Things to do in Ratchada – Bangkok – Thailand


Ratchada is one of the most vibrant and bustling districts in Bangkok, Thailand. Located in the northeastern part of the city, Ratchada is a popular destination for tourists seeking to experience the local culture and cuisine. In this article, we will explore the best things to do in Ratchada, including the top tourist sites, best street food and food courts, best restaurants, best places to stay, and the best shopping centres and markets to visit.

The History of Ratchada

Ratchada, also known as Ratchadapisek Road, is one of the major thoroughfares in Bangkok, Thailand. It runs through several neighborhoods, including Din Daeng, Huai Khwang, and Chatuchak, and is known for its vibrant nightlife, cultural attractions, and delicious food.

The history of Ratchada dates back to the early 20th century when Thailand was undergoing a period of modernization under King Chulalongkorn (Rama V). The road was named after Prince Ratchadaphisek, the son of King Chulalongkorn, who played a significant role in the country’s modernization efforts.

Originally, Ratchada was a quiet residential area with few commercial establishments. It wasn’t until the 1970s that the road began to transform into a major commercial and entertainment hub. The construction of the Thailand Cultural Cente in 1987 further cemented Ratchada’s status as a cultural destination.

In the 1990s, Ratchada experienced a boom in development, with the construction of numerous shopping malls, office buildings, and hotels. The area around Ratchada also became known as a red-light district, with numerous bars, nightclubs, and entertainment venues.

In recent years, the government has made efforts to clean up the area and promote it as a cultural and entertainment destination for both locals and tourists. The MRT (subway) system was extended to Ratchada in 2004, making it easier for visitors to explore other parts of Bangkok.

Today, Ratchada is home to numerous cultural attractions, including the Thailand Cultural Center, the Siam Niramit theater, and the Huai Khwang Night Market. The area is also a food lover’s paradise, with numerous street food stalls, food courts, and restaurants serving a variety of Thai and international cuisine.

In addition to its cultural and culinary offerings, Ratchada is also a hub for transportation, with several MRT stations located along the road. This makes it a convenient base for visitors to explore other parts of Bangkok, including popular attractions like the Grand Palace, Wat Phra Kaew, and Chatuchak Weekend Market.

In conclusion, the history of Ratchada is closely tied to the modernisation of Thailand in the early 20th century. Today, it is a vibrant and diverse area that offers something for everyone, from cultural attractions and delicious food to convenient transportation and a lively nightlife. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a long-time resident of Bangkok, Ratchada is definitely worth exploring.

Best Tourist Sites in Ratchada

Ratchada is home to several popular tourist sites that offer a unique glimpse into the local culture and lifestyle. Here are the top tourist sites to visit in Ratchada:

  1. Ratchada Train Night Market – Also known as the Rot Fai Market, this night market is one of the largest and most popular in Bangkok. Located near the Thailand Cultural Center MRT Station, this market offers a wide range of local street food, drinks, and souvenirs. Visitors can also enjoy live music performances and shop for vintage clothing and accessories.
  2. Huai Khwang Night Market – This night market is located near the Huai Khwang MRT Station and is famous for its street food stalls and live entertainment. Visitors can sample a variety of Thai and international dishes and shop for unique gifts and souvenirs.
  3. Siam Niramit – This is a popular cultural show that takes visitors on a journey through Thailand’s rich history and traditions. The show includes elaborate costumes, stunning set designs, and live performances that showcase the country’s unique culture and heritage.
  4. Ratchada Rot Fai Park – Located in the heart of Ratchada, this park is a popular spot for jogging, cycling, and relaxing. Visitors can enjoy the beautiful scenery and take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city.
  5. Ratchada Grand Theatre – This is a modern theatre that hosts a variety of cultural performances and shows. Visitors can enjoy traditional Thai dance and music performances, as well as international productions.

Best Street Food and Food Courts in Ratchada

If you’re a food lover, Ratchada is the place to be. The district is home to some of the best street food and food courts in Bangkok. Here are the top places to visit:

  1. Ratchada Train Night Market – As mentioned earlier, this night market is a foodie’s paradise. Visitors can sample a variety of local street food, including grilled meats, seafood, noodles, and desserts.
  2. Huai Khwang Night Market – This market is also a great place to experience local street food. Visitors can try dishes such as pad Thai, grilled pork skewers, and mango sticky rice.
  3. Train Night Market Ratchada 2 – This night market is a more modern version of the Ratchada Train Night Market, offering a wide range of street food options, as well as live music performances and shopping.
  4. Esplanade Shopping Mall – This mall is home to a food court that offers a variety of local and international cuisine. Visitors can enjoy Thai dishes, sushi, Korean BBQ, and more.
  5. The Street Ratchada – This outdoor shopping and dining area offers a variety of street food stalls and restaurants serving Thai and international cuisine. Visitors can enjoy live music performances and shop for souvenirs.

Best Restaurants in Ratchada

Ratchada is also home to several top-rated restaurants that offer delicious and authentic Thai cuisine, as well as international dishes. Here are the best restaurants to visit in Ratchada:

  1. The Local by Oam Thong Thai Cuisine – This restaurant offers a modern twist on traditional Thai dishes, using fresh and locally sourced ingredients. Visitors can enjoy dishes such as stir-fried morning glory, tom yum soup, and green curry.
  2. Krua Apsorn – This restaurant is known for its authentic Thai food, particularly its crab omelet and stir-fried crab with curry powder. Visitors can also enjoy other classic Thai dishes such as pad Thai and green curry.
  3. Somtum Der – This restaurant specializes in Isaan cuisine, which is a style of Thai food that originated from the northeastern region of the country. Visitors can enjoy dishes such as som tam (papaya salad), grilled chicken, and sticky rice.
  4. Baan Ice – This restaurant serves traditional Thai food in a beautiful setting, with wooden tables and outdoor seating. Visitors can enjoy dishes such as chicken satay, pad see ew, and mango sticky rice.
  5. Krua Porn Lamai – This restaurant is known for its seafood dishes, particularly its tom yum soup with prawns and deep-fried sea bass with sweet chili sauce. Visitors can also enjoy other Thai dishes such as green curry and stir-fried vegetables.

Best Places to Stay in Ratchada

Ratchada offers a variety of accommodation options for travelers, from budget-friendly hostels to luxury hotels. Here are the best places to stay in Ratchada:

  1. Swissotel Bangkok Ratchada – This hotel is located near the Thailand Cultural Centre MRT Station and offers spacious rooms with modern amenities. The hotel also features a rooftop pool, fitness center, and several dining options.
  2. The Emerald Hotel – This hotel is located near the Huai Khwang MRT Station and offers comfortable rooms with traditional Thai decor. The hotel also features a rooftop pool, fitness center, and several dining options.
  3. Chaophya Park Hotel – This hotel is located near the Sutthisan MRT Station and offers spacious rooms with city views. The hotel also features a pool, fitness center, and several dining options.
  4. The Seasons Bangkok Huamark – This hotel is located near the Ramkhamhaeng Airport Rail Link Station and offers comfortable rooms with modern amenities. The hotel also features a pool, fitness center, and several dining options.
  5. Tara Garden Hotel – This hotel is located near the Huai Khwang MRT Station and offers comfortable rooms with traditional Thai decor. The hotel also features a garden, restaurant, and spa.

Best Shopping Centres and Markets in Ratchada

Ratchada is also a great place to go shopping, with several popular shopping centres and markets to choose from. Here are the best places to go shopping in Ratchada:

  1. The Esplanade Shopping Mall – This mall is located near the Thailand Cultural Centre MRT Station and offers a wide range of shops and restaurants. Visitors can also enjoy a movie at the cinema or go bowling.
  2. The Street Ratchada – This outdoor shopping and dining area is located near the Huai Khwang MRT Station and offers a variety of street food stalls and shops selling clothes, accessories, and souvenirs.
  3. Central Plaza Grand Rama 9 – This shopping center is located near the Rama 9 MRT Station and features a variety of shops and restaurants, as well as a movie theater and bowling alley.
  4. Huai Khwang Night Market – In addition to street food, this night market also offers a variety of shops selling clothes, accessories, and souvenirs.
  5. Ratchada Train Night Market – This night market also features shops selling clothes, accessories, and souvenirs, as well as vintage and retro items.

10 interesting facts about Ratchada

  1. Ratchadapisek Road, also known as Ratchada, is one of the major roads in Bangkok, running parallel to the popular Sukhumvit Road.
  2. The road was named after Prince Ratchadaphisek, the son of King Chulalongkorn (Rama V), who played a significant role in the modernisation of Thailand in the early 20th century.
  3. Ratchada is known for its vibrant nightlife, with numerous bars, nightclubs, and entertainment venues that attract both locals and tourists.
  4. Ratchada is also home to several cultural attractions, such as the Thailand Cultural Center, which hosts music, dance, and theater performances throughout the year.
  5. Ratchada is a food lover’s paradise, with numerous street food stalls, food courts, and restaurants serving a variety of Thai and international cuisine.
  6. Ratchada is a hub for transportation, with several MRT (subway) stations located along the road, making it easy for visitors to explore other parts of Bangkok.
  7. The area around Ratchada used to be known as a red-light district, but in recent years, the government has made efforts to clean up the area and promote it as a cultural and entertainment destination.
  8. Ratchada is home to several shopping centers and markets, including The Esplanade, Central Plaza Grand Rama 9, and the Huai Khwang Night Market.
  9. The Ratchada Train Night Market, located near the Thailand Cultural Centre, is a popular spot for vintage and retro items, as well as street food and live music.
  10. Ratchada is also home to several universities, including the National Institute of Development Administration and the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, making it a popular area for students and young professionals.

In conclusion, Ratchada is a great destination for travelers who want to experience the local culture, cuisine, and shopping. With its many tourist sites, street food stalls and food courts, restaurants, places to stay, and shopping

David Cronk - Editor

David Cronk is the editor of online travel magazine Travelodium Travel Magazine. David has travelled to over 30 countries of the world and his writing has been published by enRoute magazine - Air Canada's inflight magazine and by Hotel & Accommodation Management Magazine. David has worked as a Sales Executive for Sheraton and Hilton Hotels and for Hotelbookers in London. He has worked also as a Hotel Night Manager and in bars throughout Europe. David eventually settled into a position working as a croupier for several years before changing careers to become a Data, Sales and Statistical Analyst.

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