We spent two nights in Bangkok, so we had one full day to explore the city. Despite having very low expectations of the city, we actually really enjoyed our time here! Here are the details of our time in Bangkok.
The first challenge of our stay in Bangkok was answering the question – where should we stay? Bangkok is a huge city with many diverse neighborhoods, making it very difficult to choose one. We decided to stay in the Silom area and really enjoyed it.
We stayed at Baan Glang Soi for $34/night and highly recommend it. It has a fantastic location: right next to the skytrain (MRT), riverboats, street food, and in a quiet neighborhood that doesn’t feel touristy. The rooms are very spacious and clean; as Travelfish says, this hotel provides really great value.
Check availability here.
Khao San Road is the main backpacker area. We bar hopped and enjoyed some beers while people watching, which was very entertaining. We ate street food there, too: Pad Thai for 30 baht (less than $1).
In the Silom area, we ate at our hotel’s restaurant (Baan Glang Soi) and thought it was alright. I freaked out when I found baby prawns in my chicken pad thai, so needless to say, Pete finished my dish.
For lunch, we went to a nearby restaurant that came highly rated on Trip Advisor: Nalin Kitchen and really enjoyed it.
Since Bangkok is an absolutely massive city, there’s so much to do and see. Here’s what we did:
We took the Chao Praya tourist boat (the blue boat) from Sathorn (central) pier, right by our hotel, to the Grand Palace.
It was super easy and a very enjoyable ride.
We planned to explore the Grand Palace and then walk to Wat Pho, where we’d explore and eventually get back on the boat home. Our plans were quickly interrupted, however, by the opening hours of these attractions. Turns out the Grand Palace closes at 3:30 (or so they told us), and Wat Pho would be closed before we got there. Feeling a bit deflated, but not defeated, we decided to check out…
Khao San Road
It was a fairly quick walk from the Grand Palace to Khao San Road. This road has earned a reputation as the quintessential backpacker road, so we had to see what it was all about. Turns out, it’s a touristy street with a lot of smelly bars & over-priced shops – pretty much what we expected. As I mentioned above, we enjoyed people watching over beers, and then some street food, before going to the next wild destination.
Okay, so this probably won’t be on most people’s radar as “must-dos for one day in Bangkok.” Despite that, we had an absolute blast at this tiny karaoke bar in a Japanese area of Silom, walking-distance from our hotel. It’s called Woodball. When we walked in, we thought we were interrupting a small family party. We spent the night mingling with local Japanese folks and singing our hearts out (gaining confidence as more whiskey was consumed).
Tip: If you do find yourself at Woodball, keep in mind they charge a fee (80 baht, I believe) for the towels & snacks they serve you.
This was another option we considered as an alternative to the Grand Palace and Wat Pho. You could rent paddle boats and go around the lake here, which would be a great, less-touristy option. If I’m ever in Bangkok again, I’ll do this!
Have you spent any time in Bangkok? What did you think?