Bangkok city is merely 1 hour 45 minutes flight from where I live. I was laying in bed at 1am and recalling vividly what I did in Bangkok. I visited the city back then in 2015 and went about doing touristy stuff, for instance – going to the floating market, visited the Chaktuchak weekend market, sipping cocktails at Sirocco Lebua State Tower (where the movie Hangover was filmed), strolling about Terminal 21 shopping centre and having coconut water/mango sticky rice/thai milk tea .. whatever you could find along the streets of Soi Sukhumvit.
“Bangkok’s buzz is like no other place in the world. Relentless traffic gives way to quiet “klongs” or canals and 24-hour party people queue up for clubs next to serene colonial mansions on quarter-acre blocks. All of this and its people are among the friendliest on earth. Not a bad effort for a city of 14.5 million people.”- by CNN Travel.com
This time around, I did minimal tourist spots. I ended up catching a workout instead and explored the good food Bangkok City has to offer. Generally, 5 days would be sufficient to see the highlights of this city but coming from Penang, I took it rather easy and if I missed out on anything, I would just come back again. FYI Thailand is known as the ‘Land of Smiles’. I don’t know if they were smiling more or I was!
Things I did in Bangkok City
1. Erawan Shrine
This shrine draws a lot of attention and is constantly filled with visitors. After all, it is located right at the heart of the city, just across Central World. I always thought it was Buddhism, but I found out this time that it is the Brahman God. The Brahman God is full of kindness, mercy, sympathy and impartiality. These four virtues are represented by his four faces, each radiating serene grace. It was said that many had their wishes granted after paying respect to the God.
2. Saxaphone Jazz Club
3. Brekkie Organic Cafe
It’s never easy to hunt for healthy and clean food, especially during travels. This is one of the cafes which is definitely worth making your way to Wattana district. It’s tagline reads, ‘It’s about being good to yourself.’ Boy was I being really good to myself … Ordered a hearty big breakfast plate and a bowl of granola smoothie bowl. The Maca Summer bowl, which is made up of maca root, mango and peach blended with brown rice milk was refreshing. Topped off the meal with a cup of Hot Latte. They even have the option of Almond milk too! Oh yums!
4. The Commons, Thonglor
I absolutely love how this whole place is built. Even the architecture of the building is pretty damn attractive and the layout is very inviting. I wish I had something like that back home. I can’t help but googled up the Commons BKK. It is great that their intention is to build a true sense of community and a gathering ground for people, with the goal of promoting a wholesome living at the same time. I visited the Market and indulged in some beef ribs and beers. Sticks and stones may break my bones, but I’m up for Meat & Bones anytime!
5. Khao San Road aka ‘The Backpacker’s Haven’
Honestly, I’ve not heard about this road until several days before the trip. How on earth do I not know about Khao San Road – well, I just don’t know! There’s so much that have been raved about this road and it is deemed the backpackers’ haven of South East Asia. Somehow stumbled across this street by chance, en route to Wat Pho and the Grand Palace. It happened to fall on the Asahna Bucha weekend, which is a religious Buddhist holiday so no alcohol were served at all. Hence, Khao San road was merely filled with sober people sipping orange juices and coconut water. It is indeed a strip of budget guesthouse and motels, internet cafes, Thai massage shops, swanky bars and cafes, and shops selling hippie clothings and replica goods.
6. Jaywalk Cafe
A short pitstop for food at this cafe just because it was recommended by Trip Advisor via the search for ‘Nearest cafe to you’. A small and quaint cafe. It was full house at noon and the cafe was able to accommodate about 10-15 people at a time. I needed my caffeine fix desperately before I could gather the energy for the temple visit. I would probably rate Jaywalk 5 out of 10 as there are better ones. It is convenient and good for a short bite, if you are intending to walk to the Grand Palace and Wat Pho.
7. Wat Pho ‘Temple of Reclining Buddha’
Definitely a must-do for anyone visiting Bangkok! Known as one of the largest temple complexes in the city, it is famous for its giant reclining Buddha that is covered in gold leaf. I thoroughly enjoyed wandering around the temple complex and spend about an hour or two there. If you would like some good luck, go ahead and purchase a bowl of coins at the entrance of the Reclining Buddha hall. There will be 108 bronze bowls surrounding the Buddha and that is where you drop the coins. 108 is considered a sacred and significant number in Buddhism. It refers to the 108 positive actions that helped Buddha led to perfection. The decorated stupas in the courtyard were so intricate and detailed, it is bound to leave you speechless and mesmerized.
*All visitors must wear appropriate clothing; no exposed shoulders or skin above the knee.
8. Condoms & Cabbages Restaurant
9. The Racquet Club, Thonglor
This club is equipped with a fitness gym, rock climbing wall, Olympic size swimming pool, badminton courts, tennis, and even squash courts. It is so comprehensive that a drop in wouldn’t be enough for you to do everything. I only summed up enough energy to do rock climbing and I was probably gassed out by the time I hit my 4th climb. It was an enjoyable session. They had instructors around to teach and give lessons on belaying for the first time.
10. Thai Wake Park, Lumlukka
More of a note to self to try wake boarding in the future. I managed to make a quick visit to the wake park at Lumlukka, on my way to the airport. I didn’t get to try the sport, but maybe it’s wise to start at a man-make wave pool before hand. Definitely gotta get the balance in check before attempting this. It does look fun and I can feel the adrenaline rush whenever the automated machines snap and pull you right through the course, while you wake board!
Points of Interest
- Grand Palace
- Wat Pho and Wat Arun
- Chaktuchak Market
- The Floating Market (Damnoen Saduak)
Food and Drinks List
- Brekkie Organic Cafe (49/11 Khlong Tan Nuea, Watthana, Bangkok 10110)
- Sirocco Bar, Lebua State Tower – The Hangover movie was filmed here!
- The Commons (335 (Thonglor 17), 55 Sukhumvit Rd, Klongtan Nue, Watthana)
- Condoms & Cabbages (Sukhumvit 12 Alley, Khwaeng Khlong Toei, Khet Khlong Toei, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon)
- Charlie’s Bar (7, 2/7 Soi Sukhumvit 11, Khlong Toei Nuea, Watthana)
- Aloft Rooftop Bar (35 Sukhumvit Soi 11, Sukhumvit Road, Klongtoey-nua, Wattana)
- Saxaphone Jazz Pub (3/8 Phayathai Road Victory Monument, Bangkok)
Outdoor Activities & Staying Active
- The Racquet Club (8 Soi Sukhumvit 49/9, Between Phrom phong & Thonglor)
- Thai Wake Park Lumlukka (18/4 Soi Sudsawas, Lieab Klong 6 Rd, Bungkumploy, Lumlukka, Pathum Thani 12150, Thailand)
- Crossfit Training Ground (36/2 Sukhumvit Soi 69, Prakanong, Wattana)