Thailand’s capital was the first stop of our Southeast Asia trip. As we had only one night there we tried to make the most of it and I believe we did pretty well.
Two days in Bangkok are enough if you’re also planning to visit other places in Thailand. Temples, street food, etc. are similar everywhere. If Bangkok is the only place you visit you should stay a few more days to get a proper experience.
Stay in Khao San Road
I recommend staying in the Khao San Road which is also referred to as the backpacker road. There are loads of hostels and you can get street food on every corner. Prices for food, accommodation, etc. are lower than in other areas of Bangkok. Plus, this area seems to be more traditional than the modern part of the city. Our hostel was right next to a lot of bars, shops and restaurants. At night there’s a street food market where you can buy local dishes for less than 1€. A lot of bars offer happy hour on drinks from 11:00 to 17:00 where you can buy cocktails for 2-3€.
We stayed in the hostel “The Mixx” which costs 3€ per night including free water and coffee. The hostel was perfectly located. It’s a great place for backpackers looking for basic accommodation.
Try the street food
Trying the street food in Bangkok is a must. For about 1€ you can get a delicious Pad Thai, Fried Rice and many more traditional dishes. As we were a group of 4 we usually got something to share so we could try different dishes.
My personal dessert highlights were mango sticky rice and coconut ice cream. Coconut ice cream is ice cream made of coconut milk. If you like coconut you’ll love this ice cream. Then mango sticky rice is simply mango and rice but you pour a bit of coconut milk over the rice which gives it a sweet note. I’d love to get these two back at home!
Experience the nightlife
The area around Khao San Road offers great nightlife. The bars are busy, there’s life music and the atmosphere is amazing. So make sure you spend an evening there.
Skybar is the bar that got famous thanks to the Hangover movie. It was used for the scene where the guy jumps from a building. It’s a hotel but you can visit the bar for drinks. The view from the 64th floor is stunning but the drinks are extremely expensive.
Visit a ping pong show
In a ping pong show women wearing little or nothing do performances on stage. After contemplating if we even wanted to see this we decided to give it a try as we thought it should be part of the Bangkok experience.
We went to the Patpong Market in the evening as we had read that this would be the best place for ping pong shows. But we were quite disappointed: The bars in this area are overpriced and serve bad drinks, there’s a market full of fake products and pushy guys follow you around to get you into a bar. Even though we didn’t like the place we still wanted to experience a ping pong show. All the ping pong bars and the people trying to get you inside are quite shady. It was dark inside and all of the bars were half empty. The performances of the women on stage are impressive and disgusting at the same time. A ping pong show is one of those things that you experience once but don’t need to see a second time.
- Many bars try to scam you into paying more. Agree on the price when you enter and pay right away. Let them agree that you don’t have to pay more than this.
- Tips will be expected after every performance and the women get mad if you don’t tip them. Make sure you have some change and not only big bills.
- Don’t go alone. I wouldn’t feel comfortable and especially if you’re alone they might not let you go until you pay more.
Visit a temple
You should visit at least one temple when you’re in Bangkok. The most famous one is the Grand Temple which we avoided due to the tourist crowds we’d encounter there. Instead we visited the beautiful temple Wat Arun which is a little less visited. There are still a lot of tourists so I recommend going there early in the morning or late in the afternoon.
Last but not least: Ride a tuk-tuk
The tuk-tuk rides were the most fun part of our stay in Bangkok. Especially at night when the roads were empty and the drivers went as fast as 70 km/h.
Even though we only had 2 days in Bangkok it felt like we had experienced all the essentials. We also visited a floating market and the train market but I wouldn’t recommend those two as it felt more like a tourist scam and wasn’t worth it at all.
Have you ever been to Bangkok? How was your experience? I’d love to hear it in the comments!