Bangkok In 24 Hours
Wearing: Primark (head-to-toe) ~ blouse, skirt,sandals, bumbag & backpack
9:00 AM: Arrival
10:30 AM: Tuk Tuk Hop
10:45 AM: The Royal Palace & Temple of The Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew)
11:30AM: Wat Pho (The Reclining Buddha)
12:00PM: Wat Arun (The Temple Of Dawn) & Above Riva
2:00PM: The Golden Mount (Wat Saket)
3:00 PM: Chatuchak Market
4:00PM Shopping Mall
5:30PM: Banyan Tree Rooftop
Many people say Bangkok is not to be missed on a Thailand itinerary and I would quite agree. You have to experience it for sure. I recently found myself immersed in the hustle and bustle of the vibrant city for all of 24 hours with my boyfriend Danny. After arriving in Phuket 48 hours prior, I was blessed with magnificent coves and bays, palm-filled, white beaches and small surrounding islands waiting to be explored. Although, that all had to be put on hold as I booked a last minute flight at 6:00 am to arrive in Bangkok for 9:00 am to see as much as I could within a short amount a time.
So is it worth spending just one day in Bangkok? Here’s how to make the most of a 24-hour trip!
9:00 AM: Arrival: After disembarking from the plane, a humid heat hits us and we're already drenched in 30-degree sweat - I advise packing some wet wipes and deodorant in your hand luggage to avoid the shock to your body. Following several signs to get out of Bangkok’s (Suvarnabhumi) chaotic airport we decided to take a taxi. We selected a metered taxi which we agreed the price with the driver beforehand, however we weren't aware of the toll fees en route. Luckily our driver was kind and covered this for us. From the airport to the city center we paid 600 Baht (£14) which took 1 hour and 20 minutes considering the traffic. As we were time conscious, alternatively if I was to revisit I would have taken the train as it’s cheaper and faster, with departures every 15 minutes, taking 25 minutes into the city centre and costing 45 baht per person.
10:30 AM: Tuk Tuk Hop: After our taxi dropped us off near the Royal Palace; our intended first stop was meant to be The Maharaj, where we could pay and pick up our Tuk Tuk hop. However, without any wifi or data, we were lost, stuck and wandering around the area for at least 30 minutes to an hour trying to find the location. Panic over! We were so happy to see a lady in a red t-shirt marked ‘Tuk Tuk Hop’. We chose to use this hop on/off service so we could get around the city cost effectively for the day - I had done some extensive research beforehand. This type of service is just what Bangkok needs, it allows tourists to enjoy Tuk Tuk experience without the hassle of fare negotiation and the fear of getting ripped off. To use this service, you need to download the Tuk Tuk Hop app and purchase the day pass through it with pocket wifi so you’re able to book your Tuk Tuk for right at that moment or either in 15 minutes time. The app has a really good map of major attractions and restaurant suggestions. Tuk Tuk Hop also communicate with you through WhatsApp should you have any problems.
10:45 AM: The Royal Palace & Temple of The Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew): Our first official stop was the iconic Grand Palace, which is definitely a must see. We were simply amazed beyond the outside walls as we strolled around and admired it from a distance. Then once entering, the Palace seemed to live up to its name. The atmosphere was quite interesting, I saw tons of locals lining up to pay respect to their King. There were also lots of volunteers handing out free food and drink, I even got in line to get a free iced tea as the sun was starting to get really warm. We spent about 45 minutes to an hour walking around the area. The city’s most famous temple Wat Phra Kaew and The Ministry of Defense is right across from the Grand Palace and is also very beautiful and worth a visit as it was included in our ticket which was 500 baht (£11).
Tip: Always remove your footwear before entering a temple. At some of the most popular temples bags are provided for you to carry your shoes in. At quieter temples, it is perfectly safe to leave your shoes outside. Men and women to also cover their shoulders and knees.
11:30AM: Wat Pho (The Reclining Buddha) A neighbour of the The Grand Palace, The Reclining Buddha is one of Bangkok’s oldest and largest temples. It’s simply breath taking, the size of the Buddha alone completely blew my mind as I’ve never seen a structure quite as big before. I had quite a few pennies in my purse so I lined up amongst others and fed the Buddha by putting in some coins into the black bowls - equally, they say the Buddha is meant to give you good luck in return. Entrance into the temple will only set you back 100 baht (approx. £2.30)
Tip: Wat Pho is also known as a great place to get a traditional Thai massage oustide the temple grounds.
12:00PM: Wat Arun (The Temple Of Dawn) & Above Riva: Situated on the Chao Phraya River sits Wat Arun or how the locals call it “Wat Chaeng” meaning the temple of dawn. Wat Arun’s spires decoration is made out of porcelain, so it sparkles when the sun shines and reflects it’s beauty. Danny and I chose to admire the temple from across the river on a rooftop deck known as Above Riva. To cool down and relax, we had a light lunch and drinks. The restaurant has 2 menus, day and night; the day menu has a good selection and portions for a reasonable price. The restaurant specializes in Thai and French fusion which I found was quite popular in Thailand. Very fresh and extremely satisfying- partciualy the seafood platter which was delicous. The view of Wat Arun was amazing and I can just imagine that it is even more beautiful at night. Alterntaively The Deck on the Chao Praya River is the perfect place to enjoy some Thai food with similar views of the magnificent Wat Arun. Both real hidden gems! Stop at either resturants for lunch before continuing your sightseeing in the afternoon.
Tip: Book a table for an evening dinner and awesome sunset view of Wat Arun.
1:30PM: Chinatown: We spent some time in Bangkok's Chinatown which is now the largest Chinese community in the world outside of China. Here you can find many temples, pagodas, hotels, and especially business shops originated from or influenced by Chinese culture. The most popular thing to do is to experience tasty food tours. As we didn't have enough time, we walked up and down the narrow streets on our little food tasting tour of our own. Duck and durian fruit seemed to be appearing on each of the food stalls numerous times with the unforgettable smells of both dishes.
2:00PM: The Golden Mount (Wat Saket): To work off our lunch, we then took the 300 step staircase to the top of the Golden Mount temple. It's easy enough for everyone to climb, where it snakes its way around the hill to the top, with various Buddha statues positioned along the way in their own delightful miniature gardens. Mist is cleverly sprayed out from these to give them that early morning forest-feel, great for photos with a view of Bangkok, but also nicely refreshing as you ascend upwards.
3:00 PM: Chatuchak Market: Chatuchak Weekend market was most definitely on our checklist, mainly the reason we decided to go to Bangkok on a Sunday. The market is a never-ending halfway-sheltered market that sells everything from handmade jewelry, wooden carved decor, shaved reptiles to every street style food you can think of. It's the world’s largest weekend market with over 15,000 stalls - we didn't even see a third of it! My favourite items were Void's handmade slippers and the mango/pineapple/durian sweet chili flake desserts. Even if you have no intention of shopping, it's hard to avoid the many malls and outdoor markets. So that's why you'll see below that between 4-5PM we spent window shopping! I've skipped this out from my 24 hour itnerary as I'll be posting an in depth Fashion Round: Must Read Guide to shopping in Bangkok.
4:00-5:00PM: Shopping!: As mentioned above: I dashed around the many various malls in Bangkok - the famous MBK to stylish high end Siam Square and Siam Paragon just to name a few - post to follow!
5:30PM: Banyan Tree Rooftop: To end the evening I had booked a resarvation at the world famous Banyan Tree Bangkok hotel. You can find many of the most stunning rooftop bars in Bangkok. At the top of the Banyan Tree Hotel you’ll find the luxurious Vertigo resturant and Moon Bar. It’s a little pricey but you’re paying for the view so if you want some beautiful photo opportunities it’s worth the price tag. Be sure to arrive in time to watch the sun set over the city. We couldn't think of a better way to end our Bangkok trip! Look out for my upcoming blog post where I'll show you more of the Banyan Tree Hotel and the amazing views of the skyline.
After 8 o'clock in the evening, it was time to make our way back to the airport to catch our 10:40 PM flight back to Phuket. Next time I would most definitely make use of a hotel and stay the night because by the end of the day we were absolutely exhausted. The combination of Bangkok and a beach stay on Thailand's southern islands is classic for reason where it offers the perfect mix of city life with tropical tranquility. An ideal recipe for an unforgettable Thailand holiday.
Have you been to Bangkok? What was the highlight of your trip?