Bangkok is perceived by many travelers as a chaotic city. It’s funny, but I do not feel that way. Maybe it has to do with the fact that we normally travel to Thailand after spending some time in way busier Delhi. Perhaps it’s just because Thailand has its own special way of combining busy and Zen. Whatever it is, Bangkok is one of my favorite places for an Asian city break.
During our first trip to Bangkok, we visited all the famous sights, just like most tourists do. We walked around the Grand Palace, spent some time at Wat Pho, and indulged in boat rides along the Chao Phraya River to admire the cityscape.
During our next trip to Bangkok, though, we wanted to take the exploration a little further from the obvious tourist attractions. A lot of walking around led us to the discovery of little things that make up for incredible experiences while in Bangkok, away from the obvious touristic path.
If you too are planning a small break in Bangkok, we commend choosing your accommodation in a central part of town. Hotel Indigo in downtown Bangkok is a good option, as it is close to public transportation and in an area full of local life. Once you have figured out where to stay and you have covered the most popular attractions in Bangkok, consider our recommendations for other things to do:
Surround Yourself by Greenery in Lumpini Park
Bangkok is better known for its tall buildings and traffic jams, but that doesn’t mean the city doesn’t have some impressive parks too.
Our favorite green space in Bangkok is Lumpini Park. The area is landscaped beautifully, and the park has a very Thai atmosphere, making it an ideal location for people watching. One of the best spots for this is the outdoor gym, where body builders seem to take their exercise routines very seriously.
Lumpini is also the chosen residence of several cats that will keep you company as you take a seat in one of the park benches.
Visit Khlong Toei, a Real Local Market
If Thailand is known for is incredible cuisine, the local wet markets are where it all starts. Even though visiting a market is an interest of many visitors who come to Bangkok, the truth is that many of them end up leaving without getting to experience a true local market. While night markets are great sources of delicious street food and souvenirs, the wet markets are the place to be to learn about local food!
Khlong Toei Market is one of the largest markets in Bangkok. This is the best spot to source authentic ingredients at local prices.
Even if you are not interested in shopping, spending a morning in Khlong Toei will give you insight into local life, which is often difficult to experience in a city this big. Here, you’ll understand what the average Thai person buys and eats at home. Smells, confusion, and a lot of human activity come to mix at Khlong Toei, making for a very authentic Bangkok experience.
Get Lost in Chinatown
Bangkok’s Chinatown is such a happening place! It is one of the largest Chinatown’s in the world and a place where foodies, shopaholics, and all-around lovers of street life come to have fun.
You shouldn’t follow a specific itinerary when you visit Chinatown. Simply walk around, taking in the scents, the noises, and the visual over load that this area will present you with.
If you visit Chinatown in the early morning, you will experience the wet markets. These sell different ingredients than those commonly seen at the usual Thai shops. In the evenings, locals and visitors come to Chinatown to fill their bellies with delicious street food. The specialties, of course, feature typical Chinese dishes.
Bangkok is a large city, not only literally, but also when it comes to everything it offers to its visitors. Whatever mood you are in, there will always be something to make you happy while visiting the city. It doesn’t matter if you want to keep things simple and relaxed or if you want to feel the excitement of chaos in the streets. Bangkok will delivery!