Want more than a city break? Let go of Bangkok’s rush for a day (or more) and step out to seek new adventures. From wandering through ruins and floating markets to breathing in the fresh scent of nature, this guide helps you experience a different side of Thailand.
Spend a day at a floating market
A mere two-hour drive from Hilton Sukhumvit Bangkok is the Damnoen Saduak floating market – the largest and most famous amongst Thailand’s 15 floating markets. Built in the 1860s to connect the Tha Chin and Mae Klong rivers, it soon became a hub for trade. The bygone charm of the canal remains unchanged, as local farmers still gather here to sell fresh produce.
Start your day early to beat the crowd and have our concierge pack a breakfast for the road. For a start, hire a long-tail boat and wind leisurely down the canal; you’ll spot stalls on boats selling souvenirs such as hats, crafts and clothes. You can also buy flowers, tropical fruits and some local delicacies: Try the char-grilled barbecue and coconut ice-cream. During the ride, ask your boat driver to help you disembark at spots along the way, so you can check out the shops laced on the banks. Owing to the market’s popularity, souvenirs may be overpriced, so don’t be afraid to bargain! Set aside a day to explore the floating market leisurely.
Khao Yai National Park is home to nearly 70 species of mammals including the sambar deer and barking deer
Soak in nature at a national park
For wildlife and nature lovers, a visit to one of Thailand’s 145-plus national parks is a must-do. A two-hour drive from Bangkok (our concierge or reception can help arrange for transport) is Khao Yai, perfect for hiking. It is one of the largest national parks in Thailand and home to nearly 70 species of mammals and over 300 species of birds.
If waterfalls make you happy, put Haew Suwat and Haew Narok on your list. Fun fact for movie-lovers: Haew Suwat appears in a waterfall jump scene in The Beach, starring Leonardo DiCaprio. Cascading from 150-meters, Haew Narok is one of the highest waterfalls in Thailand, and especially impressive during the rainy season. Be careful though, the steps leading to the water are steep. Enjoy your day amidst nature and just make sure you don’t leave more than your footprints at these protected sites.
Get some jungle survival tips at a nature reserve
If hiking in a national park is too tame for you, head to OurLand in Kanchanaburi. Just over a two-hour drive from Millennium Hilton Bangkok, this nature conservatory protects wild flora, fauna and promotes conservation efforts. At this nature reserve, you can experience activities such as trekking, river crossing, and bird watching. You can also learn jungle survival tips from experienced guides. For a more adventurous visit, choose their overnight package and spend a night in the jungle and partake in the snake education programme and visit the wild elephant sanctuary.
Wander through ruins
Take a day trip to the Siamese kingdom of Ayutthaya; one of Thailand’s top historical sites which is a one-hour drive away from Bangkok. Founded in 1350, this ancient capital of Siam is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. Wander gently through the ruins of the palace and temples to admire their antique grandeur. Visit Wat Phra Mahathat at the site; it houses Buddha’s holy relic. Don’t forget to step into Wat Ratchaburana to see its beautiful main pagoda. To make the most of your visit, rent a bicycle for 50 Baht and cycle around the ruins.
The Pavilion of the Enlightened is just one of many structures in the Ancient City of Samut Prakan
Escape to an ancient city
An hour away from Bangkok is Samut Prakan, home to the Ancient City. Constructed by Lek Viriyaphant, a Thai businessman, Ancient City is a 0.8-square-kilometre, open-air museum on Thai history and culture. Aside from its grounds being shaped like Thailand, it is the world’s largest outdoor museum.
Experience the country’s vibrant culture and marvel at artefacts from archaeological sites; this gigantic museum has enough to keep you entertained throughout the day. As Ancient City is quite large, hire one of the 6-seater golf carts available for 450 Baht to explore comfortably at your pace: Just be sure to carry your international driver’s license. Alternatively, bicycles can be rented free of cost at the entrance. You can also tour the site via the 2-hour free tram service.
Excited to explore? Ask your friendly Hilton Concierge for more tips and make every journey memorable.