- The airport has HIGH exchange fees, so it's best to go elsewhere to exchange money
- The BTS skytrain and metro (MRT) are the best way to get around. Tickets cost around $1 CAD and the trains are usually very reliable
- Boats are a good way to get around and see some sights but there are 2 kinds of boats - local and tourist. Wait for the local boats - they are cheaper!
- Negotiate prices (especially for tuk-tuks), but be fair and friendly
When you land in Bangkok, the best thing to do is take the metro into the city and then either walk or take a tuk-tuk to your hotel. Start your Thailand experience right away!
Terminal 21 Asok & Food Court ($)
Take the BTS or MRT (both stop directly in the mall and link up) to this huge mall that boasts the longest escalator in Thailand. The mall has tons of stores packed into 10 stories and a gourmet food court. Thai mall food courts are no joke - some of the cheapest food, both Thai and from all over the world, and amazing quality lives here. Stop for lunch and get some bubble tea with pearls!
#mallfoodcourt #localcuisine #shopping
Thai Massage (Health Land) ($)
Your next stop on this relaxing tour is a traditional Thai massage. Health Land Spa is one of the best and most luxurious experiences in the heart of Bangkok. Even though this is considered a more upscale place, a 120 minute traditional Thai massage only costs 600 baht (~$25 CAD)!
Thai massage is an experience in itself, as a more "active" type of massage therapy using deep stretching to improve circulation and balance.
#spas&wellness #spa #massage #relaxation
Dinner at Scarlett ($$$)
Bringing a taste of France to the heart of Bangkok, this famous Michelin star restaurant is atop the Pullman hotel is swoon-worthy. If the view from the 37th floor of the city and the Chaopraya River and romantic patio setting isn't enough, the cocktails are creative and the wine list is un-ending. Order up a glamourous cocktail to sip and enjoy the both the city views and the intimate setting.
#frenchcuisine #cityviews #rooftopbar #winebars #michelinrated #romantic
The Grand Palace ($)
No visit to Bangkok would be complete without visiting the strikingly beautiful Grand Palace. The palace has been the official residence of the Kings of Siam (and later Thailand) since 1782 and is full of history. These days, it's where royal ceremonies are held, and it also serves as the place to welcome guests of the king.
Take the Silom Line to Saphan Taksin Station (known as the S6 Station). Then jump on a local river boat down to the temple, which is a crazy experience in itself, and get off at stop No. 9.
PRO TIP: There are many scams around the Palace. Many of these scams claim that the Palace is closed for the day and that they can show you other sights. Keep an eye out for these scams.
PRO TIP: The Palace has a strict dress code. Come prepared wearing long pants and cover your shoulders.
#architecture #history #royal #beautiful #riverviews #boattour
Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of Emerald Buddha) ($)
A very short walk away from the Grand Palace is another amazing must-see temple. It is considered to be the most sacred Buddhist temple in Thailand. Take your time to wander around the grounds and soak in the beautifully intricate architecture of the temple. Monks are an ordinary sight at the temple, adorned in their orange garb. Your admission (~$15 CAD) to the Grand Palace will also include admission into this temple.
Kor Panich Sticky Rice ($)
Time for a lunch break! There is an amazing shop only a 7 minute walk East of the Temple of the Emerald Buddha that specializes in Thai sweets. A small and inconspicuous shop, but is Michelin Starred! Order the mango sticky rice for a fusion of sweet and savory. Thailand is the master of combining flavours and balancing sweet, spicy, savory, and salty. Pick up some fresh mangoes to take with you back to your hotel. If you're still feeling peckish, there is a ton of great street food along this area as well.
Wat Pho & Wat Arun ($)
Wat Pho (also known as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha) and Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn) are well worth a visit. They're in the same area, only a few minutes away so it's time to soak in more temples! Wat Pho is one of Bangkok's oldest temples and it existed before Bangkok was established as the capital by King Rama I. The Reclining Buddha is a stunning 46 meters long. Drop a coin into the bowl for good luck!
The Temple of Dawn's exterior is very different from other temples across Bangkok. It's white, intricately carved and coloured spires stand out against the setting sun. Wat Arun is almost directly opposite Wat Pho, so it’s very easy to get to. From Saphan Taksin boat pier you can take a riverboat that stops at Pier 8. From here, a small shuttle boat takes you from one side of the river to the other.
#goodluck #buddhism #sunset
Khao San Road ($)
Although it's a very "touristy" thing to do, it's worth it! The road does get packed with people, so if you're an extrovert, this is a great place to meet people from all over the world and chat over some local brews. Packed with bucket drinks, spicy street food, and nightlife, you could easily spend the night bar hopping, or people watching. Shopping is open late and you'll find some great souvineers.
Chatuchak Weekend Market ($-$$)
Shopping lovers rejoice! This is one of the best markets with the most variety. The MRT station you want is "KAMPHANEGPHET". It is one stop past Chatuchak Park MRT station. Leave the station, through exit #2, and you will exit directly into Chatuchak Weekend Market.
This indoor/outdoor market has a vendor for everything you could be looking for. Paintings, wood work, handy craft, fabrics, bags, antiques, rare art, clothing for all occasions, toys, jewelery, massages, furniture, all kinds of food, fruit, sweets, and spices. It's a rainbow of smells and quite a sight to see.
Grab an early lunch and a cup of cofee and stroll through the sections of the market.
#localmarkets #weekendmarket #shoppingdistrict
Live Muay Thai ($)
Either a walk away or a short train ride away (to Mo-Chit Station) from the market is the well-known Channel 7 Boxing Stadium where you can watch some live Muay Thai martial arts. This is an active television station that films Muay Thai fights that you can sit in on and watch. Even if you're not interesting in the ancient sport, it's still a fascinating cultural experience and you can see some behind the scenes action from a local TV station.
PRO TIP: There is a dress code in place here. Men: wear long pants and a nice polo top (or they will make you buy one for a dollar or so).
#sportingevents #muaythai #freeentry
The Speakeasy Rooftop ($$)
As an alternative to the over-done Sky Bar, the Speakeasy Rooftop Bar is a great last stop for a romantic evening on top of the city. Great French food, stunning views from the top of the roof, and a light breeze are all great to take in while sipping delicious speakeasy cocktails. There's often live jazz music in the evenings to enjoy while you take your time eating your way through each course. Cozy and romantic, this is the perfect place to end your trip.
#livemusic #jazzbar #rooftop