Bangkok was one of those places that I just arrived at, and realised I hadn’t researched a single thing to do.
Seriously. I just got there and thought “Ok. What will I do now?”. It was nice not having a plan to be honest and just seeing where I ended up. I may well have missed out on some great things to do, but I actually really enjoyed Bangkok, so I would happily go back and explore some more!
I ended up landing in Bangkok later than planned as my flight from Siem Reap was delayed by about four hours. So that meant that my first night in Bangkok was essentially wiped out unfortunately. But I got up early the next day and headed out for a wander. I tried to walk as much as possible because I always feel that I get my bearings faster in a city that way.
I headed to the MBK centre which contains about 2,000 shops. Yes, you read that correctly. Lots of the shops are stalls, and I found most of them were selling the same kind of stuff. But, if you’re into sensory overload and don’t mind getting lost in shopping malls for a while, then you won’t mind it! I actually discovered the next day that the shopping centre across the junction, called Siam Discovery, is way nicer with a gorgeous range of homewares, clothing, shoes, jewellery etc.
I was recommended to go to a place called 25 Degrees Burger for food. So not authentic I know, but I was so hungry and it was close enough to the port where I was going to do the boat tour. It was actually a really good turkey burger, which I demolished before I could even think of being that annoying person who films their food, like I normally do.
Again, being slightly naive and ignorant, I didn’t consider how enormous Bangkok is. It is a huge city! It takes a long ass time to get from one place to another if they’re on opposite sides of the city. Which is why, if you’re looking to go to a lot of different places in a short space of time, the boat tour is a great option. I got the boat from Sathorn Pier and got the Chao Phraya Tourist Boat ticket for one day. This means you can travel up and down the river, stopping at different points as many times as you want during the day. With so many great sites on the river like Wat Yannawa, Wat Arun – Temple of Dawn, and Pak Khlong Talat (Flower Market), it’s definitely worth doing!
You’ll see from my photos below that I was actually more interested in the houses and shops on the river front. They have so much character, I found myself photographing them more than the actual sights!
One of my favourite things to do when I go travelling to a new city, is to go to a rooftop bar. I think it gives you a great perspective on the place you’re in and it’s always nice sipping on a cocktail while the sun goes down. I’ve been to a lot of rooftop bars on my travels, but this one, Moon Bar, this is the one to beat. I have never in my life seen uninterrupted views like it. I’ve read a lot of reviews of it on TripAdvisor so here’s my two cents:
- Yes, drinks are expensive. 650 bhat for a cocktail. In my opinion, that’s what I would expect to pay for that view. It’s a nice hotel, they give you snacks with your drink, which they happily top up for you (the snacks that is). Having paid over $30 for a Singapore Sling in Singapore, with zero view, this was more than worth it in comparison
- Get there at 5pm and move quickly to get a good seat. I happened to be by the hotel at 5pm so I decided to head in. When the rooftop bar opened at 5.30, I walked in and straight to a table with an incredible view. Two minutes later and I would have been sitting with my back to the view. It was a total fluke I was there on time! Go early and snag yourself a good seat. I advise moving straight back to the Moon Bar and to the back behind the bar.
- The dress code is semi formal, which apparently catches a lot of people out. I was wearing a midi dress, nothing special, I had worn it to death on that trip. I was also wearing plain sandals. According to Travel + Style, the dress code is “long trousers and closed shoes for gentlemen, no torn jeans, sleeveless tops, shorts or flip-flops for ladies and gents.”. Don’t get caught out!
- The views, as I mentioned above, are insane. There’s no windows, no pillars blocking your view. It’s just pure interrupted views of the city. In my mind, for a view like that I would happily pay €16 for a cocktail.
- I found the staff to be really friendly and happy for me to sit there and chill with my drink and snacks for a few hours. I also met a really nice couple from France and Italy who ended up sitting with me at my table. It was really nice getting to chat to lovely people, in a lovely setting and just enjoy the experience.
The next morning I decided to head to a coffee shop I had passed by chance the day before. It looked nice and the smell of coffee coming out of it was so good I knew I had to go back and try it. Factory Coffee, for me, is another must try in Bangkok. Oh. My. God. The most delicious and unusual coffee I’ve ever had in my life. I dream about that coffee. At first it might seem like you’re in a bar. They’re literally shaking coffee in cocktail mixers, there’s flavoured ice cubes, I believe I saw dry ice at one point. It’s all part of the experience.
I had the White Citrus which is imported coffee with citrus and milk, with notes of orange and vanilla (told you it was like a bar!). Honestly, before I would have said that orange has no business near coffee, why would someone even dare do such a thing. I was so freaking wrong. The most incredible iced coffee ever. A little piece of me died and went to heaven. Go there, try it, thank me later.
After the greatest coffee ever, I headed out for another wander around the city. I decided to walk, as usual, to Khao San Road, mostly because I heard there was a hotel there that you could pay a day pass and use their pool. It was 32 degrees, and humid as hell. I just wanted to get my pale Irish butt to a pool to cool off. Unfortunately, that hotel has changed their policy. After a lot of debating and confusion, I ended up heading back to Pathumwan Princess Hotel, which is attached to the MBK shopping centre I had been in the day before. I paid an extortionate price to use their pool for two hours. I don’t even think it was worth it at the time. If you’re going to Bangkok, try to get a hotel with a pool. It provides a lot of relief from the intense humidity.
The next morning it was time to head to Dubai. I was treated to the most incredible sunrise on my taxi ride to the airport, which was the perfect end to a lovely trip. It was definitely a flying visit to Bangkok, as most of my trips ended up being, but I felt it was better to experience a place for a few days, rather than not experiencing it at all!
I’d love to know if you’ve been to Bangkok, or indeed to Thailand as I definitely would like to go back at some stage! Let me know in the comments below!