March 3, 2015

Thai Memoirs : Feeling The Vibe Of Bangkok

The next 3 days we explored the metropolitan areas of the Bangkok city itself. The first day we explored the areas of the Royal palace and its surroundings and the next 2 days was exclusively dedicated for exploring the various markets. Since I was expected to do atleast some work these 3 days, we were able to explore the city only post lunch time, which believe me can get quite exhausting too :). 

Siam Square
The first day we had short-listed the Grand Palace, Wat Pho and Wat Arun as the places to be covered. There was a shuttle provided from our hotel till Mo Chit , from where we can get a sky train/metro into the heart of Bangkok. From Mo Chit station we took a train to Siam square, home to various shopping malls and pretty much the heart of the Bangkok city. From here we took a Tuk-Tuk to the Grand palace which costed us 150 baht. Tuk-tuk is the thai version of Indian autos, but with more powerful engines and obviously more fun :).  We reached the entrance gate exactly at 3.30 pm and as mentioned in the previous blog, 3.30 pm is the time of the last entry for the day. Hence we were able to enter the palace in the nick of time.

The entrance fee for the Grand palace is a steep 500 Baht/person and surprisingly this is applicable only for the foreigners Entry for the local residents being free of cost. Obviously we were a bit pissed with this entrance fee since even in India the entrance fee disparity for foreign vs local visitor would be of the ratio 2 to 10 times and not close to infinity as in this case. Hence this infinite value had a huge contribution in pissing us off :P.


But since we had come all the way to visit this place, we paid the fee and by then got to know the special dress code applicable here wherein shorts and sleeveless tops are forbidden, which believe me is a tough thing to come to terms with, considering the very liberal society Thailand has come to be associated with. If you want to experience their liberal outlook just go to some of their beaches or market or rather any other public place as a matter of fact. The entire tour of the palace takes around an hour or two if done in a leisure pace. Once inside one would be bombarded with everything made of gold. Golden palaces, golden statues, golden stupas, golden thrones and everything golden one can think of. This palace is kinda new considering that it was built just a couple of centuries back, but it was quite impressive. There was a huge crowd visiting this place even though it was a normal weekday, so one can assume what it would be like on a weekend or a holiday.

One more advice for those travelling to Bangkok is to get a city map, which helps to move around, since very few people would be able to help you (in terms of language communication) to move from place to place in the cheapest possible manner. We planned our tours around Bangkok in such a way as to get down at the nearest metro station and from there either walk or take a local transport depending on the distance.

A monk meditating
From the grand palace we walked to the next attraction which was Wat Pho, which had the biggest Buddha statue we came across, in a Vishnu pose and quite imposing. Entrance fee is 100 Baht /person and in comparison to the grand palace, is less crowded even though it has its own share of golden buildings and other structures, therefore it is much more peaceful and serene. This is also the place where buddhist monks get trained. We spent quite some time in here at a leisure pace since  this place is open till 6.30 in the evening.

Leaning Buddha Of Wat Pho
The third and the final attraction for the day was the Wat Arun temple or the temple of the dawn across the Chao Phraya river. One has to take a ferry from the barge near to the entrance of the Wat Pho temple to cross the river which costs 5 Baht.  Visit to this place has to be planned around the sunset time in order to witness the majestic views of this building against the backdrop of the Chao Phraya river and the setting sun. Fortunately or unfortunately we entered the premise at exactly 5.58pm and the lady said that they would close in just 2 mins. But surprisingly she let us go without even collecting the entrance fees. Talk about strong ethics :).

Steep Stairs to Wat Arun
Wat Arun
We raced towards the top of the magnificent structure to get the views of surroundings. After the place was closed down we lingered near the banks of the river to view this structure all lit up against the night sky which was real pretty. From here we retraced our steps back to the Siam square by taking a tuk-tuk. Siam square was buzzing with activity. Explored a bit of the huge malls in this area and then returned back for the day.

The next 2 days we explored the markets of Bangkok , primarily the cloth/apparel/accessories markets which can make ladies go crazy :). Day one, we went to the Platinum Fashion mall which is walk-able distance from Ratchathewi and Ratchaprapop metro stations. There are floors and floors of clothes and accessories. Prices are reasonable but not dirt cheap. This place closes down completely by 7pm. From there we went to the night market near the Indra regent hotel. This market which is literally on the streets starts only at around 6.30 pm and goes on till midnight and the prices here are much cheaper than anywhere else. Also one can find some Indian restaurants in its vicinity if one is already homesick :).

Siam Square At Night

Indra Regent Night Market
The final day of sightseeing in Bangkok we decided to visit the Chatuchak weekend market which is considered to be biggest one of its kind in the world. This is walkable distance from the Moh Chit metro station. But since we went on a friday the shops were still getting setup and not the entire market was up and running. Spent some time in here roaming around the bylanes of the market and then when we were tired, we just chilled out in the park just opposite to the market where one can hand feed a huge group of "fearless thai" pigeons :P. In the evening we caught an Air Asia flight to Krabi from the Don Mueang Airport hence ending our sightseeing of Bangkok for the trip.

Chatuchak Weekend Market
Overall I found the vibe of the city to be very interesting. A haven for shopoholics and foodies(especially non-veggie kind :), veggies will have a hard time, so go prepared. ) , a regional hub of Buddhism and a  must visit place for architecture lovers. And it being just a 4 hrs flight from Bangalore, this is a place not to be missed. No wonder Thailand is the 10th most visited nation in the world.


  1. reminded me of my multiple Bangkok visits... thanks for sharing :-)

    Cheers, Archana -


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...