There is quite a story behind the fact that for my exchange semester I ended up in Bangkok. No wonder, that this city is one of the most popular among the tourists. It is huge, it provides a wide range of activities that you can do but mainly it is totally crazy. There I was, for six months of my life, CRAZY six months of my life. This time enabled me to experience a lot from Bangkok. Still, like every city, it has its MUSTS that you can do in a short period. So when heading to Bangkok, make sure you…
1) … go on a sightseeing tour
It does not matter if you like visiting the most famous and usually overcrowded sights or not. When you are in Paris you have to visit the Eiffel Tower, when in Beijing you have to go to the Great Wall so when in Bangkok you have to visit at least one (I am recommending all though) of the trio Wat Pho–Wat Arun–Wat Phra Kaew. These Buddhist temples are perfectly representing the culture and they are simply magnificent. They are located close to each other so you can have a nice day by getting on a Chao Praya river tourist boat (we bought a daily ticket for 150 Baht when you can get on and off as many times as you want, otherwise one way ticket varies from 20-40 Baht depending on a boat) and just hopping on and off at the stops (each temple has its own stop).
Okay, I am not going to give you some expert information and data because firstly – you can google it, secondly – you should not google it but go there and see and read it on your own, but mainly thirdly – I do not remember it so that is why I prefer to admire things more by looking and less by reading.
Wat Phra Kaew
This temple is located in the Grand Palace complex and is regarded as the most important one. You will realize that when buying the ticket (500 Baht). They are also quite strict with the dress code there – I made a sacrifice by taking leggings instead of shorts in that hot weather but catch I was told that they were too tight (you cannot imagine how annoyed I was). Of course, you can borrow there a scarf for a deposit but be prepared to wait a long line. This temple complex is the biggest of the three mentioned above so I recommend going there first as they also close the earliest.
In this temple, you can find the giant lying Buddha. It is not possible to take a picture of the whole statue (I convinced myself about that from various angles). The entrance is 150 Baht and it also includes a small bottle of water (which I found very convenient in that hot weather). Inside the complex, you can also find traditional massage center but I would rather go for some cheaper place on the street.
Last but not least – this temple is a bit different from the previous two. Mainly it is not that much colorful and it is situated on the other side of the river. The entrance ticket is just 50 Baht. I advise going there as the last stop because the illumination of it after the sunset is just amazing.
Maybe you will feel like all the temples were almost the same and that you do not have to see another temple in your life again… REMEMBER, after some time in Thailand you will learn that all the things are Same, same but different. And of course, you do not have to go these places ever again.
2) … try street food
I really do not know what I was thinking when I was determined not to try any street food. Surely, I was just scared at the beginning of my semester. Luckily, during the orientation days at our university, we got precious advice – you do not have to be scared to eat where the locals do. Since that moment I was eating street food 24/7. Not only it is cheap and also the easiest way to make your belly full but it is incredibly tasty.
I visited many south-eastern Asian countries but none of their street food compares to Thai one. So from “I will never eat on the street“ I moved on to sitting every day on a small plastic chair eating something delicious and now I am craving and crying for that amazing Fried rice from the stand of the big Thai woman right at the corner of our apartments. So do not be scared and do not hesitate because you would regret. Just go for all the fresh fruits, fried rolls, noodles and of course the coconut ice cream!
3) … visit Khao san road
If there exists any place where you can get anything then it is definitely Khao san road. I just could not believe my eyes when I was there for the first time. I am pretty sure I had not seen such a place before and I am not sure if there exists another place like this. During those six months I made plenty of great unforgettable memories there. As I mentioned before you can find there anything you can think of – bars with litres of alcohol served in buckets, stands with normal food, stands with insects, tons of clothes, tons of souvenirs, women persuading you to go to massage, men persuading you to go to ping pong show and I can continue naming all the things for eternity. I wanted to say close your eyes and enjoy its atmosphere but rather not. Rather have your eyes wide open and enjoy its atmosphere!