Bangkok, Thailand is a wonderful city to explore in its own right but, it’s also a fabulous city to take a day trip from. Centrally located for trips to the north or south, there are so many places to visit on day
trips from Bangkok it’s hard to choose. I’ve lived in Thailand for almost seven years and done many of the Bangkok day trips, so definitely have those I recommend above others. If you’re wondering about the best day trips to take from Bangkok, wonder no more. These five are some of the best in the area.
Ayutthaya – The city of Ayutthaya was once the capital city of Thailand until it was burned to the ground by the Burmese in 1767. Nowadays, Ayutthaya is a great place to visit on a day trip from Bangkok as it’s only just over an hour and a half north on the bus or train. It’s also a UNESCO World Heritage site. Once in Ayutthaya, don’t miss Wat Yai Chaimonkorn, with its enormous row of stone buddha statues all dressed in orange robes, and Wat Phra Mahathat where you can see the famous Buddha head statue that has a tree growing around it.
Head on to Chao Sam Phraya National Museum with its traditional Thai houses and three buildings full of Buddha statues, weapons, art works, pottery, old baskets, and more. The Thai Boat Museum is particularly fascinating as its a privately owned museum created by one Thai man who loves the traditional Thai boats.
Finally, don’t miss having lunch or dinner in the modern city of Ayutthaya at one of the many excellent Thai restaurants and cafes before heading back to Bangkok.
Kanchanaburi – Famous for the Bridge over the River Kwai, Kanchanaburi is an interesting day trip from Bangkok to see the cemeteries of the allied soldiers who were killed by the Japanese during World War II. There are several cemeteries, with the dead buried according to nationality, but one thing you notice at all of them is how young many of the men who died really were.
Don’t miss seeing the JEATH War Museum. It’s an old museum on the grounds of a tiny Thai temple and is slightly run down, but it gives you a true sense of how the allied prisoners of war lived and how they were
treated. After this, visit the Thailand-Burma Railway Museum, where you can learn about how the Death Railway was built by the prisoners of war. Don’t miss getting the recorded audio tour here – well worth it.
Finally, head to the river to see the famous Bridge over the River Kwai, then eat at one of the floating restaurants set up on the river bank. The food is excellent and not too pricey.
To get to Kanchanaburi, take the bus, train or a taxi – with all three modes of transportation taking around two hours.
The Ancient City – The Ancient City is a phenomenal miniature city set on over 200 acres and featuring copies of some of Thailand’s most important structures. What’s really fabulous is the park itself is actually built in the shape of Thailand, so all the buildings are placed in the correct placement on the ‘map’ of where they really stand within the country. You can rent bikes and cycle all over the park to see The Floating Market, the Grand Palace, traditional teak Thai houses, the Footprint of the Lord Buddha and more than 100 other structures. It takes a full day to see everything but The Ancient City is so beautiful, you should not miss this.
To get to the Ancient City, you can take a guided tour but it’s usually best just to get a taxi and go there yourself as it’s close to the Crocodile Farm less than an hour from Bangkok’s city center.
Amphawa Floating Market – Not the floating market for tourists, but the Thai floating market, Amphawa Floating Market is a must-see day trip out of Bangkok. An hour and a half in a taxi, Amphawa Floating Market is set by the river with literally hundreds of shops and stalls built next to the river banks, as well as sellers going backwards and forwards up the river on boats selling noodles, flowers, fruit and lots more.
Not only an incredible place to take photos, it’s also a chance to experience real Thai floating market and not the fake tourist floating market, Damnoen Saduak.
Photographs – Memorial plate at Kanchanaburi’s Second World War graveyard and Amphawa Floating Market