To borrow a well-known expression – when one is tired of Bangkok, one is tired of life. The multi-faceted city has so much to offer the traveler. Let me share a few of the places I explored during my short 4-day trip there.
Grand Palace & Wat Phra Keaw – The Grand Palace astounds us in both its shape and colors. Stretches of the magnificent columns and walls are covered with vivid shades and golden mosaics. Despite the tourist crowds, the atmosphere is peaceful, tempting you to stay all day long.
Wat Arun – This is a stunning and imposing “Temple of Dawn” situated on the bank of Chao Phraya river. Its architecture stands out from the other temples in Bangkok. It features colorful spires against a mainly-white pyramidal structure. Best to get there with the river shuttle.
Wat Pho – This is the oldest and biggest temple complex in Bangkok best known for housing the Golden Reclining Buddha. Almost 50m long (with the sole of the feet of about 5m), it depicts Buddha passing into the state of Nirvana.
Chao Phraya river – Riding on the river boat is an experience in itself but it is also one of the most convenient ways to get to most of the cultural sites in Bangkok.
Chatuchak Weekend Market – Lose yourself and spend hours in this huge market. You can find almost anything – from small tech gadgets, vintage clothing to street food. I was glad to get there early before the crowds and be able to shop more quietly for souvenirs.
Floating Markets – This is a unique experience worth the fairly long road trip to get there. Indeed, the closest floating market is a 2-hour ride away from the center. I went to Damnoen Saduak, Ratchaburi which is one of the nearest. Once there, you take a boat that guides you through the market. There are shop-stalls on stilts or on the river bank but people visit the market for the boat stalls (hence its name). Do try the coconut ice-cream or mango sticky rice – two specialties to make for an even more memorable outing.
Rot Fai Night Market 2 – The original Rot Fai (Train Market) was so successful that they developed a New Rot Fai market in a more convenient location. Enjoy local street food in a typical night market and it is also a happening place to enjoy night drinks.
So on this whistle-stop tour, what is my take on Bangkok? It does live up to its tourism slogan: “Amazing Thailand”!