Bangkok in my eyes is one of the most cosmopolitan and modern cities around. There is so much to see, so much to do, yet is constantly put down by negativity.
Bangkok in my eyes is one of the most cosmopolitan and modern cities around. There is so much to see, so much to do, yet is constantly put down by negativity. The typical traveller goes to Bangkok with the idea that it will be cheap, crazy partying till dawn and an elephant ride would add a bit of culture into it.
With this said, there is some aspect of this stereotype, but that is only limited to a very small part of Bangkok, particularly the infamous Khao San Road. Yes I do agree it is a fun trip once in a while. But come on, if you are going to go all the way to this part of the world at least experience the real Bangkok life. I am not saying my way is ‘real’ but an interpretation of what I believe would be much more exciting than constraining yourself to this one road since there is so much more on offer.
Khao San Road is already far from downtown Bangkok, so that is already stopping you from experiencing the vast opportunities that Bangkok already has to offer, and some may say has been greatly artificalised for the benefit of tourists.
Let’s start with the food—it is one of the most exciting aspects of Bangkok. Bangkokonians are the biggest foodies and boy do they love instragramming it too. Yes, I am guilty of that too. Food is everywhere, from market vendors on the street to lovely indoor restaurants on the top of a city skyscraper.
Take a walk along the Bangkok streets and there are so many food options, all well below a pound so why not try something new. Whether it is classic dishes such as Pad Thai to little snacks such as peanuts, these are all cooked fresh, on the go and sometimes they have seating area but many just take it home to eat. They even have vendors selling fruit that is nicely cut and all the seeds are taken out for you, bet you can’t find that luxury easily at home. It is cheaper for you to buy from these street vendors and support the local economy than buy the ingredients and make it yourself—a win-win situation.
If you are feeling up for it-more upscale dining is everywhere in Bangkok. There is the Thai Michelin star Nahm which has had excellent reviews with the international community and has been ranked the top 50 in the world. There are also many brunch type places, often of European gastropub style, check out Greyhound Cafe, Roast or Kuppa to name a few.
After you have filled yourself with some delicious food, there are many cultural sites to be absorbed. The Grand Palace is always a highlight but there are also many smaller temples and palaces that are must see. Getting from location to location, why not try a different type of transportation. Travel ranges from water buses, buses, taxi, the sky train (similar system to the London tube but in the air), tuk tuk, motorbike etc.
The shopping is undeniably unmissable. Check out some of the large shopping malls as a base, but the outdoor markets are the best. You get souvenirs but also fashion that is up to high street standard but at a fraction of the price. It is also great to have items that no-one else owns or know where to buy. If this is of interest check out Siam sky train station. Check out Paragon shopping mall for its grandeur and nearby is the Platinum shopping mall. The largest wholesale indoor market I have ever been to, and whilst walking you’ll pass many other markets. Another shopping mall to check out is Siam centre. It recently reopened and is the epitome of cool and was the second most instragrammed place in the world last year after Bangkok Suvarnabhumi airport!
Finish your night in one of the many bars Bangkok has to offer. There are most casual places with a laid back atmosphere such as Cheap Charlie’s or Wong’s place. If you are looking for a more upmarket cocktail type bar Hyde and Seek must be on the top of your list. A go to place offering pages of cocktails and the ‘St Tropez Smasher’ cannot be missed.