• Post category:Asia / Thailand

Are you planning a four-day, three-night trip to the vibrant city of Bangkok? With all the available activities in the bustling city, selecting what to do in Bangkok in such a short time can be overwhelming. My four-day Bangkok itinerary is crafted for the time-conscious traveler, providing an action-packed exploration of the city’s highlights and beyond… with little to no time to relax!

Details about this four-day Bangkok itinerary

Our four-day Bangkok itinerary draws from personal experiences and insights shared by seasoned friends who once called this captivating city home. Note that the pricing details are based on observations made during my visit in 2019. Keep in mind that prices might have changed, so it’s advisable to incorporate a buffer into your budget and always double-check prices for a seamless travel experience.

Bangkok canal boat with skyscrapper in the background

This Bangkok itinerary provides transportation details from Siam district.

Choosing the right accommodation will significantly enhance your Bangkok experience. I was very satisfied with the conveniently located Ibis Siam*. Nestled in the heart of the lively Siam district, this hotel provided a vibrant atmosphere day and night and a perfect juxtaposition between authentic local spots and modern shopping malls, all within a 10-minute radius. The hotel is strategically positioned in front of a Skytrain station (BTS) and close to small canal boats. Plus, the city view from the room had nice city views!

Responsible travel tip: Polluted air is a terrible issue in Bangkok that badly affects the population. As a visitor, you can make choices that won’t add more pollution to the city. Taxis are cheap and can be seen as the most convenient option to commute around the city. But the city’s notorious traffic jams can actually make public transportation a time-saving and eco-friendly alternative, so keep this in mind!

Is four days enough for Bangkok?

Bangkok is a mesmerizing city, especially for first-timers in Thailand and Asia. In just four days, you can capture a glimpse of its multifaceted charm. However, extending your stay by a few more days allows for a more leisurely exploration, enabling you to savor the city’s offerings at a nicer pace.

Bangkok, with its captivating architecture, delectable cuisine, and warm hospitality, has a knack for winning hearts. It has earned a spot on my list of favorite cities, second only to Istanbul. Even beyond four days, the city promises endless discoveries and delights.

I was surprised by how much I enjoyed staying for four days in Bangkok. The city was very polluted when I visited (it’s apparently often the case early in the year), so I enjoyed going out on a couple of day trips to see another facet of the country. But I was coming back to Bangkok at the end of every day. And it was great to still find things to do in Bangkok in the late afternoon and evening.

A pre-trip insight: Understanding Buddhist temples

I wished I spent more time reading about Buddhist temple buildings before visiting Bangkok. Being more familiar with terms like Wat, Ordination Hall, Assembly Hall, and ubosot will surely enrich your temple visits. If you’re unfamiliar with these terms and don’t plan to hire a guide for your visits, you may want to read about the temple terminology. This pre-trip preparation ensures a deeper understanding of the cultural and spiritual significance embedded in Bangkok’s awe-inspiring temples.

Day 1 in Bangkok: visit the iconic sites

Begin your Bangkok adventure by immersing yourself in the city’s most iconic landmarks – a must for any itinerary, whether you’re in Bangkok for a day or a week.

Bangkok Chao Phraya River at sunset

I know some tourists hesitate to go there because it’s reputed to be too touristy. Would you not check out the Eiffel Tower when in Paris or skip the Opera House in Sydney? Sure, they are crowded with tourists. But they’re iconic. So when you’re wondering what to do in Bangkok for four days, I think these monuments should come first on your Bangkok itinerary.

How to get there

From Siam, catch the Skytrain (BTS) to Saphan Taksin (45 baht). It’s a two-minute walk to the Sathon Pier on the Chao Phraya River.

There, you may opt for the unlimited hop-on-hop-off tourist boat*, which is slightly more comfortable, and bigger than the usual boats used by locals. You’ll also be less rushed to exit and enter the boat, which can be a lot more comfortable for those not used to these kinds of transportation. Alternatively, you can catch the boat used by locals, the Express Boat (check the routes here) – which is the option I chose. It will take you to the same places for 20 baht each time you board.

It would be a shame to catch a taxi to visit these places. The river views are fantastic and part of the trip.

Boat passing in front of the Grand Palace in Bangkok

First stop: Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha

I found this first visit overwhelming, but a fantastic start to a Bangkok itinerary. With more than 100 buildings decorated with bright colours, gold and diamonds, I felt like being thrown in at the deep end. But it’s sometimes the best way to learn!

Panoramic photo of Bangkok Grand Palace with tourists

The place attracts both international and domestic visitors, many of them. But if you manage to visit early in the morning (it opens at 8.30 am), you will at least avoid the crowd. Plus, starting your Bangkok itinerary with the Grand Palace will make you appreciate even more all the other spots that are less busy.

One of the buildings, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, is the most important Buddhist temple in Thailand. The 66-centimetre statue was carved in green Jade and wears gold clothes. Remember that photographs are not allowed there.

All the bright gold, colours and different styles were a bit of a shock at first. This plus the crowd made it hard to focus and appreciate the place fully. I highly recommend stopping and looking at the details of a statue or a wall. Photography really helped me notice interesting details and connect with the site despite the weird atmosphere. I sometimes wished I had earphones so I could play music to cover tourists yelling.

As I could watch people walking past them from afar, I was particularly impressed by the massive Guardians. And I appreciated the freedom given to visitors to wander around to view the building from different angles. Some people probably spend most of the day visiting that place.

I really wished I had taken more time to plan my visit.

I highly recommend reading about the Grand Palace before your visit. With the crowd, navigating while deciphering the map and reading the brochure is a nightmare. Alternatively, many guided tours like this one* will provide information and ensure you see the best places – but don’t expect in-depth details.

It cost 500 baht to enter. I walked straight from the river, crossed the road and followed the white wall (leaving it on my right) until I reached the entrance.

Second stop: Wat Pho, the Temple of the Reclining Buddha

After the busy Grand Palace, Wat Pho is perfect for relaxing.

Wat Pho was the first public university in Thailand and is known to be the birthplace of traditional massage.

Statue praying at Wat Pho in Bangkok with a ginger cat sleeping at its feet.

Wat Pho is famous for its massive Reclining Buddha.

And it’s indeed worth seeing. I didn’t expect it to be that bit: 46 metres long is huge! I like the sounds of the temples I visited during these four days in Bangkok. They often have leaves in a bell that tinkle with the wind, or bowls where people drop small coins that resonate.

Don’t stop your visit straight after seeing the Reclining Buddha.

Wat Pho is one of the oldest and largest temples in Bangkok. It was a pleasure to wander around as there weren’t as many people as at the Grand Palace. At that time of the day, I appreciated the calm and the shade.

If you’ve never tried a foot or Thai massage before, Wat Pho is a special place to do so.

After walking around for a while, it’s a pleasure to relieve tension in the feet. I felt ready to do it all over again! But it’s more expensive than a massage in the small shops in town.

Price list to get a Thai massage or foot massage at Wat Pho in Bangkok

How to get there

The entrance to Wat Pho cost 200 baht. It’s only a 10-minute walk away from the Grand Palace. Keep the wall to your left and the Chao Phraya River (where you arrived) to your right. Alternatively, you can easily find a tuk-tuk to take you there.

Have lunch near Wat Pho

You can find many options to eat near Wat Pho, whether you are keen on street food, a small restaurant or a fancier one with air-con.

Third visit: Wat Arun

Wat Arun is one of Bangkok’s world-famous landmarks.

Wat Arun temple in Bangkok
Wat Arun

So, once again, expect a crowd when you visit. Its prang (the conical-shaped tower) is the highest one in Thailand, culminating at more than 80 metres high. It’s also one of the rare monuments that were built before the Thai capital.

With its prime location just in front of the river, the temple is very photogenic. And the billions of small pieces of coloured glass and porcelain covering the spires are mesmerising. The imposing Khmer architectural style of Wat Arun looks different from the other temples you will see during your four days in Bangkok.

“Please be humble”

At the entrance, a big sign informed visitors about their expected behaviour. It mainly focuses on the dress code to visit the temples: you must cover your shoulders and legs.

But the note “please be humble” on the side caught my attention. I don’t know the meaning of humility from a Buddhist point of view. But I found the idea of being humble clashed with people around me taking selfies before even taking the time to appreciate the site. My goal isn’t to say what behaviour is right or wrong. It’s just a reminder that we are visitors here in a very special place that isn’t about us.

Sign next to a buddha statue with text and images explaining wrong behaviour and wrong dress code at a temple in Bangkok

As a side note, I wished I knew more about Buddhism before visiting Bangkok. It’s a massive part of Thai culture, and it would have made more sense to be more aware of it while visiting these temples. The sign referred to the website knowingbuddha.org which can be a good start for a foreigner to understand the basics, the dos and the don’ts.

Golden statue in a temple in Bangkok

Don’t miss the Ordination Hall next to the prang

Outside Wat Arun Ordination Hall in Bangkok

It was very quiet when I visited the Ordination Hall, so the atmosphere felt different than at the other temples. With guardians and beautifully shaped trees on each side, the entrance is stunning.

There were hardly any visitors inside. A man was working on a statue, and I enjoyed watching his attention to detail to make it look as shiny and clean as possible.

How to get there

It cost 50 baht to enter Wat Arun. A boat goes across the river from Wat Pho to Wat Arun for 4 baht.

After all this, you may want to go back to your hotel to rest.

The first day of this Bangkok itinerary includes a lot of small steps, and I found the crowd exhausting. If you’re heading back to Siam from Wat Arun, go across the river to Wat Pho. From there, you can catch a boat on the Chao Phraya River to Saphan Taksin, and then the Skytrain to Siam.

Suggestions for the evening

I have summarised in a section later in the post things to do in the evening during your Bangkok trip, as suggestions may change according to the day of the week you are visiting.

Here’s the map of the first day of my Bangkok four-day itinerary:

Day 2 in Bangkok (weekend): Day trip to Samut Songkhram Province

I highly recommend planning to have at least one of your four days in Bangkok landing on the weekend. You can find local markets every day in Thailand. But the weekend markets are bigger and more fun.

How to get there

I visited attractions on the outskirts of Bangkok, in the Samut Songkhram Province. To visit Tha Ka Floating Market, the Railway Market and the temple in a banyan tree, I booked this tour* through the TakeMeTour platform*. I liked TakeMeTour* as they advocate for sustainable travel, allow to connect with locals in an intimate group and encourage money to be spent locally. You can even customise your tours with the places you want to visit.

Many other tours in the Samut Songkhram Province* can take you to bigger floating markets if you wish.

First stop: Tha Ka Floating Market

I chose to visit Tha Ka Floating Market because it’s a beautiful and rather small floating market.

Of course, it is less impressive than the big ones, like the famous Damnoe Saduak or even the nearby Amphawa Floating Market. But I appreciated the calm and authenticity at Tha Ka Floating Market.

After visiting Bangkok’s most crowded attractions, experiencing the tranquillity of being one of the few tourists was refreshing.

Prices were incredibly low to buy fruits, veggies and food. My taste buds were caught by surprise by a unique noodle dish in a delightful pink sauce: it was delicious! Alas, my stomach had its limits, and my hotel didn’t have a kitchen so I couldn’t bring back as much as I would have liked!

Second stop: Coconut palm sugar production

I also chose Tha Ka Floating Market for the opportunity to visit a coconut palm sugar production. I’ve visited places full of coconuts in the South Pacific (New Caledonia, Vanuatu), but no one ever mentioned making sugar out of it. So I was quite curious to find out more!

At the market, we hopped on a small boat and went down a canal to reach where they make coconut palm sugar. I got to see all the steps of making sugar and even got to taste it at different points in the process. It was cool to learn something new about coconuts!

Third stop: Wat Bang Kung, the Banyan Tree Temple

Amphawa is home to one of the most surprising temples ever.

It is covered by the roots of a gigantic tree that seems to hold the building together. I always find Banyan trees fascinating, and this one quickly earned a spot on the list of the most incredible ones I’ve seen during my travels.

Fourth stop: Maeklong Railway Market

The Maeklong Railway Market is the most unusual market I’ve ever seen.

Although it has become a major tourist attraction in the region, they tried to keep things as authentic as possible. When you stroll along the railway to see the market, you’ll smell things like dried fish, meat, or fried frogs – not something tourists usually buy. I don’t know if it’s like this all the time, but there were so many flies around the food next to the rails, which didn’t make me hungry. Most of the signs were in Thai, and only a few stands had things like jewelry or clothes for tourists.

While we were walking in a line along the narrow railway, everyone suddenly stopped and found a spot on the side. They’re telling us the train is coming. It’s pretty crazy, but the railway is still being used. I thought it would be chaotic when the train came, but they seemed used to it. It was kind of funny to watch and definitely a unique experience.

I decided to just walk around the market and see the train go by. But if you want, you can also take a ride on the train through the market.

Suggestions for the evening

You may see fireflies if you visit Amphawa Floating Market at night. You won’t be far away. So if you have no plan in Bangkok City and can find a tour that will take you there after sunset, it could be the best way to end your visit to the region (if you cannot find a tour to take you there, request a customised one*).

If you’re back in downtown Bangkok for the evening, check out my suggestions for things to do at night in Bangkok later in this post.

Here’s the map of the second day of my Bangkok four-day itinerary:

Day 3 in Bangkok: Day trip to Ayutthaya

Panoramic photo of Ayutthaya Wat Phra Si Sanphet
Wat Phra Si Sanphet

“In foreign accounts, Ayutthaya was called Siam, but many sources say the people of Ayutthaya called themselves Tai, and their kingdom Krung Tai meaning ‘Tai country’.” (Source: Wikipedia)

Built in 1350, Ayutthaya was the capital of Siam (now called Thailand) for around four centuries. The massive archaeological ruins that remain give a good idea of how important the city was before the Burmese destroyed it in the 18th century. Those who’ve visited Angkor in Cambodia may not be as impressed as I was by Ayutthaya. But I found this UNESCO World Heritage Centre was a fascinating place to learn about Thai history.

Three monks in front of Wat Lokaya Sutha
Wat Lokaya Sutha

How to get there

There are many places to explore in Ayutthaya, and they aren’t close to each other. To visit Ayutthaya on a day trip from Bangkok, you can:

  • Catch a train from Bangkok Train Station (Hua Lamphong) to Ayutthaya and then hire a tuk-tuk for a few hours (my initial choice before I felt unwell)
  • Catch a train to Ayutthaya and hire a bike (I wasn’t at ease with the idea of cycling by myself considering the heat and the potentially hectic Thai traffic)
  • Join an organised or private tour* (choose carefully as they don’t all go to the same spots, guides aren’t all as good, lunch may be included or not, some include a river cruise, and some are conducted by bike)
  • Check tours with local experts* or request a personalised tour*

Responsible travel tip: Avoid riding elephants. Witnessing elephants amidst traffic carrying unaware tourists to Ayutthaya attractions is disheartening. It’s not their natural habitat, and unfortunately, they are often mistreated. Learn more about how to be an elephant-friendly traveller here.

Here’s the map of the third day of my Bangkok four-day itinerary:

Day 4 in Bangkok: Less touristy sites in Bangkok

By now, you should be at ease in the Thai capital and ready to explore less touristy spots for your fourth day in Bangkok. It’s not totally off the beaten track, but you won’t be following hundreds of visitors like on day one. Hence, you may also need to find your way a bit more during this last day of my Bangkok itinerary.

There’s a small canal not far from Siam that you can take for 9 baht to go to the first two spots. It’s a fun way to get around.

First stop: Boa Bae Market

This market is great for shopping only if you want to buy clothes in bulk. Prices are indicated for three items or more. If you buy less, you’ll pay the same as in most other markets. There’s a food market on the other side of the bridge if you want to grab some fruits for breakfast. But if you don’t need anything and you’ve already visited Thai markets, there’s no need to stop

Second stop: Loha Prasat

There are hundreds of temples in Bangkok. So after you’ve done the three most famous ones on your first day, it’s hard to make a choice.

I chose Loha Prasat for its unique architecture that caught my attention with all its spires (37, like the number of virtues toward enlightenment in Buddhism). It ended up being my favourite temple visit in Bangkok. It was quiet, educational and with fantastic views from the top.

Third stop: Wat Intharawihan

Wat Intharawihan is famous for its 32-metres-high standing Buddha, one of the biggest Buddha in Thailand. It’s open later than other temples, so you can go there at the end of the afternoon if you slept a bit late that morning (hence my photo by night…).

I enjoyed walking in the streets of Bangkok as it’s a great way to witness local life, but you may want to catch a taxi or a tuk-tuk to go up there. It’s not in the same area as the other things listed in the itinerary.

Photo of a 32-meter high Buddha taken by night in Bangkok

Fourth stop: Democracy Monument

In the middle of a traffic circle, the Democracy Monument with its four 24-metre high wings is hard to miss. It celebrates the 1932 Revolution that started Siam’s first constitution. I wouldn’t make a trip to this part of town just to see the monument, but it’s remarkable and worth a short detour when you’re nearby.

The Ratchadamnoen Avenue on each side was inspired by Paris’ Champs Elysees. I found it purified from what makes Bangkok a charming city. But the big photos of the royal family at the centre of the road give a good idea of their importance in Thai culture.

Lunch at Krua Apsorn

Don’t miss that restaurant. It was succulent and the best one I tried in Bangkok. The colleague who recommended it told me to order the crab omelette – but I’m unfortunately too egg-intolerant for that. Anyway, I had enough with my creamy coconut seafood soup with delicious prawns. As an entree, I highly recommend the plate I photographed below. It’s like making tacos inside a leaf, with prawns, peanuts, onion and bamboo inside. And for dessert, the coconut sorbet was a winner.

I loved that the menu was divided into sections perfect for tourists like me: hot spicy, or not. It made my life so much easier!

Fifth stop: Giant Swing

The monument itself may be a bit of a disappointment. There’s no swing, only the external structure remains. And with no explanations and the busy traffic around it, it’s hard to understand the fuss about Bangkok’s Giant Swing. Before you head there, read the story of the ceremony. And only then it will make sense, and you will be impressed by its size.

Sixth stop: Buddhist Monk’s Alms Bowl Making

I stumbled upon that place by accident. I was intrigued by the sign, had a shy look at what they were doing, and a guy with good English came to welcome me and explained a few things. In the Ban Bat Community, they still make the traditional monk’s alms bowls using the same methods as their ancestors. The monks carry the bowls around to collect food donations.

Each bowl created by the Ban Bat Community is handmade and unique, and a few are sold to tourists passing by. It makes a fantastic craft souvenir from Bangkok.

I even got a lesson on how to make a bowl sing, but I still need practice.

Last stop before dark: Golden Mountain Temple

This one is at the end of the list, not because it can be skipped. I think it’s a must-do. But I put it last because it closes late and there are many other things to do nearby, so it’s safe to keep it for the late afternoon. With the 360-degree stunning views from the top, it’s even a good spot to watch the sunset. There are a few steps to go up there, but nothing too hard if you take your time. It’s worth the effort.

Here’s the map of the last day of my Bangkok four-day itinerary:

Bangkok itinerary: what to do in the evening

You never only spend four days in Bangkok. Your Bangkok trip is made of four days and three nights. The Thai capital is fascinating by night so keep some energy for these evening activities.

You can add these evening attractions to any of the days from this Bangkok four-day itinerary.

Night cruise on Chao Phraya River

Photo of Wat Arun illuminated  taken at night from the river during a cruise in Bangkok

I read many times that a night cruise on the Chao Phraya River is a must-do in Bangkok. It may have risen my expectations a bit too high. Or maybe it’s because I opted for the cheapest way to see it. But except for the majestic Wat Arun, I wasn’t that impressed. Still, I believe it’s a nice way to spend an evening in Bangkok.

The cheapest Chao Phraya River night cruise I found was a one-way tourist boat ticket (60 baht). The cheaper Chao Phraya Express Boat (20 baht) finishes around sunset, so it can be tricky to catch the last one to see the sights by night.

The most common and probably the most delightful way to enjoy the Chao Phraya River by night is by joining a dinner cruise*.

If you want a good overview of Bangkok by night, as all monuments and temples aren’t near the river, you can also join a night tour* or go around by yourself with a tuk-tuk.


Crowd looking for food and cars queuing in traffic at night in Bangkok Chinatown.

There isn’t much happening in Chinatown on Monday nights. Any other day is great, but it can be even more full of life on weekends. It’s one of the largest Chinatowns in the world and food heaven to try Chinese and Thai dishes.

The Skytrain doesn’t go to Chinatown. From Siam, it can be the opportunity to try a tuk-tuk ride to save time (150 baht). Or you may want to combine your Chinatown visit while you’re on the Chao Phraya River. Get off the boat at Ratchawong Pier, and walk to Sampeng Lane and Yaowarat Road.

If you think you’ll be overwhelmed by all the choices and the crowd, you may be interested in having a local with you. Joining a guided tour of Bangkok’s Chinatown* is a good way to try some food you may have overlooked if you were by yourself.

Responsible travel tip: Don’t order shark fin soup when visiting Chinatown (or elsewhere). It’s a controversial delicacy in China and Vietnam that’s bringing some shark populations close to extinction. Learn more here.

Night markets in Bangkok

Chatuchak Market is Bangkok’s most famous market – and the largest market in Asia.

It is open only on weekends and Friday nights. If you want to check out Chatuchak Market while still following my four-day Bangkok itinerary, you can squeeze in a visit on Friday night. To go to Chatuchak from Siam, you can catch the Skytrain (BTS) to Mo Chit station.

Neon Night Market – a futurist-looking market in containers – has become the most popular night market in Bangkok.

You’ll find food and live music, but also clothes and kitsch items for sale. To get there by public transport from Siam, catch the BTS Skytrain to Chit Lom Station and walk up for about 10 minutes on Chit Lom Alley to reach the market.

Patpong Night Market in Bangkok’s nightlife (red light) district is made for foreigners.

They mainly sell souvenirs, clothes and fake goods. I recommend reading other travellers’ reviews* before heading there. Scammers are around, so it’s better to be aware of what to expect. Not at all my cup of tea. I’m adding it to the list here more to raise awareness than to recommend it. To go there from Siam, catch the BTS Skytrain to Sala Daeng station.

Floating market

The Amphawa weekend floating market was mentioned earlier in the itinerary when you go to the Samut Songkhram Province. You may be interested in visiting it at night (on Saturdays) to check out the fireflies.


Those who know me well will wonder why I have added to my list Bangkok’s biggest shopping mall. The new precinct is the place to be for those after fancy shopping. But I hate shopping. However, I appreciated my visit to the Apple Store. It has a terrace with great views over Bangkok City. And as a bonus, you’ll also be able to recharge your phone or camera if you need. Although it’s not as good, it’s a great free alternative to the sky bars.

There’s a free shuttle from Saphan Taksin to ICONSIAM.

Photo taken by night of Bangkok modern buildings from ICONSIAM

Rooftops and sky bars

I originally planned to challenge my fear of heights at the Mahanakhon Skywalk*: a glass-bottomed observatory 314 meters above the ground. It opened only a few months before my trip! Unfortunately, the pollution was thick in Bangkok when I visited, so I chose to skip it with the hope to be back one day when the 360-degree views will be better.

From the reviews I read and heard, sky bars are a must-do in Bangkok. As I was travelling solo, I wasn’t in the mood of dressing up to go out by myself and thought I’d keep it for another visit.

Some of the most famous sky bars in Bangkok are:

  • Baiyoke Sky Hotel | The highest bar in Bangkok (83rd floor)
  • Sky Bar by Lebua | Made famous by the popular Hollywood movie The Hangover
  • Vertigo and Moon Bar (Banyan Tree Hotel) | For the fabulous views

Things to do in the evening near Siam

Bangkok Siam is full of restaurants and food courts. But the local way to have dinner in Thailand is to purchase street food. Head to Soi Phetchaburi 10 for an authentic (and cheap!) experience. It was an easy 10-minute walk from my hotel, but you can also catch the BST Skytrain to Rachtathewi station if you don’t want to walk.

The shopping malls are open until 10 pm. Although I don’t like shopping, I find it’s worth having a look as they are huge and different from what I’m used to. If you’re looking for souvenirs, the 6th floor of MBK is the place to go.

Live bands or DJs were often playing in front of the malls (MBK, Siam Discovery) during my visit and I even stumbled upon two different festivals in the street. It’s like there’s always something going on in this area.

Many massage shops are open until late, like 12 pm. Just a few metres away from my hotel (Ibis Siam*) and even closer to the Holiday Inn hotel*, Lek Massage House* was my perfect place to finish the day (1 hour / 300 baht). I don’t have much experience in Thai massage to make specific recommendations or comments about the massage itself, but it provided relief.

The Bangkok Art and Culture Centre – a contemporary art museum – is open until 9 pm.

Recommended restaurants in Bangkok

For a good restaurant in the Siam area, Som Tam Nua near Square One is a safe choice.

Som Tam is the name of a Thai dish that’s best described as a spicy salad. Their mango som tam is delicious but super spicy. The grilled pork neck was perfectly cooked.

Just across the street, Ban Khun Mae is reputed for serving traditional Thai cuisine.

It was too authentic for me as the green curry was the only dish they served in the banquet we ordered that wasn’t too spicy for my delicate French palate. I really wished I could handle spicy food better during my time in Bangkok, as everything looked delicious.

Thipsamai is arguably the most famous pad thai restaurant in Bangkok.

I received the tip from a colleague and had no idea it was popular. If you go for dinner time, be ready to queue if you want to eat at the restaurant. But the wait wasn’t as bad as it looked: it’s entertaining to watch the cooks preparing the pad thai, there’s (like everywhere in Bangkok) street food if you’re really starving, and the restaurant is actually much bigger than it looks.

Was it worth the wait? Well, it was very good and not too expensive, but I’m not a pad thai expert to judge if it’s the best in Bangkok! From Siam, it’s fun to go there via the canal boat (from Hua Chang pier to Phanfa Bridge), but they may not be running anymore by the time you finish dinner.

A tourist in the queue also recommended the restaurant almost next door, Raan Jay Fai, but I didn’t have time to try it.

In a very different style, the Joe Louis Thai Cuisine* may catch your interest with its free Traditional Thai Puppet Show. I didn’t try to see any shows during my four days in Bangkok, so I cannot make recommendations. But if you’re interested, have a look at Muay Thai Live Show*, Rajadamnern Boxing Stadium* and Calypso Cabaret*.

All these evening activities are featured in the full four-day Bangkok itinerary on the map at the end of the blog article.

Important things to pack for four days in Bangkok

Bangkok has more shopping malls than you need and more seven-eleven shops than you can imagine. If you forget something from your packing list, you will find it or at least a good alternative in Bangkok. But you don’t want to waste time on this when you only have four days in Bangkok. So these packing tips will help you plan your trip.

Clothes to cover up and shoes easy to remove

You will visit many temples during your four days in Bangkok. You will need to cover your shoulders, your legs, and remove your shoes before entering. If you forgot, don’t stress too much as they often sell or rent clothes at the entrance of the most popular sites (100 baht was the usual price for Thai trousers).

To avoid travellers’ sickness

Talk to your doctor or pharmacist at home about travelling to Bangkok.

They will have advice about how to prevent traveller diarrhoea and what to do if you’re unlucky and get it. I chose to eat street food while visiting Bangkok as it’s part of the pleasure. My pharmacist at home recommended Travelan* as prevention and using a hand sanitiser* before eating. I also brought Loperamide* and Hydralyte (electrolytes)* in case I caught something – but didn’t need them.

I didn’t get annoyed by any mosquitoes during my four days in Bangkok, but I still carried an insect repellent with me as there’s a risk of dengue in this area. You can easily find inspect repellent in local shops.

Anti-theft travel bag

I was a solo female traveller in Bangkok, and I always felt safe. But like in any big city or touristy area, you must be careful and use common sense, especially regarding your belongings. I have a travel bag that I place under my clothes where it’s almost impossible for pickpockets to reach. If you don’t have one, I recommend looking at this neck*, this bra* (I haven’t tried it) or this waist* travel bags.

Your unlocked phone

Although travelling with a phone isn’t a must, it surely made my trip a lot easier. As a solo traveller in Bangkok, I wanted to be able to stay in touch easily with people I know are met. I also appreciated being able to check reviews before deciding to add an activity to my list. And a map with a GPS can save time when you start wandering around to check out a nice building you saw from afar.

I purchased a SIM card online* and picked it up when I arrived at the airport. It gave me unlimited internet access, which is what I needed. There were many shops selling sim cards at the airport, but I appreciated not wasting any time comparing the offers after a long flight. If your phone is compatible*, you could also purchase an e-SIM* before your trip and activate it when you arrive. We use Airalo* when we travel and have always been satisfied with their service. Plus, with an e-SIM, you can say goodbye to the anxiety of risking your precious home SIM card.

To avoid using too much data when you look at the map to find your way to follow this Bangkok itinerary, you can download free offline maps via the Google Maps app on your phone when you are connected to the wifi.

Sun protection

Sunglasses, a hat and sunscreen are a must when visiting Thailand. Of course, you can buy these items in Bangkok. But I always prefer my trusted item from home that I know provides strong UV protection.

Refillable water bottle

Water isn’t safe to drink from the tap in Thailand. But as someone who tries to reduce the amount of plastic packaging I buy, I couldn’t imagine purchasing plastic water bottles every day. I brought my refillable water bottles and purchased a 6L container from seven-eleven to top them up every day (I couldn’t find bigger ones). It’s not about saving money, but about generating less waste in a country where plastic is a big issue. You’ll find more tips about how to be eco-friendly while visiting Bangkok here.

Reusable/collapsible bag

Too many plastic bags are single-use and end up polluting our planet. In every city in the world, it’s a good habit to carry reusable bags. With all the markets to visit in Bangkok, I always had an additional collapsible bag like this one* with me.

Responsible travel tip: You can also limit the number of plastic bags you use by only using one bin in your hotel room.

What were the highlights of your Bangkok itinerary? Share your experience in the comments below!

Map of the full four-day Bangkok itinerary

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Eloise is the creator and writer of MyFavouriteEscapes.com. She writes about her experiences exploring exotic destinations and finding hidden gems closer to home. Her goal is to share tips and stories to inspire and encourage others to go on their own adventures. She loves outdoor and nature-based activities like scuba diving, hiking, kayaking, and sailing. She grew up in France and has lived in England and Turkey before calling Australia home for the past decade. So let's get ready for another adventure!

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Kim

    Wow. Very comprehensive post and a lot to choose from.
    For us, Bangkok is really one of those places that is, at first hard to love.
    We found it overwhelming at first, so very big. I remember finding the sex industry there too in your face.
    Warmed to it the next time, mostly because we stayed in a residential area and got to know the communities in the laneways.
    By the last time, it really grew on us. Slowing right down, just walking tiny local areas. Getting lost. Just sitting beside the canal…

  2. aniajames

    Its really intense itinerary and good

  3. liz Ski

    Very similar to what we did on our Bangkok visit. It was overwhelming for us also but with a recommended tour guide for sightseeing made it much more enjoyable. I love the way you leave tips for reducing our footprint on our polluted planet and to be conscious of how animals are treated for the pleasure of tourists.

  4. Ivy

    i love your blog so informative!

  5. Marilyn

    Do you know of a good tour company to do a short 4-5 trip of Bangkok?

    1. Eloise

      Hi Marilyn,
      Sorry, I only looked for guided day trips when I was in Bangkok and didn’t experience multi-day trips. I actually liked having a different tour each time so that I would get insights and info from different people.

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