Tips for Exciting Bangkok
18 May 2014
Bangkok or Krung Thep as it is known in Thai is a huge metropolis that offers visitor just about anything the could ever want…culture, delicious food, beautiful parks, shopping, nightlife, all sorts of entertainment and even peace and quite. Our peace and quite was found in our magnificent balcony room in the Krungthep Wing of the Shangri-La Hotel.
Several of Bangkok’s top highlights can be easily arranged on your own starting right from the boat dock just minutes walk from the hotel. Here’s my proposal for a non-stressful but very exciting day (and night) in Bangkok:
Start out around 8:30 or 9:00. Walk to the nearby boat dock and take the orange flag express boat. Get off at the fifth stop and you’re in Chinatown. There are walking routes you can find on internet or use the convenient services of a tuk-tuk. Tell the driver where you want to go and set the price first. After an hour or so it’s time to move on. This time take a tuk-tuk and have the driver take you to the flower market which is between Chinatown and the Grand Palace, your next visit. You will be amazed by the variety of orchids and lotus flowers and you’ll also find the fragrant garlands or flower wreaths that you are welcomed with when you check in at the Shangri-La hotel. After a short walk around the flower market hop back on the tuk-tuk and continue to the Grand Palace.
The palace complex is huge but easy to get around. You may read up on it beforehand to get an idea of what parts you want to see. But if you don’t, no worries because all of it is exquisite and worth seeing. I suggest a leisurely walk and you’ll know when to go inside to see its major highlights such as the Emerald Buddha.
After a couple of hours on the palace grounds, go to the nearby boat dock. From the dock take a boat to the local floating market. There are several ways to do this but I suggest hiring a private long tail boat right from the dock. You’ll want to haggle a little but the price is not excessive. You’ll go along a route of canals that is an experience in itself and finally stop at a floating market. It is not the famous Damneon Saduak which is hours away from Bangkok, but smaller and more authentic. Time for lunch! Have a look at the numerous boats with food venders and then take a seat . A friendly waiter will offer you a pictured menu and you may choose from the freshly made items. After lunch get back on your long tail boat and return to the same dock.
Now is a perfect time for a Thai massage. When you get off the long tail boat walk 10-15 minutes to the Wat Pho temple. Just ask for directions; it’s near and easy to find. The temple is home to the famous Reclining Buddha—a must-see—and the birthplace of Thai massage! The Reclining Buddha is just by the entrance. So, you can first be bewildered by the gigantic, reclining Buddha or go directly to have an authentic, therapeutic Thai massage, leaving the Buddha for afterwards. If time permits, I suggest having at least a 30 minute full body massage and another 30 minute foot massage. Oh, and don’t forget to get your free bottle of water that is included with the ticket to the Wat Pho.
Go back to the boat dock. Just across the river you’ll see Wat Arun, the Temple of Dawn. If your energy is high and time permits you can take the ferry across and back to visit another amazing temple. You’ll want to leave for the hotel on the same orange flag line. It takes under 30 minutes.
After a shower and cocktails at the Riverside Lounge of the Krungthep Wing, it’s time to experience Bangkok’s legendary nightlife entertainment. You could dedicate the entire night up into the early morning hours. But after such an eventful day I suggest just getting a taste of what’s offered by seeing a sit down Lady Boy show. Either by taxi or, if you are still feeling adventurous, by tuk-tuk you can go to a nearby spot where you’ll be served a drink and entertained by a broadway-worthy group of Ladyboys. The show lasts for about an hour and a half. With the show topping off the evening you should be ready to fall into your comfortable bed. And if not…there’s more waiting for you. Bangkok never sleeps!