Bangkok… capital of Thailand and described by Lonely Planet as a “high-energy city which loves neon and noise, chaos and concrete, fashion and future”.
We stayed for 3 nights but the train schedules to and from the city meant we only had 2 full days. We also wanted to visit the Bridge over the River Kwai which is a day out of Bangkok so this unfortunately gave us only one full day to explore this exciting city.
We therefore had to prioritise… Bangkok is home to some of the most impressive temples (Wats) in the world so we decided to visit Wat Pho with its huge gold reclining Buddha and the Grand Palace which as mentioned by Wikipedia has been the official residence of the Kings of Siam since 1782.
Both Wat Pho and the Grand Palace are close to each other and you can either walk for 10 minutes or travel between the two by a short boat ride along the Chao Phraya River.
Wat Pho and the reclining Buddha
The Wat Pho temple is home to the 46 m gold leaf reclining Buddha as well as the largest collection of Buddha images in Thailand. Wat Pho was also the birthplace of traditional Thai massage which is still practised there.
Wat Pho info:
- Opening Hours: Daily 08:00 – 17:00
- Location: Maharat Road. Close to the river (about a half mile south of the Grand Palace), Old City (Rattanakosin)
- Price: The entrance fee is 100 baht
The Grand Palace is huge with its spectacular array of glittering temples. There are hundreds if not thousands of visitors each day meaning the Grand Palace can be somewhat crowded. With so many temples and such a large area to cover it can take a few hours to look around.
Temple of the Emerald Buddha (is inside a temple at the Grand Palace) but you are not allowed to take photos inside the temple.
Grand Palace info:
There is a strict dress code for the Grand Palace. Men must wear long pants and shirts with sleeves. Shoulders must be covered however if you arrive improperly dressed you can borrow the necessary clothes for a small deposit.
- Opening Hours: Daily 08:30 – 15:30
- Location: Na Phra Lan Road, Old City (Rattanakosin)
- Price Range: Tickets sold from 8:30 – 15:30 and cost 500 baht (£10). You also receive entry to Vimanmek Palace and Abhisek Dusit Throne Hall.
Vertigo sky bar (from 5 pm) is an open air rooftop bar located on the 61st floor of the Banyan Tree hotel. As you would expect, it is a little pricey with cocktails at around £10 and beers for around £6 but you get an awesome 360 degree city view…
The Vertigo sky bar also gets crowded at dusk as people are hoping to see a sunset. We went to the ‘Moon Bar’ a couple of flights down to the other open air sky bar where you get an equally impressive view but without the crowds.
We travelled to both temples by skytrain and boat along the Chao Phraya River. The skytrain ride was for 3 stops and cost was 28 baht (£0.56) each and ‘orange flag’ boats are incredibly cheap at 14 baht (£0.28) each.
We literally ‘skimmed the surface’ of Bangkok focussing on a couple of ‘must see’ sights. However Bangkok is an amazing city and definitely one we would love to return to.