Outdoor Activities in Bangkok – Adventure City Guide

| April 22, 2013 | 8 Comments

Are you looking for an insider’s adventure travel guide for the best outdoor activities in Bangkok?

As part of our Adventure City Guide series, Ian from Where Sidewalks End, shares with you his expert insider tips on the top adventure and outdoor activities to do in Bangkok.

Outdoor Activities in Bangkok - Adventure City Guide

Outdoor Activities in Bangkok – Adventure City Guide – Photo by Evoflash

Why visit Bangkok for adventure?

Bangkok is one of the world’s largest metropolises and a gateway for most of the world to access the rest of South East Asia. With numbers surpassing 14 million people in the Greater Bangkok Region, this is no small player in the world’s super-cities. Of course, having such a long history with foreign visitors, the city has become incredibly established in the world’s tourist sector.

This has allowed it to grow many facets of adventurous activities – making access to something for everyone!

Outdoor Activities in Bangkok

Exploring the Klongs

Outdoor Activities in Bangkok - The Klongs

Outdoor Activities in Bangkok – The Klongs

Klongs are canals which used to feed the entire city with life giving water, branched off from the city’s main artery – the Chao Phraya River. Today, the locals wouldn’t drink the water if you paid them, but there is still a fascinating life that exists along the Klongs’ banks. From floating markets, to old houses on stilts, there is so much to explore, and give insight to this old way of life!

What’s it cost and how to get to the Klongs?

You can usually arrange tours of the Klongs from the pier “Saphan Taksin” along the Chao Phraya River. This is conveniently a stop on the skytrain as well, making it very easy to access. Usually you will be renting the entire boat for the day (about 1000 THB, or $35 USD), and not paying a per person rate. So if you can find a few people to go with, the price of course will drop significantly per person.

Rickshaw City Tours

If you’ve never been to Asia before, Rickshaws are one of the most fun ways to get around. Although they can often be a little more expensive than metered taxis, you get an experience (and a view) that is unparalleled, especially in the busy streets of Bangkok.

What’s it cost?

Occasionally, you can even haggle a deal for a city tour for next to nothing (50-100 THB or $1.50-3 USD), as long as you visit a couple affiliated ‘custom suit tailors’ through out the day, as they’ll get kick back from the shops just for bringing you there… No purchase necessary.

You can often find Tuk Tuk drivers willing to do this standing along the perimeter of the Kings’ Palace. It may take a few attempts of asking for a ‘special city tour’, but you will be bound to find someone ready for a cut of this business.

Outdoor Activities in Bangkok - Rickshaw Tours

Outdoor Activities in Bangkok – Rickshaw Tours

Local Secret Spot

Chatuchak Market

Though most people wouldn’t consider going to a market an adventure, they probably have never experienced the likes of Chatuchak (also known as JJs). This is one of SE Asia’s LARGEST outdoor markets. It’s so big in fact, that you can find maps of the market to help navigate. It’s roughly the size of 4 city blocks, and is divided into various sections.

You’ll find everything under the sun here, from clothing, to handicrafts, to food, to mobile phones, and even puppies and other cute critters for sale!! It’s bonkers. If it gets a little too much for you, you can take a break in one of Bangkok’s largest parks (Chatuchak park) located right next to the market.

How to get there?

You can get here via skytrain (BTS), subway (MRT), taxi, bus, you name it – it’s very accessible! But it’s only open on weekends, from about dawn until 5 or 6pm at it’s peak. Some shops stay open longer, but the majority will be closed by dusk. It’s free entry and a perfect place to buy ANY souvenirs at the end of your time in Thailand.

If you can coordinate to be here on a weekend, it’s definitely an adventure. I generally hate shopping for ‘stuff’, but love this market and its energy!

Outdoor Activities in Bangkok - Chatuchak Markets

Outdoor Activities in Bangkok – Chatuchak Markets

Best time of the year to visit Bangkok for adventure?

Bangkok is in the tropics, and quite close to the Equator. Of course, this means it’s hot on a year round basis.

It’s considered rainy season from May-October, though showers can happen at any time of the year. This is generally a less busy time for tourists, though the rains are not quite as bad as one would expect, and often only last 30 mins-1 hour, cooling the city’s heat. Peak season is in December-January, when temperatures are at their coolest ad driest… though it’s still pretty hot!

Finally, the reason I love Bangkok for adventure is because…

It’s never ending. This city is SO BIG that you could go and get lost in a new neighbourhood almost every. single. day. and still find new, interesting things to explore. On my list for the upcoming weeks I’ve got the Scala Cinema, the Thai Air Force Museum, Papaya Vintage Shop, and the Erawon Museum – just to name a few. It seems every time I explore 1 place, I learn of 3 more!!

BIO:

From a young age, Ian was always a wanderer. He’s since travelled to all 7 continents, and has spent the majority of his life pursuing this passion. You can follow him in his off-the-beaten-path adventures and discoveries on TwitterFacebookGoogle+ and his travel blog Where Sidewalks End.

Have you been to Bangkok? What were your favourite outdoor activities in Bangkok?

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Comments (8)

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  1. Great post Ian. We are heading to Bangkok later this year so Im keeping my eye out for tips and things to do and book marking them! I love markets so will definitely check out Chatuchak Market!
    Nicole @ Suitcase Stories recently posted..Jaguar Rescue Center in Costa Rica – Photo EssayMy Profile

  2. I don’t know about you, but any waterway called a “klong” just sounds poop filled to me…Better rent a nice boat to ensure there’s no chance of falling in!
    Top Spot Travel recently posted..Best Attraction in Philadelphia: Eastern State Penitentiary!My Profile

  3. Great Post. I visited the Bangkok last year with my friends and it was my best adventure trip ever. I saw Wat Arun (The Temple of Dawn), Grand Palace & Wat Prakeaw, Floating Market, Chao Phraya River & Waterways, Chatuchak Weekend Market and almost every tourist place of Bangkok. We have done shopping there also. Chatuchak Weekend Market is really very awesum market. We are planning this year to go there again.

  4. Josephine says:

    I’m starting to love the town :)

  5. John says:

    Great guide, Ian! My family we’re planning to visit to Bangkok in couple of months. I will suggest moving our trip in December to make our trip less hassle. I can’t wait to explore and try things I haven’t yet to do.

  6. Jacqueline says:

    Great article & blog! We also love finding more “adventurous” ways to explore a new city! We just got back from Bangkok and spent an evening on a night bicycle ride throughout the city. We went with Grasshopper Adventures, which I would absolutely recommend, but I know there are other options as well. Thought your readers might enjoy!

    Looking forward to using your blog as a resource for future adventures!
    Jacqueline recently posted..Birthday Weekend! China Greeting CardsMy Profile

  7. This was a cool new angle on Bangkok travel. I’m planning a trip to SE Asia and I’ve been cruising a lot of travel blogs. Bangkok certainly gets a lot of attention, but it isn’t well known as an outdoorsy sort of place. Haven’t been there yet myself.

    The boat tours look especially nice. A bit touristy, but I seem to be liking that more and more as I age. And I’m sure that there’s more than enough adventure in Bangkok to keep the younger man I once was satisfied. Thanks so much for the guide! I’ll keep all this in mind before I go.
    Dan – TeacherGig recently posted..Full Time ESL TeacherMy Profile

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