Bangkok is large, ugly, and smells weird. It is basically the Durian of cities. However, if you give Bangkok a chance, and take a closer look, it is one of the most interesting and fun cities in this world.
Different than Durian, which really tastes like it smells.
1. Bangkok is a Foodie Capital
According to CCN travel it is one of the top 10 Asian cities for street food. Speaking as a true Som Tam (spicy Thai salad) addict, I can only back this up: There is food everywhere. Literally.
You can say wherever you find people in Asia – you will find street food. In Bangkok you find people everywhere, ergo there is food everywhere. Makes perfectly sense, right?
There are many rooftop bars in Bangkok from which you have a fantastic view over the city by night. As always the best ones are the rooftop bars of big hotels. For example the ones of the Banyan Tree and the Marriott. If you want to see the one from Hangover 2, that would be the Sky Bar of the Lebua State Tower!
3. Bangkok is the TRUE city that never sleeps
New York is the city that never sleeps? If you ever walked the streets in NY at 6ish in the morning you might find yourself all alone in the big city. Bangkok however really never sleeps! At 6am you will most likely see a group of people making Yoga, Tai Chi or other sports that just look too funny if you see a large group of people doing it in public. The Lumphini park is a great spot to see this, or take part.
4. It’s a great place for Weekend Trips
Bangkok is not only a great place to stay, it is also a great place to leave. Take a train to Malaysia, the bus to the beach (Hua Hin is the closest), or fly for 20$ to Chiang Mai. Bangkok really opens many doors to see more great places in South East Asia – even if only for a weekend.
5. You can Shop until you Drop
In Bangkok this saying has to be taken literally. If you don’t believe me, try to see all of the Chatuchak Weekend Market in a day – or even in a weekend. It is the largest market in Thailand and you will get everything. Again, take this literally. Obviously it is not the only market, you have more to choose from. Day and night. Besides the markets, you have countless malls: The typical Asian ones with little stalls and bargain deals, as well as the ones with all the brand we know from America and Europe.
6. Party all Night
From all night backpacker parties at the Khao San Road, cool bars, and Cocktail VW’s in Sukhumvit to high end clubs in Thong Lor. There are so many possibilities, and opportunities to go out every night of the week.
7. Great Hotels and Hostels for a Good Price
This one counts for Thailand as a whole as well again, still is a reason that speaks for Bangkok. As the city through which almost all South-East-Asia Backpackers will travel, there are countless Hostels in every price range, and for every needs. Hostels have their positive and negative sides, but it can definitely be great to stay with so many likeminded people at one place.
8. Temples, Temples, and more Temples
There are more than 400 temples, which are called Wats in Thai, in and around Bangkok. A crazy number, isn’t it? You should go and see Wat Arun (so beautiful), Wat Pho (has a giant Buddha statue) and Wat Phra Kaew (is part of the Grand Palace, which is a must see anyways) for sure.
That was my Bangkok Fan List. Living outside Bangkok for a while I had the chance to see quite a lot. Well, unfortunately not as much as I would have loved too, as I stayed right during the unstable political situation in 2014, but enough to like the city! Bangkok is just not one of the places you will fall in love with at first sight. It takes a while, but if you get a feeling for it once, I bet you will want to stay longer too. Bangkok is just an amazing city, and the people who ruined its reputation simply did not stay long enaugh! Have you been to Bangkok already? What do you think about it? I’d love to here your thoughts on this!
UPDATE: The timing of this post is not the greatest, considering it has been published one day before a bomb exploded in the center of Bangkok. However, I decided not to delete it, as terrorism should not take away our happiness. I am very sorry for the 22 killed, and my thoughts are with the families.