I visited Bangkok in March 2016 with my mother, who has a Thai friend that hails from the city. Bangkok is overwhelming in every sense and due to the various districts, each area is a different experience. Initially, I wasn’t impressed at the bustling city but that was due to the fact that our hostel was located in the Siam area, which is a renownded shopping quarter in Bangkok – personally, I wouldn’t travel overseas to shop as I prefer traveling to experience the local culture and sights. That being said, once I experienced the pilgrimage that is The Grand Palace, I was in love! If your traveling style is similar to mine, then I’d recommend staying in the Rattanakosin district.
This travel itinerary is for 5 days, 4 nights
- First Day
Check In – we stayed at Chao Hostel (in a private room); the location is perfect if you want to stay in the heart of the city: situated opposite MBK Plaza, the hostel has access to a BST (MRT) while also being near the Jim Thompson House and Bangkok Art & Culture Centre; not to forget, the main stretch of malls are all within walking distance but if you over-shop, the BST can be of use 😉
Jim Thompson House – 100 Baht entrance fee with a guide
Bangkok Art and Culture Centre – check the opening hours as when I went, the centre was closed 😦
Chinatown – the Chinatown in Bangkok is a food haven at night so do drop by if you’d like to devour fresh seafood for an affordable price!
Heads up: the Bangkok National Museum wasn’t on my list as the museum was under renovation in March but now operates normally.
- Second Day
Rattanakosin Fresh Flower Market – I only included this as my mother loves flowers but we decided not to go oops
Grand Palace and Temple of The Emerald Budha (inclusive of Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall + Vimanmek Mansion) – 500 Baht entrance fee. The Grand Palace is a dream in terms of aesthetics (visuals, colours, designs etc.) but can also be a nightmare as the palace is filled to the brim with tourists so go as early as possible! Besides that, don’t overlook Queen Sirikit Museum of Textiles, which is near the entrance, as the textiles on display are magnificent. On a side note: if you’re particular with toilets (my mum is) then you’ll want to use the toilet at the textile museum
Temple of The Reclining Buddha – 100 Baht entrance fee, inclusive of a bottle of water. Opposite the temple is a restaurant (Rub Aroon) that serves affordable and authentic Thai food
Wat Arun – 100 Baht entrance fee. Wat Arun is opposite the Grand Palace so you have to take a river taxi across (for 3 Baht) but take note that the river taxi to Wat Arun departs from Tha Thien Pier
Museum of Siam – 300 Baht entrance fee
Siriraj Medical Museum – 200 Baht entrance fee
My mum and I spend over five hours walking around the Grand Palace then to Wat Arun and the Temple of The Reclining Buddha; considering she’s elderly, we decided to then return to the hostel, which means I did not visit the last three destinations but if you have time, energy, and spare change, visit them for me 🙂 We did, however, visit Lebua State Tower in order to have a glimpse of Bangkok from the Sky Bar, located on the 64th floor – the prices are rather exorbitant but you won’t be forced to buy a drink; do take note that there is a ‘smart casual’ dress-code.
- Third Day
Free and easy (perhaps go shopping) – I’d recommend Siam Paragon and Terminal 21 for their unique architecture, interiors, and food courts but if you want affordable prices then head to either Pratunam Market or Chatuchak Weekend Market
Our friend has a house in Pattaya so we decided to spend a night there as the drive is around 1.5 to 2 hours but that, of course, depends on traffic. Pattaya is teeming with Russian signboards and (mainland) Chinese tourists but nonetheless, there are quiet areas. We had dinner at Rimpa Lapin (pictured below), which is situated by and atop the seaside, but I’d recommend Ruan Talay instead as the setting is the same but the food (pictured below) isn’t overpriced, the flavours are better, and you’d be skipping a crowd.
- Fourth Day
Floating market in the morning – I did not do this activity as I went to Pattaya instead
Free and easy
Whilst in Pattaya, we decided to go to a beach but instead of visiting the overcrowded beach directly in Pattaya, we drove to Sai Kaew Beach – this beach is located within a military base and there is a 100 Baht entrance fee. The ocean is a pristine haven populated by locals and there are designated picnic areas, toilet facilities, and food stalls.
- Fifth Day
“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” Marcel Proust