Whether you’re a foodie, a culture junkie or a party animal, Bangkok is a city that offers something for everyone. Fortunately, there’s no rule that says you have to pigeonhole yourself into one of those categories, so why not pack it all in? Twenty-four hours is more than enough time to experience some of Bangkok’s highlights, so make the most of your time hitting up key tourist sites, temples and food markets, then round it all off with a Singha beer tower for a day to remember and a night to forget.
Repent in advance
One thing there is no shortage of in Bangkok are temples, and while it’s usually better to do first and ask forgiveness later, that’s hard to do with a hangover, so when it comes to Bangkok, start with the temples and end with the party.
In terms of location with the most to see within the smallest space, start at the Grand Palace. Here, you have a nice mix of temples, royal buildings, historical monuments and endless people watching. Dress conservatively or bring something you can cover up with, and then decide which buildings look most interesting.
Entry to the Grand Palace is 500 THB (approx. 14 USD) but keep in mind there are additional entry fees to gain access to certain buildings within. The exteriors of the buildings are magnificent on their own, but your ticket does include Vimanmek Palace and Abhisek Dusit Throne Hall, though entry to Wat Phra Kaew – the temple of the Emerald Buddha – is extra.
After getting a sufficient number of photos at The Royal Palace, head over to Wat Pho, an incredible Buddhist temple complex. With an entrance fee of 100 THB (approx. 3 USD), you’ll get to visit one of Bangkok’s biggest attractions, the reclining Buddha. At 46m long and 15m high, this is a Buddha you couldn’t miss if you tried. Be sure to drop a spare coin in one of the bronze bowls on your way out, it reputedly brings good fortune, and Buddha knows, you’ll need it with what you have planned come sun down. Exhausted? Make a side stop at Wat Pho’s Thai Massage School.
Line your stomach
Now that you’ve checked the cultural sites off your list, you’re probably starving. Food options are in abundance in Bangkok, and if you’re a foodie, you’ve probably already enjoyed some street side nibblings, but there’s nothing quite like the offerings of Bangkok’s Chinatown. Take it as you want, but if you’re experimental in terms of what you put in your mouth, Bangkok has no shortage of choice. Now, remove your mind from the gutter and head to Yaowarat Road.
For street food, there’s no better place than Yaowarat Road, the main street of Bangkok’s Chinatown. Here, the street is filled with smells of all sorts of deliciousness, so no matter what you’re in the mood for, you’re sure to be satisfied. Don’t confuse street food with a dine and dash – in Chinatown, street food is meant to be enjoyed, not rushed, so sit down at a table, scope out a menu and order what tickles your fancy. If that happens to be seafood, Snapper (cooked with eyes and all), garlic crab and rice chased with a Singha beer go down a treat.
Digest on a Tuk Tuk ride
No visit to Bangkok is complete without a ride in a tuk tuk, and with a full stomach, you need time to digest, so flag down a ride. Tuk tuk rides are a great way to see Bangkok on the move. You’re heading in the direction of somewhere you need to be, but you’re getting there in style and exposed to the elements – so no smells or sights are missed. Plus, you never know what pointers your driver might have!
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Party like a rock star
If the Hangover Two movie wasn’t enough proof that Bangkok is a place to party, head to Khao San Road to see for yourself.
Here, be vigilant, as opportunists know that the intoxicated make for easy targets, but also feel reassured in the comfort of a street filled with Thailand’s young backpacker crowd.
Khao San Road offers everything you could want in the way of partying, from dancing to beer towers of local brews such as Chang and Singha. It’s a one-stop shop to quench your thirst, party like a rock star and maybe even pick up a few new friends.
Set your alarm
After a day of adventuring and a night on the town, make sure you’ve got a back up alarm set so you’re ready and able to wake up in time for whatever is in store for you the morning after – especially if it involves a flight or train out of town! While Bangkok has far more to offer than the likes of Wat Pho, The Grand Palace, Chinatown and Khao San, these sites allow you to experience the highlights, and what is more, can be packed into one fun filled adventure of a day.
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