Bangkok Grand Palace Complex

One Day In Bangkok Thailand

Bangkok in one day is definitely doable. This guide will take you through the top things to do and the must-see attractions, to ensure you get a complete experience of Bangkok in one day.

After a restful sleep, head off nice and early for a day filled with exploring in Bangkok. Be warned that Bangkok is a very busy city, and it’s best to head out as early as possible.

I had joined the Yi Peng Express tour with On The Go Tours for the first half of my trip, which included one day in Bangkok. Even though they planned out the itinerary below for the day, I would highly recommend all of the sights that we visited to experience Bangkok in one day.

The Grand Palace Complex, Bangkok

Bangkok Grand Palace Day Trip

What better way to start your one day in Bangkok than with the Grand Palace? This is at the top of most if not all of the top things to do and must see attractions in Bangkok.

The Palace complex was established in 1782 and consists of royal and throne halls, government offices, and the famous Temple of The Emerald Buddha. Be sure to check out the official site for a full list of attractions.

Tickets: 500 Baht for Foreigners. They can be purchased online up to 24 hours prior to collection.

Opening Time: 8:30 AM – 3:30 PM

Dress Code: Strictly enforced for entry and visitation of the site. Further information can be found here. But the general rule is to ensure that your knees and shoulders are covered, regardless of male or female.

Bangkok is a very hot city, and the grand palace is filled to the brim with tourists, so be prepared to patiently wait in some areas. For the photography lovers, make sure you have your camera at the ready, as the gold-covered architecture is truly a beautiful one.

TIP: Bring a mist spray to refresh yourself with throughout the day

For a full list of what to take with you when travelling around Thailand, be sure to check out my post here.

The Temple of The Emerald Buddha

Temple Of Emerald Buddha Bangkok Thailand
Temple Of Emerald Buddha Bangkok Thailand

Wat Phra Sri Rattana is the Thai name for The Emerald Buddha Temple. It houses three costumes of the Buddha representing each Thai season, summer, winter, and the rainy season.

Each Emerald Buddha has been carved from a block of jasper, and the clothing are all made from gold and jewellery.

TIP: The ceremony of changing the costume of The Emerald Buddha takes place three times a year at the start of each season by the King. If you wish to see it, be sure to time your visit with it.

The Temple of The Reclining Buddha, Bangkok

The Reclining Buddha Bangkok Thailand
The Reclining Buddha Bangkok Thailand

To carry on with your one day in Bangkok, head to Wat Phra Chetuphon. This is the Thai name for The Temple of The Reclining Buddha. It’s located approx 10 mins away from the Grand Palace on foot, though I would recommend taking a break from the heat is possible. Trust me you’ll need it by now.

It houses the 15 meters tall and 46 meters long reclining Buddha that is the main attraction for most. As you step in you would notice there are bowls lined up along the length of the walls. 108 to be precise, symbolising the 108 positive actions that lead Buddha to find perfection. It’s obvious to see why this a must see attraction when people think of things to do in Bangkok.

TIP: If you’re after a bit of luck, purchase a pot of coins at the entrance and drop them into the 180 pots. It’s not guaranteed that your wishes will be granted, but the money will be used to maintain the temple.
The Reclining Buddha Bangkok Thailand
The Reclining Buddha Bangkok Thailand

And at the centre is the glorious Buddha Reclining away covered in gold leaf. The feet are 3 metres tall and 4.5 metres long and inlaid with mother of pearls. Whilst it is a gorgeous sight, it’s crucial to remember that a temple is a sacred place and the utmost respect should be maintained at all times.

PS Look Out For Marco Polo

Marco Polo The Reclining Buddha Bangkok Thailand
Marco Polo The Reclining Buddha Bangkok Thailand

Wat Pho Thai Traditional Massage School

Massage School At The Reclining Buddha Bangkok Thailand
Massage School At The Reclining Buddha Bangkok Thailand

Located on-site at the temple, I would highly recommend getting a traditional Thai massage here if you’re after some relaxation.

24 Hour Flower Market, Bangkok

After a morning of palaces and temples, let’s head to the flower market to continue our one day in Bangkok. Pat Khlong Talat is the Thai name for the Flower Market. It’s one of the most unique markets that you can come across in Thailand and it’s filled to the brim with flowers in every direction. All different shapes, colours, sizes, and much more.

We happened to visit in the lead up to Loy Krathong, and it was wonderful to see the preparations that lead up to it. As part of the festivities, a lot of flowers are used to create unique boats that float on water once it’s released. If you happen to be visiting in the lead up to a celebration I would highly recommend a visit. The creativity in this place is definitely inspiring.

See Bangkok From A Long-Tailed Boat

Cruise on The Kok River Bangkok
Cruise on The Kok River Bangkok

After all the walking this morning, climb aboard a Khlong for a refreshing canal cruise around the city. This will allow you to explore Bangkok by boat, giving you an insight into the lives of Bangkok’s riverside dwellers.

Cruise on The Kok River Bangkok
Cruise on The Kok River Bangkok

You will see flashes of how the rich and the poor live along the riverside. But above all, be prepared to see the houses and small businesses surviving on the water. Whether it’s the merchants on the boats or the family homes floating above the water, this is definitely not one to miss.

TIP: Bring sunglasses for the ride, as the reflection of the sun on the water can get very blinding at times. Also, watch out for the splashes.

Riverside Lunch

Once you’re done exploring the water, be sure to stop off for lunch at one of the riverside restaurants. These usually serve buffet lunches tailored to the western diet, so there should be something for everyone. I certainly got my money’s worth when it came to dessert. So make sure you eat your heart out here, you won’t regret it.

Complete Your One Day In Bangkok At Khao San Road

To end your one day in Bangkok, head to Khao San road, also known as Bangkok’s backpacker central. During the day it’s perfect for a spot of shopping followed by massages.

I had an hour massage here for approx £20.00, which is a bargain compared to £100.00 in London. The premises that I visited was incredibly clean, the masseuse was very professional and I thoroughly enjoyed it. There are massage parlours dotted across the entire street, so take your pick and go for it. And I promise, you won’t regret it.

TIP: If you’re into bargaining, well this is your moment to shine!

Lastly, when night falls, that’s when the city comes alive. Did I mention that Khao San is filled with cheap hotels, street food, bars, and restaurants? Well, this is where all the travellers revel into the late night. So, if you’re travelling on your own, this will be an excellent place to make friends.

TIP: There’s halal food available here. Though for anyone with a seafood allergy, be cautious. Fish sauce is used in a lot of Thai cuisines.

Remember to stay alert and vigilant at all times, as this area is very busy. For other safety travel tips, be sure to check out My Top 10 Safety Travel Tips.

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