Flying elsewhere via Bangkok? Stopover for 24 hours and enjoy the gleaming golden city without breaking the bank!
Last month my friend Aimee and I headed back out to Thailand. After such a fun trip last year to Phuket we decided to travel a different paradise location on this occasion and opted to spend a week in Koh Samui. As Aimee had never experienced the loud excitement of Bangkok however, we decided to do a Koh Samui sandwich 😉 So we flew straight into Bangkok for one night before heading on to Koh Samui. Internal flights in Thailand are really reasonable so I always try and see more than one city when I’m travelling out and I highly recommend you to do the same if you are planning a trip anywhere in Asia.
In Bangkok we were staying at the Amari Watergate Hotel, knowing that we only had 24 hours to see the city the wonderful team at the hotel put together a bespoke walking tour for us so after our 12 hour flight we freshened up, ‘caffeined’ up and went out to see as much as we could in just a few hours. So if you’re off to Bangkok and looking into what to do with one or two days, I’ve got you covered 😉
The Amari Watergate is based in Pratunam so from the hotel our first stop was the Erawan Shrine, a traditional and spiritual location recommended by our lovely Amari Host, Seetala. We then moved on to Wat Saket, more popularly referred to as The Golden Mount, this Buddhist temple is a true gem of not only Bangkok but Thailand itself. The temple is built on top of a man made hill in the centre of the city close to The famous Golden Palace. The walk up to the top winds through a pretty intimate rainforest with beautiful statues and golden Buddhas, through the draping tress and a picturesque pink staircase you wind your way round to the top of the hill. The panoramic views of the city are incredible and so worth the walk up to see them. Bangkok is a humid city and if you travel in the heat like we did you’ll be pleased to know that there is a small shop at the top where you can buy souvenirs and more importantly water! The entry fee for the Golden Mount is 10 Baht – approx 25p GBP
We then made our way towards Bangkok Old City or in Thai, Rattanakosin Island. This location is technically not an island but it’s called an island because it’s bordered by the Chao Phraya River to the west and various canals to the east so on a map it looks similar to an island. We walked passed the iconic Giant Swing, then made a quick stop at the Bangkok City Pillar.
Before heading in to Bangkok’s most famous tourist spectacle we decided to grab a bite to eat a 10 minute walk away from The Grand Palace. We had some yummy lunch at the most amazing riverside restaurant called The Deck. The food was great and from here you have a great view of Wat Aru, The Temple of Dawn. When eating out in Bangkok a few things you should definitely opt for from the menu is Pad Thai , an amazing noodle dish served with eggs, prawns and chicken (I opted for a vegetarian option which was also great) Thai Green Curry, a spicy yet fragrantly creamy curry with local asian vegetables and my personal favourite, mango salad. The price for a main dish and drink is approx 500 baht – £11.50 GBP
After lunch with a view our lovely Amari rep took us to see the pièce de résistance, Bangkok’s Grand Palace. Without a doubt the cities MUST see attraction. The huge expanse of rich architecture and golden splendour really does take your breath away. The site is always incredibly busy so you need to be aware of that before heading in. You must also respect the religious aspects of the palace by making sure your clothing covers your knees and shoulders.
You could wander through the collection of magnificent structures all day in awe of their beauty. The golden details shimmer in the sun and the atmosphere within the palace walls, despite how ridiculously busy it is, is electric. It’s definitely worth stopping over in Bangkok for a day or two during your beach break to Thailand, even if just to see this! The entry fee is 500 baht – approx £11.50 GBP that also includes other attractions based within the palace walls – you must have photo ID with you.
After seeing The Grand Palace we made our way back to the hotel with the locals by taking the Chao Phraya express boat. The boat system works similarly to the train and tube transport system here in London. There is a large grid with the line colours and stations and the boats come and go into each station within a few minutes. You queue up in line for the colour trail you need and then jump onto the boat like a train. It is a really affordable way to experience Bangkok, the tickets cost less than £1.00 a journey and you travel down the river to your next destination. It’s basically a river cruise for the sights of Bangkok for less than the price of a bottle of water!
After experiencing the boat ride we had to do one last thing, we needed to tick another MUST off the list and that was, of course, to travel in a Tuk Tuk 😉
After a full day spent sight seeing we were so grateful to head back to our centrally located hotel and take a much needed dip in the rooftop pool! There’s nothing better than a swim after walking round in the heat all day, I highly recommend booking a hotel with a pool if you are travelling in one of the warmer seasons.
Our room at the Amari Watergate Bangkok was perfect for a city break, we were lucky enough to have a room with an amazing view as we were staying in one of the executive suites and with this room status we were able to enjoy a fabulous breakfast from the 32nd floor executive lounge as well as an exclusive check-in process and complimentary cocktail and cookie hour 😉 Prices here start from GBP 65 per night for a Deluxe King room, based on two sharing a room. (Price is exclusive of VAT and service charge. Subject to season and availability)
The Hotel is really well located, we were able to find countless shopping centres, cafes and restaurants and most importantly some amazing massage parlours, having reflexology treatment is another MUST do in Bangkok! The price for an hour’s foot massage is 250 baht – approx £6.00 GBP
So there you have it, Bangkok in 24 hours for less than £100.00!! Have you been to Bangkok? I’d love to hear if there was anything we missed out on, I fully intend to return one day 🙂