I’ve been delayed in writing this post, so I figure I should write it ASAP before I forget my trips. Remember, I was staying at the Hilton Millennium, which isn’t in the ideal location. While it is more convenient to get to the temples and riding the water taxis are fun, you don’t want to be doing it every day. I am by no means an expert in Bangkok since I only spent 3 days there myself, so this’ll be based on what I did and not a thorough guide at all.
Where to stay
In my opinion, you want to stay in the yellow highlighted area that I’ve marked “mall.” That’s where the big shopping mall Siam resides. It’s along the metro route and is central to everything. The Park Hyatt is a stop away, but the Grand Hyatt and other SPG hotels are near there. That’s where I’d stay if I go back.
What to do
I’ll list out what I did, but you may have different tastes.
Morning – Go tour the temples. Start at the Grand Palace. Get there before they open even because you want to beat the Chinese tourists. We got there are noon and it was PACKED. I don’t think I’ve ever been to a place with that many tourists in my life. You couldn’t even take pictures because people kept pushing you along. I wanted to leave ASAP just because it was too claustrophobic. I forgot the cost; I think somewhere north of $10 USD.
Afternoon – Tour Wat Pho, which is within walking distance of the Grand Palace. We considered going to the National Museum, but my internet was slow and I couldn’t read if it was worth it or not. Make sure you see the Sleeping Buddha at Wat Pho. After that, eat lunch at one of the spots outside the exit of Wat Pho. Then make your way to the ferry at the end of the Thai Wang Alley. I think it cost like 10 Thai baht to cross over to Wat Arun Ratchawararam. That’s free and is pretty cool to check out. After that, we took the boat to the Hilton.
Night – The Hilton Millenium has a free water shuttle to Asiatique, which is a cool night market. LOTS of restaurants to eat at and you can walk and shop around the night market. If you’re not staying at the Hilton, I’m not sure if I would go out of my way to go here though.
We were torn between going to the Damnoen Saduak floating market or a local smaller one. After all the tourists at the palace yesterday and the 2 hour ride to get there, we chose a local one instead and don’t regret the decision at all. Instead, we went to the Khlong Lat Mayom floating market. Let me warn you now – we only saw 2 boats selling goods, so it wasn’t a true “floating market.” It wasn’t that crowded either, so a good balance. It did have cheap fresh grilled humongous prawns though:
After the floating market, we took an Uber to the Chatuchak Flower market. Let me tell you now – I didn’t see any flowers here either. It is only open on weekends and there were tourists EVERYWHERE! It was just a humongous outdoor market. Lots of food options, trinkets, etc. After a few hours, we walked by a foot massage place in the market and decided to get an hour foot massage that cost us like $8 each. Best $8 ever! After that,we just went back to the hotel.
Because we love malls, we spent the 3rd day exploring the Siam Paragon mall area. We had heard the food court area was good and that’s where we had lunch. After that, we went over to the Terminal 21 mall, which is like the poor man’s mall once you’ve been to Siam Paragon. Mostly local shops but it does have a good food court area as well. I wish we had gone to a different mall though – maybe Central World. We ate dinner at Terminal 21.
Unfortunately, I don’t have too many food recommendations. I wanted to go to Gaggan (rated as Asia’s #1 restaurant,) but I was too late in making reservations. Instead we went to Bo.Lan, which was pretty good.
I liked Bangkok. LOVE the <$10 hour long massages. Love the cheap seafood at the markets. It is a bit too crowded though (metro is a bit crowded and the weekend markets.) Would I go back in the future? Eh sure. Would I go out of my way to go back? Probably not; would rather go back to Japan.