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24 Hours in Bangkok
There is so much to do in Bangkok, you could easily while away a few days here or even a week. But if you’re just stopping off en route to somewhere else, here’s what Nathan would do with 24 hours in Bankgkok…
Bangkok is Thailand’s capital and my favourite city in Asia. It is home to amazing restaurants, bustling street markets, fantastic shopping and fascinating cultural sights. Having lived in this Asian capital, I cannot talk more highly of this excellent city and could easily plan out a full 2 week schedule of what to do here! However, for the purpose of this blog, let me take you through what I would recommend doing with just 24 short hours in the urban madness and tranquility that is Bangkok.
First things first – where to stay? A great place to stay whilst in Bangkok is the Shangri La Hotel. Located right on the river by Saphon Taksin BTS station, it is perfectly located to get around the whole city. Sitting by the hotel pool having a cold beer provides a refreshing moment of calm, if you can find a moment to spare!
After your morning breakfast, climb onto the Sky Train and head to Bangkok’s centre, Siam square. This is home to some of the best shopping in South East Asia. Any exit from the station will lead you to a shopping mall and each one is very different: for example, the fantastic Paragon Centre boasts a sea life centre, or perhaps you want to go in search of a bargain at the MBK! If you are lucky enough to be in Bangkok on a weekend, I would catch the Sky Train to the huge weekend market at Mo Chit, and lose yourself in the stalls where everything imaginable is on sale. Laden with all your purchases and tired of shopping, jump back on the Sky Train to your hotel to drop off all that you have bought.
Next, take a cruise on the Khlongs – an exciting way to explore the city! You can request your private longtail boat conveniently from the pier just next to the Shangri La Hotel. There is plenty to see whilst on board so do not forget to bring your camera – with stunning riverside temples and lovely oriental houses in abundance, you will pass some of the best architecture in Bangkok. My favourite local restaurant on the river is called Baan Klang Nam where you can stop for a spot of lunch. The longtail boat can drop you here and will wait while you eat. It is filled with locals enjoying the best seafood Bangkok has to offer. A dish I love here is the steamed sea-bass with Nam jin seafood sauce. You have to try it! After lunch get back onto the boat and head to Bangkok’s stunning Grand Palace. This palace is famous for its unique design with detailed mosaics and stunning pagodas. You can also pick up a chilled coconut for some refreshment while exploring, and remember not to show any Buddha statues the bottom of your feet!
After wandering the beautiful grounds, and with the day waning, the next stop is to head to the Arun Residence which is just 5 minutes’ walk away. Sit here and unwind with a cocktail or Singha beer and watch the sun set across the Chau Praya River, with a backdrop of the beautiful Wat Arun temple. Feeling very relaxed, it is time to get a taxi back to the hotel and refresh before your evening meal. A personal favourite of mine for dinner is the Blue Elephant. The selection of Thai meals served here covers every region of the country. From barbecue chicken served with a spicy sauce from the Isan region, to the spicy seafood curries which Krabi in the south is famed for, there will be something for everyone. After dinner, head down Sukhumvit Road to a bar called Hide and Seek. This bar is known for not just the fantastic cocktails, but also the clientele. You will most likely find yourself drinking next to a Thai film star! Finally, head home to bed with your head buzzing from all the sights you have seen in this wondrous city.