3 days Ultimate Bangkok

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May 16, 2017 (Updated on May 16, 2017)
Day 1

After breakfast (at your hotel or a street stall) take the sky train to Saphan Taksin and jump on a ferry from Sathorn/ Central Pier station on the Chao Phraya river.

The rivers and canals are the heart of Bangkok, and it's cross-river ferries are still the main transportations for the locals. The area along the main river of Bangkok (Ko Ratanakosin) used to be the ancient royal district and this is where many of Bangkok's most famous attractions is located. You can easily walk in between the temples and sites in this area, but it is best to get an early start as most of these sites close around 3:30 pm and there is plenty to see!

Whatever you do, be wary of anyone who approaches you in this area, speaks perfect English, and tell you that the sight is closed today. They are often people who want to steer you to a gem or tailor shop where they will get a commission. Even guards and other official-looking people may sometimes try to convince you to go to one of these shops.

Take the Public River Ferry from Central Pier up to No. 9 Tha Chang and get off to start your walking tour to see some of the most famous landmarks of Bangkok:

Operating hours Opening hours
Monday: 8:30 AM – 3:30 PM
Tuesday: 8:30 AM – 3:30 PM
Wednesday: 8:30 AM – 3:30 PM
Thursday: 8:30 AM – 3:30 PM
Friday: 8:30 AM – 3:30 PM
Saturday: 8:30 AM – 3:30 PM
Sunday: 8:30 AM – 3:30 PM

Operating hours Opening hours
Monday: 8:30 AM – 3:30 PM
Tuesday: 8:30 AM – 3:30 PM
Wednesday: 8:30 AM – 3:30 PM
Thursday: 8:30 AM – 3:30 PM
Friday: 8:30 AM – 3:30 PM
Saturday: 8:30 AM – 3:30 PM
Sunday: 8:30 AM – 3:30 PM

The former home of the monarch, the Grand Palace is located right beside the architectural wonder that is the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. The grounds contain more than 100 buildings, all beautifully decorated with gold and diamonds in different colours in old-Bangkok style. The Temple of Emerald Buddha is regarded as the most important Buddhist temple in Thailand.

You must be properly dressed before being allowed entry to the temple. Wear shirts with sleeves, long pants or skirts and shoes. So no tank tops! If you’re wearing sandals or flip-flops you must wear socks, so no bare feet. If you show up at the front gate improperly dressed, there is a booth near the entry that provides clothes to cover you up properly. You must leave your passport or credit card as security. Shoes should be removed before entering the main chapel. Also, when sitting in front of a Buddha image, remember to tuck your feet behind you to avoid the very offensive pose of pointing your feet towards Buddha.

From Grand Palace, walk (about 10 minutes) or take the ferry one stop to No. 8 Tha Tien pier. Grab something quick and delicious to eat and drink at one of the many food stalls along the street on your way to Wat Pho. Wat Pho – the gigantic reclining Buddha is amazingly beautiful covered in gold leaf and mother-of-pearl ornaments inlaid in his feet. It is a remarkable 46 m long and 15 m high (!!), and illustrates Buddha entering nirvana (Buddha's death).

Wat Pho also contains four chapels with no less than 394 (!!) gilded Buddha images, a long line of golden Buddhas from all over Thailand sitting in lotus position.

Even though your main mission at Wat Pho is of course to see the reclining Buddha, don't forget to wander around in the courtyard and admire the Chinese statutes that were once used as ballasts on ships, as well as the 91 stupas that are beautifully decorated in ceramic pottery flowers and colourful and sparkling tiles.

Wat Pho is also Thailand's headquarter for the teaching of traditional Thai medicine and Thai massage. After this walk around Grand Palace and Wat Pho, nothing beats a relaxing head or foot massage. If this is your first time in Thailand, this is a safe and very authentic place to try out Thai massage. If this is something you want to try out here, you should pop over and book a spot when entering Wat Pho as there can be a waiting list.

Now it is time to cross the river, so jump on a cross-river ferry from No. 8 Tha Tien to Wat Arun pier (only 3 Baht = 0,09 usd). On your way to the Grand Palace and Wat PhraKaew you passed this temple with the ferry, so you already know that it is spectacular and atmospheric with its steep piers reaching up in the sky. It is at it's most impressive after dark when it is lit up and looks a bit magical and like a fairytale. Unfortunately, it closes before nightfall.

This is my favourite temple in Bangkok. In the middle of this temple lays its most prominent feature, a 82 m high beautifully decorated Khmer-style tower where you can walk up the steep stairs and admire the view of Bangkok and it's rivers. Ah, I love this temple!

Operating hours Opening hours
Monday: 5:00 PM – 2:00 AM
Tuesday: 5:00 PM – 2:00 AM
Wednesday: 5:00 PM – 2:00 AM
Thursday: 5:00 PM – 2:00 AM
Friday: 5:00 PM – 2:00 AM
Saturday: 5:00 PM – 2:00 AM
Sunday: 5:00 PM – 2:00 AM

After all this walking and sightseeing you will probably be starving! Now it's time to eat. From Wat Aron, take the cross-river ferry back to No. 8 Tha Tien. From there take the river ferry to No. 6 Memorial Bridge, and grab a tuk-tuk to Tip Samai restaurant (313 Th Maha Chai, Banglamphu). Just make sure it's after 5 pm, as this is when Tip Samai opens.

The small restaurant Thip Samai has some of the best Pad Thai in Bangkok! Not bad considering that they sell Pad Thai EVERYWHERE in this city.

Thip Samai also has the most delicious freshly squeezed orange juice I have ever tasted! It is really fresh and full of flavor!

Operating hours Opening hours
Monday: Open 24 hours
Tuesday: Open 24 hours
Wednesday: Open 24 hours
Thursday: Open 24 hours
Friday: Open 24 hours
Saturday: Open 24 hours
Sunday: Open 24 hours

After this delicious Pad Thai and orange juice, your energy is back up and it's time to head on to the famous and vibrant China Town that is located by the river.

Go for a walk through the narrow streets and beautiful buildings in China Town, shop Chinese green tea and other Chinese souvenirs, and just watch the life on the streets.

Operating hours Opening hours
Monday: 6:00 PM – 2:00 AM
Tuesday: 6:00 PM – 2:00 AM
Wednesday: 6:00 PM – 2:00 AM
Thursday: 6:00 PM – 2:00 AM
Friday: 6:00 PM – 2:00 AM
Saturday: 6:00 PM – 2:00 AM
Sunday: 6:00 PM – 2:00 AM

Now it's finally time to wind down with something cold in your glass or go partying with backpackers, hippies, and hipsters if you still have some energy left. Kao San Road is a crazy street packed with partying people, street food and street stalls selling clothes and souvenirs.

In Kao San Road you can stroll around among the many shopping stalls selling everything from strange Thai snacks like barbecued insects, hand painted t-shirts, beautiful lanterns, crazy party hats, and fake lonely planet books to leather handbags. Grab an ice-cold Chang beer and relax in a chair at one of the many street-side restaurants and bars while you watch the street life go by, or party hard late into the night if you still have some energy left.

Day 2

Operating hours Opening hours
Monday: Closed
Tuesday: Closed
Wednesday: Closed
Thursday: Closed
Friday: Closed
Saturday: 7:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Sunday: 7:00 AM – 6:00 PM

If you are staying in Bangkok during a weekend, Chatuchak Weekend Market is a real MUST! Chatuchak Weekend Market is the mother of all markets!

Chatuchak Weekend market is probably the biggest weekend market in the world. It consists of about 15 000 stalls covering more than one km, and it has been in Bangkok for decades. Here you will find just about anything you can imagine, both useful and not so useful stuff.

If you are not in Bangkok a Saturday or Sunday, it is time to experience the modern side of Bangkok and visit the Siam area to go shopping. Take the sky train to Siam station or Chit Lom station.

Siam is a shopping bonanza and we love it! You can spend hours and hours exploring the four big shopping centres that are located next to each other in the Siam area:

- Central World (has an ice skating rink at ground floor)
- Siam Paragon (has South East Asia´s biggest aquarium, Siam Ocean World at base level and the Exotic Thai store on 4th floor – perfect for gifts and souvenirs)
- Siam Center
- Siam Discovery (has Bangkok’s Madame Tussauds on 6th floor)

Oh boy do you get tired and hungry from all this shopping! Now it's time to sit down and have a lunch break.

Almost all of the big and posh shopping centers in Bangkok have food courts with food from all around the world. Many of them are in a big open areas, which are usually very crowded and noisy. Kalpapruek on 7th floor of Central World is a lovely quiet exception with some tasty Thai food.

With its nice and relaxed atmosphere, tasty and reasonably priced Thai food, delicious smoothies, and super tasty cakes, it is a great place to get your energy back in between the shopping! And their Mango Bingo smoothie is a must-try, it's fabulous!

If you are not that hungry, and more up for something sweet, try one of their super tasty cakes. Their famous chocolate mud cake just melts in your mouth..mmmm…..believe me it is worth a try.

Operating hours Opening hours
Monday: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Tuesday: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Wednesday: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Thursday: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Friday: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Saturday: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Sunday: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM

After some more shopping in these fancy and super big shopping malls, take a detour from modern Bangkok to explore a bit of it's history. The Jim Thompson House, which is kind of like a museum, is located close by Siam Square and is just a short walk away from the shopping centres.

The story of Jim Thompson is a fascinating one, and quite a mystery too! His lovely house and garden is now a museum, and is well worth a visit! A guided tour around the garden and house, as well as a demonstration of how Thai silk is made, is included in the cheap ticket. The house also has a silk shop where you can find beautiful gifts and souvenirs, and a very nice restaurant/cafe tucked away in the green and lush garden serving delicious Thai food.

After the lovely Jim Thompson House, it is time to wind down and enjoy some modern entertainment. Bangkok has some of the best cinemas in the world, showing Hollywood movies in english with Thai subtitles.

Head back to Paragon shopping mall and take the escalator or lift up to the 5th floor where they have 4D cinema and IMAX cinema. Paragon has probably the best cinema complex in Bangkok, with both 4D, 3D and IMAX (all together they have 15 large-sized theatres). There are monitors at the entrances of Paragon, displaying an overview of which movies are showing and at what time.

Sink down into the comfortable cinema chair and end your busy shopping day relaxing with some popcorn watching the latest Hollywood movies in 4D or IMAX. Oh, and by the way, don’t forget to stand during the tribute video to his majesty the king that is shown before every movie!

Day 3

Operating hours Opening hours
Monday: 11:00 AM – 2:30 PM, 4:30 – 10:30 PM
Tuesday: 11:00 AM – 2:30 PM, 4:30 – 10:30 PM
Wednesday: 11:00 AM – 2:30 PM, 4:30 – 10:30 PM
Thursday: 11:00 AM – 2:30 PM, 4:30 – 10:30 PM
Friday: 11:00 AM – 2:30 PM, 4:30 – 10:30 PM
Saturday: 11:00 AM – 10:30 PM
Sunday: 11:00 AM – 10:30 PM

After this laid-back start of the day, head out and hop on the Skytrain or MRT to discover the Silom area of Bangkok.

Start your Silom exploration with lunch at either Bangrak restaurant or Somtum Der restaurant. Both Bangrak and Somtum Der serves delicious freshly made authentic Thai food. They are located on the same street, so you can go and check out both if you want.

Somtum Der may have Bangkok’s best Som Tam (Papaya salad). Somtum Der is an affordable, friendly place with delicious and authentic north Isaan Thai food. The atmosphere is great! They have a great outside area where you can sit and eat and drink their tasty martinis of vodka and lemongrass or Rosella.

Their specialty is the Som Tam (Papaya Salad), of which they have eight versions at the menu.

Operating hours Opening hours
Monday: 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM
Tuesday: 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM
Wednesday: 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM
Thursday: 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM
Friday: 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM
Saturday: 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM
Sunday: Closed

Bangrak is a cool and hip little place with tasty Thai food! The place has a nice and cool atmosphere, with live music and art exhibitions now and then.

Operating hours Opening hours
Monday: 4:30 AM – 9:00 PM
Tuesday: 4:30 AM – 9:00 PM
Wednesday: 4:30 AM – 9:00 PM
Thursday: 4:30 AM – 9:00 PM
Friday: 4:30 AM – 9:00 PM
Saturday: 4:30 AM – 9:00 PM
Sunday: 4:30 AM – 9:00 PM

After some delicious Thai food for lunch, it is time to burn off those calories or lay down in the park for a siesta. Head over to the nearby Lumphini Park, Bangkok’s green lung and biggest park. It is loved by both it's inhabitants and visitors. We love it too!

The park is beautifully maintained and is perfect for a stroll or some relaxation on the grass or on one of it's benches. If you visit it in the afternoon, around 17-18 o'clock, you can also watch or participate in the aerobics taking place in the park. Great fun!

Oh and by the way, if you are there at 18 o’clock, hear a song being played over the speakers, and suddenly everyone around you stops running and stands still for a few minutes, just do as they do. It is a song played in tribute to his majesty the king.

Operating hours Opening hours
Monday: Closed
Tuesday: 6:30 – 10:30 PM
Wednesday: 6:30 – 10:30 PM
Thursday: 6:30 – 10:30 PM
Friday: 6:30 – 10:30 PM
Saturday: 6:30 – 10:30 PM
Sunday: 6:30 – 10:30 PM

After your park exploration and exercise, it is time to fill up the energy again, and there is not a better place to that than La Table De Tee restaurant.

La Table De Tee restaurant is a real gourmet treasure in Bangkok! The food is absolutely stunning, both in its presentation and taste! Each evening the chef have a set menu where you can choose between two starters, two main dishes and two desserts. In between you also get two small dishes, so all together five dishes. All dishes are very well composed to fit together as a whole set dinner. It all cost 1100 Baht per person, not including drinks. Expensive by Thai standards, but so much value for your money compared to what you would have to pay for this kind of gourmet dinner in Europe or USA! You can easily walk here from Lumphini Park.

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