I’ve heard it so many times, everyone hits Bangkok spends 1 night on Khao San and decides they hate it before moving swiftly on. Yes it is a far cry from the sleepy fishing towns or the beach side resorts but there is so much more to the city than traffic, fumes and red light districts. Although Khao San is something you’ve gotta see, check out some of the other things here before you make your decision about the city…
Khao San Road – Its touristy, seedy and full of drunk old men with young Thai girls, but it’s a sight to see and a good night out! I’d check out the road which runs parallel to it Rambuttri Road, it’s a cheaper slightly less packed version of Khao San, if you follow this road up toward Chakrabongse road and cross to the other side there is another road similar to Khao San but similarly its cheaper and more relaxed.
– Definitely worth relaxing in one of the many rooftop bars, checking out the view with a cocktail. The best two are Skybar
at Sirocco, its on the 63rd floor of The Lebua hotel and it’s one of the world’s highest bar’s. Otherwise there’s my personal favourite: Vertigo Grill & Moon Bar
, on the 61st floor of the Banyan Tree hotel. While both of these are pricey drinks wise, I’d recommend heading there for one or two before heading down to cheaper ground, the atmosphere and view are the perfect way to end the day especially if you get there in time to watch the sunset. Beware the dress code is smart casual, you don’t have to be suited and booted but don’t head down then in flip flops and board shorts only to be disappointed.
MBK – This is the largest shopping centre in Bangkok, and contains around 2,000 different stores. It’s a great place to check out although I find it impossible to actually shop here I just spend my time wandering around in amazement getting very lost! If you’re after a break from the heat or to pass some time check out the cinema on the top floor, its dirt cheap and most of the movies play in English with Thai subtitles.
The Grand Palace – It’s gotta be done, well worth a visit the palace is huge and as impressive as you’d expect. It’s a walkable distance from Kho San with some interesting sites on the way. Remember to wear trousers and a long sleeved shirt or you’ll have to borrow some sweaty oversized clothes on your way in.Floating Market – Visit a floating market, buy fresh fruit and coconut juice and sample street (boat) food from one of the many floating food stalls.
Jay Jay’s / Chatuchak Market – This 35 acre weekend market sells absolutely everything from trainers to bowls to furniture to pets, you can find it all here. Be prepared to bargain hard and get lost several times and if you see something you want, buy it now because you will never find your way back to the stall again. If it’s all a bit too much head for the outside pathway which circles the market, there are plenty of stalls outside along this path and you can always nip inside if you see something that catches your eye.
Khlongs of Thonburi – Hire a long tailed speed boat and driver (not as expensive as it sounds) and head to the canals of Thonburi, the point where the city was founded. It’s nice to get out of the city and into the canals lined with old teak houses on stilts it’s a chance to see the old school Bangkok. You may as well have hoped in a time machine as you cruise through a completely difference world of people doing their washing, smiling and waving.