Bangkok one of the biggest cities in the world: discover the best things to do
Part 2 of our Thailand itinerary. After our experiences in the North, it was time to fly back from Chiang Mai to Bangkok. This time we took an Airasia flight as it’s only an hour to fly to Bangkok.
As the North of Thailand was all about nature, we were ready for visiting this amazing capital.
Where to stay?
We stayed at Ibis Riverside hotel for three nights. Staying at the riverside is a great location for starting to explore Bangkok. The Ibis has a good value for money. You have spacious rooms and a good swimming pool looking out over the river.
Breakfast is nothing fancy but enough variation for starting your day.
For the last night of our trip, we were hosted by Baiyoke Sky hotel .
This is the tallest hotel in Bangkok, with not less than 88 floors. We stayed at floor 63. On the 83rd floor you have a turning platform, and you get the best scenery over the city. I recommend you watch it both in daylight as in the evening. The Skybar has a nice view as well. There are about 7 different restaurants to choose from and the location is good to reach the airport.
Transport in Bangkok
As Bangkok is such a big metropole you need to know how to get from one point to another.
There are lots of possibilities to choose from. One thing I wouldn’t recommend is hiring a car and driving yourself. (Thailand has 24.000 annual deaths, the second-highest road death in the world.)
Tip: avoid rush hours if you can. These are from 7-9 am in the morning and between 4.30-8 pm in the evening.
- Taxi: there are many taxi’s in the main streets or you can order one in your hotel. Please make sure the taxi driver puts on his meter (starting fee is normally 35 THB) and it’s best to ask for the price before you get in. Taxi drivers don’t use google maps, so sometimes it takes longer than it should and If you end up in a traffic jam (like we did once) the price goes up. If the taxi driver takes the toll road you will have to pay extra.
- Tuk-tuk: Although this looks like a great way for transport within the city I wouldn’t recommend it. The vehicles are uncomfortable and unsafe but you will also inhale an enormous level of pollution. Besides the tuk-tuk drivers are infamous of charging ridiculous prices. We only took one once for a very short trip and negotiated the price beforehand.
- Grab: this app will allow you to order a personal taxi for a better price. Using this app is especially recommended for longer distances.
- Bus (nightbus): the public buses in Bangkok are not a popular form of transport, figuring out the lines and timetables takes a lot of research and buses are never on time.
- Motorbike: this is definitely not recommended as it’s the most dangerous way of getting around in the city.
- Metro: there are two different lines: Blue and Purple line. During rush hour it can get very crowded in the metro as well. You can use a single-journey token or an MRT pass. There’s also a day pass available for 120 THB. You cannot use this pass on a BTS ride. Opening hours of the metro lines: daily from 6 am-00 pm.
- BTS Skytrain: most Bangkokians love the BTS because it’s the fastest way to travel in the city. It’s well equipped with airco and gets you to the other site of the city in about one hour. There are two lines, the Sukhumvit Line (light green) and the Silom Line (dark green). These cover the most important districts of Bangkok. The BTS Lines operates between 6.30 am and 00:00 am.
You need to buy a Rabbit Skytrain Card at the ticket booth or buy a single card at the ticket machines. If you want to use the system multiple times a day, it’s bets to get a BTS one-day pass for 140 THB.
What to do? 5 things you must see
1) Floating Market and taking a longtail boat over the river Chao Praya.
We visited the Taling Chan Floating Market. This weekend market is more genuine than most floating markets near Bangkok. You can enjoy an excellent seafood lunch sitting on the floor with the locals, go shopping or go food tasting on the market (which we did ) We took the longtail boat from the riverside in Bangkok and went all the way to this market. Such a great experience! Having dinner in one of the narrow channels is a great option too.