Bangkok is a bustling metropolis where tradition meets modernity in the most delightful ways. While the city is famous for its ornate temples and vibrant street markets, there’s a whole local side to Bangkok that most tourists miss out on. Ready to explore the city like a true local? Here’s your ultimate guide!

1. Start Your Day with a Local Breakfast

Forget the hotel buffet. Head to a local market like Or Tor Kor or Khlong Toei and grab a steaming bowl of jok (Thai rice porridge) or khai jeow (Thai omelette). Pair it with a strong cup of Thai coffee to kickstart your day.

2. Navigate the City on a Motorbike Taxi

Sure, tuk-tuks are fun, but if you really want to get around like a local, hop on a motorbike taxi. It’s the quickest way to weave through Bangkok’s infamous traffic. Just hold on tight and enjoy the ride!

3. Shop at Talat Rot Fai (Train Market)

Skip the touristy malls and head to Talat Rot Fai for a unique shopping experience. This night market is a treasure trove of vintage goods, quirky antiques, and delicious street food. Plus, it’s a fantastic spot for people-watching.

4. Embrace the Art of Thai Massage

After a day of exploring, unwind with a traditional Thai massage. Instead of the fancy spa, visit a local massage parlor. You’ll get an authentic experience and support local businesses. Wat Pho is a great place to start if you want to learn more about the history of Thai massage.

5. Discover Hidden Temples

While Wat Arun and Wat Pho are must-sees, Bangkok has many lesser-known temples that are equally stunning. Check out Wat Ratchanatdaram for its unique Loha Prasat (Metal Castle) or Wat Saket, also known as the Golden Mount, for a panoramic view of the city.

6. Feast on Street Food

Bangkok’s street food is legendary, and for good reason. Head to Yaowarat (Chinatown) or Sukhumvit Soi 38 for an unforgettable culinary adventure. Don’t miss local favorites like pad Thai, mango sticky rice, and boat noodles. Pro tip: look for stalls with long lines—they’re usually the best!

7. Ride the Chao Phraya River Express

See the city from a different perspective by hopping on the Chao Phraya River Express boat. It’s a cheap and scenic way to travel, offering stunning views of Bangkok’s riverside landmarks. Plus, it’s a refreshing break from the heat and hustle of the streets.

8. Experience Bangkok’s Nightlife

Bangkok’s nightlife is diverse and exciting. For a local vibe, visit a rooftop bar like Octave or Above Eleven for breathtaking views and cocktails. For live music and a more relaxed atmosphere, check out venues like Adhere the 13th Blues Bar.

Experiencing Bangkok like a local is all about immersing yourself in the city’s rich culture and vibrant street life. From savoring street food to exploring hidden gems, this guide will help you see Bangkok beyond the typical tourist spots. So, pack your bags and get ready for an adventure of a lifetime!

Written by Tanjin S.