Considered by many to be one of the most tourist friendly major metropolises on the planet, Bangkok is home to more than 11 million people and enjoys a tropical climate all year round. For centuries, Bangkok was a sleep hamlet on the banks of the Chao Phraya river. When King Rama I built his palace on the banks of that river in the late 18th century, though, Bangkok’s popularity began to surge. Today, visitors flock to Bangkok thanks to its fascinating culture, thrilling nightlife, fantastic shopping and compelling cultural attractions. All of those things – and much more – make Bangkok a truly delightful port of call to visit during a cruise.
Sightseeing & Things To Do
Whether you choose to explore the city of Bangkok on foot, on a bicycle or along its picturesque river, the point is that you absolutely must get off the boat and get to know the city a bit. The amazing cuisine alone is reason enough to venture off your cruise ship, and the cosmopolitan nature of Bangkok is welcoming and enjoyable.
Bangkok is a very cosmopolitan city, offering a great mix of different attractions and things for visitors to do. A few of the very best ideas for those visiting this port of call include:
Take A Bicycle Tour Of Bangkok
A fun way to see the city of Bangkok is from the seat of a bicycle. There are many different bicycle tours available; you could explore the nearby Bangkok Jungle, or check out China Town while peddling around. Bicycling is actually one of the easiest ways to get around the city.
The National Museum
If your ship is docked in Bangkok and you’d like to get a feel for the history and culture of this remarkable city, head over to the National Museum. Fabulous exhibits about Thai archeology and history are on display here.
Jim Thompson’s House
Thai architecture is well known for being spare and beautiful, and tours of local homes are popular. Jim Thompson’s house is a great one to tour because it combines six different unique styles in one mansion.
Chao Phraya Boat Tour
Enjoy a unique view of the city of Bangkok by taking a boat tour along the Chao Phraya. Although you might want to get out and stretch your legs a bit, a riverboat tour really is a fantastic way to see the city from a whole other perspective.
Escape from the hustle and bustle of downtown Bangkok by visiting this large, centrally located park. It offers a dose of nature amid the largest city in Thailand – not a small feat, to say the least! It is a pleasant place to hike or to just sit back and relax.
There’s a shopping district for every taste and sensibility in Bangkok, but if you only have time to visit one of them it should be the Wat Sai Floating Market. This massive flea market style shopping area is spread out over a vast network of canals, giving it a flair that is all its own. There is plenty of fresh produce to enjoy, and many tours are also available.
Best Souvenir To Bring Back To the Cruise Ship
Thai and Chinese arts and crafts are immensely popular souvenirs to bring home from Bangkok. Look for a unique porcelain piece, or snap up a special piece of furniture with one of a kind mother-of-pearl inlays to really bring home a bit of the Orient with you.
Eating – Sample the Local Cuisine
Thai cuisine is notoriously spicy and incredibly flavorful and delicious. Since Thai restaurants are so abundant in the West now, why not broaden your culinary horizons a bit by sampling some bugs in Bangkok? Believe it or not, but bugs – as in insects – are considered a delicacy here. They are served in a way that makes them truly delicious, too – if you’re willing to try them out! Less adventurous types will love kanom roti, a savory dessert that is reminiscent of crepes and filled with milk, sugar and sometimes bananas. Many street vendors sell kanom roti, so it’s fairly easy to find.
When, Where, and How
When To Go
If you have a choice, try to visit Bangkok during its so-called “cool season,” which stretches from late November to the middle of January. Although it is still tremendously warm – even hot – during this time of year, it’s still the most comfortable time to come in terms of weather. It’s also quite humid, but less humid than other parts of the year. One thing you’ll never have to worry about is being too cold!
Where You’re Docked
There are two main cruise terminals in Bangkok. Modest-sized ships can dock at Khlong Thoey which is fairly close to the center of the city and downtown. Larger cruise ships, though, must dock further downriver at Laem Chabang. This is approximately 90 minutes southeast of Bangkok proper, and exploring the city requires a commute in that case.
Which Cruise Ships Go Here?
Many of the most popular cruise lines have itineraries that feature stops at Bangkok. A few of the biggest cruise lines that stop in Bangkok are Princess Cruises, Seabourn, Holland America, and Discovery World Cruises. However, there are many other choices in terms of ships, dates, days at sea and in port when it comes to Bangkok.