3 days in the vibrant city of Bangkok

When going to Thailand, you cannot skip the cosmopolitan city of Bangkok! We are not city people, so we weren’t sure if we were going to like Bangkok, but I can tell you, WE DID! It is a vibrant and fantastic city to explore. Overwhelming at first, the streets are busy, but the is lots to see, smell and discover. We only spent three days here, but you’ll need more days to see everything.

After two exhausting flights and 16 hours since our takeoff in Belgium, we finally arrived in the big city, Bangkok. After a quick powernap we were ready to explore the city.

Our top visits in Bangkok:

 Chatuchak Market:

During the weekend, you really must go to the Catuchak Weekend Market. This is by far the biggest market I’ve ever seen. If you can’t find what you want to buy here, you will never find it…! There are over 8 000 stalls here on a 35 acre area. It is actually divided into sections, so it is easier to find the things you need. There is a part for antiques and souvenirs, clothing, housewares, pets and plants & gardening, but you can also enjoy the local food at the many food stalls. Plan to spend a half day her. Just get lost in this huge market and find the perfect souvenirs.

  • Open: Saturday & Sunday between 9am – 6pm
  • Price: Free

Grand Palace & Wat Phra Kaew

You can’t come to Bangkok and not see this site. It is the number 1 tourist attraction in Bangkok, so expect a big crowd there. The Wat Phra Kaew is probably the most sacred Buddhist temple in Thailand and the primary attraction is the Emerald Buddha. The temple is beautifully decorated with gold, diamonds and vibrant colors. It consists of more then 100 buildings and dates back to 1782 (the year Bangkok was founded). Next to the Wat Phra Kaew you will find the Grand Palace. This was the former residence of the Thai monarch, but is now only used at special events.

This site will definitely take your breath away, as it is absolutely stunning!

BUT be aware of the scams here. Thai people will come to you to tell you that the temple is closed because it is praying time. They try to sell you a tuktuk drive to some other, far away temples that happen to be free that day. If you do this they will earn a commission on what you pay the tuktuk driver, but don’t believe them. The Grand Palance & Wat Phra Kaew are open during the day and don’t close at noon!

  • Open: Every day between 8:30am – 3:30pm
  • Price: 500 THB
  • What to wear: As it is a sacred place, please dress & behave appropriately. You cannot show ankles or shoulders. There is always the possibility to rent a sarong to cover yourselves, but our advice is to just buy one, because you will need it a lot more when you go through Thailand.

Wat Pho

Not far from the Grand Palace & Wat Phra Kaew you will find the less busy site of Wat Pho. It is the biggest and oldest temple of Bangkok (and for us the most beautiful too), but also a big relief when coming here after you visited the busy (almost chaotic) Grand Palace & Wat Phra Kaew. We barely ran into other tourists.

Here you will find the giant reclining Buddha, covered in gold. It is about 46m long and 15meters high, and yet we were able to miss this one…. Don’t ask me how we did it. When you wander around the site, you will walk across many, beautifully decorated, chedis and Buddha statues (they say there are more then 1 000 of them here).

Definitely our favorite temple in Bangkok!

  • Open: Every day between 8:30am – 6:30pm
  • Price: 100 THB
  • What to wear: As it is a sacred place, please dress & behave appropriately. You cannot show ankles or shoulders. There is always the possibility to rent a sarong to cover yourselves, but our advice is to just buy one, because you will need it a lot more when you go through Thailand.

Wat Arun

This temple is named after the Indian God Aruna and is also called the temple of Dawn. Not only is it located on a lovely spot next to the river, across the Grand Palace & Wat Phra Kaew, also it is very easily accessible by a ferry (only 3 THB). The thing that attracts your attention the most is the spire. Unfortunately for us, the top was still under construction when we were there, so we weren’t able to go to the top. The spire is 82 meter high and it has these stunning decorations and floral mosaics. When you walk further on the site, you will be amazed by the beauty and serenity of this temple.

  • Open: Every day between 8:00am – 6:00pm
  • Price: 50 THB
  • What to wear: As it is a sacred place, please dress & behave appropriately. You cannot show ankles or shoulders. There is always the possibility to rent a sarong to cover yourselves, but our advice is to just buy one, because you will need it a lot more when you go through Thailand.

Other things you can do there:

  • Khao San Road: Restaurants, bars, ladyboys, music, market stalls, street food, live music,… This is one for the party nights!
  • Floating Market: Around Bangkok there are several floating markets. From what we’ve heard, this must be very cool to see, but unfortunately we didn’t have enough time to go there.
  • Bike around the city: Many people told us that a good way to get around and see the city was by bike. We decided it was too hot to bike, but maybe you can give it a go!
  • Shopping malls: If you want to spend some money, there are this huge malls in Bangkok where you can shop all day long!
  • Jim Thompson House: The house of the American silk entrepreneur and art collector is now turned into a museum about his life.
  • Lumphini Park: When you want to relax and go away from the busy streets, Limphini Park is a good place to go to. It is very well maintained and is perfect for a pick nick.

Getting around:

To get around in Thailand, you have plenty of options. There are taxi’s, tuktuks, taxiboat, skytrain, metro, motorbiketaxi,…

If you take a normal taxi, always ask them to put on their meter and don’t agree to a fixed price, because then you will definitely pay a lot more! This is probably the cheapest way to get around. Tuktuk drivers don’t have fixed prices, so they depend on your negotiation skills. They will start at a very high price, but always negotiate with them!

 Where to eat:

We weren’t here too long, so we don’t have that many addresses to refer to. The first night we ate at the restaurant of our hotel (Navalai River Resort), which was actually quite good, but also more expensive than on the streets.

The second day we went to this amazing small local restaurant called ‘Jok Pochana’. The plastic tables and chairs are placed on the street and it looks a bit strange, but we assure you that the food is delicious! It is the real local Thai food + the staff is very friendly and it is extremely cheap. Try their Pad Thai, it is heavenly!

If you want to read more about our whole trip to Thailand, click here: Thailand & a piece of Cambodia in 21 days

Hope you enjoyed reading about our fantastic holiday. If you have any questions, please let us know, maybe we can help you!

Please follow us on instagram (@belgian.travelcouple) to join our adventures!

And many more stories will come… so stay tuned!

With love,

Inne & Gilles

 

 

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