As a tourist destination, Thailand has always been at the top of the list – and this is hardly surprising, considering the many wonders this country has to offer, from gorgeous and historic temples to stunning natural scenery, exciting nightlife, and sumptuous food. But if you are planning a trip to Thailand, one of your first stops will probably be Bangkok. The capital of Thailand has a lot in store for any traveller, and you would do well to make the most of your time in this beautiful capital – whether you’re simply staying in Bangkok for a day or two days as a stop for other wonderful locations in the country, or whether Bangkok is your only Thai destination. Here, then, is your essential guide to Bangkok: what to see, do, and explore.

Wat Prakeaw and the Grand Palace

There is no doubt that Wat Prakeaw and the Grand Palace are the top places to see in Bangkok, as any guide to Thailand will confirm, and for a good reason. Anyone seeing these sites for the first time will be awed by their grandeur and magnificence. The sites, after all, were the home of the kings of Thailand for 150 years, and the Grand Palace alone features some of the most beautiful architectural details you will ever see in Thailand. Wat Prakeaw, on the other hand, is the home of the Emerald Buddha, (Phra Kaew Morakot), and this Buddha is renowned for being carved out of a single, huge piece of jade. Wat Prakeaw and the Grand Palace are open every day from 8:30 in the morning until 3:30 in the afternoon, and they are located along Na Phra Lan Road in Bangkok.

The Temple of Dawn (Wat Arun)

Another gorgeous temple which you should definitely include in your Bangkok itinerary is the Wat Arun, otherwise known as Temple of Dawn.. This site is a must-see, and no visit to Bangkok would be complete without catching a glimpse of its beauty. The spires alone are worth a visit, but what makes Wat Arun even more spectacular is its ornate designs and patterns done in the Khmer fashion. The Temple of Dawn is at 158 Thanon Wang Doem.

Damnoen Saduak

Among all the things Thailand is renowned for, everyone will readily agree that its floating markets are instantly recognisable as well. This is particularly the case with Damnoen Saduak, the most famous floating market near Bangkok (around 100 kilometres southwest of the capital, in Ratchaburi). Despite being visited heavily by tourists in recent years, Damnoen Saduak is still a sight to see, and its authentic flavours and smells are bound to leave you fascinated. The place is teeming with dozens upon dozens of wooden boats, with each boat filled to the brim with fruits, flowers, and vegetables. If you’re hankering for some street food, look no further than the popular seafood skewers or ‘boat noodles’ which many vendors are ready to whip up in seconds. Visit the floating market early so you can get first dibs on everything (and before it gets too hot); the floating market opens at 7 in the morning and closes at 5 in the afternoon.

Other fabulous sites to see in Bangkok include Yaowarat (Chinatown), Wat Pho (where you will find the beautiful reclining Buddha), and the Chao Phraya River and its waterways. If you want to have a more amazing time in Bangkok, don’t forget to check out these wonderful sites, and your visit will be one of the most memorable ones you will ever have for a long time.