Having already familiarized to Bangkok, we made our way quickly through the city this time. My friend Gayatri and I were staying in a different, cheaper hostel this time. It was located in the central district with easy access to every mode of transportation. Bangkok has a lot of options for transportation. The most convenient to commute within the central areas, is the tuktuk. The tuktuk drivers over quote you by double the actual rate. In my opinion, they quote three or four times more for white people, but that’s just my observation. In one case, a European family was charged 200 baht while I was charged just 50. There is also Uber and a local version called Grab, the metro and normal cabs.
Top 5 things to do in Bangkok –
1. KHAOSAN ROAD
This is one of the craziest streets in the world and a must see place in Bangkok. The party is on every hour of the day and most hours of the night, but in addition to that this road also has great shopping and street food options. If you’re wondering where to eat all the street food and insects they show on TV, it is here. I tried a grasshopper, a worm, a fried frog and some fried crickets. I thought the crickets were the tastiest, tasting more or less like chips.
2. THE GRAND PALACE
The grand palace is also a must see of Bangkok. It houses the royal family of Thailand. Thailand being a constitutional monarchy, seriously revere their king and security and code of conduct in the palace is strict. Men and women need to wear full clothing. If you don’t have any, you can always buy at the shops opposite the main entrance. The complex houses the emerald Buddha temple and in my opinion, this and one other temple in Bangkok should be sufficient before you get templed out.
This is a great way to zoom and look through Bangkok. The canals connect the inner and outer city and life on the canals is very different. From daily evening scenes, to floating markets, the canals are a sneak peek in the daily life of Bangkok citizens. The rides start near the river beside the Grand Palace, amongst many other places.
Sunset at the canals.
4. WAT ARUN
This temple lies just across the river from the grand palace, and the ferry to go there costs just a few baht. This is one of the more peaceful and calm temples in Bangkok, and after the rush and bustle of the Grand Palace, a quiet evening is recommended here. The canal tours also start from here.
5. WAT PHO
Just on the way to Wat Arun, next to the palace, is the temple of the reclining Buddha, the Wat Pho. It houses a colossal reclining Buddha and a quick visit is recommended.
If you’re traveling to Thailand or the South East, treat Bangkok as your base. A few days is enough to spend here and by seeing the above places, you are already traversing half the city. If you’re interested in the Royal family, there’s a museum in the old city which has all the information, and if youre still not satisfied area a history buff, then I suggest going to the old capital of Ayuthaya.
Christmas was approaching, and our flight to Vietnam, to Saigon was in the early hours of the morning and having done the canals tour on the last night, we’d seen most of what Bangkok had to offer. So, on Christmas day we set off to a new country, new money new languages and new visas.
Budget: INR 1500 per day