A heaving mass of blaring horns, aromatic scents and vendors selling everything you can think of. Bangkok is epic, a true adventure worth experiencing at least once.
Below are 5 ways to spend a day in Thailand’s capital city.
Day trip to visit the Grand Palace, Wat Phra Keaw and Wat Pho
If you’re keen on cultural and religious sights, then a visit to the Grand Palace, Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew) and the Temple of the Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho) is a foregone conclusion. A great place to start is by hitching a boat along the Chao Phraya River; this drops you off a mere five minutes from the Grand Palace. By doing this, you avoid Bangkok’s atrocious morning traffic, as well to seeing a bit of the city you wouldn’t have if you had caught a taxi. The Grand Palace is undoubtedly Bangkok’s most visited tourist attraction. Architecture aficionados will marvel at the exquisite Thai structures and attention-commanding statues. The level of intricate detail and decoration is compelling.
Within the grounds of the Grand Palace is Wat Phrakaew, regarded as one of the most important Buddhist temples in all of Thailand, with worshippers travelling from all over South-East Asia to be there. Visiting Wat Phrakaew requires you to adhere to a couple of simple rules if you wish to see the Emerald Buddha; you must remove your shoes before entering the temple and no photos are allowed.
Wat Pho, the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, is less than a ten minute walk from the Grand Palace and is one of the most ancient temples in Bangkok. Inside you can find Buddha, relaxed in posture, coated in a gold leaf. A traditional Thai massage at the Wat Pho temple, is the obvious way to round out the day. Its high reputation for customer satisfaction is unprecedented in Bangkok, and it should be as it’s known as the birthplace of the Thai massage.
Day trip to the Chatuchak Weekend Market
In one word: Massive.
The sheer scale of this haggler’s paradise is unfathomable. With more than 15 thousand stalls covering 35 acres and approximately two-hundred-thousand visitors a day, Chatuchak has to be seen to be believed.
Bargaining for the price of your goods is all but law at Thailand’s largest market, so unless you want to be taken for a ride, make sure you have your game-face on and prepare to do some serious bartering. Your reward will be some of South-East Asia’s cheapest products. However, the quality is anyone’s guess.
Claustrophobics should avoid Chatuchak at all costs as the heat, noise and sheer mass of human beings vying for the best deals can be incredibly overwhelming. Our advice: arrive early, beat the foot traffic.
Chatuchak market gets extremely busy as many people come to take advantage of all the amazing bargains. However, this means that it does get very hot and noisy. If you make sure you arrive early, around opening time which is at 9.00am, then you can have a couple of hours there before the crowds get too much to handle.
Shopping Centre Heaven
Bangkok is fast becoming one of the region’s shopping meccas. Siam Paragon, Central World, MBK, Siam Centre, Siam square and a host of others should be on the radar if you intend to indulge yourself.
Like all great shopping cities, Bangkok provides a wealth of family activities to go with the purchasing frenzy such as Siam Ocean World – an underground aquarium located beneath Siam Paragon shopping centre. The opportunity to dive with some of the sea’s most frightening predators can be enjoyed here if you are brave enough. Kidzania is another attraction located at Siam Paragon which is a bit like a real-life Sims game. Kids can be whatever they want to be when they grow up at Kidzania, a doctor, a journalist, an actor, the possibilities are endless.
Siam Park City
Probably one of the most price-friendly amusement parks in the world, Siam Park City has a range of rides, suitable for the whole family. Located in Khan Na Yao, the park is separated into zones which appeal to different types of people from young kids through to those who enjoy the scariest rides.
There is also a waterpark with a myriad of different water-themed rides (obviously), make sure you try the wave pool and don’t forget to bring a change of clothes.
The Bangkok Snake Farm
The Bangkok Snake Farm is located at the Red Cross Institute and is an ideal excursion for the whole family. The often-feared reptile is tamed by snake-handlers as they talk to the audience about the various properties of each individual at the park. Cobras are the main draw card, especially in their famed defensive posture, but spectators are also treated to boa constrictors, pythons and many others.
The show is incredibly informative and learning about snake environments, different species and their internal make-up is all part of the package at the Bangkok Snake Farm. There is a museum attached to the farm if you want to know even more and plenty of great photo opportunities throughout the visit.