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The most popular sights and more!
Thailand is full of beautiful temples, with some of the most documented in Bangkok. We visited the Wat Arun and the Wat Pho whilst in Bangkok as we filled a lot of our time with street food searching! There’s also some more ‘authentic’ Thai experiences for you to try out too as temple hopping can get a bit old, especially with the masses of tourists in Bangkok (the main reason we skipped out on a lot of sightseeing here)! The post will share info on visiting the 2 most popular temples and 2 other experiences for you to do.
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Also read: Luxury Guide to Bangkok
Where to Stay
Mind Day Hostel – Super clean, comfortable beds and A/C in dorms. Each bed has a lamp, plug and a curtain for privacy. All rooms have AC. Showers are hot, the hostel provides a towel and there’s a communal hair dryer. The service is very good and breakfast is included (the usual tea/ coffee, toast, egg & banana). You can leave your bags here if you check-in early/ on check-out day. There’s lovely communal areas on the second floor and roof. Superb location, right by the hustle and bustle of Khaosan Road. Only downsides are the building is on lots of floors, meaning lots of stairs. After 10pm you have to be silent in communal areas (not so fun when you’re meeting people). That said, the pros outweigh the cons as it’s one of the cleanest hostels we’ve stayed in and super cheap compared to the rest of the hostels we looked at in Bangkok. £5/night for a bed in a 12-bed mixed dorm – also private rooms available for ~£17. Click here to book.
Bodega Khao San Party Hostel – This place does very bad things, to very good people. It’s a place full of regret. But my LORD is it fun!! The selling point for us was it is was brand new, had a pool and was super cheap. You can expect a hangover here; there’s a lot of drinking games, happy hours and shotgunning beers every half an hour. It was definitely an experiences! We were well looked after, but we wouldn’t recommend staying here for long (your liver will thank you when you leave). It’s the perfect place to meet backpackers and have a really good time. It’s connected to Khaosan Road (although very quiet in the dorm rooms!) and is really modern and surprisingly very clean considering the antics that go on. Bodegas are all over Thailand, and if you’re after a party, it’s definitely your place. Click here to book.
The Temple of Dawn is the most famous temple in Thailand’s capital. Made up of colourfully decorated spires, and stands majestically over the water. It’s located on the west (Thonburi) bank of the Chao Phraya river, so you take a shuttle ferry over. You simply rock up at the ferry point and hop on. We’d definitely recommend going a little before 8am as crowds get MANIC! We visited at ~11:30am and it was packed out with tourists, although still breathtaking. Although it’s known as the Temple of the Dawn, it’s absolutely stunning at sunset, particularly when lit up at night (but very very busy). There’s lots of restaurants around the dock and also rooftop bars offering up superb sunset views (Eagles Nest, Amorosa Bar, The Deck), although the bars are a little pricey for budget backpackers. The boat costs ~80THB and entrance is 100THB per person.
We first saw the Wat Pho on Somebody Feed Phil on Netflix and were blown away already! Home to the 15 meter tall, 46 meter long Reclining Buddha, the highlight of most people’s visit. The Buddha’s feet are 5 metres long and decorated in 108 mother-of-pearl illustrations of auspicious laksanas (characteristics) of the Buddha, referring to the 108 positive actions and symbols that helped lead Buddha to perfection. If you’re after some good luck, you can purchase small coins at the entrance & drop them into the 108 bronze bowls lining the walls. All money goes towards helping the monks renovate and preserve Wat Pho. Besides the main event, you should wander the beautiful grounds, admiring the astonishing architecture.
The grounds open at 8am, and the building housesing the Reclining Buddha opens at 8.30am. We’d recommend arriving at 8am! You get the grounds to yourself, with groups of guided tours arriving at about 8.20am. Explore the grounds before the Reclining Buddha (they want to save the best bit til last) which means you’ll have the Reclining Buddha to yourself for a brief moment too! Entry is 100THB per person, and closes at 6.30pm.
This is a more local experience, and free! The Flower Market houses mountains of flowers and attached is also a produce market. It’s not only a great photography opportunity, but also a great way to get a feel for everyday life in Thailand! A mundane trip to the market for locals was definitely an experiences for us as we don’t have this kind of place in the UK. It also smells AMAZING in the flower section.
Long Tail Boat Tour
This was a spontaneous trip for us, that we came across during our visit to the Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market. There was lots of people flogging long-tail boat tickets which we ignored at first, but then saw the dock and were convinced by the brightly coloured boats. It costs 100THB per person for a 2ish hour boat tour which includes exploring the tiny canals and traditional wooden teak houses, 20 min stop at Taling Chan Weekend Floating Market where we had boat Pad Thai and a 20 min stop at an orchid farm. It was a lovely experience, our guide was fantastic and the group we took the tour with were lovely too. A very spontaneous trip and definitely a worth while one! Click here to see more about the food at the Khlong Lat Mayom Market.
We barely scratched the surface with our Bangkok sightseeing, but what we saw was incredible. We filled a lot of our time with street food and also a treat in a posh hotel, so some well deserved pool time. If you don’t mind masses of tourist then you could definitely fill your days with more sightseeing, but for us this was enough, especially as we weren’t in Bangkok for long! Check out our Bangkok street food guide, and our luxury guide to Bangkok for more on this beautiful city!