If you’re traveling to Thailand for the beautiful beaches Bangkok is not the city for you. But it’s definitely worth seeing. A 48-hour layover in Bangkok is plenty of time to see the bustling city.
“You only need 48 hours in Bangkok”. That’s pretty much the general consensus we got from all of our Thailand-traveling friends. Including our friend who lives in Phuket. 48 hours. Get in and get out while you like it. That’s what we did and I absolutely loved it!
We actually ended up being in Bangkok a little under 48 hours but I don’t feel like out time there was rushed. We only made it to one temple…on the very last day but we also knew we had an additional week in Thailand and Cambodia. Meaning, we knew we had plenty of temples ahead of us so seeing a temple in Bangkok was not a priority. We kept it simple – shopping, fish on feet (I’ll explain), street food, and river tour.
CHEAP, Good Fun
I’ll take Bangkok prices all day. Paying $6 for a 30 minute taxi ride from the airport to our hotel on the riverside definitely made up for the 24 hour journey that it took to get there. Wow talk about an affordable city. And make no mistake, it is a city. Lodging, food, transportation – everything was so freaking cheap. In my experience, it was definitely cheaper in Bangkok than anywhere else we visited in Thailand.
Our flight from Tokyo, Japan landed into Bangkok late; we didn’t arrive at the hotel until after midnight but we were still blown away. For under $130 we had a 1000 sq ft suite overlooking the water. Located right on the river, the Chatrium Hotel Riverside Bangkok was absolutely beautiful. It even boasts its own water shuttle! Like everywhere else in Thailand, the food was AMAZING but it was definitely more affordable to eat outside the hotel.
You can read my TripAdvisor review of Chatrium Hotel Riverside Bangkok here.
I’ll dedicate an entire post to The Food of Thailand later but as a self-proclaimed foodie, I can honestly say the food I had in Thailand was not only the best Thai food I have ever had but maybe some of the BEST FOOD I HAVE EVER HAD. The $3 whole sea bass I picked up on the side of the road at 3:00am our last night there was best sea bass I’ve tasted.
I didn’t try crickets (next time) but I ate plenty of street food.
Don’t be afraid of the street food! It’s scarily cheap but delicious and not one of us got sick.
We spent the majority of out time in Bangkok either eating or shopping. Yes, it’s known for its knock-off but more so, there’s just good deals all around.
Day Shopping – Chatuchak Weekend Market
Go get lost in Chatuchak. It’s a weekend market and we were lucky enough to be in Bangkok over the weekend. With over 15,000 vendor stalls you can literally shop all day. Clothing, food, art, you name it, you can get it here.
Over 200,000 people visit Chatuchak Market every weekend which makes it the world’s largest weekend market. Or so they say. It definitely seems like it. It was packed with people, both tourists and locals. It didn’t help that it was also 90 degrees out with 80% humidity. The majority of the market is outside with a lot of it having no shade.
Night Market – Asiatique The Riverfront
Asiatique is pretty much a large, open-air market. In addition to shopping, there’s plenty of restaurants and even a few carnival ride including a large ferris wheel.
We spent hours walking around the Asiatique market eating, drinking, and shopping. While it’s a little on the touristy-side, I found it to be a lot of fun and full of people looking to make a good deal. I did most of my Thailand shopping at Asiatique. It was also conveniently located a quick 5 minute taxi ride from our hotel.
Temples, River Rides, Fish, and Other Fun
I had to stick my feet in the water with the little fish. It’s been a bucket list item of mine for years. So I did it…and lasted an entire 30 seconds before I pulled my feet out. It was way too ticklish for me. My husband lasted the entire 15 minutes and I have to admit, his feet were pretty smooth afterwards.
Of course we had to visit Patpong. Patpong is one of the world’s most famous red-light districts, full of strip-clubs and ‘ping-pong shows (google it). We weren’t really in Bangkok to party so our time in Patpong was pretty much limited to a couple bars then back to the hotel.
Again, we knew we had a lot of temples ahead of us so that wasn’t a priority for Bangkok. We did make it to Wat Po to see the reclining buddah. We did visit 1 temple on our way to the airport to fly to Phuket – Wat Po, home of the reclining buddah.
Next we headed to Phuket to begin Yacht Life…