If you’re looking for the best fun and unusual things to do in Bangkok, look no further. We have listed the best things to do, from eating live ‘dancing shrimps’ to finding Bangkok’s hidden nightlife.
Whoever told you that New York is the city which never sleeps, hasn’t spent time in Bangkok. No matter how long you spend here on holiday you will never be able to cover the amount the city has to offer and that’s exactly why we love it so much!
However, no doubt, when entering Bangkok, it can quickly get overwhelming when you’re trying to figure out the best places to go or the best things to see with the fear of missing out on anything before you leave.
So, let’s get directly to the point to save you hours of researching when you get here. Here are the top 5 fun and unusual things to do in Bangkok:
1. Jodd Fairs Market – one of our top unusual things to do in Bangkok
Definitely up there on our top must do’s in Bangkok. This market has a completely different vibe to the other night markets and is a really fun place to hangout. When you enter through the main gate, there is a huge open air seating area where people gather here all evening, crowding around tables and drinking together under the towering skyscrapers and the vibe feels super local.
Just remember, if you buy a drink from one of the drink/food stalls around the market, they may not let you sit down in the seating area with it. The seating area is specifically for the ‘bar’ that is located next to it but you may be able to sneak in so try your luck!
What you’ll find there
As you begin winding your way down the alleys full of street food, dessert places, fashion stalls (selling some really good quality and fashionable clothing) and restaurant shacks, the thing to note about Jodd Fairs is they have some of the WEIRDEST street food in Bangkok.
If there is any reason to go it’s for this, and if you’re not going to try it, then why not watch some other passers by squirming at some of the strangest things you’ll ever see. No other market we went to did this and we’ll tell you exactly what to look for and where, because if you don’t know you’ll quite easily skip straight past it. Key things to look out for:
- Dancing Shrimps
- Live Squid
- Spicy Pork Mountain
- Prawn heads
2. Thong Lor Speakeasy Bar Crawl – find unusual bars in Bangkok
A neighbourhood you don’t see on many lists, the area is sprawled with some of the BEST speakeasies in the world (yes, even better than New York) and a lot of them are well hidden. We walked past some of them quite a few times before actually figuring out where they were. So, let us help point out some of the best hidden bars in Bangkok and then we’ll leave it to you to actually find them.. trust us, you’ll want to save a whole evening for this & go with a London sized budget, because the drinks there are fairly pricey. You may initially think there isn’t much in the area, but trust us, there is.. it’s just hidden in plain sight and you’ll have to put in some work to find them all!
3. Chatuchak Weekend Market – a fun & unusual experience in Bangkok
We know this isn’t the most undiscovered thing in Bangkok, but it’s worth spending some time here. You will most likely never have the same experience twice in the market as it really is THAT big, but we have summarised the sections below to help you navigate yourselves through Chatuchak market easily.
Allow a full day to wander around, through the literally thousands of stalls selling clothes, bags, food, shoes, souvenirs and more. If you don’t want to walk around for too long but just want to check it out, beat the sun by getting there at 9am when it opens because it gets very hot in there!
Online it says the market shuts at 6pm but truth is it doesn’t really shut until around 8pm. Some stalls begin closing at 5.45pm/6pm but you’ll still have loads open and the food is open until close.
The nearest station is Mo Chit on the BTS line and Chatuchak Park MRT line (metro). Definitely jump on the BTS or MRT for this one as the traffic around the market can get super crazy.
There are toilets located in the market and don’t fret they’re actually very clean.
You can find the nearest ATM, information centre and foreign exchange booths by the Chatuchak Park Office.
It may feel like the market is a maze, which it is, but there is some logic to the madness. Below we’ve listed out some of the key sections to help navigate you through, and when you’re hungry, we know, you just want to get to the point quickly.
Use the clock tower as your point of navigation in this magical maze.
Section 1 is for bronze religious statues and anything with religious motifs, you’ll literally find anything here.
For arts and crafts and musical instruments head to Section 25 & 26
Houseware and decor can be found in Sections 9, 11, 17, 19, 22 – the houseware was one of our favourites to browse. You can get everything in such good quality and for the cheapest prices!
Section 2 – 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20 – 24 are for clothing and accessories – one thing to point out here is most stalls don’t let you try stuff on, so be careful with what you buy. They may let you return the item but you may never find the stall again in this maze to do so!
Section 13 and Section 15 are the pets section, they sell everything is for pets and also sell pets too.
Between section 6 and section 8 – food but there are food stalls EVERYWHERE as well.
Some key food places to look out for (although EVERYTHING is delicious):
- Foontalop – section 26, stall 319 (longstanding Isan restaurant)
- Toh Plue – section 17 (does all the regular Thai food)
- Saman Islam – section 16, stall 34 (Thai-muslim restaurant with a tasty chicken biryani)
4. Explore Chinatown In The Evening (it’s one the most unusual things to do in Bangkok)
We spent a long time researching the BEST places to eat in Chinatown, & once we had them all pinned we head off. We jumped out of a tuk-tuk in Yaowarat (little india and chinatown are in the same neighbourhood).
So, head over around 6pm/6.30pm as by 10.30pm places start packing up and you don’t want to miss out on the good stuff. You can easily spend the whole evening here, wandering through all the food stalls down the main Yaowarat road.
One of the main things we did was to go follow the crowds. You’ll see lots of locals flocking around particular stalls. It’s worth just following them, queuing up and surprising yourself with what you end up ordering. BE DARING. You can eat normally here but you will enjoy it a lot more if you try some of the unusual dishes. If you’re vegetarian, there is plenty for you to try too! It’s almost impossible to eat everything there, you’ll literally never cover it in one go. A lot of people venture here for the day time and as we did both we can quite easily tell you the difference. Hands down the evening wins if you have to choose one and is one of the most fun and unusual things to do in Bangkok.
5. The famous Muay Thai boxing and unusual experience in Bangkok
Mainstream or backstreet. Panthers is a strip club turned boxing ring at 11pm every night. The atmosphere is intense, intimate and rowdy, and you won’t have the flashing lights and show like atmosphere but here are sure to be more down this street, so keep your eyes peeled for the Muay Thai boxing signs.
For a more official fight, the main Rajadamnern stadium is something you don’t want to miss and is an unusual expereince in Bangkok.
What to expect
When there is a big fight, the atmosphere is electric. Even when it is a low key fight, the family & friends of the fighters come and cheer them on.
The benefit when it’s a low key fight is the locals all come together to bet on the winner. This adds to the atmosphere a lot! It can be tricky figuring out what seats to get, especially if you haven’t been before and don’t know the size of the stadium. So we’re here to help with making sure you get the most out of your Muay Thai at Rajadamnern stadium.
There are so many fun & unusual things to do in Bangkok but 1 of the key things to do is walk. Get the BTS to a neighbourhood, jump off and walk, you are guaranteed to find something awesome every single time. Just remember, the lunchtime rush is mainly between 12-1.30 and a lot of the lunch stalls will close by 2 so DON’T miss it. People eat on time here, so make sure you do too if you want to catch the best stuff!
We hope you enjoy finding these fun and unusual things to do in Bangkok and if you want to find out more – FOLLOW us on Instagram, TikTok, Facebook and visit our website for the most local bars, unusual restaurants and unique experiences in cities around the world!
Here’s a little about us and why we do what we do!
We’re Serena & Anish, from London and like many of you out there, we love travelling, exploring & experiencing the local & less touristy corners of the world.
Finding undiscovered places is something we love. Whether that is a local restaurant serving the best home cooked food, or an unheard of immersive experience and you can trust us to find it all for you!
We’ve decided to bring you a brand which is more personal. We don’t want to be strangers telling you what we think is best. We want you to get to know us & through us, find the real ‘off the beaten path’ places.
Have you ever landed in an airport with no access to data or wifi? And unsure of the safest and cheapest way to get into the city?
On our website, you will find restaurants where the locals dine, pop-up bars & hidden speakeasies which we’ve found & tried. And we are also providing you with the top local tips to make travelling easier.
Our content is digestible, trusted and definitely not mainstream.
You won’t find restaurant chains & the most popular bars in town here, you can visit Timeout and Tripadvisor for that. We want to be with you from the start to the end and helping you travel like a local and exploring the world differently is our goal.
UNDISCVERED is where you’ll find everything in one place.
Whether you’re after a quick bite to eat, a cozy cocktail bar or a boozy brunch, the amount of blogs and articles on google is suffocating, we want to make your trip easier to plan. You won’t find an endless list of places here because every recommendation on our website is personal. There’s no wasting time here because we know your time is valuable & you don’t want to spend the rest of your day finding somewhere to go.
Finding out you missed out on an underground speakeasy or a pop-up after you’ve left a city is the worst! Don’t get fomo. Discovering ‘off the beaten path’ places is what we do and we want to share these hidden gems with you!
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Let us know whether you liked the suggestions in the comments and if you want info on anything else. We’re always happy to help with recommendations in any city around the world!
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Serena & Anish