Any trip to Thailand is incomplete without visiting its dynamic capital, Bangkok! Skyscrapers, temples, weekend markets selling everything under the sun and the aroma of delicious Thai food, coconut and mangoes wafting from the streets make Bangkok modern yet deeply traditional at the same time. I spent 3 days at the beautiful Chatrium Riverside Hotel which offers fantastic views across the Chao Phraya river and provides a great base to explore the city.
Our first stop on day 1 was the Grand Palace. Grand Palace is a lavish complex of buildings and temples which has been the official residence of Thai kings since 1782. I absolutely loved the details and intricate architecture here! Several murals inside the buildings depict scenes from the Hindu epic Ramayana!
A proper tour of the palace takes atleast 2-3 hours. One of the most popular structures inside the palace is the Temple of Emerald Buddha or Wat Phra Kaew. Regarded as the most sacred Buddha statue in Thailand, it is made of single jade stone. The temple interiors are gorgeous with resplendent gold and red decorations and walls filled with beautiful paintings. The temple complex comprises of golden Chedis, Apsaras and other mythical beings. Make sure you are fully clothed (no shorts and bare arms) and carry water with you. Inside the complex, there is also a coin museum and a dress museum showcasing Queen Sirikit's dresses she wore to important occasions in the past. From the palace we walked to Wat Pho or the Temple of the Reclining Buddha. It's one of the largest temple complexes in the city and famed for its giant reclining Buddha that measures 46 metres long and is covered in gold leaf. Its a stunning temple and a must visit!
Day 2 in Bangkok was reserved for just shopping and eating at the famous Chatuchak market. It is a huge market with various shops selling everything under the sun. Wear comfortable clothes, stay hydrated and bargain hard (i failed at this!). We found this article to be super helpful in figuring out what to eat and drink at the market. Also checkout Thipsamai for their scrumptious Pad Thai and orange juice! Yumm!
If you have some more time do visit Ayutthaya whose temple ruins offer a peak into the ancient Siam kingdom. It is a perfect day trip from Bangkok and on the way you can stop at Bang Pa-In Royal Palace or the summer abode of Thai kings.
Bangkok is a great city getaway especially because hotels, food and getting around are light on your pocket! Happy travelling!