When you land in a city of eight million people, how do you even know where to start? After taking a taxi and being dropped off more than a mile from our hotel, landing in Bangkok quickly became a game of dodging crowds and trying to translate street signs. Once you get your bearings though, it can be a place of excitement and warm welcome.
From the elegant and golden Wat Pho temple to the bustling Siam Square, there’s so much to see and do there. Have a peek at the sleek Grand Palace, then weave through the crowds at the Chatuchak Weekend Market. There’s a bit of everything, but most centers around Bangkok’s rich spiritual and foodie-centric history.
Have a look at my full review of the Okura Prestige below too for upscale accommodation – and an infinity pool!
The possibilities are limitless when it comes to exploring the different sides of Bangkok, but choose the districts that best suit your satisfaction for travel. For instance, if you like relaxing with the hipsters and feeling like a local, you could start with a visit to the Ari neighborhood. There’s plenty of chic coffee shops and upscale restaurants to indulge for an afternoon. Thonglor is similar, closer to the city center and has great outdoor spaces too like Benjasiri Park.
We’re big fans of Bangkok’s Chinatown for eats and sightseeing. Yu can see some more unusual Chinese-style temples here and eat your weight in dumplings. There’s some fun, trendy hotels to hang out in, like the Shanghai Mansion. It’s like getting two countries at once.
After the sun goes down, check out Huay Khwang and their lesser-known night market. You can get there by subway and enjoy traditional Thai food on the streets 24 hour a day.
Bangkok Tours and Experiences
You can certainly take your time wandering around Bangkok on your own. Most likely, you’ll stumble upon some wonderful noodle shops, glorious temples and other ancient wonders. However, if it’s your first time in Thailand or you can easily overwhelmed, it’s well worth adding some structure to your visit.
Bangkok private tours run the gamut, but the best ones are run by locals. It’s well worth taking tours with people who live in and embrace the city for so many reasons. Not only will you get an insider look into Bangkok, you’re supporting local economy and frequenting small businesses. We enjoyed a look into the city’s floating markets and waterways with a local tour, as well as foodie havens and places tourists don’t usually go.
Other alternative tour options can help you hone in on your photography skills or even see a Muay Thai fight with a translator to help you get in on the action. I personally love some photo direction, as It can seem daunting to know where to look and frame shots on your own.
So before heading into the mountains of Chiang Mai or down to the beaches of Phuket, give Bangkok a real chance. The thriving metropolis is something that has to be examined up close to get a real feel for the beautiful vibe.