A Travel Guide to Bangkok, Thailand

Actually getting to Bangkok was one gigantic disaster. We started our journey with a delayed flight that forced a missed connection. We got rebooked on a different airline, but that flight was also delayed, causing us to yet again miss another connection. We got bumped on all our flights and found ourselves sitting on the floor at the Sea-Tac airport with nothing booked. At one point when the airline we were supposed to be flying on refused to help us out, Luke and I looked at each other at a loss for words. We are stuck at the airport with no flight to get on. We eventually sorted out logistics and with a total re-route, found ourselves headed in the right direction. We would arrive in Bangkok 24 hours behind schedule. We found two silver linings though! Our first silver lining was that we had a 7-hour layover in San Francisco and we were able to escape the airport to try a new brewery. We also ran into my sister who happened to be on a connecting flight there at the same time. What luck?! After San Francisco our second silver lining was a 12-hour layover in Seoul, South Korea. We had a few hours to explore a new-to-us city and try all the Korean street food.

When we arrived at Suvarnabhumi (BKK) and made our way to catch a taxi at Ground Transportation. You wait in a queue for a taxi and check in at a kiosk. When your number comes up, you walk to a parking spot with your corresponding number to catch your taxi. The cost was roughly 600 Thai Baht ($19 USD). There might have been a cheaper option into town, but it was late and we were exhausted after so many layovers. We wanted the easiest and most straight forward means of transportation.

By the time we ended up in Bangkok we had almost two full days to explore and that ended up being enough for us. I’m glad that we got to experience the city, it just wasn’t really our style in the end. Bangkok is a sprawling city filled with a lot of people and a lot of garbage and pollution. In a single word I would call Bangkok chaos. When we walked the streets of Chinatown I couldn’t believe my eyes… there was just so. much. stuff. Think any kind of trinket, knock-off item, toys, accessories, etc. You name it, it was there in excess. On the positive side, the temples were beyond beautiful, the food was incredible and the public water taxi was a fun experience.

We stayed at the Chillax Heritage Hotel and had a great experience. When we arrived on our first night we went walking in search of dinner and drinks. We found a lively street behind the hotel and enjoyed a few beers and dinner at a restaurant that offered outdoor seating (as we found most restaurants offer). We were also within walking distance of Khao San Road, which was such a fun street! If we had more time in the city I could see us having dinner and listening to live music there.

Scroll to the bottom of this post to see our recommended Bangkok itinerary!

 This photo is what happens when you leave your temple clothes at the hotel, haha!
The photos above are from our visit to Wat Pho. We didn’t realize that Wat Pho is not only one of the most popular sites to visit in Thailand, but also in the world! After our visit it was no surprise, the temple is mind-blowing.
Another “borrowed” outfit because the temples clothes are still at the hotel…
The above photos are from our visit to Wat Arun. Of the temples we had on our list to visit, Wat Arun was the one I was most excited about. We actually caught our first glimpse of the temple from across the water at The Deck by Arun Residence (the papaya salad pictured above is from there, so good!). We ate lunch on their deck and had the most beautiful temple view.
Bangkok at night from Above Eleven.
Having a hotel with a pool was key! After hours of sweating through our clothes it was nice to be able to take a mid-day break and go for a swim!

Our recommended itinerary for two days in Bangkok:

Day 1
Pick a few temples to explore (Wat Pho and Wat Arun – the Grand Palace was on our list too, but we didn’t end up making it there)
Lunch and local beers at The Deck by Arun Residence
Spend the day “getting lost” by hopping off and on the public water taxi on the Chao Phyara River (make sure to hop on the orange flag boats)
Explore Soi Rambutti for street food and local beers
Day 2
Breakfast at The Coffee Club (multiple locations across Thailand)
Thai Massages at Darin Spa
Ride the Sky Train (we got off at the “Asok” stop and walked around that area for hours checking out local restaurants and bars)
Drinks at the Above Eleven rooftop bar
A few places we had on our list but just didn’t have enough time to get to: The SixthChatuchak Weekend Market (we didn’t get a chance to visit the market as we were in Bangkok during the week)
Also check out this 3-day guide to Bangkok, it’s full of so much good information!

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