You planned to go to Thailand ? Whatever your destination, you have 99% of chances to fly from or to Bangkok, it is an obligatory pass. Whether you are connecting to another destination in Asia or going to the islands or Chang Mai, there is a high chance that you will have to stop in Bangkok whether it is a few hours or several days. I’m not particularly a fan of megacities and I know a lot of people will tell you a lot about this town. In the professional context I was forced to go several times a month often for several days. As we share a lot of good plans between crews we did a little tour of the city Day and Night. Ready to discover this completely insane city?
How to get there?
The best way is still by plane. Suvarnabhumi is one of the biggest hubs in South Asia and you have regular flights from and out of the WORLD. If you are traveling, you will inevitably go through Kuala Lumpur or Singapore. Bangkok also has another airport: Don Mueang where the airplanes from Low Cost Air Asia, A company that literally sprinkles all of Asia with its Airbus A320, are departing. Suvarnabhumi Airport is located to the east of the city and connects it with a Skytrain.
To get to the city center you really only have two options the taxi or the Airport Rail Link. The most economical and convenient is in my opinion the Skytrain. You reach the center of Bangkok in about 30mn. The rate for the Phaya Thai terminus is 45 Bath/person. The train runs from 6am to midnight in both Directions. The advantages is that you do not type all the corks of Bangkok and God only knows that there are and the price is very interesting even to Many. By comparison a one way ticket to the same destination by taxi will cost you by demanding the meter and paying the tolls at best 400 Bath at worst double. You have connections with the MRT, the BTS, the taxi boats and the trains to the different stations. I’ll put the line plan and the schedules right Underneath.
Bangkok is a giant megalopolis, it extends over 1500Km2 and the population exceeds the 8 million for the city itself and almost 19 million for the “big” Bangkok. Basically you will not have enough of a life to visit this City. As all megacities Bangkok never really sleep and you will always find something to do day and Night. The exchange rate in Thailand is about €1 for 40 Bath. Bangkok is the city of Street Food, massage and Shopping. As many Asian countries the detention and drug use is severely reprimanded and the authorities are quite corrupted beware…
For European citizens you do not need a visa to enter Thailand a valid passport is enough and the police formalities are very fast compared to other Countries.
As for the accommodation you are spoilt for choice not only as all capitals Bangkok is full of hotels, but as in addition we are in Asia the prices are really very affordable for a service far superior to that one could Found in Europe or North America. For this stay we had chosen to reside at the 137 pillars Hotel. Already because it is the hotel that has the craziest pool in Bangkok but also for many other reasons that we will talk to you in a special article. I advise you at times a hotel close to the lively districts of the city I advise you to book on the BTS line between the resorts Siam and Asoke you will be in the heart of the city and it will be easy for you to radiate in the Vicinity. Count about 45 €/night for a decent accommodation at 120 €/night for a good quality Accommodation. Above these prices you will have very luxurious.
To travel to Thailand no particular vaccine is requested and everything is relatively safe. I eat in the street, a little anything and I have never been sick. Still drink bottled water you never know, you will only need a boat ride in the Klhongs to pass you the desire to drink the tap Water. There is no malaria in this area or serious illnesses. I do not advise you at times to have to be hospitalized there, as in many countries elsewhere.
Well we will not go through four paths, it is absolutely incredible. From the small walking kebab stand to the starry restaurants of the big hotels, you will find in Bangkok what to eat delicious things at any time of the day and Night. It is a real paradise for food lovers and prices are often derisory. Personally I never leave here without having eaten skewers (sweet sour pork dumplings, caramelized chicken breast, chicken liver, gizzards, sausages…), Pad Thai (rice pasta A little sour sweet, with vegetables and shrimp), vegetable soups and meatballs, beef salad with chili, green or red curry dishes not to mention the iconic Dessert: mango stick rice (fresh mango with sticky rice, coconut milk and crushed peanuts). I love this kitchen where you can eat all day without it being too caloric.
If you want to eat Western and refined, you will also find your happiness in the restaurants of the big hotels of the City:
-european gastronomic at Mezzaluna (2 Michelin Stars) with panoramic view at the Lebua State Tower,
-italian at the Spasso in the Grand Hyatt Erawan where you can extend the evening with live concerts at the restaurant bar,
-french at the Scarlett’s roof top of the Pullman Bangkok Hotel G
The main attractions during the day are:
Thailand is full of Buddhists temples all more beautiful than the Others. In the form of pagodas they are richly adorned and decorated with colorful motifs and a lot of gold. The main temples to visit are the Wat Phra Kaeo or Temple of the Emerald buddha, wat Pho (temple of the reclining buddha), wat Arun (on The other side of the Chao Praya) and my favorite wat bbbb Bophit or marble temple. I advise you to visit these temples either early in the morning at the opening or at the closing to avoid the CROWD.
Ok It’s not glamorous as visit nor very interesting (in my opinion) however the shopping malls of the city are chock full of small gadgets and Bargains.
If you need computer hardware or technology go to Pantip Plaza attention all the time to pirate software that is often stuffed with viruses.
The shopping mall must be the MBK center. It is the paradise of the sellers of phones and camera but you will also find there clothing of all brands, jewellery, massage parlors, restaurants and a 4d cinema on the top floor as well as a playroom. It’s huge crowded and filled with “chinoiserie” that will break down barely out of the Store. However you can also buy the real one for less but do not get the wrong shop. Watch out for Counterfeits.
Siam Paragon and Siam Center are shopping malls mainly selling luxury products at European prices, There are all the big brands there, I never go for shopping. However you can visit the aquarium of Bangkok in Siam paragon, the Museum of Wax statue of Madame Tussauds at Siam Discovery (a ticket to 2850Bath for Both) and the food court of Siam Paragon is very very very large and varied. You then have a lot of other centers that look a little bit alike, Terminal 21, Central World Downtown. Others on the periphery like the Mega Bangna. I am not a fan of these malls but each one tastes.
-the Market of Chatuchak
Chatuchak Market is the main and largest market in Bangkok is located north of the city near the BTS station of Mo Chit at the end of the Sukhumvit Line. Again everything is in the unmeasured, the stands line up with a loss of view overflowing with clothes, decorative objects and trinkets of all kinds all crowded with people and in a suffocating heat. It is to see but plan to be hot, to be tight and to get your hands full as there are things to buy. A tip If you find something you like buy it right away it is impossible to find any shop once you have moved away a little in the maze of this market. It is open only on weekends from 06:00 to 18:00
They became for some years tourist catches and lost their charm. In the 3/4 you will find the same items as anywhere else but more Expensive. If any time you really want to visit one go to the Nearest. The Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market is located west of Bang Wa the last station in Silom Line is a very typical market with still few tourists.
Bangkok is a very nice city to stroll through the streets according to its mood the only drawback is the road traffic and the little public transport which makes each trip relatively long especially if it rains. Some neighborhoods are very poorly served and it can take a long time to get There.
Go out in the evening
Bangkok is the city to go out everything lends itself to restaurants, bars, open boxes every night. I will make a small listing of the places I usually frequent when I go there.
I love the Skybars. There are some here and not the ugliest ones will try the Sirocco at Lebua, the Vertigo at Banyan Tree, the above Eleven at the Fraser Suites, the Red Sky above Central World. The cocktails although a bit expensive are many and very good, the ambiences are really nice and the views amazing.
The Red lights Districts: can’t go to Bangkok without visiting Soi Cowboy and Nana’s Plaza. These dance-galore bars are an integral part of the Landscape. Although prostitution is illegal in Thailand we know all the drifts of this country. These bars are for the most part filled with girls not necessarily happy to be there but it is also that Thailand and I think that we should not veil the face and become fully aware of what is happening in these NEIGHBORHOODS. I do not advise by cons absolutely not to go to see Ping pong show a Pat pong, these places are held by the Mafia and the atmosphere is really very murky.
Sukhumvit Soi 11: This is the street to go out, there are restaurants Zanzibar (Thai cuisine and concerts), the Oskar (european cuisine), the Above Eleven which is a Sky bar but also serves sushi and Peruvian dishes. In the same street, you will find nightclubs such as Sugar or the Levels. You can spend a whole night here.
Silom Road: in this area you will find the Lebua at the State Tower where you have the starry restaurant I told you about above as well as a skybar: the Sirocco where a French mimologie has just been hired to remake the whole menu of cocktails. The view over Bangkok is Breathtaking. Further below the Novotel Silom you will find the nightclub the Maggie Choo’s which offers a very retro decoration with alcoves and swings.
You then have nightclubs scattered throughout the City. The 66 road in RCA Street is open only on weekends, the Mixx in the President Tower, the Insanity…. You are spoiled for choice. All are not worth but everywhere the music is deafening prepare you to lose the Audition. For information taxis have contracts with nightclubs and suddenly the races are free if you go to some clubs. Don’t make yourself have….
Here’s a quick summary of what we do when we go to Bangkok. For my part I ICM much go there but never more than 3 or 4 days after the size of the city, the traffic jams me very quickly. But it is still a culinary, cultural and commercial paradise where you are guaranteed to have a good time if you bother to explore a little and where you will find almost everything that is done in Asia (electronics, clothing, decoration).
One last thing, but probably one of the most Important. In Thailand The plastic consumption is maddening they are able to put you a skewer per plastic bag all in one plastic bag with your drink in a plastic glass with a plastic straw in another bag. I try on my small scale to always think about consuming as little plastic as possible and finding clean alternatives. It is extremely important to be aware of this scourge that ravages all of Asia where they make a frantic use of plastic. If you go there, think of me and try to be careful.