The Kiwi.com Top 10 – Bangkok

Here at Kiwi.com, we love exploring new places, but we also know that sometimes you want to go back to somewhere you’ve already been. Here’s our guide to the 10 most popular airports that Kiwi.com customers fly in and out of

City – Bangkok

Airport – Don Muang

If you’ve never been …

… You’ll have to prepare for the fact that despite this being an incredibly popular tourist destination, it is, essentially a country run by the military. In August 2016, the country voted to bring in a new constitution to give the military continuing influence over the country. Despite this, it remains a mecca for tourists from all corners of the planet. From high culture to shopping to food and nightlife, via the seamier sides of tourism including that of the sex trade and all the scams and schemes that go with everyone trying to make money off all the above, Bangkok is a confusing, exhilarating, exhausting mess of everything Asia has to throw at you.

Top temple

Lanterns float over Wat Arun Temple in Bangkok – Shutterstock
Lanterns float over Wat Arun Temple – Shutterstock

The Wat Arun Temple is a stunning golden pyramid surrounded by spires that sits on the west bank of the river. Of all the temples in Bangkok (and there are many!) this is the only one built in this very distinctive shape. You can actually climb the central ‘spire’, but it’s very steep, so it’s not for the less-than-nimble, although it does afford a fabulous view back over the river and to the surroundings.

Turn on the red light

Bangkok's red light district is all a bit tongue-in-cheek – Shutterstock
Bangkok’s red light district is all a bit tongue-in-cheek – Shutterstock

Soi Cowboy is the most well-known red light area in Bangkok and is named after the cowboy hat-wearing American who opened a bar in this area in the 1970s, and it’s now an area of go-go dancers, pole dancing bars and the like. It’s generally a little bit tongue-in-cheek as it is so touristy and is not crazy expensive, and generally staff are not pushy when it comes to buying drinks.

A watery weekend

Ban Nam Phueng Floating Market was built to revive the local market culture in Bangkok – Shutterstock
Ban Nam Phueng Floating Market was built to revive the local market culture – Shutterstock

The culture of Bangkok’s waterways is, unfortunately, slowly dying out as bigger industry and a more consumerist culture comes to the country; to combat this, in 2004 the Ban Nam Phueng Floating Market was built to allow local traders to continue selling their wares in a fair and regulated way. At weekends, this is a bustling part of town selling fresh fruit and veg, fish, fabrics, hand-woven baskets and tourist trinkets.

Been to Bangkok before? Did you try these?

Hiding in ‘plane’ sight

The abandoned hulks of three airliners are an odd attraction in Bangkok – Shutterstock
The abandoned hulks of three airliners are an odd attraction – Shutterstock

To the east of the city, the abandoned hulks of three airliners sit on a piece of abandoned land. These serve as houses for three local families who make money from scavenging parts of the planes to sell and charge tourists an ‘entry fee’ of from 100-800 baht to have a look around.

Curious cabaret

The Calypso Cabaret – an interesting night out on the town in Bangkok – Shutterstock
The Calypso Cabaret – an interesting night out on the town – Shutterstock

At the Asiatique mall on the waterfront, the Calypso Cabaret does nightly Broadway-style shows starring that curiously Thai concept, the ladyboy. There are even special shows based around, among others, the songs and styles of Elvis and Beyonce!

Learn the local arts

Learn to cook a curry the Thai way in Bagkok – Shutterstock
Learn to cook a curry the Thai way – Shutterstock

For around 30 dollars, you can take a tasting and cookery class in the art of preparing authentic Thai food. Often these will take place at a market stall selling that food, or even in the home of a local chef! Their website will help you find the one for you.