BANGKOK, THAILAND – It was during the protest days that we visited this city.
We have heard a lot of news about it that somehow made us nervous about going.
The main reference we have used for this trip is the Google Map made by Richard Barrow. Back then it was red flags all over the place. Now the map is updated to show Bangkok under the military junta.
Despite this, it was still sawadee krup Bangkok, Thailand! the moment we stepped on Suvarnabhumi Airport.
Going to the city centre
We decided to use the train to go to our hotel. Taxis and buses are available too.
There are three train lines going to/from Suvarnabhumi airport. The Express lines to Makkasan and Phaya Thai are expensive. We used the City Line which has a couple of stops along the way but the fare is cheaper. After Immigration, the City Line is on the lower ground floor of the airport.
Money exchange booths are also found here but not all of them will exchange Philippine peso.
Staying in Bangkok
As mentioned, main concern was the protest areas. We have to consider this when we booked our hotel. At that time, the “quite” part of Bangkok is the area along the far end of Sukhumvit road. We have chosen President Park Hotel.
Will not recommend this place. The current situation now in Bangkok, in terms of number of protests and political uncertainties, is better even though the whole country is under the military rule. More options can be explored.
There is a local Thai food place beside the hotel. I cannot call it a restaurant since the tables and chairs are in the sidewalk basically. The Tom Yum was great.
Local Thai fish dish and tom yum pot.
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Other hotels you can check out in Bangkok
- Inn A Day
- Kama Bangkok Boutique Bed & Breakfast
- W Home Bangkok
- Vista Residence Bangkok
- Silom One Hotel
Going to Talin Chan Floating Market
There are many floating markets in Bangkok. We have chosen the one that is near the city centre. Talin Chan Floating Market is less than an hour commute from our hotel. This floating market is frequented by the locals and only open during weekends from 7AM to 4PM.
We went there by getting a taxi in Wongwian Yai BTS station. This taxi ride will cost around 125 THB.
Once in the area, you will see a lot of stalls selling different products from snacks to gardening tools.
In the main floating market area, you can eat with the locals and see how the vendors cook in their longboats.
You can buy souvenirs here. Once you are done eating and were able to enjoy a foot massage, you can head to a small pier station. From here you can go to Chao Phraya river.
Roaming the Grand Palace and environs
After the floating market, we went directly to the Grand Palace complex. The taxi fare is just 150 THB.
You can opt to visit first Wat Mahathat and the museum beside it. After which you can proceed to the Grand Palace. The entrance fee to the complex is 500 THB per person.
A map/brochure will be given in the gate. Use this well. This place could be crowded and very hot and humid in the summer. A prior reading on some historical background of the complex will also help a lot.
In the Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew), aside from the usual restriction on footwear, you are not allowed to bring a camera inside.
Fascinated by the details
We had our lunch near the pier. I am a fan of milk teas and I’ve ordered one by accident in this place. It is cheap but delicious.
At one point of your stay in Bangkok, you will find your self near the Chao Phraya river. You will cross this river when going to Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn).
Eating a buffet dinner and watching Siam Niramit
We have booked this in advance. Walk-ins are also accepted. Better come at least 1.5 or 2 hours before the show to fully enjoy the buffet dinner. A shuttle service is waiting for patrons every 30 minutes in the Exit 1 of MRT Thailand Cultural Centre station.
Inside Siam Niramit are exhibitions, open-air cultural shows and roaming elephants.
Someone likes to dance…
They do not allow video recording and/or any form of photography while the show itself is on-going. Personally the effort done for the whole show is amazing.
Saying ‘Sawadee krup Bangkok Thailand!’
Thai’s hello and goodbye is the same. Perhaps a good way to entice visitors to go back. We have to admit that our Bangkok experience is quite short. This was just a side-trip due to a not-to-be-missed promo fare. We plan to go back in Thailand and check Chang Mai, Krabi and Phuket.