Guest blogger Anita Dykstra is a travel writer from New Zealand. You can read her great blog on her website.
Bangkok is a chaotic city with a beautiful charm which makes tourists coming back for more each year. It’s a hub for expats and solo travellers eager for their first taste of Asia, and Bangkok is just the place to experience that.
This lively city is known for its delicious food, local digs and a vibrant street life. There are also some beautifully ornate shrines and temples so expect your 24 hours in Bangkok to be a busy one as there are many great things to see here!
Start your day with a bite to eat at one of the street stalls or head to MoMo café, which has an incredible buffet of both traditional Thai cuisine and foods from the western world. It’s a great place to fill up before the big day ahead.
As you’ll be in the area, you may as well go for a brisk walk around Lumphini Park. This park was named after the Buddha’s birth site in Nepal. The best way to escape the chaos of the city is to come here. If you visit early you will see the Thai-Chinese community practising their daily routine of t’ai chi. Lumphini Park is one of the last remaining open green spaces in Bangkok.
Now it’s temple time! It’s best to see the temples early before the crowds start to hit and not to mention the sun! First on the list is Wat Arun which is also named the Temple of Dawn. This is one of the most outstanding riverside attractions in Bangkok and the whole of Thailand, as its design is unlike any others in Bangkok; it definitely stands out from the crowd! The entry cost is only 30 Baht for foreigners and it opens at 8.30am.
Across the river are two temples that are also not to be missed called Wat Pho and The Grand Palace, both very impressive pieces of architecture. At Wat Pho, you will find the largest reclining Buddha and also the largest collection of Buddha images in Thailand!
Right next door is The Grand Palace, which is undoubtedly Bangkok’s most famous landmark. Its stunning and glistening buildings are an incredible attraction to see when coming to Bangkok. The Grand Palace was home to the Thai king for 150 years from 1782.
Make sure you dress appropriately as this is Thailand’s most sacred site. Men must wear long pants and a shirt with sleeves; bare feet are also not permitted so if you’re wearing sandals you must wear socks. Women must also be appropriately dressed with no shoulders or legs showing. There is a place near the entrance that provides clothes if you are not appropriately dressed.
Now it’s time to make your way to Klong San Plaza. There are many stalls right on the banks of Chao Phraya that sell the most delicious street food in Bangkok. You can pick up a roasted chicken, fried foods, noodles and lots more Thai delicious treats!
After nearly a full day of sight-seeing it’s time to relax and enjoy a traditional Thai massage. There are hundreds of places that offer massages, but the best in the city are Dahra Spa and Breeze Spa.
Just before you head for dinner make sure you go up to the Sky Bar on the 63rd floor of the State Tower on Silom Road for the most magnificent views of the city and maybe order a few pre-dinner cocktails. It’s the perfect place to catch a glimpse of the sunset if you can.
You may notice this as one of the sets from the movie Hangover 2 as well!
Chinatown is an iconic part of Bangkok and is possible the most impressive Chinatown on the planet. It’s a food haven for people all around the world. It’s world-renowned for its street food, which is why it’s time to do a food tour!
This particular food tour with Taste of Thailand is award-winning and will take you around some of the most popular local hotspots in the city, including the most famous Chinese dumplings and the #1-ranked roasted pork and rice restaurant in Bangkok. For about three hours the tour will take you to the best local hideouts.
Once you’ve stuffed yourself silly with the best food in Bangkok, now it’s time to walk around the Rod Fai night market in Srinakarin, in the eastern suburbs. It’s most famous for its huge size and vintage gifts on sale here. With everything from hippy clothes to vintage collectables and memorabilia, this is a market where you can find unique gifts that the other markets don’t offer.
Another famous market is Patpong in the downtown area, and for that reason it’s always packed with tourists. You will find all the fake brands of footwear, clothes and watches. This market is notorious for its nightlife and it’s often the first stop for newcomers of Bangkok. You can choose to party the night away here or head back to your hostel to enjoy a well-earned kip.
Let us know below if you’re planning a whirlwind trip to Bangkok soon!