Since my very first trip to New York City as a child, I’ve been in love with big cities. I used to say that I’d live there one day, and then I went to London. Now I have a more serious goal of moving to London by the time I’m 30. A city has never felt more like home to me.
What do I love about big cities? Maybe it’s the hustle and bustle, maybe it’s the sight of millions of strangers, each with a different life story, or maybe it’s the bright lights and tall buildings. I honestly have no idea.
Bangkok was extremely unique to any other city I’ve been to. It seemed much more scattered and disorganized, but it was beautiful seeing traditional Thai metal roofs right next to skyscrapers. It almost gave the city a sense of inclusivity.
Our first day there, we went to the beloved Unicorn Cafe (only for the pictures of course).
We also went to a not-as-well-known spot called Chalerm La Park, a park with graffiti in it. This was a perfectly picturesque spot for a photoshoot that’ll release your inner badass.
We finished the night at Bangkok’s Rod Fai market, but something came up and we left after a fairly short time. This was also semi-confusing to get to and seemed pretty out of the way, at least compared to where we were staying. This was my least favorite market out of the few that we went to.
The next day was fairly relaxing. The goal was to check out a few of the temples, but we quickly ruled that out after getting to them and realizing how much of a tourist trap they seemed to be. Maybe it would’ve been different if we hadn’t already been to a number of temples, but I honestly felt like we weren’t missing much by not going in. We spent much of the day walking around this part of Bangkok without an end location in mind. To get back to our hostel, we hopped on a bus, the form of transportation the locals use, and hoped it would get us relatively close to where we needed to be. And it did!
We took short naps before heading back out for the night. This was my favorite night by far. We dressed up and went to a rooftop bar for dinner. Expensive? Yes. Compared to the US? Not at all. A meal as fancy ours would’ve been $100+ in America, but I spent $20 on a drink and dessert. If the food wasn’t worth the visit alone, the view definitely was.After dinner, we changed into more comfortable clothes, and checked out the Patpong Market. If you’re fresh off the plane and inexperienced with markets, DON’T come here. Sellers try to charge you significantly more than they should. If you’re knowledgable about what the prices should be, barter your booty off. One seller tried selling me a shirt for 850 baht (around $25). I got her down to 200 baht (around $6). If you don’t get the price you want from one stand, try a few more. This will give you the general idea of the lowest the sellers will go. I should probably add that this market is not suitable for kids, as there are a number of strip clubs (with doors wide open) on the same street as the market.
On our last day, we went to the mother of all markets, the Chatuchak Market. If you don’t go to any other markets in Bangkok, fine, but I highly highly highly recommend visiting this one. You can find everything that the other markets have, and more. We spent about 5 hours here, and still didn’t cover the entire market, so that should tell you how big it is. I’d allow at least half a day to shop here. Once you get sucked in, it’s hard to come out.
After a long afternoon of shopping, we went to a cat cafe for lunch, and a bit of needed relaxation, before heading back to the hostel for a nap. After the nap, we had a 7/11 dinner and went back to the Patpong Market for some last-minute gifts.
One thing I learned in my experience here is to avoid taxis (and tuk-tuks) if at all possible. Majority of the taxis have no idea where they’re going, and they’re the slowest form of transportation because of all the traffic. You can get almost anywhere in Bangkok between the skytrain and the metro. Both are quick, cheap and easy to figure out.