Bangkok’s street life is one of the best in the world, so it is no surprise that the first thing we often imagine when hearing of this city is a plenthora of street markets for us to explore. Floating markets, flower markets, streetfood markets and even amulet markets, Bangkok just seems to have it all when it comes to markets. The second thing we think of tend to think of are the gleaming golden temples we associate with this deeply buddhist nation. These sites are, of course, integral parts of the local people’s way of life and are experiences to be appreciated and respected.
However, if you are a returning visitor to Bangkok and think you’ve perhaps had your fill of markets and temples this time round, or if you are just looking for something different to do in this city, well, Bangkok is certainly no one-trick pony. Here are some quirky locations and activities for those who seek something out of the ordinary.
Explore an airplane graveyard
Derelict airplane bodies lie off Ramkhamhaeng Road in Bangkok. These planes are currently home to a few impoverished families, although they have also become quite the tourist attraction. While you’ll see life vests, oxygen masks and other remnants parts of the once-functioning plane littered around on the floor, the hollow bodies have mostly been stripped of their interiors, save for the cockpits that remain relatively well preserved.
Entrance into the graveyard will cost a fee, though, and these constantly changing prices have ranged from 100-800 baht per person. Be mindful of the people living there, and respect their privacy by not entering areas that have been blocked off.
Visit the “Museum of Death”
This might just be the creepiest place in Bangkok. Nicknamed the “Museum of Death”, The Sirijac Medical Museum houses over two thousand specimens relating to human anatomy, pathology, forensic science and other related fields. Among its exhibitions include skeletons, preserved bodies and body parts of humans and animals, skulls of murder victims and other disturbing things.
Medical students visit this museum for educational purposes although it has become popular with tourists in recent years. This place is definitely not for the squeamish or the faint-of-heart.
Adrenalin junkies will enjoy a day of indoor go-karting at world-class race tracks found throughout the city. Unlike Bangkok’s notorious streets, these tracks allow you to rev up your engine and satisfy your need for speed. Helmets and racing outfits are usually rented from or provided by the vendor as part of a selected racing package.
This heart-churning experience is definitely far from what you see on-screen in game of Mario Kart. You might want to have a few driving lessons under your belt before you attempt a race off, but these go-karting facilities often prioritise participant safety standards and are relatively low-risk. Just don’t forget to strap on your helmets before the fun starts!
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Explore a warehouse of curiosities
This eccentric little building named Papaya Studio houses a whole range of quirky furniture, art objects, and collectables. This massive warehouse is owned by Mr. Tong, an avid collector who has managed to accumulate a treasure trove of items and oddities of all purposes, from all time periods and from around the world.
Thousands of items can be found in this multi-leveled maze-like warehouse—the top floor even includes studio rooms which can be rented out as photography sets. Although some items might be for sale, most are not and visitors tend to treat Papaya Studio as a museum of curiosities instead of an antique store.
Learn to cook Thai food
The only thing better than eating Thai food would be learning to cook some for yourself, and where better to learn how to work these delicious flavours than in Thailand? Bangkok has a number of culinary schools focused on teaching visitors how to prepare and cook an authentic Thai meal using traditional techniques.
This hands-on experience often involves travelling to a local market to learn about and source for the freshest ingredients before coming back to a modern kitchen for some hands-on cooking led by an experienced instructor. Class sizes differ according to cooking schools, and some even provide customisable classes tailored to your own culinary and gastronomical objectives.
Sleep in a jail cell
Ever wonder what it’d be like to sleep in a jail cell? Well the SooK Station is a hostel in Bangkok that provides you with just that experience. In this prison-themed hostel you’re issued a black and white prison outfit upon checking in before you proceed to get your mugshot taken. Your hostel room is painted in bleak and dreary colours and fitted with an iron grille cell door and narrow bunk beds for that gritty experience.
True to theme, bathrooms here are communual, although divided between both genders. Don’t worry though, SooK station is still a fully functional hostel. The “prisoners” here have the luxury of air conditioning and power sockets including a large recreational area with internet access for rent and a hipster cafe functioning as a prison mess hall.
Hang out at a cat cafe
If you’re seeking a more laid-back day, hanging out at a cat cafe with your furry friends and some coffee will sound like time well spent. Thankfully, Bangkok has quite a few of these feline cafes for you to check out.
These spaces are frequented by locals and tourists alike, and some of the more popular ones might even have a queue if you arrive at peak period. It’s more than worth the wait when a friendly kitten crawls onto your lap though. These cafes are relatively slow-paced environments and a perfect spot to unwind in a flurry of fluff and cuteness. Some also host grooming pageant contests and other fun cat-related events.