A friend and I were given a leave pass as our hubby’s valiantly agreed to look after her kids back in Phuket while we had a girls day out. We decided that the best way to spend the day would be a quick trip to Bangkok!!! Who does that right? Yeah we do! That’s just how we roll. It meant that we were up at 3.30am and our heads didn’t hit the pillow again until well after midnight, so we really made the most of our one day in Bangkok. Read on for all the details …
Our One Day In Bangkok Plan
With only one day in Bangkok, we needed a game plan and a tightly planned run sheet. Before jumping on the plane, we, actually I, but let’s not split hairs, mapped out exactly what we wanted to do and came up with the following checklist of our must do activities. So we had a game plan but how did it work out?
Getting There & Back
I booked our Air Asia flights before we left Oz for the bargain price of $80 return for both. Yep you heard right $80. We could have got it a little cheaper if we hadn’t chosen to select seats but at that price we were not going to quibble over a few baht! For a budget airline we had no complaints. Both flights were on time and even arrived a little early. Bonus! We did have two hiccups with our transportation. Firstly the taxi I booked off the street the night before to transport us to the airport did not arrive. For a world renowned party town, Patong is eerily quiet at 4am. There was not a taxi in sight. With few options we put our faith in a strange man that turned up on a scooter and promised to take us to a taxi. We jumped on the back (yes both of us!) and he took us a few blocks away to our savior who got us to the airport on time, despite an unexpected stop at the side of the road for him to get an ant out of his shoe that was biting him! He knew he had us over a barrel so we paid 1000 baht instead of around 700 but what can you do right? The second was that in the fifteen hours since we left Phuket it bucketed down with rain. Our trip back to the hotel from the airport meant crossing a road that more closely resembled a river. We did hold our breath as we drove through the fast running water that was halfway up the door in quite possibly the oldest taxi on the planet. Luckily we got through to the other side without any issues but our driver was not happy!
Chatuchak Markets (pronounced Jatujak)
Wow! Chatuchak Markets are huge! One of the largest markets in the world in fact. With 35 Acres, 27 sections, 15,000 stalls and 200,000 visitors every weekend we were never going to be able to cover it all in the few hours I had allocated here. Most websites say operating hours are 9am – 6pm, but the official one says opening is 6am. We arrived about 7.45am and while some stalls were open,most didn’t open until 9am. There isn’t much you can’t pick up here including food, clothing, handicrafts, ceramics, plants, art, pets, book and antiques.
Luxury Window Shopping
I promise this was only meant to be window shopping but it turned into a little more than that with a very special purchase from Chanel. In my defense I can claim my VAT back to make it slightly cheaper but it still stung a little. What can I say, I love these shoes so much I couldn’t leave them there. You understand I’m sure. We visited EmQuartier, Paragon, The Emporium and Siam Centre.
Sample Street Food
I love Thai food and Bangkok is a foodie haven. I would have loved to have been able to fit in a food tour in Bangkok, but time was obviously of the essence. The next best thing was to sample some of the amazing street food on offer. I know what your thinking. Street food is not the safest of options, but taking a (calculated!) risk every now and then is half the fun of travelling. There were lots of tempting options at Chatuchak, but as it was very early in the morning and my taste in breakfast leans more towards toast and vegemite than chicken satay sticks, fried spicy squid and green quails eggs, so we decided to pass in the hopes that we would pick something up later on in the day. Unfortunately it didn’t quite pan out as the only other options we saw looked decidedly dodgey. To redeem ourselves we did try some delicious crepes from street vendors when we got back to Phuket. A seriously delicious bargain at 60 baht a pop (AUD 2.40). If street food is not your thing, why not try one of these vegan restaurants in Bangkok for something different or even a cute Bangkok café.
Collect Hard Rock Glass
Hark Rock Cafe’s are pretty much the same the world over but this was a MUST do on our trip because I am a hurricane glass collector. This is #49 in my collection and I have drunk the cocktail from every single one of them. An alcohol fueled travel map if you like. I still have two still to collect in Thailand; Chiang Mai and Pattaya which will just have to wait a little longer.
Cocktails Under The Stars
Bangkok is littered with swanky rooftop bars, many of which are situated atop Bankgok’s many hotels. I did some research on a few before deciding on Octave. Situated at the very top of the Marriott in Sukhumvit it has mind blowing views. Who knew Bangkok was so flat? Not me! The wind was blowing but the atmosphere more than made up for it. Happy hour on the 48th floor equals two for one cocktails between 5pm – 8pm. The only problem is you can only order food on 45, so it was a choice of cheaper drinks or eat. We chose the cheaper drinks! And they did give us free cashew nuts for sustenance.
Buy A Souvenir
My travel buddy collects fridge magnets and I always take pens back from my travels for my work colleagues as my ‘signature’ gift (get it?). Her daughters specifically requested ‘I Love Bangkok’ T-Shirts. We managed to grab them all at Chatuchak early on which left the rest of the day for the serious shopping!
Try A Fish Spa
I thought we would be tripping over fish spas during our one day in Bangkok but that was not the case at all. We searched high and low, but couldn’t find one anywhere. We did find a great little hole in the wall massage place where we got a 1 hour foot massage for 200 baht (AUD$8) which was a suitable substitute and a great way to revive our aching feet!
Bag A Bargain
This proved trickier than I thought and I’m not counting the souvenirs above which were cheap as chips. I priced lots of things all which turned out to be more expensive than at home so I couldn’t justify the purchase. Ms 5 requested some nail polish and we found the cutest pink sparkly stuff for just under a dollar, which undoubtedly was the bargain of the day. We also snuck in a sneaky shampoo and blow dry to tame the frizz which at 300 baht (AUD$12) is less than half of what we would pay at home!
Ride A Tuk Tuk
The plan was to take a Tuk Tuk from our last shopping spot to our roof top bar, but they seemed to be very scarce and the only ones we did see were already taken so we started walking. We did stumble on one about a two minute walk from our destination which seemed rather pointless. We made up for it when we got back to Patong with the whole gang in tow. The girls insisted on a pink one! If two wheels are more your style, why not try biking around Bangkok.
So How Did We Go?
By my count we managed seven of ten the items on our one day in Bangkok checklist although we did tick off two more in Patong. Not a bad effort all considered and we had a fantastic day! If you are not confident creating your own itinerary consider a Bangkok tour where all the hard work is done for your by a local. If you decide to stay overnight in Bangkok check out these fabulous places to stay in Bangkok. Fill your extra hours visiting a Bangkok temple or two or check out 20 things to do in Bangkok for inspiration. If you are looking to explore further afield try these day trips from Bangkok and those on a budget will love these affordable day trips from Bangkok. I’m sure you will find something to love!
What would you do if you only had one day in Bangkok? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
Until Next Time …
Like it? Pin it!