When in Bangkok

Jun 16, 2014
Bangkok certainly is one of those hot and hip topics that's on many traveller's lips. You cannot have been to Southeast Asia without passing through Bangkok- for most, it's the place to start and finish their trip. It's not only considered as the hub where people connect in and out of Asia, but it's also often the destination itself. And why wouldn't it be- this city is a grand combination of old and new! One moment you can catch couple of monks walking down the street in their orange gowns and the next you can dive into a super mall where you can shop till you drop. It really is a fascinating mix of ancient culture and the modern high-tech society, all in a one, widely spread out city. 

One of the things why Bangkok is so interesting is that it has so many different faces to it. It's divided in multiple districts that all represent their own unique style and population. First three nights we stayed around the old town district in a place called Lamphu Tree House*, which is a little hidden gem on a tiny alley next to a canal. It was just minutes away from the famous backpacker mecca Khao San Road, which actually is a cool place in the nighttime for tourists: Plenty of souvenir stalls, restaurants, street food, bars and so on. On a side note, what you can't much see here is local people (expect for the ones who work there)! Regardless, it's a fun place to hang out and grab a beer or two. And while you're at it, why not to taste some of that delicious Pad Thai they sell on the street food stalls- wallet-friendly (1$) and tasty!

One of the first things you notice in Bangkok is that wherever you go, you're most likely to get there by taxi (or a yuk-tuk ride). Now, the taxi business here is a story of its own... in principle, they do not run on meter even when they advertise the contrary. Usually it's a predetermined fixed price and they rarely budge... Although taxis are cheap in Thailand and driving around in a taxi won't kill your budget, it's still one thing to pay a legitimate amount for it and to get ripped off. The good news is that it doesn't take very long to get a hang of this game and tell a standard fair and a rip-off apart. It's not really that big of a deal, but we had to watch out a few times in Bangkok when it came down to settling some deals on boats, taxis- you name it!

Our days went by quickly visiting so many places and learning so much about this vibrant city. We visited a floating market outside the city, checked out some of the most famous marketplaces, visited more temples than we are able to remember, cruised along the historic canals, had a night out on Khao San Road, visited some more temples, ate delicious dishes both in restaurants and on streets and generally just tried to survive the heat. After the three nights we switched across to the newer part of the town where we had a couple of nights in a superb skyscraper. The views we had from there over Bangkok totally changed our perspective of this city! We knew it's big, but once you actually see it from above you realise just how big it really is...

All in all I didn't quite get as "crazy" image of Bangkok as I had imagined before (probably thanks to the Hangover part 2!), but rather perceived it as a melting pot of many different styles and decades. But one thing's for sure: It does offer something for everyone! 

Temples and Palaces

Venice of the East

Little Slice of Luxury

{All pictures © Voyages of Discovery}


Sights & Places
- The Grand Palace: Impressive but expect a lot of people and wear long sleeves / pants.
- Canal Cruise or Khlong (as they call it): A good way to see a different side to Bangkok, but be aware that the private boat is rather expensive (about 800 baths / 18$ / person) and there are plenty of other options to get around for only couple of dollars!
Chatuchak Weekend Market: Great for cheap souvenirs but crowded!

The Chatuchak Weekend Market

*Lamphu Tree House
- A cosy boutique hotel on a quiet pedestrian alley. Within walking distance to Khao San Road (5min). Comes with breakfast and little pool area.

The River
- This was our little Christmas treat we booked over airbnb. The River condo is brand new,  spacious and nothing short of luxury. We loved working out at the gym on 42nd floor with views over Bangkok- the same floor has also saunas and infinity pool! I would definitely stay here on my next visit to Bangkok! 


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