We recently spent two nights in Bangkok over the Pchum Benh Festival. Our hotel was superb, and we were very close to Terminal 21 shopping mall and the Asok skytrain. During the short time we had there, we managed to squeeze a few things in.
Chatuchak Weekend Market
More commonly known as JJ market, this is the largest market in Thailand. We visited JJ Market to try and find a headband I had bought three years before, and although we were unsuccessful, we purchased some other goodies.
You could easily spend a whole day here, browsing through the 8,000 stalls that sell a wide array of plants, antiques, home décor, clothing and books. I even found a stall selling cassette tapes!
You should definitely visit on an empty stomach, as there is a huge assortment of delicious food on offer at VERY reasonable prices. We ate ice blocks for five baht (about 15 cents) each!
Since we had travelled back from Pattaya that day, our time was very limited. We attempted to visit the King’s Palace, however it was closed, so we headed on a canal tour.
In the past, the local people of Bangkok primarily travelled in waterways. Though most of these canals have been converted into streets, the old capital of Thonburi has still retained many canals.
A trip on the other bank of the Chao Phraya River will allow you to see pagodas, houses and small businesses. You can even feed the very large fish in the canals, which are actually protected and unable to be caught!
Asiatique is a combined night bazaar and mall. There are over 1,000 boutiques which sell clothing, jewellery and handicrafts. After dining at a very noisy restaurant, we spent time browsing and purchasing presents for our family and friends in Cambodia.
Open until midnight, public transport is the recommended method of getting there due to the traffic on the roads.
What would a trip to Bangkok be without a visit to a shopping mall? Terminal 21 makes itself stand out by presenting the theme of an airport. When you arrive at each level, there are signs to show which ‘city’ you have arrived in, whether that be Istanbul, Rome or Tokyo. Each floor is fitted out to represent the city, and that included the bathrooms! With nine floors and over 600 shops, you can easily knock back a few hours here.
Since we took a day trip to Ayutthaya, we weren’t able to spend much time looking at the sites in Bangkok. I would highly recommend spending at least three days in this busy city.