Then again with the cheesy blog-post title, I found myself obsessed with my latest trip to Bangkok, Thailand.
This time, I got to travel with my best friend (along with two new Thai friends) for four days. The trip was not only fun-filled with all the shopping, good food and sight-seeing’s, but also enriching with their amazing culture. Although we went there at their mourning period as their King died; Thailand-still, didn’t disappoint at showcasing its beauty.
And as much as I’d like to chatty-talk all the way through this blogpost and share over 200 photos I took, I’d roll it all down into a couple of shots with five reassuringly helpful tips and pointers. I hope it’ll be useful to you in the near future, maybe when you find yourself in BKK too.
In no particular order;
I believe, if Mr. Google Translate translated it correctly, "wat" in Thailand means ‘Buddhist temple’. Consisting mainly of a Buddhist population, you can expect over a hundred different temples in Thailand. Some are extremely big; and small ones are also everywhere.
If it’s your first time (like me) to visit Bangkok, I think one temple would be enough. Especially if you’re not really into temples, one can already suffice.
You can pray, take photos or merely bask in its beauty (imagine how they were all carefully made).
Be mindful of your attire though. Strict Dress Codes are imposed in most temples so if you plan to wear slippers, shorts, skirts (above the knees), sleeveless shirts, ripped jeans/pants--wear them elsewhere or the next day of your trip. You’re not supposed to expose much skin especially your legs, shoulders or ankles. You can, however, borrow shawls, maxi skirts or shirts from their dress section so you can easily cover up and enter.
2. MAD FOR PAD THAI. If you’re not here for the food, then I don’t know what else you’re here for.
Yes, you might find yourself in Bangkok for shopping; temple-hopping; or cultural knowledge, but if you’re not here also for the food, then you’re totally missing out.
In case you’re not familiar, Thai Cuisine is known internationally for its unique and balanced taste for almost all its dishes. There’s harmony in the distinct blend of its flavours and most of them are healthy eats. They like everything served fresh and that’s already something you should consider craving for.
When in Bangkok, you should try at least 3 of these:
- PAD THAI. It’s one of the most delicious ways
that has happened to noodles. (LOL) But really, need I say more? [Disclaimer: If you hate noodles for some
odd reasons or a ‘meatganist’, feel free to skip]
Pad Thai from Thip Samai. Certainly a must-try! This has got to be my favorite from among all the pad thais we had.
- PAPAYA SALAD. Also known as “SomTum”. It’s a mixture of shredded papaya, beans, lime juice, etc. According to my Thai friends, it is best paired with sticky rice and fried chicken.
- ROTI. It’s like their version of crepes. You can eat it alone or with different toppings or syrups.
- MANGO with STICKY RICE. Coming from a country where mangoes are merely homegrown, I don’t find these overtly special. I think this is a refreshing snack though.
- THAI MILK TEA. Imagine drinking eight cups in less than four days. And bought thirteen packs more to take home. Not sure if I like it though… Just kidding! **You can try it in various ways like bingsu (iced shavings with condensed milk); ice cream; etc.
- INSECTS. Okay. This is totally OPTIONAL. I only tried the worms and the other tiny insects. The bigger they got, the more I got scared of tasting them so I skipped the grasshopper-ish and roach-ish ones. If you have phobias, of course, skip this. I, too, cannot and never ever will eat frogs due to my fears. But if you ask how my self-proclaimed bravery food quest went, it tasted like plain, salted crisps. Not bad!
There are a lot more of Thai dishes you could and should try. So prepare your tummies and enjoy feasting on their cuisine.
One box ticked off my bucket-list: Meet Elephants. Part of our day-tour package was to ride the elephants and while I was so excited before we went there; I was so guilty when I saw them up close and personal. I wish I could retrieve my payment (1,150baht) but it was non-refundable. So I convinced myself that people needed to earn money to feed the gentle giants and I was just sharing a little bit. I wish I weighed less than 50kg though.
So maybe when you plan to visit them too, you can at least, give donations for the elephants. They are so huge yet so gentle. If only I can adopt one.
4. Embracing your inner-Shoppaholic. (And not feeling guilty after)
Whether you like high-end products or cheap thrills, then this place could be your paradise. Bangkok almost sells everything you can think of from vintage collectibles to bargain deals of trendy pieces.
My favorite places include:
- Siam Square- Where you can find high-end/designer pieces that you can’t resist.
- Asiatique-You can find a lot of food kiosks, souvenir items and their huge ferris wheel.
- MBK (MahBoonKrong)- is a huge shopping mall consisting of more than a thousand stores where you can haggle like crazy. *Our hands were too full and bags were too heavy that we had to go back to our hotel to leave everything we purchased before heading to JJ Market. LOL!
- Floating Market (Damnoen Saduak Floating Market)- Definitely a unique way of shopping. While riding a boat! Go easy with budget though and haggle as low as you can. Some sellers tend to overprice items especially if they know you're a tourist.
- Khaosan Road- The liveliest place in Bangkok. Maybe a hub of tourists. However, when we got there, loud music and parties were not allowed in honor of their King who recently died. Nonetheless, the place was still packed with people, food and unique finds.
- JJ Market- Chatuchak Market is its real name. Over time, it got a sort of a nickname because of how it’s pronounced. This is my most favorite. Aside from the cheaper deals you can score, it gets cheaper at midnight! Also, if you’re a business-minded person, you’ll be extra motivated since you’ll be seeing a lot of yuppies finding their way to the retail industry. This place excites me the most and next time I’ll visit, I will definitely allot a day for it. ;)
5. WALK LIKE A LOCAL. Know your mode of transfers.
Aside from dressing the part and looking like a local, it’s also best to know how they move from place to place to avoid getting lost.
It's much easier to get going if you’re getting a sim card which enables you to access the internet all throughout your stay.
*TAXIS-I recommend pink taxis for cabs because they’d usually go about the normal metered-rate. Others (and most) taxis we hailed were either overpricing or giving a fixed-price before we can even hop on their vehicles. Again, if they won’t go with the normal metered-rate, find another one.
*TUKTUK- My best friend and I, together with our Thai friends rode the tuktuk from Asiatique to ChinaTown. I recommend using a tuktuk if you have a local companion. Otherwise, it would be difficult to make a deal or maybe a little unsure of your destination.
* FERRY BOATS- usually, there’s a fixed-price for the ticket at the terminal you’re in. I recommend this mode of transportation when you’re coming from The Grand Palace and you’re headed to Asiatique.
*TRAIN TRANSFERS-it’s pretty much self-explanatory. If you see your destination in the directory board, just pay for its corresponding code and you’ll have your token/ticket ready. Just be mindful when you need to ride airport links as they vary accordingly. Also, always prepare coins for tickets so you can avoid long lines for money exchange counters.
There you go. Hoping you’ll find these pointers helpful on your next visit. Let me know if you have anything to share. Got questions or food suggestions in mind? Comment down below or shoot me an email.
Will definitely book a trip back to Bangkok, and absolutely with more pre-paid baggage allowance!
‘Til our next sojourn!