Exploring Bangkok

No visit to Thailand is complete without a few days in Bangkok. Since I was locked into 7 days in Phuket with my Marriott travel package, I only did three nights in the nation’s capital, but I made sure to take in all the major sights while I was there.

 

The Westin Grande Sukhumvit

The Westin Grande Sukhumvit was centrally located and was priced reasonably at only  4317 THB (around $135) per night including tax. I booked the cheapest room available and cashed in some of my remaining Suite Night Awards for a fancy two-room suite.

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Suite living room
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Suite bedroom
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Fancy room controller
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Suite bedroom
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Suite bathroom

As a Marriott Platinum Elite member (and also because I was in a suite) I was granted Westin Club privileges which included access to all the meals in the lounge, late checkout, and a host of other benefits.

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Westin Club Privileges

Another reason I picked this hotel was the massive pool overlooking the city.

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Hotel pool

The Club Lounge had a gratuitous spread of food at all times throughout the day with a good balance of Thai and Western options.

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Club Lounge food
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Club Lounge food
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Club Lounge food
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Club Lounge dessert

Breakfast was definitely the star of the show. I didn’t find out until the second day, but you could order from an a la carte menu in addition to the buffet. I loved the Thai eggs benedict.

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Club Lounge breakfast
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Club Lounge breakfast
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Club Lounge breakfast
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Club Lounge breakfast
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Club Lounge breakfast
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Club Lounge breakfast

I would definitely recommend the Westin if you’re ever in Bangkok. It was modern, reasonably priced, and right next to a metro station and lots of shopping.

 

The Sights by Day

I had only a couple days to see everything, so I got up bright and early to see the sights.

First up was the Giant Swing, a religious structure built by King Rama I.

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The Giant Swing

Next I made my way over to the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. On the way there, I passed by the Ministry of Defense. I loved the cannon garden out front.

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The Ministry of Defense

The Wat Phra Si Rattana Satsadaram, otherwise known as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha is the most sacred Buddhist temple in Thailand. Photography inside is not permitted, so these exterior photos will have to suffice.

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The Temple of the Emerald Buddha
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The Temple of the Emerald Buddha

Surrounding the temple were multiple historical buildings including the Phra Thinang Chakri Maha Prasat.

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The Phra Thinang Chakri Maha Prasat

I then headed towards The Temple of Dawn. The ferry was only a short walk away, but a tuk tuk is a great option if you need to travel farther.

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Thai tuk tuk

The ferry to cross the Chao Phraya River was definitely a bit sketch, but was super cheap and very quick.

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Crossing the river by ferry

The Wat Arun Ratchawararam Ratchawaramahawihan or Temple of Dawn is one of Thailand’s best known landmarks and has existed since at least the seventeenth century.

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The Temple of Dawn
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The Temple of Dawn
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The Temple of Dawn

Judge me if you may, but I have made a point to try at least one item at a McDonald’s in every country I visit. The more random the item, the better. I went with the Chicken Lasagna Pie for 29 baht, (about 92 cents). It was basically a fancy hot pocket, but thankfully it was heated to a uniform temperature inside.

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Thai McDonald’s
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Thai McDonald’s

In addition to all the sights, there was also a massage shop on nearly every corner. I highly recommend getting multiple massages during your time in Thailand. Every place I visited was super clean, very professional, and incredibly cheap. Just be sure to double check the reviews on Google to make sure you have the same experience I did.

 

The Sights by Night

Bangkok is a lively city at night with lots to see. Asiatique came highly recommended and it was a nice contrast to the hurried, chaotic feeling of downtown Bangkok. It was built on the former waterfront of the East Asiatic Company and featured lots of shopping, gratuitous amounts of food, and also a few rides including the Asiatque Sky ferris wheel.

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Riding the ferry to Asiatique
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Asiatique
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Asiatique Sky
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Another tuk tuk

Back in the city and close to the Westin was the massive Terminal 21 shopping mall.

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Terminal 21

A little farther down the road was The EmQuartier mall. I didn’t really do much shopping at either mall, but these pool noodle monsters made this one the real winner.

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Pool noodle monsters

Along the streets were many portraits of King Rama X, which were on display for his coronation a month before my arrival.

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A portrait of King Rama X

Since I was in Thailand’s capital, I of course had to walk down Soi Cowboy, one of Bangkok’s red light districts. It was a bit crazy to say the least.

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Soi Cowboy

This was definitely a quick trip, but I feel like I got the chance to sample a lot of what Bangkok had to offer. There was a lot to see in this vibrant city and I will definitely be back for a longer trip in the future.

Next up, my flight to Frankfurt in economy on Lufthansa.

Thanks for reading!

-Matt

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