Best Way to Explore Bangkok in 4 Days

Six years ago, I promised myself that I would come back and explore Bangkok a little bit longer. I’m really keen to be back since the last time I was only there for 1 day but immediately I fell in love with it. During that time, it was just our jumping off point for our backpacking trip through Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.

So when I found out that TBEX (conference for travel bloggers) would be held in Bangkok for 2015, I immediately bought a ticket and prepared for my 1st solo international trip. It’s the perfect opportunity to check out what other places to visit in Bangkok. I’m glad I did because this time I was able to explore Bangkok longer and met tons of amazing people.

Through TBEX, travel companies and our wonderful and gracious host – no less than the Thai tourism department, I discovered some of the amazing things Bangkok has to offer. I’m not required to write about these trips but since I’ve been receiving a lot of messages from people, who saw some of my Instagram and Facebook posts, asking me to help them prepare their Bangkok trip itinerary. So, I prepared this mini travel guide to help you explore Bangkok in 4 Days (long weekend holiday).

Tips

Once, you arrive at the airport (either Don Mueang or Suvarnabhumi) look for the telecom booths and get yourself a tourist SIM card. This comes with free texts/calls and 4G internet which would be useful in accessing Google maps (to not get lost!) and of course, uploading those Instagram photos! I’ve used True Move but there’s not much difference with the 3 carriers so just get whatever you like. You can also get a SIM card at any 7/11 stores in the country.

To go to the city proper, from Suvarnabhumi take the Airport Rail Link. It’s the cheapest and fastest way.

For me, the easiest way to get around Bangkok and familiarize yourself with the city is through their BTS (Skytrain) and MRT (subway). No need to deal with those taxis who don’t use the meter plus tuktuk rides are more expensive than taxis, so I would just recommend you to take the train as much as possible. You can buy the stored value cards so you won’t have to buy a ticket every time you take the train.

Bangkok Train Map
Train Map of Bangkok (Click to Enlarge)

Just a reminder, the currency exchange rate at the airport is lower compared to those in the city so just get enough Thai Baht to take you to the city. Once you are in the city proper, there are a lots of currency exchange centers available. There are some in the train stations too.

4 Days Bangkok Itinerary

Day 1

Grand Palace

I was only able to see this from a far and pass by it several times but wasn’t able to get inside. Every time I attempt to go, it is always about to close so this is also part of the reason why I need to come back. It closes at 3pm or 3:30pm so keep that in mind. Also, they implement a strict dress code so wear pants and closed shoes.

I manage to take a video of the Grand Palace during our river cruise. It is a gorgeous sight at night.

The majestic Grand Palace in Bangkok. One of the landmarks that you’ll see during the Shangri-La Horizon River Cruise.

Posted by Plan Your Trip Now on Thursday, October 29, 2015

If you still have time, head to the other tourist favorites nearby. Here are some suggestions from TripHobo:


Expique

Jpeg
Tuk tuk ride

For a different kind of Bangkok city tour, join the Bangkok Night Lights tour of Expique. You’ll get to tour around Bangkok using their very sexy tuktuks. In this Bangkok sightseeing tour, you’ll get to interact with the locals, sample some of Bangkok’s street food, ride a traditional mode of transportation and have a qualified guide to tell you the history of each site.

ATM: Bangkok Night Tour aboard a tuktuk. Thank you Expique!

Posted by Plan Your Trip Now on Sunday, October 18, 2015

The drivers, guide and the owner are all nice and friendly. Don’t worry about getting hungry because you’ll be eating at different stops, they’ll also be providing water and some refreshing towels.

You’ll be well taken care of by the Expique crew.

Some of the places you’ll visit:

Krung Thonburi – Klong San Market – Wat Prayoon – Giant Swing – Loha Prasat and Democracy Monument – Wat Pho – Flower Market – Chinatown


Introducing our Tuktuk Drivers

With Petra (Restless Child Travel) and Jib (Tour Guide)

A type of Thai Sausage

Wat Pho at night! #bangkok #thailand #tbex Thank you @expique for the great #Bangkok tuktuk tour

A photo posted by Mark Conrad (@markconrad) on

Bodh Gaya Foundation

Wat Prayurawongsawas Worawihan

Thipsamai's Pad Thai

Thipsamai

Flowers for everyones!

Expique's gift to all the participants

Follow Plan Your Trip Now’s board Bangkok Flower Market on Pinterest.

Day 2

Floating Market

The floating market is where you can buy food cooked directly from a boat floating in the canal. It is a very popular attraction during weekends. Well, I wasn’t able to go to any of the Floating Market because of lack of time (so that means I still have a reason to come back to bangkok). But, since I want to help you plan your trip I’ve made a short list of the Floating Markets you could visit that I heard from fellow travel bloggers who went there and a little bit of research.

Damnoen Saduak – the most popular among foreign tourists. Being the most popular has its disadvantage, it can get really crowded so you must arrive there early in the morning to avoid boat traffic jams.

Amphawa – this is the one Thai locals usually go to. It must be good if the locals frequent it, right?

Bang Nam Phueng – one that is always mentioned by friends is the Bang Nam Phueng, if you want a less touristy floating market you should go here.

Here’s a sample of the feast you can have from the Bang Nam Phueng from the Instagram of my friend Luke:

A photo posted by Mr Lukey B (@mrlukey_b) on

Shangri-La Horizon River Cruise

Have a festive dinner buffet while cruising along the Chao Phraya river! Who wouldn’t love that?

There are other hotels and companies doing a river cruises. All have different themes and offerings (some even have boat parties), but if you prefer a more relaxed dining experience Shangri-La Horizon Cruise then go ahead and book a tour.


Shangri-La Hotel BangkokShangri-La Hotel Bangkok

Just walking inside Shangri-La hotel is already a feast for the eyes. I hope I could book a night there someday.


Shangri-La Hotel Bangkok lobby

Shangri-La Bangkok Lobby

Shangri-La Bangkok Lobby orchids

Shangri-La Horizon River Cruise-190735

Oh there’s our boat!


Shangri-La Horizon Cruise boat

Just look at the amount of food waiting to be devoured.


Shangri-La Horizon River Cruise-

Shangri-La Horizon Dinner Buffet

Shangri-La Horizon Dinner Buffet

Shangri-La Horizon Dinner Buffet

Shangri-La Horizon Dinner Buffet

Shangri-La Horizon Dinner Buffet

Shangri-La Horizon Dinner Buffet

Shangri-La Horizon Dinner Buffet

After we finished our delightful meal, we went outside to enjoy the cool breeze while looking at some of Bangkok’s famous landmarks like Wat Pho, Wat Arun, Grand Palace, Rama VIII bridge (below) and many others.


Rama VIII Bridge during Shangri-La Horizon River Cruise

Sky Bar at Lebua State Tower

Sky Bar is also known as the Hangover Bar where a scene from the movie Hangover 2 was shot. It is on the 63rd floor of the Lebua State Tower. It is one of the highest bar in the world which gives you a perfect view of Bangkok. It is a very luxurious place so they implement a strict smart casual dress code. And if you ‘d like to splurge a little for a fancy dinner, they also have a restaurant that is perfect place to dine with your special someone.

I wouldn’t have known of this place if not for Deanna of Talk About Beauty. Here’s our group photo (grabbed from Deanna’s Facebook post):

Sky Bar Bangkok
with Suwisa, Deanna and Luke

That view though!

Sky Bar at Lebua State Tower
Sky Bar at Lebua State Tower

Day 3

Naj Thai Cooking School

Naj Thai Cooking School is one of the best culinary schools in Bangkok. They have received several awards and good reviews for their cooking class. They have their its own herb garden which is used to educate the students about the different herbs used in Thai cooking.

Mitch, Chef Ohm, Natasha, Natalia and Mark

Where we cooked

All prepped up

They also have an award-winning restaurant at the back which caters to Bangkok’s high society. What’s even more interesting is that the house where the restaurant is in, used to belong to one of the ancestors of the King (if I remember it right). You can book the restaurant for events and other small private functions.


Naj Thai Cooking School-6193

Naj Exquisite Thai Cuisine Restaurant

Naj Thai Cooking School-6201

This is my very first formal cooking lesson. I had a lot of fun learning how to cook some of my favorite Thai dishes: Tom Yum, Pad Thai and Green curry. It was really exciting. I felt like I’m in MasterChef.


Chef for a day

All excited to cook some Thai food

Ingredients for the 1st dish

Chef Ohm explains to us in detail the history of these Thai dishes, the use of each ingredient, as well as, clear instructions for each dish. He told us some of his childhood memories while learning from his grandmother how to cook. Plus, he also gave some cooking tips like how to cook properly using coconut milk and making the perfect sunny side up egg without the need for a non-stick pan.

Of course, we get to try our freshly prepared dishes. Yum!


Presenting...  the famous Pad Thai

Tasting time!

After our cooking lesson, we get to tour their herb garden, 5-star restaurant, and wine cellar.


Going underground

Inside the wine cellar

We also had the chance to taste this Thai appetizer. You pick it up using the toothpick and put everything in your mouth.

Thai appetizer

To finish it off, we get to enjoy these traditional Thai refreshments.


Thai refreshments

They also gave us the recipes of the food we cooked to help us replicate back in our own kitchen what we learned that day.

Flow House

I didn’t expect to see an indoor surfing facility in the middle of Bangkok and just a few blocks away from my hostel. The place is called Flow House Bangkok. You can ride the waves from 10am to 11pm. Just go their website to make a reservation. Please also take note of some of their house rules first before making a booking. Thanks to Tom and Meg of The Travel Freedom Network for organizing this event.

I’ve tried surfing in Baler and La Union in the Philippines before, but this was my first time to do indoor surfing or flow boarding. It’s quite challenging to control the board with the powerful jets of water constantly pounding you but I had a great time! It’s so fun! Just watch these videos to see how much fun we had:


Video by Nathan of Fit Living Lifestyle

They also had a bar which has some great food and drinks that you can enjoy while watching the surfers have fun on the waves.

As your muscles would ache the next day, it is better to have a Thai Massage on Day 4.

Day 4

RarinJinda Wellness Spa Resort

While you are in Thailand, why not get an authentic Thai massage?! As someone who works everyday sitting in front of the computer a lot, I welcome every opportunity to get a massage to relieve my aching shoulders.

RarinJinda is one of the best spa in Thailand. The branch that we visited is in Ploenchit, Bangkok. We tried the Siamese Himalayan Salt Therapy.


Building Lobby

RarinJinda Lobby

Some of their products

They welcomed us with a refreshing pandan juice drink. They gave us a brief orientation of the process then, we were led to the sauna room.


Pandan drink

After that, they brought us to their Himalayan Salt Room. This is where they squeeze out all the stress out of your body. For first timers, you might find Thai massage to be painful since the therapist would be kneading your body using their hands, forearms, elbow and sometimes foot; then, make your bones crackle with some incredible stretching techniques. If you could get past that, you’ll feel instant relief.

I enjoyed it a lot since I’ve tried Thai massage in Manila so I know what to expect. Once, the session is finished there’s no longer tightness in my muscles and I felt so relaxed.

After the massage, we were treated with the famous mango sticky rice and a refreshing drink.


Mango Sticky Rice

I hope this post gave you an idea of other interesting things to do in Bangkok. If you have recommendations for those planning a Bangkok trip, kindly post it below.