Bangkok Travel Guide, Thailand | Moon & Honey Travel

Bangkok

Bangkok Travel Guide

Last Updated: March 2018

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.

 

This Guide Includes:

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

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 look out for your bus (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 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

Click the dots to explore specific destinations.
Destinations
  • Temples
  • Budget Accommodation
  • Markets
  • Shopping
  • Trendy Neighborhoods
  • Favorite Eats
  • Best Massage
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.

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 an 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
  • Üsküdar is rarely a first, second, or third choice for places to explore in Istanbul. There are no trendy cafés, vintage shops, or entertainment venues here. But, we’d argue that Üsküdar delivers a completely authentic experience and gives visitors an opportunity to hop off the tourist track. This Asian-side district has many treasures. We’ve been uncovering them slowly this past week, starting with this mosque. The light-filled interior of Marmara University Faculty of Theology Mosque is poetry embodied. Can’t wait to share more of our finds this week.
  • We’re celebrating our blog’s one year anniversary. It’s filled with travel guides and hiking guides for destinations in Europe and Asia. We’re really proud of what we’ve accomplished. There’s always room for improvement and an endless list of things to do, but today we’re just going to say “it’s pretty damn good.” Have you checked it out? Come say hi! Link in bio, or moonhoneytravel.com
  • We‘ve been traveling almost continuously for 13 months. Being able to travel long term is an incredible privilege and gift. When we started our trip, we were out exploring every day at full speed. We didn’t want to miss anything. And, we felt an immense obligation to see and do as much as we possibly could. But after months on the road and getting destroyed by illness (more on that later), we decided that we needed to change our travel style.

We‘ve been in Istanbul for 1.5 months. Do we want to see more of Turkey? Of course! However, right now it feels right to stay here and soak up the vibe of one of the world‘s greatest cities.

Petsitting has allowed us to slow down and rest on the road and afford long term travel. 
If you’re interested in housesitting, we highly recommend @trustedhousesitters . To join, click the link in our bio. You’ll get 20% off the membership fee. Once you‘re a member, you can search for opportunities across the world. Yay for free accommodation and pets! 😺Photo of Oscar, the cat we‘re taking care of in Istanbul. #notsponsored
  • We’ve been pretty absent here the last week. Honestly, we needed a break. It’s terrifying to see how much time we waste aimlessly scrolling and clicking around on Instagram. We love seeing our friends and favorite bloggers’ updates (@eternalarrival @thesandyfeet @practicalwanderlust @alongdustyroads @lostwithpurpose to name a few), but we don’t want to get sucked in and realize a whole hour is gone. 
We’re curious, do you feel like you spend too much time on the app? And if so, what tools are you using to modify your Insta-behavior?

We tried simply logging out, but as soon as we logged back in, we were back at it. One thing that’s been helpful is the “manage your time” notification that’s actually built into Instagram. If you click the hamburger menu (top right) and then “Your Activity,” you can see exactly how many minutes, or hours, you’re spending on the app each day. Directly below the graph, there’s a manage your time section that lets you enable a daily reminder. You set it to how many minutes you want to spend on the app. When you reach that threshold, Instagram will notify you.

Travel Update: We’re still in Istanbul. We’re pet-sitting for the next 10 days and then heading somewhere we’ve never been before.
  • Another vantage point of our favorite waterside mosque in Istanbul. Doesn’t it look like its floating in the Bosphorus?
  • Ortaköy Mosque (Büyük Mecidiye Camii) is one of Istanbul‘s most memorable sites. Located in Ortaköy along the Bosphorus, this baroque-style mosque has the most dreamy, pink interior to compliment its stunning exterior.

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