Exploring and living in Bangkok for over a year now, I feel I have only scratched the surface because I still feel to this day I am discovering new restaurants or walking down a soi to find my new fav shopping bazzar! From what I know, I would love to share with you what I would do if I had a weekend in Bangkok.
Bangkok, Thailand is one of those places you have your jaw dropped from culture shock one minute but the next a huge smile after scoring on a shopping trip, eating a fabulous dinner at one of Bangkok’s rooftop restaurants and the constant reaction of awe from a visit to a nearby Wat or The Grand Palace.
My ideal weekend in Bangkok is filled with shopping, exploration and a ferris wheel ride with a toast of champagne. If I had guests coming into town this is exactly what I would do to share with them both the glam and cultural sides of this fab city.
One thing you want to avoid on your stay is traffic. it will get in your way of exploring Bangkok and dealing with taxis is NEVER fun especially if it is your first time exploring this city. Finding a hotel near public transportation is ideal as the BTS (sky train) and MRT (underground system) will get you all around town in a flash. Radisson Blu is located walking distance from both the MRT and BTS station making it an ideal place to stay. With seven exceptional restaurants and bars finding a quick bite to eat makes it easy and the wine rooftop bar is phenomenal! I especially enjoy Attico as it is located on the 28th floor and the food is spectacular! The rooms are great value for your money and a five star experience is to be had!
I love the mix of sipping on champagne and feeling on top of the world while giggling with girlfriends and Above 11 does just that. The menu is unique and with crafty “Absinthe” cocktails and sushi that is to die for there is no reason not to enjoy the high of Bangkok for dinner or drinks! The best part is you are right in the middle of Soi 11 which is lined with bars, nightclubs and restaurants so if I were you I would grab a cocktail here and move onwards to another fun spot along the soi!
New, bold and beautiful, Marriott 57’s Octave Bar is my all time favorite rooftop bar. Many people say Vertigo at the Banyan Tree is “the” bar but in my opinion Octave beats it hands down. First off the wine selection is extensive and the furniture is lavish plus the view is out of this world! Enjoy a sunset cocktail while grooving to the sounds of a fun DJ!
The Grand Palace:
While in Bangkok do as the royals do! The Grand Palace is a SIGHT + a MUST SEE! I was blown away by the detail of every building and the beauty of the landscaping. Be sure to wear a shawl or bring a scarf if you have a tank or tube dress on and wear your longer skirt or dress to cover your knees. If you do not you will be asked to wear an outfit that is none to pleasant to be photographed in. This is also a great idea to take an UBER car as taxis will try to tourist fare you.
Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho):
A site within itself, the reclining Buddha is a huge and when I say HUGE I mean MASSIVE Buddha made of gold. Wat Pho is one of the largest temple complexes and is very relaxing to wander through. Grab a Thai massage from one of the locals and relax your way to a zen like state. Again, dress appropriately and be sure to grab a tour as I missed out on all of the facts which from reading online are very interesting!
Taste of Thailand:
For the ultimate cultural experience in any country especially one known for its fine food take a food tour! Taste of Thailand is unlike your average food tour because the creators of the tour literally make you fall in love with Thai culture and help you to understand the cultural differences. Through food you are taken on a journey through the city of love and on the way you taste foods you probably would have never tried. Anyone that comes through Bangkok for a trip should take this tour, it is literally the highlight of many people’s trips and make sure to go hungry!
Shopping in Bangkok::
I love this mall just because it showcases all of the different cultures and has small stalls which sell clothes and accessories from all over the world. Each floor is themed and Thai malls are always well decorated and give you a perfect atmosphere for loads of photos! Be sure to take a pit stop on the basement floor near Gourmet Market and try street food without the street part. I am a huge fan of the chicken skewers which run about 25-30 THB a stick and are always cooked right in front of you.
Location:: BTS ASOKE
Siam Paragon is a M-U-S-T visit just because it is such a beautiful mall and was one of the most photographed places on Instagram. Stocked full of designer stores, Siam Paragon has what I feel is better shopping surrounding it so be sure to check out Siam Square a hipster/trendy shopping area and Siam Square One which has the new Hello Kitty Restaurant!
Location:: BTS Siam
My all time favorite place to score the latest fashion finds and one offs of my favorite brands like Zara and H&M. Platinum is a mall you have to be prepared to shop in. Wear your comfiest flats, loose skirt with a plain tank top because you will need a way to throw clothes over your head to try on as there are no dressing rooms. I also suggest measuring your clothes that fit you best with your arms so that when you pick something of interest up you can see how well it will fit you before you start bargaining with the vendor. Platinum is air conditioned, with clean restrooms and firm prices, which I prefer. Bring a friend who is similar in size and has similar taste as the more you buy from each vendor the better your price!
Location:: To get there take either an UBER or exit off of Chit Lom and walk!
Chatuchak Weekend Market:
Because not only is this market the largest outdoor market in the world, it is a place for great finds and lots of souvenirs to bring back home. Dress comfortable and for hot weather and go EARLY. I usually slip into JJ Market (other name for it) around 9 AM and slip out by noon so that I enjoyed all that the market has to offer without the push of tourists and the heat of the sun. You can literally buy ANYTHING and EVERYTHING here, be sure to have plenty of BAHT tucked away as vendors except for furniture and high end jewelry take BAHT only!
Location:: To get there take the MRT or BTS all the way until the end!
Uber is the BOMB except for when there is traffic that is when the connivence of the BTS and MRT make it easy to get around. When Uber launched in Bangkok it took over the way locals get around and made sitting in traffic a breeze. Use UBER on weekends or after 8 PM to get around and get home after a night out. Be sure to set up your account and download the app before you get the weekend started!
Buy a card and load up, this is the ideal way to get around town because of the hectic traffic and ease of just knowing where you are going. If there is a ton of traffic and you are trying to get somewhere, get on the MRT/BTS and get as far as you can then hop in a cab or motorcycle taxi to get to your exact location. I cannot tell you how many times I have packed my heels in my bag and ran around in flip flops just to beat traffic and get where I need to be! For one thing if you refuse to use public transportation YOU WILL spend half of your time in traffic guaranteed so bite the bullet, pack some flip flops and get ready to walk!
As much as I would like to say EVERYTHING I would do in three days the reality is you only have three days to get this all packed in.
Traveling throughout Bangkok you need a few essentials to mentally prepare yourself and your beauty regime:
1. No your hair will not be perfect, bring hair ties, cute clips and loads of hair spray to handle frizz.
2. Wear all natural beauty products (click here for my favs) so that when you start dripping sweat your face is not sucking in chemicals and pollution just natural goodness.
3. Sunscreen, sweat proof clothes (I love lululemon) and WATER to stay hydrated!
Check It Out:
If you are planning your travels to Bangkok or just want to book a hotel be sure to check out: www.clubcarlson.com/destinations/bangkok,