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Tripguru Guide for Bangkok

5 votes

24 hours in Bangkok

created by martin_F on 2012-11-13

24 hours in Bangkok

To find oneself in the middle of Asia - it's the wistful desire of so many travelers. Few cities are able to satisfy this desire as abundantly as Bangkok. That's probably why the Thai capital became one of the favorite destinations of Western backpackers and city tourists on the Asian continent. If you treat yourself to a short trip to the "City of Angels," be forewarned. Bangkok has long been a chaotic juggernaut, a boom town of glass skyscrapers. Keep your eyes open and heed the following tips -- then you will doubtless discover a world of exoticism and spirituality.

If you arrive in Bangkok on the weekend, you can get the full quantity of exotic impressions right at the beginning of your tour (the earlier in the morning, the better). Immerse yourself in the Chatuchak weekend market - the largest flea market in Asia, and possibly the whole world!

The Khao San Road is considered a stronghold of all the world's adventurous backpackers. What the Hard Rock Café NYC T-shirt is for mainstream travelers, Khao San souvenirs are for alternative travelers. Here you can go for more unusual fare - in addition to clothes, you can also get inexpensive piercings and tattoos here.

If you are seriously interested in the history and culture of ancient Siam (as Thailand was called until the mid-twentieth century), you can visit countless priceless treasures in the splendid palace of the National Museum.

But pomp and history are not to be found only in the museum - just a bit farther are the Grand Palace and the royal temple Wat Phra Kaeo, the main tourist attractions in Thailand. The Emerald Buddha in the temple in this thoroughly Buddhist-dominated country serves as a national shrine. Caution: in order to view this colorful, exotic Thai-style fairy-tale world, you must wear appropriate clothing (knee-length skirts, long pants, sturdy shoes). Renting regular clothes is a possibility, so you can replace your Khao San Road outfit and flip-flops if necessary.

South of the palace is Bangkok's oldest monastery and another must-see of any tour of the city. Wat Pho is famous for its golden 150-foot-long reclining Buddha. If you want a (non-tawdry) Thai massage, this would be a good opportunity to do so. After all, the monastery-developed techniques have several hundred years of tradition under their belt.

For heavenly Thai food, the small restaurant Harmonique is recommended.

Get out to the residence of Jim Thompson. After the Second World War, the American made it his goal to promote Thailand's economy and tourism. After his mysterious disappearance, his ensemble of gorgeous teak houses remained - today, visitors come to admire a major collection of Asian art objects.

Bangkok is not only culture, it is also shopping. Take our advice, and forget about the Siam Center, one of the most exclusive malls in Thailand. Instead, dive into the surrounding streets of Siam Square. Even "fashion victims" can find much hipper clothes, sometimes at bargain prices.

Only a few blocks further, you hit a place where the West is again very far away. In the Erawan Shrine, consecrated to the Hindu god Brahma, young women perform ritual dances and offer the shrine sacrificial offerings. If you have acquired the taste, get ready to search for the secluded Nai Lert shrine; your expedition will be rewarded with a curious ensemble of hundreds of erect phalluses - in tribute to a fertility goddess.

If you want to to regain your breath after all of your experiences - and before hitting the Bangkok nightlife scene - you can do so in Benjakiti Park.

To get you through the night, we recommend two institutions that could not be more different. Either hang out on white leather couches to house beats in the mega-posh and futuristic nightclub Bed Supperclub or let 'er rip in the Rock Pub, one of Bangkok's top places for lovers of loud guitar riffs. Alternative: the Saxophone Pub's style lies somewhere in between the two. Its enduring popularity comes from the fine mix of good live music and delicious food.
  • 1
    Chatuchak Weekend Market

    74 votes

    shop

    The largest market in Thailand...most stalls are open on the weekends, hence the name. Our friend ...

  • 2
    Khao San Road

    57 votes

    sight

    You either hate or love this world-renowned backpacker haven. Thai noodle and pancake vendors comp...

  • 3
    National Museum

    13 votes

    museum / gallery

    Reputedly the largest museum in Southeast Asia. Next to Thammasat University lies the National Mus...

  • 4
    Wat Phra Kaeo

    67 votes

    sight

    The Temple of the Emerald Buddha actually features a jadeite Buddha. Arguably the most sacred Budd...

  • 5
    Wat Po

    96 votes

    sight

    Home of the longest reclining Buddha in Thailand. Wat Po, the oldest and largest wat in Bangkok, b...

  • 6
    Harmonique

    7 votes

    restaurant

    Small, elegant coffee shop with good music, fruit drinks and coffee, great atmosphere.

  • 7
    Jim Thompson’s House

    15 votes

    sight

    The life story of American-born James (Jim) Thompson reads like an adventure novel, right up to h...

  • 8
    Siam Square

    16 votes

    sight

    A 10-minute walk east along Rama I Road is the biggest, busiest modern shopping area in the city....

  • 9
    Erawan Shrine

    16 votes

    sight

    An unlikely place of devotion. Standing right next to the Grand Hyatt Erawan, under the shadow of ...

  • 10
    Nai Lert Shrine

    2 votes

    sight

    A fertility shrine full of phalluses. Tucked from view in a private corner of the Nai Lert Park Ho...

  • 11
    Benjasiri Park

    2 votes

    park / zoo

    Directly adjacent to the Emporium shopping centre. It has a children's playground, a small lake a...

  • 13
    Saxophone

    6 votes

    bar

    Saxophone has a long-standing and well-deserved reputation for delivering live music. Great food ...

  • 14
    Rock Pub

    4 votes

    club

    The entrance looks like the door to a robber baron's castle. Inside the pub, Bangkok rocks loud a...

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