An Insider’s Guide for Your Quick Getaway to Bangkok
A survey by AsiaOne Travel result that Bangkok is the readers’ top destination of choice for a long weekend. The Thai capital needs no introduction - a recent survey showed that Bangkok edged out London as the world's most popular destination in 2016.
But do you know how best to explore the Land of Smiles in three or four days?
AsiaOne pulled together a city guide of insider tips and reviews, culled from their writers' own experiences as well as travellers' tips online. If you've never been to the city renowned for its street food as much as its congested traffic, this guide's for you.
For the seasoned Bangkok explorer, there's still some exciting stuff here you've yet to discover, and tips which could even save you some time and money.
Want to make your getaway to the Land of Smiles even cheaper and fuss-free? We tell you why you don’t really have to pre-select your seats, and the best way to get to and around the city without getting scammed.
First, you need to make a deal for your trip. Flying via full-fledged carriers is well and good, but for a 2.5 hour flight, going budget isn't bad either. It is possible to pay less than $200 (less than $150 with promotional fares) for a return flight on a low cost carrier. This excludes seat selection, insurance, food and baggage, but on occasion, you can squeeze in at least one check-in baggage within the budget. And this is without booking months in advance.
Of Bangkok's two airports, Suvarnabhumi is newer and most well-linked, with the airport rail connecting the airport to the city. However, some airlines, like budget carrier Scoot, flies to and departs from Don Mueang, where taking a taxi to the city is your only option. Or, you can ride on the free shuttle bus that takes you to Suvarnabhumi, from which you can take the airport rail that connects you to the main BTS or MRT lines.
Getting around Bangkok, you ca select several model of transportation such as BTS Skytrain, Taxis, also Tuktuk. The most common mode of transport is the overhead rail known as the BTS, which is all you need really, if you're traversing all the hot spots in the city. When taking taxis, it is often safer to flag them off the road than hop into an empty taxi that is just idling by. Tuktuks are generally as expensive or if not more, than taxis. And fares have to be negotiated beforehand so wherever possible, taxis are recommended.
To really beat the Bangkok jam however, motorcycle taxis can be an option if you're travelling solo, but hold on tight! It's not a ride for the faint of heart. Another downside? Fares can be expensive and have to be decided upon before hopping on.
Another great thing about visiting Bangkok is having easy access to decent and comfortable hotels at an affordable rate. If you’re on a tight budget and travelling in a pair, sharing a mid-range hotel room which can cost as low as $60 to $70 from online booking sites may actually be a more cost-saving option.
If you need hotel cost less than $50 a day, you may select Oneday Hostel Sukhumvit 26, Check Inn Regency Park, or Lub d Bangkok Siam Square. For mid-tire range ($50 – $150), Siam Swana Hotel, Courtyard by Marriott, and Adelphi Forty-nine might be a good choice for you. For more luxury facilities ($150 – above), Centara Grand at Central Plaza Ladprao, Millennium Hilton Bangkok, and The Okura Prestige could be the nicest one.
When it comes to shopping in Bangkok, the average Singapore visitor is likely to head for the same places: Chatuchak, Chinatown, Pratunam and Siam Square-Siam Paragon area in the heart of the city.
However, many Bangkokians pick up bargains in lesser known places such as riverside markets and wholesale places, avoiding tourist-infested places with inflated prices.
Starting at Wang Lang pier, this huge market offers a dizzy array of cheap fashion stalls, designed mainly for that Korean look, from fake designer wear to second-hand vintage clothes. Next to Millennium Hilton Hotel, you may visit Kongsan Plaza. this is a much smaller market but popular with young locals for its cheap clothes, trendy dresses, T-shirts, shoes, handbags and cosmetics.
The other one is Bo Bae, more famous with international clothing dealers than with the average tourist who would rather go for a more pleasant shopping experience than the dull environment here. There Also Or Tor Kor, this daily market is more well known for its fresh seafood, farm produce and melt-in-the-mouth durians than Thai handicrafts, kitchen utensils, cooking ingredients and potted plants and flowers.
You may also visit Central Plaza at Ladprao or the newest one, EmQuartier.
Thailand's capital is famous for its food, shopping, culture, but there is plenty of adventure for adrenaline seekers and travellers itching for a break from the usual.
Venture out of the city and a plethora of sights and sounds await you.
Wanted to experience a very interesting yet life-to-dead adventure? A trip to Maeklong Railway Market will fulfil your dream. Monkeying around the sunflower? Fields of Lopubri might be the good one. 150 kilometres north-east of Bangkok, and that is where you can find vast sunflower fields - claimed to be the biggest in Thailand.
If you are a canine or animal lover, this is a place you need to visit the next time you're in Bangkok. Dog cafe TrueLove@Neverland is a dream come true for Siberian husky dog lovers. Visitors get to interact with the dogs for 350 baht (S$14) an hour.You may also visit the Abandoned Buildings, witnessing the condemned shopping mall used to house thousands of fish, released by nearby vendors to control a mosquito problem. Erie bits for the brave, you are very welcome to visit The Wang Saen Suk Hell Garden, which is actually a monastery showcasing Naraka (Buddhist hell).
Thailand is a diverse country with 62 officially recognized ethnic communities, and years of interracial marriage have diluted racial lines. Religious and traditional festivals like Chinese New Year, Songkran, and Loi Krathong see a nationwide effort regardless of racial delineation.
A quick search on cultural sights in Bangkok often cough up familiar names like Wat Pra Kaew, Wat Arun and Wat Pho. But Bangkok is a bustling metropolis after all, and offers a fine blend of the contemporary and traditional.
Here are few lesser-known cultural gems where you can avoid the hordes of tourists: Bangkok Art anf Culture Center, Wat Leng Noei Yi Ayutthaya Koh Kret Pottery Village Tha Ka floating market Saint Anne's Catholic Church, and Nativity of our Lady Cathedral
Foodies always enthuse about mouthwatering encounters in their Thailand holidays, be it at unpretentious open-air stalls dishing out meals cooked on the spot or at swish restaurants offering the whole dining experience.
Below are recommendations on eateries where you can eat heartily because the food is worth the calories and the price, be it 50 or 500baht.
For the street food (<200 Baht per pax), you may try Holy Tod (the fried oyster), Lad Nah (Hor Fun), Ba Mee (Wanton noodles), and Kuay Teow Ruea (Boat noodles).
You can also visit several mid-range restaurants with affordable price ( 250 – 750 baht), such as Silom Soi Sala Daeng, Supanniga Eating Room, EAT, Lai Rod, Krua Apsorn and Soei. And for the fine-dining (above 750 Baht) options, you may visit Lord Jim’s Jae Fai, Smooth Curry, Suan Bua, and Le Salon De L’Atelier De Joël Robuchon
Source :Asia One Travel
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