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- Posted:Wednesday, August 3, 2016
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Bangkok in 24 hours
Guest blogger Anita Dykstra is a travel writer from New Zealand. You can read her great blog on her website.
Bangkok. A chaotic city with a desirable charm that brings in over 15 million tourists a year. There’s a lot to see, do and eat in this lively city so make sure that if you only have 24 hours here you don’t waste a second of it. The advantages of spending your holiday in this magical city are that it’s cheap in every aspect, you will never go hungry as there are so many street food options and the people are friendly, too.
It’s time to explore the madness of Bangkok!
Start with a simple but delicious breakfast at one of the popular street vendors at the Klongsan Market. You’ll find an abundance of fresh tropical fruit such as mango and papaya for sale and also lots of vegetables here. For a more traditional Thai breakfast, choose Joke (rice porridge) or Khao Khai Chiao (omelette) with Khai Chiao (rice with chilli sauce and cucumber).
Now that you are full of energy it’s time to make your way straight to the Grand Palace to start your tour of the most exquisite palaces and statues you have ever seen. The earlier you get here the better so you can really marvel at this masterpiece without thousands of people blocking your view. It opens at 8.30am and closes at 3.30pm every day. The Grand Palace is considered one of the most beautiful buildings in Bangkok. It was built in 1782 and was home to the Thai King for 150 years. The astonishing and glamorous architecture is what brings tourists to this work of art every single day. Admission costs 500 baht and you also have to be dressed appropriately as this is a sacred worshipping site. Women’s shoulders and legs must be covered and men are not to wear flip flops. There is a booth near the entrance where you can borrow appropriate clothing if you’re not prepared.
Next to the palace is another incredible work of art called Wat Pho—a 160-foot-high golden reclining Buddha. This place is considered the birthplace and beginning of the Thai massage.
The final landmark to visit is Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn) which can be accessed by crossing the Chao Phraya River by ferry. Named after Aruna, the Indian God of Dawn, this temple is one of the most prominent riverside landmarks in Thailand. The temple is open from 8.30am until 5.30pm daily and only costs 30 baht for foreigners.
Located near Wat Arun is Chinatown, one of the best areas to walk around and get a delicious lunch in Bangkok. This bustling part of the city is not to be missed. You can grab a meal from the stalls for as little as 50 baht here. Enjoy dishes such as sweet sticky mango rice, noodle soup or authentic pad Thai.
At the height of the afternoon, it’s bound to be hotter than ever so now it’s time to relax and make your way to one of the spas for a traditional Thai massage. You can’t say you’ve been to Thailand and not had a Thai massage! If you’re not-so-thrilled about a full massage then maybe just go for a nice foot or leg one instead. There is an abundance of great places but there can also be some really bad spas out there. Try out Lavana, Baan Dalah or if you want full luxury, then try Spa 1930!
Chilled out? Now it’s time to live like a local. To try some real local cuisine you need to head to Charoen Krung Road which is one of the oldest roads in the city; this means it has some of the best local restaurants and food in Bangkok. All for under 60 baht a dish, you can try mouth-watering slow-cooked pork, duck soup and Thai-style fried chicken, just to name a few dishes. The best place to find these restaurants is between the State Tower and Saphan Taksin BTS station.
Hit the madness of Khao San Road for a few alcoholic beverages and bizarre insect street food to finish (or start) your night. There’s lots of shopping to be had here, too, but just beware that it is known for its chaos and drunken backpackers so if you’re after a relaxing time, this is probably not the place. There’s an abundance of live music, clubs, pubs and karaoke bars so you can say goodbye to your sleep and enjoy the last few hours you have in Bangkok! There’s never a dull moment here as it has been called one of the most lively and chaotic roads in the world. Only you can be the judge of that!