As a way of celebrating our 10-year anniversary, my boyfriend surprised me with a 2-week trip to Thailand (thanks, baby! :)). This was my first visit to Thailand, and I must say it was an amazing experience! While it was SUPER hot and humid (and my hair was a total disaster all day every day :)), I enjoyed every single bit of our stay. Our first stop was Bangkok. I initially feared it was going to be super touristy, but somehow it didn't really bother me. There's just so much to do and to see that it sort of distracted me from the hoards of people that are everywhere.
We stayed at the W Bangkok and the Mandarin Oriental; depending on what you're looking for - the first one is a bit more hip, the second one super luxurious - I'd recommend both.There are a ton of fun activities to do in Bangkok, and no. 1 on my list was visiting the JJ Green Market on Friday night (it's also open during the weekend). It's really huge, and offers just about anything, from clothes and antiques, to handmade specialties and delicous local treats. If you want a taste of the real Bangkok, buy too much super affordable souvenirs and eat your weight in mango sticky rice (you must!), this is the place to be. Go with lots of cash and an empty stomach, that's all I'm sayin'! :)
The floating markets of Bangkok are world famous, and that shows: most of them are suuuuper touristy nowadays (Marcio visited one 10 years ago, and says it was an entirely different experience), but going to the colourful Khlong Lat Mayong floating market (by boat!) was super cool anyway.
Another activity that guarantees a tourist overload but is a must-do anyway, is admiring one of the many gorgeous historic temples. We went to Wat Pho (also featured in this post) and Wat Arun, which were both gorgeous. I would advice to go as early as possible, to avoid the crowds and the afternoon heat. I always love visiting religious symbols, as they tend to be calming and serene, which is especially nice in a big city like Bangkok.
Hands down my favorite evening activity was taking a walk around Yaowarat or Bangkok's Chinatown. It's one of the most alive places, with a gazillion lights, tuk-tuks buzzing around, and lots of people just hanging out and enjoying the scenery. If you're looking to get a cheap foot massage, this is the place to do it; just make sure they wash your feet first, in line with the health rules and regulations.
Now for food and drinks! My 2 favorite bars were the Lebua hotel's Sky Bar (for a romantic rendez-vous), with live music and an a-ma-zing romantic view of the city lights, and Maggie Choo's, a slightly hidden bar with a rustic feel to it (think lots of ancient looking figurines everywhere), which is great to hang out with friends.
For dinner, I'd definitely recommend the Gaggan restaurant, serving the best of Indian fusion. The food is delicious and, despite the fact that the chef previously worked at El Bulli, relatively affordable. Apart from that, we mostly ate at the local food stalls that are literally everywhere; they mostly serve rice based dishes, very cheap and extremely tasty (I couldn't eat rice for a while after we returned, though :)).
Finally, as for getting around, we mostly relied on Uber; you can take a taxi instead, but we were told it wasn't that reliable since you have no control over what they charge you (there are no meters inside the cars). A tuk-tuk is of course a must for smaller distances, but again: make sure you don't overpay (a ride should cost you a maximum of 200 Baht), and you are dropped off at the right spot.
Stay tuned for my Thai Islands hotspot guide, coming soon! XO Sofie