Bang for your buck in Bangkok
The first time I ventured to Thailand, people repeatedly told me the same thing “Get out of Bangkok as soon as you can”, and so I boldly set off to Thailand expecting my first few days in the big smoke while I waited for my friends to join me to be a test of endurance. But the funniest thing happened, there I was in Asia for the first time, by myself, and I became quite smitten with this bustling city. I wandered the hot and busy streets soaking up the sights and sounds, I visited magnificent temples, I tried questionable but delicious street food, I took tuk tuk rides, went to a huge local market and ate spicy noodles for breakfast, and had a hardcore Thai massage. By the time my three days was up and I was heading to the islands, I felt as though I’d had the adventure of a lifetime already. So whenever people ask me about Thailand I tell them “Spend a few days in Bangkok, it’s so worth it”! Here’s a list of things not to miss while you’re visiting...
The Markets! Bangkok has some great markets, and wandering around them offers you a great taste of the Thai culture as well as hours of entertainment. Head to the huge open-air Rod Fai Market on the eastern outskirts of the city to grab yourself a vintage bargain or retro treasure before kicking back with a beer and some noodles. The Flower Market in the Old Town is another wonderful place to visit especially in the early morning. Soak up the wonderful scents and vibrant colours of the tropical flowers from all over Thailand lining the streets ready to be shipped off across the city each day. Finally, the huge Chatuchak weekend market is the place to head to discover all sorts of crazy gifts and trinkets, antiques, exotic pets, as well as amazing street food.
Thai Boxing Fight Night Held every Wednesday evening at 6pm outside the MBK Shopping Centre, this free Muay Thai boxing match attracts hoards of people cheering on some of the best fighters in the city. It’s a great way to see get a taste of Thai Boxing while you’re visiting Thailand.
Lumpini Park This green oasis in the middle of Bangkok’s concrete jungle is the perfect place to escape the madness of the city. Hire a paddle boat and head out on the lake, or join in one of the free aerobics or Tai Chi classes held there each day.
Meditation at Wat Mahathat A major part of the Buddhist religion, meditation is a daily practice for many Thai people. Visit Wat Mahathat, one of Bangkok’s oldest temples and learn how to mediate with the monks in one of their daily walk in classes (by donation). It’s a really peaceful experience, which gives you an insight into the lives of the Buddhist Monks at the same time.
Climb the Baiyoke Tower Get your bearings in this huge city, by hiking to the top of Bangkok’s tallest building. It’s an epic hike of 2060 stairs to take you to the viewing deck on the 77th floor, but you’ll be rewarded with inspiring 360 degree views across the metropolis.