Bangkok Weekend Itinerary

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

This post was originally written for www.havehalalwilltravel.com


You noticed that a public holiday falls on a Friday, and there is nothing that you yearn more than to make use of the long weekend to get away from the reality that Singapore brings. "Anywhere will do", you thought, "I just need a stress free weekend getaway".

minions shopping excited
Photo courtesy of giphy.com

Well, if your idea of a short weekend getaway is hunting for good food, relaxing massages and amazing bargains, plus doing them all with a currency that benefits your bank account, then you've clicked on the right article!


Traveling from Suvarnabhumi/Don Mueang Airport to Your Accommodation

Suvarnabhumi Airport is a lot bigger and developed as compared to Don Mueang and provides really easy access to the city via public transport. However, if your flight lands at Don Mueang, it is more convenient (and would make more sense) to travel via taxi as public transport isn't as accessible compared to the former. Plan your route beforehand and make use of Google maps to find your way around.


As for me, I prefer to travel by the BTS because I like experiencing how locals commute and get by. Also, I always stay at either Bangkok City Hotel or find an Airbnb apartment that is around the same area. These two options would usually cost me around SGD20 - 50 per night, divide it among the number of pax and that would probably cost me only SGD10 for one night's stay!

Day 0 - Thursday

Tip: Take an evening flight out if you're working the day before!

Where I work (in the outdoor industry), we call this the Day 0 or advanced party - where you spend the night before the actual day to prep your mind and body. Same concept here. I would rather spend a few extra dollars on an additional night at the hotel and wake up all fresh, rather than rush for an early morning flight (that usually cost a few dollars more), spend on cab fare from my house to the airport just to reach at six in the morning, land at noon and waste a day feeling groggy from all the rush. If you do the math, you're actually saving! 


Explore The Neighborhood (1 - 2 hours) 
  • If it's still early evening, do this, especially if it's your first time there!
    There are bound to be nooks and crannies that are waiting to be discovered. 
  • However, do remember to travel safely (and not alone in dark alleys) especially when night falls!

Relax & Unwind (1 - 2 hours) 
Nothing like a good relaxing body scrub or traditional Thai massage (I am yearning for one as I'm typing this) after four busy days in the office and all the traveling that afternoon.


Have Supper (1 hour)


  • Grab a bite at one of the street stalls / restaurants that you might've found from the exploration earlier.
  • If you're looking for something light, there are bound to be pushcarts selling highly craved Thai pancakes around. 



Day 1 - Friday


Grab A "Local" Breakfast (1 - 2 hours)
This is where you start going all out and enjoy the long weekend, so start the day right.


If you've made arrangements for a hotel breakfast, then don't waste your money. But if you haven't, then take a morning stroll around the neighbourhood you're in. Eat what the locals eat for breakfast , taste how strong their coffee is and feel their morning rush. Follow this plan for breakfast on every morning of your trip, you'll be pleasantly surprised :)


Choose Something Uniquely Bangkok To Do 

You could be adventurous and try these on your own or opt for a half/full day tour from agencies like these. If you do choose to go on an arranged day tour, be sure to check on the prices, what's included and of course, try to ask for a discount if you can so you could possibly save there.


Platinum Fashion Mall (3 hours)

A great space for shopaholics, most definitely. There are two different buildings (connected with a bridge at level two) with seven stories filled with shops of different categories. 




It may feel repetitive or boring after awhile if window shopping (or shopping in general) isn't your cup of tea, so it really depends on your shopping style for you to either enjoy or reject this mall. Do bear in mind that this is a wholesale mall, which means that everything is cheaper if you buy them in bulk.


Grab Dinner from the Streets of Pratunam (1 - 2 hours)




Located around the allies, Pratunam Street is where you can continue your shopping if you haven't had enough from Platinum Fashion Mall. Within the allies though, is where you can find the most unique of street food stalls and push carts.

Day 2 - Saturday

Chatuchak Market (4 - 5 hours)
Getting to Chatuchak Market is pretty straight forward but the easiest and cheapest option I've tried is to go by public transport. From wherever you are, hop on the BTS to Mo Chit and just follow the signage and/or the crowd.

As to when- I usually head on down either on Friday night (1900 - midnight) or super early on Saturday morning, but do bear in mind that all shops will only open on the weekends. Friday nights are more laid back so if you're a shopaholic, go on Saturday morning.


Tip: Keep your camera and be there when stalls open, cos that's when shop owners would go down to your bargain price as they believe that they cannot reject their first customer for the day, or else it will bring bad luck to their business. Don't believe me? Try being a first customer. They'll kiss your dollar notes and sweep it all over their shop items.


Lunch & Unwind (2 - 3 hours)


After shopping til you (almost) drop at Chatuchak, it is only appropriate to have a break long enough to freshen up and re-energize yourself. I usually grab a cab from Chatuchak itself back to the hotel to:

a) dump all of the items I've splurged on
b) have a slow, draggy, lunch with a huge cooling drink
c) enjoy a mid day shower and feel refreshed
d) maybe even take a short nap in between


Talad Rod Fai Market (3 hours)


A little under-hyped as compared to Chatuchak Market, Rod Fai is located off the beaten tracks right behind Seacon Square, this gem of a market is definitely worth the trip. Focusing more on its old school and vintage culture, you'll have a hard time trying to keep your camera in your bag for this space.



Hands down, my favourite night market space in Thailand despite having to take a cab there. 


Dinner at Meat & Greet (1 hour)

Located along the row of proper shops near the entrance, Meat & Greet will be the first and only halal restaurant that you will come across at Rod Fai Market. There are a couple of halal food stalls (and a quaint little cafe selling yummy murtabak) within the proximity of the market but here's an option for proper restaurant based food and seating space. 


Day 3 - Sunday

Spend the whole day at MBK Center
After sleeping in, packing your luggage and checking out at eleven in the morning...
  • Grab some ice cream from Shibuya Soft or Dairy Queen
  • Catch a newly released movie or go bowling 
  • Shop for souvenirs or gifts for loved ones back home
  • Stock up on goodies (for the flight too!) from Tokyu 
  • Relive your childhood memories at the arcade
 

I find MBK Center to be the best place to go to after you check out on the last day because it's air conditioned, there are so many things to do, the mall provides free luggage storage for tourists, they have fixed prices for taxi rides to the airport from their taxi stand, there is a whole floor of shops selling Thai souvenirs and if you run out of cash... there's a convenient ATM right beside the counter.


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I hope this article have been useful for those of you who are either thinking of traveling to Bangkok for the first time or are trying to find a reason to go back because you ran out of things to do there. Now that you're done scrolling to the end of the page, what are you waiting for? Stop eyeing that flight ticket and just, go :)





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