Bangkok has a lot to offer as a city. It is cheap, has amazing food, and it’s fair share of things to see. It’s worth noting, here are some things to watch for as well (with any big city).
This is a quick run down of what to do, where to go, how not to get ripped off, or waste your time, and a general overview of our time in the city.
We start with food because Bangkok has A LOT of it. Head to Terminal 21 for starters. It is this awesome mall that has a different designation on each floor. Cool concept, good food. Won’t say it’s great. Not compared to what you can find on the streets. But it’s a neat experience. Do it.
It takes a hot minute to get anywhere in Bangkok. The sky train is great but you have to wait in line to get your ticket, wait for the train and likely walk to your actual location afterwards. Getting a taxi is not that simple unless you’re at a mall or hotel that can get you one on site. And tuk tuks in the main city are fine for getting from point A to B in close proximity, but no AC in that polluted traffic was NOT super cool (no pun intended). If you’re up for a real adventure, you can hire a scooter taxi. But no matter what, you’ll be in traffic. Always. This was one of our least favorite parts of Bangkok.
And because sites are spread out over the city, you’re bound to need transportation at some point. Stay near the main attractions you want to see or food you want to eat during your time in Bangkok.
I honestly expected the smog to be worse. When we were there it was on par with LA. which is nothing after traveling the world for 10 months. Seriously if you think anywhere in the US is smoggy, visit Santiago Chile, Vietnam, Chiang Mai in March, or Poland in December. LA looks like a GRAND level of pollution in comparison. ANYWAY, during our stay it wasn’t bad, but I heard just a week later it was in the red zone and terrible. So just be prepared to wear a mask if need be.
You can do ALL OF THE SHOPPING in Bangkok. Head to the E Quarter and spend the entire day there. You still won’t cover it all.
There are seven areas of Bangkok and all can accommodate hostels to resorts. Just choose whatever you like. We stayed in the Myth hotel and an airbnb. I would suggest the neighborhood of the first one, but not the actual hotel…and I would highly suggest the airbnb but not the location. It was a 10 minute walk from our building to the main road, and taxis seemed to struggle getting to us for some reason.
Because getting places can take time and start to eat up your days, choose location wisely. I’d argue it needs to be your top priority in choosing accommodation.
With the airbnb having this rooftop pool, it was hard to motivate ourselves to go and do anything. But fear not, we did go and do SOME things…
The highlights of Bangkok was the lying Buddha. Yes, it’s pretty freaking cool, and it’s called Wat Pho. It is worth noting that we chose BUDDHA DAY to explore without knowing it. So certain places were closed to the public, including the Grand Palace. #fail. Nate was wearing shorts anyway so we wouldn’t have been able to go in.
We arrived at Wat Pho and got scammed into seeing the smiling Buddha, the Golden Mountain and other locations. But we stopped him after the smiling Buddha and demanded he take us back.
Here’s a set of photos from our small, unplanned trip about the city.
Watch out for – They tell you you’ll go to three places, that a certain color tuk tuk will give you a discount. Then that color magically appears around the corner. Looking back I feel like an idiot. We knew something wasn’t right but we were so freaking hot, that a deal sounded great. And hey, we got to see the the city with a breeze for a bit.
We landed back at Wat Pho where we intended to begin our day of exploration. It is gorgeous inside. First you’ll wait in a line, then be herded through like cattle (as pictured) but it’s worth it.
We opted not to do the floating markets because of reviews from other travelers. It’s far out, takes a whole day and is basically just for tourists now. So it’s overpriced and scammy. Not how we wanted to spend our time. But I bet you would get some great looking photos. Your choice!
I expected to hate Bangkok strictly because it’s a big city with 10 million humans in it. Despite it being big. The Thai people were still super nice, and the city was GREEN. Which automatically makes it feel less city-y to me. There are trees everywhere and random walls of greenery added into the architecture.
That was another lovely find. The architecture. Bangkok is a beautiful city just to look at. The sky scrapers aren’t boring. They were clearly made by unique design which gives you plenty to gaze at while sitting in traffic [wink].
We barely scratched the surface of Bangkok. Staying in an accommodation with a rooftop pool didn’t give me much motivation leave. But it was a city that surprised me. Aside from the food, shopping and architecture, there isn’t a whole lot going on for those who aren’t here for the nightlife. The Millers are in bed by 10pm. And from what I understand, Bangkok goes to bed at like 5am. Soooo, there’s that. To each his own.
If you go, beware of scammers in tuk tuk’s. Don’t take any tours you find on the street, eat a lot of food, and look up at the sky scrapers. You don’t need more than three days here. And that’s being generous. See what you want to see and get the heck out.
I'm an adventurous introvert from Vancouver, Washington who lives on sleep + "me time." I'm a lover of lifting weights, dinosaurs, real talk and traveling with my husband. I am here to help you move better, lift more, bust the myths of the fitness industry, and inspire you to love the process.
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