Finding fun and exciting things to do in Bangkok is easy. Doing those things in the middle of a monsoon, however, is a different problem entirely.
So it appears that the rainy season has well and truly arrived in the city.
After weeks of simmering through 40° heat, we were initially elated at the relief the rain brought, ecstatic at the feel of moisture on our skin that wasn’t sweat.
But now we want to go out without ruining our blow dry. That rain we longed for is proving a little annoying.
Where are all the taxis in the rain? And why does the traffic increase ten-fold at the first roll of thunder?
When the heavens open, the options for things to do in Bangkok dramatically alter.
Markets? Under tarpaulins. Street food? Soggy. Standing around a tourist attraction? Only if you want to be butted in the face by a million Chinese umbrellas.
But we don’t want to just sit at home or retreat with the rest of the city into malls when the rain starts pouring. Life is meant to be lived, and we think that’s still true in the middle of a monsoon.
So, with that in mind, here are our favourite things to do in Bangkok when it’s raining.
1. Play Laser Tag
Lazgam Laser Games, 5th Floor Holiday Inn, Sukhumvit Soi 22
We’re going a little old school here, but the games on offer at Lazgam are sure to delight and distract you for hours (or at least until that storm passes), regardless of age.
Designed as a futuristic maze, you can either turn up solo and join a team or come with a group of friends to take part in laser tag battles. There’s different types of game play available and the chance for a private party if you’re so inclined.
The price for your first game is ฿350 with discounts available for group bookings, additional games and happy hour deals too.
2. Escape The Room…
Escape Hunt, 399 Interchange Building, Sukhumvit Soi 21
Escape Room, SF Cinema City, MBK Centre, Phayathai Road
Ticket to Mystery, Gateway Ekkamai
These brain-teasing escape games are the latest trend sweeping Bangkok — and a great way to escape the rain for an hour or so.
You and your team will be locked in a room, which you’re tasked to escape by solving puzzles within that room. Most of these rooms are themed in some way – usually going back to the past in a foreign city or even fast forward to a futuristic world.
Prices vary per attraction, and all offer discounts for group bookings.
3. Immerse yourself in books
Dasa Book Cafe, 714/4 Sukhumvit Road
Dasa is definitely one of Bangkok’s best second hand bookshops. With over 18,000 books in stock, you can spend a good while trawling the shelves looking for your next good read.
And if it’s still raining when you’ve finished, simply pull up a chair and order a coffee in their cosy ground floor cafe. You can get started on your new tome!
4. Paint a work of art
Many of us are not blessed with artistic skills, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t create your own work of art.
Himapan Gallery offers amazing lotus leaf painting workshops – all you need to do is select your colours and go for it. You’ll be surprised at how easy and relaxing the class is, and how beautiful your painting turns out. You can paint in ink, water colour, acrylic or oil and, of course, can take your canvas home at the end.
There’s even an option for a private workshop with added wine and cheese.
Price on request.
5. Get a massage
All over town!
A massage from an experienced masseuse is an excellent way to spend an hour or two on a rainy afternoon. Whether you prefer the tough love of a traditional Thai massage or the sensual relaxation of an oil one, you’ll find something for you in Bangkok.
It would be impossible to list all the different spas of this city, but you can be sure of finding something suitable regardless of your budget. Gentlemen with certain predilections may easily find themselves a massage with extras if they look hard enough.
Take a look at our guide to the best massages where you won’t get, er, ‘forked’ on Sukhumvit, and also our mammoth guide to massage in Bangkok.
You can expect to pay around ฿300 an hour and up for Thai massage.
6. Float in zero gravity
Theta State Float Centre, 24th Avenue Mall, Sukhumvit Soi 24
If you need a full reset or just some time to yourself to mentally and physically unwind, try out floating at the Theta State Float Centre.
Here you’ll undress and enter a private chamber — either a pod or a whole room for those with claustrophobia — in which you will effortlessly float in an incredibly dense salt water mix for between 1 and 2 hours. Not only is the experience incredibly relaxing, it also soothes your muscles, smooths your skin, as well as providing a host of other physical and psychological benefits.
You can read about our experience floating here.
Pricing starts from ฿1950 for 60 minutes.
7. Go rock climbing
Urban Playground, The Racquet Club, Sukhumvit Soi 49
If you fancy stretching those muscles without braving the rain, it’s worth checking out the amazing climbing wall at Urban Playground.
There’s over 7,000 square feet of climbing space, with a bouldering cave as well as opportunities for 12-metre top rope climbing and lead climbing. They also offer classes, auto belay devices and private belay service.
Day passes start from ฿320.
8. Go to the cinema
At most major shopping malls
With comparatively cheap pricing and an all-round luxury experience, going to the cinema in Bangkok is an unexpected pleasure. Most of the major shopping malls have a cinema facility, and there are some stand alone offerings too – check out Scala in Siam, for instance.
As well as 3D and IMAX screens, you can really go all out on a luxe afternoon in from the rain – cinemas like Emprive and Embassy Diplomat Screens offer packages that include butler service and even reclining beds. Most cinemas provide a blanket and — as there are so many of them — they’re often quiet and relatively empty. Bliss!
Bounce Inc, The Street Ratchada Shopping Complex, 139 Ratchadaphisek Road
We’re back to a little bit of action once more – why not while away the rainy hours free-jumping indoors? Bounce has over 80 interconnected trampolines within its centre, as well as features like The Wall, Slam Dunk, Big Bag, Dodgeball, Supertramp and a performance trampoline.
Walk in prices start from ฿390, and there are discounts available for family sessions and online bookings. They also have separate exercise classes available too.
10. Wine tasting
Godfather Wine Boutique, Central Embassy, Ploenchit Road
As well as hosting regular tasting events every month, Godfather Wine Boutique is a great spot to pop in to of a rainy afternoon in Bangkok. With incredibly knowledgeable staff and an abundance of wine from the new and old worlds, you’ll find tipples to satisfy every budget.
There’s also a secret tasting room out back… What better way to make the most of the rain than exercising your palate and embracing el vino?
They also sell cigars, whisky and other spirits too.
11. Cobble your satang together and buy a rain poncho from 7-Eleven
They’re cheap, effective and, gosh darn it, damn sexy.
The 7-Eleven rain ponchos can be a life-saver when you’re unable to find a taxi in the heaving rain and are an excellent way to label yourself as a fish out of water, idiot abroad.
What are your Bangkok rain tips?
Featured image is by Mike Behnken and used under a Creative Commons licence