Here’s a way to make the most of 48 hours in Bangkok—where some of Thailand’s best and most magical features await!
Your flights have been booked, and your residence awaits. Your journey to Bangkok will begin very soon, and you cannot contain your excitement. The adrenaline rushes through you, and you begin to smile widely from ear to ear. “What wonderful adventures does Bangkok have in store for me?” you ask yourself.
And then, the fact you only have 48 hours to spend in Bangkok hits you, and you cannot avoid the fear of being unable to truly experience Thailand’s great capital city.
But before you decide that all hope is lost, fret not! GOASEAN has put together a simple guide to help you thoroughly savour Bangkok in just 48 hours. This itinerary will show you some of the city’s greatest charms, giving you a getaway that you will not be forgetting anytime soon.
Additionally, if you need an idea or two on how you can pack efficiently for this trip, here are a few pointers from WHAT THE HACK—fresh from GOASEAN’s flagship show, GOTravel—that could be of use. Just listen to what our host Jonathan Putra has to say, and you might even find yourself actually enjoying the process of packing for your 48 hours in Bangkok.
Now that you’re nicely packed and ready to go, brace yourself—and welcome to Bangkok!
When we think of Bangkok, we usually imagine rushing tuk-tuks, manic traffic jams and Southeast Asia’s famous tropical weather. But, who says travelling around the city has to be an arduous affair?
In fact, why not get around Bangkok in a hassle-free and relaxing way, via the Chao Phraya River?
The Chao Phraya River is one of Bangkok’s greatest sources of life, flowing with energy and excitement through the city each day
Jump aboard the Chao Phraya Express Boat at Sathorn Pier, which is easily accessible via the Saphan Taksin station. For just 150 baht, you can jump on and off as much as you would like to throughout the day, stopping at some of Thailand’s most incredible attractions along the way.With a total of eight piers for you to explore, start your day early to get as much as you can in!
If you fancy grabbing a bite to start your day, Bangkok’s celebrated Chinatown is the perfect opportunity to sample some local delicacies! You will be spoilt for choice as the once-quiet lane that was Yaowarat Road is overtaken today by food carts and spice stalls that offer a diverse range of delicious treats, such as nam tok, which is a noodle soup dish that enriched with cow or pig’s blood. Jump off at Ratchawong pier with your camera in hand and an empty stomach. Hundreds of vendors—many of whom sell other items like handmade umbrellas—will keep you exploring this area for hours!
Wat Arun, just across the river from where the express boat dropped you off earlier, is also a must-visit. Jump aboard a small local boat for a few baht to cross this gap, and climb to the top of the temple for an unprecedented view of Bangkok. If you decide to do this later in the day, be warned, as crowds flock to Wat Arun to watch the sunset every night!
Once you have snapped some incredible photos for viewing back home, head back to Tha Tien Pier and make your way on the express boat to Maharaj Pier. This pier is just a short walk away from the Grand Palace—but be wary, as exploring this magnificent attraction can take up a lot of your precious time!
If you’re hungry after all this exploring, Maharaj Pier is the perfect location to sample more Thai delicacies. With food vendors and pop-up markets around every corner, going hungry will prove to be quite the challenge. Grab a seat with the locals and tuck in! Some popular exotic bites include hearts, livers, and kidneys of animals if you’re brave enough to try them.
But while you focus on burying yourself and your appetite in these culinary delights, be sure to not get carried away! Most of the boats stop running around 6.00 p.m., so do make your way back to the pier on time!
Pad thai, or phad thai, is a stir-fried rice noodle dish commonly served as a street food and at casual local eateries in Thailand
By now, you will surely want to rest those aching legs, or maybe even grab a couple of beers to unwind with. Why not get a bed at one of the many hostels located along Bangkok’s Khao San Road? With rooms available at cheap rates and plenty of night vendors selling Thai treats till the early hours of the morning, you will undoubtedly have a great night—and possibly make a few new friends to have some good laughs with along the way.
NapPark Hostel on Khao San Road is an example you could consider in this situation. It has been rated highly for many years now, offering guests a clean and comfortable stay right in the heart of Bangkok’s party district for a great price. However, if you are looking for a more relaxed atmosphere, check out Baan Bovorn just north of Khao San Road. Resting away from the hustle and bustle of party central, you are guaranteed a quieter night of sleep!
Following all of yesterday’s wandering, why not spend your second day in Bangkok undergoing some therapy? More specifically, retail therapy? There’s nothing quite as relaxing as a good session of shopping, after all! If you happen to be in Bangkok on a Sunday, the Chatuchak Weekend Market is a must-visit for a satisfying shopping trip, so do not forget to allocate some time for this purpose.
If you would like to do a little bit of additional exploring, though, head to Silom in the morning to experience the area, and do some people watching in one of its many eateries. A handy tip would be to look for places in which locals are eating, so that you can secure yourself an authentic Thai breakfast.
Then, take a slow stroll of about ten minutes down towards Lumphini Park—or if your feet are aching from yesterday, ride over in a taxi for less than $1. When you arrive, be prepared to be pulled away from the dynamic hustle and bustle of Bangkok as you explore the park’s stunning, lush grounds. Always keep your camera ready as well, as the park is full of monitor lizards that wander around freely.
After a long and relaxing stroll, jump on the BTS to Wongwian Yai and catch a taxi to the world-famous Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market! Rows upon rows of riverside market stalls will leave you in utter awe here. This is also the perfect time and place to grab a meal with locals, who flock from across the city to enjoy a few dishes at the market with their friends and families.
Thailand, especially Bangkok, is very well known for its markets—so if you haven’t had your fill yet, end your day at the Patpong Night Market! Easily the most popular night market in Bangkok, this is the place to be for a huge shopping spree that is not interrupted by the sun’s intense heat. Hundreds of stalls come to life when the sun sets, selling a huge range of clothing, shoes, accessories, and souvenirs for you to take back home.
If you’re a person who enjoys hopping from one market to another, try the Srinakarin Night Market—otherwise known as the Srinakarin Train Market— as well, which Megan Tan visited during her time in Bangkok recently, as seen below!
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