The Ten Best Historic Sites To Visit In Bangkok, Thailand

While much of Bangkok is ultramodern, filled with skyscrapers, rooftop bars, and condominiums, there are plenty of sites of historical importance, all of which are well worth several days of exploration, to help get a sense of Thailand's historical, cultural, and traditional roots.  Leading the list is the most venerated historical and visited attraction, the opulent Grand Palace, which is also the home of Wat Phra Keo, better known as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, and these days somewhat of a living museum. 

Also worth checking out for their historical significance as well as a look into famous Thai figures are the astounding Vimanmek Mansion teak palace, the hidden and quaint M.R. Kukrit's House, the Suan Pakkad Palace, and the historical home of silk legend Jim Thompson. 

Many of the historical spots are temples and palaces, but you can also discover plenty of Bangkok's past in spots such as the old alleyways of Chinatown, which should be a priority on any visitor's sightseeing list, and to further appreciate it all, you should make sure to pay a visit to the National Museum, Thailand's largest, where every piece of Thai history, art, and culture can be unearthed and explained.



While not a historic site in and of itself, just about everything in it is. Thailand's national museum is the main home of Thai art, history, and culture. Set in the former Wang Na Palace just near the famed Grand Palace, the museum has a great...  Read More

Part of the Dusit compound of royal residences is the Vimanmek Mansion, the former royal palace and world's largest golden teakwood mansion, an incredible feat of architecture and handicraft, which also functions as a living museum. Vimanmek was...  Read More

Historic Wat Phra Keo is part of the Grand Palace, Thailand's most revered site, and the Emerald Buddha is the most revered place on the palace grounds. This temple is Thailand's most important, where the green jade Emerald Buddha is housed....  Read More

Rattanakosin Island, surrounded by the Chao Phraya River and canals, is the old historic Bangkok, and well worth a wander. Every Bangkok tourist will get to this area, just because it contains most of the major sightseeing spots, such as the...  Read More

A former New York architect who came to Thailand as a soldier in WWII, Jim Thompson is known for re-establishing the Thai silk industry. His beautiful traditional home, renovated from several up-country buildings, house a fine and priceless...  Read More


Wat Pho is the largest and oldest (although it has been completely rebuilt) temple in Bangkok, and it is famed for its giant reclining Buddha, which is over 150 feet long. The giant sculpture is completely covered in gold and is noteworthy for...  Read More

M.R. Kukrit's House
Photo courtesy of Dave Stamboulis

Most visitors to Bangkok never make it to Baan Kukrit, the heritage home and museum of one of Thailand's most interesting and many talented individuals. Not only is this quiet spot an amazingly green oasis, it is also an architectural gem, an...  Read More

This relatively unknown gem was the former palace of Prince Paribatra, grandson of King Rama V, and is a series of eight traditional reconstructed Thai houses which are full of memorabilia of the Prince's artistic collection, including musical...  Read More

Photo courtesy of Dave Stamboulis

Bangkok's Chinatown is full of history, mazes of tiny alleyways to get lost in, find great food, markets, temples, and one of the few places in the city where it is actually pleasant and preferable to walk. Highlights include the giant Wat...  Read More

Started by King Rama I in 1792, and then home to both the King and the Emerald Buddha, this stunning spot should be on every visitor's historical Thai site list. The Grand Palace is Thailand's most venerated and glittering sight, home to the...  Read More


Meet Dave Stamboulis

Dave Stamboulis is a travel writer/photographer based in Bangkok. Born in Athens, Greece and growing up in the U.S., Dave first discovered Bangkok while on a 45,000-kilometer bicycle trip and...  More About Dave