Bangkok offers so many quirky, creative and unique places to see. Whether it’s a slightly mental cat themed pub, a disturbing Forensic Museum of murder victims, or a cringingly inappropriate shrine of penises – Bangkok has it all!
So, yeah… Welcome to Bangkok! Here are some of my favourite finds I’ve come across while living in Bangkok, most of which are pretty off the beaten track…
Top 5 Off The Beaten Track Sights In Bangkok
1: Penis Shrine – Bangkok’s little secret
Also known as the Chao Mae Tuptim Shrine, this modest little shrine is not exactly advertised openly by the people of Bangkok. It seems to be treated more like a dirty little secret, hidden by overgrown vegetation at the back of a swanky hotel parking lot in central Bangkok. It really is small – literally the size of somebody’s back garden – however, they’ve really managed to pack a whole lot of penises into this small space!
If you are interested to check out this quirky fertility shrine, or simply take some unconventional holiday snaps, off the beaten track of Bangkok, you could easily mix it with some high street shopping in Siam centre.
The Artists House is a local arts studio-come-cafe, hidden down a maze of backstreets in suburban Bangkok. Finding the place is a challenge, however it seems to make a visit there all the more sweet when you finally discover this quirky, secret cafe way off the beaten track in Bangkok.
The ancient teak-wood cafe has a tranquil ambience, set right on a canal side amongst Bangkok locals going about their day-to-day business. You can take a gander around the small art studio upstairs, watch a Thai puppet performance in the showroom, buy arty souvenirs from the gift shop, or enjoy simply sitting on the peaceful canalside with a 20 baht cup of coffee.
3 Cat Cafe – Not for the cat haters
There are actually a couple of Cat Cafes scattered around Bangkok, the most popular one being located in Thonglor. Whether you just want to spend an afternoon playing with cute lil’ kitties, sniggering at crazy cat lovers or both, this place should be perfect for you! It’s worth visiting just for the sheer weirdness of the place – it’s strange rules, OTT hygiene demands and overall treatment of the cats almost as if they were hairy royalty… It’s an odd experience.
This one is definitely not for the squeamish: The Forensic Museum is located within hospital grounds just across the Chao Phraya River – it can be easily visited while ferry hopping along the riverside temples of Bangkok. It’s a pretty grim place though, with it’s pickled foetuses, mummified murder rapists, horrific photographs of murder victims and disturbingly detailed accounts from the tragic tsunami disaster. I’ve always thought of myself to have a pretty strong stomach when it comes to gorey sights, however I think I nearly passed out during my visit here! It’s an interesting place to visit for any medical nerds out there though…
If you’re not a fan of shopping or markets, don’t write off the Talat Rot Fai Train Market just yet. A little more off the beaten track than the other markets of the city, this quirky Bangkok bazaar is packed with vintage sights, retro market stalls and cool Volkswagen camper van bars. You’ll find collectable toys and memorabilia from years gone past, as well as a decent selection of bars with good music. There is an interesting scattering of vintage vehicles and antiques throughout as well, just to make things a little more interesting.