Bangkok is our favorite city at any time of day, but at night the city comes alive. There are few things quite as much fun as cruising along the streets of Bangkok on a chill summer night onboard one of the city’s iconic Tuk-Tuks, immersed in the sights, sounds, and smells of the most vibrant city on earth.
So when Expique invited us to join their Bangkok Night Lights Tuk Tuk Tour, we weren’t exactly hard to convince!
We met up with our three guides Simon, Natt, and Ning from Expique, at a Skytrain station in Bangkok. We were all put in tuk-tuks and headed off into the bustling Bangkok night.
Bangkok By Night Tuk-Tuk Tour
On this 4-hour tuk-tuk tour, we got to see some of Bangkok’s most iconic attractions and sights by night. We got to visit these sites that most tourists only see during the daytime, like Bangkok’s most famous temple Wat Pho.
Seeing these Bangkok sights after dark, beautifully lit up, makes it even more special and unique.
Table of Contents:
8 Highlights Of The Bangkok Night Tour
On the Bangkok by night Tuk-Tuk tour, we visited these 8 places:
1. Klongsan Night Market
Our first stop on the tour was at the vibrant and busy Klongsan Plaza night market. This area used to be a train station back in the day.
Here you will find everything from trendy clothes, shoes, jewelry, jeans, accessories…..Yep, everything you might need for a new look! Few tourists know about this market, which is a lucky thing because they are likely to be charging Thai prices.
You will also find many stands selling food, drinks, and snacks here.
We also stopped to visit a giant Buddhist monk (not a real one, a doll). Here they also sell amulets that will protect you and give you a long and happy life.
2. Wat Prayoon
After a short tuk-tuk ride, we stopped at the beautiful shining white pagoda Wat Prayoon (or Wat Rua Lek). This temple is 138 years old and was built during King Rama III’s period (1824-1851).
Wat Prayoon has been beautifully restored. The restoration took six years and was finished in 2012. For the repair, it received the UNESCO Cultural Heritage Conservation Award of Excellence in April 2014.
The temple includes a large white inverted bell-shaped pagoda, Turtle Mountain with its spirit house, and a turtle pond where visitors can feed the turtles.
We did not feed or see any turtles; they had probably all gone to sleep. Thais believe that saving the life of a turtle gives you a long life.
3. River Boat
After Wat Prayoo, it was time to leave the tuk-tuks and try another transportation favorite among the locals – the river shuttle ferry.
Along the way, we got to taste typical Thai snacks.
We tried deep-fried fish cakes and green Thai custard flavored dip with bread for dipping. It was delicious! We would never have dared to try any of these snacks on our own, as they look a bit strange :).
4. Dinner at Thip Samai Restaurant
Finally, it was time to fill up our bellies, which was good because I was starving! 🙂
We visited the restaurant Thip Samai, which apparently has the best Pad Thai in Bangkok!
Not bad considering that they sell Pad Thai EVERYWHERE in this city :). So we had high expectations about this Pad Thai, and it did not disappoint! So is it the best in Bangkok? Impossible to say, but we have eaten a lot of Pad Thais over the years, and this one was delicious!
Thip Samai also has the most amazing orange juice I have ever tasted! It was so fresh and full of flavor! I could feel its healthfulness as I was drinking it, filling me up with vitamin C. So if you go here, make sure to order the orange juice and not just another Singha (which you can buy everywhere in Thailand).
5. The Giant Swing
After getting our energy back, we headed over to Bangkok’s Giant Swing (Sao Ching Cha).
Yep, you read correctly….a HUGE swing! It is located next to Wat Suthat, one of the most important Buddhist centers in Thailand, with many bronze sculptures. You can’t miss it, as it is tremendously tall!
Bangkok’s iconic Giant Swing is over 21 meters high and painted blood red. It was built in 1784 by King Rama I, two years after establishing Bangkok as the new capital, and shows the strong influence of Brahmanism in Thailand.
The Giant Swing was used as part of the Swing Ceremony, one of 12 royal Brahmanic ceremonies annually performed to celebrate the new year, appease Brahmanic gods, and ask for their blessings.
The Swing Ceremony used to be grand, and the highlight was when three groups of four Brahmans each rode on the Giant Swing, as a re-enactment of when Shiva descended to the earth.
According to an ancient Hindu epic, Shiva was sent to earth after Brahma had created the world. When Shiva descended the earth, the great snake (Naga) wrapped around the mountains to keep the earth in place. After Shiva had found the ground solid, the snake went into the sea in celebration.
The two tall pillars of the Giant Swing represent the mountains, and the circular base represents the earth and the seas.
In the Swing Ceremony, the Brahmins would swing and try to catch a bag of coins placed on one of the pillars with their teeth. It sounds pretty dangerous and stupid if you ask me. But, typical men doing something like that, to show off how brave they are! 🙂 Apparently (and not so surprisingly), there were several fatal accidents where people got hurt and even died while swinging, so they stopped using it in 1935. Well, too bad, as it would probably be a spectacular show!
6. Wat Pho Temple
Up next, Bangkok’s famous and mighty tourist attraction Wat Pho Temple!
We have been to Wat Pho a couple of times before, but only during the daytime. We didn’t know it was possible to enter the grounds in the evening, and best of all, for free! We were not allowed to see the Reclining Buddha (which is in a building of its own) but could walk around the premises.
We had the place all to ourselves, and it was so peaceful and atmospheric! I could have stayed there forever, as it felt magical.
7. Bangkok Flower Market
Next up, after another fun tuk-tuk ride through the busy streets of Bangkok, was the bright and colorful Flower Market (Pak Khlong Talat).
This is Bangkok’s famous flower market, which comes to life after dark.
Bangkok’s flower market is so beautiful and vibrant, full of colors and lovely smells! Here you can find all kinds of flowers, vegetables, and fruits.
Though the market is open 24 hours, it is busiest before dawn, when boats and trucks arrive with flowers from all over Thailand. Here both consumers and wholesalers come to buy flowers and vegetables.
Many local florists come to the market early in the morning to stock up on flowers to sell in their shops the following day. Also, the poor who make a living out of stringing and selling flower garlands on the streets buy sacks of jasmine and marigold flowers here.
The market has a long history, all the way back to the reign of Rama I (1782-1809) when it was a floating market here. Later it changed into a fish market before it became the kind of market it is today. It has been a flower market for over 60 years.
8. Thai Dessert
We ended our tour in Chinatown, having some strange Thai-Chinese dessert. The dessert contained 16 different ingredients (don’t ask me what was in it….) covered in ice and sugar water.
I wouldn’t go as far as to say it was the best dessert ever, but it was interesting…
The tour ended at around 22:30.
We very much enjoyed this night tour of Bangkok by tuk-tuk with Expique! Our three guides were helpful and friendly, had a lot of in-depth knowledge of Bangkok, and could answer all our questions. Even though we have been to Bangkok many times, they showed us places we had never been before, places we wouldn’t know of or find ourselves.
Thank you, Simon, Natt, and Ning, for a great tour! Seeing Bangkok by night from a tuk-tuk is for sure the best, most fun, and authentic way to experience the “city of angels”!
Information About The Bangkok By Night Tuk-Tuk Tour
- Duration: 4 hours
- Time: Every day, 18:30/ 6:30 PM – 22:30/ 10:30 PM
- Min age: 10 years old
- Meeting point: Krung Thonburi BTS Skytrain Station
- Group size: max 12 people
- Price: 2425 THB = approx. US$ 72
Expique’s Other Bangkok Tours
We went on Expique’s classic “Bangkok Night Lights Tour – Join-in Tuk Tuk Tour.” This is their most popular tour.
Expique also has other fabulous tours, like the “Evening Food and Tuk Tuk Adventure,” which focuses more on food.
You can read more about the different tours at the Expique website.
Where To Stay In Bangkok
Bangkok offers a wide selection of accommodation for all budgets, and you will have plenty of choices when it comes to finding the right place to stay.
Bangkok is pretty affordable when it comes to accommodation, so you can get some really good deals and even find five stars hotels very cheap compared to other places in the world. However, accommodation prices do vary greatly with the season.
Below are some of our favorite hotels in Bangkok. We have stayed at all of the hotels below.
If you’d like to stay along the river without breaking the bank, the Avani Riverside hotel is a great alternative to the usual riverside luxury hotels. Rooms are super comfortable with fantastic views overlooking the Chao Phraya River and the fantastic rooftop infinity pool is probably our favorite in Bangkok.
Click here for latest prices
Hotel Muse is a cool and unique boutique hotel, perfectly located in the center of Bangkok within easy walking distance of Chit Lom Skytrain station. The rooms are elegant with a classic Thai inspired decor, comfortable beds and gorgeous bathrooms with a deep bathtub.. There is a rooftop bar, a pool and a fitness center. We spent Christmas here a few years ago, and was very happy with our choice of hotel.
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If you’re looking for a mid-range option close to Bangkok’s famous Khao San area, then the Casa Nithra comes highly recommended. The rooftop swimming pool is lovely, the rooms comfortable and the breakfast has plenty of options. It’s located in a quiet area, yet Khao San is just an easy walk away.
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Hotel Icon is a small hotel centrally located on Sukhumvit road. The rooms are fresh and modern, big and comfortable with all the usual comforts such as flat-screen tv, aircon, and free Wi-Fi. The rooftop swimming pool is great!
Click here for latest prices
⇒ For more accommodation options and tips on which areas of Bangkok that suit you best, read our complete guide to where to stay in Bangkok.
We used the Lonely Planet`s Thailand travel guide on our trip. You can get that and other great books at Amazon.com (affiliate links).
Have you ever tried a Tuk-Tuk in Bangkok? Please add a comment in the comment area below! Also, if you find this blog post interesting or useful, please share and like it on social media! Thank you!
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We were guests of Expique, but the words, photos, and opinions are our own. You can read more about Expique in Bangkok on their website. Many thanks to Expique for their hospitality!