Thailand: its thousand-year-old temples, dream beaches , dense jungle and … its sprawling capital! Your first contact with the country of the smile will surely be Bangkok: bubbling, surprising and cosmopolitan metropolis that deserves to venture there, if only for 48 hours.
Here we go for an introduction to colorful Thailand: get ready for a whirlwind of unexpected flavors, a multitude of surprising street scenes and, most importantly, an intense cultural shock in a city where the word contrasts makes perfect sense. !
Day 1: Temples, massages and panoramic views
Start the day early with a visit to the impressive Grand Palais Royal ( Wat Phra Kaew in Thai) which houses, among other wonders, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. You enter here in one of the most important sacred places of the country where most of the royal ceremonies take place. We insist: go early, opening at 8:30 preferably, to avoid the crowd and heat at the same time.
From there, walk to Wat Pho Temple where the statue of the reclining Buddha, more than 40 meters long, rests. You will see here more Buddha images than in any other temple in the city (there are no less than 1,000 in total)!
Also note that this is where the traditional Thai massage was born : we recommend you to take a well deserved break at the massage school located within the temple grounds. Unbeatable value for money!
Finish this first day in height by going for a drink on the panoramic terrace of the hotel Lebua . The best way to get there from the center? Embark on the Chao Phraya Express Boat (from Tha Tien Wharf to Oriental Wharf), an opportunity to see the city away from relentless traffic. The trip will cost between 8 and 12 baht depending on the distance.
Day 2: Shopping, architecture and street food
If you are here on a weekend, do not miss a trip to the Chatuchak market (open on Saturdays and Sundays from 9am to 6pm) in the north of the city. It is the largest market in Asia and there are no less than 200 000 visitors swarming around 15 000 stands every weekend: a city in the city! Clothing, antiques, books, fruits and vegetables and even amulets, you will find absolutely everything on site.
If you are in Bangkok during the week, you can make the most of your shopping spree at one of its many shopping malls, be it at the MBK for low prices or at Pantip Plazza for your purchases of electronic devices.
When shopping is over, return to the center for a tour of the home of Jim Thompson , an American businessman and adventurer whose former home now a museum is worth a look for its typical architecture.
And to finish this discovery of Bangkok in beauty, we advise you to make a hook by Khao San Road : THE neighborhood of backpackers. Stands for crafts, jewelry, massages and food will be waiting for you. You do not know what to taste? Review our article on the best of Thai street food !
What do you think of this route? Feel free to share your opinion in a comment!