Are you passing through Bangkok as part of a larger trip around Southeast Asia? Or maybe Bangkok is part of your RTW itinerary, but you only have two to three days to spend here. If you’re not sure how to organize them, let us help! Following is a two- to three-day Bangkok itinerary that focuses on experiences such as eating, shopping, touring temples, and simply taking in the nation’s capital.
Bangkok: Day 1
Enjoy a Thai breakfast from one of the many street stalls in the city. Jok (pronounced “joke”) is what you’re after, a savory rice porridge made chilis, soy and fish sauces, cilantro and some form of protein (usually fish balls or pork). Perk up with a cup of caffe boran (“ancient coffee”), strong coffee mixed with sweetened condensed milk.
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After breakfast, head straight over to Wat Pho and the Reclining Buddha. After you’ve picked your jaw up off the floor at the size of the Reclining Buddha, go next door to Wat Phra Kaew, home of the Emerald Buddha. You’ll want to get an early start to avoid both the heat and the crowds, plus the morning light is great for photographing.
After you’ve spent your morning there, head over to Sukhumvit Road for shopping and lunch. You can hit up the excellent food court at MBK and afterwards peruse the electronics stalls and clothing shops in this large shopping center. The Siam Square area of Sukhumvit is filled with shopping options, so wander around some of the upscale malls as well. As evening comes on, wander along Sukhumvit’s night market, which is filled with street stalls lining the sidewalks.
You’ll no doubt be a bit overstimulated after such a day, so have a relaxing meal at any place that feels right along Sukhumvit (you’ll find both Western and Thai options), and perhaps a beer at Cheap Charlies, off of Sukhumvit Soi 11.
Bangkok: Day 2
If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed, consider signing up for a day tour. These can range from all-day affairs taking in Bangkok’s major sites to small neighborhood walking tours. Whether you decide to go at it on your own or with a tour, we recommend exploring a couple of neighborhoods on your second day. Chinatown is a great place to wander tiny alleyways eat awesomely cheap noodles. Once you’ve had your fill, bop to the Indian neighborhood Phahurat, which is just to the west of Chinatown. Sample Indian curries and ogle bright sari displays in windows.
Jump into a tuk-tuk to Khao San Road, where you should spend your early evening. Grab a smoothie or some falafel from a street stall, and watch as street vendors set up their wares for the night market. The people watching is here is superb, so grab a table (my favorites are the ones outside 7-11) and kick back with a beer. This is what Khao San Road is all about.
If you want to have more of a wild night, you can head over to Patpong, Bangkok’s Red Light District. There’s no shortage of a party here, and less-kinky folks can focus on shopping at the night market.
Bangkok: Day 3
If you’re in Bangkok over the weekend, a must-do is visiting the world’s largest open-air market, Chatuchak Weekend Market. Suffice to say you can get anything – and we mean anything – you want here.
Photo by: Ahron de Leeuw