Top 10 Things to do in Bangkok


Bangkok is a city that awakens the senses. It is vibrant, colourful, noisy, bustling, hectic, hot, young and old, rich and poor; an array of interesting sights and smells.

Bankok has topped the 2017 list in the world's most popular tourist destinations, and that's because of all the incredible things the city has to offer. Amazing culture and temples, friendly people, the best street food, world-class shopping and sky bars.

There are so many things to do in Bangkok you couldn't possibly ever get bored. Here is my top selection of the very best:


1. Marvel at the Grand Palace


The Grand Palace is the number one must-do in Bangkok. It has been the official residence of the Kings of Siam since 1782 and is a complex of beautiful buildings and temples, including the famous Emerald Buddha.


The Grand Palace hosts some of the most sacred places of Thailand and is considered to be the heart of Bangkok.


2. Admire Wat Pho & Reclining Buddha


Wat Pho is my favourite place in Bangkok. Founded in the 16th Century, it is the capital city's largest and oldest temple. It was the first open university of Thailand, where courses in traditional medicine and the first school of massage were born.


It is best known for the golden Statue of the Reclining Buddha, the largest in Thailand at 46 metres long and 15 metres high.


3. Sip on a fancy cocktail from a Sky Bar


Bangkok is famous for its incredible skyline and rooftop bars, and there is no shortage of ones to choose from. Sky Bar is one of the most popular thanks to the movie The Hangover. Other great ones to choose include: Above Eleven Bar, Octave, Vertigo Bar, Attitude and Red Sky Bar.


Beware the prices are quite steep (standard western prices) but you are paying for the incredible view and the service is top quality.
As a tip, most sky bars have a dress code and head there just before sunset to watch the city lights come to life.


4. Indulge in the Street Food scene


Bangkok is known to have some of the very best and cheapest street food in the world.
The majority of locals don't cook at home, they eat street food and either take away or sit down to eat at little popup tables and chairs.


At night especially the streets come to life with food carts of various delectable Thai cuisines, from Pad Thai to fried rice, curries, grilled meats and soups.
Get a dose of the local culture by joining in. As a tip, go to carts that have a lot of people hanging around. Higher turnover means fresher food and will most definitely be delicious. If you're still worried about eating meat - go vegetarian. I quite often opted for vegetarian Pad Thais and curries, they are still just as good.


5. Shop 'til you drop in the malls


Here's a fun fact - the number one pastime of the locals of Bangkok is: shopping! The malls in Bangkok are among the world's best, they carry all the major brand names and have an endless variety of shops to suit all budgets. They also have local food courts and being air-conditioned, it is a great way to get relief from the outside heat.


There's the MBK Center, Siam Center, CentralWorld, Siam Discovery, Platinum Fashion Mall and Siam Paragon just to name a few.


6. Experience the weird and wonderful


Being a rather large capital city in Southeast Asia, it should come as no surprise that Bangkok is brimming with the unexpected.


From a Unicorn Cafe and Little Zoo Cafe (with real exotic animals) to a condom-themed restaurant to Ladyboy shows, there is something fun for everyone, you don't have to look hard to find it.


7. Get a Thai massage


While you're in Bangkok don't miss getting a traditional Thai massage. You'll be able to find one as easily as a 7-Eleven and they will usually cost no more than 250 Baht ($7.50 US) for one hour.


Thai massage is an ancient healing system combining acupressure and stretching techniques. It's not for the faint-hearted (it can feel like you have volunteered to be tortured at times) but you feel energised and like a brand new person afterwards. You can always ask the masseuse prior to go easy on you!


8. Barter at the biggest weekend market


The Chatuchak Weekend Market is the largest market in Asia and you could easily spend an entire day getting lost amongst the 8000 stalls.



Open every Saturday and Sunday, try your hand at bartering for everything from clothing, souvenirs and jewellery to homeware and furniture. There are plenty of food and drink options to keep you fuelled while you shop.


9. Visit the beautiful Wat Arun


Wat Arun, also known as the Temple of Dawn, is another spectacular temple highly worth visiting. Located riverside, almost directly opposite Wat Pho, the colourfully decorated spires stands majestically over the water.


It is a landmark known from many postcards and is particularly iconic to photograph during a sunrise or sunset.


10. Sightsee by boat


Bangkok’s canals have a rich history and are often referred to as the main artery of the nation. The scenic Chao Phraya River flows through the centre of Bangkok and hopping on one of the many river boats or ferries is a fantastic way to see the nearby famous and historical attractions.


It is a convenient transportation system to reach Wat Arun, Wat Pho and the Grand Palace in hop on, hop off style and there are plenty of longer sightseeing cruises on offer in traditional boats for both day and night.

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There is of course so much more to Bangkok with countless amazing attractions and things to do. These ten are my top recommendations I would suggest to a friend visiting for their very first time.
I hope if you're going there yourself you have some ideas and inspiration for what to do.

Embrace the city in all it's craziness and have an amazing time!

Happy Travels,

The Most Magical Place in Bangkok


Last week I visited a very special cafe in Bangkok that had long been on my bucket list.
It is a place of wonder and imagination. An eruption of pastels and splatters of rainbows.
It is a place like no other...  it is The Unicorn Café.

If you used to like My Little Pony and are still a twelve-year-old trapped inside an adult's body (like me) then you will adore this cafe. Located in Silom, it is a fairly small cafe with a whole lot of fun packed inside.


As soon as you step into this magical wonderland your eyes will instantly be feasted to a colourful explosion from top to bottom. The walls and ceiling are decked out with unicorns and ponies splashed in every direction.


There are plenty of cute pastel coloured tables, chairs and sofas to hang out on and enjoy the large selection of rainbow themed food on the menu.


Line up at the counter to order before heading to a seat with your number. There is a section to the left with pony and unicorn dolls and soft toys to grab and hang out with and you can even rent unicorn onesies for 100 BHT ($3 USD).


The amusing menu offers a selection of savoury as well as sweet options. From rainbow spaghetti carbonara and a rainbow cheeseburger (which admittedly looks rather disgusting yet entirely intriguing) to unicorn waffles, crepes and brownies.

A post shared by UnicornBrand💗Unicorn Cafe (@unicornbrand) on

The front cabinet is also full of their signature Instagram-perfect rainbow layered cake and cupcakes. There are fun frozen ombre galaxy drinks on offer too which come in star shaped glasses.


I ordered a 'Galaxy Star' which was a frozen vanilla frappe and the 'Unicorn Waffle Choco Banana', which came complete on a cute plate with star utensils.

Both were delicious and a very reasonable price at 340 BHT for both ($10 USD) and the portions were enormous! I definitely should have shared as I struggled to eat half of it.


It was a wholly lighthearted experience enjoying the surroundings and sitting amongst like-minded giggling and snap-happy girls (and yes we were all adults).

I felt like it was my birthday having chocolate waffles and ice cream for lunch!


The Unicorn Café has become my new favourite place in Bangkok (hence why I had to write about it!) and if you are passing through it is a must-visit for those wanting to go back to those magical feelings of childlike wonder and euphoria.

I wanted to go back the very next day. I would definitely hire a unicorn onesie next time and get a slice of that rainbow cake!


Warning: Sugar high and a massive afternoon crash is inevitable but entirely worth it.
It's a whole lot of fun and you will leave with a bright smile on your face (accompanied with a possible stomach ache).

Also warning: No, this isn't really a place guys will enjoy unless you are one of the few cool pony-loving ones out there.

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The Unicorn Café is located at: 44/1 ซอย สาทร 8 สีลม Khwaeng Silom, Khet Bang Rak.
The closest BTS (Bangkok Sky Train) is Chong-Nonsi Station, Exit 2.

They are open every day except Mondays from 12 - 8 PM.
For more information check out their Facebook page.

Happy Travels,

A Must-Do in Bangkok: Street Food Tour


As a total self-confessed foodie, doing street food tours in local areas of places I travel to is one of my favourite things to do. It's especially a great idea for when you've just arrived in a new place, to be shown and get great insight to the local food as well as the lay of the land, as most food tours tend to be walking.

Thai food is one of my top favourite cuisines in the world and sadly I haven't been able to have much of it since my last trip four and a half years ago, as compared to what you get in Thailand, it's always just been so disappointing to me!
Excited to be back in Bangkok, I immediately did some research and found the highly rated Bangkok Food Tours. They offer a range of different tours, including a Historic Bangrak Food Tour, Offbeat Floating Markets Food Tour, Midnight Food Tour by Tuk Tuk, a Yaowarat Street Food Tour and many more.
I decided to go for the latter, as I had never been to the Chinatown area before and I had heard it was a most excellent place for street food.

Read on to hear all about the Yaowarat Street Food Tour with each dish we tried, what I thought of them and why you should do this tour too if you're coming to Bangkok!


Our group and guide all met outside Bangkok Centre Hotel next to the Hua Lamphong MRT station, where we first introduced ourselves before walking to nearby Yaowarat (Chinatown).
Our first dish from the cart pictured above was called Yen Ta Fo, a beloved pink noodle dish with some interesting ingredients in there! We were told this particular cart ranked in the top five for this dish in the whole of Bangkok.


It was really delicious and so full of flavour. Thai food prides itself on being sweet, sour, spicy and salty all at the same time and this was no exception.
We also had an incredible view, sitting right in front of Wat Trimit which holds the famous Golden Buddha.


We continued into the heart of Chinatown, passing a big Paifang (Chinese arch) and went into a restaurant called The Canton House.


Here we tried two different dishes, first a big spicy crispy duck salad that we all shared. Every mouthful was so fresh and zingy!


The next dish was steamed dim sum which came with a spicy Thai 'killer' sauce (it wasn't that spicy for me!). They were absolutely delicious, I devoured them.


We walked further down the bustling street, all lit up and colourful at night towards a cart that was serving my all-time favourite Thai food. Can you guess what it is?


Mango sticky rice! I am so addicted to this delicious sweet dessert. We each got our own portion of it and it was so good some of the boys went back for seconds (I wish I could have fit more in but there were still many more dishes to try!).



We passed by a durian cart and as most of us had never tried it before, we asked if we could. Durian is known to be the 'King of fruit' in Thailand and it is one of the fruits that you either absolutely love or hate with a passion.


I was very interested to try this smelly fruit, that most hotels ban and have a hefty fine for bringing in. And... I did not like it! Which is surprising because I do like most things.
I found the texture just so odd, wrongly odd and the taste was not pleasant at all. But I was glad to have tried it finally!


Our next stop was at a busy local road-side restaurant sitting on little rickety stools at a popup table.


We had a super spicy stir-fry prawn dish with rice and a sauce and Morning Glory, a popular green vegetable dish stir-fried with oyster sauce.


The flavour combinations of everything were so delicious, I absolutely loved it. I was starting to get quite full by now though! It was so great sitting outside among the locals, really getting the feel of the  lively neighbourhood.




Our final stop was at a very popular street cart, famous for this particular best noodles found only in Chinatown, Bangkok.
We had a spicy noodle soup with crispy pork belly - which was heavenly! I'm not normally a fan of pork belly, but I enjoyed this so much I ate every last morsel. The flavours of the broth and crispiness of the pork were absolute food goals!
There was nowhere to sit, we just ate it standing up along with everyone else, the place was packed with people.



Finally, for dessert we squeezed in one more tasting, which actually I think was my favourite of the night! It was called Sala Bao, a steamed bun and it was lava custard! You bit into it and the warm custard oozed out, it was so yum! It was the absolute perfect way to finish an epic night of street food tasting.


This tour was one of the highlights of my time in Bangkok, I really enjoyed trying such a variety of dishes from popular local spots. The food was high quality, fresh and delicious, I have no doubt we were taken to try the very best the city has to offer. I honestly loved every single thing we tried except for the durian!
Our guide was so lovely and informative, we all learnt a lot about the history of each dish and where it came from.
Yaowarat is a famous area in Bangkok for street food and I've heard it's where the locals tend to go when they want to treat themselves.

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I highly recommend this tour and any of their others if you are coming to Bangkok yourself, it was a fantastic foodie experience and a cultural one as well. One of the couples on my tour said they had done Bangkok Food Tour's Midnight Food Tour by Tuk Tuk the last time they were in Bangkok and they absolutely loved it, so decided to do another of theirs this time.
I can tell you, I will absolutely be doing more of their tours when I am next in Bangkok again too!


The Details

Tour Company: Bangkok Food Tours

Specific tour I did: Yaowarat Street Food Tour

Reviews: 5/5 stars from 1548 reviews on Trip Advisor

Cost: 1350 THB (Thai Baht) for an adult

Times: Tues - Sun 6 pm - 9 pm


If you would like to see a bit more I highlight the tour in the second half of my Bangkok travel vlog for YouTube. Start at 3:07.



Happy Travels,

Disclaimer: This tour was discounted in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are as always my own.

Hangovers, Street Food & Sky Bars | Bangkok Travel Diary


Bangkok was my very first proper foreign city I travelled to four and a half years ago (I had only been to Australia before) and it absolutely blew my mind. That whole Thailand trip was such an amazing experience, it completely changed my life and is responsible for sparking my incessant wanderlust desire!
As you can imagine, I was incredibly excited to return back to Thailand, my first love.
I was interested to see if my mindset has changed, would I still love it as much now that I've been to over twenty countries? (Spoiler alert: I do!).
Here is what I got up to in a fun-filled week in the vibrant capital city, my first stop in my month-long travels through Thailand.


Day One. 2.06.17

My flight from Jakarta arrived in Bangkok in the late afternoon. The airport process went smooth enough and I hopped into a taxi to my Airbnb which was in the local area Sathorn. The taxi ride was 40 minutes long and it only cost 250 THB (Thai Baht) which is around $10 AUD.


I met with my host who gave me the keys and showed me around. I had my own self-contained apartment with air conditioning and wifi for only $30 a night. Before she left she kindly took me out for some street Pad Thai - exactly what I wanted to do when I first arrived! It was so incredible and only cost $1.50!

The pool at the apartment complex I was staying in


After dinner I was planning on having one refreshing beer (it was a Friday after all) before heading back to the apartment to chill/unpack/work but... I sat down in the bar that was right across from where I was staying for less than 20 seconds before the table next to me invited me to join them... 8 hours later!
They were such an incredible bunch of people from all around the world that are currently living in Bangkok, some of them for over 12 years. They were from Scotland, America, Turkey, France and Australia and we all got along so well that the hours just slipped away and suddenly it was 2 am!
I love meeting new like-minded people and it was such a great night.


Day Two. 3.06.17

Well, needless to say, I was a tad hungover today! At lunchtime, I ventured out for a walk along the main roads in search of food. I was out for about an hour and then spent the rest of the afternoon working on my Jakarta travel vlog. I popped out again later for dinner where I had a spicy green curry and Chang. That night there was an epic electrical storm that I enjoyed watching from my room (it's rainy season here).

View from the walkover bridge




Day Three. 4.06.17

Today's mission was to get a Thai sim card to have data on my phone and to go to the Chatuchak weekend market.
I took an MRT (underground train) and the BTS (sky train) to get to Siam, an area with many big shopping malls. I got a traveller's sim card with AIS (phone network) for a pretty good price and had a delicious Pad Thai for lunch.


I then made my way to Mo Chit via the BTS where I walked through the Chatuchak Park before exploring the largest market in Thailand. My first purchase was a fresh coconut from a funny yelling Thai man who was chopping the coconuts open with a pirate sword like knife!



I enjoyed walking around, although it was a super hot day. I had my first (of many) mango sticky rice - my ultimate favourite Thai food. I just bought two things, a Chang beer singlet (to add to my collection) and an 'Adidas' t-shirt that had a cool print. I got both tops for $10 AUD, pretty sweet shopping trip if you ask me. I had another green curry for dinner (I'm obsessed) and that was the jist of my day.





Day Four. 5.06.17

Today I had a full day temple and city tour with Oriental Escape. You can read all about it in my review post here: The BEST day in Bangkok: Incredible Temple & City Tour.
As you can probably tell by the title, I had such a fantastic day and absolutely loved the tour, it was the highlight of my whole week.
I visited four amazing temples, had a delicious local lunch, Thai coffee and sweets and had a driving city tour as well. It was such a hot day so I was very exhausted when I got back (but very happy). That evening I worked on and finished my Bali travel diary post.



Day Five. 6.06.17

Today was a pretty chill day. There was a nice looking massage place only two minutes walk from me so I popped in there before lunch. A traditional Thai full hour massage only cost $10 and it was absolutely brutal! It's basically an hour of wondering why you paid someone to torture you. Thai massage works deep into your muscles and pressure points and it hurts so much but you do feel really good afterwards. You just have to get through it!


I then treated myself to a delicious lunch from a Guesthouse restaurant down the road.
I ordered a spicy papaya salad and mango sticky rice. I was very full afterwards but it was so fresh and delightful! I just love Thai food (if you couldn't tell).



I didn't feel like going out so I spent the afternoon editing and uploading my first Bangkok vlog which you can view here if you like!



Day Six. 7.06.17

For the best part of the day, I cracked on with more work. I had a hotel review to complete and I also spent a couple of hours editing some work for my husband (I'm such a good wife).
I had a delicious local noodle lunch which only cost $1.50 including a bottle of Pepsi.
Later on, I took a taxi to the Red Sky Bar, which I had heard was one of the best sky bars in Bangkok. I was hoping to catch the sunset and see the amazing skyline all lit up at night.
I arrived and was so amazed by the views, it really is incredible up there.



I ordered a very fancy albeit expensive cocktail (although still cheaper than New Zealand) and basically took one sip before the rains came! Everyone had to be moved inside unfortunately. Expectations versus reality! Oh well.



I had dinner in the Grand Central Mall where the bar is located and then taxied back to Sathorn.
It was one of the new friends I had met the other night's birthday so she was having celebratory drinks at the same local bar. I said I was only going to have one beer as it took me more than two days to recover from the last hangover... another 8 hours later... honestly I couldn't believe it! I looked at my watch and it was 3:30 am this time.
I don't know what it was about this group but the time just disappears around them. I knew if I lived in Bangkok we would be such great friends.


Day Seven. 8.06.17

Well, I was hungover again for my final day woops (no regrets). I nursed it until my evening plan which was a Chinatown street food tour with Bangkok Food Tours. I spent the day doing some blog stuff and started packing and cleaning as I had an early flight the next morning.
The food tour was excellent, everything we tried was so delicious, except for the durian! What an odd taste and texture... I especially loved the final dessert type dumpling with oozy warm custard in the middle, my god that was heavenly.
I'll be writing up a Bangkok food post next with more information on the tour and my favourite/the best things to eat in Bangkok.




I got a tuk-tuk back to my apartment which was bumpy but fun. It was a nice way to finish up my time in Bangkok. I feel like I could have easily spent another week there, there is so much to do, it's incredibly cheap and such an exciting city. I'll be back sometime soon for sure.



The next day I took a taxi to the airport where I next flew to Krabi. Koh Lanta and Phi Phi Island posts coming very soon! Here is the second Bangkok travel vlog for YouTube:



I did want to do more in Bangkok, such as seeing Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn) and going to Lumphini Park (I was staying only a twenty-minute walk away!). But I think I did a reasonable amount of activities and sightseeing whilst juggling work. 
It's hard to find a good balance and certainly, I am so behind in keeping up with everything (hence why this Bangkok post is two weeks late!). I'm doing my best and I'm going to try to push out as many blog posts and videos as possible over the next week before I next head to Vietnam!

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Happy Travels,

The BEST day in Bangkok: Incredible Temple & City Tour


I spent a fun week in Bangkok recently (travel diary post coming next) and my absolute highlight was the day I did a full-day city and temple tour with the wonderful Oriental Escape.

I have never done a private tour before and it made the world of difference getting one on one information, being able to explore at your own pace and ask all the questions you like.
I truly felt like I got an authentic Bangkok travel experience, my guide was so knowledgeable and easy-going and it was an exceptional day, rich in culture, art and history.

Read on if you want to hear all about one of the best tours I have ever done and what made this tour so outstanding.

I was picked up bright and early (for me) from my accommodation at 8 am by my lovely guide Ms. Jen who also introduced me to the driver Mr. Wittaya. The modern Toyota Altis was comfortable, clean and air-conditioned and a cold bottle of water and snack were provided.


Golden Buddha

Our first stop of the day was Wat Trimit, a fairly new temple in Yaowarat (Chinatown), home to the famous Golden Buddha. It is the world's largest solid gold seated Buddha, at three metres high and weighing five and a half tonnes. There were many locals inside paying their respects.



The Golden Buddha was originally covered with plaster to conceal it from the invading Burmese and was only rediscovered accidentally about 40 years ago. In 2010, Wat Trimit's new building was officially opened to the public and the statue was moved there.






After learning all about the temple and exploring the beautiful area we hopped back into the cool car (it was already sweltering hot) and passed through Chinatown and the colourful flower market on the way to our next destination.


Wat Pho

I had previously visited Wat Pho 4.5 years ago, but I was so excited to return. It is my favourite temple in Bangkok and I'm pretty sure I was even more wowed by it the second time. The architecture is simply amazing and I must have taken a thousand photos of the beautiful pagodas (tiered towers) which are artfully decorated in colourful tiles and ceramics.



Founded in the 16th Century, Wat Pho is Bangkok's largest and oldest temple. It was also the first open university of Thailand, where courses in traditional medicine and the first school of massage were born.







Wat Pho is most famed for the Statue of the Reclining Buddha. Made of gold leaf, this grand lying down Buddha is the largest in Thailand; an enormous 46 metres long and 15 metres high.











We spent a good amount of time exploring the large grounds (which is 8 hectares) and I even got to go inside one temple while a monk praying ceremony was being held. It was a wonderful experience.


Grand Palace

The next stop was the mighty Grand Palace, which I had also visited on my previous trip, but not with a guide.
Built in 1782, the Grand Palace is undoubtedly the city's most famous landmark. It is known as the heart of Bangkok and is the official residence of the Kings of Siam.





The intricate detail and beautiful Thai architecture are incredibly dazzling. Within the palace complex are many impressive buildings and sacred sites including Wat Phra Kaew or Temple of the Emerald Buddha, which contains a small but very famous Emerald Buddha that dates back to the 14th century (we weren't allowed to take photos).








My guide took me through each significant place and I learned so much about the history, something I had missed on my first visit. She also knew all the best spots for picture taking and was a wonderful photographer for me!


Lunch

It was now lunch time and as I had told Jen that I loved the local food, she took me to her own favourite spot for lunch. She said most people prefer to go to a restaurant where there is a large buffet with many options. I was thrilled to be taken to this local hole-in-the-wall place and she ordered two different dishes for me to try. Both were so fresh, full of flavour and absolutely delicious (don't worry, I didn't eat all of both of them!).


We then went next door to try traditional Thai coffee, I ordered an iced one as it was so hot and it was perfectly refreshing. She also popped out and surprised me with traditional Thai sweets which are interestingly only made from egg yolk and sugar. This was the icing on the cake and I absolutely loved them (much to her surprise, as she thinks they are far too sweet!).



Marble Temple

Our final temple of the day was Wat Benchamabopit, commonly known as Marble Temple, which is one of the most modern works of Thai religious architecture. It is classified as a first class Royal temple and is one of significant importance.




It is most famous for its main chapel built in white Carrara Italian marble which houses a replica of Thailand’s most beautiful Buddha image, Phra Phutthachinarat. The entrance is marked by four impressive marble pillars, and even the large courtyard is made of shiny white marble. It was a most tranquil and impressive temple.





It is also an active temple with resident monks, their private living quarters are across the canal separated from the temple area.




Hopping back in the car all throughout the day I was presented with refreshing towels and cold bottled water, which I was always grateful for. While driving, as well as pointing things out and chatting to me, Jen also talked and laughed with the driver. She had a wonderful friendly personality that really shone through.

Lastly, on the way back to my accommodation we did a driving city-sightseeing tour.
We passed through the well-known backpacker's area Khao San Road before heading to Ratchadumnoen Road (The Royal’s Way). En route I got to see more significant temples and architectural buildings, including the City Pillar Shrine, National Museum, Thai Boxing Stadium, Anantasamakhom Palace, Parliament House, Dusit Zoo and Chitlada Palace King’s Residence.
I arrived back at around 2 pm, very happy (albeit hot and sweaty) after such an amazing day.


The Details:

Tour Company: Oriental Escape

The specific tour I did: Bangkok Temples & City, Grand Palace & Emerald Buddha

Reviews: 5/5 stars from 271 reviews on Trip Advisor

Price: Depends on the number of people. For example for my tour if you are a couple it costs $96 USD each, or if you are a group of 3-4 it costs $79 USD each, which is a fantastic price for what you get. (The prices keep going down the more people you have).



Final Thoughts

I learned so much about the culture of Bangkok and its fascinating history all throughout the day. My tour with Oriental Escape truly enriched my time in Thailand's capital city and I 100% recommend this tour and company to others.

If you are visiting yourself and wish to see the best sites Bangkok has to offer on a flexible and personal tour with excellent customer service, then look no further. Their experienced and passionate team of guides have the best knowledge and inside information for each attraction.

They offer a large number of day and night tours to cater for many temples and city highlights you may wish to see. As well as Bangkok, they also have a number of tours all throughout Thailand and Indochina and even offer Airport transfer services.

You can easily choose which category of car you would prefer and there are choices for high-end service. All admission fees are included in your tour and there are no hidden extra costs or forced shopping and tourist traps that are sadly so commonly found on tours around Bangkok and Thailand.

It's an excellent option for families, friends and groups travelling together, couples and even solo travellers like me.

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If you wish to see a bit more of my day trip and the temples and city highlights I saw, it is featured in the second half of my Bangkok travel vlog for YouTube (start at 5:43):



Coming soon as well as my travel diary will be plenty of Bangkok and Thailand travel tips, top recommended things to do and of course best food to eat!

Happy Travels,



Disclaimer: My tour excluding entrance fees was complimentary in exhange for an honest review. All opinions are as always my own.

Bangkok: My Experience | Guide & Tips


Thailand was my first proper foreign country I travelled to, and it was a life-changing experience. I had only been to Australia twice before- and although I enjoyed travelling there to a new country and visiting new cities and places, it wasn't much of a difference as it is so similar to my own country New Zealand (except a lot warmer!).

Bangkok was my first taste of a world so completely different from my own.
It was this trip that truly solidified my wanderlust and passion for travelling and learning about different places and cultures.
My partner Gareth and I travelled to Thailand for three weeks around three contrasting areas of the country. The entire trip was an incredible experience and I have been wishing to return ever since I left.

In this post I will run through a brief overview of our trip including the main highlights and activities we got up to, followed by some travel tips for first timers to Bangkok/Thailand.
Coming soon will be two similar posts on the other places we visited- Chiang Mai (in Northern Thailand) and Koh Samui (an island).


BANGKOK


A bustling and vibrant city, full of coloured taxis, tuktuks and motorbikes going in all directions. It was very hot and sticky (we went in early February) and you had to shower twice a day (because your feet get pretty dirty as well walking around the streets).
But it was a real experience, as I mentioned it was such an eye-opener.

Where we stayed:

We stayed at CityPoint Hotel in Klongtoey and we both really liked it. It was clean, modern and in a great location- very close to shops and near a Skytrain stop.
The service was also great and the front desk staff were very helpful with suggestions on nearby restaurants. I would definitely recommend this hotel to others. It cost about $80 (NZD) a night.
Obviously you can stay in a lot cheaper places in Bangkok but we were also on holiday and had worked hard to save for our trip- so we did want to stay in fairly comfortable places.


What we did:

Wat Pho. We visited the oldest temple in Bangkok (also known as 'Temple of the reclining Buddha'). The architecture of the buildings and sculptures were incredible.






Chatuchak weekend market. We spent a few hours at the largest market in Thailand. There were so many stalls and everything was a very good price. I got my first taste of bartering (but I pretty much just let Gareth take the reigns!).
I also tried my very first Mango Sticky Rice there which became my favourite new lunch meal in Thailand!


Grand PalaceWe took a boat along the Chao Phraya River and stopped off near the Grand Palace. It was one of the most incredible places I had ever seen!
Everywhere you looked was so magnificent and beautiful, and we had a very enjoyable afternoon walking around the palace grounds.
(I also remember it was a sweltering hot 45 degrees Celcius and wearing a thick sarong wrapped around my legs made it even hotter!).



Thai massage. We treated ourselves to a traditional Thai massage. Let's just say I'm still scarred by that experience HA!

'Ladyboy' Show. We ventured out one night and saw a ladyboy show- because when in Thailand. We weren't allowed to take photos but that's okay- I don't think it's something I'll ever forget! It was... colourful and entertaining!

Shopping. Quite a bit of shopping was done as we took advantage of the great prices! We explored many big markets and several of Bangkok's giant malls. Even proper labelled shops such as Converse were half the price than back at home (I stocked up on my shoes and clothes!). It was also nice to be inside in the air conditioning for a while.



Sky Bar. We went to the world's highest open rooftop bar. (63 floors high!).
The view was pretty cool but as it was slightly smoggy and my camera wasn't the best back then none of my pictures turned out very good.
It's free to catch the lift up but the drinks are very expensive for Bangkok- our cocktails were $25 NZD each (so I only had one!) but it was worth it for the view.



Khao San Road. One evening we visited the notorious 'K Road'. Not for the faint-hearted. No we didn't go see a 'ping-pong show'! We just had a couple of beers sitting outside a bar and people-watched. Saw some... uh, very interesting 'going-ons'...




Explored. Mostly we just explored. We walked a lot, rode tuktuks, enjoyed the food and the awesome cheap prices of beer! Gareth even got a three-piece suit tailored and made up for him because the price and quality of that is very good in Bangkok.


Ways to get around:

Skytrain, or the 'BTS'- Bangkok Mass Transit System is a fast and reliable way to get around. The maps are in English as well and it's easy to navigate.
It only costs 20 baht per trip for an unlimited distance or you can get other group tickets if you are staying for a while.


Taxis are everywhere and a convenient way to get around. Have your destination written down as many drivers don't speak English well. Also make sure to run by the metre and say no to price negotiations- you will be ripped off.
The fare should start at 35 baht and it stays there for the first 2 kilometres. Typical trips around a few km's are usually 50 Baht.

TukTuks are an experience to be had while in Thailand, however I would recommend it for shorter trips only and try not to go during rush-hour traffic- the fumes from the other cars on top of the smog is pretty bad. (You can see why many locals drive around on their motorbikes with masks covering their mouths).
Unlike taxis, the driver will give you a price depending on where you want to go, the time of day- and what mood they're in! They usually have a 'special ' price for foreigners, but you can try barter them down to something reasonable if they want too much, otherwise just walk away and find someone else. A very short trip should cost 30 baht.


River boats are a great way to get around. You can view many temples and great architecture from the river and hop off to many attractions as you please.
There are several kinds of boats offering different services- express boats that only stop at the main piers, ferries that only cross the river (3 baht), river boats that go up and down the river stopping everywhere (10 baht), as well as plenty of tourist boats and river cruises.



Where we ate:

I can't remember the names of most places (as this was nearly 4 years ago), but one restaurant in particular I do remember was called Cabbages & Condoms- and it was recommended by our hotel. It was excellent and a very unique experience!
There were sculptures made out of condoms- but it was still a nice place! We sat in a lovely outdoor garden area filled with pretty fairy lights and the food was all fresh and delicious.
The best part was the incredibly cheap prices. We had a three-course meal each plus cocktails and I remember it only cost us around $20 NZD in total- I couldn't believe it!



Our entrees

We did a mixture of eating at places recommended by Trip Advisor as well as eating at local mall food courts, pop-up restaurants on the street and of course eating street food!
I absolutely loved the Thai food so that gets a whole category to itself!:


Thai food you must try!
You simply cannot go to Thailand without trying the following:

Pad Thai (Thai style fried noodles)
Gaeng Daeng (Red curry)
Gaeng Keow Wan Kai (Green curry)
Tom Kah Kai (Chicken in coconut soup)
Mango sticky rice (sweet coconut rice with fresh mango)
Tom Yum Goong (Spicy shrimp soup)
Khao Pad (fried rice)




Travel Tips


Scams
As mentioned always agree on a price before getting in a TukTuk and make sure the Taxi is metred.
If the driver asks to take you to a 'special place' that not many tourists know about- say no thanks. Many drivers get paid a commission if they take you to certain places such as jewellery and suit-making stores.
Be aware of pickpockets and keep your belongings close to you.

Respect the culture
Don't touch a Thai person on the head, it is sacred to them. Don't kiss in public.
Try not to raise your voice and get angry- the Thai are very placid people. A smile will get you a long way.
Shoulders and knees must be covered to visit and enter the temples.

Enjoy the food and beer
It will be better than you expect. You haven't really tried Thai food until you get to Thailand! It is abundant, high quality and astoundingly cheap. But to avoid certain stomach upsets- eat where there are crowds and if you see locals eating there. A faster turnover means fresher food.
It's the original home of pop-up restaurants. Every night the footpaths of Bangkok's major thoroughfares become pop-up dining rooms as food vendors set up shop, complete with plastic tables and rickety stools. Do as the locals do and join the budget feast.
Enjoy the cheap local beer. Be aware that Singha is 6% and Chang a whopping 7%.

Enjoy the shopping
Shopping along with eating are two national pass-times! There are at least 25 new malls under construction in Bangkok alone. Get some relief from the heat and enjoy the air conditioning and reasonable prices.
From the markets you will find a lot of fakes and knock-offs, but there are plenty of well-priced authentic brands in the malls.
Make sure you barter in the markets- the first price you're quoted should come down by at least a third.

Bathrooms
Always carry hand sanitizer and tissues with you everywhere. The majority of public toilets do not provide toilet paper or soap. Also public toilets are quite rare, so use them when you can at meal breaks- in restaurants and bars, and you can find them at the larger malls.

Water
Drink only bottled water as well as brush your teeth with it. You can buy them for very cheap so stock up with as many litres as you can when you first arrive and have a smaller bottle to refill when you go out and about. Stay hydrated as it is a very hot and humid city year round.

Traffic
To be honest the traffic is pretty terrible and dangerous. Thailand has a horrifying road safety record- with 80 lives lost every day. They pretty much don't abide by any road rules and first in first served! So be careful. Definitely do not cross a road without using a safety crossing or traffic lights.

Get Vaccinated
It is extremely advised to be vaccinated before going to Thailand. Hepatitis A, Tetanus and Typhoid are common boosters. You can get these done by your doctor.
Also it's a good idea to pack insect repellent with you to avoid pesky mosquito bites.



Final Thoughts:

I saw things that shocked me to my core. I saw things that even made me cry (I was pretty young back then!). But that didn't stop me from enjoying my trip.
If you are travelling there for the first time yourself and you've never been somewhere like it before- just realise that it is very much a poor country and there is a lot of poverty on the streets- many homeless people, beggars and uh... limbless people, babies on the ground only lying on newspapers... I could go on.
But even so I have never met a more genuinely smiley and happy people. I was blown away by their beautiful culture and kindness towards us tourists.
I never had any trouble or concerns with safety issues.
Overall it was a fantastic trip and Bangkok is forever etched in my memory as the discovery of my desire to travel to far and wide places of the earth, and I am so grateful to have been able to experience Thailand and all of its differences.



Bangkok is the gateway to the rest of Thailand and to be honest my next destination after that- Chiang Mai- I loved twice as much.
Stay tuned for my Chiang Mai and then Koh Samui post coming soon!

Thanks for reading, do leave me a comment if you are planning on going to Bangkok soon or if you have any other tips and recommendations to add!


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