Bangkok

Donovan Leong
May 28
Bangkok is a city of contrasts with action at every turn; marvel at the gleaming temples, catch a tuk tuk along the bustling Chinatown or take a longtail boat through floating markets.

Sunset at Sirocco

Bangkok is known for its sky bars which offer amazing views of the city. Watch the sun dip over the horizon while sipping a cocktail. There is no strict dress code, but of course try not to turn up in slippers. Located on the 63rd floor, this bar gained worldwide recognition after it was featured in the movie Hangover 2. 

Khao San road 

This is the backpacker enclave of Bangkok. A long, narrow street lined with bars, nightclubs, hostels and market stalls, it is a magnet for low-cost travellers. One can get a bed in a dormitory from as low as $5 a night. 

Alternatively, head to Soi Rambuttri which is a quieter version of Khao San. Soi Rambuttri is quieter and less seedy than Khao San. The market vendors here are not so aggressive and let you check out the goods at your own pace. 

Next if you're still feeling awake, why not head to the tailor to get a custom made suit? Many travelers from all over will get a tailor-made suit in Thailand because it is affordable and we would need it back home for attending formal events. It can be ready as soon as the next day or within three days time.

Take a leisurely boat ride along the Chao Phraya. Actually, there is no need to join a tour. Just take a boat like the locals and that will cost you only 15B. The map may be confusing as there are boats going upstream or downstream, but make sure to check with the official before boarding. Most tourists will hop on and off the boat to go to famous sights such as the Grand Palace, Wat Arun etc.

There are 5 different types of Express Boat River Taxis:

No flag (Local Line) – Stops at every Pier

Blue Flag Line (tourist boat) – Stops when you want

Orange Flag Line – Stops at the main piers

Yellow Flag Line – Large express boat for commuters

Green Flag Line – Express boat for commuters 

Grand Palace

If there is one must-see sight that no visit to Bangkok would be complete without, it's the dazzling, spectacular Grand Palace, undoubtedly the city's most famous landmark. Built in 1782 - and for 150 years the home of the Thai King, the Royal court and the administrative seat of government - the Grand Palace of Bangkok is a grand old dame indeed, that continues to have visitors in awe with its beautiful architecture.

Wat Pho

Wat Pho (the Temple of the Reclining Buddha), or Wat Phra Chetuphon, is located behind the Temple of the Emerald Buddha and a must-do for any first-time visitor in Bangkok.

Wat Arun

Wat Arun, locally known as Wat Chaeng, is situated on the west (Thonburi) bank of the Chao Phraya River. It is easily one of the most stunning temples in Bangkok, not only because of its riverside location, but also because the design is very different to the other temples you can visit in Bangkok. 

Sunset views

By now, you may be sick of visiting temples, so why not visit Zoom rooftop bar for a tipple? It is less touristy than Sirocco that we had visited the day before. Unlike most skybars in Bangkok, Zoom has 360 deg views of Bangkok from its 40 storey rooftop area. 

After visiting the Victory Monument, have lunch at "the best of boat noodles" aka Kway Teow Rua, sold at only 10B per small bowl and most people can eat around 5-10 bowls at one shot depending on your appetite. It was originally sold at river canals on a floating boat, hence the name. Now, majority of them have moved to land and the easiest place to find them is at Victory Monument.

Shopping at Chatuchak

A favourite among visitors from Singapore, Chatuchak sells the gamut of items. Try the coconut ice cream served in the husk of one which is indeed refreshing on a hot day while you continue to browse through the shops. Do bargain with the vendors and they would be happy to give you a discount if you are buying more than one piece. 

Have a cuppa at the Commons

The Commons Bangkok Food Mall is an exciting initiative developed by a group of the capital’s most celebrated and successful restaurateurs. Located on Thonglor Soi 17 and built over four floors of steel and glass, you will find over 10 well-known restaurants here, which have either relocated or opened new branches to be part of this new Bangkok dining concept.

Enjoy the tranquility at Lumpini park 

Sandwiched between the financial district of Silom and the shopping mecca of Siam, Lumpini park is one of the few attractive green spaces in downtown Bangkok. It offers a respite from the ceaseless energy and noise of the busy streets. Come here in the evening for a jog around the park or just to people watch. It is really relaxing. For dinner, you can head to the other street stalls for some delicious Thai food, such as salt coated grilled fish and som tam (papaya salad). 

visit to Maeklong railway market.

Maeklong railway market is also nicknamed “umbrella pulldown market”. Whenever a train approaches, which is like six times a day, the awnings and shop fronts are moved back from the rails, only to be replaced immediately after the train passes. While the locals keep calm and carry on with their business, the excitement from the tourists fill the market, mainly to see this special phenomenon. The train only passes through six times a day so do turn up at the right timing to catch it. 

Visit to Damnoen Saduak floating market

Damnoen is the original floating market. Do go there early to catch the locals in action as the markets close around 12pm. The same southern bus terminal also has minivans to Damnoen. If coming from Amphawa, take a minivan (20B) to Damnoen. We thought it was possible to walk along the river to Damnoen, but this one is only accessible by boat. Do bargain with the boat operators for a one or two hour boat ride. It should cost around 200-300B per person.

Amphawa floating market 

Another market to check out in the area is Amphawa floating market. I suggest that you visit at night as it is more cooling and there are more food stalls open to try out the various kinds of delicious food, from interesting looking snacks to freshly grilled seafood. 

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