Places and Activities
Many visitors to Bangkok comment that they come here to shop and eat. The city is home to any number of enormous, world-class shopping malls and street food vendors and markets are ubiquitous. Siam Square, the district adjacent to Chulalongkorn University, has dozens of small shops showcasing young, local talent in design and an array of coffee shops and restaurants.
However, Bangkok is rich in historic and contemporary culture. The deceptively named Rattanakosin Island is the site of the original city and there you can visit the stunning royal temple Wat Phra Kao which dates from the late 18th century. This temple is directly opposite Thailand’s most prestigious art school Silpakorn University, which houses a number of public galleries. Also nearby are the historic Thammasat University and the National Gallery. Another temple popular with visitors is Wat Pho, which is famed for its school for masseurs. The area is dotted with tourist information services that can provide information on, for example, day trips on the river or through the canals of Thonburi side, opposite Bangkok city.
The Bangkok Art and Culture Center (BACC) in Siam Square is a relatively new museum that hosts multiple exhibitions which cross a spectrum of interests. The longer-standing Thailand Creative Design Center (TCDC) typically holds ambitious one-off or touring shows and houses a design library and resource center. Silom Galleria is an antiques and gem shopping complex where you can find some of the city’s best contemporary art galleries, including Tang Contemporary and Number 1 Gallery.
Finally, an absolute must-do for any visitor to Bangkok is Chatuchak Weekend Market, where you can buy just about anything.
Art and Design Galleries