HOW TO ENJOY BANGKOK IN 2 DAYS
January 1, 1970
I’m a sucker for cheap tickets. So, when Swiss Air had a sale on their Singapore to Bangkok flights, I immediately told my friends about it and of course, booked our tickets. That time, I no longer have available vacation leave so that left me with no choice but to be in Bangkok for a measly 48 hours.
We took a Friday afternoon flight. I went to Changi Airport straight from work, checked in, and 2 hours later, we were in the City of Angels. We arrived around 9 in the evening and was picked up at the airport by two of our Thai friends. As we were booked to leave Bangkok on Sunday afternoon, we told our friends that we certainly didn’t want to waste time. And so our Bangkok getaway began.
Bangkok at night
Our friends drove us to the Red Light District. What an introduction, right? We parked at a 24-hour convenience store and had our late dinner. I had Pad Thai. The spicy one, I told them. Having lived in Singapore for almost a year then, dishes topped with chili padis, smothered in chili sauce became my favorite. As expected, it was tasty and delicious! Food and drinks were cheap in Thailand compared to Singapore, like 5 times less. (duh!) We wanted to try the street foods but our Thai friends told us that we’d buy somewhere else. Definitely not in that area. (Hello, hepatitis!) But, I guess if you are adventurous enough and have complete anti-hepatitis vaccines, go ahead and try.
As we walked to the Red Light District, we were greeted by men who tried to sell us DVDs. I stopped as I was interested only to be offered tickets to Live Shows! (Alright, here we go!) But, I passed. They were like 2 or 3 of them who tried to sell us these infamous tickets before we finally reached that bar we were supposed to have some drinks at. Lo and behold, they were lady boys everywhere! It was an interesting sight, though. You don’t see that every day, anyway.
We ended up hanging out outside the bars (as it was too loud inside), walked around and shopped for Bangkok stuff like shirts and tamarinds. They were cheap, in my opinion. I got a simple shirt for 50 Thai baht. Small packets of spicy tamarind cost about 25 to 50 Thai baht. We decided to call it a night as we were all dead tired.
The Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho)
Our day started early with a trip to the famous Reclining Buddha. It was crowded with tourists as expected. You have to wear proper clothing to be allowed to go inside. We were wearing shorts as it was hot and humid that day! (Mind you, it was 9 in the morning.) We changed and went inside the temple. It was magnificent (and well worth that pants-switch)! It was my first time inside a Buddhist temple and I was really amazed. After about 2 hours, we headed to the Chatuchak Weekend Market.
Chatuckak Weekend Market
The place was like a maze! Who would have thought I could get out of it! I think they have everything in there! From clothing to wholesale textiles, carpets, Buddha stuff and all kinds of souvenirs you could think of. You could practice your haggling skills, too otherwise, it was just like buying from a normal souvenir store at the center of Bangkok. As it could get really crowded, always, always be wary of your personal belongings. I, personally, didn’t enjoy being there as I hate crowded places not to mention, it was scorching hot on that day. I did enjoy shopping. It was still the place to shop for affordable goods, in my opinion.
More of Bangkok
After almost losing my sanity at Chatuchak Market, we took the monorail to MBK and Siam Paragon for a more relaxing atmosphere. We had our late lunch at one of the food courts and again, Bangkok did not disappoint. I had the pineapple fried rice and sticky mango rice for dessert and both were scrumptious! My love for Thai food actually began in this Bangkok trip. We hang out for a while inside the air-conditioned mall and walked around the area. It was a good break from a dehydrating day.
Bangkok has several types of public transportation and I think it is a good idea to try all of them if you can. They have tuk tuk (Thai version of a tricycle) and it’s a good way to get around Bangkok. We’ve tried their buses, too. Some of them does not have air-conditioning so prepare to sweat some more. Their monorail is decent except for long queues especially during peak hours. Having your own car has an advantage, too as it could get you from point A to B directly. (Less walk, less sweat. Yes, I am that Asian who hates the tropical weather!) But then, prepare for traffic jams as it could get worse.
Come dinner time, we headed to the famous Cabbages and Condoms restaurant. Food was great (I am a bit biased here, I guess, as I adore Thai food so much!) but obviously a bit pricey. The restaurant’s ambiance was standard except for condoms (new ones, though) hanging around. It was a good dining experience overall.
After filling our tummies, we went to a club (sorry, I couldn’t remember the name of the place) and partied all night long! It was a Saturday well spent.
Bye, Bangkok. I’ll definitely be back some day. Definitely longer than 2 days.
We woke up late the next day because, well, we were up all night and luckily our flight was in the afternoon. We packed, had breakfast and we were told to have a last-minute lunch with my friend’s uncle in a restaurant near the airport. (Thai food again, yay!) After lunch, we drove to the airport for our flight back to Singapore.
48 hours in Bangkok was certainly short to enjoy everything the city has to offer but if you know where to go and you are always on-the-go, your 2-day ticket will sure be worth it. I am pretty sure that, despite the city’s all-year hot weather, you’ll enjoy its vibrancy and unique culture. And, the food. Don’t forget the food. 😉