People travel far and wide to visit Thailand’s beautiful beaches, but Bangkok remains only a pit stop for many hitting the islands. On the surface it’s just another South-East Asian city with maddening traffic, a few temples and monuments accompanied by a raving nightlife. But a closer look will tell you a lot more about Bangkok that makes it deserving enough for 3 entire days spent here. Here are all the things I recommend you try on your weekend (or mid-week, why not!) getaway to the city of angels:
1. Ferry on the Chao Phraya River:
It’s just another boat ride with luxury hotels, market places and buildings flanked on either sides of the river. It isn’t the prettiest sight, let me assure you. But it’s a great way to get to the temples and to Khao San road if you’re staying at Sukhumvit or Si Lom and don’t fancy getting stuck in major traffic jams.
2. The Temples and the Palace:
Wat Arun, Wat Pho and the Grand Palace are all located within little distance of each other. They’re far away from most hotels in Sukhumvit or Si Lom, so only travel all the way if you’re truly interested in visiting the temples. I would reckon they’re definitely worth a quick visit and you can always rest it out at Khao San Road later.
3. Khao San Road:
Famously known as the backpacker’s street, this is more a series of lanes than one single road. Most backpackers end up staying at hostels or BnBs here, and with good reason. Every imaginable food item is available here, from the obvious- Pad Thai, to the lesser available traditional sweets and crepes. This place isn’t as appealing to your wallet as it is to your taste buds, since clothes are sold here in abundance, and quite a few things on offer: from bags to clothes to shoes and accessories, there’s nothing you won’t find here! It’s also the ideal place to meet backpackers and travelers from other countries, even if you just chat over a beer or street food before you go your separate ways.
4. Chatuchak Weekend Market:
If you find yourself in Bangkok on a weekend, make it a point to swing by the Chatuchak Weekend Market, even if you don’t intend to shop. This place is packed with commodities from your wildest dreams. If you can think it, it’s probably available at the Chatuchak market. From vintage clothes to animal-skin rugs and all kinds of food and shopping, it’s so much fun walking through the market!
5. Nightlife at Sukhumvit Soi 11:
Every forum everywhere will tell you the best place to party is Sukhumvit Soi 11. Drop by for a couple drinks at Cheap Charlie’s, Above Eleven or Soi Cowboy if you’re feeling a little adventurous.
6. Attack the street food:
Obviously, because what else did you go to Bangkok for!? The street food here is absolutely insane and though in certain places might look a tad bit unappetizing, some stand-alone food joints can whip up really good food! Here are 7 things you must try on Bangkok’s streets.
7. Visit a floating market:
There are a number of floating markets around Bangkok- some big, some small. One of the most popular is Damneon Saduak which is a few hours’ drive from the city. It’s crowded and only gets hot and cramped during the day, so it’s best to accommodate your trip somewhere in the early hours of the day. The ideal time to leave the city would be 5:00 am so you can make it in time. Buses leave for Damneon Saduak around this time as well so you can use those as your primary mode of transport to and from the market.
8. Hangover Goals- Get a drink a Lebua:
Ladies and gentlemen, Hangover II was shot at the Sky Bar, Lebua; located on the 63rd floor of the Bangkok State Tower! I got myself a “Hangovertini” as they call it- a special drink concocted by their staff for Team Hangover. Expect it to be expensive and fancy, dress well and drink to an aerial view of Bangkok!
9. China Town:
There’s a China Gate, a rooftop bar, a shopping alley and a full-throttle street food-hogging environment in the evening! Definitely worth some harmless chilling at night time.
10. Shop and eat at Si Lom:
One of the fancier streets of Bangkok, Si Lom is the best place to shop for clothes. The street vendors have an amazing collection of tops and dresses, and the best part is- they’re all well priced. You wouldn’t even feel like walking into the Mango store located in the mall right next!
11. Go cafe-hopping:
This isn’t unique to Bangkok of course, but checking out the cafes and restaurants in a new country always says so much about it’s culture and people. I spent half a day to try out the best cafes in Bangkok’s Sukhumvit Soi 49 and I loved every minute of it!
12. Party at Maggie Choo:
They’re famous for having the best-ever parties! You should check it out even if dancing isn’t your thing.
13. Take a “Hangover Tour” of Bangkok:
This is subject to availability, so book as soon as you land! They need minimum 4 people to operate the tour. The tour takes you to bars covered in the movie, followed by Soi Cowboy for one of the better lady-boy strip club experiences. It’s a safe way to enjoy Bangkok’s nightlife without getting into trouble or getting ripped off. A guide will remain with you throughout the evening to ensure you keep out of trouble.
14. Get a traditional Thai Massage:
Even if massages aren’t your thing, you should try one here. I have never been a fan, but the one I opted for was so refreshing. Foot massages starting at 50 Baht are available on the streets mostly everywhere- so even if you don’t go for a full therapy, just sit by the foot massage masseuse and all the ache from walking will vanish within seconds.
15. Dine in the dark:
If you have an evening to spare sober, try the Dine in the Dark experience. They blindfold you as you walk into the pitch darkness of the dining area, encouraging you to enjoy your food with other senses.