Bangkok, the city center, the Banglamphu district
Bangkok, Thailand’s capital, is famous for its magnificent Buddhist temples and lively street life, filled with delicious food stalls and chaotic neighborhoods. The best places to see in Bangkok are near the famous Khao San Road, the city center and backpacker hotspot.
Khao San Street is located in the Banglamphu district, the oldest part of Bangkok and for many, the most charming. You’ll know you’ve arrived when every step you take you hear the beeping of tuk-tuks asking “where are you going?”, when you see a street lined with massage shops, clothes shops, souvenir shops, bars and people trying to sell you everything and more.
But Bangkok has much more to offer, so here’s a guide to the best places to visit and things to do during your stay in this curious Asian city:
Where to stay in Bangkok?
Khao San Road, the most famous street of Bangkok
Khao San is a street overcrowded with people and stalls where you can find everything: clothes, appliances, tailored suits, travel agencies, thai massages and food stalls By the way, if you go to Thailand, you must eat pad thai (fried spaghetti with vegetables/chicken/pork or fish).
Around Khao San street you will find all kinds of hotels. From backpacker hostels for 4-5 euros a night in a dormitory to large hotels with a pool in the attic. If you want to stay in the same Khao San street, I like them better: Dang Derm Khaosan or Dang Derm in the Park and Khao San Palace.
All three have a rooftop with a pool and cost about 20 euros a night. If you don’t want to stay in the same street of Khao San because of the noise, you can stay in Ram Buttri street, the street parallel to Khao San and a little less busy than this one.
What to do and what to see in Bangkok?
Temple of the Reclining Buddha
Apart from enjoying the street of Khao San, not far from Khao San, there are several temples that you can visit. One of the most famous and most visited temples in Bangkok is the Temple of the Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho). It is right next to the Royal Palace.
Built in the 17th century, its statue of the Reclining Buddha is 46 meters long and 15 meters high. Its feet alone are 5 meters long and 3 meters wide and it is covered in gold leaf. Is the largest Buddha statue in the country.
The Temple of the Dawn (Wat Arun)
On the other side of the Chao Phraya River, is also The Temple of the Dawn (Wat Arun), a temple with a simple and ancient but beautiful style.
The most striking feature of this temple is its 77-meter high Khmer-style tower. At the corners of the temple there are four other smaller towers symbolizing the god of wind.
The Golden Mountain (Wat Saket)
The Golden Mountain (Wat Saket), a nice temple on top of a mountain and a perfect place to see the old part of Bangkok from above.
To my pleasant surprise, it turned out to be one of the best temples I have found in Bangkok; quiet, beautiful and with a nice view of the city’s skyscrapers. Without a doubt, if you pass by Khao San street, you have to go.
A little further away from Khao San, in Chinatown, we also find the Wat Traimit: a beautiful temple where the most important solid gold statue in the world is located. You can go by tuk-tuk, but remember to negotiate the price and the stops, otherwise, they will stop several times in different shops to try to sell you something.
Lumpini Park, the most famous park in Bangkok, is located in the commercial center of the city. It is a green space surrounded by skyscrapers and shopping malls. It is a place where both Thais and foreigners go for a walk or exercise.
Moreover, it has an artificial lake where you can rent boats to go for a ride. Also, it is common to see one-meter lizards walking on the grass and on the lake.
The JJ Market it’s the biggest market in all of Thailand. It has between 8 and 15 thousand stands and occupies an area of 14 thousand m². It is only open on weekends and it is located in the north of Bangkok, quite far from the old town. Still, it is definitely worth a visit, especially if it is your last days of travel and you want to buy clothes and souvenirs.
Where to party in Bangkok?
Party in Khao San Road
At night, Khao San Road is transformed into a street full of bars and nightclubs. The party is assured both inside the bars and on the street itself. You just have to wander around to the sound of music and stop in front of the liveliest bars.
On Khao San Road they play disco music, on the other hand, the parallel street of Ram Buttri is more about live music. When it is late, just when almost everything is closed, when you have had a few drinks too many and you are likely to get confused; the street is full of ladyboys. You won’t be short of offers to go see a “ping pong show” either. But that’s all part of the nightlife scene here.
Royal City Avenue (RCA)
Another famous party area in Bangkok is the RCA: Royal City Avenue. This area is totally different from Khao San. It is a street with big discos that close much later than the bars on the Khao San street.
Many people start the party in Khao San and then finish it in RCA. If, on the other hand, you start the party in RCA, in these discotheques normally what people do is to buy a whole bottle between a few people and stay dancing all night until you get tired.
Next Destination: Trip from Bangkok to Chiang Mai by train
After visiting Bangkok, you can choose to visit first the north of Thailand, to Chiang Mai, one of the most beautiful cities of Thailand. Otherwise, if you prefer to visit the amazing beaches of this country, you can go south, to Phuket or, to the Gulf of Thailand, where you can find Koh Tao, Koh Prangan and Koh Samui.
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