To Do in Bangkok in One Day

by - September 06, 2013

Workshop finished on Thursday, will be arrived in Bangkok same day very late night; and ahead to Jakarta on Saturday.  What would I do for the whole Friday then ?

It was a trip from Hanoi back in 2010 where I had a workshop together with office mates.  Instead of hours, the flight will transit for 1 (one) day and I didn't notice until 1-day before departure. It was too late to change the itinerary (damn !).  

There are 2 alternatives go to Hanoi from Jakarta.  If we take Singapore Airlines then we will transit in Singapore.  And we'll stop over in Bangkok if we fly with Thai Air.  There were no direct flight from Jakarta to Hanoi.  What I meant by strange is we had to stay over night on our way back home because the carrier arrived in Bangkok late mid night and continue to Jakarta the day after.  Unlikely from Jakarta to Hanoi, it was only transit for a couple of hours (about 2 to 3 hours if not mistaken) at Bangkok before continue to Hanoi in the same day.

Knew it would be almost midnight arrived in Bangkok on the way to Jakarta, I reserved a hotel near Suvarnabhumi International Airport.  Back then, I wasn't quite happy about the fact that had to stay one more day on the way back home; not only because I already left home for more than a week (home sick syndrome attack !) but I can imagine it was soo unpractical for carrying bag in & out the hotel in a day, check-in again, boarding again while you can do it earlier.  On top of that, the day I transit in Bangkok was coincided with Eid Adha.  It was my first experience being away during religion festive !  Well face it, that it's the unpleasant thing (if I may say) about traveling; itinerary sometimes not "friendly" as you expected.  Who says, travelling is fun ?  Err, let me refresh;   big time, travel is always fun!

Keep think positive, there always a good thing
So, instead of complaining about extending 1-more-day, I decided to amuse my self by having a city tour.  Yup, A City Tour !  It was last minute decision crossed my mind when I enjoyed undelicious Phoa Hoa noodle while waiting for a boarding time in Hanoi International Airport.  However, when else I could do the travel while still on business trip.  It was really "mix business with pleasure" situation, yippy!

Next morning, after had nice hotel breakfast, I walked to concierge counter asking information about a city tour.  Funny thing; I've visited Bangkok few times but all were for business trip (read: working).  Under such circumstances, I barely have much time for sight seeing during the day.   Happy hour always begins after office hour, which means night sight seeing only.  Well people, you know what you get during the dark. Nothing but night life.  And let me remind you; it is BANGKOK where famous for its night-adult-life! 

Get to know your destination 
After reading brochures got from the hotel's tourist information counter, I decided that the must seen place for 1-day city tour is Royal Palace.  Another place I'd like to visit is temple with great Budha statue but I had no idea which temple I should go.

I was ready to go just by myself when my office mate said they decided to join.  Hei, unexpectedly I had a partners !  It turns out to be a good thing because we can share the taxi fare. Anyhow, the more the merrier, right ?

We also found out that the hotel provides a city tour package including car but it cost us A LOT !  Rather than using it, we chose regular taxi that is queued in front of hotel's lobby.  It turned out good decision as we rent it with lump sum payment; for the whole day with route Suvarnabhumi - Chao Praya area - MBK. Not only get good (err...cheaper) taxi fare, the driver also offered himself as our tour guide.  After divide into three [me & my other two mates], it costed us around Rp 150,00/person -after converted- .  Superb !  

It took almost an hour from Novotel Suvarnabhumi Hotel to Grand Palace which has been the official residence of the Kings of Siam since 1782.  Not only because the Palace locates in the heart of city, but also the traffic was not so much differ than Jakarta; narrow and packed with vehicles.  What make it worse was the weather was hotter than Jakarta.  Really sweaty, beib !

I wasn't sure how much tourists are visiting this royal palace but seeing from the crowds I think this is one of the must seen place in South East Asia. You could see people everywhere. There are no spot without no people. Everywhere you turn your head, there'll people around you.  I had no picture with framed just myself !  Sigghhh.

The complex was huge with numbers of buildings inside.  Wanna know more about the palace ?  Read here ^_^

Buddha statue & Monks
Based on conversation with our tour guide who also the taxi driver, he recommended Wat Arun Temple as our next stop.  This temple locates in West side of Chao Praya river.  As the palace is in East side, we need to cross that Bangkok's major river.  

With 50 Baht, we started to explore the area of temple including climb the temple.  Unlike Buddhist temple I've visited in Indonesia, the design is different.  It's straight up to the sky and very steep.  I was little bit scary when looked down.  The space between stairs is high enough.  But I made to the top as it is not as high of Borobudur, anyhow.  The view from the top we could see the King Palace on the other side of the river.  Many boats cruised along the river, taking tourists for river touring.

After Wat Arun, the driver also took us to other temple unfortunately I forgot the name.  Again, we see another huge gold Budda statue. It's very obvious how they worship Sidharta Ghautama.  They have Buddha statue made from jade placed in one of temple in the Garden Palace.  And many more from gold scattered around the country. That's why monks has special place in the society.  They are highly respected by the people, after the King Rama IX.  

Shopping Time !
After had original Thai food for lunch in one of restaurant near Chao Praya River, we said good bye to our friendly taxi driver who dropped us to Mahboonkrong -known as MBK- Shopping Centre, as final destination.  We will use different taxi back to hotel.  

As 8th floor building, MBK claims as the biggest shopping centre in Bangkok. They sell everything here with very competitive price compare to luxurious Siam Discovery or Siam Paragon.  Each floors dedicates for a certain items; jewellery in 2nd floor, electronics gadget at 4th floor.  As for me, I went straight up to the 6th where I could buy souvenirs a.k.a. oleh-oleh.  If you are a good bargainer, most likely you will get good stuff with a good price too ! As for me, the place more the less remind me of Pasar Mangga Dua in Jakarta.

If you happens to be on trip not for leisure, sooo limited time but on the other hand you are curious about the place you are visiting, then  City Tour is the correct way to explore the place.  Like I did; half 3/4 day sight seeing, end up with shopping plus enjoying the famous Thai's massage for relaxing my exhausted feet from the (almost) non-stop walking.

What a perfect business trip !

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  1. Keinginan ke Bangkok makin berlipat setelah membaca postingan ini :)

    1. Amiinnn, semoga cepat terlaksana dan ditunggu postingan hasil pantauannya mak Juli ^_^


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