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What to do with 3 days in Bangkok?
A Bangkok Itinerary that includes Temples, Wats, street food, shopping, it’s all here >>
Here’s a great overview of our Bangkok itinerary we did in 3 days. Venturing into Thailand’s capital after having spent nearly three weeks visiting Cambodia, we crossed the border and hired a second taxi driver to get to the destination; Bangkok Thailand.
How to enjoy 3 days in Bangkok
Not a particularly bad way to make it to the capital, but not necessarily the cheapest either. We were travelling in style, rushing past the crowded buses, privately chauffeured we may add. As most people fly into Bangkok, one can expect less of a scenic arrival than driving through the multiple layers of concrete and chaos that make up this unique place.
We’d Made it
I was humming that Murray Head song over and over again, maybe not “One Night in Bangkok, and the world’s your oyster…”, but here we were by day in Sathon, or the Sathorn District as many refer to it as, one of 50 such districts, settling into a funky little hotel called, House of Phraya Jasaen. This lodging option was an excellent recommendation from Tie To Thailand blog posts.
Sathon, a Perfect Central Base
HERE’S WHAT YOU’LL GET FROM THIS POST
Top Sights to Take In
Where to Eat
Our honest opinion about our visit
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Affordable Boutique Hotel in Sathorn
Located in front of a school, the House of Phraya Jassen offered a number of hawker stalls (street food vendors) scattered about, there’s also a conveniently located SEVEN-11 right next door. The in-house restaurant and coffee shop complete the all-around experience, this stay offers its guests. The rooms are all different, as one can tell by the website, some more eccentric than others, and in our case, one with a very small door. I only mention the size of the opening as it hit me in the head on the way in, after having indeed had “The world as my oyster that evening!”
In big cities anywhere, location is pretty much the name of the game when it comes to exploring and moving around easily. For the first timer to Bangkok, Nathalie had chosen well, close to most major attractions, we’d positioned our stay in an area 10 minutes away by foot from the Chao Praya Express Water Taxi and where the Sky Train converged- ideal. Note: You can find more information on the water taxi system (hint don’t take the blue one for Tourist) on this website
Ready for Day 1 of our Bangkok Itinerary?
Getting to where we wanted to go was easy, an accessible walk through the lively streets of this relatively low-key district, in Bangkok terms, of course. Our first day took us by water taxi to the Wat Arun Temple of the rising sun, followed by a second stint straight across to Wat Pho, the Temple of the Reclining Buddha.
Both places get you into “Temple mode”, forgetting the rest of the city and immersing you in opulence, endless glitter and detail that make way to numerous statues of reverence. Touristy? Indeed. These aren’t places you’ll have to yourself, it’s on everybody’s must do in on a Bangkok itinerary.
Temple of the Reclining Buddha
Bangkok: Hawker Stalls and Street Food Heaven
Adventurous to try different things, we were ready to gobble down some of the district’s street food. Our first sidewalk fare was some amazingly well cooked crispy chicken fried on what should basically be described as a mobile bicycle restaurant. I’d note that from all the fried chicken we’ve had in our travels, this makeshift stand was pretty much on par with some of our best white meat memories! I’m thinking impromptu roadside chicken stops in places like Bolivia and Belize… Yum!
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And on with Day 2 …
Murray Head had his one night, we’d have three on this Bangkok itinerary. The second day came around and we were off again, this time to visit the Jim Thompson House. Ask anybody who’s been to Thailand, and the first thing you hear is “You need to go to Jim Thomson”. Agreed. This isn’t just a fascinating set of houses perched in the middle of a busy city, it’s a true statement to a time and era where one man gave his life to restoring a dying art form.
Not only did Mr. Thompson promote Thailand’s silk trade to former glory, he left an entire heritage to the people. This visit is a testimonial to his years of dedication that ended with his disappearance in the bordering jungle, never to be seen or heard from again. Our only negative on this attraction was the lack of explanation regarding the actual silk worm process. The 3 or 4 posters just don’t do enough to educate compared to the mountains of silk wares one is lured into buying… Yet another example where the priority is put on generating revenue and sales compared to the educational factor of this tour.
Jim Thompson House
Food-wise, Enjoy BKK Bistro was on our to-do list, a reputable establishment for the likes of travellers like ourselves. The owner, American and quirky to a point, offered great service, complained the whole time about his “one-order-at-a-time” kitchen staff which contributed to making this lunch break memorable, to say the least. On that note, the green curry coconut soup was absolutely worth the wait, just divine. Later that evening, roasted duck made its way on our plates as we had dinner in a typically Chinetown setting at Prachak, highly recommended. Nothing wrong with eating good duck, especially in such a place as Bangkok!
Best Roti in town
Gongs and the Golden Hill…
Backtrack to mid-afternoon, and we were climbing the steps to “Golden Hill”. We’d negotiated a taxi ride around some of the lesser points of interest we felt we needed to see. Such incredibly insignificant sights such as the Big Gong, which at a time in history might have been a sight to see, but flashback to today, and it sorta, kinda didn’t cut it on the cultural radar. Onwards Mr. cab driver, next stop…
Golden Hill, bottom of the steps, the cab ride ends without even the hint of excitement having been had along the way. We climbed, quite a few steps actually, level after level, the views of the city started to reveal themselves as that this was a circular climb, we’d end up will the full 360 degrees of Bangkok a many times around as we finally reached the summit.
The breezy heights, the sound of wind chimes in the wind, the smell of burning incense and Buddahs, of course. We’d even managed to drum up a 20-minute conversation in Spanish with some Argentinian travellers, this stop we qualified as quite pleasant, to say the least.
Back down we went, a few big gongs to be gonged and then to the Golden Buddha, another site to see which happened to be close by. As the story goes, this statue had been covered in plaster by monks to fool the invading enemy, as it looked like a huge stone carving of a Buddha… Fast forward to modern times, this statue was moved to its current location, on the route it was chipped and its golden appearance was revealed. Once cleaned up, an impressive 5.5 tons of 24-karat solid gold, standing some 5 metres high was unveiled. Start doing the math and this statue is not only stunning, it’s priceless!
Day done, duck digested, we wanted the view, not just any view of Bangkok, but the one you get from the Sky Bar where Hangover 3 was filmed. Much to my discontent, the dress code goes all the way to the toes… Yes, the toes! Mine were showing, which meant that we weren’t invited. The moral of this top-floor bar story: shoes yes, sandals no.
Walking back, late night desert presented itself in the form of a hawker cart “roti”, a crepe of sorts that is drizzled with Carnation milk, wrapped warm and quickly ingested with much delight by the person eating it. — Man that was good!
Day 3 or “the grand day” on our Bangkok itinerary
On our last day, we chose to visit the Grand Palace. The entrance fee is steep for what you get to see, but the all-around feel of this place makes for a good couple of hours’ worth of Bangkok Royal highlights… It’s not the best thing we did while in town, but it’s on the list nevertheless.
Next up, a bit of shopping. I say “a bit” because we both can’t bear to be in malls. The upside is the air conditioning but there’s something wrong about the need to buy stuff on this large of a scale, especially now that our personal focus is no longer about consumption, we’re far from the consumer lifestyle so many adhere to. Let’s just say we went, we saw, we bought a very useful bulletproof iPad Pro case and left. Shopping is done. Back to shopping… If that’s your go-to thing, boredom or lack of stores is not a problem in Bangkok, I’m thinking you could spend months here and not set foot in the same store twice!
Wait, there is more…
More food, more sightseeing which we wrapped up with a free water shuttle from Sathorn to Asiatique Market. Look down the river, see the Ferris wheel – that’s where you’ll find this touristy night spot. Not too crowded, we enjoyed some good food, looked at trinkets of all sorts in the many vendor stalls scattered around this complex, licked some good ice cream and chatted with fellow travellers while queuing in line for the ride back… All in all, an enjoyable evening at Asiatique and a great end to our three days in Bangkok.
Our next destination would be Chiang Mai, some 13 hours away by sleeper train. Want to know how to, read all about it on this blog post.
Wander why Bangkok is such a great hub for digital nomads, fellow bloggers Goats on the Road have a great post about it that you can read right here.