Bangkok — a great stopover at any time especially when you travel from Australia to Europe.
A bustling vibrant city where the traffic is a nightmare, the heat intense, the noise deafening, but you can experience amazing temples, boat rides on the river, great food, friendly people and it is unique like no other place on earth. These are the reasons why we love Bangkok. But what if you only have a short stopover? What could you do and see in 12 hours?
1. Chao Phraya River Boat Ride
We stayed at the Arize Hotel close to Phrom Phong BTS station. For 42 Thai Baht (THB) (A$1.60) you can ride the BTS to Saphan Taksin (Central Pier) changing at Siam. The BTS is a great way to travel around Bangkok, fast clean and efficient.
For more information on Bangkok’s BTS Skytrain click here.
At Central Pier, a few minutes walk from Saphan Taksin BTS, you can travel via longtail boat for THB100 (A$3.80) to the Grand Palace or THB25 (A$1) by local ferry. The longtail boat will drop you at Tha Tien and then you walk about 15 minutes to the Grand Palace or you can get the local ferry and it drops you at Tha Chang which is located on the river by the Grand Palace.
There are many more places to visit along the river….click this link.
2. The Grand Palace
The Grand Palace is #16 of the world’s most visited sites. It is Bangkok’s most famous landmark. The Palace was built in 1782 and was the home of the King, the Royal Court and the administrative seat of government for 150 years. The complex houses the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, where it is believed that the small buddha image is over 2,000 years old. Photos are not allowed inside the Temple. It is an awe-inspiring place well worth the visit.
Opening Hours: 8:30am to 3:30pm
Location: Na Phra Lan Road, Old City (Rattanakosin)
Entrance Fee: THB500 (A$18.90) per person
NB. There is a strict dress code, no shorts or sleeveless t-shirts. Complimentary trousers and tops are available, but there is a deposit of THB400 ($15.15) per item.
Travel Scam: On arrival at the pier you will be greeted by locals who will advise that the Grand Palace is closed for the day or part of that day. They will offer you a local Tuk Tuk tour, ‘very cheap’ to see another Temple whilst you wait for the Palace to open. If you fall for this scam, you will see another temple but also a jewellery store, tailors etc with hard-sell salesmen who try their hardest and all their best tricks to help you part with your money.
3. Enjoy an ice cold coconut drink
Across the road from the entrance to the Grand Palace is a great place to purchase a cold coconut drink for THB40 (A$1.50), very refreshing after your few hours visiting the Grand Palace in the intense heat.
4. A cold beer at the Royal Oak Pub
End your day with a cold Singha beer at the Royal Oak Pub located at 595/10 Sukhumvit 33/1, Khlong Tan Nuea, Watthana, Bangkok 10110, Thailand. A popular place for travellers and expats to gather and watch sport on TV and on Wednesday nights they have a Pub Quiz.
5. Eat local food
Finish your day off with a local meal at our favourite restaurant a few blocks from the Royal Oak Pub.
At the start of Sukhumvit 37 Alley you will find our favourite local Thai restaurant. Very reasonably priced Thai food and beer. The name is “Very Cheap Thai Food” and it is a popular local restaurant for Thais, expats and travellers.
6. Chatuchak Market
If you have longer than 12 hours and you are in Bangkok on the weekend why not visit the famous Chatuchak Weekend Market. It is located at 587/10 Kamphaeng Phet 2 Road, Chatuchak, Bangkok 10900. It is open from 6am to 6pm and can be reached on the BTS at Mo Chit station.
7. Wander through Chinatown
Wander through the streets of Chinatown packed with market stalls, gold shops, clothing shops and a variety of food stalls that will whet your appetite. Head down at sunset and soak up the atmosphere of local food frying in the streets that will assault your senses.
There are many reasons to visit Bangkok in Thailand.
Previously published here
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