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Exploring Bangkok on a 13 hour Layover

Paradise Found in the Indian Ocean: Day 8
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!

Bangkok

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.

Christina enjoying the lemongrass white coconut soup, Thai chicken rice and iced Thai bubble tea.

Christina enjoying the lemongrass white coconut soup, Thai chicken rice and iced Thai bubble tea.

Victory Monument spotted from the train. Built in 1941 to celebrate Thailand's victory against France in the Franco-Thai War.

Victory Monument spotted from the train. Built in 1941 to celebrate Thailand’s victory against France in the Franco-Thai War.

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.

Entrance of the museum house.

Thumbs up for silk at the entrance of the museum house.

A peak of the treasures inside the house!

A peak of the treasures inside the house!

Peace and serenity was a major theme.

Peace and serenity was a major theme.

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.

Chao Phraya River in all this glory...

Chao Phraya River in all this glory…

Public river ferries that shuttle people around for a small fee.

Public river ferries that shuttle people around for a small fee.

An ornate ferry stop on the side of the river.

An ornate ferry stop on the side of the river.

Colorful flower market!

Colorful flower market!

Enjoying the view of Wat Arun from the cafe.

Enjoying the view of Wat Arun from the cafe.

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.

Soaking in some rays at the Grand Palace.

Soaking in some rays at the Grand Palace.

Wat Phra Kaew and tuk tuks on standby.

Wat Phra Kaew and tuk tuks on standby.

Roundabout in front of the <strong>City Pillar Shrine</strong>.

Roundabout in front of the City Pillar Shrine.

<strong>Fort Mahakan</strong>, one of the two original forts built to defend the city.

Fort Mahakan, one of the two original forts built to defend the city.

Pink can actually be used as camouflage in Bangkok.

Pink can actually be used as camouflage in Bangkok.

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.

A long tuk tuk ride was not the most comfortable option, though much faster than a taxi!

A long tuk tuk ride was not the most comfortable option, though much faster than a taxi!

Banyan Tree Bangkok

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.

In search of the best view of Bangkok!

In search of the best view of Bangkok!

I've never seen Bangkok like this before! The view from the top of the Banyan Tree is a sight to behold.

I’ve never seen Bangkok like this before! The view from the top of the Banyan Tree is a sight to behold.

Rail terminal... futuristic design.

Rail terminal… futuristic design.

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!

David De Clercq

About David De Clercq

Founder and writer at World-Adventurer.com. David is on a mission to travel to every country in the world and recently surpassed 100 countries! As an adventurer, he craves new experiences while documenting them on multiple medias.

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