On wrapping up our fascinating trip through the length and breadth of Myanmar, the two of us decided to spend a couple of days in Bangkok on a complete whim. Why Bangkok? It was the first city both of us visited together (over 10 years ago!). 65 countries and over 500 cities later, we wanted to go back to it and celebrate love, life, happiness, travel and all that comes with it 🙂
While people visit Bangkok for everything ranging from entertainment to sport, we chose Bangkok for an indulgent romantic weekend away. This is no way a definitive guide to Bangkok. I’m pretty sure you’ll find dozens of those on the internet! Instead it’s a list of some of our favourite things to see, do, and eat on a romantic weekend away in Bangkok
Cabs are the easiest way of getting around in Bangkok. They are affordable and plentiful. Always make sure you hop into a cab which has a functional meter. If you’re feeling adventurous, you could also try commuting in Bangkok’s signature yellow tuk-tuks. You could also hop onto the metro aka BTS Skytrain, which conveniently links large parts of the city. On weekends, the city’s infamous traffic jams can make cabs inconvenient.
Bangkok is shopping mecca. We rarely shop while travelling but even we ended up picking up quite a few bits and bobs in Bangkok. From night markets to luxury malls, Bangkok has it all. Here are some of our favourite places to shop in the city:
- Chatuchak and Patpong night markets: The sprawling night market has something for everyone. You could pick up sunglasses, unique jewellery, trendy clothes and tees emblazoned with quirky slogans at affordable prices. It’s also a great place to sample Thai street food
- MBK Mall: If you do enjoy affordable prices but night markets get you all hot and bothered, head to MBK Mall. Think of it as an air-conditioned night market. MBK Mall is a bit of a legend in Bangkok and understandably so! From camera gear and electronics to clothes and makeup, there’s nothing you won’t find here. Just make sure you visit with loads of time at hand!
- Terminal 21: If you want to visit Thai drugstores, Japanese dollar stores like Daiso, and high street shops such as Vero Moda, H&M and Boots, then head to the relatively new Terminal 21. It’s a huge mall and there is no dearth of options!
- Emporium mall: If you want authentic high-end and designer goods, then Emporium Mall is probably your best bet. Some of the popular stores include Sephora, Zara, Louis Vuitton, Fendi, and Chanel.
The highlight of a weekend getaway to Bangkok might be the shopping or dining opportunities but there is no dearth of cultural things to do and historical things to see in the city. Some of our favourite things to see and do include:
- Wat Pho: The huge temple is famous for its large reclining Buddha. It’s definitely recommended, especially for a first time visitor.
- Sunset at Chao Phraya River: Combine your trip to Wat Pho with a stroll along the Chao Phraya River. It is especially entrancing at sunset.
- Wat Arun: The legendary temple of dawn is a must visit in Bangkok. Its intricate architecture and colourful spires will leave you spellbound. Devote at least an hour or two to exploring the temple complex.
- The Grand Palace: A large complex of buildings, The Grand Palace is recommended for the first time visitor. We skipped it on our visit to Bangkok because we’d been there before!
- Walk down the chaotic Khaosan Road: It is home to colourful bars, affordable restaurants, and street-food vendors. Khaosan Road is the epitome of Bangkok’s crazy nightlife!
- If you enjoy going off-the-beaten-path, then head to the unusual Chao Mae Tuptim shrine in Bangkok. The temple is a phallic shrine (yep you heard that right!) devoted to the goddess of fertility. Find it in the grounds of Swissotel in Chitlom.
If you’re in Bangkok for a short weekend away then we’d strongly suggest staying in either Sukhumvit or Silom . That way you will be close to everything – street food, night markets, malls, and cultural sites.
We stayed at Marriott Executive Apartments at Sukhumvit Park. We’ve stayed with Marriott several times, but it was our first time staying in Marriott’s serviced apartments and we loved it! The apartments have all the amenities of a traditional hotel – breakfast, room service, gym, pool etc – but they are much more affordable than a comparable hotel room. They also have a fully functional kitchen kitted out with utensils, wine glasses, a large refrigerator, microwave, and stove. I haven’t had access to a kitchen in ages, so this made me uber happy 🙂 Our apartment was on the 25th floor and the large living room looked out to Bangkok’s glittering skyline. This view ensured we spent a large chunk of the weekend locked in our li’l lovenest :-). You can compare prices here and book.
Booking an executive apartment was a last-minute decision because the neighbouring JW Marriott (our first choice!) was all sold out on the dates we were in Bangkok, but we’d highly recommend checking it out before you book a hotel in Bangkok.
- The food court called Food island on the sixth floor of the sprawling MBK mall offers an extensive range of Thai delicacies at extremely affordable prices. Try some mango sticky rice, thai curries, and fresh fruit smoothies – nom!
- Another pocket-friendly option is the thai food court on the top floor of Terminal 21 shopping mall. Think of it as an airconditioned night market, with clean tables, cutlery, and dozens of stalls including a lil stall that sells scrumptious Thai curry for 50 baht
- For a panoramic 360 degree view of the city of Bangkok, head to Octave Rooftop Lounge and Bar at Marriott Hotel Sukhumvit. The relaxed vibe is perfect for sundowners (or 5!)
- The most popular bar in Bangkok is definitely Sky Bar at Lebua. Drinks and views are top notch. However do beware that some scenes of the movie Hangover II were shot here – as a result the bar tends to get overcrowded, which definitely dampens the experience.
- If you’re in the mood to splurge on a decadent meal or you’re celebrating a special ocassion in Bangkok, try the excellent dégustation menu at Sra Bua by Kiin Kiin at Siam Kempinsky Hotel. The restaurant has won several awards for its exquisite take on Thai food. A reader suggested this to us on Instagram (thanks Nidhi!) and it sure lived up to the hype. Reserve in advance.
What’s your favourite bit about Bangkok? 🙂
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