What They Don’t Tell You About Bangkok | A Guide

The Truth…

I hate to break this to you and some people may severely disagree with me, but Bangkok is not a place you just go for holiday by itself.

It’s a place you fly into and out of because it’s cheap, to recover from jet lag, and to see a few temples and get some street food while you’re at it. But that’s about it.

It’s big, it’s dirty, and there’s not many interesting things to do because for the most part it’s just a massive working city. 1-2 days is fine here.

Lodging:

Stay in a nice hotel in Bangkok and not a hostel. You will want a nice shower and a clean sheets and maybe even a robe once you land from that long travel day. Hotels cost pennies for what you get here. You can find hotels for $50-100/night and they are NICE hotels. Not like in America where you’re paying $100-150/night for the local Motel 6 infested with bed bugs. These are luxury high rise hotels. Splurge a little and treat yourself to recover from the jet lag.

Southeast Asia knows how to do luxury and they price it very affordably.

I personally wanted to stay at the hotel from the Hangover 3. Ha, but really I did and it actually exists. It’s called the Lebua State Tower here. They have the most amazing sky bar on the roof with the most insane view of the entire city. Go for sunset. The drink prices are American prices but the view makes it so worth it. Their prices range from $113-$539/night for the biggest suite. Most of the options include breakfast, club lounge access with free happy hour and snacks etc.

We did the 3 Bedroom Executive Suite which was the biggest they had. It is 2900 sq ft….. what, massive…with breakfast included and tower lounge access for only $539/night…$89/person…We had 6 people so needed more space. Expansive views of the river all around. It was insane. But if it’s just you and/or one other person it’s the same price as any other hotel and just as luxury. I loved it here personally. Great place to recoop for the long travel day.

What To Do:

What is interesting about Bangkok though is they have a few temples that were amazing. I recommend going to see Wat Pho where that huge gold reclining Buddha is. It’s massive. I was in shock.

TIP: Just know that in order to entire these temples you have to have your shoulders and knees covered. Worse comes to worst they have vendors on the outside that you can purchase the infamous elephants pants from for 5 dollars.

You should also swing by The Great Palace. It’s massive (and very crowded) but it was definitely worth it to see. Give yourself a few hours to walk around here because it’s that big. lol. There is only one entrance fee.

BEWARE THAT SCAMMERS MIGHT POSE AS EXTRA FEES OUTSIDE: do not pay. There’s only one when you enter. Entrance is 500 baht ~ $16 USD.

Wat Arun (The Temple of Dawn) is another cool temple that you can go and visit. It’s located right along the river.

Wat Pho, Wat Arun, and the Grand Palace are the three “main” temple attractions in Bangkok I’d say.

These temples are (for the most part) on the other side of the city from most of the nice hotels. The best way to get there is by boat along the Chao Phraya River (usually), which is fun and a great way to see the city and avoid the insane traffic. It’s really weird you can see the luxury hotels and rich part of the city, and then you’ll see all of the wooden houses and children playing in the water, and then all the temples. It’s a weird layout; very interesting.

The other most common way to get around is tuk tuk. The little scooter bikes with the trailer thing that you hop in. Everything is negotiable. So whatever they initially offer you, cut it in half and hold your ground.

Lots of people recommend Siam Paragon; however, this is literally just a high-end mall. If you like to shop then sure go window-shopping, but it’s all designer stores so good luck to your wallets.

If you like to shop but you’re poor like me then head to Chatuchak. I mean just look at the picture below: it’s a massive market just selling anything and everything you could imagine. I personally love walking around these kinds of markets. But it’s only open on the weekends! If you are here on a Saturday or Sunday then I recommend heading here and getting lost.

EAT THE STREET FOOD! I know some people are all sketch and think if they eat one thing off the street that they’re going to get coronavirus (jk) but that’s so not the case. In all my time in Thailand, I’ve never been sick and I eat street food for nearly every meal. Don’t deprive yourselves, the food is fire.

Bangkok Nightlife Sweetie:

If you want to go out then Khao San Road is the place to do it. It’s the main road for nightlife. Just have your motorcycle taxi drop you off here and you can walk bar to bar all night.

A lot of people also recommended I go see a Puppet Show. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, DO NOT DO THIS. It’s so boring. Just no. Don’t let anyone try to convince this is cool because it’s not.

Everything in Bangkok is doable in 1-2 days. If you don’t fit everything in that’s okay. Don’t feel like you’re missing anything because to be honest there are a lot better things to see in Thailand.

Bangkok is cool, but it’s mostly a place you go because it’s cheap to get to. As a plus, while you’re there recovering from big travel days and jet lag you can see some cool shit while you’re at it.

SNAPSHOT:

  • WHERE TO STAY:
    • Lebua State Tower: Amazing rooftop and amazing rooms and affordable for what you get.
    • Hotel Siri Heritage Bangkok Hotel: 1500 reviews 9.0/10. Walking distance to Khao San Rd. 70/night. Really nice and really cheap
    • Bangkok Marriott Hotel The Surawongse: LUXURY. $150/night. Beautiful rooftop pool, expansive views of the city. Amazing ratings.
    • LA49 Hotel: 50/night apartment style living. BIG rooms and very nice. A little further; 20 minutes to the sites, but it’s in a nice area with high end shopping, chic restaurants etc.
    • Of course you can find a hostel, but I don’t recommend since you are more than likely fresh off the plane and the hotels are SO cheap and nice.
  • TIME SPENT: 1-2 days
  • WHAT WOULD I CHANGE:
    • The first time I went I stayed 3 nights; too long.
  • BARS:
    • Khao San Road is the area to go out. You can’t go wrong. TONS of bars and clubs
    • Go to rooftops at sunset! Specifically Lebua State Tower rooftop for a cocktail.
  • FOOD:
    • Literally street food. On a budget this is all I ate here. You can’t go wrong.
  • MUST SEE:
    • Wat Pho
    • The Grand Palace
    • Wat Arun
    • Chatuchak
    • Patpong Night Market

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