Bangkok can be a somewhat daunting place for some first-time visitors. The City is noisy, chaotic, polluted and traffic-congested beyond imagination. Add to this the heat and dust, and one might think a doomed holiday is guaranteed. Yet at the same time, Bangkok is a city of fantastic food and great shopping. It has some of the nicest places to rest one's weary body at the end of the day. If you are in Bangkok for the first time, be prepared to take it slow: don't try to rush to see all the sights, and plan for plenty of down time. Here are a few suggestions for a couple of days in town.
The Grand Palace, one of Bangkok's most visited attractions — Photo courtesy of Dave Stamboulis
Start your morning with a trip to Bangkok’s most venerated and glittering site, the Grand Palace, which is home to the country’s most visited temple Wat Phra Kaew, more commonly known as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. Built by King Rama I, it is the most revered spot in Thailand, and packed with merit makers.
Make sure not to miss the Emerald Buddha. It may only be 31-inches tall, but it is the most worshiped statue in the country. From here, you may also want to call in at Wat Pho, the largest and oldest temple in Bangkok, which houses a 150-foot-long reclining Buddha statue. Wat Pho is also home to a renowned massage school, and you can get an excellent relaxing massage while here.
Getting around in Bangkok can be a real challenge and hassle, so whenever you can, try to get to your destinations by either the BTS Skytrain or MRT Subway. If your destination like the Grand Palace isn't near one of these options, try the other preferred method of transport: take a ferry on the Chao Phraya River.
The Moon Bar and Vertigo — Photo courtesy of Banyon Tree Hotels and Resorts
While around the Grand Palace and Wat Pho, slip over to the charming Saochingcha district, where the Giant Swing is located, and sight of some of the City's longest running traditional restaurants. Call in for some authentic royal palace recipes at Chote Chitr, or go try some of the famed pad kee mao "drunkards" noodles at Jae Fai. Make sure to get back for sunset, and grab a drink to go with the knockout 360-degree city panoramas over at The Moon Bar.
On your second day, either head out to visit some of Bangkok's more quirky attractions like the Queen Saovabha Snake Farm, or perhaps get away from it all by heading up the Chao Phraya River to visit Bangkok's island, the quaint and car-free Ko Kret.
Queen Saoyabha Snake Farm in Bangkok — Photo courtesy of Dave Stamboulis
Make sure to leave time for some shopping at the glitzy Siam Paragon Mall, and wind down your day with some great Thai food and local cocktails at the well known Soul Food Mahanakorn.
Hopefully, you will have had a thoroughly great time and be ready to come back to Bangkok for more in the future!
larb pet duck salad at Soul Food Mahanakorn — Photo courtesy of Soul Food Mahanakorn