No matter how many times I get to visit Bangkok, there’s always something new to discover whether it’s finding a new local street stand or water gun fights during Songkran. Bangkok is filled with things to do/see/eat and has an endless number of affordable luxury hotels for the perfect weekend getaway. I have been to Bangkok about 3-4 times in the past 3.5 years living in Hong Kong. Bangkok is the gateway to the Southeast Asian World and is normally scheduled as a stopover for a few days, however, you could easily spend a week or two without looking at the same thing twice (I have yet to visit the Golden Temple actually). To ease your search for sites and restaurants while visiting the city for a short period, I put together a list of my favorite things in Bangkok. ENJOY!
HOTEL | During one of my trips to Bangkok, I stayed at the Park Hyatt Bangkok and it was probably the best hotel experience of my life. It wins in all areas from their food, the humungous room, views, infinity pool, and their service. I remember getting out of the cab and they somehow knew my name (I only told them my arrival time so maybe that’s how they knew?). For breakfast, we decided to order a la carte and the pancakes & congee we ordered were simple but effortlessly delicious. The presentation was also the best I’ve seen. We went to the Songkran festival during this trip in which we spent most of the morning lounging by the infinity pool. The water was perfectly heated with a brilliant view of the city centre. We ordered caramel macchitos by the pool and hung out for hours. It was definitely the perfect relaxing space after a day of shooting water guns at Khao San Road for their water festival.
(Park Hyatt Bangkok Rooftop Pool)
On another trip to Bangkok, I stayed at So Sofitel Bangkok. It wasn’t quite as spectacular as Park Hyatt for various reasons. The pool and Jacuzzi was so cold that we didn’t go in at all. The rooms were nice but I think the theme rooms came off a little tacky. We stayed at the “Earth” room so everything was painted a deep blue color. We also experienced something freaky - someone tried to open our front door at 3:30AM which woke me up. I thought it was someone drunk and forgot their room, but they tried to also open the shared connecting door. I don’t think we’ll be going back to this hotel any time soon.
FOOD | During my birthday trip this year, my boyfriend took me to Gaggans. It was the best meal of my life – 25 courses of delicious Indian and Japanese dishes. The menu was all in emoji which exemplifies the witty and imaginative culinary flare in each dish. Make sure to book 2 months in advance on their website.
If you’re interested in cooking and learning about Thai cuisine, I recommend you book cooking classes through Flight Centre, a leading global travel agency. There are so many tours and fun activities on their site that will keep you entertained and thrilled during your visits to any city all around the world. Through their site, I found a lovely cooking class package at Baipai Thai Cooking Class. We made four dishes and got to eat all of them after. Highly recommend booking a cooking class if you’re in Bangkok.
(Baipai Cooking class)
Street Foods are usually my favorite finds in any of my travel. Take a cab to Chinatown and roam around the allies for some cheap eats. You can also venture to boat noodle alley, which is a staple Thai dish.
ACTIVITIES | The typical Bangkok trip would comprise of a visit to the Golden Temple, day trip to the floating markets, and visiting lots of similar looking temples. If you would like to do something different, I would recommend going to a muay thai or western boxing gym. During my last holiday, I discovered Lion's Head Boxing Academy and it was 2500 Baht for a one hour PT with my boyfriend. The trainers were super talented, professional, and motivating. I highly recommend booking a PT with the assistant coach or the head coach on your next trip to BKK.
(Lion's head Gym)
If you have a few days to spend in Bangkok, hire a car and driver from Klook and venture to Khao Yai for one night to escape the city. There are so many fun activities in Khao Yai National Park which includes wine tour at a winery, speed cart racing, visiting farms and feeding animals, and chocolate factory. We stayed at Thames Valley which looks just like England! Highly recommend a trip there if you have a day or two extra during your BKK trip.
(Khao Yai National Park)
Another fun activity is the Water Gun festival during Songkran (April). Envision having two super soakers while walking down Khao San Road shooting everyone and no one being mad at you for it. If you walk down any street during this weekend, you’ll probably be hosed down or shot at by a water gun. It was an incredible experience - I definitely want to go back again!
Here’s a quick summary for Bangkok: HOTEL Park Hyatt So Sofital
FOOD Gaggans Street Food – China town or Boat Noodle Alley Cooking Class at BaiPai Thai Cooking Class
TOUR BOOKING SITE Travel Flight Centre
ACTIVITIES Lion Heart Gym – Boxing Songkran Festival Khao Yai