A couple of months ago I was blessed with the opportunity to visit Thailand, a country located in Southeast Asia. Before arriving to Thailand I had heard many things both positive and negative, as well as a recommendation of places to go visit and those to stay away from. If you asked most travelers what their favorite cities are in Thailand, it’ll more than likely be in the North or on a beautiful island somewhere, but for me Bangkok is definitely up there! After spending nearly two weeks in the city I’m going to give you my top 3 reasons why I love Bangkok and why you should spend time here and not just skip it!
Bangkok is one of the most visited cities in the world and there’s no reason to wonder why! Being a melting pot this big means one thing, amazing eats! The moment I arrived in Bangkok I was shocked on how much street food, restaurants, and markets were around. I almost felt like it was to good to be true! One of my favorite foods to snack on while in Bangkok was Pad Thai. Pad Thai is a dish with noodles, egg, vegetables and usually a choice of protein.
These amazing plates can be found all around Thailand and are roughly .75 cents (USD) per plate. On average most Thai street food will be around $1 USD or less on the street, but that same plate inside of a restaurant can be anywhere from $3-5 USD. Now just because your in Thailand that does not mean that you’ll have to be limited to Thai food, in fact I seen everything from Greek to Mexican while walking through the different areas of Bangkok. Competing with the local street food you have the infamous 7/11, typically every third establishment is a 7/11 in Bangkok. 😂 Only joking, but sometimes it can feel this way! 7/11’s in Thailand quickly became one of my favorite places to go and snack on something. As a backpacker or budget traveler you’ll more than likely find yourself stuffing your face with “toasties”, which are basically gilled ham and cheese sandwiches and other fun 7/11 foods you can only find in Asia. On any given street in Bangkok you can find some local restaurants that are very budget friendly and of course many that are catered for those who are looking to spend a bit more during their holiday. This amount of diversity is great and I really can appreciate about a city, especially because typically speaking if your in a lower economically classed city, you typically only have street food and small local stuff to choose from. Same goes with the more expensive places, usually means food is a lot more expensive also!
Most of the time when traveling, I tend to be pretty good with navigating myself around and getting to the places I need to be fairly easily, however every once in a while I come across one of those cities that is just so hectic and confusing, but not Bangkok and this why! If I said I new where I was at most of the time and not confused at all I’d be lying! Most of the time I spent in Bangkok I was confused and because of the language barrier it made it really difficult to talk to the locals and ask for help, but because of the fact that Bangkok is such a huge modern metropolitan city I was able to survive quite easily….. Let me explain! All around Bangkok you can find WiFi hotspots to get connected for FREE! These are located in the more touristic areas and parks, typically speaking all you need is an email address to get signed on! There are also many big named fast food restaurants in the are that also provide free internet. Taking advantage of free internet can allow you to download offline maps and check your location when ever you think your lost!
There are also many different ways to get around the city! You can get around via Taxi, which is usually not the cheapest. The second option you have is to take a Tuk-Tuk, which is basically a motorcycle with a rear carriage for passengers and lastly my recommendation to you, the ride-share app called Grab! Just like Uber, you’ll request a grab through your smart phone and it will pick you up and drop your off to the destination you entered. I really enjoyed this app because most of the times it was cheaper than both a taxi and a Tuk-Tuk . Also a lot more reliable and easier to use, don’t have to worry about the language barrier so much!
The idea of just “getting lost” to many might seem scary! In the city of Bangkok, however it is far from scary! Walking outside of the hostel and randomly getting lost in this enourmous city was one of my favorite things to do in Bangkok. The temples in Bangkok were some of my favorite! There was so many temples and each was unique in its own way! My favorite temple was the Wat Arun, ironically it is also Bangkok’s most iconic temple. What I love most about it is the fact that it is located on the Chao Phraya River, which is pretty much the gateway through Bangkok. This river runs through the middle of Bangkok and what make this so great is that you can hop onto a water taxi (boat) anywhere along side of the river to get to other sections of the city with ease. These boat rides give you a real authentic feel as these boats will be filled with only locals, its always interesting and I highly recommend taking one. Along the Chao Phraya river you can also find my next favorite place, Chinatown. Yes! Bangkok has a Chinatown! The Chinatown here is like no other, I’ve been to plenty in the United States and in other places in the world, but Bangkok’s Chinatown is by far the best! The food on the street is to die for! Of course, you can also find your large selection of insects to snack on, but for those that like to keep it normal the variety is quite nice also. The 3 hours I spent in this area, till this day was still the most hectic time I’ve had in any city in the world. So many people, so many stores, and just so much noise! Definitely a culture shock and something you have to experience for yourself!
Khao San Road is also one of my favorite streets in Bangkok for sure! This street literally has it all! During the day you can find crazy amounts of street food here and plenty of awesome shops to buy things such as jewelry, clothes, and other souvenirs. On this nice quarter mile long strip you will also find hundreds of tattoo shops and so many vendors trying to sell you suits, dresses, and other tailored goods.
What I love most about Khao San is the nightlife! At night you can find alcohol everywhere and people socially gathered everywhere. Mainly backpackers which makes it a very friendly crowd. There are a couple big dance clubs down this street and lot of little bars, as well as people making and selling their own drinks. I will however warn you that there are a lot of drugs on this road and I advise you stay away from them. I myself like to party also, but you should look into the laws and consequences before doing them here and see if its worth it or not to you. During my stay in Thailand I heard so many horror stories where people got sentenced to several years. I also met plenty of people that had to pay a bribe to the cops, but these were not cheap ($2-5,000 USD) , a lot more heftier than in other 3rd world countries. This is because they know how many years you could spend if charged. For the most part, if your smart and make smart choices I think this place is very safe and everybody just wants to have fun! The last activity I will be talking about is definitely not the last.
The Damnoen Saduak floating market is located about an hour outside of Bangkok and you can easily get there by taxi. (Roughly $10 both ways) The drive to the floating market might be throwing you off, but I must say that it is absolutely beautiful! Once you make it out of the city the scenery is nothing, but jungle and beautiful land.
Once your at the floating market for a small price they will allow you to hop onto a small boat and you will begin your ride along the small canals. Along the sides of the canals you will find beautiful shops/ storefronts selling beautiful handmade merchandise. You will also find a couple pull offs where they will have small restaurants and cool huts with art/ traditional clothing. These huts were the most fascinating to me, but the trip as a whole was just wonderful. Well this wraps up my small little Bangkok write up, feel free to message me or leave a comment with any questions you might have! Thank you!