Making good use of a 13 hour layover, we set out on my second trip to Bangkok to see some major sites I missed on the last trip!
After a bit of a delay at immigration to get a visa on arrival (1000bhat + 100bhat for the picture), we changed into some Thailand appropriate clothes (pink and white FTW), took out some cash, and headed out on our adventure!
As the capital of Thailand and the largest city, we had a lot of options to choose from. We decided to go to Jim Thompson’s House, do a tour along the Chao Phraya River, walk around the Grand Palace area and end the day with an amazing view of the city at the Banyan Tree.
Taking the convenient Airway train, conveniently equipped with wifi, we were soon in the center of the city at Phaya Thai station. After going to a few different stations, we found a tourist office and picked up some basic information and a map, then sought out a local eating hall for breakfast.
Jim Thompson’s House Museum
A short walk from the National Stadium stop is the well manicured Jim Thompson’s house. After purchasing our tickets, we browsed the store that had a collection specializing in silk wares. In front of the shop were examples of different types of silk cocoons from around the world and a man was demonstrating spinning silk thread by separating the silk strands from the cocoons.
Then we joined our tour and viewed the house that was made famous by the American silk enthusiast with a love for Thai culture. There were impressive antiques displayed throughout the original houses. The tour was informative and shed some light on the life of an accomplished but mysterious individual.
Chao Phraya River
We took the subway to the Central Pier Saphan Taksin stop where we got on a regular ferry upstream. The ride was an excellent opportunity to take some pictures of the attractions on the side of the river. We went under the Memorial Bridge and then got off the boat. We walked along river by a vibrant flower market and stopped at The Deck By The River for an ice coffee and smoothie break.
We continued north on foot through an amulet market selling trinkets and buddha statues stopping at Au Bon Pain for a refreshing kiwi juice. After we recuperated a bit, we went to explore the palace area.
We hailed a tuk tuk in order to go have a lunch. The traffic was pretty awful and even in a tuk tuk, the ride was almost an hour to get across town.
Arriving at Banyan Tree around 3, we had a late lunch at Romsai the café downstairs. Choosing Thai specialities, we dined on chicken curry rice and Tom Yum Goong soup. with a view of the natural garden and small waterfall. After, Lamcharn from the marketing department met our special request and took us for a quick tour of the Vertigo Restaurant which had one of the best views in the city.
With a flight to catch and not being familiar with traffic conditions, we made our way to the airport by subway and Airway train. We had more than enough time to check-in and do a little duty free shopping, before heading back to Beijing.
A quick but fun stop in Bangkok concludes the week long speed tourism of Sri Lanka, Maldives and Thailand!