Recently I visited Thailand, and what better way to get to know the country than starting in the capital of Bangkok. Bangkok is welcoming the most visitors in the world a year, more than any other country in the world, and that’s not surprising. What’s also not surprising is that 48 hours in this city just weren’t enough. But hey, sometimes you gotta start off slow, right?
Visit a temple
First things first. Part of why you want to visit Thailand probably has something to do with temples. And you came to the right place, Bangkok is literally full of those! One of my favorites is Wat Arun, the Temple of Dawn, which is right by the river and is one of Bangkok’s most famous landmarks.
Wat Pho is another must-visit. It’s the temple of the reclining Buddha and is set in one of Bangkok’s largest temple complexes. It is the home of a gigantic, 46m long, golden, reclining Buddha. The statue looks like it outgrew the temple it’s in and it’s been squeezed and cramped to fit inside. One could wonder if they just didn’t build the structure around it. Very impressive to see and the rest of the temple site is worth wandering around too!
Explore the city by bike
Now that you want to visit all these temples, you might wonder: how do I get around this huge city? Yeah, you could get a tuktuk, or a taxi, or just walk, I guess… But why not risk your life and just ride a bike! It’s way more fun!
I have to admit the thought of riding a bike in a busy city like Bangkok with streets full of tuk tuks, motorbikes, cars, trucks and pedestrians sounded like pure horror. But actually I’m exaggerating and it wasn’t all that bad. I did a bike tour with Just Nok Bicycle Tours. Our guide Jazz was very knowledgeable and took us to all the tiny streets. The bike tour was very interesting and lets you discover a hidden part of Bangkok. It takes you to the tiny local streets, places where you would never drive or walk on your own!
Try the Thai food
Another easy start to get to know the country is to try the food! And in Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, you’re in a great place to do so. The streets are literally full of tiny food stands and it’s very tempting to try them all. And if you don’t like the food in a certain place at first sight, just pick the one next to it.
My top pick is a place called ‘Err’. It serves Urban Rustic Thai. Basically what this means is that they serve accessible and casual dishes, combined with some great cocktail choices. ‘Err’ is included on the Bib Gourmand list, and for a Thai restaurant that is very rare! The place is also a very interesting mix of modern stuff and antiquities, and during the night it’s looking like it’s coming straight out of a movie set!
Pick your spot for the night
Back in the day, Thailand was marketed towards international tourists as being cheap. So suddenly the country was flooded with backpackers! Well, part of it is still true. The accommodation is still cheap, but now that you’re in the right place to experience a solid, comfortable and/or luxurious stay, I’d stay away from hostels and homestays. Personally I stayed in Arun Haveli, a luxury accommodation from Arun Residence. It’s right near Chao Phraya, Bangkok’s main river and offers stunning views of the Temple of Dawn! To see what other hotels I picked to stay in Thailand, click here!