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Bangkok Shore Excursion Reviews

Bangkok (Laem Chabang) (Photo:ATIKAN PORNCHAIPRASIT/Shutterstock)

Popular Things to Do in Bangkok

Bangkok, Thailand, is a large city rich with culture and history and home to friendly and welcoming people. The cruise port is a bit of a distance from the city, so shore excursions with transfers are a good idea to ensure you have enough time to sightsee and get back to the ship on time. Excursions that cruisers absolutely must check out include some of the many breathtakingly ornate temples like the Wat Arun Ratchawararam; colorful, bustling markets like Sampeng Market; or go for an exciting tuk-tuk ride. If you have a bit more time and want to check out the beach, book an excursion to the beach resort at Pattaya.

Late fall and early winter are ideal times to visit Bangkok, thanks to the comfortable weather during these months, but the city is busy year-round, especially during local festivals. The currency in Thailand is the baht. The official language is Standard Thai, though some locals who work in major tourist areas might speak a bit of English.


Find Things to Do in Bangkok

16 Excursions Found

#1 of 16 Bangkok Shore Excursions

City Tour

46 Reviews
Discover Bangkok's beautiful, gleaming temples, historical monuments, and fun floating markets on a city tour.
#2 of 16 Bangkok Shore Excursions

Grand Palace

36 Reviews
A trip to Bangkok would not be complete without visiting the dazzling Grand Palace, which is undoubtedly the city's most famous landmark and is still used for royal ceremonies and functions.
#3 of 16 Bangkok Shore Excursions

Bangkok On Your Own

33 Reviews
There's an abundance of activities to do in Bangkok if you decide to veer from the beaten path. Transportation is affordable, taking you to enchanting and historic sites, to local markets, and to great dining options.
#4 of 16 Bangkok Shore Excursions

Wat Po (Reclining Buddha Temple)

24 Reviews
Witness the glimmering temple of Wat Po (Temple of the Reclining Buddha) on an amazing guided tour. Learn remarkable facts about the oldest and largest temple in Bangkok. And if you happen to be achy from your travels, try a Wat Po Thai massage -- you won't leave the same way you came in!
#5 of 16 Bangkok Shore Excursions

River Cruise

21 Reviews
Get lost in Bangkok's ancient history with a river cruise along the coastline. Learn about a variety of attractions as you pass them by.
#6 of 16 Bangkok Shore Excursions

Wooden Pavilion at Sanctuary of Truth

16 Reviews
For a unique excursion in Thailand's Bangkok, visit the Wooden Pavilion at Sanctuary of Truth -- the only completely wooden sculpture building in the entire world. The building itself is absolutely jaw-dropping, but there are a number of other activities to enjoy onsite including martial arts shows.
#7 of 16 Bangkok Shore Excursions

Ayuddhaya Walking Tour

14 Reviews
Tour the ancient Siamese capital of Ayuddhaya, sometimes called the 'Venice of the East.'
#8 of 16 Bangkok Shore Excursions

Nong Nooch Walking Tour

11 Reviews
Explore the Nong Nooch tropical gardens and village to learn about Bangkok's rich history and experience cultural performances, elephant shows, and garden activities.
#9 of 16 Bangkok Shore Excursions

Jim Thompson's House

5 Reviews
The Jim Thompson House is a fascinating structure, pieced together by the famed American businessman out of antique buildings acquired throughout Thailand. It now serves as museum for his impressive collection of asian art.
#10 of 16 Bangkok Shore Excursions

Beach

4 Reviews
Enjoy a nice, relaxing day on the beach surrounded by sun, water and sand while taking in picturesque views. It's a nice break from the hustle and bustle of Bangkok's city.
#11 of 16 Bangkok Shore Excursions

Tiger Zoo

4 Reviews
If you are looking for an extraordinary experience with one of the most majestic creatures on earth, the Tiger Zoo is a must. See hundreds of the world's largest cat species, along with other amazing creatures on a trip you will never forget!
#12 of 16 Bangkok Shore Excursions

Handicraft Market

3 Reviews
Bangkok boasts some of the most beautiful handicrafts in the world- a visit to the handicraft markets is a must-see for cruise souvenir shopping.
#13 of 16 Bangkok Shore Excursions

Wat Traimit

3 Reviews
Experience ultimate tranquility at the temple of Wat Traimit -- home to the Golden Buddha, the world's largest solid gold statue at 5 ½ tons.
#14 of 16 Bangkok Shore Excursions

River Kwai

2 Reviews
The River Kwai in Kanchanaburi Province is the location of a bridge built as part of the Thai-Burmese railroad. A fictional novel and film were later created bearing the name "The Bridge over the River Kwai", making the site famous.
#15 of 16 Bangkok Shore Excursions

Wat Phra Kaeo

2 Reviews
Wat Phra Kaeo, or Temple of the Emerald Buddha, is located in the historic center of Bangkok and within the precincts of the Grand Palace. It is regarded as the most sacred Buddhist temple in Thailand and only the Thai King is allowed to touch the green Buddha statue.
#16 of 16 Bangkok Shore Excursions

Rose Garden

1 Reviews

Food and Drink in Bangkok

Gourmands will tell you that Bangkok offers a heavenly array of restaurants and bars, with something delectable in every price range. Thai cuisine is a spicy blend of flavors, based on lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, basil, garlic, onion, ginger, coriander, mint, chili peppers, curry and eggplant. Popular menu items include vegetarian or shrimp spring rolls; chicken, beef or pork satay skewers, served with a coconut and peanut dipping sauce; pineapple fried rice; and Pad Thai, stir-fried noodles with eggs, tamarind, fish sauce, bean sprouts and red chili peppers, plus chicken, shrimp or tofu.

Have you tried the deep-fried banana flower or crispy morning glories? If not, head to Tongue Thai Restaurant (tel: 66-2-6399189), just around the corner from the Mandarin Oriental Hotel on Chareoun Krung Road. You'll find traditional Thai dishes, such as pad Thai, green and yellow curry, fish balls and lemongrass soup. The chef prepares each dish to be a spicy treat. If you require a milder version, just ask. The waitstaff can also provide photo menus if you're new to Thai food.

Want to mix some serious shopping with an outstanding lunch? Head to the Jim Thompson caf? (tel: 66-2-2559813) at Japanese department store Isetan on Rajadamri Road. If you've got some picky eaters in your group, this is a good bet, since they offer traditional Thai cuisine, Western dishes and sumptuous desserts.

For an upscale seafood buffet with a knockout river view through floor-to-ceiling windows, Lord Jim's (tel: 66-2-6599000 ext. 7680-1) at the Mandarin Oriental is the place. With an emphasis on seafood, you'll gorge yourself with scallops, tiger prawns, lobster, crab, mussels, clams, snapper and more. Meat lovers take note: Lord Jim's also serves succulent Wagyu beef.

Best Cocktail in Bangkok

Liquor made in the area includes several varieties of beer, whiskey and rum. Be on the lookout for rice-based Mekong whiskey, Sang Som Thai rum and Beer Chang (a pale lager). For those who eschew alcoholic beverages, go for cha yen (a Thai version of iced tea). It's made by combining red tea leaves, star anise, sugar and evaporated milk. The creamy sweetness is the ideal complement to the spicy food you'll be eating. You're also sure to sample a variety of refreshing smoothies, made with combinations of fruit, such as tamarind, pineapple, bananas, mangoes and rambutan.

Looking for a hip and trendy version of Bangkok's best cocktail? Venture to Siricco's outdoor sky bar, located on the 64th floor of a residential/office tower. The martini menu is just about as good as the views overlooking the city. Give the rose apple martini a try, but beware that our cost for four drinks there was a whopping $95.

Don't Miss in Bangkok

In 1782, King Rama I decided to move Thailand's capital to Bangkok from Thonburi, just across the river. The Grand Palace was built to serve as the official royal residence and has served in this capacity ever since, although the current king (Rama IX) makes Chitralada Palace his home these days. Easily toured on foot, the palace is most interesting for its unique Thai architecture, but be aware that you cannot enter any of the government buildings. On the grounds of the Grand Palace, you will also find Wat Phra Keo, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha.

Bangkok is, in fact, home to a plethora of temples and shrines, and there are several you should visit, no matter how crunched you are for time. Once you've seen the Emerald Buddha, visit Wat Arun, Temple of Dawn; Wat Po, Temple of the Reclining Buddha; and Wat Traimit, Temple of the Golden Buddha.

If you're intrigued by Thai architecture, silk and a good mystery, a visit to Jim Thompson's House is in order. Jim Thompson was the "best known foreigner in Southeast Asia" from the late 1940's through the 1960's. An architect by trade, he joined the U.S. Army during World War II and was the OSS station chief in Bangkok as the war ended. He decided to stay in Thailand and founded the Jim Thompson Thai Silk Company. He also purchased land in the city and built an exquisite Thai-style home. In 1967, he mysteriously disappeared, while on vacation in the jungle of Cameron Highlands, Malaysia. Today, you may tour his fascinating home.

If you've seen and done all there is to do in Bangkok, take a break and visit one of the city's many skyscrapers, which house rooftop bars. Enjoy a drink and an eye-popping view. A few of our favorites include the Sky Bar (tel: 66-2-6249999) at Sirocco restaurant at the top of the State Tower, the Long Table (tel: 66-2-3022557) on the 25th floor of the Column Tower, and Vertigo (tel: 66-2-6791200) on the 61st floor of the Banyan Tree Hotel. Beware: you're paying for those views! Our bill for four cocktails at the Sky Bar, about $95, was as lofty as the 64th-floor view. It was worth every penny ... once.

Bangkok is an incredible metropolis, but it's important to understand that many Thais still live the old ways in various fishing villages outside the city. Take a "Tour With Tong" to a typical fishing outpost, where you'll spend the day with a local fisherman and his family. You'll arrive by Thai long-tail boat, visit the fisherman's bamboo stilt home, eat a traditional seafood lunch and meet a local monkey troop along the way.

If you've got time on a Saturday or Sunday, take the Skytrain to the Mo Chit station, and head directly to the Chatuchak Weekend Market. This place throbs with action, as 15,000 vendors hawk their wares to over 200,000 visitors each day. Spread over 35 acres, stalls are organized according to the merchandise sold -- housewares, clothing, ceramics, amulets and antique Buddhas, live animals, etc. Prices are fair, and bargaining is encouraged and expected. If you're looking for Thai crafts (bronzeware, lacquerware, silk items), you'll find them here. Chatuchak can be chaotic, so do yourself a favor and purchase Nancy Chandler's Map of Bangkok, which charts, stall by stall, each vendor at this market, as well as those on Sukhumvit Road and in Chinatown, Greater Bangkok, Central Bangkok and Banglamphu.

The Damnoen Saduak floating market is a must-visit for any newcomer to Bangkok. About an hour and a half outside of the city (in Ratchaburi Province), you'll find this busy khlong, clogged with long-tail boats that are piled high with every type of fruit and vegetable imaginable. This is mainly a produce market, but you'll also find typical souvenir items -- albeit nicer and less expensive options can be had directly in Bangkok. Take a taxi, or hire a private car, and spend a few hours exploring. It's a typical tourist trap, but you'll get some amazing photographs to show your friends and family back home.

You'd be hard-pressed to find a Bangkok visitor who didn't stop in at least one jewelry store. There, you'll find excellent deals on sapphires and rubies, and Thai jewelers are very adept at custom-designing or copying pieces of jewelry. Shop at reputable stores -- not those recommended by your tuk-tuk driver -- and know how much similar gems or gold would cost here at home. Try SJ International (tel: 66-2-2432446; 125/8 Sawankhalok Road) or Venus Jewelry ( tel: 66-2-2539559; 167/1/2 Withayu Road).

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