Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Visit Bangkok on One Page


Bangkok (City of Angels)
Public Transport: 1.Rapid Transit Systems (6am-12am) - a.BTS Skytrain b.MRT c.Airport Rail Link. 2.Water taxi- a.Chao Phraya or b.Khlong Saen Seap Express Boat 3.Tuk Tuk(for short trip, around 30baht) 4.Bus 5.Taxi/ e-hailing(Grab & Easy). If there is a choice, opt for the rapid transit which is the safest, most pleasant, economical, to avoid bad traffic, pollution. Boat and Tuk-tuk - to experience/see Thai way of life.

Where to stay: 1.Sukhumvit (most convenient, train stations, shops, night life). 2.Khao San Road (budget, backpackers, bars). 3.Along Chao Phraya River (riverside hotels are more expensive, scenic).  
Shopping: It is common to haggle for the best price.  
Dress Code in sacred places: modest (covers shoulders and knees). There are many Buddhist temples (Wat) in Bangkok.

CHATUCHAK | How to go: BTS Mo Chit Station (Sukhumvit Line) Exit 1. Walk 300m to Chatuchak Market and 450m to Children's Discovery Museum:
1. Chatuchak Weekend Market [Website] - biggest outdoor market on earth. There are over 15,000 stalls offering Food, Art, Antiques, Fashion and much more, an authentic Thai experience. Unique items not easily found in other places. The food, original artwork, clothes here are amazing. Must-eat: Don't miss the coconut ice cream (coco JJ), Chicken noodle soup | Opening Time: Saturday and Sunday 9am-6pm (Whole Market open). Wednesday and Thursday 7am-6pm (Plant section only). Friday 6pm-12pm (Wholesale only) | Admission: free
Plenty to see at Chatuchak Market: food, fashion, art, etc.

2. Children's Discovery Museum - In "Dino Detective Zone" the kids learn about dinosaurs and they get to dig fossils in the sand. "Creative Science room": Learn about sound, classical mechanics, energy. Create your own giant bubble from inside. There is a Tunnel of mirrors to create illusions. Different occupations Role plays with mini-size vehicles, outdoor playground and water play, build a miniature city | Admission: Free | Hours: Daily 10am - 4pm (except Monday). Water Play: 10am-11.30am | 1.30pm-2.30pm | 3pm-4pm
1. Dig dino fossils in the sand. 2. Create a giant bubble from inside. 3. Build a city [source] [bangkokpost]


WATER TAXI/ BOAT OR FERRY SERVICES:
1. Khlong (canal) Tour on Long-tail Boat - Go on a long tail boat ride to see wooden houses on stilts, floating kitchens, Buddhist temples, and small businesses selling vegetables, food, electrical items, etc. on the canal. You can experience a peaceful riverside atmosphere and see a more traditional way of Thai life up close. There are a few tourist boat service providers, here's one of them: Your Thai Guide [Website] | Boat ride fees for one hour Bangkok Canal Tour: 1,000 Baht per pax (1-2 visitors). 3,000 Baht for entire boat (3-9 visitors). 500 Baht per pax (10 or more).
A tranquil boat ride experience to look at traditional way of Thai life

2. Chao Phraya Tourist Boat [Website] BLUE FLAG BOAT cruises along the Chao Phraya River stopping at piers (8 piers) connecting to Bangkok's tourist attractions such as N3 River City/ Si Phraya: River City Shopping Mall. N4 Lhong 1919. N5 Ratchawongse: Chinatown. N6 Pakklong Taladd/ Yodpiman: Flower Market. N8 Tha Tien: Wat Arun and Wat Pho. N9 Tha Maharaj/ Tha Chang: Grand Palace. N11 Thonburi: Siriraj Phimukhsthan Museum & Royal Barge National Museum. N13 Phra Arthit: Khao San Road. Recorded tourist info is played on the boat. Hop-on and hop-off. | Fee: Single-journey (1 hop-off): 50 Baht. One-day River Pass: 180 Baht (unlimited rides) | How to go: BTS Saphan Taksin Station. Take Exit 2 to Sathorn Pier | Time: 9am-5.30pm | To Asiatique: starts at 4.30pm
A cheaper option of Chao Phraya Tourist Boat: Various Piers and attractions.

3. Chao Phraya Express Boat [Website] Cheap way to get around, avoid traffic jam with more stops but can get crowded during peak hours.

LOCAL LINE (NO FLAG): Nonthaburi(N30) - Wat Rajsingkorn(S3) | Operation: Monday-Friday
Morning Service 6.45am-7.30am. Afternoon Service 4pm-4.30pm. Fare: 9/11/13 Baht (Depends on distance)
ORANGE FLAG BOAT: Nonthaburi(N30) - Wat Rajsingkorn(S3) | Operation: Everyday 6am-7pm | Fare: 14 Baht
GREEN FLAG BOAT: Pakkred(N33) - Nonthaburi(N30) - Sathorn(Centre) | Operation: Monday-Friday. Morning Service 6.10am-8.10am. Afternoon Service 4.05pm-6.05pm | Fare: 13/20/32 Baht
YELLOW FLAG BOAT: Nonthaburi(N30) - Sathorn(Centre) | Operation: Monday-Friday. Morning Service 6.15am-8.20am. Afternoon Service 4pm-8pm | Fare: 20 Baht
Cheapest boat option, takes you to your destination. The stops (piers) that each boat line goes to.

4. Khlong Saen Seap Express Boat [Website] provides fast, cheap transportation through the city's traffic-congested commercial districts. Not for young children as it requires climbing and speed getting on and off boat, polluted canal. What's on each pier: Pratunam Pier (Interchange): CentralWorld, Pratunam Market, Platinum Fashion Mall, Panthip Plaza IT Mall. Saphan Hua Chang Pier: MBK Center, Siam Square. Ban Krua Nua Pier: Jim Thompson's House. Panfa Leelard Pier: Democracy Monument, Wat Saket(Golden Mount), Khao San Road | Fare: 10-20baht (depending on distance) | How to pay: Board the ferry. The Ticket attendant will collect the fare from you | Frequency: 5-20min | Hours: 5:30am to 8:30pm daily on weekdays (7pm on weekends)
Khlong Saen Seap Express Boat Route


CHAO PHRAYA RIVER ATTRACTIONS:
N8 Tha Tien: Wat Arun [Website] is located on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River. The 79 meter high tower is decorated with ceramic tiles and fragments of multi colored porcelain. The colorful patterns and use of perspective are an awe-inspiring. It is possible to walk a limited way up the very steep stairs of the main prang, which gives a reasonable view of the Chao Phraya river. This Buddhist temple is an architectural representation of Mount Meru, the center of the world in Buddhist cosmology. The four-corner prang of Wat Arun house images of the guardian gods of the four directions | Admission: 50 baht | Time: Daily 8.30am to 5.30pm | How to go: N8 Tha Tien Pier (Chao Phraya Boat)
An architectural representation of Mount Meru with four-corner prang. Striking riverside landmark decorated with ceramic tiles and fragments of porcelain. Visitors can walk up the stairs. [source]

N8 Tha Tien: Wat Pho [Website] - Laid inside the main hall of this temple is the 46-meter Reclining Buddha whose feet are embedded with 108 auspicious symbols made of mother-of-pearl. There are 1,360 marble inscriptions about literature and science, intricate murals, golden statues around the temple. To make a wish: purchase coins and drop in the 108 bronze bowls. Courtyard with stupas decorated with colorful tiles | How to go: N8 Tha Tien Pier. Wat Pho is next to Grand Palace. To get to Wat Arun which is across the Chao Phraya River, you have to take a boat shuttle (4baht). Wat Pho Hours: 8am–6:30pm | Admission: 100 Baht | English guide: from 200baht. Wat Pho Thai Traditional Medical School (Thai Massage Service) Hours: 8am–5pm | Rates from: 30 minutes of Thai massage: 260 Baht. Foot massage: 280 Baht
46 meter reclining Buddha is huge compared to the size of the visitors. Wat Pho complex with a group of four huge pagodas surrounded by white wall [pic: chasingplaces.com & tourismthailand.org]
N9 Tha Chang: The Grand Palace - It is a big site with halls, royal residences, pavilions, gardens, and temples. This beautiful palace is a great place for the architectural enthusiasts. Visitors are not allowed enter some buildings, they can view from outside. Within the site is The Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha) where the Buddha figurine is made from a solid single piece of green jade, clothed in gold and diamonds. | Time: Daily 8:30am-4pm | Fee: 500 baht (includes entry to Vimanmek Palace and Abhisek Dusit Throne Hall) | How to go: S6:Saphan Taksin Station (BTS Silom Line). Take Exit No. 2. Then, take the Chao Phraya Express Boat [Route Map] (No, Green or Red Flag Boat Line) to Tha Chang Pier (No.9). 5-10 minute walk to the Grand Palace.
1. The Grand Palace is located in the heart of Bangkok. 2. The Emerald Buddha: A ceremonial costume change, only performed by the King of Thailand, occurs three times per year: for summer, rainy and winter seasons. Each costume costs approximately $3.8 Million USD. [source]

N5 Ratchawongse: Chinatown [Website] - Located on Yaowarat Road, Bangkok's Chinatown has the biggest Chinese community and largest gold trading market in Thailand. There are restaurants, temples, shops that sell herbs, dried food, etc. The Night Market here is famous for its incredible Chinese food stalls. Should also visit Wat Traimit Temple (largest solid gold Buddha in the world) and Sampeng Lane for shopping. If you keep on walking along Yaowarat Road, you will reach The Old Siam Shopping Plaza (Classic design, traditional Thai snacks). | How to go: 1. MRT Hua Lamphong Station. Walk to 600m to Chinatown Gate. 2. Chao Phraya Express Boat (N5 Ratchawongse Pier). Walk 500m to Yaowarat Road. | Must-eat: Koay Jap Nai Huan - rice noodles with crispy roast pork belly and pig innards in peppery soup, T&K Seafood, wonton noodle, Charcoal toasted bun with sweet filling, just follow the crowd/ queue.
Depending on where you want to go. From MRT Station, walk 600m to Wat Traimit Temple. Chintown Gate is next to it. Walk along Yaowarat Road to eat the famous Kuay jab. Then head to Sampeng Lane to shop. You can also start your Chinatown adventure from Ratchawong Pier to Sampeng Lane first. [Map data ©2018 Google Malaysia]

1. Located in the middle of the Odeon traffic circle is the intricately designed Chinatown Gate. 2. Very popular Koay Jap Nai Huan. [Source]


N13 Phra Arthit: Khao San Road - 1km of backpacker strip with budget guesthouses, mid-range hotels, bars, tattoo shops, market stalls (with friendlier stall keepers), massage parlours, etc. A place that you can meet other backpackers from the West mostly, try exotic food such as fried insects, party like crazy, basically very touristy area. Popular clubs: The Club (free entrance) & Brick Bar(live bands playing Thai Indie. 300baht on weekends). Massage: 150 baht for 30 min of foot massage at Khao San Thai Massage | Time: No vehicles allowed on Khao San Road after 5pm and it will start to get busy til late | Must-eat: banana pancake | How to go: Walk 700m from Phra Arthit Pier (Chao Phraya Boat) or Walk 1km from Panfa Leelard Pier (Saen Seap Express Boat)
1. Backpackers haven Khao San Road - 1km of fun, food, party...[pic:bangkok.com] 2. Party till you drop at The Club Khao San [source]

Asiatique The Riverfront [Website] is a large-scale riverside project combining 4 large shopping complexes, open market, dining, events under one roof. There is a big Ferris wheel (Asiatique Sky- Fee:฿400 | Klook:฿350), great night view of the market and river, boardwalk, carnival, Juliet Love Garden, Muay Thai matches and stage shows. Price is more expensive compared to other night markets | How to go: Free ASIATIQUE Shuttle (but with long queue) or Express Boat from Sathorn (or Central) Pier.
Boardwalk, ferris wheel, nice lighting, Love lock Garden for plenty of photo opportunities [source]

SUKHUMVIT ROAD is the longest road in Thailand that runs through Bangkok downtown all the way to Cambodia. It is the most convenient place to stay with plenty of hotels, shopping malls, food options, clubs, train stations, vibrant 24-hour street life, also has a bad reputation for scammers. 
  • Soi Cowboy [Website] (next to Terminal 21) is a red-light district with neon lighting up a stretch of go-go bars (raunchier bars with girl dancers, live shows). Each is colorfully lit, playing loud music | How to go: MRT Sukhumvit Station or BTS Asok. 
  • Terminal 21 [Website] is an Airport-themed mall with setup of airport gates in different countries. Huge Golden Gate Bridge replica is constructed across the balconies on top of the main foyer. Each level a different city; eg: Venice-Italian marble fountain in the bathroom. | How to go: BTS Asok Station (connected via skywalk)
  • Sukhumvit Soi 38 Night Food Market. Some original stalls have moved out due to development. Thong Lo BTS Station (Exit 4).  Must-eat: Khao Niaow Ma Muang (Mango Sticky Rice). Look for a stall with a board written "Sticky rice and coconut milk with mango 60-80 baht"
  • Dine in the Dark (DID) @Sheraton Grande Hotel $$$$ - Visually impaired servers, guides, makes sure you are comfortable. The fun part is they will reveal what you have eaten after the meal. Great service and experience, pricey. Food quality is inconsistent. You can choose from the Asian, Western, Vege or Surprise menu. Next to BTS Asok Station. 
  • Issaya $$$$ - Cosy, lovely colonial house. plenty of vegetarian options. Very tasty gourmet Thai food, delicate presentation. Great flavor. Pricey. Hard to find, neighborhood is run down | Better to go by taxi or 650m walk from Khlong Toei MRT Station.
  • Roast [Website] $$$ | The COMMONS@Thonglor (1.5km walk from Thong Lo BTS Station) & The Helix Quartier (EmQuartier next to BTS Phrom Phong Station) - Top notch food. must-have: Truffle Alfredo, coffee, quesadilla, egg Benedict. 
  • Isao [Website] $$-$$$ (Sukhumvit 31) - Very delicious, fancy sushi rolls, not very authentic, crowded, price is reasonable | BTS Phrom Phong Station, walk 450m 
  • Madame Shawn $-$$ - good food, atmosphere, trendy, reasonable price, big selection of traditional Thai food, near Samitivej Hospital, Staff don't speak much English. | 1.4km walk from BTS Phrom Phong Station
  • Rung Ruang Noodles $ - Amazing fresh local pork rice noodles with great flavours. Cheap. Served fast. Options: dry, soup, spicy (tom yum) or non-spicy. With minced pork and fish balls. add-on: crispy fish skin. small portion (60baht) | 300m walk from BTS Phrom Phong Station
  • Mae Varee Sweet Sticky Rice with Mango at Soi 55 $ | very near Thong Lo BTS Station
Sukhumvit vibrant night life: Soi Cowboy Red Light District with colorful neon lighting. Soi 38 night food market has the best mango sticky rice in town.


Songkran Festival - 13-15Apr, water fight.

  • The Jim Thompson House Bangkok [Website] - reconstructed old houses turned museum. Interesting demo of silk spinning, and house tour. Authentic experience of visiting a Thai home. Learn historical importance of silk trading and development of Thai Silk industry by James HW Thompson. Quality silk product for sale. Tranquil courtyard, tasty meal at the restaurant. | Admission: 150baht | Hours: 9am-6pm (Guided tour is compulsory) | How to go: 1.BTS National Stadium Station, take exit 1. walk 600m. 2.
Visit Jim Thompson House to find out more about the Thai silk industry. [source]

MALL HOPPING IN BANGKOK CENTRAL
The Skywalk is an elevated walkway which is built under the BTS Skytrain where many shopping malls are close together. You can walk from Central Chidlom to Siam Paragon where it stops. You can rejoin the Skywalk by going through Siam Center, then it starts again and goes all the way to MBK Center and National Stadium BTS Station, without having to step foot on the regular sidewalk. | Hours: 6am-12am
1.Skywalk from Central Chidlom to Siam Paragon. 2.Skywalk from CentralWorld to Platinum Fashion Mall was opened in 2016. 3.The new skywalk opened in 2017 from Siam Center goes over the Pathumwan intersection past MBK to the National Stadium BTS station. [Map data ©2018 Google Malaysia]


1. Central World [Website] is the largest shopping mall in Bangkok city, second in Thailand, 11th in the world. Luxury goods, international brands, insane choices of food, gourmet ingredients. Trimurti Shrine is right in front of the mall. Singles offers red roses to Trimurti, God of Love on Thursdays at 9.30pm, wearing red, hoping to meet their Mr/Miss Right.  Erawan Shrine is located at the crossroad intersection in front of Grand Hyatt Erawan, opposite CentralWorld, is the most popular shrine in Bangkok for tourists, not to be missed. In a thanksgiving ceremony that is repeated several times a day, a Thai classical dance is performed.
Central World is connected to other shopping malls by Skywalk which is built under the Skytrain (BTS). The Erawan Shrine (Four Face Buddha). photo credit: Richard Barrow | ThinkStock Photos

2. MBK Center [Website] is a huge 8-storey air-conditioned shopping center, the most popular in Bangkok for shopping. You can find almost anything here: fashion (many sizes), electronics, souvenirs, jewelry, tailoring, etc. mainly Thai products and good quality fake branded goods. Bargain to get really low prices. Awesome food courts on 5th and 6th floors. | Hours: daily 10am-10pm How to go: Stop at BTS National Stadium Station & Walk 500m (connected to the Skywalk). From Jim Thompson House: 800m walk.
Popular among tourists and locals alike, MBK Center is a shopping paradise. Pad Thai (stir-fried rice noodles) is one of the dishes that you must eat at the MBK Food court (on the 6th floor) recommended by ladyironchef. Source: UKRID/shutterstock

3. Siam Discovery - The trendiest and most futuristic mall in Bangkok. Many Thai and international brands. Goods are displayed in an open concept, like how a home is decorated. Expensive. Artistic pieces/ structures around the mall. Madame Tussauds Museum is located here. | How to go: BTS Siam Station

4. Siam Paragon Shopping Centre [Website] | How to go: BTS Siam Station (exit 5) - connected to the mall. Big mall with luxury brands, restaurants, prices are 20% more compared to other malls. KidZania and Sea Life are located here.
  • KidZania - [Website] Kids can enjoy their 80 role plays like fireman, CSI detective, barber, dentist, actor, pilot etc. in establishments such as acting academy, court house, hospital, live stage, radio station, drinking water research center, disco lounge, culinary school, dental care, design studio, department store, convenience store, construction site, bank... Amazing experience for children. | Hours: Mon-Fri: 10AM-5PM. Sat-Sun & Public Holidays: 10.30AM-8.30PM | Fee: Babies:-Free. Weekdays:- Toddler(2-3):600THB. Kid(4-14):1,000THB. Adult(15+):600THB. Weekends and Public Holiday:- Toddler:720THB. Kid:1,200THB. Adult:720THB. Klook:860THB (Kid).
Very realistic mock-up at KidZania

  • SEA LIFE Bangkok Ocean World [Website] is a giant aquarium where you can watch the feeding of sharks, otters and penguins and get the chance to feed freshwater fish from the Feeding Pier in the Rainforest. Walk over a glass and marvel at the sharks at Shark Walk. The gigantic 8-metre-high aquarium at Tropical Ocean gives you a panoramic view of beautiful coral and fish species | 10:00 am. - 9:00 pm | Entrance fee: ฿600 (Klook, RM74). Original: ฿990.
1. 270-degree view of underwater giant tunnel. 2. diver in action

  • Taling Chan Floating Market is nearest to the city and is not too busy compared to others. People here travel and sell stuff on boats - fresh local vegetables, fruits (change seasonally), seafood, souvenirs. Thai dishes prepared on the boat. It preserves the way of living of the people along the river bank. Beware of boat touters, some over-charge and stop at every market stall where the sellers can be aggressive in getting business. Remember to bargain. 200baht from MBK Center by Uber, Must-eat: papaya salad (35baht), Large prawns(7pcs for 300baht), 1-hr boat ride 69baht, 1 hour massage 200baht.  | How to get there: Take air-cond bus no.79 from Ratchadamnoen Klang Road (in front of Central World) 38 min ride, 17 baht. Easiest way is by Taxi at 100-150baht, 25min from Khao San area | Hours: Sat, Sun & Public holiday 8am-5pm
Papaya Salad (Som Tam-unripe papaya, peanuts, fish sauce, lime juice, tomatoes, sugar), grilled prawns are must-haves. Visitors buy food from boats

  • Safari World [Website] is 40km from Bangkok. Everyone loves the giraffes feeding, car tour to see the animals like tiger, lions, giraffes upclose and dolphin show. There are 2 parks: 1.Safari Park: Drive-thru to experience close encounter with animals which are free to roam around | 2.Marine Park: Jungle Cruise, White Tiger Show, Cowboy Stunt Show, Dolphin Show, Orangutan Boxing Show, feed the giraffes, etc. Food very average. | How to go: 1.Tour from Bangkok by hotels2thailand: Safari + Marine Park + buffet lunch + round trip at ~950 baht per pax. 2.Taxi from Bangkok 270-330baht (36km) | Time: Daily 9am-5pm | Fee: Safari(1000baht). Marine(1300baht). Klook: 800baht for 2 parks.  Bus drive-thru (45baht)- view not great.
Animals free to roam - Don't open your car window! One of the highlights - Dolphin Show. [source][klook]

Lumpini Park - playground, boats, greenery. 

Popular Foods
Pratunam Market: Yum Mama (dry tom yum instant noodles with seafood, chicken and vegies).
Pad thai - Thip Samai - mahachai rd.


Ref: Klook.com, tripadvisor.com, grandpalace-bangkok.com, bangkok.com, tourismthailand.org