After spending about two weeks in Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao, described in last post, me & Louise finished our vacation with 5 full days in Bangkok. We had picked a nice hotel in the area Sukhumvit. We felt like spoiling ourself with a good hotel and doing so in Bangkok is really affordable. The side streets (Sois) in Sukhumvit were rather narrow, green and cozy, like above 🙂 In Sukhumvit there are plenty of eateries & entertainment but most of the sights are in other parts of the city. Luckily the Skytrain was never far away.
We did visit the “must see” temples to see some gold & Buddhas. But what I enjoyed the most was the open air markets and the roof top bars. Thank´s to blogger Mitziemee we got some advice that helped us along the way 🙂
We did visit the popular Chat tu Chat market one day but the most interesting market for us was the night market Rot Fai. It was a bit out of the center but once there we were really rewarded. I think we only saw 15-20 other tourist in the whole evening. Rot Fai is a very local happening and the majority of the crowd are young and hip. Rot Fai is as much about eating and the pub scene as for shopping. The area is enormous and one section was entirely focused on vintages stores, mostly American themes. However that specific area was empty and a bit spooky when we were there.
There is a part in Bangkok which used to be called the “Venice of Asia”. It is possible to take a boat ride on the so called Khlongs (canals) and watch how people are living on the water. Most houses looked like they would fall apart anytime but there were some better areas too. It was an interesting thing to do but nothing I would prioritize if short of time.
We spent one entire day to visit both the Grand Palace area and also the close by Wat Pho. Grand Palace was extremely busy and a bit stressful. If I knew what I know now I would have skipped it and only done the Wat Pho. The first four pictures below are from Grand Palace and the other once from the Wat Pho. With other words, you see gold and Buddha in both places but wat Pho is so much more relaxed. And it is also famous for the “must see” Reclining Buddha, the huge one that is lying down. He was so big that I could not get all toes in one picture 😉
When I was younger I always stayed in the notorious area Khao San Road. Since I was very curious of the development there, we ended up going one evening. What I noticed was how the whole area had expanded. It is not only about Khao San Road anymore but the whole district is very tourist focused. There are many streets with bars and restaurants and a massage is never far away, whether you prefer to have a foot massage just beside the bar or in a more sophisticated clinic. We did not stay late enough for the party to start but what we did notice was how all places wanted to outdo each other when it came to playing as loud music as possible. Finally I would like to say that the area is very cozy and it is nice to stroll around and have something to eat and drink in this part of the city.
Even though we were not particular into shopping in Bangkok we decided to visit some malls around Siam Square one day. The most famous one for tourists is the MBK. We really did not like it and tried to get out as quick as possible after looking around for a little while. A lot what is sold are the same things that tourists will come across anywhere in Thailand. And the ambience was not very friendly.
We liked the food section in Paragon the most. I think we spent two hours there 😉 They had an enormous cake section and it all looked delicious. I found my favorite pastries from Portugal called Pastel de Natas. They had everything for sale including a huge section of strawberry cakes 😛 For lunch we had hamburger. And later the same day we had sushi in another food court.
Finally I want to cover my favorite section which was the Sky bars! On advice from Sanne, alias Mitziemee, we took a drink at Red Sky during their happy hours (two for one). Red Sky is close to Siam Square and good to combine with shopping. The views were not the most fantastic even though situated on the 55th floor but the design of the restaurant and the color changing arch is impressive.
Another advice from Sanne was to visit Above Eleven, situated in Sukhumvit where we were staying. The place was trendy and partyish and situated in a nice area on the 32nd floor. Being on that level gives another feel since one is closer to the buildings surrounding. The night when we went it was Latino night so I even ended up dancing some Salsa 😀 We enjoyed the vibe and the views a lot and their Peruvian/Japanese fusion menu was very tasty.
If I only could have visited one sky bar out of the three we went to, it would for sure have been Moon Bar. Moon Bar, and adjacent restaurant Vertigo, are situated on the 61th floor. But it is more than the hight, the views were absolutely amazing from Moon Bar and the bar is as “al fresco” as it can be with views in any direction. One thing which is worth mentioning is that it is bloody expensive to have a drink at a roof top bar in Bangkok. But we saw it as a kind of “entrance” to the views. Moon bar took the price but seeing below views made it all worth 😉
We had some nice days in Bangkok but I am far away from “In Love” and not so eager to return. I enjoyed to get a glimpse of the versatility of the city. From the Khlongs to the touristy Khao San road. And glittery Grand Palace and Wat Pho to the local young and hip Rot Fai. And also to see the upscale parts of Bangkok in Paragon food court and at the Sky bars. But the city did not stole my heart.