Why you have to visit Bangkok at least once in your life.
Arriving in Thailand.
Since Bangkok is the capital of Thailand, it is a great place to visit. With a population of well over 8 million inhabitants, this makes Bangkok the ideal city to experience the hassle and bustle of Thailand. Despite all of that Bangkok is a very laid back city.
Arriving on the Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, let you get the feeling that you are in a friendly and well-organized city. It was relevantly easy to get through customs, and from there on it was smooth sailing all the way to our taxi.
It is quite a long ride on the freeway until we reached our hotel. Booking into the Holiday Inn was a breeze. Our room was amazing.
Exploring Bangkok for the first time.
As we walked out of the hotel, which is situated next to one of the BTS train stations. We learned that buying a day pass is cheaper than buying a ticket for every ride. So, with two tickets in the pocket, we started our journey. The public transport is very convenient and simple to use. See my blog on “Things to know when visiting Bangkok for the first time”.
We did not know anything about shopping in Bangkok but soon found out that battering is part of the shopping experience in this amazing city. Our first stop was the MBK center, not too far from our hotel. More on the MBK later.
From the MBK we stopped over at the Siam Discovery shopping mall. This is one of the most modern shopping malls we’ve ever been to (at the time). By finding Ferrari and those class of shops, we knew that this was upper class. Does not really fit our budget range, but it was a great experience walking through and visiting a few shops.
Arriving at the Saphan Taksin BTS Station, we got off and bought day passes for the public boats on the mighty Chao Phraya river. This is a must if you visit Bangkok. We got off at almost every pier in order to explore the city from there. The places that you can reach this way is phenomenal. There are markets, the Palace and much more just a walking distance from the pier, and when you finish, you just walk back to the pier and wait for the next boat to continue your journey on the river.
To return to your hotel or destination, you just follow your steps back and you’ll be back where you started.
If you need more information as a first-time visitor just click HERE.
Shopping at Markets & Malls
Let me remind you again on why you have to visit Bangkok at least once in your life. Shopping…
Bangkok will definitely satisfy your shopping urges. This is an absolute shopping hub.
Chatuchak Weekend Market
One of the biggest weekend markets in Thailand, the Chatuchak Weekend Market is within reach via the BTS and MRT. Take the train to the Mo Chit Station and exit no1. From there on just follow the crowds. With more than 8000 stalls, it’s hard to believe that you won’t find what you looking for. Not always at a bargain, but it’s worth trying. Visiting the Chatuchak Weekend Market will take up most of your day. If your feet are not killing you afterward, you have missed some of the stalls.
Taling Chan Floating Market
Located in Thonburi on the banks of Khlong Chak Phra. It’s the closest floating market to central Bangkok, it’s not too touristy and is easily accessible by public transport. It’s only open on weekends and public holidays and can be busy at peak times. The main activity is dining on the freshly made food, though, there is also a market, live music, massage and boat tours of the local area.
Rot Fai Market
Rot Fai Market (Train Market) in Bangkok is an authentic open-air bazaar selling an incredible array of vintage collectibles and memorabilia from yesteryear, from antique furniture to hippy fashion and Mao kitsch. With three sections to this huge market space, there are also many traders selling modern fashion and apparel more typical of other night markets in Bangkok; however, it’s the one-off and hard to find items that really make Rot Fai Market superior to all other night markets in the city. Where else in Thailand would you find a pristine 1950s Cadillac next to vintage leather jackets, French chandeliers, and 1960s action figures from Japan? Combine all this with cool restaurants, bars, and snack stalls and you have a fun night out from sunset to midnight, Thursday to Sunday.
Siam Paragon is an immensely popular shopping mall housing a host of international high-end fashion brands, Southeast Asia’s largest aquarium, a 16-screen Cineplex, and a comprehensive selection of world cuisine. Located prominently in front of Siam BTS Skytrain station – the interchange of the two BTS lines – it is considered by many to be the center of Bangkok. This mall provides mainly luxury items for well-heeled Thais and international visitors with cash to splurge. If you are looking for something extra-special then Siam Paragon is definitely the place to find it.
CentralWorld mega-shopping complex offers one of the most exciting shopping experiences in Bangkok. It has everything from brand name clothing boutiques, funky fashion, high-tech gadgets, bookshops and designer furniture to imported groceries, a lineup of banks, beauty salons, gourmet eateries, and even an ice-skating rink. With so many tantalizing options to explore, you could easily spend half a day here without realizing it. It will come as no surprise to anyone who has experienced the incredible size of CentralWorld that this is, in fact, the largest mall in Thailand and among the largest in the world.
MBK Center is probably Bangkok’s most legendary shopping mall, popular with both tourists and locals, and busy with shoppers every day. There are eight floors packed with 2,000 shops that sell everything from clothing, fashion accessories, handbags, leather products, and luggage to furniture, mobile phones, electric appliances, cameras, stationery, and DVDs. MBK Center is a beehive of activity, especially on weekends, when half of Bangkok converges to shop for bargains. It’s not as up-market or stylish as neighboring Siam Discovery, Siam Centre and the glitzy Siam Paragon, but it offers a mind-boggling range of goods and is considerably less expensive. MBK Center is particularly easy to reach thanks to a direct walkway linking to National Stadium BTS Skytrain Station. Literally, every taxi driver knows the most famous shopping malls in Bangkok too, so you can hail a cab from anywhere but traffic can be intense.
Street Food and Restaurants
This is not an easy topic since the food in Bangkok is the best. You can find any street vendor and buy food from them. The food will always be fresh. Just have a look where the locals buy their food, and you know that the food will be fresh. This is one of the most important things when you visit Bangkok at least once in your life.
We have bought street food every time we visited Bangkok. No, we actually lived off street food for the duration of our stays in Bangkok. Street food is that good. If you used to eat more western food, you’ll find restaurants serving just that, but be prepared to pay a bit more (much more). For those who want to try something different, you can always visit Khao San Road. There you might find more than just a snack. You’ll probably find people walking the streets with trays containing roasted cockroaches, spiders and scorpions. This is only for the brave. I didn’t try!
A good place to find good and affordable food is at some Lotus Shops. They have cafeterias where the workers can buy their food. You buy a card and add a few Thai Baht in credits and you good to go. They stock a variety of dishes to choose from at very reasonable prices. Deffenitaley value for money.
If you visit the shopping malls, which I recommend you do, you’ll find various cafes & restaurants and coffee shops. be prepared to pay a tad more, but it’s good to try their cuisines as well. Thai food is very tasty. They make use of fresh herbs and spices to add flavor to their food. If you’re up to something spicier…. just ask and you will get it spicy.
Just a reminder, again on why you have to visit Bangkok at least once in your life.
Bangkok bars and pubs offer a diverse range of venues for chilling out after sunset. It’s easy to discover a host of stand-alone bars and pubs scattered throughout Bangkok’s various neighborhoods. The riverside boasts one of the most picturesque views and romantic ambiances, while the areas like Khao San and Sukhumvit (Soi Nana to Soi 11) are best for bar-hopping. Catering to the hip and well-heeled, Thonglor (Sukhumvit Soi 55) is filled with stylish establishments from posh jazz bars to rooftop lounges with live music.
If your not in the mood for a bar or pub you can always be different and visit some of the other nightlife activities. Bangkok has always been a city of cultural diversity, and that has long been reflected through a wide range of performing arts and entertainment, from the traditional ‘Khon’ (classical masked dance) and ‘Likay’ (Thai folk dance) to the glitz and glam of world-famous ladyboy shows – and even international Broadway productions.