Two days in Bangkok are just enough to lightly touch the surface of Southeast Asia’s most visited city. But with a little bit of motivation and a few smart decisions, you can really shake up the travel memories. Here’s to how to spend 2 days in Bangkok!
Day 1: Morning
7.00 am: Yes, that seems to be an early start. To better enjoy Bangkok’s busiest attractions, be sure to arrive early enough to beat the big tour groups. Avoid the western breakfast in the hotel. You can eat eggs anywhere! Instead, go out on the street to try some Thai dishes that are often eaten in the morning. Don’t linger too long. Sightseeing is best in the morning before the sun rises in Bangkok – and the heat. Pack water, a hat and dress modestly. For many places you visit today, your knees and shoulders must be covered.
7.30 am: After breakfast, hurry to the next pier on the river. A river taxi boat is an interesting and inexpensive way to get to the Grand Palace and Wat Pho without having to deal with morning traffic. Ideally, you are ready at the Grand Palace entrance before opening at 8:30 a.m. To ensure an early start, you can have breakfast near the entrance.
8.00 am: Get off the boat at Tha Chang Pier. You can easily spot the most ornate buildings or just follow the crowd towards the Grand Palace. The Emerald Buddha in Wat Phra Kaew in the palace grounds is considered the most sacred object in Thailand. Depending on how thoroughly you explore the area, the palace and Wat Phra Kaew can take several hours to a full day.
11.30 am: Though it’s worth the effort, the Grand Palace is a crazy vortex of tourists, guides, pushy drivers, and scammers. You will probably be out of patience before you see everything! Avoid burnout by bailing out early for lunch. Go back towards the river and then turn left onto Maha Rat Road (the main street). Walk 10 minutes south to Tha Thien Pier and choose one of the simple but delicious restaurants located there. Ama is a good choice for Thai food, but there are plenty of tasty options.
Day 1: Afternoon
12.30 pm: When you’re done with lunch, Wat Pho and the largest collection of Buddha images in Thailand are literally behind you. You can spend the next few hours exploring Bangkok’s most popular temples outside the Grand Palace. The 150-foot-long Buddha statue inside is spectacular. If Wat Pho is already flooded with tourists, as is so often the case, you can instead walk 10 minutes north to Wat Mahahat. Amulets that are believed to be protective are sold and traded there. It’s a real scene on Sundays.
3.30 pm: On the way from Wat Pho you have the option of walking through the Tha Thien market before taking the boat. Treat yourself to a sweet snack there, but don’t miss it if you’re having trouble with fishy sights and smells.
4.00 pm: After a busy day of sightseeing, you have two options to escape the afternoon heat: just go downriver to see IconSIAM (Bangkok’s newest mega mall), or take a break at the hotel. Regardless of which choice you choose, you should take an inexpensive Thai massage as a reward for navigating through the busiest scene in Bangkok.
Day 1: Evening
7.00 pm: If you want to stroll through IconSIAM until dinner, you can try the satellite location of Thipsamai, the first restaurant to receive a Michelin star for Pad Thai. Don’t let Thipsamai’s entry into the renowned “Red Book” frighten you – it’s informal and the prices are cheap. If shopping malls aren’t your thing, you can tidy up and wait for them to arrive at the original Thipsamai location on Maha Chai Road. It opens to an eager crowd at 5:00 p.m.
8.30 am: For something completely different, you can take a taxi to Khao San Road to enjoy snacks on the famous Backpacker Street. Adjacent venues compete with live music along Soi Rambuttri, the street parallel to Khao San Road. The area is home to the cheapest massages (not the questionable type) in Bangkok. Get a bonus foot or neck / shoulder massage for less than USD 5 (PKR 750).
Day 2: Morning
9.30 am: Enjoy a leisurely start today. You may need it if you’ve spent too much time on Khao San Road. To round off your two days in Bangkok, take advantage of the city’s great shopping. But don’t worry: you can also combine a day in retail with interesting cultural options.
If you’re visiting Bangkok on a weekend, head straight to the Chatuchak weekend market to explore, nibble, and buy souvenirs. The labyrinth market complex is one of the largest in the world. It is only open on Saturdays and Sundays from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Once you’ve bought for all of the silk and wood elephants, you can go for the more luxurious malls that open later in the evening.
11.30 am: Bangkok’s Chinatown is an exciting cluster of sights, smells, food, and shopping. Take a taxi to Yaowarat Road and go for a stroll. You can haggle your skills while shopping on the busy sidewalk.
Day 2: Afternoon
1.00 pm: In Chinatown, take the time to see the golden Buddha statue at Wat Traimit before the temple closes at 5:00 p.m. The most valuable Buddha statue in the world (5.5 tons of gold valued at $ 250 million) ) was discovered accidentally after being hidden for centuries!
2.00 pm: After visiting the temple, wander and shop some more. If you’re brave enough, opt for a painful-yet-therapeutic Chinese reflexology foot massage.
3.00 pm: Hit the malls again! Siam Paragon is an upscale option in the region. Newly renovated in 2016, Siam Discovery is a beautiful, creative shopping center with futuristic themes. The Siam Center next to the central Siam BTS station is another popular choice. CentralWorld, accessible via the Chitlom BTS station, is the eleventh largest shopping center in the world. Cross the street to see the Erawan Shrine, a bustling neighborhood sidewalk shrine that sometimes hosts local dance groups.
Day 2: Evening
5.30 pm: One way to end the perfect 48 hours in Bangkok is to enjoy the sunset from the Sky Bar on the Lebua State Tower. You can get there by boat (get off at Sathon Pier and walk or take a 10 minute taxi ride). The nightly view of Bangkok is breathtaking. If the Sky Bar feels a little too presumptuous (which is partly due to film fame), there are alternative rooftop bars on practically every hotel along the Chao Phraya River. The sunset is usually around 6:30 p.m. in Bangkok. Come earlier to secure a table with the best view! The Red Sky atop Centara Grand in CentralWorld Mall is a rooftop bar near the shopping area.
7.00 pm: If you prefer to skip the sunset and have dinner nearby, you have a wide choice. Lovers of sushi and sashimi can try the all-you-can-eat experience at the Oishi Grand in Siam Paragon. Be warned: you will no longer feel like doing a lot afterwards! If you want to learn more about quality than quantity, visit the many Japanese options near Sukhumvit Soi 33 and Soi 24.
9.00 pm: Do you have the stamina for another night? If so, take the BTS Skytrain to Nana Station and walk along Sukhumvit Soi 11. Alternatively, you can roll to Royal City Avenue, the clubbing and live music district that populates Bangkok’s walls late into the night.