Want the best places to visit near Bangkok?
Whether its waterfalls, markets, islands or ancient temples you’ll be surprised that these destinations are not too far from the city. The following places to visit near Bangkok are within about two to three hours each way except for perhaps Koh Chang which is a little further.
Maeklong Railway Market
The Maeklong Railway Market is one of the most unique places to visit near Bangkok. Imagine a busy market sprawled all over the train tracks. Suddenly a train sounds it horn and the market literally folds up in front of you within seconds.
The best thing is that this market is open every day and is fairly cheap and easy to get too. See here for more details on the Maeklong Railway Market Opening Hours and what to buy there.
Ampawha Floating Market
The Ampawha Floating Market is the largest floating market near Bangkok. It is also located close by the Maeklong Railway Market in Samut Songkhram Province.
Bangkok is built around the water therefore floating markets have become one of the iconic attractions to visit. Expect to see vendors selling all sorts of goods from small wooden boats such as; noodles, barbecued seafood, pad thai, souveneirs, fresh fruits, and much more.
The Ampawha Floating Market is only open on weekends. It is generally fairly busy with Thai tourists many of whom are visiting from Bangkok.
Ayutthaya Ancient City
A trip to Thailand would not be complete without visiting Ayutthaya. This is one of the main historical places to visit near Bangkok. Ayutthaya was founded in 1350 and later become the ancient capital city of Thailand (then known as Siam). By the year 1700 is was apparently the largest city in the world.
The countless temples in Ayutthaya are scattered around the city and open every day. The most iconic temples to visit include:
Getting to Ayutthaya is easy by train, minivan or bus and takes about 1 to 1.5hrs each way. With trains being as slow as they are in Thailand the minivan is the quicker option. It is also possible to get to Ayutthaya by boat however it takes much longer and needs to be organized in advance as a tour.
Erawan Falls National Park
This is one of the best places to visit near Bangkok for a nature escape. The Erawan Falls are located in Kanchanburi’s Erawan National Park. The Erawan Falls are one of Thailand’s five must see waterfalls.
The fresh water stream is flowing with water all year round, however is best just around the beginning and the end of the rainy season. During the middle of the rainy season the park has been known to close due to torrential rain making it unsafe. In the dry season the stream still flows but nowhere near as strong.
The Erawan Falls can be done as a long one day trip from Bangkok. With many other attractions around Kanchanaburi such as the Bridge Over the River Kwai and the Saiyok Raft Houses it is also good to do this as a two day one night trip from Bangkok.
Wang Takhrai Waterfall
Wang Takhrai Waterfall is another one of the best nature escapes to visit near Bangkok. This waterfall is located in the neighboring province of Nakhon Nayok only 2 hours away but is little known to western tourists.
The Wan Takhrai Waterfall is actually a freshwater rapids stream flowing through a leafy 600 acre forest. The water is deep enough for swimming in, however you can also hire an inflatable tube inside the national park for the day.
There are campsite and bungalows both available within the Wang Takhrai par for an overnight stay in nature. Getting to Wang Takhrai Waterfall is best achieved with your own private transport. Hire a car for the day from Bangkok to make the 1.5 hour drive each way.
Make sure you sign up for my FREE Travel Guide to get the exact location and directions to the Wang Takhrai Waterfall.
Koh Chang Island
Not all islands are in Thailand’s far south. The island of Koh Chang is located just a few hours from Bangkok off the coast of Trat Province. Koh Chang is definitely one of the best places to visit near Bangkok if you are looking for an easy island escape.
Koh Chang offers loads of outdoor activities such as hiking to a waterfall, snorkeling and scuba diving or just relaxing on the beach. To extend the adventure try island hopping from Koh Chang to discover the smaller islands of Koh Wai and Koh Mak. At night head over to Lonely Beach for the island party action.
Koh Chang offers a huge range of accommodation options from budget to high end all year round. For some decent mid-range accommodation near the beach and the party action check out Nature Beach Resort.
Thung Prong Thong Mangrove Forest
A mangrove forest might not be top on your list of places to visit near Bangkok, however this one is worth it. The golden Thung Prong Thong Mangrove forest covers a massive 2,400 acres along the coast of Rayong province.
Explore the coastal biodiversity along the extensive stretch of elevated wooden boardwalks. While the most popular sight is the sprawling golden mangrove forest, expect to see animals including crabs and rare wetland birds. To explore further into the wetland you can also hop on board a 20 minute longtail boat ride near the entrance of the park.
What are your favorite places to visit near Bangkok? Let me know in the comments below.