Bangkok is a megacity set along the Chao Praya River, lit up by impressive temples and high-rise buildings. The capital boasts lots of tourist attractions, and if that’s what you’re looking for, you should jump straight to 12 Must-Dos in Bangkok. But if you’re looking for something different, continue reading as I list five unique things to do in Bangkok.
1. Climb the “Ghost Tower”
View from up Sathorn Unique Tower in Bangkok. Photo: Sabrina Iovino / justonewayticket.com
Sathorn Unique Tower, or “Ghost Tower” is an unfinished building planned as a high-rise apartment complex with a view over downtown Bangkok and Chao Praya River. In the middle of the building — about 80% completed — the Asian financial crisis in 1997 forced the project to stop. The abandoned tower rises 49 floors and 185 meters (607 ft) in height and has become a popular destination for urban explorers and photographers.
2. Exploring the airplane graveyard
Graffiti on a plane at the airplane graveyard in Bangkok. Photo: Sheila Dee / flickr.com
There is a cool place in the area of Ramkhamhaeng, eastern Bangkok — unknown to most tourists — with old airplane bodies including a Boeing 747. A couple of homeless families have occupied this place and will charge you 300 baht to enter their home. Totally fair. How often will you get the chance to sit in a cockpit and jumping around on airplane wings like a child while helping a family in need?
3. Go on a monitor lizard safari in Lumpini Park
A huge monitor lizard in Lumpini Park, Bangkok.
Lumpini Park is a large urban park in the center of Bangkok, near the main business district — much like Central Park in New York City. There is a large pond in the park with monitor lizards swimming — sometimes up on land walking around unafraid of humans. Most of them are small, but some can grow up to 3 meters! I myself saw a pretty huge one (pictured above) in 2016.
4. Take a boat adventure along the canals
The canals of Damnoen Saduak.
Historical, Bangkok was a backwater village crisscrossed by canals, giving it its nickname “Venice of the East.” Today, many of the canals have been filled in to create roads, but there are still some canals crisscrossing the city — and boating along these, gives you a unique glimpse of the old Thai way of life. The “Small Teak Boat Canal Adventure” by Pandan Tour will make your Bangkok stay much memorable.
5. Bicycle through Bangkok’s green oasis
Walkways of Bang Krachao. Photo: Mark Weins / migrationology.com
Bang Krachao, nicknamed Bangkok’s Green Lung, is a dream for cyclists with elevated biking paths through lush greenery, mangrove forests, coconut plantations, small villages, and temples. While not exactly in Bangkok center, it is easily accessible by a short ferry ride from Klong Toei pier or Bang Na pier. Bicycles are available where the ferry unloads for 50 baht an hour or 100 baht the whole day.