My recent travels took me to Thailand and the vast country that is. We headed out for a total of ten nights and made every attempt to see as much of this wonderful country as possible. To begin our travels, we started in Bangkok. We flew from London Heathrow and landed at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi airport (BKK) around 4pm on a Monday afternoon. We were heading down south on the Wednesday morning so it really was one day to explore as much of Bangkok as possible. Our hotel for the night was based near the infamous Khoa San Road so we found our way out of the airport, into a taxi and 45 minutes later we arrived.
Bangkok airport is pretty big but well organised. Heading through passport control took a while, they scan your finger prints and all! As usual, you need to fill out a landing card so be prepared with a pen in your carry on and bare in mind they give you a departure card for your return so keep that safe. The taxi rank outside is a ticketed system, you line up, take a ticket and they give you a number. Head to the taxi under that number and off you go – simples! We paid 600 baht (£15.30) to get to our hotel, we only paid 300 on the way back so we definitely over paid but we were tired and not in the mood to barter! You can get the MRT (The Metropolitan Rapid Transit) directly from the airport to the centre of Bangkok however with luggage and tiredness, we lazily opted for a taxi but if you’re interested in experiencing it, worth giving it a go as it’s the cheapest way to get there!
We were staying at Casa Vimaya Riverside hotel, I found this place on Agoda and it was perfect. We were only there two nights so we didn’t need anything fancy but it was lovely. Based on the riverside (obvs), moments away from Khao San Road and within walking distance to the temples, I highly recommend it. The room was a twin basic room, lovely and clean with air con and a nice big shower. The hotel has a restaurant and a rooftop pool with bar area. There’s a 7Eleven opposite for snacks and plenty of eateries around you if you don’t want to venture too far. The best bit about the hotel is the location, it was so, so hot in Bangkok so within the one day we had there, we went back in about four times to cool off and de-sweat so having it close by was a god send!
Find Casa Vimaya Riverside here on Agoda.
After a good nights sleep, we woke up for our busy day exploring Bangkok. I knew our first destination was the temples. I had read several times to go early to avoid the crazy crowds and I highly recommend this too. The temples open at 8:30am so we set our alarms for 7:00am and left at 8:00am. Our hotel was a 30 minute walk away which gave us the opportunity to see what was around for our afternoon plans whilst en route.
We started at The Grand Palace, a beautiful set of ornately decorated buildings. It is a fantastic sight, adorned with gems and little mirrors which sparkle in the sunlight. Entry was 500 baht (12.78) and we spent about an hour having a good look around. It’s a sacred temple, so remember to cover your knees and shoulders in order to be allowed entry.
Head out of The Grand Palace, turn left and keep going about 15 minutes and you’ll find Wat Pho, the next temple on the list. This Buddhist temple is also known as the Reclining Buddha, for obvious reasons. At 46 metres long, it really is quite impressive to see. There’s an entry fee here too at 100 baht (2.55), you will need to remove your shoes to enter the reclining Buddha and they provide bags to carry them in. The best bit is at the end, the underside of his feet which is adorned in mother of pearl illustrations.
The final temple on the list was Wat Arun. Opposite Wat Pho but across the river, you’ll find this beautiful temple based on the river side and complete with colourful spires. It’s super easy to make your way here, there’s a shuttle bus to cross you over the river and it costs under 10p to get there.
After a morning of searching and exploring temples, it was not only time to head back for some food but for a cool down! We hopped in a tuk tuk and paid 200 baht (5.10) for a forty minute journey back to the hotel. It’s definitely worth having a ride in a tuk tuk at least once, it’s all part of the experience! They get you there quite fast as they weave between the cars, the breeze is refreshing and it’s generally cheaper than a taxi.
Once freshened up and suitably less sweaty, we headed out for some much needed lunch. We strolled from our hotel down towards Khao San Road and opted for the restaurant associated with Villa Cha Cha. We sat outside by a cooling fan and ordered our meal. I opted for the pineapple fried rice, my friend had a panang curry and we shared some spring rolls. It was clean plates all round and we thoroughly enjoyed lunch!
Find the restaurant at this address: 36 Tani, Khwaeng Talat Yot, Khet Phra Nakhon, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10200, Thailand
The streets are so mesmerising!
It was high up on our list of to do’s to visit a traditional market. Bangkok is well known for it’s markets, including floating markets, flower markets and street food markets. The floating markets were highly recommended but unfortunately we didn’t have the time within our day but if you are heading to Bangkok for longer, absolutely do explore them! We had an hour or so to spare so we headed to Wang Lang market which was full of food and general goods. The markets are bustling, you need to take your time to take it all in but also be thoughtful of the locals who are nudging passed en route somewhere.
In order to get to and from the markets, we opted to use the Chao Phraya express tourist boat. If you’re based near the river, this is by far the cheapest, easiest and quickest way to get around. Find your nearest pier and take a wander down. When you get to the pier, let them know you want a ticket for the orange flag boat and they’ll let you know once it’s arrived. The orange flag boats are the tourist boats which run up and down the river all day long. They stop off in many different places and you just hop on and off as you please. We were heading from pier 13 to pier 10 for the Wang Lang market. They don’t have big signs with the number or the names on when you arrive and you have to be up by the doorway ready to hop off else you’ll miss your stop, be sure to keep count on what pier you’re at and be ready. If you’re heading no where in particular, I would highly recommend just hopping off anywhere and having an explore; at 14 baht (36p) per trip, you just can’t beat it.
Find the map with the numbered piers on the Chao Phraya website, here.
The best refreshment, a bubble tea! There’s bubble tea stands all over so be sure to grab one!
As the sun started to set, we went for a little stroll in search of some food. We headed behind the hotel, crossing over the river via a little bridge and along the narrow street. It’s a lovely walk to do as the sun is coming down with the golden colours.
For tea, we found a lovely spot called Madame Musur Samsen 2 and I opted for my first pad Thai of the trip! It was lovely and the restaurant shop was perfect for some people watching.
After food and a quick stop back to the hotel for an outfit change, we headed out to Khao San Road area. We had wandered down Khao San Road throughout the day en route elsewhere but we had to head back after dark to feel the full effects. The strip is well known within the backpacker community as there’s cheap eats, bars and hostels in abundance around. Don’t let that put you off if you’re not there to backpack though, it’s a really fun place to be. We had already eaten so we were just strolling through and taking it all in. There’s market stalls everywhere and the shops extend into the road so it’s a great time to pick up some souvenirs.
I had seen these Khanom Buang’s on a Bangkok travel vlog by The Away Away and was adamant I wanted to find them. It was the last food stall on the strip and I was elated to finally get some! They’re a crepe style base, filled with an egg white mix which is almost like marshmallow. The yellow ones are the sweet ones with saving yolk and sugar and the red one is the savoury. The sweet ones were so good – it only cost 25 baht (64p) so give it a go!
After this, we were suitably shattered and headed back for a good sleep before our 6am alarm to head down south! I hope you enjoyed my run down of our 24 hours in Bangkok, there’s so much more to do and see and I’d love to come back one day to explore more. I have many posts coming up discussing all the stops on my Thailand adventure so be sure to check back soon!