Bangkok is a bustling city with surprises around every corner. With so much to see and do, how do you pack it all in? By having an itinerary and sticking to it as much as possible. Read on to discover a 3 day stay in Bangkok that will delight the senses before you go off to explore the rest of Asia.

Day 1: The Extraordinary Bangkok

Forget the guide book. Instead, explore the most unusual of Bangkok on your first day. These are the lesser-known sites that circumvent the crowds.

Get Around Bangkok By Bike

With so much traffic in this city, it makes sense to explore on a bike. This way, you can weave through the back alleys, bike the outskirts of the city, and get up close to the markets. And you won’t have to worry about the cost of a taxi service or parking.

Explore the Canals

The best way to explore Bangkok’s canals is by long-tail boat. This large network of canals has wooden homes built on stilts that are a wonder to the eye. The intricate canals connect the entire city of Bangkok, making this one usual way to see the city.

Hipster Markets

Merchants are everywhere in Bangkok whether you get around by boat, car, or bike. The best little tucked away markets can be found down small, out-of-the-way streets. Be sure to veer off the main roads and into the back alleys where you can find these hip markets that sell all kinds of items. You never know what’ll you find: food stores, clothing, souvenirs.

Eat Local Food

From curry to Pad Thai to fresh-squeezed mangos, there is so much local food to try on your first day. Grab lunch from a street vendor and have an elegant dinner later in the day.

Day 2: The Temples

Keeping with the theme of unusual yet not crowded as much as possible, Day 2 is a mix of temples, a Tuk-Tuk drive, and some wild markets. While The Grand Palace and Floating Market are two of the more popular sites, we put others on our list that are just as extraordinary

Wat Bechamabophit

Made of marble and located on the outskirts of Old Town, this magical temple boasts stunning sunrises. It’s one of the lesser known temples and chances are, if you go early enough, you could be the only one there.

Tuk-Tuk Drive

Need to get from point A to point B? Take a Tuk-Tuk ride and weave in and out of traffic, getting to your destination safely and quickly. Tuk-Tuks are part of ancient Thai culture and you need to experience at least one ride.

Wat Arun

Reaching 75 meters into the sky, this temple gives you a panoramic view of the city. Also, keep in mind that when visiting Thailand’s temples, you must cover your knees and shoulders.

Soi Rambuttri Road

Neighboring Khao San Road, this is a busy road filled with restaurants and markets. Take a Tuk-Tuk or taxi to the area and then go on foot.

Khao San Road

A popular shopping area with backpackers, Kaho San Road is another busy area with food stalls galore and many different kinds of shops.

Day 3: Reaching the Top of Bangkok

Leave behind the backpacker mentality and treat yourself to some Bangkok high life. This city is constantly being built upwards, with sky scrappers popping up all the time and elegant establishments within them.

Wat Pho

A wonderful way to start your day is at Wat Pho, Bangkok’s most popular temple with its famous reclining Buddha. Arrive early to avoid the crowds.

Shopping Malls

In the mood for some affordable, high-end shopping? Bangkok’s malls have what you’re looking for, and their air-conditioned. There are well-known stores like Zara, H&M, and specialty shops.

Western Food

Spend the afternoon at a Western-style restaurant to see how they do it in Thailand. Dining out and ordering what you would back home will still taste different (and who doesn’t like surprises). Plus, you’ll be happy with the bill. Dining out in Bangkok is not nearly as expensive as in London or New York.

Roof Top Bar

Before dinner and hitting the nightlife in Bangkok, have a cocktail on one of the many rooftop bars in Bangkok and watch the sunset. It’s the end of a glorious day. Welcome in the night. You might want to make a reservation and check the dress code before you go.

Getting Around in Bangkok

Bangkok has two international airports: Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang. It’s easiest to get a taxi at fair market price – around 1USD. Before leaving the airport, be sure to pick up a few SIM cards.

While in the city, the best way to get around is by motorbike or taxi, with Grab taxis being the most popular. Tuk-Tuks are fun and should be tried once, but the drivers are notorious for bargaining so it may be cheaper to grab a taxi.

Staying in Bangkok

This city has no shortage of hotel rooms. There are plenty near the airport or in the heart of the city, for example. You can also opt to stay in a hostel or Airbnb.