Traveling to Bangkok

Although it’s developed a reputation as a place where just about anything can happen, Bangkok’s pollution, traffic and lack of tourist attractions frequently leaves tourists feeling underwhelmed.  In the traditional tourist sense, there isn’t much to do here, but those who live in Bangkok would beg to differ.  Here are some tips for places to travel if you’re there, based off of an article I found written by somebody who used to live there:

The Grand Palace: Thailand’s royal palace, built at the end of the 18th century, is filled with numerous temples, including one that houses the 15th-century Emerald Buddha statue.  Located nearby is Wat Pho, a massage school tBangkokhat features a larger-than-life gold reclining Buddha statue, as well as the incomparable Wat Arun Buddhist temple.

Chatuchack Weekend Market: If you’re looking to buy anything and everything, here is where you go.  It’s a huge market with gifts, knockoffs, traditional food and plenty of chances to barter.

Jim Thompson House: Jim Thompson was a former American spy and silk merchant, who built a traditionally Thai home in Bangkok decorated with traditional wood furniture.  Although he vanished mysteriously in Malaysia, his house is now a museum paying homage to traditional Thai architecture.  In addition, the proceeds from the museum go to helping underprivileged kids.

Terminal 21: While most malls don’t turn head, this is an airport-themed mall, where every floor features a different region of the world.  There’s free wi-fi, restaurants on every floor, a movie theater on the top floor and an exceptional food court.

Suk Soi 11: This downtown street is the expat hotspot of Bangkok, where you’ll find great bars such as Cheap Charlie’s, guesthouses like Suk 11, Indian food from the Moghul Room and even Tex-Mex at Charley Brown’s!

Chinatown: A great place to get delicious seafood at night.  The only drawback is that the area is flooded with people all jockeying for space on the tiny streets, so be prepared to push your way through.

Khao San Road: All travel paths seem to lead to and from this infamous tourist street.  Yet apart from being a transit hub, it’s also the epicenter of backpacker life, with no shortage of bars, shops, street food, international restaurants, vendors, locals and activity.