When I am looking for a flight going to Myanmar, the only place I thought is Thailand. It is a backpacker’s dream to see this exotic place. Bangkok as the capital of Thailand is vibrant during the day but mostly at night. Since I will be staying in Bangkok for actually 2 days (squeezed!), I had to make the most of it.
But I was in Bangkok, there will be more people, more walks, more tiring feet. I have to compress my itinerary. When I arrived in Bangkok, I had half day only to get things done and be ready to see Myanmar.
I was thrilled to see Bangkok and riding BTS (Bangkok Train System) from the airport. It is a convenient way to see the city and my hostel. I was very happy to ride the train plus I can see the places in the most budget friendly way. My goal in this travel is to save as much as I can and probably I can do it if I will ride more public transpo. 🙂
Where did I stay? I booked and paid Glur Hotel in Booking.com. I was impressed with the reviews and I was very happy that I made the right choice. Glur Hotel is about 5 minutes from Saphan Taksin BTS and a boat station. There is a bazaar, food stations and a mall across the hotel. Buses are easy to access as well in this area. The staffs are very helpful. Mind that they can be too busy in some times as the hotel also have a restaurant on the ground floor.
The second floor is the reception and dining area for the travelers and tourists. The first room I had when I arrived is at the 4th floor and it was very comfy. The bathrooms and toilets are very neat. This is the same hotel I booked when I returned in Bangkok to board in Manila. To read the full review of my stay in Glur Hotel, read Best place to stay in Bangkok!
How did I get around? Bangkok is one of the craziest city in Asia. Locals and tourists flock everywhere. For me, the best way to see the city is via BTS and local buses. Since my hostel is very close in Saphan Taksin station, all my airport transpos are made here. When going to different attractions, I opted to ride buses. These are the green, red and orange buses.
Though it was really hard to understand how the numbers of buses connect to each other, it is very cheap! There are places that I paid for 3 baht only. You just need to get a good map or ask locals on how to get in every places.
Of course, a boat is must in Bangkok! To see Wat Arun and the Grand Palace or Wat Pho, the cheapest way is to cross the famous Chao Phraya river.
Easy transportation in Bangkok is I guess one of the reasons why its tourism is successful. The Railway Airport Train is connected to BTS making the transportation easier. Take note that airports in Bangkok both the Suvarnabhumi and Don Meung airports are an hour away.
Entry Day in Bangkok
When I arrived in Bangkok, my aim was to see at least 2-3 attractions. I was very positive to do that. But then, I was surprised by how the buses have these different numbers to take you in places. Most of the bus signs are in Thai language making it harder to understand. So, where I end up for a half day in Bangkok?
After transferring to 3 buses and riding a tuktuk since I was lost, I reached Wat Pho temple. The temple is considered as the first public university in Thailand teaching students to learn in religion, science and literature.
This complex has many temples and pagodas but is most famous for is the Reclining Buddha.It is 15 meter high and 43 meter long with his right arm supporting his head with tight curls.
After circling the massive reclining Buddha, tourists can offer alms as gifts for Wat Pho temple. There are more than 30 pots to drop your alms.
I wish to visit the Grand Palace across Wat Pho but it was closed by 4 PM. Dark clouds also wanted me to go home. Since I was tired and hungry, I just decided to go back to my hotel, enjoy my bed and get ready to see the main event – Myanmar.
To read my Myanmar adventure, follow Why Myanmar?
Exit Day in Bangkok
It was pretty lovely in Myanmar and I have to return in Bangkok. This is the last leg on my 2-week vacation and I need to count every minutes. I stayed at the same hotel so going back is easier. I spent full day in Bangkok and wanted to finish my initial plan to see the Grand Palace and other attractions. Here are the places I have been for a day in Bangkok:
Also known as The Temple of Dawn. A royal temple dedicated for the 2nd reign of Chakkri Dynasty. The most elegant pagoda and landmark of Thailand lays here. Wat Arun is located on the west bank of Chao Phraya River.
From my hostel, it will be a 5 minute walk to ride a boat. All I know is that my boat will stop on the west bank, but we stopped on east station. I felt that I was scammed by the boatmen. Anyways, I have to ride another boat to take me to Wat Arun. Compare to Wat Pho complex, Wat Arun is smaller.
A 30 minute sight-seeing will do. The tallest pagoda is under construction. It will be a highlight to climb a steep staircase. It might be picturesque view to be on the top.
But I thought of taking photos of the repair of Wat Arun and the other things that happening inside the complex. It was the other side of this famed attraction.
The Grand Palace
After seeing Wat Arun, I crossed Chao Phraya River again. It will be a 15 minute walk from boat station to the entrance of the Grand Palace. I actually entered the Palace but I had second thought after seeing how expensive the entrance fee was. I tried to go outside again. HAHAHA. After a few minutes, I thought that since I was in Bangkok now I have to make the most of it so I entered the gate again. #facepalm
It was very hot in Bangkok that day. There are too many people inside the complex. One of the reasons why I was discouraged too. I always look for any kind of shade and sat down. But time is running, I need to see this place! 🙂
The Grand Palace is established on 1782 after King Rama I ascended to the throne. The complex consists of the royal residence, throne halls, government offices and the renowned Temple of the Emerald Buddha. The Grand Palace covers an area of 218,000 square meters, surrounded by 4 walls in 1,900 meters length.
Mind to bring bottle of water to keep you dehydrated while seeing the Palace. From the map, there are 34 kinds of walls, pavilions, galleries and museums. I haven’t entered all of these structures but I was very amazed how the details of each façade are created intricately.
What I love the most inside the Grand Palace are the people inside it. At first, I thought they were distractions to take photos. I was very lucky to have this family’s permission to take their photos 🙂
After seeing the Palace, I crossed the street to eat my late lunch. I wanted to see Vimanmek Teak Palace. It is said that this is the world’s largest golden teak wood mansion in the world. Entrance in this palace is included when you bought a ticket for the Grand Palace. I walked more to ride a bus. I was looking for it but it was nowhere! I waited for more than 20 minutes and I was a bit on a rush. The pamphlet indicated that the Vimanmek Teak Palace will be closed by 3:15 PM. I had my lunch by 2 PM. But then I was standing on the wrong station, I walked more and finally found the bus going to the palace! Wohooo!
But then I just realized few weeks ago that I never been to Vimanmek Teak Palace. #angtangako
Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall
All I thought this is the Vimanmek Teak Palace. HAHAHA. But definitely going in this attraction was very worth it!!! If you are tired of all the temples and pagodas, this is a perfect place for you.
Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall is a former reception hall within the Dusit Palace built on 1915. It is now a 2-storey museum inspired by Italian Renaissance and Neo Classic style. The government commissioned architects Mario Tamagno and Annibale Rigotti from Carrara, Italy.
It was a very different place. I was like transported in a different era. I felt like I was in Europe that time. To enter the palace, women should cover their arms and legs. There are skirts for rent on the entrance building. Cameras are prohibited inside. It will be very enticing to share how it looks like inside. It was very renaissance feels but with Thai and Buddhist approach. I was in love with the walls and ceilings.
Most of the gifts for Royals’ birthdays, throne anniversaries were here. I am amazed by massive textiles with gorgeous embroideries. The paintings and carvings are magnificent!
The Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall gave me a different perspective about Thailand. It am happy that I went on a place that I thought it was the place I was looking for. But indeed, traveling means surprising.
Now, I have a valid reason to revisit Bangkok – to see the real Vimanmek Teak Palace. That is why I can’t believe that this structure is made from teak! HAHAHA.
I was very satisfied with Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall that I don’t make anytime to seek if that was the real one.
Heading back to my hotel, I passed by the Victory Monument. BTS has a station in Victory Monument. Most of the locals I asked said that all buses passed by in the Monument. So, I guessed this is a very important landmark in Thailand.
There are other places to visit in Bangkok like Khao San Road, Lumphini Park in Silom, Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market, Jim Thompson’s House and many more. Then, I guess Thailand shouts for more!
It was a short time to see Bangkok but it opens many doors to see Asia, to see the world. A strong reason to come back! 🙂
To know more about my expenses in Bangkok, here it is: