If you think you’ve seen all that the city has to offer, think again.
Here are some secret Bangkok places away from the city center you’ve probably never heard of.
1. Floating Forest
Well, it’s not actually a floating forest at all, but it is a rustic, peaceful haven away from the grimy metropolis.
It’s a delightful spot in the semi-rural northeastern section of Bangkok, where you can eat great Thai organic food while watching the ducks and geese glide across a small lake.
The 5 rai (@8000sq m) grounds have been carefully designed to look natural, with rough paths, wild flowers, bamboo groves, and mature trees giving off a strong sense of nature and countryside. You won’t believe you’re in Bangkok city!
There’s nothing to do here other than enjoy the serene environment and the tasty food, but that’s the whole point -- Relax and Unwind!
The Floating Forest is in Mittichit Road, Sam Wa Tawanok subdistrict, Klong Sam Wa district, Bangkok.
It’s pretty much out of the way so ideally have your own transport. You could take bus no. 543 from Bang Khen, or bus 6250 from Future Park Rangsit, to Lamlukka Klong 7 and then take a taxi. But on your return you’ll have to ask the staff to call a taxi or Grabcar as there are virtually no cruising taxis in the area.
2. Bueng Phrayasuren Market
This fascinating market is not a floating market despite some of it’s descriptions, but it does sit alongside Khlong Phraya Suren inside the precincts of Wat Phraya Suren, giving it an added flair.
It’s a decent size with a good mix of products which are sometimes lacking in some local markets.
An estimated 200+ vendors (and a sheep pen) are onsite offering everything you can imagine, plus of course lots of tasty Thai food!
Although tucked away in the northeastern fringes of Bangkok, it’s well worth the effort of getting there, to enjoy an authentic local vibe.
The market is only open at weekends
You could combine it on a day trip with a visit to the Floating Forest.
The market and temple are in Phraya Suren Road Soi 50, Sam Wa Tawan Tok Subdistrict, Khlong Sam Wa District.
3. Sai Mai Water Park
In a busy outer suburb, this water park is a great place for the locals (and anyone else) to cool off from the heat and dust.
It’s perfect for kids and adults alike to enjoy the slides and other attractions, and life jackets are available.
It’s not the biggest or best equipped water park, but it is friendly and fun! They claim to be the first inflatable water park in Bangkok.
You can find it at 14 Phoem Sin Road, Ao Ngoen subdistrict, Sai Mai district. Bus 543 passes the door, or take a taxi from Morchit BTS or Chatuchak MRT stations.
4. Nongbon Water Sports Center
Owned and run by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (City Hall to you and me!) this public recreation area was formed on an active reservoir.
It’s main feature is a watersports center providing windsurfing, kayaking and sailing for experienced users and novices -- instructors are available onsite.
It’s a lot of fun sailing a dinghy around this pretty lake.
Membership is super cheap but you’ll need a passport and two photos, or a Thai ID card, to sign up before you can use the facilities.
If you enjoy biking bring your own to ride the 4km track that circles the lake.
Its well lit, and has numerous CCTV cameras for safety. There are two lanes; fast, and leisurely.
A jogging track runs parallel to the bike track. The center has lockers and showers too.
It’s a very scenic and restful environment, so you could just have a relaxing picnic by the waters edge if that’s what you prefer.
The center is located right next to King Rama 9 Park (see below). Access is via Chaloemprakiat Rama 9 Road, Soi 43, Nong Bon district.
Take the BTS to Udom Suk station then a it’s a short taxi ride, or a 20 minute walk.
5. King Rama 9 Park
The largest public park in Bangkok isn’t a secret but not many foreign visitors venture to this lovely spot.
It’s right next to Nong Bon Water Sports Center, and just a stone’s throw from a BTS station, but remains one of the city’s quieter open spaces.
Covering 500 rai (0.8sq km) it showcases an unusual spired, but beautiful, museum dedicated to the achievements and life of the late and much revered King Rama 9.
The massive grounds are serene and there are beautiful floral displays in various areas, depicting the diversity of various different nations.
A large lake invites you to hire one of the novelty boats, or you can join the free tram that shuttles visitors around the park’s many delights.
Access to the park is in Sukhumvit Soi 103, but take the BTS to Udom Suk station and then it’s a short taxi ride.
6. Kwan Riam Floating Market
Set between two temples on either side of Klong Saen Saeb, Kwan-Riam is a relative newcomer to Bangkok’s collection of floating markets, having opened in 2012.
It’s only open on weekends and at it’s best from 7am-9am, when an interesting variety of tasty Thai foods, snacks and local goods are sold from stalls alongside the klong, and from vendors on traditional style boats.
Kwan-Riam Floating Market is on Klong Saen Saeb in Bangkapi district. There is a public boat service which runs along the klong from Pratunam in central Bangkok.
Alternatively take a taxi to Seri Thai Road Soi 60, or Ramkhamhaeng Road Soi 187. Both have small signs to Kwan-Riam.
7. Batcat Museum and Toys
A fun niche museum for the comic book / superhero fandom, with dozens of glass cabinets filling four big rooms and stuffed with all your favourites.
The collection has over 50,000 toys, magazines, games, costumes, etc relating to Batman, Superman, and any number of other superheros and supervillains.
The collection took years to put together and is both eclectic and fascinating, with some items dating back to the 1960s.
True to it’s name, the single largest part of this amazing display is devoted to Batman, with some unique items you’re unlikely to see elsewhere.
The Batcat Museum is open daily except Mondays.
The Batcat is at 3701 Srinagarindra Road, Huamark subdistrict, Bangkapi District, near the intersection with Ramkhamhaeng Road.
While there is an elevated MRT line currently under construction along Srinagarindra Road, the only way to get there right now is by public bus or taxi.
8. Siam Serpentarium
Whether you love snakes, or you’re a ophiophobe, this is one unusual center that aims to educate you all about these slippery reptiles.
We all know that some snakes love to to give you a cuddle, and some would rather chew on you, but myths and legends meet the truth at Siam Serpentarium.
“Experience how snakes are born, hunt, survive, and reproduce through various fun and fascinating interactive tools and a surreal forest-like environment.”
They feature a snake farm with 70 different species, a theater where fun shows recall the history of our love-hate relationship with these often misunderstood creatures, and a chance to experience life from the snakes’ point of view.
Their website is here.
The Serpentarium is at 969 Luang Phang Road, Lat Krabang district. The easiest way to get there is to take the Airport Link train as far as Lat Krabang station, then take a short taxi ride from there.
9. Papaya Vintage Store
Actually called ‘Papaya Design Furniture and Studio’ this is one huge warehouse stuffed to the roof with the most eclectic collection of, well, everything!
You could spend several days trawling through the amazing variety of stuff here, and see only a fraction of it
Collectables, bric-a-brac, antiques, light fittings, furniture, toys, all kinds of old phones, crockery, and who knows what else, makes for compulsive browsing among the endless shelves.
If you’re searching for some quirky home decoration ideas, this is the place for you.
Papaya is at 306/1 Ladphrao Road Soi 55/2, Wang Thonglang district, a short walk from Ladphrao MRT station.
Their website is here.
We’ve suggested 9 secret Bangkok places for you. How about getting out of your comfort zone and going out there to explore the ‘real’ Bangkok? It’s really rewarding!
Make sure you have travel insurance while visiting Thailand’s wonders. Medical care is world class but worldly expensive!