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A Quick Guide To Bangkok

Bangkok

I felt so overwhelmed by Bangkok when I first arrived. It’s no surprise considering well over 10 million people live condensed in the city centre.

Spend too long in Bangkok, and you will hate it by the end. Spend too little time here, and you won’t see enough. As a guide for you, I spent 6 days which left me not wanting to return anytime soon… I would advise 4 days as plenty.

What to Do in Bangkok

The Grand Palace

I actually missed the Grand Palace because I arrived too late (it only opens until 3.30pm). But I’m glad I did. Everyone I met on my trip who had gone all said the same thing: it’s too overcrowded. Although it’s a well known tourist attraction, there are far better ways to spend your time and 500 baht (£11)!

Wat Pho and Wat Arun

Wander around the temple grounds of Wat Pho where you will find the impressive 46-meter long reclining Buddha. It doesn’t take long to see, but it’s worth appreciating the architecture for 100 baht. Make sure to visit in the morning at 8am to avoid the crowds.

Take a boat from the port near Wat Pho to Wat Arun for only 3 baht. Entrance to this temple is 100 baht again. Although the grounds aren’t very big, you can climb to the top for an incredible view!

Lumpini Park

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the dirt, smoke and chaotic streets of Bangkok, Lumpini Park is a peaceful getaway. Take a walk around to admire the golden shrines, watch people practice Tai Chi, rent a rowing boat or peddle a swan in the lakes.

Don’t be surprised to see giant lizards (monitors, NOT komodo dragons) lazing about on the grass. Before September 2016, there were 400 in this park! Since then, officials have been trying to remove most of them.

Tip: Be sure to stay in the park at 6pm if you want a cultural shock. I won’t ruin the surprise!

Chinatown Baby!

If you’re looking for cheap street food, say 40 baht (£1), then make your way to Chinatown.

Another culture shock was the popularity of shark fin soup. Almost every restaurant here advertised it. Like many other seemingly harmless novelties (such as elephant riding), it’s so important to educate yourself before buying them. Otherwise, you could unknowingly be adding to a very serious underlying problem.

 

Watch how they make coconut ice cream. I’m warning you now though, it looks more impressive than it tastes!

 

 

Tip: You’ll usually find the cheapest options at stalls down side streets off the main road.

Muay Thai Fighting

This was probably my favourite thing to do in Bangkok. Catch a taxi to Ratchadamnoen stadium for a Muay Thai boxing fight. For the Championship, we paid 1600 baht to sit beside the ring.

Note: Expect to be charged the special tourist price!

There were 9 fights lasting a total of 4 hours. It was madness! One boxer got KO’d with one punch to the head. The paramedics dragged him onto the stretcher while tourists took pictures as close as possible to his unconscious face. As soon as he was brought out of the arena, the next match begun, and the crowd began chanting all over again!

Tip: Keep in mind that you can find cheaper matches throughout Thailand rather than Bangkok. 

Chatuchak Park 

If you want another break from the city, visit Chatuchak Park. Read a book on the grass, rent a rowing boat or blow off steam at one of the outdoor gyms!

 

Markets in Bangkok

Visit one of the largest weekend markets in the world! Chatuchak market has 15,000 stalls with vendors selling pretty much everything you can think of. Since it’s a well-known tourist attraction, vendors will try to charge you more. Make sure you barter! Tip: Start off at half the asking price, and then negotiate from there.

Visit one of the top-rated floating markets in Bangkok during the day: Khlong Lat Mayom, Kwan-Riam, Bang Nam Phueng or Taling Chan.

Another one to visit is the Pak Khlong flower market. There are thousands of different varieties of flowers, all very cheap. Vegetables are also sold here. Even if you don’t intend to buy anything, it’s nice just to see the streets paved with beautiful vibrant colours. Tip: 2am is the best time to visit.

Photo Credit: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

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21 Comments

  • Reply
    Garth
    January 20, 2017 at 10:31 am

    Ah nice read and super photos, love Bangkok! we did most of what you suggest here, but missed the thai boxing, that sounds raw! loved wandering around the Grand Palace and the food of Chinatown was interesting birds nest soup seemed to be quite a delicacy too.

    • Reply
      journeywithchloe
      January 25, 2017 at 5:25 pm

      Haha you should definitely see a match, it’s really something else! I didn’t see birds nest soup, that sounds strange! Haha

  • Reply
    Ariane
    January 20, 2017 at 3:06 pm

    Very cool post and beautifully illustrated! When’s the best time to visit Bankok without falling into the main tourist season? What was the weirdest culinary experience you had there? Also, I read about your “about” section, what is the next destination on your list of the 197 countries you want to visit?

    • Reply
      journeywithchloe
      January 25, 2017 at 5:23 pm

      Thank you Ariane 🙂 Bangkok is busy all year round, but maybe late november-december time! Also, I didn’t have any weird culinary experiences.. since I’m vegetarian, my food choices were quite limited there! Haha. Have you visited Bangkok yet? I think it will either be Poland or Iceland! 🙂

  • Reply
    blair villanueva
    January 20, 2017 at 4:23 pm

    Bangkok is one of the beautiful place here in Asia and cheapest to live in especially for travellers and expats. Bangkok is even becoming a hub for many western retirees.

  • Reply
    Tom
    January 21, 2017 at 6:11 pm

    I’ve been to Bangkers six times and would go back tomorrow–it’s one of the most dynamic cities in Asia. I love how you can spend as little or as much as you like, going totally high or low.

    • Reply
      journeywithchloe
      January 25, 2017 at 5:15 pm

      6 times?! It really does have everything to be fair.

  • Reply
    Alberto C.
    January 21, 2017 at 8:51 pm

    This post was incredibly helpful. I’m visiting Thailand in May for 17 days and staying in Bangkok for 4 days (it looks like I chose the perfect amount of time haha). Any recommendations as to how to get to the floating markets? I understand that they’re located quite far from the city, right?

    • Reply
      journeywithchloe
      January 25, 2017 at 5:13 pm

      Yes, you definitely did, you won’t end up disliking Bangkok when you leave! There are loads of different ones. The best time to go is 7am because 9am is really busy. There are tours which bring you to the floating markets which can be worth it. But you can also get a taxi to the southern bus terminal and get a bus from there #78 to Damnoen Saduak floating market (it’ll drop you off a 15 minute walk away from the market). This is the main touristy one. I’m not too sure about the others, but I would search online as I’m sure there will be local buses or minivans to all of them!!

  • Reply
    Indrani
    January 22, 2017 at 10:07 am

    Excellent captures from Bangkok. I regret missing the floating market. The choice was between Ayuthaya and floating market and I chose the former. Hope I make it there again.

    • Reply
      journeywithchloe
      January 25, 2017 at 5:06 pm

      I’ve heard good things about Ayutthaya! You’ll definitely get the chance to do it again though if you visit thailand.

  • Reply
    Andreea Bujor
    January 22, 2017 at 11:01 am

    Bangkok is one of my favourite places in the world, i miss it a lot. I loved going to the Chinatown or `Kan San Road just to have some light meal and do some shopping. What i liked most about your post is that you talked about the things one cannot miss while in Bangkok. 🙂

    • Reply
      journeywithchloe
      January 25, 2017 at 5:04 pm

      Wow really? I think people either love it or hate it. I liked doing both of those as well!

  • Reply
    Stella the Travelerette
    January 22, 2017 at 4:52 pm

    Bangkok sounds amazing! I would love to go to Thailand someday. I think I would enjoy the parks and seeing the monitor lizards sunning themselves. The Thai Fighting sounds fun too, even if I would be charged the tourist price!

    • Reply
      journeywithchloe
      January 25, 2017 at 5:02 pm

      For sure, you have to visit Thailand someday! It’s an amazing city, and a great hub to get to other places!

  • Reply
    Anne Klien ( MeAnne)
    January 22, 2017 at 11:43 pm

    Haven’t been to Thailand yet but recently I keep reading so much article about Bangkok maybe it time to visit. Wat arun temple is definitely on my list and floating markets and maybe

    • Reply
      journeywithchloe
      January 25, 2017 at 5:01 pm

      Maybe it’s a sign! Haha. Yes I’d definitely recommend doing both of those!

  • Reply
    Suruchi
    January 23, 2017 at 8:07 am

    I have been to Thailand and love this country for its beaches and party places but for sure not Bangkok. It’s just a hop over the place for me. Everything you said is correct in this post and have experienced many of them.

    • Reply
      journeywithchloe
      January 25, 2017 at 5:00 pm

      I completely understand why you wouldn’t stay in Bangkok, it’s a big city and so overwhelming. I’d rather spend time in other places like you!

  • Reply
    Marta
    January 24, 2017 at 3:50 pm

    I love the floating markets! Definitely I will visit again Bangkok but for longer this time. Thanks for the post, vey informative!

    • Reply
      journeywithchloe
      January 25, 2017 at 4:59 pm

      You’re welcome! There is so much to do, but for me, spending a long time in Bangkok was overwhelming. I’d rather do short trips!

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