Bangkok Travel Guide, Thailand | Moon & Honey Travel

Bangkok

Bangkok Travel Guide

Some people describe Thailand’s capital city as an “assault on the senses.” We disagree. It’s more like a waking up of the senses. As you explore Bangkok, you’ll dip into a continuous stream of movements, sounds and smells that all compete for your attention. The effect is mesmerizing. You can only capture a small percentage of what is unfolding before you. Tuk Tuks, taxis, motorbikes, buses and cats are steadily swarming the city – it never seems to end. You can get lost in it. And, all the while, you’ll be greeted with open smiles and helpful people. Bangkok truly delights.

Perhaps the most thrilling aspect of Bangkok is the food: its plentitude, its taste, its preparation (street kitchens), its take away and motorbike “drive-in” culture. Everywhere you go, you smell the making and eating of food. Everywhere else you go, you see the selling and offering of food (temples). It’s an endless feast that makes you question why you’ve settled for anything less than Thai food in Bangkok.

 
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Bangkok Travel Guide, Thailand

Bangkok Travel Guide Overview

  • Where to Stay in Bangkok
  • Getting Around Bangkok
  • Where to Go (Interactive Map)
  • What to Experience in Bangkok
  • 4 Days in Bangkok Itinerary
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Flower Market, Bangkok, Thailand | Moon & Honey Travel

Where to Stay in Bangkok

Budget | Lub d – Bangkok Siam is a barebones budget hostel (don’t expect too much). Mostly, we loved its location. It’s conveniently close to Bangkok’s famous mega malls, and the Skytrain. It’s fun to ride the commuter Khlong Saen Saep boat to the Panfa Leelard Pier, located close to the Golden Mount (if you’re staying around Siam Square). One-way ride: 15 THB.

Budget | New Joe Guesthouse is a budget accommodation close to Khao San Road. Rooms were great for the price. But, it’s a loud area, so definitely bring earplugs, or join the party.

Mid-Range | The Printing House Poshtel is a hotel-hostel hybrid concept. There are double rooms available for around 60-70 USD as well as beds in dormitories for 20 USD. The dormitory bedrooms are clean and furnished with a curtain for privacy. The Printing House Poshtel also has a rooftop bar and terrace.

Luxury | Hotel The Okura Prestige Bangkok is a five-star luxury hotel, located close to Ploenchit BTS Skytrain Station. This stylish hotel features three fine dining restaurants, including Elements, a Michelin-stared restaurant. Expect rooms with incredible cityscape views, an indoor and outdoor swimming pool, and a spa, wellness, and fitness center.

 
Klong Bangkok Yai canal, Bangkok, Thailand

Getting Around Bangkok

Metered cab

The most comfortable and efficient way of getting around. From our experience, cab drivers won’t put on their meter unless you ask them to. Just gesture and point to the meter to ensure that it’s turned on. When communicating your destination, it’s best to show them the address in Thai (not Roman-script letters).

 

Tuk Tuk

Three-wheeled motorized vehicle. Make sure to negotiate the price with the driver before getting in. It’s worth riding in a Tuk Tuk once (maybe). Tuk Tuks are especially common in Bangkok.

 

Public Bus

Public buses are a super cheap (10-15 THB) way to navigate Bangkok. When we weren’t in a hurry, we always opted for a public bus. Note: public buses will only stop at a bus stop if someone waves the bus down. So, keep a lookout for your bus (the number is clearly written outside) and step (safely) into the road and gesture a wave motion. In each bus, there’s a driver and a bus attendant. When you enter the bus, you’ll pay the bus attendant (they’ll find you).

 

BTS Sky Train

The BTS Sky Train is an elevated train. Trains are frequent and clean. Using the BTS Sky train is easy and it will save you a lot of time getting between destinations. You can purchase tickets from a machine (if you have coins) or from a ticket attendant. Fares will vary depending on your distance. Expect to pay 15 to 50 THB.

 
Bangkok China Town, Thailand | Moon & Honey Travel

Where to Go in Bangkok

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Destinations
  • Where to Stay
  • Temples
  • Best Massage
  • Markets
  • Shopping
  • Trendy Neighborhoods
  • Favorite Eats
Bangkok Streets, Thailand | Moon & Honey Travel

What to Experience in Bangkok

Our favorite things to see and do
Street Food, Bangkok, Thailand | Moon & Honey Travel

Dining on the Street

The best food in Bangkok is on the street. It’s also the cheapest. No matter what neighborhood you’re in, you’ll see locals buying and eating on the street. We recommend joining them, even if you don’t know what to order. Sometimes street stalls have tables and stools. If you see a free table, you can sit down. Someone will notice you and help you. To order, point at a picture, or at a plate.

Street food in Bangkok is accessible. If you’re worried about getting sick, go to the stalls that are the busiest and have the highest turnover of food. You can also wipe down your eating utensils with an antibacterial disinfection tissue. Or, even better, join a guided Bangkok street food tour.

 
Taling Chan Floating Market, Thonburi, Thailand | Moon & Honey Travel
Taling Chan Floating Market

Taling Chan Floating Market

Taling Chan is in Thonburi, an easy distance from Bangkok. You can independently explore the market and the surrounding canals without an organized tour. The market itself has a genuinely local vibe. It’s not a show market run for foreign tourists. Locals shop, eat and get massages here. At the canal, there are several tied up wooden boats that function as kitchens. There are also several floating docks that serve as dining space. The atmosphere of the market is enriched by the swarming of catfish between the docks and the traditional live music. We recommend eating the Somtam with mango, which is made on one of the boats. We also recommend getting an open-air foot massage under the trees (200 THB / 6 USD – 1 hour).

After enjoying a meal or two at the market, you can ride along the Klong Bangkok Yai canal in a longtail boat back to Bangkok. We took the boat to China Town (Ratchawongse Pier), which costed 100 THB per person. The canal itself is lined with stilt houses, people fishing, temples, and lush greenery. 

Visiting Info:

  • The market is only open on Saturdays and Sundays between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.
  • To get to Taling Chan, take the skytrain to the station Wongwian. From there, grab a taxi to the market (approx. 130 THB).
 
Platinum Mall, Bangkok, Thailand | Moon & Honey Travel
Platinum Mall, Bangkok

Shopping in Bangkok’s Mega Malls

Bangkok’s malls elevate shopping to a “travel experience.” Each giant mall caters to a different clientele, making the shopping experience unique in each one. Apart from shopping, you can eat, see a movie, get your nails done… They really take shopping to a different level. Here are a few malls we recommend exploring:

MBK – If you need to buy electronics, come here. Most prices are negotiable. Otherwise, browse and enjoy the food court (food island) on the 6th floor.

Platinum – Fashion wholesale mall. You can buy individual items, but you won’t be able to try them on before purchase. If you need to get your purchased item adjusted, there are seamstresses in the mall that can help you. Always ask for a better price, or discount, before you buy.

Terminal 21 – This is an airport themed mall. Each floor is a different destination (e.g. San Francisco, London, Tokyo). The food court is outstanding. Don’t leave without getting some coconut ice cream.

 
Wat Pho, Bangkok, Thailand | Moon & Honey Travel

Four Days in Bangkok

Day 1: City Malls and Food Courts

  • Ease into the city by checking out Bangkok’s mega malls. These malls are known for being huge complexes housing much more than shops (e.g. movie theaters, aquariums, etc…). They are also known for their food courts. We really liked the food island at MBK. We also loved shopping at Platinum. 
  • We stayed at Lub D near Siam Square (budget accommodation, clean, communal bathrooms).

Day 2:  Temple (Wat) Hopping

  • Ride the commuter Khlong Saen Saep boat to the Panfa Leelard Pier, located close to the Golden Mount (if you’re staying around Siam Square). One-way ride: 15 THB.
  • Visit the Golden Mount (Wat Saket)
  • Eat lunch at Nang Loeng Market (easy walk from Wat Saket)
  • Explore around Khao San Road and Rambuttri Road. We ate at Aesah Rosdee (178 Tani Rd, Bangkok).
  • Head to Phra Arthit Pier and take the Chao Phraya Express Boat (orange flag) to Wat Arun.
  • Explore Wat Arun. Entrance: 50 THB. (As of Oct. 2017, you can’t walk all the way to the top)
  • Take a ferry across the river and walk to Wat Pho.
  • Explore Wat Po (also spelled Wat Pho), marvel at the Reclining Buddha, and get a massage at the Wat Po Thai Traditional Medical and Massage School (located on the temple grounds).
  • Get dinner at Thip Samai Restaurant on Maha Chai Road. They’re known for having the best pad thai in Bangkok. We walked to the restaurant, because we were so caught up in watching a memorial procession and the various flower markets on Chakphet Road. But, if your feet are sore, grab a taxi.

Day 3: Floating Market and China Town

  • Visit Taling Chan Floating Market. Have lunch at the market. Get a foot massage at the open-air massage “pavilion” under the trees.
  • Ride a longtail boat from the floating market to China Town.
  • Explore China Town. You’ll be able to find just about anything around Ratchawong Road and Sampeng Lane, but the quality is questionable. It’s both overwhelming and thrilling to get lost in this area. You’ll see mounds of dried shrimp, pickled vegetables, toys and gadgets. Motorbikes will squeeze by you in tight spaces. Enjoy it!
  • There are lots of street food vendors in China Town. Eat dinner here!

Day 4: Explore a Neighborhood

  • Ari Neighborhood. Hip residential neighborhood. You’ll find a nice selection of eateries and cafés.
  • Thonglor (Thong Lo) Neighborhood. Upscale neighborhood with a sizeable Japanese population. Come here for Japanese food and trendy communal spaces (e.g. The Commons). NaNaSe Ramen is a must! (see map).

 

Thailand Itinerary Options:

 

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@moonhoneytravelers
  • Alta Via 1.  We just finished hiking the Alta Via 1 - a multi-day trek in the Italian Dolomites. And, it was an adventure we’ll never forget.  The first two days of the trek, we hiked in pouring rain. With no mountain views and poor weather conditions, we tried our best to keep our spirits up.  On Day 3, we set off once again in rain. After a few hours on the trail, it started to snow. The smart thing would have been to turn back and secure a taxi to the next rifugio. But, we kept going. As we progressed, it became increasingly more difficult to find the trail. The snow was covering up the trail markers and the wind swept away the footprints of other hikers. We lost the trail several times.  The snow that was floating down ever so gently as first turned into a no-bullshit blizzard. We were soaking wet, increasingly numb, and at a complete loss of where to go. I started crying. With no one in site and no idea where the hut was, we started to freak out.  At this point, we were physically shaking. We took a few me minutes to regroup in a WWI cave. Sheltered from the blowing snow, we could locate where we were on Maps.me.  We found the trail and willed our frozen bodies into motion. When we saw Lagazuoi hut, we felt a tidal wave of relief.  After ringing out everything from our shirts to our underwear and changing into warm clothes, we drank 2 liters of hot tea and then met the most amazing group of women! Thank you Chris, Sigi, Jo and Susie for the wonderful company, conversations, and shared meals.  @susielambie @jored7  Photo: 2 days after the storm.
  • 2 years ago Kati and I visited the Dolomites for the first time.  It was a whirlwind of a trip, as we were relocating from Cologne to Vienna. We drove through Germany’s Black Forest, Switzerland’s Appenzell region, across the Dolomites and finally into Austria.  During our time in the Dolomites, we experienced our very first hut to hut hike. Until that point, multi-day hiking was a vague, intimidating concept. After our short 3-day trek around Sexten, we were hooked. And, looking back, it’s easy to say that that trip really changed our lives.  We’re finally back in the Dolomites. This time we’re here to hike the Alta Via 1.
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Some days were extraordinary. Other days were quite good. And one day was utterly miserable. That’s life in a nutshell, right? Cheers to living the good days, the okay days and the bad ones too.
  • I want to share with you one of my favorite German words.  Genießer/Genießerin is a person who delights and takes pleasure in living. It’s someone who enjoys and relishes the present moment completely. It can be applied broadly, whether someone enjoys reading, drinking a cappuccino, hiking, or cycling. The connotation of this type of pleasure is wholly positive.  There is no direct translation in the English language. In English, too much pleasure is perceived as a negative. We use words like glutton, hedonist, libertine to describe people who take (too much) pleasure in certain things. In English, pleasure must be restrained. Without such restraint, pleasure isn’t “good,” but marred with sin.  Would you define yourself as a Genießer/Genießerin?

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