Cha Yen, Som Tum, Roadside Snacks, Hot Weather, Massages, Wats . . .
To Do or See
Wats, so many wats.
Buddhism is the predominant religion here, though there is no official religion. Most of these Wats are located by Chao Phraya River, which is one of the major rivers in Bangkok, forming a centre. While there are so many of them, they are all uniquely beautiful temples.
Wat Pho ( Temple of Reclining Buddha)
The large reclining buddha is so large, I could not fit it in one frame through my cellphone camera and it’s inside a building. Please remember to dress decently out of respect – so no short skirts or shorts. For the hot days, carry a sarong with you when you visit wats, so you can quickly tie it around your waist to create a long skirt. Admission fee is 100 baht per person and comes with a cold bottle of water.
Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn)
Admission to Wat Arun is also 100 baht per person. It is recommended to visit the wat at dawn but we did not make it till late afternoon. It was still a gorgeous sight. It is currently going through restoration, so some parts might be blocked or covered. You will also need to pay 3 baht for the ferry to take you across the river where the wat is located.
TIP: Do not trust the information booth by the Grand Palace/Wat Pho. We wanted to go across the river towards Wat Arun and seeking only the ferry. They will say a lot of things and make you think you have a good deal. They will try to arrange a package tour. We insisted on just ferry and accepting that, they arranged a tuktuk for us. However, the driver took us to a quiet private pier and asked to pay for not just the tuktuk ride, but the whole package deal they were offering us earlier. Basically, they semi-aggressively corner you into taking the package tour. We quickly paid for the tuktuk and got out of there.
This place has a nice relaxing vibe, with a row of restaurants by the river, where you can eat and enjoy the breeze at the same time. There is a large and brightly lit ferris wheel you can ride on for a view and also rows of stores to shop at.
If you want to visit a beach that’s close to Bangkok, there is Pataya beach. You can take a bus there. It’s really affordable ($100 Baht or $4 CAD) and it’s about 3 hours long. Once you’ve arrived, you can chill at the coastline, or take a boat onto the island. You can also go parasailing there, which is one of the popular activities.
If not for drinks, check out the Moon Bar, a rooftop bar at the Banyan Tree Hotel. The view there is spectacular.
Come here with a budget and specific amount of cash you intend to spend. Because I guarantee you will spend it all. There’s so many cool things to buy and eat. Clothing, accessories, souvenirs, art, food, plants and more. Everything you can think of – trendy items, affordable ones, even high end or local designer items.
Khao San Road
Who hasn’t heard of this place? But, honestly, highlight was the street side pad thai. I’m not a pad thai girl, but this was so damn good.
Since we are transitioning into more food highlights, let’s just get to it.
For some casual hotpot, this is a good place. It’s a chain restaurant, so you can find it at various locations and it’s pretty good.
At Asiatique, we went to Happy Fish. You have to try their delicious delicious Salmon Pizza. I have never heard or tried such thing before and I thought it might taste weird. But no, give me more!
Sabai Jai Kaiyang
Kaiyang means grilled chicken and their grilled chicken is goooood. Even the locals recommend this restaurant often. Also ordered: Green Curry Chicken, Som Tum Carrots, Morning Glory (phak bung) and Shrimp Pad Thai. There wasn’t anything that was disappointing.
We got Som Tum (Papaya Salad) and Cha Yen (Thai Iced Tea) almost every day, maybe multiple times a day. There are also stalls with fresh fruits, where they can also spice it up for you. And also so much seafood. How many ways can you fry a shrimp?
Code of Dessert Enthusiasts (Siam Paragon)
Thai Iced Tea Lava Toast. Need I say more? It was heavenly. The black colouring is charcoal, it doesn’t taste like it though. It tastes like delicious crunch toast goodness with warm creamy thai iced tea oozing out from centre.
We also ordered Taro cream roll cake. While it’s not as dramatic as lava toast, I’m a fan of taro flavour and I loved it.
Thai Thyme (Terminal 21 Asok)
There’s seafood pasta. Then there’s squid ink pasta with seafood. I’m not exactly sure what exactly it is about the squid ink, but it does give a flavour boost. And a black tongue. It will wash off.
These are called Khanom Bueang, or also referred to as sweet mini crepes or Thai tacos. These rice flour crepes are filled with coconut cream, and can be topped with either sweet or savoury items, such as raisins, egg threads, or fried coconut. You can find them in any malls, markets or on the streets.
How to get around
We mostly got around by the subway (BTS). It’s really convenient to use. We were staying at Sukhumvit area and because of our location, we always had to walk a bit towards the main road where the subway stations are located. Otherwise, it’s really convenient to use. and you can get to most places by it.
You can use Uber in Bangkok to get around. If you take a taxi, always make sure it’s metered.
That wraps up DimSum’s long weekend in Bangkok.