Well of course, our number one recommendation is the backstreets and alleyways of historic Bangrak where incidentally we happen to host our delicious Village of Love food tour, but when we aren’t busy eating our way through the dishes and culture of the neighbourhood, we do like to get out and explore the rest of the city.
These are our top 5 favourite places:
Wat Arun Ratchawararam Ratchawaramahawihan, or Wat Arun as it is more commonly referred to, sits of the banks of the Chao Phraya River and it is our favourite of all of the temples in Bangkok. It is a Buddhist temple and derives its name from the Hindu god Aruna which means rising sun. Visitors can climb three layers of the temple – the steps are fairly steep but the views are magnificent. If you can make sure you try and see Wat Arun either for the sun rise or the sunset and enjoy the colours reflecting off the temple.
Our favourite place to people watch! Chinatown never seems to sleep. We love nothing more than spending an afternoon wandering along Yaowarat Road, and exploring the various little side sois leading off from it. And we have to say as well the food here is pretty fine too – not as good of course as our beloved Bangrak, but it gives it a fair run for its money!
Chao Phraya River
Many people talk about how cheap Thailand is, and you can enjoy one of our favourite things in Bangkok for only a few baht. The local express boat (orange flag) runs from Sathorn Central pier right up to Bangkok’s neighbouring district Nonthaburi. The journey takes a little under an hour, but costs only 15 baht which is amazing value for money! Sit back, and enjoy the views along the river – Wat Arun and the Grand Palace can both be seen from the boat, and once the boat is passed Phra Arthit pier, everything becomes much quieter allowing you to soak up what life on the river is really about.
Bangkok may appear all sky scrapers and temples, but we do have trees here too – promise! Catch the BTS to Bang Rak station – leave exit 2, catch a taxi and tell him you want to go to the Chao Phraya river, and then take the commuter boat across the river (two baht) and welcome to Bang Namphung, or the green lung as it gets called as you can really tell how fresh the air is in comparison to Bangkok. Walk around the elevated sidewalks, taking in the mango trees and greenery, maybe have lunch at the Bangkok Treehouse, or enjoy the floating market which is there on weekends.
Let’s face it, no trip to Bangkok is complete without a visit to the Grand Palace is it? It has been the official home of the Kings of Siam since 1782, and although the present King now resides at Chitralada Palace, the Grand Palace is still used for official ceremonies. Wat Phra Kaew, or Temple of the Emerald Buddha is in the same grounds.
What’s your favourite thing to do in Bangkok? Do you agree with our top 5?