A Weekend in Bangkok
I am usually pretty indifferent towards my accommodations, but without the luxury of time, I needed a strategic place that was close to public transportation and, of course, food. My stay at SilQ Bangkok Hotel was perfect! It was just across the Asok BTS Station, and there was plenty of street food to satisfy my late night hunger pangs.
9.45 AM: The Grand Palace
The large compound was rather intimidating in the hot weather, but I was still so excited to explore the halls and temple. Do take note of the strict dress code in the premises, in which you need to wear covered shoes and covered clothing. It’s better to dress modestly to skip the queue to borrow their clothes.
The Temple of The Emerald Buddha is the most sacred temple in Bangkok, or possibly, in the whole of Thailand. The term “temple” is perhaps quite misleading; it is essentially a chapel since doesn’t actually have a monastery. I walked around in awe, amazed by the intricate carvings and paintings in every corner of the temple that I laid my eyes on.
Note: Since it closes by 15.30, you should visit the Grand Palace early in the morning!
1 PM: Wat Pho
Heading south from the Grand Palace, I arrived at Wat Pho, which is more famously known as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha. The reclining Buddha statue is one of the largest in Thailand — 15 metres in height and 46 metres in length. While standing near the statue’s feet, I realised I was only slightly taller than one sole! Around the temple, there were hundreds of Buddha images, each mounted on a gilded pedestal.
The temple also houses the first public university in Thailand as well as the school for traditional medicine and Thai massages. Too bad they didn’t have any massage services there—I needed one so badly!
5PM: Chatuchak Market
This famous weekend market is a food and shopping paradise. You will find yourself capitated by thousands of stalls selling various items, from clothes to snacks, from traditional souvenirs to pets. While most girls would rave about how cheap and trendy the clothes are, for me, Chatuchak is more of a food heaven. I spent hours here scouring the various street food and snacks to bring home. The hot and humid weather was a perfect excuse for me to get another cup of Iced Thai Milk Tea as well as some coconut ice cream. I got my hands on the well-known coconut ice cream — said to be the pioneer stall in Chatuchak! The sweet and cold treat was exactly what I needed while walking around the market with such sweltering heat.
However, the one snack that stole my heart was the stir fry squid egg with lots of shredded cabbage. It was so tasty and addictive that I found myself queueing for another three rounds!
11 AM: Siam Paragon
Before my flight in the evening, I dropped by Siam Paragon to get some food souvenirs for my friends and family. Besides the famous bakeries and patisseries such as Pablo, BAKE Cheese Tarts, and LeTao, Siam Paragon also offers an extensive grocery-shopping experience at Gourmet Market. From chocolate coated preserved bananas to Thai spices and condiments, this place had all I needed to buy in one go.
A friend also recommended I visit Kyo Bar, a 13-seater dessert bar at Siam Paragon. Imitating the Japanese kaiseki experience, the desserts are served by à la russe. Get ready to be mesmerised by the beautiful detailed plated desserts for every single course. It is best to come here with your friends so that you can order different desserts to share!
11 AM: After You Dessert – There’s always room for dessert
Yes, there’s always room for dessert, especially for the delicious desserts at After You Dessert. This local brand is still a huge success even ten years after it first opened. Their must-try dish is the thick and fluffy Shibuya Toast that comes with two scoops of ice cream — flavour choices include honey, matcha, strawberry, chocolate, and many more. This was the perfect delicacy for brunch or a sweet treat during tea time. This time around, I also tried something new: the Thai Tea Kakigori.
And I have no regrets! The finely shaved ice was so soft and fragrant, and the additional Thai Tea sauce was there to provide a more intense flavour. I was also pleasantly surprised by the fluffy toast and glass jelly found beneath the shaved ice. The snaking queue was pretty intimidating, but fortunately, they have 18 outlets spread across the city!
There are still plenty of hidden gems for foodies and shopaholics in this land of smiles, but I chose to pamper myself with more sightseeing and food journeys this time around.
For those looking for clothes and accessories, I would recommend UNION Mall and the early morning Pratunam Market (that is open as early as 4 am).
I went easy and light with my meals by getting street food wherever I was. Personally, I feel that this is the best way to experience the authentic flavours of Thai food. Another thing I like about Bangkok is its accessibility!
For solo travellers, like me, taking trains (BTS) is one of the cheapest options, and you are unlikely to get lost because their rails are pretty easy to follow. Big groups may want to consider taking a cab instead because it may be cheaper if you split the fare.
Although it was a really short getaway, it was a much-needed break from my busy schedule. Until next time, Bangkok!