Hah. Just kidding. But you totally want to sing the song now, don’t you? I actually spent three nights in Bangkok. And I loved it! I mean, I’ve been to Bangkok before, but I was in my early 20s and I was with my parents so I didn’t get to really experience the craziness. Because this city is crazy. Crazy huge, crazy crowded, crazy with traffic. I don’t think I could live in Bangkok — the traffic would seriously make me want to die and public transport isn’t the greatest — but visiting is fun. It’s chaotic, but fun.
My hotel, the Lit Bangkok, was a centrally located oasis of modern, fabulously designed calm. I really loved it here and would gladly return. I loved the hotel bed — excellent mattress and excellent linens — and the marble bathroom and the lovely linen bathrobe and the staff in the bar and restaurant and the spa. Did I mention the spa? The spa was amazing. After a long day of walking, I had a one hour foot massage — lying down — and it did me a treat. I felt like a brand new person afterwards. (The spa is also deliciously beautiful.) The hotel is located a two minute walk (but a very long staircase) away from the National Stadium Skytrain stop, making it convenient for most things. In fact, if there’s one lesson I learned during my time in Bangkok, don’t sit in a taxi in traffic. Just have the taxi take you to the nearest Skytrain or subway stop and go from there. Visit the Lit Bangkok website.
Here are my main recommendations for Bangkok…
Top Floor of the Paragon Department Store: I have always loved fabrics — pashminas, wraps, sarongs, blankets, scarves…you get the picture. I read online that the top floor of Paragon was the place to go for Thai silks and cottons and all sorts of handcrafts. I had to be dragged out of the store, so enthralled was I with everything Thai and handmade. I picked up a ton of sarongs for all my gal pals as gifts. Beautiful and inexpensive to boot. Highly recommended. Note that you’re looking for something called Paragon Passage on the 4th floor. Visit their website.
Bangkok Rice Barge Afternoon Tour: This tour was crazy but it was still a highlight of my trip. They dumped six of us into a traditional Thai long boat and then we headed out into the main river, where we jostled for position with barges and ferries and all sorts of maritime vehicles. I come from a big family of boaters and we take boating pretty seriously, so the fact that we were not provided with life jackets while we were zipping around so many other boats and barges sort of bothered me. (The boat pictured is the type of boat we were on.) Specifically, there didn’t seem to be any rules on the river about right of way or port-to-port passing, which was a little crazy. Maybe the lack of life jackets wouldn’t have bothered me if I had felt safe, but I did not feel safe! Living on the edge, I tell you. After about 45 minutes of this, we pulled into a quiet canal where we were transferred to spacious rice barge and treated to an amazing selection of fruits and nuts as we put-putted at a much more leisurely pace around the rivers and canals of Bangkok. This was a much calmer experience and I felt a lot safer and my heart rate returned to normal. I still think you should do this tour! But just bring a PFD! View this tour on Viator.
Expique Bangkok Night Lights Tour: More crazy fun. Definitely a huge highlight of my trip. We piled into a bunch of tuk-tuks and zipped all around Bangkok…at NIGHT. I didn’t get home til midnight. We had Wat Po all to ourselves, which was amazing. Also, a visit to the flower market. Lots of very tasty snacks throughout. Visit their website.
Village of Love Food Tour: Delicious with great stops — this lady making fresh fishcakes was a definite highlight — but this tour was problematic because there were three children under three and they just should not have been on a 4 hour walking tour of Bangkok. Firstly, Bangkok is not great for baby strollers/prams. Secondly, kids have to go to the bathroom a lot. Thirdly, kids just shouldn’t be on a four hour walking tour. (Just to be clear.) We spent a lot of time standing around, waiting for everyone. I was extremely distracted frustrated by the time this tour ended and escaped as quickly as I could. Our tour guide was very nice though. Visit their website.
Not enough time, for all that I wanted to do. Not enough delicious Thai food. So if you go, spend more than three nights in town. So much good stuff. Must go back. Must!