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18 Hidden Gems In Bangkok For A Different Experience

A lot of backpackers choose Bangkok as their starting point for a Southeast Asia trip and as such, it’s one of the most visited cities in the region. Bangkok is home to some of the most iconic sights in Asia like The Grand Palace, The Golden Temple, Wat Arun, and The Golden Mount but there are also a lot of hidden gems in Bangkok that don’t appear in most tourist guides and in this article, we’ll focus on them.

A Few Things About Bangkok’s History

bangkok night

After you start experiencing the city you will see that there’s no medium ground in Bangkok. There will either be tall skyscrapers, grandiose palaces, and modern shopping malls, or smelly and filthy looking huts. That’s the story of the only Southeast Asian capital that never suffered a white conqueror.

Bangkok has been the capital since 1782, after the fall of Ayutthaya and ever since it has been the main business and commercial hub of Thailand. Since Thailand was never anyone’s colony, the development of the city was following an independent path. However, western values have been adopted naturally, unlike their colonized neighbors. That’s why the city center looks metropolitan. But you can still find a lot of authentic streets throughout the city, which show pieces of authentic Thai culture.

That’s why Bangkok isn’t for everyone, and therefore many people decide to skip it and head straight to the paradise beaches or rainforests. But I believe that this article will show you that Bangkok is worth visiting.

Planning your trip to Thailand? Check out this useful 3-week itinerary.

The Perfect Starting Point


If you’re starting a backpacking adventure across Southeast Asia, Bangkok is the right place to start. I say this, first of all, because of its location. Vientiane, the capital of Laos, and Angkor Wat in Cambodia are only a short bus ride away. Also, its central location makes it easy to get to some of the beautiful beaches in the South and the lush jungles of the north or even take a quick trip from Bangkok to Pattaya, the sex capital of Thailand.

Next, people are used to tourists and are very tourist-friendly, hence, the level of English speakers is higher compared to other tourist destinations in Southeast Asia. Besides, even if you’re traveling solo, if you decide to stay at Khaosan Road, it’s almost impossible not to make new friends from throughout the world. Khaosan Road is also known as the backpacker capital of the world. I stayed here for two weeks and I met more than 50 people from different corners of the world.

Getting To Bangkok

Bangkok center Bangkok travel blog

If you’re entering Bangkok by flight, you will land at one of the two airports: Suvarnabhumi Airport or Don Muang. If you’re stiil looking for a cheap flight to Bangkok, check out this Qatar Airways special offer. The first thing you should do after arriving is getting a local sim card. The best option of getting from the airport to the city is to book a Grab taxi (a local Uber-like app).

The taxi rides by local taxi drivers can be quite expensive, much more than the real price. So if you want to leave the airport by cab, Suvarnabhumi airport is the better option, because you can’t get a local sim card or wi-fi at Don Muang.

Otherwise, both airports are connected to the city center by train. At Suvarnabhumi Airport, there’s a metro station in the airport basement. At Don Muang, there’s a train station is right across the street. Both ways can take you to Hua Lamphong station, from where you can get a cab or a tuk-tuk. The price for it shouldn’t exceed 40 baht ($1.2 USD) if you’re staying at Khao San Road.

As for traveling within the city, Bangkok has a developed and well-connected metro. This is the fastest way to commute within the city. The buses are cheaper than the metro, but they often get stuck in traffic and take ages to reach their destination.

Are you planning to visit Bangkok and Thailand soon? Check out this Thailand packing list if you’re wondering what to pack for your upcoming holiday and take a look at my guide to traveling Thailand on a budget.

When To visit Bangkok

thailand floods

Even though the weather in Bangkok is bearable and pleasant throughout the year, you should be careful when choosing the exact timing. The rain season is on from May to October, but the heaviest rains occur in September and October. In these two months, even floods aren’t unusual.

You might also like: Bangkok vs Chiang Mai- which one should you visit

Where To Stay In Bangkok

Bangkok travel blog

The two places that offer the cheapest accommodation are Khao San Road and Silom Road. Personally, I prefer Khao San Road, because it’s close to most of the tourist sights, it has a nightlife of its own, and a lot of choices when it comes down to food. Street food in this part is also amazing. The only flaw of the place is that it’s not close to a metro station.

Silom, on the other hand, is located in the city center and it’s close to a metro station, with Pat Pong being right around the corner.

Whatever neighborhood you choose, you can use my Booking discount coupon to get 15% off on all properties in Bangkok.

Beware Of Street Con Artists

If you’re traveling around Southeast Asia, check out my article about the most dangerous places in the region. Of course, Bangkok isn’t one of those but you should be careful. Bangkok is known for scammers targeting tourists, so you can never be too careful. One of the most widespread schemes involves random local people approaching tourists in front of temples or other sights.

Always being unusually friendly, they claim that the site you’re about to visit is closed for some reason. But, of course, they know an alternative that is supposedly known only to local people.

After that, they find what appears to be a random tuk-tuk driver who’s involved in the scheme. Then this driver takes you to one or more extremely expensive shops (jewelry shops, tailors, etc.). The tuk-tuk may also overcharge you for the ride. I also wrote an article about the most common tourist scams in Southeast Asia and I suggest you read that one before visiting as well.

But if your driver isn’t trying to scam you, exploring Bangkok with a tuk-tuk can be an amazing experience. However, just to stay on the safe side, don’t forget about travel insurance; personally, I use and recommend SafetyWing. They provide the best travel insurance packages on the market and provide coverage for situations many other travel insurance providers don’t.

Hidden Gems In Bangkok

Now that we covered some basics about traveling to Bangkok, let’s get to the most important part of this article- our list of hidden gems in Bangkok.

Have A Quirky Adventure In ChangChui Creative Park

Chang Chui Creative Park

We’re starting this list of hidden gems in Bangkok with Chang Chi Creative Park, a creative park that feels like Alice’s Wonderland (well, had she ventured into a contemporary art scene). The highlight of this quirky park is an actual retired airplane that’s found a second life as an art installation. Around it, you’ll find a maze of shops, galleries, and studios divided into the ‘Green Zone’ and ‘Night Zone’, each with its unique offerings. You can indulge in a fine dining experience inside a disused Thai jet, explore art galleries, or enjoy live music, just to mention a few.

Enjoying this post? Then you may also like our list of hidden gems in Kuala Lumpur.

Cycle Bangkok’s Lesser-Known Allets​​

hidden gems in bangkok

Cycling and discovering new small alleys and pathways is a great way to discover hidden gems in Bangkok that most tourists never come across. Here are a few of my personal favorites.

Thonburi’s Charm: The City’s Quieter Side

Venture to the Thonburi side of Bangkok, and you’ll find yourself in a maze of old-world charm with places like Khlong Bang Luang (also known as an artist’s haven) where you can get away from Bangkok’s infamous hustle and bustle.

Sathon’s Surprises: From Leafy Sois to Quaint Cafes

The Sathon district, known for its skyscrapers, also hides leafy lanes perfect for a catching a glimpse of everyday local life. Streets like Soi Suan Plu are filled with authentic small eateries, stalls, and unique shops.

Biking Through Bang Krachao: Bangkok’s Green Lung

For a real escape, cycle over to Bang Krachao, often called Bangkok’s green lung. It’s a lush, green oasis with elevated paths weaving through the jungle.

Ratchada Rot Fai Market: A Food & Shopping Haven

Ratchada Rot Fai Market

This list of hidden gems in Bangkok couldn’t be complete without the Ratchada Rot Fai Market, bustling night bazaar that I like to describe as a vibrant spectacle that’s ever so Bangkoky (in absence of a better word). It’s one of the best spots to try street food in Bangkok. The “house” specialty? Grilled pork skewers, Thad Pai, mango sticky rice, and for the brave ones, some deep-fried insects.

In addition to being a culinary haven the market is also a great place for bargain hunters. Looking for a vintage leather jacket? Or maybe some quirky handcrafted jewelry? The market’s stalls have you covered. And the best part? Haggling is part of the fun.

Wat Pariwat: Where Tradition Meets the Unexpected

wat pariwat

At first glance, Wat Pariwat looks like another serene Bangkok temple. But as you wander closer, the usual temple guardians seem to have taken a day off, replaced by some rather unusual figures. The real showstopper? A small figure of David Beckham carved into a pillar, tucked away behind the main Buddha image. The story goes that the head monk back in the ’90s was a football fan – and the rest, as they say, is history.

But Beckham isn’t the only star here. Stroll around, and you’ll spot all sorts of figures, from Disney characters to symbols of Western consumerism. Wat Pariwat isn’t just about the novelty factor; it subtly comments on the fusion of traditional Thai culture with modern global influences.

Get Served By Robots In Hajime Robot Restaurant

Hajime Robot Restaurant

Dining at Hajime Robot Restaurant in Bangkok is like stepping into a sci-fi movie, except the robots are friendly and they bring you food. These robotic waiters are decked out in samurai armor, because why not? They are the main stars of the show but let’s not forget that this is a restaurant first and a tourist attraction second.

The food? It’s a delightful mix of Japanese and other Asian cuisines. The robots might be the stars, but the menu doesn’t play second fiddle. From succulent sushi rolls to perfectly grilled meats, the culinary offerings are as impressive as the quirky high-tech service.

Discover Jack’s Bar: Bangkok’s Cheapest Riverside Bar​​

Jack’s Bar Bangkok

Nestled along the banks of the Chao Phraya River, Jack’s Bar is one of our favorite hidden gems in Bangkok. It’s the kind of place where the décor is simple, the atmosphere relaxed, and the views spectacular. You’re right on the water, watching boats glide by – it’s like a front-row seat to Bangkok’s aquatic hustle and bustle.

Let’s talk about why Jack’s Bar is a crowd favorite – the prices. Here, you can enjoy a cold beer or a classic cocktail without worrying about a hefty bill. The food menu is straightforward, delicious, and equally kind to your bank account.

Stay At Bangkok Tree House

Bangkok Tree House

Imagine sleeping in a nest, but with all the comfort of modern amenities and you’ll get an idea of how the Bangkok Tree House looks like. This quirky stay features a series of elevated rooms and suites nestled among the greenery located in the midst of Bangkok’s green lung, away from the capital’s urban buzz. If you choose to stay here, you’ll be surrounded by trees, the sounds of birds, and the gentle flow of the nearby river; the perfect setting to relax in after a long day of exploring Bangkok’s attractions.

Visit Soi Rambuttri: Khao San’s ​​Quieter Cousin


If you’re craving the vibrant Bangkok experience but with a slightly calmer vibe, Soi Rambuttri is your go-to spot. The street is lined with charming old shophouses, small guesthouses, and a smattering of street vendors; It’s like a more relaxed, less rowdy version of its more famous cousin, Khao San.

Rambuttri features cozy cafes serving up robust Thai coffee to street stalls dishing out pad thai and mango sticky rice but the best part? You can enjoy your meal under the canopy of banyan trees, which adds a uniquely serene atmosphere to your dining experience.

Go Shopping At Lalai Sap Market​​

Bangkok market

Have A Beer In Brewski: A Secret Rooftop Bar​​

brewski hidden gems in bangkok

Fancy a beer with a view? Why not try Brewski, a hidden chapter in the city’s nightlife story, one that offers a chilled-out vibe, a fantastic selection of brews, and views that make your evening one to remember. Tucked atop the Radisson Blu Plaza, finding it feels like you’ve cracked a code in the urban jungle. Once you’re there, the beer selection is like a love letter to craft brew enthusiasts. From local Thai microbrews to international ales and lagers, Brewski has got your back.

Enjoying this post? Then you should also check out this article about what not to do in Thailand.

Explore The Underrated Erawan Museum

Erawan Museum

If you’re like me and enjoy discovering quirky destinations, the Erawan Museum will probably be one of your favorite hidden gems in Bangkok. As soon as you enter, you’ll inevitably notice the elephant in the room (and no, it’s not a metaphore). It’s a gigantic, three-headed, bronze elephant that symbolizes Airavata, the mythological white elephant but this is just the beginning. The museum features a lot of Thai elements from the underworld and the heavens, and imposing artifacts, including sculptures, fabrics, pottery, intricate stained glass, and ancient artifacts.

Have A Coffee At The Caturday Cat Cafe

Caturday Cat Cafe

Nestled in the heart of Bangkok, Caturday Cat Cafe is like a little oasis for those who adore cats. Cats rule the roost here, lounging on shelves, sauntering between tables, or, if you’re lucky, curling up in your lap. Let’s talk about what you can enjoy here, apart from the obvious fluffy company. The coffee is great – think rich aromas and perfect latte art. And if you’ve got a sweet tooth, the cakes are a must-try.

Find the Locker Room Hidden Bar

Find The Locker Room bar bangkok

Relax In Bubble in the Forest Cafe

Bubble in the Forest Cafe

On the hunt for Bangkok’s best-kept secret? The Locker Room is a hidden bar that apparently doesn’t want to be found, making it a perfect list for our list of hidden gems in Bangkok. First off, there’s no big sign announcing The Locker Room; instead, it’s hidden behind a row of non-suspecting lockers. Once you’ve found it and stepped inside, you’ll be sweeped by the ambiance and classic vibes that resemble the Roaring Twenties (prohibition vibes, anyone?).

Explore The Legacy Of The Silk King- Jim Thompson House

Jim Thompson House

Let’s take a walk through the intriguing world of Jim Thompson, the man who became synonymous with Thai silk. His house, now a museum tells the beautiful story of a foreign man who fell in love with Thailand’s culture, a country that transformed his life and to return the favor, he transformed the country’s silk industry. His house is the ultimate treasure trove of Southeast Asian art and features sculptures from Cambodia, paintings from Thailand, and artifacts from around the region and just experiencing this is a reason enough to visit.

See The Royal Barges In The National Museum

Royal Barges National Museum

This quirky museum is a spacious, hangar-sized hall that houses a fleet of the most stunning royal barges that were ever made in this part of the world. The centerpiece is the ‘Suphannahong’, the king’s personal barge, shaped like a swan, but every next barge is prettier than the last. As you wander through the museum, it becomes clear that these barges are not just vehicles but a part of Thailand’s cultural and royal heritage. Unlike many other museums around, the info provided here is very comprehensive and in details explains the story of every barge, including the insights of their construction, their symbolism, and the royal ceremonies they (used to) partake in.

Catch A Glimpse Of Local Life At Suan Pakkad

Suan Pakkad Palace Museum bangkok

Although not very visually appearing at a first sight, The Suan Pakkad Palace Museum in Bangkok is perhaps one of the most underrated landmarks in Bangkok and one of the best ways for curios travelers to get a glimpse of traditional Thai houses. It’s the kind of place where you can slow down, sit by the lotus pond, and just breathe in the history around you. The way the art, the architecture, and the greenery are woven together tells you a story about the Thai way of life, their connection with nature, and their rich cultural heritage.

Find Quirky Exhibitis In Siriraj Medical Museum

Siriraj Medical Museum

Last but not least, we conclude this list of hidden gems in Bangkok with the Siriraj Medical Museum, a relatively unknown chapter of Bangkok that most tourists don’t get to see. It’s part educational, part eerie, housing an array of exhibits that range from the fascinating to the downright bizarre (fair warning – this isn’t for the faint of heart).You’ll find everything from preserved bodies to medical oddities and a whole section on forensic pathology.

Final thoughts

thailand street

So there you have it, that’s the hidden gems in Bangkok most tourists don’t get to see. Your impression about the country won’t be complete if you don’t spend at least a few days here. Bangkok has always woke the curiosity in tourists with its provocative and forbidden scent. And when I say forbidden, I don’t refer just to the sex trade, drugs, and gambling. I also refer to the way people drive, the way buildings are built, the con artists, the small dirty but yet authentic streets…

Bangkok isn’t often described as an ‘attack on the senses’ for nothing. Attack of smells, attack of colors, attack of noise. That’s what makes it so great. That’s why Bangkok’s exotic allure has inspired countless writers for generations, including me…

Helpful Tips For Discovering Hidden Gems In Bangkok

Looking for a cheap flight to Bangkok? Use this coupon and get 20% off on all Qatar Airways flights to Bangkok.

For budget accommodation options in Bangkok, use my Booking discount code. For something fancier, use this coupon to get one night free at Radisson Bangkok.

To save on all bus, train or ferry rides in Thailand, use 12goasia and save up to 15% (for more info check out our 12go Asia review here).

Get 10% off on all car rentals in Bangkok with my AutoEurope coupon.

How did you like this list of hidden gems in Bangkok? Did you ever visit any of them? Feel free to share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.

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Thursday 14th of October 2021

Very nice article, it helped me a lot to explore Bangkok. I am an entrepreneur by profession and a traveler by heart from Europe. I along with my friends had already booked a flight from Bangkok with KLM Airlines however we wanted to stay there for a couple more days because we have to explore more. So, I dialed the KLM Reservation Number to speak to a representative. He comprehensively told me about KLM ticket cancellation rules and I am completely satisfied with their response.

Passport Symphony

Sunday 31st of October 2021

thank you for your comment, Alex, and for sharing your experience, I really appreciate it.


Wednesday 22nd of May 2019

Interesting! Bangkok has always been on my bucket list. I’m glad to know there are some more budget friendly accommodation options! Thanks for sharing!

Passport Symphony

Sunday 26th of May 2019

Thank you Johanes, I'm glad you could find some useful tips from this article.

Medha Verma

Tuesday 12th of February 2019

To be honest, Bangkok is not my most favourite city. Yes, I love the street food, the night markets, the temples (especially Wat Arun, it is so pretty) and the rooftop bars but the people were not the best. I know you say they're friendly and used to having tourists around, but I also found them kind of rude, especially to other brown people like me. In fact, it was the people that spoiled my experience for me, rest everything about the city was not bad. Wish I had taken day trips to Vientiane and Angkor Wat, will go back to visit Laos and Cambodia separately someday!

Passport Symphony

Tuesday 12th of February 2019

I'm sorry to hear about your experience, Medha. I have a lot of friends with a darker skin color that visited Bangkok but never heard about a bad experience before. It's always bad when things like this happen, it must feel horrible and it can completely ruin one's trip.


Sunday 10th of February 2019

Love the title of the post. I've been to Bangkok once and pretty much did half of the typical tourist stuff such as shopping in malls, the temples, and some street food. There's a lot more I would like to explore and got a few ideas from the blog post. Thanks about the scams, however, during our three days we didn't come across anything suspicious. My biggest regret though is missing out on eating at Gaggan, which is considered the best restaurant in all of Asia.

Passport Symphony

Sunday 10th of February 2019

There sure is, Raghav. I'm glad you could get some useful tips from this article for your future visit :)

Soumya Gayatri

Sunday 10th of February 2019

I love cities and among cities of the world, I love Bangkok. Chief reasons being the spirit of the place and the amazing Thai food. This is a great article for first-timers on what to expect and how to see the city. I love how you have touched a bit on every single aspect of Bangkok. The city definitely deserves more than a transit.

Passport Symphony

Sunday 10th of February 2019

Absolutely, Thai food is amazing! It's one of the many reasons why I love Bangkok.