What better place to spend NYE than in Bangkok, Thailand? At least, that was our thought! On the last leg of our Christmas adventure we decided to spend 4 days in Bangkok and here is how the exploration turned out!
Night One, NYE:
We arrive into Bangkok on NYE and get to hotel around 7:00PM. This gives us plenty of time to freshen up and head out for the night. Our hotel is situated right in the heart of Suhkumvit and surrounded by restaurants, street vendors, bars and plenty of life. We walked across the street for some Pad Thai and wine. Before heading back over to the beer garden in front of our Hotel. Singha beer and fireworks makes for a splendid way to bring in 2016. It seems most people bar hopped in the area until the clock struck midnight.
Because it was New Years Day, most things closed down and we didn’t want to chance wandering around temples hoping something would be open so we took it easy for the day and walked over to Lumphini Park. This gorgeous park is dead center of Bangkok, a lovely place full of serenity until… A GIANT LIZARD comes walking across your path and almost makes you scream and run away until you notice nobody at the park seems to be bothered by this goliath of a reptile wandering about. Strange, you think to yourself, did someone’s pet monitor escape? And then you see another one… and another one and then you get into a swan paddle boat and you see many many more… Sunbathing, swimming, lounging. They apparently live in this park. Giant monitor lizards live in this park and just wander about. Giving small American women heart attacks.
After our slight stressful but completely exciting swan boat adventure, we head over to the Central World Mall. Just a large mall, with confusing escalators and a fantastic light show happening.
A bit of late start due to the sniffles, but we were off by 10:00 AM. We grabbed a taxi to the flower market, which is also a regular market and of course filled with street food. We perused the beautiful stands, glanced at the remarkable produce and took deep breathes of fresh flowers. Hardly any tourists were in this area so the culture was vibrant and untouched. We quietly wandered the stalls before catching another taxi across the river to the Floating Market.
The floating Market was a 15 minute drive from the flower market. It’s called Taling Chan Floating Market and is the closet one to where we were at, however, there are others to go to. I felt this market was a bit over run by western tourists and was more of spectacle then what it might of once been. We still enjoyed the chaos and meandered through the tight floating docks.
We hoped back into a taxi to visit Wat Arun with its gorgeous porcelain temples. The cost was 50 baht, roughly $1.40 in US dollars. We then grabbed a taxi boat (2.5 baht, .06 cents) across the river to Wat Pho, the reclining Buddha. Cost to get in was 100 baht ($2.75) and the giant reclining buddha was bigger than I could have ever imagined. A real magnificent and treasured work of religion.
We grabbed a taxi back to the hotel.
***Taxi Tip: Taxis are very cheap and metered. We never paid more than $4 for a taxi, however a tuk tuk will try to get you to pay more. If he wants to barter, just stand your ground and never pay more than 100 baht, as thats what most taxis will be to almost anywhere.
We set out to explore the largest flea market in Thailand, named Chatuchuk Weekend Market. The Market is only open on either Saturday or Sunday and carries everything you could ever need. This is the perfect place for souvenirs or any sort of little trinkets and treasures you could want from Bangkok. The items are mostly cheap and usually have a fixed price. The idea is to barter prices, but I felt the prices were cheap (usually around $3) and that was good enough for me.
We first tried to get a taxi from our hotel, but we had some trouble today. None of the taxis wanted to turn on their meters and were trying to make us pay 400 baht. Our hotel was incredibly unhelpful as well, they would get us a taxi but it would cost 1000 baht. Outrageous. We looked at a map and realized the market was right next to the Mo Chit stop on the sky train. So we hoped on the train and in 15 minutes we were there and only spent 80 baht.
In the afternoon, I went for a foot massage. So far this was the best place I have ever gone. It $10 for 60 minutes and complete heaven. The place is called Raintree Massage in Sukhumvit on soi 11 street. Highly Recommend!!
After a short nap, we decided to dabble in some Bangkok nightlife. It was time for live music and a nice bottle of wine under the whir of Bangkok nightlife. At the end of the bottle, the idea to see the famous Nana Plaza came to us and we wandered over to try to catch a ping pong show. We found out that they no longer have ping pong shows, however the plaza was pretty exciting to observe from a bar stool.
The lovely night ended and we are off to the last portion of our trip!
***There were plenty of things we could have added to this trip, but we will be back in a few weeks for the weekend and I will be adding a “two days in Bangkok” follow up post that will include all of the things we missed during this trip.