Before visiting Bangkok I had no idea what to expect. All I had to compare it to was The Hangover Part 2, where monkeys smoked on the streets and people woke up from the night before with awful facial tattoos. Although it’s fair to say the Bangkok I experienced was not the same as this wildly exaggerated cinematic version, it was definitely nothing like I’d seen before and would love to go again.
If you’re going to Bangkok, it’s a no-brainer that you should visit some of the famous temples. Although we couldn’t visit all of them in the short space of two days, we did visit The Grand Palace and Wat Pho (known as the temple of the Reclining Buddha). Both were extremely beautiful and mind-blowing. However, if I’d known how busy and hot it would be in the middle of the day (amateur mistake) I definitely would’ve gone bright and early in the morning.
Keep in mind that you’ll need to be fairly covered up when visiting temples and religious landmarks (a maxi skirt and t-shirt seemed suitable). Otherwise, you’ll have to either buy a T-shirt sold at the temple or borrow shawls if they have any to offer. You’ll also need to take off your shoes before entering temples, so make sure you wear some that are easy to remove and put back on, because it’ll get annoying very quickly if you don’t.
Jim Thompson House
The Jim Thompson House is a museum that houses the art collection of the architect and former owner, Jim Thompson himself who established the Thai silk industry after World War 2. This was probably my favourite part of my trip to Bangkok. His life was so fascinating and the house is beautiful.
The Lumphini park is a lovely place to visit if you want a peaceful retreat away from the busyness. There are many incredible views to photograph. But, don’t be startled if you see several komodo dragons lurking by the water along your walk. I’m pretty sure they don’t harm humans, but I kept my distance just in case!
The food in Thailand is like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. Chinatown was an unforgettable experience, I have never seen anything quite as manic before. Having dinner next to heaps of traffic wasn’t ideal but the food was delicious!
I ate lots of noodle dishes while in Bangkok as well as the traditional mango and sticky rice. I even tried… scorpion (so gross!!).
I really wish we had time to go to the weekend or night markets but unfortunately it didn’t fit into our schedule. It’s something I would love to go back and do another time.
Things to be wary of
The tourist industry in Thailand is HUGE. And it soon became very clear that it was extremely obvious that we were tourists. We were constantly approached by people selling things and persistent taxi and tuk tuk drivers.
I would avoid using tuk tuks as they are quite overpriced, and didn’t have any seat belts so they probably wouldn’t be the safest form of transportation. Taxis weren’t that expensive but make sure you ask them to put the meter on otherwise you will be charged triple!
Although most people we came across were perfectly nice, be aware of smartly-dressed, friendly locals who try to sell you something, without you even realising it. We came very close to letting this happen to us, until we realised what was going on. Even if what they’re selling is legit, you’ll most likely be massively over-charged.
Even though we only visited Bangkok for a few days before flying to Phuket, we managed to see quite a lot. But, if I go back I’d love to experience the nightlife and try more of the food. I also wouldn’t go in April because it was overbearingly hot and humid, which isn’t ideal when exploring a city.