I can’t stop humming ‘one night in Bangkok and the world’s your oyster…’ as I write this. But if that’s your prize for one night, what would an itinerary for four nights in Bangkok get you? Well, let’s see…
Stay in the Silom District
Before we visited it ourselves, we heard countless people complaining that Bangkok is too noisy, too busy, too hectic to stay longer than one night. Those people were not just silly but also staying in the wrong place. Khao San Road is a famous backpacker area, full of guest houses, bars and market stalls. It’s where the majority of young travellers stay, but it wasn’t for us. We stayed long enough to have one drink and then took a (ridiculously overpriced) taxi back to Silom and our hotel of choice, the Dusit Thani.
Now, remember this was our honeymoon and we could never have dreamed of staying somewhere like this for any other occasion. It was beautiful. Our room was huge, complete with the biggest bed I’ve ever seen and a bathroom you could shower in and wave to your roommate through the glass window (not sure that’s a good thing when I think about it).
You’ll come to learn about my breakfast obsession, and this one catered to me perfectly. There was absolutely everything on offer – breads, pastries, hot food, cold meats and cheeses, Thai food, juices, yoghurts… I could go on. And it was all yummy! The only thing I was missing from the hotel was more ‘Thainess’. I didn’t feel like I was in Thailand until I stepped outside, but it was a definite home from home.
Eat Delicious Food at Cabbages & Condoms
It’s almost impossible to eat badly in Bangkok. The food is always so fresh and tasty, but I’m probably biased as it’s my absolute favourite cuisine! Our favourite restaurant was ‘Cabbages and Condoms‘ and yes, it is as bizarre as it sounds. Designed to raise funds and awareness of family planning, it’s full of mannequins dressed in condom outfits and many other safe sex references. They even give you condoms instead of mints at the end of your meal.
Hidden down a little side street in Sukhumvit, it’s a wonderful haven where you can eat and drink in the beautiful courtyard (complete with condom lanterns, of course). And the food is just wonderful. I had a Thai green curry with coconut rice – I’m salivating just thinking about it – with a prawn appetiser and delicious Jasmine tea. Even better – there is a branch of it in the UK! If you ever find yourself near Bicester, please go.
Bangkok Street Food Tour
Having done it in Mexico and now Thailand, a street food tour is quickly becoming one of my holiday traditions. It’s a great way of seeing the City whilst trying foods you’d be too scared to order on your own. We chose the Bangkok Best Eats Midnight Tour where we ate mango rice, pad thai and various noodle dishes. Yum yum yum.
During the tour, you’re whisked around on a tuk-tuk (all paid for in advance) to the various street food stops, but they’ll also include a bit of sightseeing to Wat Pho and the Bangkok flower market by night. The tour finishes off at a bar with the most wonderful view of Wat Arun before the tuk-tuk drops you back to your hotel. Best. tour. ever!
Drink Cocktails at the Sofitel
As a honeymoon gift from one of my colleagues, he had organised for me and Tim to visit the rooftop bar at the Sofitel on our first night. After finding our way up the 7 storeys, we were treated to the most wonderful view across Bangkok with glasses of bubbly and nibbles. We stayed there for hours, soaking up the atmosphere and making our way through the extensive cocktail list.
A special mention must also go to the outdoor bar at the Dusit Thani. On our last night, we took a table next to the huge waterfall-style fountain and made friends with the fish in the pond. I would definitely recommend the Thai style cocktail, Mekhong flavoured with lemongrass and chilli. I promise it’s fantastic!
Ayutthaya is so worth the coach ride to get there. It’s the second ancient capital of Siam and has all the history to go with it. It’s now in ruin thanks to the Burmese invasion in the 1700s when the army beheaded nearly all of the Buddhas in the area. One of the Buddha heads became entwined in the tree’s roots, leading it to become one of Ayutthaya’s biggest sights – the aptly named ‘Budda head in the tree’.
You’ll definitely need a few hours to explore the site, so why not make a day of it and travel back via boat along the Chao Praya river?
With so much on offer, Bangkok quickly became one of my favourite cities in the world, and I can’t wait to go back. So after four nights, the world might not be my oyster but it’s definitely my Pad Thai.