Ahh, Bangkok. It’s absolute MADNESS, but so much fun! Bangkok has such delicious (AND CHEAP) food, and the temples are absolutely stunning. This was our first stop of the trip (introduction to the series here) and we couldn’t have started in a better city.
- Visit the major temples
- Explore the markets (so many kinds – floating, weekend, night, flower, etc)
- Eat, eat, eat to your heart’s content – Bangkok had some of the best food
There are so many, but here are the top 3:
- Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha) and the Grand Palace
- Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn)
- Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha)
Wat Phra Kaew and the Grand Palace took my breath away. There were a million tourists, but for good reason. Must-see.
TIP: It was 95 degrees and HUMID, but you can’t get in without appropriate dress. We all bought elephant pants outside the temple (I think for ~$2.50-$3) – there’s a little store outside the main entrance where you can choose from a bunch of different styles. Leggings don’t count as pants! My friend got turned away because she was wearing leggings. No open shoulders, pants must be past the knees, and nothing skin-tight.
FLOATING MARKET – Definitely check out a floating market. Here are the top 5:
- Damnoen Saduak – the most popular, so the most touristy. 62 miles from downtown
- Amphawa – 55 miles from downtown
- Talin Chan – 7 miles from downtown
- Khlong Lat Mayom – 12 miles from downtown
- Bang Nam Pheung – 13 miles from downtown
Since we had a limited amount of time, we decided to check out Talin Chan since it’s the closest. You can buy food from different boats and they make it fresh for you on the spot! SO DELICIOUS. We got a Thai iced tea from a little stand by the boats and it’s definitely the best I’ve ever had.
CHATUCHAK WEEKEND MARKET – this is the largest market ever. We actually went here on our very last day in Southeast Asia, when we had about 5 hours in Bangkok left. We flew in from Vietnam and decided to hit this market with our ginormous backpacks before heading back to the US. We are crazy. We barely got through a fraction of it, but they sell EVERYTHING – souvenirs, unique clothing, ceramics, FOOD, literally everything. This is a must. Definitely try coconut ice cream from one of the stands.
BOAT NOODLE ALLEY AT VICTORY MONUMENT – a little difficult to find. Route yourself to Victory Monument and you should be able to find it. Each boat noodle bowl is like 4 bites, so you end up ordering at least a few bowls. Each bowl is only 33 cents! Between the 6 of us, we had 45 bowls. My brother ate about half of that amount.
PAD THAI – we went to Thip Samai in the Old City after several hours of exploring temples, and we were starving. This place did not disappoint. Prices are a bit more expensive (80 baht for pad thai I believe, ~$2.25 USD), but SO much cheaper than U.S. prices.
STREET FOOD – people will tell you to avoid the street food, but whatevs, yolo. Of course, you should be mindful – don’t try that questionable meat skewer in an empty alleyway. Also, you should “train” your stomach – don’t eat street food on the first day. Ease into it!
We were only in Bangkok for 2 days – definitely not my favorite city in Thailand, but it’s a must-see for sure. Next up in the series is Khao Sok National Park!