Bangkok

The capital of Thailand is famous for its amazing shopping, ornate shrines and street food!

We all have at least one friend who has been to Bangkok, one of the top destinations in the world for shopping, eating, exploring and experiencing new sights, smells and sounds! With glitzy shopping malls right next to humble stalls selling papaya salad, Bangkok is a city of contrasts that any traveller would find amazing.

After booking your flight, it’s time to choose your accommodation! Choose from high end hotels located in central Bangkok, close to amenities, malls and other attractions or if you’re travelling on a budget, there are also many eclectic boutique hotels that are a fraction of the price.

Splurge: Courtyard by Marriott Bangkok

For travellers who prefer somewhere cushy to rest after a long day of exploring, Courtyard by Marriott Bangkok is the perfect casual yet luxurious stay while visiting the city.

Located just 600 metres away from the Ratchadamri BTS Skytrain station, this wonderful hotel is also not far (15-minute walk) away from big shopping malls such as Siam Paragon, Platinum Fashion Mall and also Central World! It’s also a 20-minute walk away from Neon Night Market which is a great place to shop for affordable souvenirs, clothes and try Thai street food!

For more information and bookings, check their website: www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/bkkcy-courtyard-bangkok.

Save & Stay: 41 Suite Bangkok

This little hotel is located a little away from the main road but is only five minutes away from Phrom Phong BTS Skytrain station. The amenities are basic but the rooms are clean and there’s coffee and tea available throughout the day. It is also a 25-minute walk away from Sukhumvit MRT station.

For extra information and bookings, check their website: www.41suitebangkok.com.

Shopaholics paradise

For those who can’t pass up a good bargain, Chatuchak Weekend Market is the number one not to be missed destination in Bangkok. Accessible via the Mo Chit BTS Skytrain station, get there early to avoid the midday heat!

If you’re taking the MRT, take it to Kamphaeng Phet station, go through exit number 3 and you’ll arrive at Or Tor Kor Market located right opposite Chatuchak Weekend Market! Or Tor Kor Market is the best especially for those who love fresh produce and is the best place to find exotic fruits, vegetables and food. This is also a great place to grab a meal to fuel up before and after exhausting your wallet at Chatuchak. Do take note that Chatuchak Weekend Market is only open on Friday (6 pm to midnight), Saturday and Sunday (9 am to 6 pm).

To escape the heat, there are, of course, the many shopping malls in Bangkok to choose from. Fashionistas looking for trendy items that aren’t too expensive should head to Platinum Fashion Mall which is joined to other large shopping malls via a walkway. Walk to Central World, Novotel Bangkok Platinum Pratunam, to Big C (wonderful snack finds) and get home or go to your next destination via Chit Lom or Siam BTS Skytrain stations!

Breathtaking shrines

For travellers who are spiritual or those who are curious, while shopping along Ratchadamri Road, you would notice Erawan Shrine, one of the most well-known shrines in Bangkok. Also known as the ‘four face shrine’, it is located in one of the busiest intersections in the city. If you linger long enough, you may be able to catch the traditional Thai dancers who are hired as an offering by worshippers to give thanks for answered prayers.

Ganesha Shrine is popular with business people as Ganesha is the god of success. It is located near Chit Lom BTS Skytrain station with the large golden elephant sitting right outside the Central World shopping mall. Those who are unlucky in love should go adjacent to Trimurti Shrine which is also known as Bangkok Lover’s Shrine.

Food at every corner

We’re not kidding when we say that there’s food everywhere. Other than restaurants, there are plenty of street food finds in Bangkok. However, it might be a little bit hard to find certain stalls as they are mobile and sometimes, the authorities may ask them to move away. Thus, it’s best to check out one of the night markets in Bangkok! Ratchada Train Market is one such place. Take the MRT to the Thailand Cultural Centre station then follow the signs or even the crowd to the market.

Sweets are a must have in Bangkok and this includes Thai iced tea (chayen), mango sticky rice (khao neow mamuang ), coconut ice cream, banana roti (similar to roti canai but made with sweet ingredients like banana, chocolate sauce and condensed milk) and luk chup (colourful dessert made of mung bean, coconut milk, and sugar).

Fans of seafood rejoice as Bangkok has amazingly affordable and fantastically fresh seafood served humbly! If you’re a fan of seafood and feel like you could do well at a buffet, check out Mungkorn Seafoods, open from 4 pm to 2 am! Take a cab with your travel buddies and gear up for the feast of a lifetime. There’s fresh prawn, fish, crabs, clams, cockles and fried rice, mango sticky rice and more on offer here, all free-flow including soft drinks. All you need to do is pay 499 baht (around RM 70) and eat to your heart’s desire!

Box: Address: 1394 Pracha Songkhro Rd, Din Daeng, Bangkok 10400, Thailand

If you’re still on a seafood kick, take the BTS Skytrain to Ekkamai station and walk no more than 20 minutes to jog your appetite. When you arrive at Nhong Rim Klong, make sure to order up a dish of crab omelette! There are other dishes available too especially if you have a seafood allergy. The queue can get quite long during noon so we suggest going during non-peak hours.

Box: Address: 30 Ekkamai 21 Alley, Khlong Tan Nuea, Bangkok 10110, Thailand

Another gem not to be missed in Ekkamai is Wattana Panich which serves up some hearty beef tendon soup that’s rumoured to have been bubbling since the 70s – that’s 40 years of beefy flavour! If the weather is too hot for soup, order up a plate of fried flat rice noodles with pork slices, egg and plenty of bean sprouts for a refreshing mouthfeel. Super yum!

Box: Address: 336 338 Ekkamai Rd, Khlong Tan Nuea, Watthana, Bangkok 10110, Thailand