It is not worth taking a day trip from Bangkok, as it is difficult to move elsewhere. The only actual day trip destination that can be visited in a few hours is Koh Kret. Another place to visit for one day is the theme park known in English as Ancient City, where you can see Thailand’s most iconic attractions and other things to do with the country.
Of the other places to visit nearby, by far the most popular, often visited by a few hours, is Kanchanaburi, known for its Kwai River Bridge. Located a similar distance away, Ayutthaya was once the capital of Thailand, and like Kanchanaburi, it is worth going there for at least one night.
Traveling to day trip destinations
You can well get to Koh Kret by taxi, and you can also go there by metro and taxi or by boat, which is a slow ride. Ancient City is first reached by BTS train, and there is a free shuttle bus from the station to the theme park on weekends. It is best to go to Kanchanaburi by minibuses, which depart from Khao San Road as they take you door to door. It is most comfortable to get to Auytthaya by train but you can also get there by bus, which is more expensive and less comfortable.
Both Kanchanaburi and Auytthaya can be taken on an organized day trip by travel agencies around Khao San Road, for example. For those who are not going to spend the night in these places, it is a much better option than a self-made excursion.
Koh Kret is commonly known in Thailand as Ko Kret. It is just 15 km from the center of Bangkok, and a taxi ride can get there in just under an hour.
300 years ago, a canal was dug around Bangkok to speed up the passage of the Chao Phraya River, and an artificial island called Koh Kret was formed at the bend of the river. The area is known for being the Heartland of the Mon people who ruled Central Thailand in the 5th and 20th centuries.
There are hardly any signs of a Mon nation in Koh Kret anymore, but it is known for a few different things. The well-known temple area is Wat Poramai Yikawat, which specializes in the sloping stupa, or Buddhist tomb structure. There is a bit more to see, and the best way to see all the essentials is to take a 6-mile loop around the island. You can walk to it, although the midday heat is worth avoiding, and it is also possible to rent a bike, which is the most recommended way to explore the island. It’s also possible to take part in a cruise, and you can see a lot of all kinds of these 10-person boats and it stops at a few places.
Koh Kret is known for its terracotta pots and can also be seen in Bangkok’s marketplaces. The cruise boat stops at the factory where you can see how they are made, and if you drink coffee or tea on the island, you usually get a clay mug on top of the store.
On weekends, Koh Kret is an extremely popular place to visit, with a floating market. There is a lot of food, drink and products on weekends, but there is an unspoiled number of people all year round. If you arrive on the island in a week, there are almost no tourists, so those who want to see the island at its most authentic and peaceful will prefer everyday life.
The best thing about Koh Kret is to take a taxi, as the ride is fast and costs about 200 baht one way. If you don’t want to take a taxi all the way, you can first take a subway to a station called Bang Sue, and from there take a taxi to Koh Kret Pier. From the pier, you can get to the island by boat, which runs every five minutes, and the trip only takes a couple of minutes and costs a couple of baht.
Ancient City is now better known as Muang Boran. It is an open-air museum that you can visit all day, but you can quickly see all of Thailand’s most famous attractions and otherwise the most famous and important things. The open-air museum claims to be the largest in the world in its field, and it is so extensive that it is toured there by train. You can also go cycling and rowing there, and it’s a place where you can get a lot out of it in two hours.
The museum is located along perhaps the longest street in the world, Sukhumvit Road, and this is the street that is not only the most famous in Bangkok but also continues for 400 kilometers. You can get to the area by first going by BTS train to a station called “Kheha”. There, take exit number 1, and then take the free bus to the area, which only runs on Saturdays and Sundays (otherwise you can take a taxi). The museum is open daily from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and tickets must be booked in advance through the website, which also selects a visit time of two hours.