Bangkok was on my bucket list of places to go for a while. When my brother and sister came to visit me in Qatar, I took advantage.
We jet setted over to Bangkok for two days with a list of must-sees in hand. We stayed at Arcadia Suites, a nice back of the alley hotel with an upscale waterfall pool.
The location was walking distance to the local markets and subway – which helped when it came to budgeting. To my surprise, the locals in Thailand were very welcoming and helpful… and I’ve been to a few countries where they are not.
Not only were they welcoming, but very organized and in sync when it comes to their businesses. In sync meaning, when we got to the floating market they took a picture of us, and by the time we got to one of the shops, which took like two minutes, a different person already had our pictures in a frame ready to sell it – It was incredible!
Can I say “bargaining ground”! You float by to different shops where you bargain for hours with the sellers- it is all in the spirit of fun though. If you are looking for souvenirs this is a good place to go, you can get nice items for a good price – well if you can haggle right!
Riding the Elephants
From the floating market, they take you to see the elephant, and monkey show – this is an extra charge. But I love elephants! So getting to ride on one, and having it pick me up with its trunk just made my day. I would say the monkey show was not that impressive, but getting to hold the monkeys made it better.
Yes, you probably know this place from The Hangover III. Well that’s exactly where I knew it from. If you want to get an amazing view of Bangkok I would recommend this place. I was blown away with this view. It is more of a relaxing environment where you can just grab a drink, and hang out with some friends. It is a high-end bar so drinks were expensive, but the view/ location made it worth it. Not a place you would go to dance.
For a short trip to an island, Pattaya Island is where you want to go. If they are offering tour deals, I would advise you not to do it! This is how I got stuck, and only had an hour to really enjoy myself. They have tour boats that go to the island, but you can also get on a ferry which would give you more time to explore the island. Take note of the scheduled times of when the ferries come back so that you are well prepared.
- Tour Boat experience: Before you get to the island they have an option for you to go parasailing. Well I wouldn’t say an option since they are going to go there regardless. Sounds like a lot of fun, right? Wrong! You are stuck on a big rocking plank, with a hundred other hot, sweaty people waiting for your boat to come back, and get you.
- Once you do arrive on the island, after they pack you up like sardines, it’s a good idea to try to explore another side of the island away from the crowd. Make sure to be aware of your surroundings, I did feel safe but the men can be a bit pushy. When we got to the other side of the island, it was much quieter and the water was extremely blue. You do have to walk through a few rocks, and shells scrapping your underfoot just to get in the water. But once you’re in you will probably never want to get out, with the sun on your face and the warm water on your skin.
From there we went to the restroom, and we had to pay just to change our clothes which we didn’t know about. It was just one thing after another so make sure to take extra cash with you or you will be stuck peeing outside.
Muay Thai Live – The Legend Lives
My brother and I signed up to go to one of the popular boxing shows in Bangkok while we were down there. You do have to take the ferry to get to the location, so I would advise to go an hour or a half in advance as the lines get ridiculously long. I believe we were standing in line for the ferry for more than an hour, which made us miss some of the performances. But once we got on the ferry, halfway into the ride, fireworks were set off so being late had an unexpected bonus
Cost: $35 and up
Talat Noi Temple
We were able to pass by a few beautiful temples on our way back to the hotel. The architecture of these Buddhist temples were amazing, you do have to make sure to cover up before going in (e.g. long shirt and long pants). They provide clothes to use to cover up, but it will cost you. I’m not sure what it is about when you enter a temple, but a warm feeling of peace comes over you.
It is always a good idea to plan out your trip before you travel, especially if it is short, so you can visit every place on your list.
Interact with the locals
- They are the most friendliest people, and are the best tour guides. They are willing to direct you, and also educate you about the area.
- We had no idea how bad the traffic was in Bangkok, it would take us an hour or more just to get around. There was bumper to bumper traffic, so plan ahead, and be prepared to be sitting in a taxi for the most part.
- Make friends with the taxi drivers, we got lucky to have one taxi driver offer to take us everywhere on our trip, and of course he knew all the ends and out.
- Random but, if you would like to go for a massage at 1AM in the morning, make sure you are not drunk, and you know for sure that the person massaging you is a women. If you have a hint of doubt I suggest you go somewhere else – well unless you don’t mind someone disguised as one.