Bangkok is the capital of Thailand and home to approximately 8 million people. It is know for its temples and bustling street life. My first impressions of Bangkok was not unexpected. Like most large cities, it was hot and crowded but had a great vibe to it! It reminded me of Kuala Lumpur where we frequent regularly; yet it had it’s own culture and feel!
# PLACES TO SEE
We decided to travel to Bangkok in a spur of the moment decision! Bangkok is one of those neat cities that you can spend anywhere from a day or two to a week or a month in. There is just so much to see and do! I say this for most places I visit though. For those strapped for time, the main sights can be seen in 5 days.
Most of our itinerary was done on the fly, with the help of my uncle who frequents Bangkok and various travel blogs. We picked the main sites to see and added lots of pool time as it gets very hot in the middle of the day!
Day 1 ~ Check into hotel // Seafood dinner // Patpong Night Bazaar
Day 2 ~ The Grand Palace & Temple of the Emerald Buddha // Wat Pho // Chatuchak Weekend Market
Day 3 ~ Dumnoen Saduak Floating Market // Elephant Show // Crocodile Show
Day 4 ~ Ayutthaya Tour // Chao Phraya River Cruise // Asiatique Night Market
Day 5 ~ Shopping // Midnight Food Tour by Tuk Tuk
Day 6 ~ Wat Trai Mit // Wat Arun // Yaowarat Road
Day 7 ~ Jim Thompson’s House // Lumpini Park // Muay Thai Show
# PLACES TO EAT
Where do I even start! Click here to check out places to eat in Bangkok.
Bangkok has three seasons; hot, very hot or very very hot! It is also very humid. Try to do most of your activities in the mornings and evenings as it is slightly cooler.
Make sure to keep hydrated. Tap water is not safe to drink in Bangkok. Buy bottled water. The hotel we stayed at provided complimentary bottled water and one of the day tours did the same.
~ Bangkok Mass Transit System (BTS) and Mass Rapid Transit (MRT)
This is by far the easiest way to get around Bangkok as it bypasses the traffic filled roads. Tickets can be purchased at the stations. There is the option of single trip tickets or a day pass. Money can be loaded to the Rabbit card which can be used instead of purchasing individual tickets.
Uber is reasonably priced and was reliable for the times we needed it.
~ Tuk Tuk
Tuk tuk’s don’t have a meter so tourists maybe overcharged. Unfortunately there have been incidents where tourists have been conned into going somewhere then having to pay lots of money to purchase items and leave.
We had a tuk tuk ride as part of our Midnight Food Tour by Tuk Tuk and it’s definitely a must experience when in Bangkok.
~ Water Taxi or Express boat
This is another quick and easy way to get to attractions which are on or near the waterfront.
Catch the local express boat to truly immerse yourself into local life. A one way ticket is about 15 Baht compared to the ticket price for the tourist boat of 40 Baht; about three times the price of the local express boat.
Catch a taxi with a meter. We didn’t catch any taxi’s as we enjoy immersing ourselves in local life by catching public transport where we can.
# HOTEL LOCATION
Most hotels which are 3 to 4 stars are very nice in Bangkok. The location of hotel is very important. Ideally look for a hotel which is in a good area such as Silom, Siam or Sukhumvit. If you plan to catch public transport (like us), pick one near a BTS or MRT station and near the main attractions.
We chose to stay at Centre Point Hotel Silom. It was a few minutes walk to Saphan Taksim BTS station and Sathorn pier. An added bonus, it was above a supermarket (Tops) and the room we got had a washing machine.
You can get from Suvarnabhumi Airport to Centre Point Hotel Silom using public transport. Take the BTS to Phaya Taya station then change trains to Silom station then change trains to Saphan Taksin station.
Baht is the local currency.
Thai is the official language. Generally the shop vendors and ticket officers in the BTS/MRT stations can speak enough English to help you with your enquiry.
Telecommunication network is good. They have 4G network. You can purchase a local SIM card when you get there.
# USEFUL THAI PHRASES
Sawadee Ka = women
Sawadee Klup = men
Sawadee = how are you? Hello, goodbye, goodnight etc.
Thanon = road
Ma pao = coconut
Hong nam = bathroom
Dao Rai = how much?