My journey to Bangkok started by driving to Dubai International Airport from Abu Dhabi which took 2 hours. Upon checked-in, I rushed into the boarding gate only to find out that there is a technical difficulties on the plane which caused 6 hour delays on the scheduled flight. That moment was intense as people started to panic (it was weeks after a Germanwings crashed in France). Fortunately they managed to fix it, so the flight preceded and everyone boarded the plane pretty nervous. 6 hours after take off from Dubai we landed safely in Bangkok and everyone screamed for joy!
It was a peak season so Suvarnabhumi Airport was really packed the time I arrived and had to wait in the passport control for an hour. (Tip: If you are ASEAN passport holder, look for the immigration counter specially opened for ASEAN members. Will save you time!) When I finally got out of the immigration counter, I went straight to the carousel to claim my baggage, luckily they lost my luggage and loaded it to another plane! I felt really frustrated that time as I already lost almost half of my day dealing with all the hassles! Just good thing that I packed my personal stuff inside my hand carry. I got my luggage a day after.
Since I consumed my energy on the flight already, I decided to just chill around the area where I booked my hotel. Area is in Sukhumvit (Pub district) so it’s pretty close to establishments. Spent the day trying their street food and authentic dishes plus the massage!
- Eat like locals!
- Food outside ranges from BHT10-50
- Try the authentic Thai Massage (my favorite) BHT400-600
- It’s okay to book your tours ahead, but perks of purchasing tours in Bangkok is that you can bargain with them. Use your charm to save some bucks. ;)
Ayutthaya and Bang Pa-In Palace – BHT1,000 (If I remember correctly)
Ayutthaya (Old City) – Before Bangkok there was Ayutthaya who ruled the kingdom of Thailand. Ayutthaya is basically the old and original version of Bangkok. If you plan to take a look at their history, this tour is for you as it will roam you around the old city.
Bang Pa – In Royal Palace – The park is made up of iconic buildings. Good to visit from Ayutthaya.
Grand Palace and the Emerald Buddha – We left the hotel at 9AM -as always, the earlier the better to avoid the crowd. The place was literally packed with tourists! I have never been into a place with such a huge crowd. Be sure to wear appropriate clothes by the way! Entrance is BHT500 and be cautious with the pick pockets!
Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha) – Just 10 minute walk from the Grand Palace. Entrance is BHT100 (with free drink!). Here you will see the 46 meter long buddha covered in gold leaf. I recommend coming here second after the Grand Palace, most of tourists go here only for to see the reclining Buddha and don’t tend to stay longer in the complex.
Chatuchak Weekend Market – Shop ’til you drop! If you love shopping and bargaining, this is the perfect place for you. I suggest to do the shopping here if you plan to go on a weekend.
Floating Market, Elephant Sanctuary, Snake Show and a Temple visit – BHT500
Damnoen Saduak Floating Market – It’s like an hour and a half away from Bangkok to reach Ratchaburi. From there you will need to ride a boat to reach the market itself. Upon reaching the place, you will have the option to ride another boat to go around and experience bargaining while paddling along the congested canals otherwise you can go on by your feet. Bargaining is part of the fun so do it. It’s additional BHT50 to ride the small boat.
Elephant Santuary – We didn’t go inside.
Snake Show – No one from my group wanted to go inside, and that time I can feel the frustration from our tourguide as he tried hard to sell the show. So I decided to give it a try. Here they will show different snake acts, but seriously I did not enjoy it. I feel sorry for the animals as they are being forced to do the show.
We finished the tour early around 2PM and we decided to go back to hotel just to rest as the heat was really exhausting that time.
To sum it up, I find Thailand to be very interesting, rich in culture and a real tourist magnet of Asia. There are still places in Thailand that I want to visit someday!