Bangkok or Krung Thep, “City of Angels,” was a pleasant experience. Its beyond the cheap shopping destination, party paradise or the thai massage that most believe it is.
Loved this vibrant and urban big city with all its life, delicious street food, green and lush parks, a network of rivers, fantastic shopping, some of the biggest markets in the world, and of course, its friendly people. The beautiful Wats top my list... Temples of Bangkok
Stumbled upon the Hop-On Hop-Off bus on the first evening at Yeowarat Road, China Town. This is a great way to explore the city at your own pace and choosing the destinations. Hop-on hop-off buses stop at multiple major attractions of the city and you have the option to pick and choose which spots you want to visit. It’s as simple as it sounds; you can hop on a bus, travel to any of the attractions in the city, and then hop right off, with no strings attached.
1.Wat Traimit - Temples of Bangkok
Wat Traimit is renowned for its Golden Buddha, a majestic statue made of solid gold weighing 5.5 tons. The temple exemplifies Thai artistry and cultural richness.
2. Wat Pho – Reclining Buddha
The highlight of Wat Pho is the gold reclining Buddha – 43 metres long and one of the largest in the world.
It takes a whole building to hold it, resting in a peaceful pose. The feet of the Buddha have a whole lot of images on the soles inlaid with mother-of-pearl. Along the side of the Buddha are 108 metal bowls which you can walk alongside and drop 108 coins into. (you can buy all the coins you need for about 20 baht)
As a royal temple, you need to be appropriately dressed to visit. That means no singlets and no shorts . I just rented a sarong at the entrance.
3. Wat Ratchanatdaram - Temples of Bangkok The Loha Prasat at Wat Ratchanatdaram is based on an old Buddhist design and is modelled after two earlier similar structures in Shravasti, India and Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka, both of which no longer exist. The Indian Loha Prasat contained 1,000 rooms with a golden spire on top. The Sri Lankan Loha Prasat had nine floors and the roof was thatched with copper. Precious stones, wood and ivory decorated the walls. This Laoha Prasat is the only one remaining.
Loha Prasat, literally means the Metal Palace, a multi-tiered structure made of metal, making it a distinctive architectural marvel. The fact that this site is often overlooked by the crowds makes it a true hidden gem, providing a peaceful retreat from the city's vibrant energy.
The beauty of the temple is eye striking, inviting close scrutiny of every intricate detail. The peaceful ambiance allows for a leisurely exploration of not only the Loha Prasat but also the surrounding structures, including the main ordination hall and smaller shrines.
A notable feature is the opportunity to ascend to the top of the temple, providing a vantage point for taking in panoramic views of Bangkok.
The visit was nothing but calm and the aerial views from the top worth it.
4. Wat Arun - Temple of Dawn
Wat Arun is the missile-shaped temple that rises from the Chao Phraya River's banks. Known as Temple of Dawn, it was named after the Indian god of dawn. Thats how its called Arun. Steep stairs lead to the top, from where there are amazing views of the Chao Phraya River. Not apparent from a distance are the fabulously ornate floral mosaics made from broken, multihued Chinese porcelain, a common temple ornamentation in the early Ratanakosin period, when Chinese ships calling at the port of Bangkok discarded tons of old porcelain as ballast.
One of the best times to view the Wat Arun temple is from the east side of the river at sunset or sunrise when the light reflects off its central spire which is covered with colorful porcelain and topped with a seven-pronged trident which is also known as the “Trident Of Shiva” and along the base of the trident are figures of ancient Chinese soldiers along with animals.
Tips for the first time at Bangkok
1. Simcard in Bangkok
At the airport are loads of sim card shops. Getting a sim at the airport is recommended so you can easily use Grab and/or find your way in the city.
2. Traveling in Bangkok
Bangkok has the best Metro and water taxi connectivity. Not just the cheapest but fastest way to travel. Siam Paragon and Platinum being my recommendation. Escape the heat of the city and go shopping in some of the supermalls in Bangkok. There are at least ten malls, all located next to the BTS, which makes it super easy to get there.
3. Get Yourself a Smoothie!
Everywhere you go in Thailand, fresh fruit smoothies are a big deal. They are delicious, come in all kinds of real fruits made fresh, and oh so affordable. Most of the stalls add sugar water to make them taste even better. Healthy tip: Ask for ‘no sugar’. :)
4. Eat like a Local
Find the best Thai food in the markets and at small food shops on the side of the road. Delicious curries, Pad Thais, spicy green mango salad, chicken cashew, and so many more choices. Be prepared for a fantastic food experience.
Depending on the popularity of the area, the prices of meals change very quick. Expect to pay anywhere between 40 – 120 THB ($2) for a meal and 250 THB for a whole barbeque grilled fish.
5. Tuk-Tuk through the City
Another thing to do in Bangkok is experiencing at least one Tuk Tuk ride. They take you from A to B within minutes, zigzagging through traffic. Be warned, they are not cheap and double the cost of GRAB (Uber of Thailand)