3 Days To Fall In Love With Bangkok

Walking by the pool, Bangkok
Walking by the pool, Bangkok

I’d heard plenty of opinions about Bangkok before we visited. “There’s nothing to do”,”It’s full of prostitutes and pingpong shows”, “There’s protests everywhere”, “It’s the best city in the world”. We decided to stay in Bangkok for the last few days of our belated honeymoon trip to Burma and Thailand back in December. I thought we would enjoy it, but I wasn’t expecting to fall completely in love with the city in just a few days! Honestly, I didn’t really know what to expect from Bangkok other than a nice hotel and a bit of market shopping. I found a city that was cosmopolitan, stylish, happy and very liveable. I am now seriously wondering why I didn’t look for a job in Bangkok instead of Beijing… 🙂 I know this post is kind of weird timing  but I wanted to take the time to reflect on why I loved visiting Bangkok and definitely want to return.

How to fall in Love with Bangkok in three days

Day one-  Weekend Market, Soi Ari and Fancy Cocktails

Thai Tea in the maket
Thai Tea in the maket
Coffee in the market
Coffee in the market

We arrived on a Saturday evening and did little but eat amazing veggie Thai food and take in the atmosphere of the city. On our first full day (Sunday) we were up early and off to the weekend market (Chatuchak Market)! Wow- how I wish we had this market in Beijing! If you have been to Chatuchak then you will understand why! If you haven’t been, just know it stocks everything! Cute (and very cheap) clothes, awesome home ware and accessories, foodfoodfood, even pets! We spent hours walking around and could easily have stayed longer!

After shopping ourselves out we headed over to the Soi Ari area to eat more amazing food and chill out with a coffee. I can’t deny we are alway interested in looking for cool areas with nice cafes and restaurants. We definitely found it in Soi Ari. We liked the area so, after popping back to our hotel on the sky train and changing into the new clothes bought at the market, we found ourselves back at Soi Ari eating amazing international food and sipping fancy cocktails at Fat Bird! I want to go back there!


Day Two- Temples and VIP Cinema Trips

After our hipster, international night out, we woke up late and thought we’d better experience a temple or two! Of course, we had to stop for some pad thai first so we only made it to one templeWat Pho. I’m not always the biggest fan of the large, touristy temples but I did really like this one. It was huge with so many different areas and I liked that there were people from all over the world visiting. The only thing I did not like was the famous reclining Buddha! Honestly, it was just too packed in there and it made for an uncomfortable experience.  We nearly didn’t bother going in but thought we should as it’s a ‘must see’. I wish we hadn’t bothered. I was forced to put on a stinky robe to cover up my legs (even though I was wearing knee length shorts. I noticed no men had to cover up their calves) and I was jostled and pushed and told that there were pickpockets lurking everywhere. Great! It kind of spoiled the temple visit  for me so I seriously recommend you skip it if it’s really crowded. I’m sure it’s lovely on quieter days.



After heading down to the river and a brief stop by Khao San road (no real need to visit there in my opinion) we decided we felt like seeing some Christmas lights and watching a film. We had randomly bumped into two of my colleagues in the metro station and they told us about the Bangkok Airways VIP cinema at the Paragon Mall. They said it was definitely a worthwhile experience. And they were right. We splashed out on the VIP cinema experience and got to enjoy a special lounge, free massages, drinks and popcorn delivered to our huge reclining seats and pillows and blankets. Another notable Thai cinema moment was standing for the national anthem. I remember doing this in the UK at the theatre when I was really young, but that practise stopped long ago. Not in Thailand where the King is extremely important. If you’re not on a tight budget, I would really recommend the luxury Thai cinema experience at least once! Also, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty was a pretty good  travel film and definitely ignited (even) more wanderlust in me. Greenland and Iceland in the summer anyone?

Christmas time in Bangkok
Christmas time in Bangkok

Day Three- Parks and Massages

We couldn’t leave Thailand without getting an awesome Thai massage. Everyone needs to have their legs walked on by a tiny Thai woman at least once. We had more amazing pad thai and then walked down to Lumpini park. Was that a dragon slithering through the grass? The photos don’t do justice to the size of the huge lizards roaming around the park. It was a lovely end to our stay in Bangkok. We flew back to Beijing that evening and definitely hope to return some day.



The Secret to Loving Bangkok?

Road in Bangkok

I’d heard a few people say they didn’t really care much for Bangkok. I think part of the reason we loved it so much was because we didn’t try to do a lot of touristy things. We did things we would do if we were actually living there– eat great food (both local and international), visit markets, parks and cinemas, drink tea and coffee and explore fun neighbourhoods!  We also stayed in a cool, boutique hotel in a more residential area (It’s called Tenface if you fancy trying it). They offer a tuktuk service but we really enjoyed walking through the streets whilst picking out which apartment block we would live in! I could seriously see myself living in Bangkok. I don’t know if it would really be a viable option for us, but I certainly have a new city love and want to return one day!

Bonus Points

Did I not mention the weather? Sun and warmth- perfect.

Boots! Not the kind you wear on your feet but the British pharmacy/beauty store. I was able to stock up on beauty products from home, some of which were cheaper than the UK!

Not so good things

Honestly, the seedy side didn’t bother me because we rarely saw it up close. Other than one night when we purposely walked around looking for ladyboys, old white men dating young Thai girls and seeing how many offers for pingpong shows we could get, I didn’t feel like the underbelly of Bangkok really encroached on me. And besides, whilst I am obviously concerned about human trafficking that might happen in Bangkok, other peoples choices on how they run their sex lives, who they date or how they make their money don’t bother me! Each to their own! For me, the worst part of Bangkok was seeing child beggars. That was sad, especially when they had clearly been planted by adults (one boy strategically had his hair tied back and wore no shirt, to show off scars on his face and body). I never give money to child beggars as I don’t believe it helps. In 3 days there wasn’t much I could do about any of this but I would definitely consider how I could have a positive impact if I was ever to return for longer period of time.


What do you think of Bangkok? Which city have you fallen in love with in just a few days? 


22 thoughts on “3 Days To Fall In Love With Bangkok

  1. Bangkok was the first international city I visited, so I will always think of it with rose coloured glasses…

    Wow, your experiences look a lot flashier than my own, but I certainly loved it (I did develop a strong love of the banana rotis with condensed milk. At 10 baht, a real steal)!

    Wat Pho was fine for us, and we certainly never heard of, nor saw any pickpockets…

    The only sour sights for me, were all tourist related (I shan’t recant them here)

    1. haha yes, it was a stop on our honeymoon (that we had about 6-7 months after the wedding!) so we were splashing out for sure on this trip! Well, Bangkok is a pretty great place for your first international city trip! I definitely want to go back.

  2. Loved reading about your experience in Bangkok, as I’ve never been minus a stop at the airport. I agree that the best way to experience a city is to actually live like a local. Love that VIP cinema, definitely something I’d try! Now I want to go there so badly!!
    ps- hope you do come to Tokyo!!!! exciting!

    1. Thanks Vivian! The VIP cinema was great- I wish they had one like that in Beijing. I’ll let you know when we sort out the plans for Japan woohoo! 🙂

  3. I loved Bangkok too! It’s such a big city so I understand that most tourists are overwhelmed at the idea of trying to navigate their way outside of the tourists areas. But actually the Sky Train is so easy to use, and it’s such an affordable way to get around the city. Despite what people think, Bangkok has SO MUCH to offer. Haha, isn’t it hilarious that you have to stand during the national anthem at the beginning of movies? It such a random cultural thing!

    1. Yes I loved standing up for the national anthem haha. It’s sweet that they still do that 🙂 The sky train is great and, you’re right, Bangkok really does have such a lot to offer. I think it does anyway 🙂

  4. I LOVE Bangkok! I wouldn’t say it’s my favorite city in Asia because that would be hands down Hong Kong but it’s such a great city when you just live it, like you said try not to do too many touristy things because then it gets a bit crazy but simply enjoy being in Bangkok, enjoy the food, drinks, atmosphere, shopping etc. This city has such a great energy! Great Post! Hope you like living in Beijing… if you ever want a weekend away you should come visit Xiamen… quite a little Chinese pearl 😉

    1. We broke up on Friday! I love the holidays!! 🙂 We moved house at the weekend and packing to start our trip tomorrow! Just a few days for you to go now..nearly there! This year has gone fast!

  5. I agree with you about the underbelly being pretty hidden unless you go looking for it. I didn’t mind it and even went to a ping pong show out of curiosity (wish I could un-see that lol) But bangkok was clean and everyone was so nice!

    1. I would totally go to see a ping pong show out of curiosity too! Maybe next time. Even with all the ‘gross’ warnings I’m still totally curious enough to see. Yeh everyone is so friendly in Bangkok and Thailand! Much more than in Beijng!

  6. I’m going to Bangkok in September for three days, and can’t wait! Thanks for these tips. I’m going to try and not get too distracted by the delicious food and drinks everywhere–sounds like you could spend three days just eating and drinking!

    1. haha- yep there is a lot to eat and drink there 🙂 Don’t worry, I think you can fit it in as well as sightseeing! I hope you have an amazing time in Bangkok and look forward to hearing about it.

  7. Somehow I missed this post! Loved Bangkok, and I’m so glad you did too! I like that you did some things like you might if you lived there – I never thought about that way, but I think it’s key to really trying to get to know a city.

  8. Bangkok smells amazing and I love how hectic this city is! You are so right – having some pad thai and fancy cocktails will make you fall in love with the city immediately <3!

  9. I loved Bangkok, was only there last month! Once you get away from the all the hustle and bustle it really is an awesome city!
    And I would have to say after spending just 3 days there in 2011, Budapest is still calling me to come back every time I go to book my next holiday, just has a great vibe!

  10. I loved Bangkok, was only there last month! Once you get away from the all the hustle and bustle it really is an awesome city!
    And I would have to say after spending just 3 days there in 2011, Budapest is still calling me to come back every time I go to book my next holiday, just has a great vibe!

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