Bangkok is one of my favorite cities in the world. It combines luxury with a local experience.
It’s a street food superpower with a ton of attractions and things to do. It has night life, massages, crazy cafés, giant malls, rooftop bars on top of buildings and hotels, bustling streets and many, many restaurants, shops, markets and anything else imaginable.
Some information about Bangkok
We used Tom’s services. He took us to Kanchanaburi and to the airport. He is a local driver who has a transportation company with his lovely wife Dee (Dee And Tom’s website, get 5% discount for service transportation using the code : trvbox).
At the MBK, on the 4th floor, you can get a sim card for 500 baht for a month, at a 1mbps speed or for 700 baht at a 4mbps speed, unlimited. We bought a 1mbps sim from AIS, which worked excellently and was absolutely enough for a month. The prices start off high, but by haggling you can easily drop them to the aforementioned ones or even cheaper.
Bangkok offers a wide variety of options when it comes to transportation. There’s a sky train, taxis, Tuk Tuks (Usually more expensive than a taxi) and shuttles. We used the Grab and Uber apps for cabs, since it comes out as cheaper than grabbing a cab on the street, and you get the extra benefit of knowing the price ahead of time. In the Sukhumvit area, moving around by train is really comfortable, as well as in Siam (A mall area).
Lodging in Bangkok
The hotels we stayed at were:
Small tip: After booking your rooms, I’d recommend mailing the invitation to [email protected]. Pruvo offers to let you know by mail if the price goes down, in which case you could cancel your order and book it again for a lower price (Their services are free :)).
We flew with Royal Jordanian with a stop in Amman.
Things and attractions to do in Bangkok
Going to cafés with a super cool concept
A unicorn café, A Moomins café , A Hello Kitty café , Perhaps Rabbits’, an Alice in wonderland café, Maidcafe Maidreamin, a Japanese-styled house of maids out of dreams, Mocking Tales, a legends and fantasy café, Hajime Robot, a Japanese restaurant in which a robot serves food and dances. Read more about these Cafes in our post “Crazy themed Cafes in Bangkok”.
Going out to rooftop bars
Bangkok has many bars situated on the rooftops of buildings or hotels, which offer a beautiful view over the city, as well as being high-quality bars with a great atmosphere.
We got the chance to visit to such bars, the Octave Bar and the Above Eleven bar.
Octave bar has a very luxurious style to it and is located on the roof of the Marriot hotel on floors 45-49. The entrance is through the hotel itself. I’d recommend booking a spot a few days ahead of time, as it’s almost always full. If you come between 17:00 and 19:00 you can enjoy a Happy hour, during which all cocktails and several other drinks are half priced.
Also, they serve a bar meal for couples up to 21:00, for 1500 baht. The meal is served in a box with drawers, each containing something such as two mini-burgers, chicken nuggets and more. It was really delicious! We enjoyed the food and drink experience very much, as well as the prestigious atmosphere and beautiful view.
The second bar was Above Eleven, on the 33rd floor. Its entrance is behind the hotel and is less impressive when compared to Octave bar, and the same can be said about the bar’s décor. However, it has a varied food and drink menu and a great atmosphere. We sat at the bar and ordered tow cocktails and a sushi serving, which was really high-quality. This is definitely a visit worthy bar, especially if you’re looking for a lighter atmosphere and tasty food and drinks.
Doing a cool bike tour
We got to go on a very cool tour in Bangkok, including a tour of a pretty park, an authentic local market (For good and bad) and the crown jewel, which was a short sail to an island in Bangkok where we rode through a jungle as well as the island itself. Read more about our experience in the post “Bike tour in Bangkok – Tour incorporating a local experience and a ride in the jungle”
Taking part in cooking lesson in a flower market
On one of our days in Bangkok, we went to a cooking class in the flower market. The market itself is really special and nice to walk around in. We also learned how to make traditional Thai dishes in a fun, memorable way and the class included a tour of the market as well.
Our guides, chefs by profession, we lovely and our meal turned out tasty and colorful.
Read more about our experience in the post “Cooking class in Bangkok – Colorful Culinary experience at a flower market”
Trying street food
One of my favorite things to do in Bangkok was wandering the streets and trying a different street food stall each time. I know many people are fearful when it comes to street food and are worried about disease, but it’s quite the opposite – The raw ingredients are generally fresh every new day.
We didn’t experience any issues with our food, and we ate outside on a daily basis. I would, however, recommend avoiding ground meats and sea food – as those do happen not to be fresh enough in some places, which can be quite bad for you.
We stayed at several areas in Bangkok – China town, Near Khaosan and in Sukhumvit.
My favorite street food was in China town, especially the different soups. The main street, Charoen Krung (Map to the street) has many street food stalls, as does Itsara Nuphap street with houses a food market as well as many stalls, one of which is an excellent papaya salad stall, Som Tam (Map to the street). Also, the boutique hotel Casa Nithra, which lies a 10-minute walk away from Khaosan, is on a street with many good food stalls as well. It’s called Chakrabongse road (Map to the street).
The prices on street food are generally between 20-60 baht, so not only is the food delicious – It’s also very cheap.
Walking around Khaosan and Rambuttri and enjoying the happy atmosphere
If you want to visit somewhere lively with lots of restaurants, bars and street food – the Khaosan area is exactly what you’re looking for. There is also the Rambuttri street which is slightly less crowded but still has many bars and restaurants. The area itself is quite touristic and you’ll hardly run across any locals there, but it’s a nice place for an evening hangout.
There was a small street bar with good African-American music, and the staff had a cool style we really liked, as well. The bar is Nhoom’s Bar, on Rambuttri street (Map).
Riding a bike in a jungle on an Island in Bangkok
If you don’t want to take the bike tour, it’s also possible to reach the island independently and rent a bike there. You can ride the bike in the jungle and the island itself, named Bang Kacho, and even find lodging and restaurants on the island. You can reach a small pier named Klong Toey port (Map), where a boat is available to take you to the island (5 minutes of sailing). Upon arrival, you’ll have the option to immediately rent a bike at 70 baht for the whole day or 30 baht for an hour. Visiting on a weekday will be better, as the weekends get crowded, with both tourists and locals coming to the island.
Visiting the enormous malls
Truth be told, I get light-headed quite quickly in malls and the ones in Bangkok gave me a strong one – as they are simply huge! The MBK is especially large. Although I’m less of a mall enthusiast, we did get to visit several of them. One time was to look for shorts for Roman (He forgot to bring any with him and due to his height, 1.98, finding pants for him isn’t an easy task) We visited the MBK to buy a sim card on the 4th floor and for the café there. The malls are MBK, Siam Center, Siam Paragon, Central world and Emquartier mall.
If you’re looking to go on a shopping spree and like wandering around malls, you’ll no doubt enjoy the ones in Bangkok.
Visiting the Grand Palace and the reclining Buddha temple
The Grand Palace is close to Khaosan street. Mu recommendation is to arrive at the palace half an hour before visiting hours and wait there, as there are tens of thousands of visitors a day – And although getting up early can be a bummer, it’s better than waiting in line for hours. Also, modest clothing is required, meaning long pants for men and women both, and no tank-tops. The palace is quite impressive and worth a visit (Map to the palace). It’s open every day, from 8:30 to 15:30 and it’s better to arrive on weekdays.
A short walking distance from the palace is a temple with a giant reclining buddha, the Wat Pho. If you’re visiting the palace, you should visit it as well while you’re there (I’ve never personally been to any temple such as this before). Map to the temple.
Getting a Thai massage
One of my favorite things about Thailand is the Thai massage. The prices there are so cheap, and most places offer excellent massages. I had one almost every two days.
The prices on a Thai massage per hour are between 200 and 500 baht. I mostly had the 200 baht ones and I found them excellent, but the better spas usually offer the higher priced massages – so if you’re looking a luxurious atmosphere an additional 200 baht may be worth it. You can also get a head and shoulders massage, a foot massage or an oil massage. You can also choose to only get half an hour, or two. Simply put, Thailand is a paradise when it comes to good, cheap massages.
From Bangkok, we went on an amazing three-day trip to Kanchanaburi with a private driver named Tom. You can read more about our itinerary in our post “Perfect three-day Itinerary for Kanchanaburi – Including a visit to the floating market and the railway market”