Emily Andrews, our Marketing Executive, recently returned from Thailand where she discovered the bustling metropolis of Bangkok in 24 hours.
If exploring more rural and scenic areas of Thailand is what you prefer, you can get a real flavour of Bangkok in just one day. Read about Emily’s 24 hours in Bangkok below to inspire you on your whirlwind Thailand holiday…
My day began with a traditional Pad Thai – a must-try dish whilst in Thailand which is readily available almost everywhere – and only cost me about 30 Baht (about 60p)! There are stalls upon stalls along the streets selling you different food to takeaway, or if you’d prefer to sit down and start your day in a restaurant, you’re also spoilt for choice.
I decided that hiring a tuk-tuk for the day would allow me to see all the sights I wanted to see. Easy to find one, this idea turned out great as the driver waited for me at each place and then took me onto the next.
The first stop was the Grand Palace – and I must say, it really was grand! In my opinion this is the number one attraction to visit whilst in this city; you’ll see so much history and beautiful architecture here. It really impressed me, especially as I’d never seen anything like it before. One piece of advice I would give is to make sure you’re wearing suitable clothing so that you can enter these religious temples – cover your shoulders and either wear long shorts or dresses or skirts down to the knee plus covered shoes (if you wear sandals or flip-flops they’ll want you to wear socks).
Wat Pho was next on the list, a Buddhist temple known to many as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha. I travelled on the tuk-tuk from the Grand Palace to get there, but it’s only a ten minute walk if you’d prefer. Wat Pho wasn’t as busy as the Grand Palace, so it’s a little easier to explore its crevices. What was impressive about it was the 15m high, 43m long gold reclining Buddha housed inside one of it’s bigger temples, which is Wat Pho’s main feature.
I walked around by myself and absorbed all the culture and temple surroundings, but I did see that there were a number of English speaking guides, which seemed to be very reasonably priced. It was interesting to see all of the local Thai people going about their everyday lives here – I could have spent hours just watching and listening.
After a quick tasty lunch, I took a boat ride on the Chao Phraya River, the main river that flows through the city. This allowed me to see numerous golden temples that dotted the wide river as well as lots of hotels and apartment blocks in this city of low rise and high rise. It also opened up parts of Bangkok that I’d never have otherwise seen and I really got to see how local Thai people live.
We drifted past their houses on wooden stilts, standing in the river, before heading down smaller tributaries to see the deep parts of the city. Of course, it wouldn’t be Thailand if we weren’t stopped along the way and given the opportunity to buy souvenirs and refreshments from locals on their own small boats. There was a big selection of fruit and vegetables to buy; and the locals were friendly and happy for any business. With only having a short time in this city, this was a great way to view many of the main sights and gain an understanding of how the other half live, whilst also sitting back to relax and soak up the sights after a jam-packed morning of temples.
Next, time for shopping and I was excited to find out what the markets around Kho San Road had in store. I’d heard a lot about this famous street from fellow travellers and friends and was eager to find out for myself what it was really like. By day or by night, it was full of market stalls selling lots of different wares – mainly clothes and gadgets, as well as Thai street food. Bartering is certainly key when shopping here as well as expected – and if you’re persistent, you really can bag a bargain! It was a great experience – you find all walks of life in Kho San Road and the surrounding streets.
After a long day of sightseeing, I found a little restaurant and simply soaked up the atmosphere of this lively city, before continuing my travels in the beaches of the south.
I would strongly recommend visiting Bangkok: it’s a buzzing city that’s full of interesting culture and history. So whether it’s just a short stopover over as you’re passing through or before you head off to explore other parts of this fascinating country, make sure you give it a thought.
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