Things to do in Bangkok – Your 48 Hour Guide

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Photo of Things to do in Bangkok – Your 48 Hour Guide 1/3 by Second Breakfast
Photo of Things to do in Bangkok – Your 48 Hour Guide 2/3 by Second Breakfast
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When I was planning my trip to Thailand, I didn't know where to start. I also was not prepared to fall completely in love with the country. Here's a simple plan to get the best of Bangkok, especially if you have to get back to office on Monday (boo!). So, 48 hours (you might not sleep much). Here's all the things to do in Bangkok. Your time starts now.

The first thing that hits you about Bangkok is that it's overwhelming. You'll be so torn in which direction to go and what to do first. Just soak it all in. And make sure that there's another trip to Thailand in your future, because one just won't do! There are so many things to do in Bangkok.

First things first, step out of your hotel and grab an ice tea; there'll be tons of carts around no matter where you are. Slurp slurp while heading to the Democracy monument. 

It'll only take a few minutes to walk past it in the swirling traffic to Khao San road. Khao San is a cocktail of two parts strange, one part thriving and just a hint of crazy. You can get a tattoo, get a fake licence made, eat at the various pubs and bars lining the streets, eat the coconut ice cream (I highly recommend it! So good!). If you're feeling more adventurous, you can try the fried spiders, scorpions, cockroaches, and other vermin. They're known to be delicacies, but my stomach couldn't handle the thought. I settled for spring rolls and pad thai instead.

Photo of Khao San Road Phra Nakhon Thailand by Second Breakfast
Photo of Khao San Road Phra Nakhon Thailand by Second Breakfast
Photo of Khao San Road Phra Nakhon Thailand by Second Breakfast

There's a van that's parked at the end of Khao San for quick currency exchange. You'll need this to buy all sorts of things like lamp shades with Thai motifs, tee shirts with neon elephants, and also some pretty cool clothes and other knick knacks. There were some pretty cool leather bags and a lot of Starbucks paraphernalia. There's also a pretty cool night tram tour if you're up for it.

The next day, head to Chatuchak market. It's better than any market you've ever imagined. There's all sorts of stuff on sale from the fashion things to home decor to reptiles and cactuses and birds and water creatures. There's a load of neat stuff to eat at well. Stuff yourself, because yolo right? Now, if you can make your way out of the Chatuchak maze, try the river cruise.

The Chao Phraya River Express is a fast, high-frequency paradox to the city streets. Ferries shuttle up and down the river, for example from the Tha Tien pier, serving up glimpses of the Palace and Wat Pho, and everyday city life on the banks, to the Oriental for a fare of 14 baht. These boats are sometimes four or five hooked together pulled by tiny tugs. Those juicy prawns you've been gorging on? Well, they live here! Hop off at the Asiatique market for a bit of of shopping, people watching, snacking and general frolicking. and then top it off with some much needed chilling at one of Bangkok's famous rooftop bars. A s you might've already heard, Bangkok has a pretty raging nightlife. It's mostly safe and the people are not intrusive.

The next day, throw in some culture as an antidote to your night of debauchery. Head to the Grand Palace and Wat Prakhew. It was the official residence of the Thai kings for nearly two centuries until 1946.

  You'll find the most important of Thailand's many shrines: the Emerald Buddha housed in Wat Prakhew. Cover up at the Wats and the Grand Palace, no shorts and tee shirts or even leggings. It opens 8.30am-3.30pm daily, admission 200 baht.

Photo of Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Pra Kaeow) Phra Borom Maha Ratchawang Bangkok Thailand by Second Breakfast

Now head to the Jim Thompson house. He was an ex CIA agent, revered in Thailand for solely reviving the dying Thai silk industry. His house contains artefacts he used. Tours run 9am-5pm daily, 100 baht. I t so happens that back in the day, rich expat people used to poop in a sort of potty that was shaped like an animal. It' s hollow inside and you lift the head, do your thing and cover it back up. Cat potties for men and frog potties for women. Pretty cool,right? Also grab a quick cocktail or artisanal tea at the Jim Thompson restaurant and then head out and eat this . You'll see many massage places near the crepe guy, so try to squeeze one in before you go to do some mall crawling at Siam centre. There are many sprawling malls in Bangkok, which in my opinion can be avoided, but they do have some pretty awesome things to eat. (more on that later).

There are definitely more things to do in Bangkok that these covered here, but this guide is to help you get the best of Bangkok in your short trip. Quickly pack all your newly acquired Bangkok goodies and head off to the airport now. You're already planning your next Bangkok trip.

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This post was originally published on Second Breakfast.

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