Chatuchak Weekend Market and Platinum Mall may be overrated and boring to many who have visited Bangkok countless times. However, with these new things to check out, you are definitely in for a treat! From an airplane graveyard to eerie medical museums, your next trip to Bangkok will be like no other!
1. The Jam Factory Bangkok
Image credit: The Jam Factory Facebook Page
Situated at Klong San Pier behind Klong San Market is Jam Factory Bangkok. Covering 1,600 square metres, the former factory was transformed by local architect Duangrit Bunnag into a hipster warehouse surrounded by enormous bodhi trees.
Comprising 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 performance with ample seating for you to enjoy a drink or two at the open air lawn.
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)
Opening Hours: 10.00am to 8.00pm daily
2. Airplane Graveyard
Image credit: Sueann Kuan
Reminiscent of the scene from the TV series Lost, the airplane graveyard is a vast field with several dismantled old aircraft bodies strewn across the 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 crash at Phuket International Airport in 2007, taking 89 lives.
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 of 100-800 baht per person for entering the aircraft, Try to avoid heading there during early mornings, lunch hour and 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:
(Option 1) Phrakanong Station Exit 3 → Bus 40
(Option 2) 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)
(Option 3) Klong (Canal) Ferry → Wat Sri Bunruang Pier
3. Chocolate Ville
Image credit: Nan-Cheng Tsai
Image credit: Nan-Cheng Tsai
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 restaurant takes up the whole area and accommodates 700 diners. Despite that, you can call to reserve seats or arrive earlier than the opening time of 4.00pm. There is no entrance fee to Chocolate Ville, so you can even visit without dining at the restaurant.
How to get there: Take a 30-minute taxi ride from Pratunam
Opening Hours: 4.00pm to 12.00am daily
4. Bangkok CityCity Factory
Image credit: Bangkok CityCity Gallery
Bangkok CityCity Factory wishes to promote new ways of thinking through exhibitions and events, as well as support local visionary artists. Bangkok artists are often under-represented, which is also why the opening of the gallery was dedicated to eight local artists. With paintings, video installations and live performances, founders AKapol ‘Op’ Sudasna and Supama Phahulo aspire to meld Bangkok’s art with western influences.
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!
How to get there: Five-minute walk from Lumphini Station
Opening Hours: Wednesday - Sunday: 1.00pm to 7.00pm Closed on Monday and Tuesday
5. Scala Cinema
Image credit: Kampongpiratevee (Pantip User)
If you’re looking to have a vintage movie experience, Scala Cinema is the place for you. Built in 1967, Scala Cinema offers no digital displays for show times at the retro cinema. Instead, red signs are put up by hand.
Visitors are greeted with a gigantic chandelier and a double staircase at the lobby, which adds a nice touch to the allure of the cinema. A ticket costs 100 baht and a small box of popcorn costs 30 baht. Grab one of the 1,000 red velvet seats to enjoy a night of art deco and indie vibes. 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: Five-minute walk from Siam BTS Station
6. Wat Mahathat
Image credit: Heinrich Damm
Wat Mahathat is an important centre for the study of Buddhism and meditation, as well as 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 it is home to the city’s largest amulet market on Sundays. You can also 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. One of the highlights of the place is the Buddha’s head statue on the tree, so be sure to check it out.
Address: 3 Thanon Maharat, Na Luk, Bangkok 10200, Thailand
How to get there: Take Chao Phraya river express boat → Drop off at Tha Chang Pier or Tha Prachan Nuea Pier
Opening Hours: 7.00am to 5.00pm daily
7. The Commons Market
Image credit: The Commons
With artisan cafes and eateries set in an eco-friendly mall, The Commons Market is truly a hipster’s paradise. This 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 four 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 a multi-sensory play. The Top Yard consists of the BRIX Dessert Bar and Roast. The must-try in Roast is the Truffle Alfredo with homemade Tagliatelle, bacon and mushrooms, so make this your last (or first) stop in The Commons Market.
Address: 335 Soi Thonglor 17, Klongton Nue, Wattana
How to get there: BTS Thong Lo Station → take an Uber to The Commons Market
Opening Hours: 8.00am to 11.30pm daily
8. Bang Krachao
Image credit: James Antrobus
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 organised biking tours in the area. You can rent a bike from the bicycle rental shops on the island and paddle your way as you enjoy the views of Bangkok’s business district and the harbour. There is a good map of the island from the Bangkok Tree House which allows you to navigate the area safely.
After the bike tour, visit the temples and Bang Nam Phueng floating market on the weekends. There is also a firefly tour that costs roughly 30 baht per person. Do remember to bring mozzy spray or cover up as there are a lot of mosquitoes on the island.
Address: Bang Krachao Phapradeang, Samut Prakan, Thailand
How to get there: BTS Klong Toei station → Take ferry from Khlong Toey Pier → Bang Krachao
9. Siriraj Medical Museum
Image credit: Siriraj Museum
Located in two separate buildings in the Siriraj Hospital, the museum features six 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 human liver in the 1950s. Rows of dissected adults and children’s bodies kept in formaldehyde-filled jars are displayed in the anatomical museum, which 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.
How to get there: Take river shuttle near the Grand Palace → Boat at Chang Pier/Praja Pier → Pranok Pier
Opening Hours: 10.00am to 4.00pm daily Closed on Tuesdays
10. Khao Yai National Park
Image credit: tontantravel
Just a three-hour drive from Bangkok is Khao Yai National Park. Here, you can witness Haew Narok waterfall, the largest and highest waterfall in the park, towering over three 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!
Apart from hiking and camping, you can also join the park-hosted safaris that are available daily from 7.00pm to 8.00pm. 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.
If you’d like to spend more than a day in the national park, there is a huge campsite at Pha Kluai Mai which costs 10 baht for children and 20 baht for adults per night. Tents and sleeping bags are available for rent at a restaurant round the corner.
Opening Hours: The visitor centre opens from 8.00am to 9.00pm daily
How to get there: At the 56-kilometre marker of Mitraparp Highway, turn onto Thanarat Road and proceed for approximately 23 kilometres