Bangkok in 3 days
Bangkok is the most visited city on earth. Yes, more than 20 million people travel to see this sprawling Thai capital that has everything to offer. Island, food, culture, mountains, history, sunshine, night life and so much more that I would have exhausted my hand before I could type everything down.
I personally have been to Bangkok for 6 times (and still counting as I have a ticket booked to Thailand again). I go there to satisfy my overflowing craving of real boat noodles and pad thai. Sometimes, I transit at Don Muang airport before I leave for other Thai islands. Bangkok is also strategically located in Southeast Asia for me to do any transit to other parts of the world from Melbourne.
Obviously, this fascinating capital has so much to offer that you need a lot longer to properly experience it. If you have not much time, please at least leave 3 days for Bangkok. This itinerary aims to tell you how best to experience Bangkok in 3 days!
Bangkok in 3 days isn’t much. If you wanna see the must-see, this is the day. Wear something comfortable but respectful for Day 1 because we are going to visit religious buildings!
The Grand Palace complex is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Bangkok. Instead of talking about the history and culture of this amazing complex, I will tell you the practical stuff.
This is a huge complex and you need plenty of time to properly visit it. However, you can also make this a speedy visit by visiting the main sites. The two main attractions that you wanna see are probably Wat Phra Kaew and the Royal Reception Hall.
The complex opens at 8:30am and closes at 3:30pm. Ticket lines are always long so get there a little earlier just to get in front of the line so you can enter the site as early as you can.
The noon sun in Bangkok is blisteringly hot and I’m not kidding. It’s a torture to walk under the sun in Bangkok from 12pm onwards. Hence, I suggest seeing the complex in the morning. Check out my guide of how to survive the crazy hot weather in Southeast Asia!! I’m Malaysian so these are definitely insider’s tips!
Drink plenty of water and wear sunglasses; all the buildings are golden so it can be blindingly painful to your eyes. To visit the complex strategically and get the most out of it, join the morning tour (so it won’t be too hot) which is inclusive of the entry (500 baht). It will give you an introductory historical and cultural take-home messages which would be helpful when you are in Bangkok or other cities in Southeast Asia.
After visiting Grand Palace, pamper your legs and tummy by eating at Tang Heng Kee restaurant. This is an authentic Thai-Chinese restaurant that is near the vicinity of the Grand Palace. The owner is extremely friendly and food is so affordable and delicious here.
Next to Tang Heng Kee, there’s Wat Pho. It’s home for the golden reclining Buddha and arguably one of the best places for authentic, affordable Thai massage. Entry is 100 baht.
After that, catch a boat from Wat Pho to Tha Tien pier. It’s the pier for Wat Arun, which is one of my favourite temples in Bangkok. Entry is 50 baht. The stairs at Wat Arun are REALLY steep so be prepared.
By the time you finish visiting Wat Arun, it’s probably close to sunset time. Catch a boat to Asiatique, one of the upmarket markets. You don’t have to buy anything here; just come and admire the lights from afar.
If you prefer something less posh and more cultural, take the boat to Ratchawong Pier and walk up Yaowarat road. This is Chinatown of Bangkok.
Have dinner at Baiyoke Sky Hotel! This buffet restaurant is so high you can have an amazing view of Bangkok while sampling some big prawns and Thai cuisine! I booked it through Klook because I wanted to skip the line. The line is massive!!
Bangkok is the city of markets. There are literally hundreds of markets that it will take you months to visit all of them properly.
Head straight to Chatuchak market: this semi-open air market is the biggest market in the world. There are more than 15,000 shops divided into 27 sections.
It’s technically a maze in there. If you see something that you like, just bargain straightaway and try to get the best deal before you leave that shop! Chances are you are not going to find that shop anymore. Although there are many shops selling similar things, it’s just not worth the time for you to brave through the crowds and try to find that shop again!
When it’s hot, it gets really stuffy inside Chatuchak market. Go earlier if you can – not only you escape the heat but also the crowd. Head to Or Tor Kor market in the afternoon when it’s absolutely hot. Or Tok Kor market is one of the higher end markets. It’s really clean as compared to other food markets that you’ll see in Bangkok. Have lunch at Or Tor Kor market like most of the locals. Market food in Bangkok is absolutely amazing.
You can stay at Chatuchak if you can endure the heat. If not, you can head to many of the shopping havens that I have written in details in my other post. They mostly have air-conditioned which can make your shopping experience A LOT nicer. Check out the post here and here! Be sure to know how you can take your stuff back as you never know how much you can buy in Bangkok in 3 days!
After some hectic shopping, head to one of the rooftop bars. The ones that I prefer are The Speakeasy Rooftop Bar and Moon Bar. For The Speakeasy Rooftop Bar, you can make a reservation with up to 50% off depending on the time that you dine. Check it out here! Price is definitely not cheap here but it’s worth it if you like a bird-eye view of the city. Smart casual for both venues so make sure you’re adequately dressed.
If you prefer to have street food, do the street food tour where a knowledgeable guide takes you in a tuktuk exploring the nightlife of the city and also taste all the mouthwatering street food! It’s one of the best thing that I have done in Bangkok and I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT!!
If you prefer a wilder nightlife or a more touristy place to go to, head to Khao San Road! It’s a little more pricier here because mostly it’s tourists who come here.
Take time to see Yaowarat in the morning as well. If I haven’t said so, the food in Yaowarat is absolutely gorgeous. Most of the restaurants would be fine, but it would be better if you take a food tour because they bring you to the best places! The good thing about this particular food tour is also because they rotate around different restaurants so many restaurants benefit of it.
Spend your afternoon doing the river tour by yourself! It’s much cheaper and you can do it at your own time. Start wherever it’s easiest for you (most people start with Sathom which is connected to the BTS rail) and go down the river. You can stop every time to explore different piers depending on the time that you’ve got. I really like the food market at Tha Chang pier so if you have some time, give it a go.
There are only that much you can do in Bangkok in 3 days. Obviously there are many other things to do so if you wanna squeeze something in, here you go:
– Terminal 21 (shopping mall)
– By Chef Pam. I am super inspired by the Thai woman and would really love to dine at her house one day!
Many of you might be going to Asia or a new country for the first time in your life. Whatever that is, you wanna be prepared for this trip.
1. Get a SIM card because Klook offers a massive discount for it. You can pick it up at either of the airport or pick it up at Siam Centre.
3. If you prefer to use public transport to get to the city, you can buy a Rabbit card beforehand (the public transport card in Bangkok) so that you don’t have to line up to get the card, especially if you’re arriving in Bangkok during busy hours where many travellers land.
4. Please, please, please read on how to survive the hot weather in Bangkok. I really want you to enjoy your trip in Bangkok by not sweating like a cow!
Where to stay?
Bangkok is huge. That’s why I recommend staying around Siam Paragon if you are only in Bangkok for 3 days. As the traffic is horrendous in Bangkok, you can make full use of the BTS and Metro system that are conveniently located at this area. You can go to Chatuchak, Saphan Taksin Pier (for Wat Arun and the River Tour) and other places easily. Should you want to hail a taxi/uber/tuk-tuk, trust me you can get it 24/7 if you are staying in this area.
Budget – Budget travelling is pretty easy in Bangkok. Siam Square house is a fabulous choice for thrifty travellers – it is one of the most comprehensive boutique hotels that I have stayed in! Stayed in this place 3 times already and will come back anytime!
Comfortable – Pathumwan Princess Hotel is my parents’ go-to hotel choice when we go to Bangkok for a weekend. It’s new and I love the staff (even though I would say Thais are generally really nice people!).
High-end – Wanna pamper yourself and score yourself a staycation? Look no further and stay at InterContinental Bangkok. Check their availability earlier as they tend to have a full house most of the time as Bangkok is the most visited city in the world!
About my baggage in Bangkok
I lost my luggage in Bangkok thanks to the airline that shall not be named here. The airline company was really irresponsible and I did not get my luggage back in the end.
It’s not unusual for these kinds of unfortunate event to happen at times. Luckily, I was insured with World Nomads! They have been wonderful to help. They responded to my email in 15 minutes. They gave me the green light to buy clothes (so I can claim it back) and claim them back with receipts. It was the best shopping spree ever!
The plus side, World Nomads is quite cheap as well – considering the service and the benefit that you’d get. Reimbursement comes in quick and they’ve always got your back! I never leave without getting insured.
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Born and raised in Malaysia, Aaron is a medical student who desperately preaches about “Travelling doesn’t have to be expensive” – well, he has a full-on blog about it. When he is free, he checks for the cheapest airfare that would get him out of Australia. Aaron indulges in local cuisine so much that he has to lose some weight before and after he goes travelling. Read more about him here!
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