Experience Local Life
This is the place to see a diverse mix of people from all walks of life ambling past each other on the same street, where excited British students mingle with Thai locals, where small children laugh and play with toys whilst famous Bangkok ladyboys strut their stuff, and where regal Buddhist monks browse stalls next to enthusiastic vendors. Take time to sit back and people watch when you arrive onto Khao San Road, and soak in the multifariousness of Thailand’s most lively walkway.
Visit Bangkok’s National Gallery
Thailand is not traditionally known for it’s museums, but the National Gallery just beside Khao San Road is a beacon of art and culture in Bangkok. This old colonial building once served as a royal abode during the reign of King Rama V, and is now the setting for a rotation of temporary exhibits aimed at illustrating the hardships and beauty of Thai life. Watch out for the old, monochrome photographs of Bangkok, as well as some stunning and intricately weaved ancient tapestries.
Look around Wat Chana Songkhram
Wat Chana Songkhram is a Buddhist temple with a name translating to “Temple of Victory in War.” Although it is not an especially famous temple example, it nevertheless has appeal thanks to its grand, golden interior and long history dating back to the 18th century. Here visitors will find shiny, gilded designs and well as ornate colourings, and remarkably, the place manages to maintain a serene atmosphere despite being across the road from notoriously noisy Khao San Road. A place of tranquillity and prayer for locals, a visit to Wat Chana Songkhram provides a perfect piece of peace and quiet away from the surrounding busy streets.
Walk to Wat Bowonniwet
Bangkok is brimming with beautiful Buddhist temples and so any trip here should incorporate a visit to one or two. Wat Bowonniwet is a top temple choice for its uniqueness; it acts as the residence for the Buddhist Mahamakut University, a royally affiliated monastery, and the national center for the Thammayut sect of Buddhism. Still active and of national importance, the temple provided the setting for the ordination of the present king. Wat Bowonniwet exudes a casual, laid-back atmosphere, and the pretty murals here artistically illustrate the influences Westerners have on Thai life.
Peruse Thanon Khao San Market
Situated beside the main strip of guesthouses in Banglamphu is the shopping bazaar of Thanon Khao San Market. Here you’ll find cheap, luminous t-shirts and chic, trendy purses alongside contraband items such as bootleg DVDs and fake ID cards. An Aladdin’s cave of homemade goods, quaint Buddha statues, fake leather and flimsy phone cases, be sure to barter for the best price, as some vendors are known to be dishonest when haggling with tourists. This is a top place to wander around and explore the brick-a-brac stalls of Bangkok, and if all this shopping has made you hungry, there are stalls offering refreshing orange juice and golden corn cobs on every corner.