On this 3-hour introductory Bangkok City Tour, we'll join a local historian to trace the course of Bangkok’s history from its days as a small trading post to today's status as a cosmopolitan global metropolis. We'll visit a number of key sites, including Wat Saket, known as the Golden Mountain, that towers over the city. We'll also take a ferry ride down the Chao Phraya River, spotting several important sites along the way before being dropped off in the historic heart of the city. This is a great tour for first-time visitors who want to get their bearings in the city.
"The route took us to places we would not have ordinarily ventured to, and provided a good insight of ordinary life in the city for regular folks. It was also a great introduction to getting around – how to identify the various types of river boats, getting tickets for the train etc. [Our docent] was very informative about the founding of the city and the various areas.”
Wat Saket, Bangkok's Golden Mountain
We'll start our exploration of this cosmopolitan capital at one of the holiest sites in the city, the Golden Mount. From our vantage point, we'll have one of the best views of the city, allowing us to gain perspective on the city's layout while learning how the nation's capital shifted here from Thonburi in the 18th century after the fall of Ayutthaya Dynasty. The tranquility of the site is also a profound contrast to the bustling city below, giving us the chance to discuss the role of religion in Thai daily life. Weaving our way through the side streets, we'll see some older houses and laneways, a window into an earlier era of the city. We'll further discover the foundations of the city through the vestiges of the former fort located nearby.
Bangkok City Tour
We'll work our way towards the Democracy Monument, commissioned in 1939 as the "Arc de Triomphe" of Bangkok, where we'll shift our discussion to the modern, current day Thailand, and the site's role as a rallying point for protests over the last 40 years. Continuing through some back streets, we'll make our way north of Khaosan Road, opening up our conversation to the influence of tourism on the country. Hopping on a nearby ferry, we'll travel down the Chao Phraya River, along which we can view some other important sites like the Palace and the Temple of Dawn, Wat Arun. We'll disembark from the boat in the southern part of the historic district, a fitting finishing point, as this was where Bangkok really was 'born.' We may have time to pop into the Amulet Market to witness religious items for sale before we make our last stop at Wat Mahathat, a stunning temple that predates Bangkok.
By the end of the walk, we'll leave with a command of the various epochs of the city, its cultural facets, and a practical orientation to how to navigate this vast city. This walk is an excellent pair to our Bangkok Architecture Tour
When is the best time to book this walk?
Due to the heat and humidity of midday Bangkok, it's best to start in the morning or late afternoon though we can start at other times on request.