Tour of the Grand Palace: Done
Tuk Tuk ride with seizure inducing lights: Check
Red Bull and vodka buckets at Khaosan: Yep, done that too!
Mistaking Ladyboys for girls at Soi Nana: What?! Alright, check!
So, you’ve scanned the travel websites and explored all the popular tourist spots in the City of Angels. If you’re looking for some best-kept secrets, you’ve come to the right place. Bangkok has plenty of hidden gems. In the last two years, I’ve had a chance to discover some of them. Let me share my top 5 picks.
Before we begin, here’s some trivia: Did you know that officially Bangkok’s full name is...
If you can memorize that, get in touch with me when you’re in the city. First round of drinks is on me! Well without further ado, here are my top 5 incredible non-touristy things to do in Bangkok:
1) Discover the charm of the old city from Yodpiman pier
Yodpiman pier is a fabulous new pier at one of the most beautiful bends of Bangkok’s Chao Phraya river. You can get breathtaking views of the old city including Wat Arun from here. The pier itself is beautifully designed and boasts of great western and Thai food joints. Right next to Yodpiman, you’ll also find Thailand’s biggest flower market where you can buy exotic flowers for dirt cheap prices.
2) Explore the narrow alleys of Portuguese town
Just across the Yodpiman pier, stands the Santa Cruz Church. The Portuguese were the first Europeans to arrive in Thailand and this church was built by them in 1770 after the fall of Ayutthaya. This historic church is a prominent symbol of Bangkok’s European legacy. The church is surrounded by narrow alleys that house some amazing coffee shops where you can eat freshly baked Khanom Farang (Western sweet cakes).
3) Visit the Non-Hangover rooftop bars
Do you remember the rooftop bar in the climax scene of Hangover Part II? That’s Sirocco in Lebua hotel. As you’d expect, the place is super expensive and full of tourists. Unless you’re a movie buff who wants to take a pilgrimage, there are plenty of wonderful rooftop bars that offer dazzling views of the city. Some of my favorites - Above 11, Octave and Red Sky.
4) Visit Wat Suthat at night
One of the lesser known royal temples of Bangkok, Wat Suthat is my personal favorite. Unlike Wat Pho and Wat Phra Kaew, this one is more peaceful. You can actually walk around or read a book in peace. It’s also located next to the Giant Swing, one of the city’s most famous landmarks. However, Wat Suthat really comes to life at night with its glittering intricate pagodas.
5) Check out massive monitor lizards in Lumphini Park
Lumphini Park is Bangkok’s version of Central Park. Located in the heart of its downtown area, the park offers stunning views of Bangkok’s skyline.
However, one of its highlights are the giant monitor lizards that roam freely inside the park. So plug in your earphones, grab a drink, relax under a tree and watch these majestic beasts stroll by.
So, what are some of your favorite spots in Bangkok? Let us know in the comments below :-)
Showaround: This blog post was written by Shiv Sharma. Thank you, Shiv!