The last time i went to Bangkok was in 2001, for work. Back then, the only place i visited was MBK. I guess that was as good as not having been to Bangkok.
For my upcoming 3.5 days trip to Bangkok, i have come up with the following itinerary. Grouping nearby places to visit together seems to be a sensible thing to do for Bangkok, since not all areas are accessible by the BTS or MRT, and taking into consideration the traffic congestion which makes the travelling time increase exponentially the further you have to travel. My trips are always centred on food, especially for Asian countries, so this itinerary won’t make sense to you if you’re not a foodie.
Day 1 Sunday – Arrival at noon. Head straight to Chatuchak Market. Finish the day with dinner at Or Tor Kor Market (this turned out to be a bad idea because most stalls in Or Tor Kor close by late afternoon)
Day 2 Monday – Street food day. I will be following the recommendations on Thai Feature Stories for street food around Sao Ching Cha. After that, go for Thai massage at the Khao San Road area (planning on trying Shewa). Next, head to Chinatown – try the Yaowarat toasted bread (as recommended by Aroimakmak), visit Eiah Sae, a vintage Chinese Kopi shop. After some walking around Chinatown, get dinner at T&K Seafood. Hopefully we can stomach that much food! Finally, walk to River City and take the ferry crossing to the other side of Chao Phraya and finish the day with a visit to the Millenium Hilton Hotel Rooftop bar, one of the few with a view of the Chao Phraya river.
Day 3 Tuesday – Shopping day. Start the day with a nice breakfast at Chu Chocolate Bar and Cafe (just because i am staying nearby – any decent cafe will do for me). Try the Mango Sticky Rice from Mae Varee before going for shopping proper. Almost all the shopping in Bangkok is concentrated in one area – Siam, where Platinum Mall, Central World, Siam Paragon, Siam Center and MBK are located. I will probably visit only Central World and Platinum Mall. When done with shopping, grab a taxi to Victory Monument to try the Boat Noodles. The portion of the noodles is small enough to leave room for dinner proper at Somboon (my choice being the Surawong branch), where Aroimakmak recommends the curry crab as being a must. Finish the day with a visit to Asiatique.
Day 4 Wednesday – Relax day. With only half a day to spare, I plan to take it easy and try 2 must-eat places as recommended by Aroimakmak – Pad Thai at Sala Daeng and Prachak Pet Yang Duck Rice/Noodles. Finally, check out Terminal 21 before heading for the airport.
Excluded in the itinerary:
Grand Palace, Wat Pho and other temples – somehow i’m not into Thai architecture, so will give these places a miss.
Floating markets – Most are available only during the weekend, and the famous one (but with many bad reviews) -Damnoen Saduak is located far away from Bangkok city centre. Since i have only half a Sunday available, going Chatuchak is a more sensible choice.
Night markets – All of them are not open on Monday through Wednesday, so no luck for me.
Khlong tours – private tours seem expensive and involve a lot of waiting. The Khlong Saen Saep express boat sounds fun, but may not be a good idea for travellers with young kids (with the possibility of getting splashed with dirty canal water and the under 30 seconds window to embark or disembark).