Bangkok is a busy, busy city! It is a massive gateway into the wonders of Asia with its multitude of international flight connections. It will likely be your first stop in Southeast Asia before heading elsewhere. Just because it is a big city doesn’t mean it is lacking in charm and culture. Bangkok is an insane mix of Buddhist temples, vibrant modern nightlife and royal palaces. There is MUCH to do here! If you are strategic about it, Bangkok won’t feel as overwhelming. We accomplished quite a lot during our two days in Bangkok. Here are a few highlights! Warning…lots of temples are in your future.
Wat Po is now of Bangkok’s oldest and largest temples, famous for its 141-foot reclining Buddha. The Buddha is so large, one can barely capture it in a frame. Each Buddha position means something different. Reclining Buddha is a special position, as it means it is his final resting position before entering the afterlife.
Wat Phra Kaew, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, is located within The Grand Palace. This is a former royal residence but is now solely used for ceremonial occasions. The Emerald Buddha is a small Buddha that sits high above visitors. You will see both tourists and worshippers alike at the temple.
Perhaps my favorite on the list of Bangkok temples was Wat Arun, the Temple of the Dawn. This temple contains statues of the Buddha at the most important stages of his life. You will climb up a few steep stairs and walk around the temple. The patterns and colors are magnificent. At some point, look up. The Temple seems as if it reaches all the way to the sky.
While it might be hard to believe at this point, there IS much more to do in Bangkok aside from temple sightseeing. Damnoen Saduak is the largest floating market in Thailand. It is 140-year old architecture and vendors somehow maintain their way of life along the canal. The most fun way to get to the floating market is by long tail boat. Along the way, you’ll witness unique architecture, remnants from the flood of 2011, flora and fauna, local people and more. You might even see a giant monitor lizards the size of alligators.
At the end of the day, make your way to one of Bangkok’s rooftop bars. There are many throughout the city and the views are incredibly worth it! You won’t even believe the view is real. You have to make yourself get over jet lag somehow!
Ready to start planning your trip to Southeast Asia? Let’s get to work!