Bangkok became the Capital City of Thailand back in 1782 (although technically Thailand was called Siam back then) and now over 14 million people call the Bangkok metropolitan area home. With this huge number of people living here it makes Bangkok a ‘Primate City’. This is where one of a country’s cities are disproportionately more populated and considered much more important than the next biggest city. Some other examples of ‘Primate Cities’ are London, Paris and Mexico City.
Bangkok is a perfect example of a primate city as it is populated by around 15 times more people than its next biggest city – Nonthaburi.
Probably more important for you than these facts, however, is our list of the top five free things to do in Bangkok:
5. Bangkok Butterfly Garden and Insectarium
The first activity on on our list of the top five free things to do in Bangkok is the Bangkok Butterfly Garden and Insectarium.
Just around the corner from the busy Chatuchak markets lies a far more serene and tranquil haven for Bangkok’s tiny, winged residents. There are many different species of these exotic butterflies here and it’s a great place to take some vibrant photos.
To mimic the insects natural habitat they have created a picturesque space complete with wild flowers, rockeries and a small waterfall.
To find out opening times click here. Bear in mind that Bangkok Butterfly Garden and Insectarium is closed on Mondays.
4. Visit a Local Market
Visiting a traditional Thai market makes it to number four on our list of free things to do in Bangkok.
When you think of the markets of Bangkok, you may think that they are an ideal place to find a bargain or to purchase some souvenirs for friends and family. While this may be true, it can still be worth a visit even if you have no intention of spending any money.
The traditional markets in Bangkok can provide you with an insight into life of local people. You can take some time window shopping to see all the unusual items for sale here.
If you would prefer to see what the night markets have on offer, then Patpong is just one example of a night market in Bangkok. Patpong is also Bangkok’s most popular night market.
3. Watch Live Muay Thai
If you are familiar with Muay Thai you will know that it is a martial art originating from Thailand using fists, elbows, shins and feet.
If you are not familiar with Muay Thai then watching a free live match at the MBK center is a perfect opportunity for you to be introduced to the contact sport!
On Wednesday’s from 6pm to 8:30pm you can watch Muay Thai for free in the Area in front of the MBK centre (Mahboonkrong). Although this is just one of the free things to do in Bangkok’s eight story shopping mall. If you are not interested in watching people beat each other up you can take a look around some of the 2000 different shops in the MBK center.
2. Lumpini Park
Next on our list of the top five free things to do in Bangkok is Lumpini park. Named after the birth place of the Buddha in Nepal, Lumpini park is around half a million square kilometres in size.
The Buddhism themed name of the park suits it very well as it is peaceful area that you may not expect from inner city Bangkok.
In lumpini park you can take part in a variety of different recreational activities such as jogging, basketball, or listen to the jazz or classical orchestras that occasionally play here.
There are actvities for children here too, with play parks and jungle gyms.
1. Visit a free temple
The final activity on our list of the top five free things to do in Bangkok is to visit a temple. There are a selection of temples, or ‘wats’ as they are known in this part of the world, in Bangkok that you can visit from free.
A few examples of these are:
Wat Indraviharn – this Wat has a 32 metre tall buddha which is its biggest draw
Wat Pathum Wanaram – Alongside one of Bangkok’s busy roads, this Wat runs free meditation sessions from 7-9pm in English
Phra Pathom Chedi – has the tallest ‘stupa’ in the world (a mound-like structure containing buddhist relics)
We must warn you before you go to these temples to be careful of the common ‘gem scam’ – read about it here on this Wikipedia article. It can be easily avoided though so don’t worry too much!
That concludes our list of the top five free things to do in Bangkok, if you have anything to add feel free to leave a comment!