Bangkok – Asia in a nutshell
Why Asia in a nutshell? Because every block of the city contains both modern and traditional, reach and poor elements. It is like the Polish national dish – BIGOS (eng. mess) consisting of cabbage, mushrooms, herbs, meet and sausages cooked together for several hours and then put aside for a day to give the most aromatic taste. Bangkok is exactly like this. Therefore, despite the very hot and humid weather combined with the heavy smog, we love the city and we are still far away from saying: we have explored it already.
Most probably, our enthusiasm is also driven by the fact that Bangkok was part of our first trip to Asia back in 2012. This was not our only stay there, however.
The impressions from the Royal Palace are unforgettable. This is like experiencing a little Asian paradise in well-maintained green scenery. The tour itself takes more less 2 hours and the visitors should make sure that the tour includes return transfer to the hotel or at least Sukhumvit area. We did not and we had terrible problems to find a taxi or tuk-tuk after having left the palace.
River Cruise by public boat from/to Sathorn pier
Probably you will have to do this trip with a guide as the place is located some 1,5 hour drive from the city. This half-a-day tour (unless combined with other destination like the Train Market) includes a short ride on elephant (optional) and a visit to the souvenir shop having agreement with your guide (mandatory).
Floating Market is a very interesting place to see although the real shopping opportunities are not available. A lot of cheap plastic stuff and fake products. However, you may consider visiting a cobra show or ask the local lady to do a quick massage of your shoulders with the tiger’s cream.
The main shopping opportunities in Bangkok are located along the main city’s commercial avenue – Sukhumvit Road. Sukhumvit hosts traditional Western-styled shopping malls. Moreover, the biggest mall with the local stuff – MBK – is located there. MBK requires good physical condition and at least half a day as you can find thousands of individual stands offering cheap plastic stuff from China, but also good quality leather shoes in various colors to be bought at 40-50 euro. Try them on before buying as the size indicated on the shoe does not have to correspond with the real one. MBK is also a place to buy good quality fake products which are usually not publicly exposed. You have to visit some shops, show interest and – after that – you might be invited to the back store to see the real offer. Save your time by passing by the stands with fake perfumes. They all smell the same and do not much the originals at all. Fake purses, scarfs, clothes and wallets of good quality might be found In some places however, it requires a lot of time and a lot of small-talk.