How To Spend 24 Hours In Bangkok
Remember the movie The Hangover? The one where those five guys go to Vegas and end up having a wild time not remembering a single thing the next day. Great movie, very funny. Did anyone make it to seeing the sequel? The same five guys, same story but THIS time the movie was set in Bangkok, Thailand.
Bangkok was put on the map for me after that movie. I always pictured it as a “hustle n’ bustle” kinda place. The streets filled with people, crazy nightlife and insect skewers just daring to be tried.
Fast forward a few years, and I had one whole day in Bangkok. Here’s how to make the most of your crazy 24-hours. Before we begin, please know that waiting for a cab in Bangkok takes a veerrry long time. So, charge your phone and stock up on some podcasts.
In Toronto, we call hot dog stands on the sidewalks, ‘street-meat’. If you’ve ever had street-meat, you know it’s delicious. Thailand’s version is street-meat is Pad Thai, and it is most likely one of the best meals you will ever eat! It’s dirt cheap and cooked fresh on a grill in Pad Thai stand. It is served in a paper container with chop sticks, and is an absolute must while in Bangkok.
First off, a little pre-planning goes a long way. Start the stay right by booking a hostel beforehand. There are tons of hostels all around Bangkok for very cheap prices, but I recommend choosing one that’s close Khao San Road to be central to all the fun and excitement. Spend the day walking through Khao San Road. It’s a small area that is lined with open stores filled with Thai scarves, beautiful art and other goodies!
Stop by the many outdoor spas for a quick Thai massage that is also no more than US$10. If you are feeling daring, grab a cricket or cockroach skewer. If you are feeling extremely daring, head over to the many tattoo parlours for a lasting memory!
When the sun sets is when the party begins. There is something going on at each corner so, begin the night by finding a local band playing on the street, grab a seat and a bucket and enjoy the music.
Before we move on, let me explain what a bucket is in Thailand. Essentially, it is a large bucket (like the one you bring to the beach to make sandcastles). With an abundance of options, you can choose any alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverage. It usually comes with multiple straws to share with friends! Word of caution: watch your drinks at all times.
After the bands calms down, head over to a bar or club for a dance party. The Club, is anything but ordinary, it’s enticing neon signs lure tourists and locals into an underground party haven. The DJ goes until 3am, the drinks are cheap, and the dress code is non existent.
The Brick Bar is also known as one of the best on Khao San Road. It is filled with a ton of locals, pop-style music and a great atmosphere. Please note: dancing and singing on tables is highly encouraged. And if all that is not your idea of fun, the road is filled with young travelers willing to start their own dance party right there in the streets.
Finally, finish off the morning immersing yourself in the Thai culture (and repenting for all of last night’s sins) by visiting some of the world’s most beautiful temples. Get up early in order to make it to Wat Arun, which has been named one the best temples in the city. It rests on the Chao Phraya River and is filled with beautiful architecture. Try make it there just before dawn to catch the stunning glows the temple reflects from the morning sun.
If you’re tight for time (or just couldn’t wake up in time) head over to Wat Chana Songkram temple. Simply a three minute walk from Khao San Road and boasting free admission, you’ll have the opportunity to at least see one small part of the Thai culture!
Be sure to dress appropriately before entering any temples. For the ladies, I recommend carrying a Thai scarf or pashmina with you that can you can use to cover your shoulders before entering!