Sawasdee-kub everyone! This is how we greet in Thailand. Today we’re going to explore my very hometown Bangkok where I was born and raised. We are going to explore the capital city which is located in the central part of Siam or a.k.a. Thailand nowadays!
Did you know that Bangkok real name is the longest city name in the world; it is called “Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Ayuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Piman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit”. However even Thai people ourselves don’t even remember the full name; we shorten and call it “Krung Thep” in Thai language which literally means “the city of angels”.
Thai people speak the native Thai language but most people can now speak English especially the younger generations and people in all tourist attractions. Feel free to ask for help if you have problems as we are friendly people; Thailand is not named “The land of smile” for nothing!! 😀
One thing you would love (or hate) about Thailand is we basically have Summer all year round you can confidently say that we don’t have Winter really plus a little bit of a rainy season, the average temperature ranges around 25-32 °C or 77-90 °F. April-May here the hottest and Nov-Dec are the coolest months of the year just to give you an idea of what to bring when packing. Regardless, every season will offer you each own unique experiences so you’re more than welcome to visit Thailand all year round.There are a plenty of stuffs to do in just in Bangkok alone so you should give the least 2-3 days here in Bangkok to complete the most popular attractions.
1. The Anata Samakhom Throne Hall
This place used to be a reception hall but now is preserved as a museum. It is located besides Dusit Zoo which is another famous attraction in Bangkok.
2. TEMPLE OF THE EMERALD BUDDHA (WAT PHRA KAEW) AND THE GRAND PALACE (Phra Borom Maha Ratcha Wang)
Two of the most prominent landmarks of Bangkok are the sacred Emerald Buddha temple and the Grand Palace which was the resident of the Kings in the old time which are now both open to public. These two places are located within the same area. Tickets are sold together at 500 Thai Baht or around $13USD or £9). Also, before you come please keep in mind that in Thailand, temple is considered very holy place so short pants/ short skirts/ sandals/slippers are strictly not allowed so please dress accordingly.
Temple of the Emerald Buddha
Another thing you can find in Thai temples is the holy spirit Krut or Garuda. It is considered as protector/ guardian this is why you can see them around in any Thai temples. It is also the national emblem of Thailand which appeared in all government official documents (my birth certificate and passport has them too!)
Here is another view of the Emerald Buddha temple. There are many small temples and domes in the area surround one big temple where Emerald Buddha is located (unfortunately no photography was allowed inside the main temple so I couldn’t get any photos).
Tips: if you would like to go inside the main temple you’ll have to leave your shoes outside but I recommend to put it at the very bottom shelves or hide them to not make them obvious just like I did, for safety.
Me and the Grand Palace (there is a short path connected the Emerald Buddha temple to the palace)
3. TEMPLE OF DAWN (WAT ARUN)
Only 15 minutes walk from The Temple of Emerald Buddha and the Grand Palace locates another famous temple, The Temple of Dawn just next to the Chao Phraya River. I recommend you to view the temple from the opposite side of the river at the sunset for the best view.
The temple of Dawn (Wat Arun) and Chao Phraya River
4. TEMPLE OF RECLINING BUDDHA (WAT PHO)
Just 3-5 minutes walk from the pier is another temple Wat Pho. It is one of the oldest temples in Bangkok, in fact it was built before Bangkok was the capital city of Thailand.
Me inside Wat Pho’s Temple Grounds
It is the home to one of the largest Buddha statues in Thailand at strikingly over 15 metres (49.12 ft) tall and 46 metres (150.92 ft) long.
The famous Reclining Buddha
5. KHAO SAN ROAD
Only 1km from The Temple of the Emerald Buddha/ Grand Palace and only few more from other above attractions is the one of the most famous short street in Bangkok. It is right in the city centre and where most backpacker hostels are located. It is full of pubs, restaurants, clothes shops, tattoo shops, massage parlours, pharmacies and everything you name it!
The crowd at Khao San Road in the early evening (it’ll be more packed after the sunset and the street will become way more lively than this!)
Me and Mr. McDonald doing “Wai” is the a polite gesture for greetings in Thai culture.
If you want to have a quick escape from the crowd, there is another famous temple just at one end of Khao San Road. (It is one of the 7 things to do in Khao San Road if you scroll up and look carefully! :P). This temple is called Wat Chana Songkhram (‘Wat’ literally means ‘temple’ in Thai this is why all temple starts with the word ‘Wat’ in Thailand).
Buddha statues inside Wat Chana Songkhram temple at the end of Khao San Road
6. CHINATOWN (YAOWARAT)
Bangkok’s Chinatown is definitely a not-to-be-missed destination! It comes to life during the night. It is famous for street foods and some night markets.
The main Chinatown road, Yao Warat (Thanon means Street in Thai language)
At the entrance of the Chinatown area
Traditional Thai/Chinese desserts – most of them are made from fruits, nuts, coconut milks and other natural ingredients so most of them are suitable for vegetarians.
The atmosphere inside Chinatown area – People casually sitting down and order their foods. This is very common in Thailand especially in this area, these street ‘pop-up’ restaurants (with tables and chairs) are everywhere in Chinatown.
Don’t for get to try this Thai traditional dishes: Kluay Tiew Lord (Rice Noodle Crepe with Shrimp/Pork)..
Fresh Pomegranate Juice!
7. SIAM AREA
I know this is confusing, Siam is the old name of Thailand but Siam is also a well-known shopping area in the heart of Bangkok where it ranges from street shopping to high-end shopping of luxury brands. There are at least 3-4 big shopping malls all right next to each other and tens of small streets around making this area arguably one of the most crowded areas in Bangkok both day and night.
Maboonkrong (MBK) mall is an 8th stories tall shopping mall which sells cheap to middle range brands
Siam Paragon is the more well known for high-end luxury brands like LV, Chanel, Prada etc.
Opposite of Siam Paragon is Siam Center which also sells middle-high end luxury brand; it is very popular amongst teenagers
8. PUBLIC TRANSPORT
Ah how did I forget to mention about commuting in Bangkok! Many people use taxis and buses here in Thailand as they are relatively cheap (taxi – around $1USD for a start and the metre goes up around 10cents every 1 minute). Or most tourists would want to try the ‘tuk tuk’ which is a three-wheeled taxi but beware as they don’t run by metre they might end up charging you more than normal taxis sometimes.
Three ideal transportations in Bangkok: Tuktuk, Buses and Taxis
Me in a tuktuk!
Another main transportation is the MRT (underground) and the skytrain which basically runs to the city centre and outer part of Bangkok which makes transporting in Bangkok very convenient. Oh I forgot to mention, ‘motorcycle taxi’ (it’s like taxi but with motorbike instead of normal car) is also very common here and is not expensive at all. (I used them from time to time especially during rush hours).
Me and the Bangkok Transit System (BTS) Skytrain
9. THAI FOOD
Okay here comes my favourite part! If you come to Thailand you must try Thai foods if you haven’t tried them before or even if you have tried them before then you even should try them again!!
One of the most popular Thai dishes, Som Tum (Papaya/Carrot Salad)
Grilled Chicken (Gai Yang) – we usually have it with sticky rice!
Tom Sap is another type of Tom Yum Soup, it’s made of pork while Tom Yum Goong is made of prawns, Tom Sap is a little more sour than normal Tom Yum but you definitely give it a try!
Any fish dishes – we offer many different kind of fish dishes in Thailand they all taste so different but yet so unique and delicious. Feel free to pick any!
These are only the most popular ones I selected, there are still LOTS more to do in Bangkok and Thailand. Thailand can roughly be divided into 4 main parts; Central – where Bangkok is located; North – Chiang Mai with loads of hills and mountains; Northeast – lots of farmlands; South – Phuket, Krabi, Kho Phangan where all paradise-liked beaches and full moon party is located!). Each part of Thailand will give you totally different and unique experiences, try to visit at least two main parts of Thailand if you get a chance to come here!
Thank you so much for following my posts! I hoped you enjoyed it! Feel free to comments in the section below!
Stay awesome and happy exploring! Khob Khun Kub, Sawasdee kub! (Thank you and Goodbye!)
All the best wishes,
Kasidit Vongvatanapuntu (Kay)