Bangkok, the chaos city that kind of grows on you. What a metropole.
Upon arrival at Bangkok
The city has two main airports. Suvernabhumi is the biggest airport where you will most likely arrive on when flying in from another continent. For domestic flights and flights to nearby countries, the Don Muang airport is usually used. When you travel through Asia and want to fly from Bangkok (BKK), the Don Mueng departing flight tickets are usually cheaper.
When you arrive at the airport, you can either take the sky-train or a taxi to the center. Since a few years, the taxis are very well organized at the Suvernabhimi airport. And the taxi meter is on as a standard. The price from the airport to Bangkok city varies from USD 8 to USD 15. At Don Muang airport, they are trying to organize the taxi’s, however, you have to draw a number and usually, you will have to wait approximately 15 min. for your turn.
Where to find a hotel? Bangkok has a lot of different areas, from business areas to backpack areas. Khao San Road is the typical backpack area.
Khao San Road
Find a hotel/hostel there and you will definitely meet a lot of new people and be in the midst of all tourists restaurant and bars. Especially in the evening/night this area comes alive. Khao San Road has a lot of market stalls where just about everything is sold and for sale. From selfie-sticks to pancakes. Also, you can try eating different bugs there, if that is something you like.
Is Khao San Road too loud and/or busy for you, cross the road to: Soi Ram Buttri. This street is a little more relaxed and laid back, although it is still pretty hectic.
Around the Khao San Road area, you can get massages for around 200-250 Baht per hour. Outside this area, the price for an hour massage is usually about 450 Baht per hour. Furthermore, there are a lot of little shops offering custom made suits.
Furthermore, Khao San Road is near the palace, so perfect to stay around this area if you want to do some sightseeing and go out. You can find very cheap hostels in this area, but a little further towards the river, there are many more comfortable hotels.
Soi Cowboy, Sukhumvit -Asoke
This is a nightlife area for expats and business district.
Bangkok Rooftop bar
Bangkok has many high buildings of which most of them are hotels. A lot of hotels have rooftop bars that offer an amazing view of the city. There are busy loud rooftop bars and more quiet ones (Zoom-bar). Take your pick and go for a cocktail or dinner.
Click here to see a list of the top 10 best Bangkok rooftop bar’s and their unique aspects.
Bangkok National Palace
Note that the palace is open until 15:30, so be on time. Also, come prepared. There are strict clothing requirements for entering the palace. Slippers/bare feet is a no-go. The same goes for bare shoulders and legs. Even showing the shape of your legs is not allowed, so don’t come in a legging. A long skirt for the woman and long pants for the man is advised. Wear closed shoes and a top that covers your shoulders.
Furthermore, it can be pretty hot during the day in Bangkok, so it is advised to take something with you that covers your head, either a hat or an umbrella. Also, bring a bottle of water because the palace is pretty big, so you might get thirsty in the heat.
Picture: Bangkok National Palace
Wat Arun (Temple of dawn)
Still under construction, but beautiful. Wat Arun is 82 meter high and can be admired from the Chao Phraya river, as well as from up close. In the night, the view on the temple is quite impressive as the temple lights up. When you look closely, you will notice that Wat Arun is decorated with flower-mosaic, created with amazing details.
Picture: Wat Arun
Picture: Buddha, 7 headed dragon, Chao Phraya river
In and around Bangkok there are several floating markets. The floating markets are nice to visit on a day out. Below we list 5 of them:
1. Damnoen Saduak floating market Bangkok
Very famous and thus very touristy, losing a bit of authenticity. Still, nice to see.
2. Amphawa floating market Bangkok
This market is somewhat more authentic, however, very crowded during the day and 90 km from Bangkok.
3. Talin Chan floating market Bangkok
12 km from Bangkok but small.
4. Khlong Lat Mayom floating market Bangkok
Near Talin Chan, and also small.
5. Bang Nam Pheung floating market Bangkok
20 km from Bangkok, but a very very small “market”.
You can get there by taxi or tour.
Known for the laying Buddha (Phra Buddha Saiyas) of 46 meter long and 15 meters high locaties in one of the temples of the complex. The temple complex is definitely worth a visit.
Bangkok – Meditate with monks
So, this is pretty great. In the middle of busy Bangkok, an oasis of rest is created. In this protected area, the Buddhist meditation center is located. Most of the days, the monks organize three two-hour sessions for people to learn about their way of life and how to meditate. The session is free of charge, however, a donation at will after the session is appreciated.
Pictures: Entrance of meditation center
Bangkok national museum
The Bangkok national museum is one of the largest museums in SE Asia. You can find a lot of Buddha statue’s as well as art and learn about Thai history. You will need at least 2 to 3 hours to admire all there is to see in the museum.
All in all, Bangkok is definitely a place worth visiting, even just for a couple of days, as Bangkok functions mostly as the hub for SE -Asia destinations.