Bangkok in a Day
By: Talk Bangkok
It is not uncommon for weary travelers to only have a single day while they await their connecting flight or for locals to dedicate day out of their schedule to reconnect with the landmarks that define their city. Bangkok is an enormous, sprawling metropolis and the thought of getting the whole experience in a single day may seem daunting. In truth, there is enough to do in the city to occupy anyone's time for days. While certainly not comprehensive it is possible to get a taste of the sights, culture and excitement that make Bangkok such a vibrant city in a single day. To fit everything in, it is recommended to start the day early, around 8 or 9 am.

Wat Saket:

Wat Saket is known more commonly to foreigners as the Golden Mount. It is ideal to start the day here for a couple reasons. Firstly, the morning hours will help alleviate the impending Bangkok heat and Wat Saket is mostly an outdoor temple. Embark upon the lengthy ascent and feel free to respectably ring the bells for good fortune on the way up. Inside the temple it is possible to view the Buddha statue, but the main attraction is the chedi on the roof. The large golden mound is often circled three times in a clockwise fashion for prayer. Despite being only four stories high, Wat Saket offers an ideal view of Old Town as most all of the building are old shop houses. Get a lay of the land, see if you can spot the Grand Palace and gaze upon the banks of the Chao Phraya river.

Wat Phra Kaew and the Grand Palace:

Make your way across Old Town until you see the large, looming white walls of the Grand Palace. The main entrance is on the northern wall. It is important to dress appropriately in order to enter the temple, which means women have their shoulders covered and everyone is wearing bottoms that go down to their feet. It is possible to rent clothes if you are not properly attired. Inside offers a chance to see on of the most lavish building in Southeast Asia. Complete with ornate rooftops and gilded statues, the Grand Palace displays Thailand's beauty and power. Wat Phra Kaew is the main attraction once inside. The temple holds the famous Emerald Buddha and is one of the holiest places in Thailand to show respect to Buddha.

Wat Arun:

After finishing at the Grand Palace, travel south on Maha Rat Road. The tree-lined street will offer a bit of relief from the Bangkok heat for the 600 meter trek. On the right side of the road will be a small park, which is ideal for gazing across the Chao Phraya river to Wat Arun, the Temple of Dawn. The temple itself is beautiful and complimented well when the reflection can be seen in the water below. If you want a closer look, continue down the road and turn right on Thai Wang Road where you can pay a small fee to be ferried across to the temple. Up close, the temple is ornamented with brightly painted reliefs. From the top of pyramidal temple, another peaceful view of the Chao Phraya and Old Town can be observed.

Wat Pho:

If crossing the river was unappealing then turn left at Thai Wang Road, or if coming back to the eastern bank of the river continue straight through the Thai Wang Road and Maha Rat Road intersection. Wat Pho will soon be on the right side of the street. The temple is home to one of the largest reclining Buddhas in Asia and one of the most popular sites in Thailand. Don't forget to check out the Buddha's feet, which recount all of his past lives.

Jim Thompson House:

Hop a taxi down to the Jim Thompson near Siam Square. The house itself is set at the very end of Soi Kasem San 2 off of Rama I Road. It is a stunning example of a traditional Thai teakwood house. Owned by the American businessman Jim Thompson, visitors can expect to learn a lot about traditional Thai culture in the guided tour and also learn about Mr. Thompson's life and the silk trade in Thailand.

Markets:

If its not too late in the day, the BTS is nearby making it convenient to head north to the Mo Chit station. Here tourists can visit Chatuchak market, the world's largest open air market. If it is not the weekend, it will not be open. Instead, Siam Square offers more than enough shopping for anyone including mega malls selling designer clothing all the way to small shops pushing handmade or locally made bags, clothes and accessories. At night, a street market is set up offering late night browsing.

 


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Recent Articles
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