
Apart from being a shopping haven, Bangkok actually has some lesser known parks that are a great spot for relaxation, away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Benjakitti is one of Bangkok’s biggest park and is probably one of the best places in the city to have a leisure evening stroll after a crazy day of shopping in the city.
The Benjakitti Forest Park is also one of the newest parks in Bangkok, having only opened in 2021. Around the park, you will find a manmade “swamp”, several cycling tracks, and lots of sitting areas for you to park your bums and just soak in the evening breeze. Nature lover or not, this park sure has plenty for all to love. You can even embark on a little picnic here, just grab a couple of your favourite dishes and a picnic mat and head over to the park. While you’re there, make sure to snap a couple of #OOTD shots!
Address: Ratchadaphisek Rd, Khlong Toei, Bangkok 10110, Thailand
Opening hours: 5am to 9pm, Daily
Admission is free.
7. MBK Shopping Centre
MBK is also known as Mahboonkrong and spans seven storeys with over 2,000 shops. This is a must-visit place for all ardent shoppers, especially if you’re looking for a good deal.
On the first three storeys, you will find alleys of shops selling clothes, accessories, leather bags, cosmetics and perfumes. The fourth storey is dedicated entirely to electronics, so you can pick up cute phone accessories, tripods, phone stands and more here. On the fifth and sixth storeys, you’ll be able to find some furniture as well as other knick knacks, souvenirs and Thai arts and crafts that you can bring home to remember your trip by. There is also a food court located on the fifth and sixth floor for you to rest your legs and refuel for more energy to continue shopping! On the top floor, its entertainment galore. There is a multi-screen cinema, bowling alley, karaoke booth, and a computer game arcade. If you’re travelling with kids, you can drop them off there to entertain themselves while you shop.
Address: 444 Phayathai Rd., Patumwan, Bangkok , Bangkok, Thailand 10330
Opening hours: 10am to 9pm, Daily
Website: MBK Center
8. Harajuku Thailand
Currently Japan has not opened its borders to international travellers, but that doesn’t mean we cannot still enjoy Japan. Located just an hour’s drive away from Bangkok is Harajuku Thailand. And as its name suggests, it has pretty much everything you would find in the land of the rising sun.
From the traditional wooden storefront and shrines to the red hanging lanterns, and the iconic sakura blossoms, be transported to Japan as you stroll around Harajuku Thailand. Indulge in some soothing Japanese food and bring home some cutesy Japanese souvenirs to make it seem like you were actually in Japan (even though you weren’t). To complete the cultural experience, both ladies and gents can rent a yukata and take some enviable pics for your socials.
Address: 47 Suwinthawong Road, Krathum Rai, Nong Chok, Bangkok 10530, Thailand
Opening hours: Mon – Thu, 10.30am to 9pm ; Fri – Sun, 10am to 10pm
Website: Harajuku Thailand Facebook
9. Chill Out: Farm & Cafe
Situated just 90 minutes from central Bangkok is Chill Out: Farm & Cafe. As the name suggests. The little cafe is also a mini petting “zoo” where you can have some bonding time with some friendly furry friends over lunch.
Apart from furry bunnies, Chill Out also has pigs, goats, turtles and an aviary with free-flying parakeets. What’s great about this place is that the cafe also serves some great food and you can expect some fresh farm-to-table dishes on their menu. Admission to the farm and cafe is free, while dishes on the menu starts from ฿155 (~S$6.20). This place is suitable for all ages but just hope that the free-flying parakeets dont have a little welcome gift for you.
Address: Soi Suwinthawong 110, Khwaeng Krathum Rai, Khet Nong Chok, Bangkok 10530, Thailand
Opening hours: 10am to 8pm, Daily
Website: Chill Out: Farm & Cafe Facebook
10. Pratunam Market
No trip to Bangkok is complete without some hardcore shopping. Thus, we present to you the wholesale market of Bangkok – Pratunam Market.
Pratunam Market is a shopper’s paradise as all the items sold here are priced at cheap and affordable prices. There are hundreds of stills housed in the building offering you a wide variety of t-shirts, jeans, bikinis, underwear and even shoes. It is also a favourite shopping spot among locals and bargain shoppers because you will undoubtedly leave this mall with many bargained deals. Although, if you are coming here make sure that you’ve practiced your bargaining skills, not that you’ll need it here since everything is already so cheap, but in case some shop owners try to pull a fast one on you.
Opening hours: Retail shops open from 10am to 9pm
11. Wat Phra Kaew Temple
In need for some divine intervention? Or just looking for some spiritual guidance? Either way, the Wat Phra Kaew temple is the spiritual core of Thai Buddhism. The temple grounds was consecrated in 1782 and today, it has become one of Bangkok’s biggest tourist attraction and a pilgrimage destination for devout Buddhists.
The majestic temple is home to Thailand’s most holy image, the Emerald Buddha. The Emerald Buddha is only 66cm tall and it sits high above worshippers in a striking gilded shrine decorated with spectacular ornaments. Within the perimeter of the temple is also the statue of Guan Ying, the Chinese Goddess of Mercy. There are also 178 murals depicting the Ramakian in its entirety that wrap around the entire compound.
If you’re planning to make a trip to this magnificent temple for worship or just to marvel at the amazing architecture and statues, remember to dress modestly and appropriately. You will not be allowed to enter unless you are well-covered, basically if you’re dressed in anything that reveals more than your lower arms and head, you won’t be allowed in. Those who don’t meet the dress code can expect to be shown into a dressing room and issued a sarong to cover up.
Opening hours: 8.30 am to 9.30pm, Daily
Admission: 500 Baht
12. Wat Pho Temple
Wat Pho is an absolute must-see when visiting Bangkok. It is home to the city’s largest reclining Buddha; it also has the largest collection of Buddha images in Thailand and is the country’s earliest center for public education. The impressive Reclining Buddha is housed in a pavilion on the western edges of the temple complex.
The temple grounds is also the national headquarters for teaching and preservation of traditional Thai medicine. One highlight here is the Thai massage. Thai massage was a mandate legislated by Rama III when the tradition was on the brink of extinction. The famous massage school has two massage pavilions within the temple, and several additional rooms located within the training facility outside the temple. Both Thai massages and foot massages are available at the temple but you’ll need to make a booking in advance via Wat Pho Message Website. You can also enroll yourself in a course to learn the wonderful trade at a fee of 12,000 Baht. Classes can be booked at the Wat Pho Thai Traditional Massage School and run every day except Sunday. A common sight at this temple is seeing visitors donating coins into the metal bowls placed in a row, and if you don’t have enough coins, there will be a kind attendant who would be more than happy to exchange your notes for some loose change.
Just like the Wat Phra Kaew Temple, the Wat Pho also has a strict dress code that requires you to be modestly dressed and covered up. At Wat Pho, you will be required to take off your shoes and place them in a reusable bag while you explore the temple grounds. Just remember to return the bag and not throw them away after use. You will also be handed a complimentary bottle of water as you come in, and trust us, you’re going to need that bottle of water.
Opening hours: 8.30am to 6.30pm, Daily
Admission: 200 Baht
Planning for a trip has never been this challenging as Covid saw the closure of a lot of night markets and shops in Bangkok. It is hard to relive the good old days at Chatuchak Market but we hope that these cheap and new activities will help you make new memories and be a refreshing cherry on top during your next trip to the land of smiles.
Although, Bangkok isn’t the only place open for international travellers. Australia and our friendly neighbour, Malaysia, have opened their borders to international travellers too. If you’re planning a short weekend getaway across the border, check out our Travel Itinerary to KL. Planning a longer holiday to rest and relax, we’ve curated some exciting things for you to do in the land down under, which you can read more about here! What is most important is that we’re so happy to be able to travel again!