Whether you’ve planned a dream holiday to Thailand, or you’re seeking to break up your long haul journey to a faraway destination, Bangkok is the perfect stopover hub to get your dose of shopping, food and cheap massage fixes. The city is famously known for its chaotic crowded streets, bountiful shopping complexes, and the mouthwatering scent of spices and tang that loom in the air. Although it is not known as a city of sightseeing abundance, you’ll find that it is the ‘modern’ centre of Thailand; with its skytrain transport system that runs above the roads, endless pedestrian bridges, fancy hotels and upscale restaurants. If you’re traveling for tasty food, on-trend fashion, and generally, having a good time – then Bangkok most certainly delivers.
Where to stay
I’ve been to Bangkok countless times and always wind up staying in Pathum Wan district. Accommodation tends to be on the dearer side, as it is an area littered with luxury hotels located within walking distance to all the major malls, such as, Paragon and Central World. My motto has always been, “when in Thailand, live like royalty”, considering that staying in a 5-star hotel is still cheaper than staying in a 4-star (sometimes 3-star) hotel in Australia. If you’re feeling luxurious, I can’t recommend the Renaissance highly enough. From its exquisite breakfast buffet to its lavish and modern rooms, I can guarantee that your jaws will drop as soon as you enter the grandiose lobby. If you’re not fussed about being accommodated a tad further from the city centre, then more cost effective alternatives are either the Centara Grand or Baiyoke Sky in the Ratchathewi district.
What’s there in Bangkok to see?
Wat Phra Kaew (The Grand Palace)
Located in the Phra Nakhon district, roughly 20 minutes by taxi from the centre, The Grand Palace is widely regarded as the most sacred temple complex in all of Thailand, housing the majestic statue of the Emerald Buddha – an absolute must-see if you’re in Bangkok.
Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha)
Not quite Vietnam’s staple noodle soup, but just as good (on the eyes). Home to the famous Reclining Buddha, built by King Rama I in the 18th Century, Wat Pho is the oldest temple complex in Bangkok.
Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn)
Located along the west bank of the Chao Phraya River, it is among the best known of Thailand’s landmarks. Best viewed at sunset whilst on a dinner cruise or standing on the opposite side of the bank, get your cameras ready to snap some incredible night shots of this temple when the lights cause the surface to radiate a royal golden colour.
Chatuchak weekend market
One of the world’s largest markets with over 15,000 vendors selling everything from home decor to huskies (yes, live puppy huskies), this is a market you’ll never have come across anywhere else in the world. Located in north Bangkok, it is roughly a 25-minute BTS ride from the city centre – and you can’t miss it. It is a goliath of a market.
Who goes to Bangkok without visiting MBK? Probably the most well-known, almost iconic, shopping malls of the city. Most of the shops are set up like stalls, and you’ll find that the inside resembles more of a market than an actual mall. An air conditioned market. Trust me, after a day at the Chatuchak market, you’ll be on your knees thanking God for the invention of air con.
One of the newest airport-themed shopping malls in Bangkok, you’ll find that the shops that reside within here are more independently owned brands and boutiques. Check out the restaurants located on the top floor, there are some great food options after a long day of shopping. Or if you fancy a quick feed to replenish your energy, visit the basement for a number of fast food choices, like crepes and ice creams.
Foods you MUST try
Fish Maw Soup in Chinatown
One of my favourite, but lesser known soups in Thai cuisine, is the delicious Fish Maw Soup. You’ll find various vendors selling this delicious stew-like dish on the main strip of Chinatown. What is it, you may ask? If I tell you, you’d wish you never asked. Fish maw (aka fish bladder), quail’s egg and chicken blood. Don’t let the sound of it repel you, I promise, it is delicious!
Pad Thai at Thip Samai Pad Thai
Arguably, the BEST Pad Thai you will ever have tasted in your life. Although, it’s hard to find bad Pad Thai in Bangkok, I’m almost certain that this one will blow your mind.
Food court in the basement of Paragon Mall
If you’re unsure of where to even start eating in Bangkok, then the food court at Paragon Mall is the place to go. Don’t particularly feel like Thai food? Totally cool. Choose from umpteen other cuisines, like, Singaporean hawker food, steak, pasta, dumplings – to name a few! Everything is delicious down there.
Boat noodles near the Victory Monument
Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a sucker for a spicy and sour noodle soup. There’s nothing more satisfying than sipping on a hot bowl of spicy, herby and slightly sour broth whilst soaking in the Bangkok heat at the Victory Monument. You can’t go wrong with 30 Baht ($1) a bowl. I only ate about 4 bowls.
Home to some of Bangkok more exclusive real estate, Thonglor’s vibe is more upscale, urban and hip. Simply put, it is the hot spot of Bangkok’s youth today. Everyone from the likes of famous Thai actors, musicians and models frequent this place, so if you’re lucky, you might bump into a celebrity! The area is well known for its classy bars, fashionable clubs, boutique shops and modern eateries
Khao San Road
If you’re feeling seedy, or you want to connect with fellow backpackers over a cheap tower of Singha beer, then you’ll feel right at home here. Littered with bars and bar ladies trying to lure anything walking on two legs in, you’ll most certainly be spoilt for choice.
Written by: http://hangrybynature.com
42 thoughts on “Headed to Bangkok”
Great post. I was in Banmgkok two years ago and I wish I had some of your restaurant recommendations back then.
Thai cuisine is one of the most popular in the world and it is not hard to understand why haha
Keep them in mind for next time!
I was just in Bangkok in December. It was so much fun! Our Hostel was literally around the corner from thip Samai! We must have eaten there every night! So delicious!
It’s great that you enjoyed your stay in Bangkok. You have chosen a strategic location, good idea 🙂
I think the food is a big drawing factor for me.. Thai cuisine is one of my all time fave. Although the fish stew..not so sure I could. Great article!
We have noticed that there are lots of people who love Thai cuisine, it is a worldwide succes! Sometimes the “bizzarre” foods are delicious, looks can be deceiving.
I would like to see the Wat Pho temple and try Bangkok’s street food. I am not adventurous with food but definitely would like to give it a try.
Only the fact that you would like to try Bangkok’s street food means something… Don’t forget: there is always a first time 😀
I used to live in South East Asia, but actually never went to Thailand. It seemed too touristy for me and I was always seeking more remote spots. I keep thinking that maybe I missed out by skipping Thailand – but honestly SEA is my favorite region so I know I’ll be back! And now I know where to go!
Unfortunately we can’t understand you because we haven’t been there yet, this article is a guest post we hosted on our web.
We know that Thailand must be explored as well as Asia in general. We love everything about these type of places!!
It is so good to find a few places to go if you are there for a few days, but it is even best to get to know a few places where to have the best food!!
We totally agree with your thought! Food is an important part of the travel 🙂
I have travelled a little bit through South East Asia but I have never been to Thailand. Bangkok looks like a great vibrant city with both culture and an amazing food scene. The temples actually look so surreal, the architecture looks like its just been taken out from a story book.
You are right Bangkok is a vibrant city and we can add very crowed. It is simple to understand why it is one of the most visited places in the world, it has everything!!
I was in South East Asia a few years ago, but had to leave before I made it to Bangkok because I got ill. Looks amazing! Great post!
What a pity… Now you have a reason to come back in South East Asia and visit Bangkok too this time 😉
Great guestpost. I love to hear about Bangkok. I know Bangkok mainly through postcards I’ve received from penfriends. I’ve received some really beautiful ones! If I would go to Bangkok, I would love to see these temples. I think it’s beautiful and very interesting. Love the food tips. Noodles are great!
Bangkok’s landscapes are perfect for postcards, they are stunning. We can admire these types of photos all day haha
We love noodles too!!
Thailand looks like a cheap but cool destination. If the accommodation is truly that great then it is definitively my next traveling spot. I love Thai food, though, so I can’t wait to try some new meals there.
We can’t say you a lot about this destination because we haven’t been there, it’s a guest post written for us.
We can ensure you that it is worth it.
Love your post about Thailand. You hit a lot of important things for me: accommodation (5* :)), food and sites. I am not going to lie, I was super excited for the fish maw soup until the last sentence when you explained what was in it haha. I tend to try everything and even though it sounds unappetizing I am taking your word for it and will give it a try when we get a chance to visit. Pad Thai I cannot wait to have!
Thank you for the compliments, we appreciate them 🙂 Even if we didn’t wrote the article, we hosted it. Therefore we have to accept the 50% of your approval haha
For the food our idea is that if it looks good, eat it.
Bangkok is my go-to destination. I have wanting to visit the place for so long. Have heard a lot of fun things to do there.
You have only heard interesting things, now it’s your time to discover Bangkok with your feet and your eyes! You will love it, we are sure about it 🙂
Bangkok is beautiful, especially at night. Having a street food tour at night would be awesome!
This is one of the cities to visit in our bucket list when we a chance to go outside the country.
Bangkok is crowded during every time of the day, people everywhere. Tourists love walking into the streets and eat local street foods!!
Bangkok is such a throbbing and vibrant place. We loved it when we were there a couple of years ago. The food is exciting and the night life pulsating. The place is indeed a pot purri of different experiences.
When the autor of article proposed it to us we were very happy about it. Bangkok is a city we’d love to explore as soon as, we can’t wait. How to resist it?
Just what I needed!
I’m (probably) flying to Bankok early next month and being chronically anti-planning, reading this comprehensive guide helped to get a first idea of where to stay and what to do.
Thanks & happy continued travels!
Thank you so much!! We are glad you found it useful for your next trip.
Have fun and let us know what it was 🙂
Bangkok sounds amazing! I hope I’ll get to visit it one day 🙂
Lovely article, especially the tip for accommodation. I’d have never guessed it 🙂
We wish you that your hope become reality! It’s so wonderful there, you will love everything. Foods, accommodations, people… all so amazing!!!
I usually stay with family in Bangkok, but I like your “live like royalty” motto. I should check out the Pathum Wan district. Overall, great guide!
There are different ways to live the travels and the most important thing is that you are satisfied about what are you doing 🙂
Thailand is also my dream destination. I think its the all-in-one package: a great place for adventures, beautiful beaches and nature, awesome people, good food, shopping, etc.
I can imagine to stay there for a longer stay and live like a local 🙂
We think the same thing! Publishing this guest post we thought how has to be amazing to spend several days in Bangkok, a real dream!!
Nothing is impossible 🙂
I like cannot tell you how much I want to go to Bangkok! My boyfriend has been about a million times and always goes on aboit the temples and food! I really want to go and experience it myself and this post has just reminded me to pester him about it 🙂 It sounds amazing. Ree love30
You should follow him next time he will go to Bangkok! He could be your guide and could suggest you cool places to visit.
Anyway you can always check our article for more infos 🙂
I have already been in Bangkok once and I can say that the food court at Paragon Mall we’re really good.
We haven’t been there yet but the friend who wrote the article for us has your same opinion haha
Bangkok looks really cool! I’ve only seen a little of Asia, would like to see more.
You are not the only one, same for us. This is a great article we hosted on our site 😉