Bangkok does not have a shortage of unusual restaurants or experiences to enjoy. Often the trendsetter throughout South East Asia, this city is at the crossroads between hundreds of different cultures and innovations. In order to truly understand Bangkok, you need to step out of the tourist zones and experience some of Bangkok’s many hidden gems.
Some of the most unusual places to visit in Bangkok include
- Krua Sapp Flying Chicken
- Lumphini Park
- Little Zoo Cafe
- Pyongyang Okryu Restaurant
- Nightingale Olympic Company
- Siriraj Medical Museum
- Hajime Robot Restaurant
- Sathorn Unique Tower
Now, these items that we have selected go far beyond your usual “I went to Thailand and ate a scorpion” fare. These restaurants and experiences are uniquely Bangkok and uniquely Thailand. We have compiled a list of the best unusual experiences in Thailand, whether you are looking for a restaurant with a story to tell, an old-school vintage experience or an eerie haunted building.
Krua Sapp Flying Chicken
A little bit out of the way, this hidden gem is surely off-the-beaten-track. It is located just outside the BTS in the Bang Na district. This chicken restaurant is world-renowned, having been featured in countless newspapers, magazines, and news shows — and there is certainly no question why.
As you walk in, you will see a large apparatus that looks like it belongs at the Eukanuba Dog Show. But alas, there are no dogs. Still, the entertainment is nothing short of amazing. When you sit down, you absolutely must order the “Flying Chicken”. Once you place your order, watch out for the stage. Your food will be coming shortly.
When you hear a bell ring, pull your phone out. You will see your dinner being placed on a giant catapult, and shot in the air. A man on a unicycle will drive up and catch your fried chicken with his helmet (using the large metal stake that is glued to his helmet, obviously). Your meal is then brought to your table where it is lit on fire. Yes, we are not making this up. And, it’s worth noting that the chicken is delicious!
After you are done eating, sit tight. The show is just about to begin. Every single night they have a unicycle show where restaurant staff catch many different things shot at them from the catapult. It starts off with chickens, moves into baked potatoes, and gets as small as oranges and olives! It is even a family affair, with the restaurant’s owners kids getting up there and giving it a go. You can tell the future is here, as one of the kids rides up on an electric unicycle to catch his fried chicken with his helmet.
Lumphini Park lizards
A trip to Bangkok is not complete without a stop by the famous Lumphini Park. While the park is very lovely and nice to stroll or run through, your main purpose of visiting this park will be to see the many large monitor lizards that call this place their home.
Once in the park, it will only take you a few minutes to spot one of the 400+ monitor lizards that are lurking around this park. You are free to take pictures and get (respectfully) close. Just remember, these are wild animals, and while most are very peaceful, you don’t want to upset one of them.
After walking around a bit, you can get in a swan boat and get up close and personal to the action. The monitor lizards can swim too, so it is likely that once in the boat you will pass a few along your ride. The swan boat ride will only cost you about 40 baht. Many people have been able to see lizards feeding in the water or swimming in groups. Look above the water line to see many of these beautiful beasts laying out in the sun and relaxing.
Beyond the lizards, there are many other things to do in Lumphini Park. This park is a pillar of Bangkok culture, so you can see many locals working out and socializing throughout the park. Think Central Park, but in Bangkok. There are often group yoga classes or Tai Chi classes happening that you can jump into. Some are free, but some cost money, so just make sure you ask before you join. Once you are done working out, grab a Boba tea or some street food just outside the park’s fence.
Little Zoo Cafe
Bangkok is full of amazing animal cafes, but the best and most unusual one in town would have to be the Little Zoo Cafe. This place is a must-see for anyone interested in visiting an animal cafe while they are in town.
While this place is a little on the pricey side, you do get quite the bang for your buck. To see the animals, you have to purchase their entrance package which includes a drink, a dessert, cute animal socks, and your entrance fee. This will run you about $12 each, but it is well worth the money.
Once inside the cafe, you will see all sorts of animals, including meerkats, Fennec foxes, Silver foxes, corgis, parrots, cats, hamsters, chinchillas, and even hairless guinea pigs. It truly is a “little zoo”. The staff here is amazing and very invested in the well-being of the animals that they work with. They have “play times” for the animals that only last about an hour each, and then they are allowed time to rest and enjoy their little animal lives.
You are allowed to hold most of the animals, and the staff will educate you on the correct way to handle the animals. Of all the tiny creatures, the meerkat certainly stood out to us. This little creature is so sweet and loves to play and burrow into your clothing. All in all, this place seemed like a very well-run and ethical place to play and observe wild animals.
(Anytime you are paying company money to play with wild animals, you should do your own independent research into the treatment and well-being of the animals in that specific establishment. If anyone has observed anything other than what we have written above, please let us know and we will make amendments to this article.)
Pyongyang Okryu Restaurant
Located just off the Asok BTS is an absolute must-see while in Bangkok. The restaurant, Pyongyang Okryu Restaurant, is one of the 7 restaurants in an exclusive chain operated around the world by the North Korean regime. Inside this restaurant, you can get a glimpse of what life in North Korea is like.
Upon entering the restaurant, you will be greeted by many North Korean waitresses, donning colorful dresses and shy smiles (or more frequently, frowns). There is North Korean public access propaganda playing on the sole TV screen, while the restaurant workers sing lightly along to it. There is certainly a strange atmosphere here that is Orwellian in nature. It’s an interesting mix of entertainment and hearty brainwashing.
If you have ever wondered what North Korean food is like, then this is the place to go. The kimchi dumplings come highly recommended, as do the cold noodles. Oddly enough, they also serve cold jellyfish, raw beef, cold chicken, and black Pyongyang sausage.
Unsurprisingly, photos are not allowed here. Many people report that their questions about North Korea or the restaurant’s operations will be met with an “I don’t know” by your waitress. However, ours was happy to answer our questions (when she wasn’t being mean to us). Many have reported sensing anxiety and frustration from the waitresses when the conversation seems to go “off-script”.
This restaurant is not the only one operated by the North Korean regime. Beyond the Bangkok location, there are other restaurants in Malaysia, Laos, Cambodia, Nepal, China, the Middle East, and Africa.
Nightingale Olympic Company
Nightingale Olympic Company is one of the oldest shopping malls in Bangkok. Since being built in 1930, this old shopping mall was once a staple for Bangkok shoppers throughout the city. Now, it’s time has passed and it is a window into the past, as well as a vintage museum of sorts. The Nightingale Olympic Company is still an important part of Bangkok culture, and most locals will know this place well. You can find this old vintage store off of Tri Phet Road.
Once inside, poke around all of the little corridors inside this crazy place. There are fitness, taxidermy, and music “departments” to waltz through. Marvel at the old relics which include musical instruments, work-out equipment, weight-loss contraptions, mysterious locked boxes, and a beauty parlor.
The Nightingale Olympic is a great way to spend an afternoon if you want to feel “stuck-in-time”. This old shopping complex sticks out amongst all of the newer apartment complexes and malls around it. This place is full of buried treasure and looks like it came straight out of a Wes Anderson film.
You will be tempted to take pictures, but please note that this is not allowed. Feel free to look around and absorb all of the items that you see. Nobody is really sure if you can buy any of the items here, so it’s best to just arrive at this place expecting to window-shop and take lots of mental pictures.
Siriraj Medical Museum
This museum is not for the faint of heart. The Siriraj Medical Museum, or otherwise known as the “Death Museum” is a medical museum found in Bangkok. Tucked away inside a hospital in Bangkok, this museum is equally fascinating and frightening.
The tickets for all 3 sectors of the museum will run you about $6/person. Once inside the first sector, you will notice many preserved human bodies and fetuses. This part of the museum focuses on human development and the abnormalities that can happen along the way, including conjoined twins and several different birth defects that you likely had no idea existed. If you are squeamish, this part can be a bit much, but if you are science-minded, this museum is probably fascinating.
Another sector of the museum focuses on parasites and bugs found throughout Thailand. This can be incredibly helpful and informational as you begin your trip throughout Thailand. Certainly, after visiting this part of the museum, you will no longer be reaching for the street-food sushi that is scattered throughout Bangkok.
The last sector of the museum will interest many who love murder-mystery shows and serial killer documentaries on Netflix. As you walk through this museum, you will see the evidence repositories and case files for many murders that have happened in Bangkok. Complete with murder weapons, old clothes swatches, and gruesome pictures, this museum leaves little to the imagination.
All in all, this museum is fascinating, regardless of your tolerance to blood and gore. It is incredibly informative and unlike anything, you will see anywhere else. Additionally, the proceeds from the tickets go to keeping the museum up to date, which provides a valuable resource to the global medical community.
Hajime Robot Restaurant
If you are looking for an interesting way to entertain your kids for the night, or you just enjoy kitschy, unusual things yourself, then the Hajime Robot Restaurant is for you. This place is located a little out of the way, so you will have to plan for it and make an evening out of it. It is over in a shopping center by Rama III road, and you will probably need to take a Grab or Taxi to get there.
Hajime is a Japanese BBQ restaurant in Bangkok. Every table is equipped with a small grill on the table for you to do your own cooking and preparing. The only thing that is different is that your food is served to you by… a samurai robot.
Once inside the restaurant, you will order your food from a touchscreen and select “Order to Robot” when you are finished. There are a few human workers throughout the restaurant, so if you have a question you can just ask them. Once you order your food, sit and wait for the robot show to begin!
Once the food is ready, the robot rushes to you with a tray in hand. It places the food down with one arm, grabs the empty tray with the other, and then rushes back to the kitchen to bring food to the other patrons of the restaurant. After all the serving is done, the robots perform a little dance show for everyone there, which is equally cute and impressive.
This experience is definitely unique and will make for some very interesting videos and pictures to send friends. The restaurant is a little more on the pricey side, with the buffet running about 500 baht each. Either way, it will make for a great story, and if you have kids, an incredibly memorable night out on the town in Bangkok.
Sathorn Unique Tower
The Sathorn Unique Tower, otherwise known as Bangkok’s Ghost Tower, is a great spot for anyone into eerie or spooky adventures. This giant building started construction in the 1990s when Bangkok’s economy was booming. Unfortunately, for reasons that seem a bit mucky, the construction stopped mid-way, and now this building is an abandoned skeleton along the Bangkok Skyline.
Many resources will have you believe that the reason for the halt in construction was a dip in Bangkok’s economy in the mid-’90s. The building could not be funded further, so it was left to rot. Other rumors say that the real reason for the abandonment was that the lead real estate developer of the building was arrested for allegedly plotting the murder of the president of Thailand’s Supreme Court. Whatever the reason, this place still has an eerie reputation, and most locals will tell you that it is haunted if you ask them.
The Sathorn Unique building is off-limits today, for many understood reasons. This is an old abandoned building, with faulty infrastructure and fragile walls and floors. It is most certainly illegal to trespass here, and not incredibly safe. However, it is not impossible and you can read many accounts online of people exploring the structure. Explore at your own risk.
We suggest visiting the tower’s 10-story parking garage that is just opposite to the building. You can peer inside the building and get all the pictures you want, safely and legally. Be mindful that people do live and work within the walls of Sathorn Unique, so if you see a shadow or hear a voice, it is most likely coming from there. Or is it?!
What are the most unusual restaurants in Bangkok?
Bangkok has tons of interesting or unusual restaurants found throughout the city. Some of the most unusual restaurants in Bangkok would include the vendors of Khao San Road, Krua Sapp Flying Chicken, Pyongyang Okryu Restaurant, Hajime Robot Restaurant, and the Little Zoo Cafe.
What are the most unusual places to go in Bangkok?
Bangkok is full of unusual places to explore, whether you are looking for something vintage, eerie, or informative. The most unusual places to visit in Bangkok include the Giant Swing, Sanctuary of Truth, Khao San Road’s back alleys, Nightingale Olympic Company, Siriraj Medical Museum, the Sathorn Unique Tower, and Lumphini Park.