Exploring Bangkok

Having heard mixed reviews about Bangkok, we were unsure what to expect (in fact many reviews describe it as ‘the Marmite city’).

However, as our flight arrived here & we hope to use public transport for our trip to Thailand (mostly via Bangkok), we wanted to see for ourselves.

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Busy traffic outside MBK Centre

The Airport Train Link.
Originally we were told to grab a taxi from the airport downtown, but arriving at the airport information desk, they suggested the train.
The train system is modern, clean & efficient & also a great introduction to Thai culture. I loved their ‘green approach’ using reusable tokens rather than tickets. The train took us right into the centre of Bangkok for less than £1 for the two of us. If you are visiting Bangkok you will find the timetable here.

Which area of Bangkok to stay?
We wanted somewhere central, yet safe & not seedy, so asked advice from a couple of travel bloggers a similar age & outlook to ourselves. They recommended the Siam area which is where the major shopping malls, Skytrain & National Sports Stadium are located.

Being on a budget of max £25 a night, we chose Wendy House which has great reviews see: Tripadvisor & Booking.com. This place is simple, but has great clean rooms, friendly staff & amazing breakfasts.
Having also stayed in a neighbouring property during our stay, we definitely recommend Wendy House.

Places to visit:
As we had a couple of days feeling groggy from travelling, these are the places we had a chance to visit during our stay:

Jim Thompson’s House.
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This is just around the corner from our accomodation, so an interesting way to fill a couple of hours.
Depending on your interests, you may find this worth a visit. For more info see:  Jim Thompson House

Wat Pho

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Reclining Buddha at Wat Pho

An amazing Thai-Chinese temple which not only houses Thailand’s largest reclining Buddha, but the largest number of Buddha statues. It is reportedly the oldest in Bangkok, being 200 yrs old.
See our Blog here. image

River Taxi Tour
For 150 Bht (£3) ticket you can get a jump on & off ticket on the river. We caught the Skytrain to Saphan Taksin station (27 Bht), which is stop no 1 on the River. We decided to go all the way to the end of river, look at the sights it stopped at; then hop off at the ones we liked the look of, on the way back.
However after 32 stops & a beautiful journey looking at the various temples & buildings on route we were perfectly happy staying on board.

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The Old & New

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Many Temples Can be Seen from the River

Shopping
If shopping is your thing, this is the area to stay:

MBK Centre:
5 floors of local products, food hall, discount clothing & electrical equipment (are they real IPhones?) It is like a massive indoor market but more organised.

Siam Centre:
International names from around the World: Info
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Siam Discovery:
More stores Info. Also houses Madame Tussauds

Siam Paragon:
High-end names from Mont Blanc to Rolls Royce cars, Southeast Asia’s largest aquarium, a 16-screen Cineplex & Imax, and a comprehensive selection of world cuisine (including a Harrods tea room).
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It is considered by many to be the centre of Bangkok.

Siam Square
The surrounding area is a massive maze of shops & eateries. From cheap clothing to high street shops; massages to nail bars and street food to the Hard Rock Cafe.

Even if shopping is not your thing, its an interesting place to people watch, or find something to eat/drink if you ever tire of Thai food.

Skytrain
Why not take a tour of the city from above?

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Shoppers are dwarfed by the Skytrain above

See also More Things to do in Bangkok for info on what we did on our return to the city.

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