A trip to Bangkok wouldn't be complete without an ample sampling of the city's street food. Follow the locals to Chinatown’s Yarowat Road, where you can order bamee ped (egg noodles with roast duck) and som tum yang (green papaya salad with chicken). After all, Thailand is a food-lover’s dream trip. Just keep an eye out for stalls with designed with a smiling plate-sticker: it means they’ve gotten the thumbs up from the city for cleanliness. Other must-dine destinations include Limpini Park and the Night Food Stall Street.

Eating may be a highlight, but there are plenty of other fun things to do in Bangkok. Don’t miss a Bangkok tour of the canals on a longtail boat—after all, the city is often called the Venice of the East.

Follow saffron-robed monks to the holy shrines of Wat Pho and Wat Arun. Avoid the crowds and marvel at wall paintings and bronze Buddhas at lesser-known Wat Suthat. The Grand Palace, home to the sacred Emerald Buddha, is another famous Bangkok attraction.

Insiders and design hunters should head to the 35-acre Chatuchak Market. It’s crowded, but home to more than 15,000 stalls lining narrow sois, or alleyways. You can also pick up beautiful silk fabrics and readymade goods from Jim Thompson’s teak house-turned-museum.

Before you leave, have a truly authentic experience by enjoying a Thai massage: locals believe this combination of stretching and pressure-point work should be a part of your regular regime. Head to Healthland or The Touch: it will be the best $10 you spend the entire trip.