Imagine the skyline of progressive countries. High rise buildings, towering skyscrapers and lights of a sleeping giant waiting to be awaken. Imagine all of these with shadows and vibe of sidewalk vendors, food stalls and good affordable clothing options packaged into one gigantic City! This is Bangkok!
Aboard the aircraft, Darren (my closest friend on my previous work) reached Suvarnabhumi International Airport. We were really excited for this trip since we’ve planned this before hand. I am now a student of medicine and he has been a great and professional sales coach in my former company. To cut the story short, we flew our way to BKK.
Using the GRAB app that we have in the Philippines, we went straight to our accommodation, dropped our bags and freshen up a little bit before we head our way to “Chatuchak Weekend Market”
INSIDER TIP 1 : book your flight during weekends since Chatuchak is only open during Fridays and Saturdays. Chatuchak is really a must go destination when touring around Bangkok.
Day 1 : Chatuchak Market
If you want shopping then this is a place that’s really for you! Go over and haggle your way into the thousands of stall as you would find variety of good deals from fake rolexes, potteries, food preserves, shirts, cardigans, and AFFORDABLE souvenirs ( In fact, this is the best place to buy your souvenirs as prices in other night market doubles). When I say a lot more, it means a lot! you cannot even count on your fingers the variety of products they are selling. Again Shopping will come to you so better ready your bahts in this gigantic Weekend market but save more for some night market goodness in other areas!
For lunch, we tried random stalls in front of the market. Personally, I would love to try the authentic pad thai if I will be a given a chance. They say opportunity knocks only once so grab it right away! Haha I didn’t regret any single baht for that pad thai ( 60 baht) and Cha Yen ( Thai milktea) for only 30 baht.
The whole afternoon was for Chatuchak and in the evening we headed our way to the famous Pratunam Market, where you can find affordable clothing for GIRLS! In this area lies, the Platinum mall which houses six (6) floors of stalls of clothes. Name it they have it. If you’re into online shopping well guess what you are already in the source of all the sources!!! Cardigans, shirts, blouses, shorts for guys, leather bags, plain tees, button downs and many more!!! I scored 2 button downs for a price of 480 baht and some plain tees for 80 baht ( Cheap finds!)
For dinner, there are array of food stalls selling local thai dishes in very much affordable price. I tried the famous Som Tam ( Papaya Salad) for 80 baht each and every bite was both refreshing and spicy at the same time ( idk how that happened).Tom yum goong was also my favorite. The smell and taste of the herbs and spices used were incredible. Ginger and galangal absolutely killed it! Definitely a must try! I cannot find words to describe the intense aroma and flavor of the broth that night. Seeing pad thai was made from scratch really made me so happy. The fat kid inside in me (sorry erwan!) was really happy no exaggeration involved. Back in our country, I would dine and buy pad thai for 260 pesos but in Bangkok it’s just freaking 40 -80 baht depending on the toppings you would love to have on your noodle. Together with this, we had big grilled fish (80 baht) and some coke to pair it with (10 baht). Along the streets are random barbecue stalls (15 baht) , smoked sausages with sweet and spicy sauce (10 baht) and other goodness like fresh oyster omelette, kraw pad mee ( rice with minced pork and chili) for 70 baht.
INSIDER TIP 2 : Never prioritize dining in the restaurants as you would savor the authentic flavor and culture and save more of your baht in the streets.
DAY 2 : Temple run comes to life!
first things first breakfast! We’ve had much of Thai goodness last night and on our 2nd day we decided to have american breakfast or something really for breakfast. The first station of the day is Siam, the center of shopping in Bangkok. We decided to have our first meal of the day in True coffee, a popular coffee shop in the area. I had my iced coffee fix and a chicken caesar wrap ( 230 baht) as I’ve told you guys earlier, stay in the streets that was the first and last that I’ve been to coffee shop in my whole stay haha ( thrifty traveler sorry not sorry)
Bangkok is very lucky because they have other means of effective and efficient mode of transportation. BTS and the Chao Praya river boat system. Bangkok traffic is real so most of the times train would be the best option in touring around the city. Using this train as a mode of transportation, you’ll be in your destination in minutes. Just have or download the app in the app store or google store. It’s very easy to follow!
INSIDER TIP 3 : buy one day pass which costs 140 baht and it will be useful from the time of purchase up to 12 Midnight ( Unlimited rides)
From Siam ( Red lane) , we went straight to the other lane (blue green lane) to arrive at Sapphan taksin train station where the Sapphan Taksin boat pier ( ferry at the Chao Phraya River) resides. Five stations away from Siam, for just 50 Baht you can reach different famous Buddhist temples where most of the tourist always flocked in to have their Instagram photos taken. In the ferry there are stations corresponding to different touristy landmarks. Don’t worry you will be notified if the boat is already approaching the said spot.
First on the list and the nearest is Wat Arun, the temple of Dawn. It is the most intricate among all the temples with is spires directly emerging from the river. It’s details is best seen during the night but I personally opted to see the colors of this majestic beauty in the morning. We didn’t go inside because there are other temples that are still on pending but for me from the outside the view is already vivid. Just a short 4 baht boat ride from Wat arun is Wat Pho, the temple of reclining Buddha.
Wat Pho is the oldest and largest temple complex in Bangkok. It houses the reclining buddha signifying that the buddha is just also like the normal thai people that needs to rest. The most intricate part would be the feet of the buddha that is made up of pure gold. Before going inside, you will take off your foot wear and you will place it in a plastic bag as you roam inside the temple you’ll find your way lining up to the crowd where the perfect shot of the buddha will be taken. An entrance fee of 100 Baht is required upon entering there are some souvenir shops that are are selling buddha pieces or any kind of key chains related to Wat Pho as well.
After roaming inside the reclining buddha, try to roam still inside the temple there are other artistic creations waiting for you. There are other minimal temples which I presume to be very important to the Thai. What to do next is to appreciate the beauty of the structure and try to wonder how these temples, gigantic structures were built. Don’t foget to take your artsy photos but still pay respect to the culture!
Grand Palace supposedly was the next destination. Just to give you a heads up there is an entrance fee of 500 baht which i think is very worth it ( i just assumed cause we didn’t enter but I managed to take a photo from outside) This will be the best and the most grandiose among the temples in BKK. History wise and details wise. Next stop, we rode tuktuk going to Wat Saket for about 80 baht
INSIDER TIP 4 : Do not easily give in to Tuktuk drivers. Most of the prices are scam. Check the location first of your destination and you can still lower the fare from 300 down to 80 baht. Just be wise and be firm ( HOHO! )
Wat Saket, temple of Golden mount or Phu Khao Thong. It is a short 300 step hike with amazing view of Bangkok. As you go on top you will ring a lot of bells for good luck. As compared to the other temples, this one is situated in the distant part of the city. If you want to stay away from the noise of the tourist and the stress of the bustling city, I suggest you climb up wat saket. I personally enjoyed the quiet time on top. The site is perfect for reflection. Just try to feel the wind, breathe deeply, hear the relaxing sound of the chimes and get rid of negative thoughts that’s bothering you just for a moment. Thank God for everything and allow oneself to heal. After all traveling for me is an escape from reality. Aside from being fond of posting pictures and curating my feed. There’s more to that as people might think that traveling is just for leisure. One thing I like about traveling is that I get to know myself more! I tend to talk with my inner self when I travel and to have my path fixed when everything’s not falling into place.
Enough of those reflections! Let’s start the party! Last destination of the day after temple hopping is the famous, Khao San Road. Scorpions, affordable fried noodles, chicken barbecues and spring rolls these are some of the products being sold in the streets. The famous I love Bangkok t- shirts can be also found here. For those tourist who are not yet done shopping, affordable clothing can also be one of the great asset of this tourist jam packed road.
Khao San Road is the site of backpacking in Bangkok. A lot of cute and affordable accomodations like hostels and apartelles were established in the area. Tourists passes by here and there. Different language can be heard from the background of this busy and chaotic road This is heaven for party goers who loves to drink! Party all day and night long in this busy district full of fun and action!.I bet you would not even notice the time. In khao San, we had rice meals in the not so touristy food place. Krao pad mee ( rice with minced pork , basil and chili)
- Trust me. Once you’re there you’ll get hook! Gigantic glasses of draft beers everywhere, colorful cocktails, inviting sounds and chill drinking spots which are not expensive. It almost felt like the party never stops since happy hour is almost every hour ( NO kidding! DO NOT MISS this part of Bangkok! Happiness is surely guaranteed!)
DAY 3: Siam Paragon , MBK and China town
It’s our third day so I decided to have this as a chill day. First agenda is to check famous brands like H&M or Zara. Unfortunately, clothes are not on sale when we were there so we decided to have lunch since we’re already starving (OA haha). With our disappointment, we had our lunch at Siam Paragon Food Hall, located on the ground floor of Siam Paragon mall (of course). I am personally not a fan of food court dishes when I am out of the country. No choice but I was also hungry that time. Next mall was Central world, 10 min walk from Siam Paragon. It houses different brands like Bershka, Uniqlo, Giordano, H & M and Forever 21 for girls. It also has a mini supermarket where I hoarded the Banana chocolate. Next on the list , BMK. This big shopping mall houses a lot of clothing stalls as well. You will find yourself bargaining your way to have those I love Bangkok shirts for bulk and in affordable price . Tailored shorts, leggings and a lot more. Just like what I’ve told you guys earlier, Save your baht and spend wisely!
Since it’s the last day just like what I normally do , I make the most out of it.We went to Yaowarat/ Chinatown. I think we arrived there at a wrong time. There’s no street food to feast on pretty much just like a china town without the fun in it. I was so sad that day so I decided that I will just fill my tummy once more with all the thai goodness. Because of that,I went back to Pratunam market and have my last night as happy as I can! I bought thai milkteas, eat whatever I can. Thai fried chicken with basil, still my favorite, Pad thai ( with lots of spices and nuts), freshly squeezed orange juice, roti banana, spring rolls, barbecue and mango sticky rice. I was so full that night I even bought a giant cola that I brought from siam to the Airbnb ( Punnawithi station) 16 stations away! I am glad that I still got in to the train on time ( 10: 45 PM) . Had a take out of tom yum goong and ate it inside the Airbnb as well. However, despite of all these, there are a lot of things that you should go and try for yourself in Bangkok.
First I forgot to ( not part of my priority) have an authentic Thai massage. When I get back I’ll promise to try that! We did not intended to see the infamous “ Ping-pong” show ( but I would love to, perhaps some other time. There are other temples you might want to check out if time permits such as :
- Wat Phra Kew ( Temple of emerald Buddha)
- Wat Traimit
- Wat Benja
- Wat Suthat
- Wat Prayoon
If you do have a lot of time still check out
- Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
- Flower market
- Have some drinks at the rooftop of Baiyoke Hotel
This Bangkok trip of mine is really a dream come true for me. There are times that I would spend my days watching videos of Thailand in youtube or googling my way just to see how good and delicious the food is. But now, I have seen the beauty of this gigantic city and tasted the flavors that most of tourist are already hooked with. Seeing the genuine smiles of Thai makes me feel I am still home and safe. Tasting the food and strong spices makes me feel alive as a human and challenged me to still try more of the food arounf the world. . Let your soul wonder let the place go inside you! I thank God for allowing me to see, touch and taste BKK. It is really a must experience for a foodie / wanderer like me.
Acknowldgements : Thank you so much to my parents, Ervert and Liazle Avanzado for my pocket money and Darren Buquir for making this trip possible and memorable.
Enjoy some of the photos below from the trip 🙂