Bangkok is a huge, beautiful city bursting with vibrant city life. However, like many other teeming metropolises it has its own frustrations, given that it is hectic and there is just so much to see! As with any city, Bangkok can be quite expensive if you are not careful. However, it can also be pretty cheap if you know just where to go and how to go about it. To guide you on your way to an affordable trip to this angelic city, I have put together a travel itinerary to make sure you catch all the best bits in as little as 48 hours. You can really experience so much in this short space of time, and with this itinerary you are sure to have the best time of your life in Bangkok.
Begin your tour by exploring the Chao Phraya River in the morning. The river has been referred to as the artery of Bangkok because it leads to different parts of the city including Nonthaburi. The boat cruise on Chao Phraya is cheap and exciting, and there is so much to see. A boat cruise makes it easier to see towering hotels and the breath-taking temples, and it is certainly the best way to begin your tour of Bangkok.
By the end of a boat ride, it would be approaching afternoon, and the next places to tour are the incredible temples.
Getting around to visit temples
By far the easiest way to get around Bangkok is by tuk tuk, however, be prepared to stop off at clothing factories because the tuk tuk drivers receive commission for every tourist they bring, given that the tourist spends a certain amount of time inside the store (approx 10-15 minutes). Nevertheless, tuk tuk’s are a fun experience and a great slice of Thai culture. Our driver spoke limited english but he did try his best to point out a few key landmarks as we where heading to the main attractions. For as little as 40baht we where driven around for 1-hour in the tuk-tuk and stopped at 5 attractions. The roads are crazy in Bangkok so make sure you hold on tight to the tuk-tuk for your own safety and hang on to your valuables whilst in the tuk-tuk to reduce the risk of theft whilst waiting in traffic.
There are so many temples in Bangkok such as the temple of the reclining Buddha, the temple of the dawn, the emerald temple, Wat Saket, Wat Traimit and Wat Suthat. Wat Saket otherwise called the temple of the golden mount provides a wonderful view of the whole city from the rising golden mount found within its premises. To see the Emerald temple, you must head to the Grand Palace. The latter is a major tourist attraction in Bangkok which is open until 3:30pm everyday, and whilst you are here you will get to see other attractions too such as the throne hall. However, be aware that foreigners are charged a lofty fee of 500 bahts compared to the smaller fees charged at the other temples.
Inside the Laying Buddha we got chatting with a local Buddha that told us some inspiring stories of Buddhism beliefs, many that related to the Modern Buddhism teachings I had attended back home regarding the strong belief in karma and reincarnation. Many temples do not allow photography, particularly inside so be sure to check the signs around the ground, and some require strict dress-code such as long skirts/trousers and long-sleeves. Some temples are free to explore in Bangkok and many are in the central area and within a short 5-15 minute tuk-tuk ride from one to the next.
Where to go out
After a long day spent seeing the city and the temples the best way to cap the day is a tour of the famous Khaosan Road. This is a vibrant part of Bangkok and the incredible nightlife is one you must experience at least once in your life. If you love to experience the weird and wonderful foods, shows, and drinks then this is the place for you. The street comes alive at night and is blocked off from vehicles to allow the trading of the night markets. Scorpions on sticks, buckets of mixers, and classic chang beers are a plenty.
Everything on Khaosan road is affordable including the multitude of bars and clubs. Check out Cavernous Lava Club, Roof Top Gazebo, Lava Gold, Brown Sugar and Club Culture for some cheap cocktails of the famous Chang beer.
After a tiring tour the day before you may need a good rest and something mild in the morning of your second day in Bangkok. A walk in the park will do it, and luckily, there are many parks in the city of Bangkok. The two popular ones are Lumpini Park and Benjakiti Park, as there is much to see here such as the gigantic bathing monitor lizards in Lumpini Park. The morning is also an opportunity to throw in a quick workout by using the makeshift gym centers at the parks.
After your work-out or leisure walk in the parks head out to Siam on a tuk tuk. Siam is the city centre and the home to beautiful malls, but of course you don’t have to buy anything to explore and enjoy it. After Siam, the next best place to spend an Afternoon is Chinatown – the food scene of Bangkok. There are many food shops in Chinatown where you can explore tasty specialty cuisines of your choice.
If you are up for more fun, then you don’t want to miss going to the night markets which can be found in several locations around the city including the huge Rot Fai Market, Srinakarin. If you fancy a slice of luxury and some breathtaking views of Bangkok, head over to Skybar at Lebua, Statetower. The bar has become more popular with tourists following its appearance on The Hangover. Be prepared to pay around 10GBP for a cocktail – the Hangovertini is definitely worth it if you are in the mood for a strong one, and the views are 100% worth the splash of cash.