Bangkok is a bit like Marmite, you either love it or you hate it. Here at dealchecker we’re big fans. But whichever camp you’re in, it’s hard to deny that Bangkok is incredibly memorable. It is a city which inundates the senses of its visitors – wherever you turn there is a myriad of smells and colours from the street food stalls selling satay chicken and other treats, to the perfumed air-conditioned five-star hotels. All of this teeming life makes for an incredibly good photo, so we’ve rounded up the spots which are most likely to increase the likes on your Instagram page or take pride of place on your mantelpiece.
The Grand Palace
The Grand Palace is perhaps Bangkok’s most famous building, and it’s not hard to see why once you’ve breached the gates. The entry fee is 500 Baht (around £11) but is worth it for the explosion of colour and tilework that awaits. This series of incredible buildings was constructed in 1782 before becoming home to the Thai royal family. It’s hard to know where to look when there is so much to see, but some of the highlights include the (albeit rather small) emerald Buddha in the Wat Phra Kaew temple and the intricate roofs of the Palace itself.
Jim Thompson House
The story of Jim Thompson is intriguing enough to draw in a visitor but once you’re there, it’s hard not to be taken in by the dark wooden frame of the house, and the historic Asian artworks that abound here. As well as having a gorgeous house, there are manicured gardens with koi carp, turtle-filled ponds and plant pots that double up as fish tanks. There are plenty of photo opportunities here!
Jim Thompson’s is the story of an American spy turned famed silk businessmen who utilised the traditional techniques of the Thai people to create this gorgeous home. His legacy is all the more famous for the fact that in 1967, shortly after his 61st birthday, he took a trip to the Cameroon Highlands in Malaysia only to foray into the jungle alone one morning and never return. There are a number of conspiracies about what may have happened to him, many of which are detailed during the guided tours of the house.
The City’s Food Stalls
Bangkok is synonymous with street food, and no trip there would be complete without sampling some edible treats from a nearby stall. There is an awful lot to choose from, but we have a few suggestions to help out the discerning foodie. We can recommend chicken satay from Chinatown, deliciously refreshing som tam salad from the Sukhumvit district and fish curries from the Old Town. We know it’s hard but try to resist immediate temptation and take a few photos of your food before chowing down on it – you’ll thank us when the Instagram likes start rolling in!
When it comes to rooftop bars, Bangkok is truly spoilt for choice. Here at dealchecker, we can vouch for the views from the Sky Bar at the Lebua Hotel. After featuring in the Hangover Part II, tourists have been flocking to this bar on the 63rd floor to try and grab that picture-perfect sunset shot. With 360-degree views, it’s much easier than usual to capture! Elsewhere, the Park Society Bar at the Sofitel overlooks the lush greenery of the Lumpini Park whilst Three Sixty at the Millennium Hilton Bangkok offers jazz music with astounding views.
The Wat Pho temple complex is just a ten-minute walk from the Grand Palace, meaning that you can gorge yourself on intricate tilework and detailed statues all in one day. Perhaps the most famous resident here is a 46-metre-long gold Buddha who casually reclines on one side. Entrance costs 100 baht (just over £2), so you needn’t feel guilty if you just want to dash inside to get a good photo of his serene face.
Those looking to relax on their holiday might enjoy the chance to have a Thai massage in such famous surroundings. There are a number of massages on offer within the temple and one that lasts an hour will set you back just over a bargainous £11!
Wat Saket and the Golden Mount
The temple of Wat Saket sits atop a purpose-built manmade hillside. Interestingly, the golden top was added later on to try and prevent the corrosion of the hill. You can climb up the 300 steps that wind inside the chedi to reach the top of the temple where panoramic views await. The Golden Mount is at its most photogenic during the festival of Loy Krathong during which it is draped in red fabric and becomes home to a number of attractions for families to enjoy – there are fairground rides, bright lanterns which are released into the sky and coloured flags adorning the walkways.
The floating markets that sit on Bangkok’s edges are some of its most popular attractions. Thousands of tourists come to get a glimpse of the many boats where flowers, snacks, sweets and souvenirs are sold. The markets are busy and bustle with people, creating photo opportunities that iare not only unique but very true to Thailand.
Bangkok’s most famous floating markets are actually about an hour’s drive outside of the city and whilst Amphawa and Damnoen Saduak market are the biggest, they are also the most crowded. Taling Chan is a mere 12km outside of the city and is less crowded for those who are looking to get away from the hubbub of the city for an few hours.