Where to next in Southeast Asia? A Quick Travel Guide to Bangkok, Thailand


Thailand is one of the must-visit countries in Southeast Asia, especially if you are fond of shopping and visiting temples. Thai people are immensely faithful to their religious practices up to now. That’s why their Buddhist temples are well maintained and you can always witness how they devote themselves to their beliefs.


In this blog, I will be sharing with you the must-visit places and of course, the places to shop! Or should I say, the places to ‘shop ‘til you drop’ for a very cheap price!


Last 2019, I was given an opportunity to travel to Bangkok as a tour coordinator and I went there with our company's corporate clients. But even before that, I already had some ideas about the country because this is one of the countries that our team handles; especially the recommended places for a tourist like me. So upon arrival in Suvharnabhumi (read as “Su-wan-na-poom”) International Airport, we rushed to our hotel (yes, we rushed because our flight is almost 1 hour delayed) to drop off our baggage. By the way, the hotel where we checked in is Baiyoke Sky which is one of the tallest buildings in Thailand. And if you happen to visit that hotel, I greatly recommend that you try their revolving observatory deck and enjoy the full scenery of the city of Bangkok.


WHAT TO VISIT IN BANGKOK?

Our first stop is Chao Phrya Princess Cruise. From our hotel, we rode the bus and got dropped off at River City Pier to wait for our cruise. It is a two-story vessel that serves Western and Thai food inside. We enjoyed our dinner while cruising and had a night view of their historical landmarks like Wat Arun, Bangkhunprom Palace, and Wat Pra Kaew. After dinner, you can just sit there and enjoy the ambiance while listening to a live band and dance to the grooves of music as long as you want!


On our second day, we visited a bunch of temples like the Golden Buddha Temple (Wat Traimit) which features a three-meter high solid Buddha, weighing 5.5 tons. 


Then we went to the Temple of the Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho) which is the oldest and largest temple in Bangkok that was built nearly 200 years ago. The Buddha image was overwhelming in size and it’s one of the most favorite places of tourists in Bangkok. After that, we went to the Marble Temple (Wat Benchamabophit). This is one of Bangkok’s famous and well-visited temples.


Marble Temple


After lunch, we went straight to the Royal Grand Palace Temple (Wat Pra Kheaw). Since we were using a tourist bus, we had to walk a long way to the gates of the Grand Palace. We also had to hurry because the temple closes at 3:30pm. Grand Palace Temple is really a must-see most especially for the first-time travelers in Bangkok like me. Grand palace is a complex of buildings and was once the residence of the Royal Family until 1925. The architecture of the temple is splendid and very Instagram-worthy. But please be mindful because some of the spots are not allowed for a picture or video taking. Just enjoy the scenery and while you are walking, you will witness some Thai people and monks do their everyday religious rituals. 


Royal Grand Palace, The Heart of Bangkok

The Grand Palace Temple, Thailand's most sacred site

On our third and last day of the tour, we visited the Chang Puak Elephant Camp. We have to travel for 1 hour from the city to reach this area. Here, you can enjoy an elephant riding experience. But if you are an animal lover or an animal rights advocate, better not pay extra cash for the ride. Just enjoy the camp and watch the staff on how to feed the elephants. After that, we went straight to the famous attraction in Thailand, the Floating Market! There’s a lot to buy in this area like fruits, vegetables, local delicacies, clothes, and of course, souvenirs! Then we went to Sam Pran Elephant Ground and Zoo for lunch. There are 3 shows in this zoo: first is the Magic Show, next is the Elephant Show and last is the Crocodile Show. This is really suitable for family travelers with kids because aside from elephants and crocodiles, they can also see different animals and play around the zoo. 


Floating Market


Aside from the attractions to visit, I know that our trip will never be complete without shopping! So here are some of the recommended places that offer cheap prices for your pasalubong!


WHERE TO SHOP IN BANGKOK?


Bangkok, Thailand is one of the most visited shopping havens in Southeast Asia. From cheap items to luxury ones, Bangkok has something to offer you. Many people visit Bangkok for the purpose of shopping because of the affordable and good quality items that they can find in malls, night markets, and bazaars. During my visit, this is also one of the things that I look forward to and I know you will be too! So let me share some of the shopping places that we have visited in Pratunam.


Baiyoke Sky is one of the perfect hotels to stay in for travelers who love to shop. Why? Because there’s a night market situated just outside the hotel. Yes! You can see the stalls of the night market from your window. They are open from 10:00pm up to 8:00am. There are lots of things to buy especially clothes. They offer very cheap prices and they might give you a big discount if you will buy in bulk. They said that most of the store owners in Divisoria buy their products in Bangkok because of the very affordable price. Another close night market in our hotel is the Talad Neon Night Market. This is located beside Berkeley Hotel Pratunam and we rode a Tuktuk from our hotel to get there. I and three of my colleagues went there and the driver charged us THB 100 (approx. PHP 159.00) for a one-way ride. You can find a variety of products in this night market. Aside from clothes, they also sell street foods, local delicacies, and seafood.


Streetfoods in Bangkok, Thailand

I also visited Platinum Mall that is just a walk away from our hotel. This mall is like the “168 Mall” or the “Divisoria Mall” in the Philippines. You can also get a big discount if you buy in bulk. Some of them give you free items when you purchase 4 items. They offer cheap prices here but do not hesitate to bargain because they can give you a much lower price. You can also try to visit Big C Supercenter with just a walk away from Platinum Mall. I suggest you book a hotel in the Pratunam area if shopping is one of your purposes in your Bangkok visit. We, in Rakso Travel offer different hotels in the Pratunam area from 3 stars to 5 stars and are very accessible to transportation and other places of interest. 



So don’t hesitate and include Bangkok, Thailand in your bucket list because this place has so much to offer and will never disappoint you!


Blog Contributor: Hannah Grace Laguda

Photos by: Rakso Travel & Hannah Grace Laguda

 

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