Thailand was a blur. An amazing, mind-blowing blur. There are a few things that I can’t even talk about publicly… but if you ever see me roaming around with my GoPro selfie stick out like an idiot, feel free to ask. If you are pressed for time, here are some must-see things for the busy traveler.
1. Go To Khao San Road
This is a Bangkok’s first-timer GO TO area. It has bars, cheap massages, and classic street food. SO MUCH FOOD. I spent my time wandering around the nearby streets looking for trouble and dear god I found some.
Khao San also has the best pad thai AND pizza joint in town… but I have no idea what it’s called unfortunately. It’s a big red restaurant and it’s one of the only places WITHOUT some loud obnoxious band playing 90’s music while you eat. Trust me.
2. Get A Thai Massage
Massages run upwards of 200 baht which is just over 6 USD. I got two each day because I was feeling like P Diddy. You won’t have to wander far from your hostel or hotel to find a massage parlor. The rumor that “special massages” are easy to find is in fact TRUE. I’ve had male friends walk out of massages, basically naked, after the women nearly DEMANDED to… er… accept their extra services? It’s really a crap shoot when it comes to choosing a place that will or will not offer you sex so HAVE FUN WITH IT. Try to stick with open-air establishments when searching for massage opportunities or heavily populated places (like Khao San).
3. Take A Local Boat Up The Chao Phraya River
I went just before sunset which created AMAZING views and photo opportunities… but everything was closing down. You can hop on and off the local boats up and down the river as you visit the various temples along the river. It’s absolutely THE BEST way to travel from to-and-from different tourist destinations. You should make a day of it!
4. Visit The Reclining Buddha
While your on the river boat up the Chao Phraya River be sure to visit the spectacular Temple of the Reclining Buddha or Wat Pho. I was JUST able to make it before I ran out of sunlight and had to leave for Bali the next morning. It’s one of the few tourist attractions has ever REALLY took my breath away. You’ll be able to run around nearby temples as well and it’s well worth the photo opportunity.
5. Visit the Grand Palace
The Grand Palace is the home of the Thai King, the Royal Court, and the administrative seat of the government. I was there during a national holiday so I wasn’t able to enter, BUT it is truly breathtaking… or so the pictures seem to show.
My biggest pieces of advice for when visiting Thailand is to NOT attempt it in 48 hours.
Side note: I spent 7 of those hours in the emergency room of Bangkok International because my friend fractured his spine… right in front of me. FYI, Bangkok traffic is insane so ALWAYS always call an ambulance immediately because it’s going to take an hour for it to arrive. However, it’s a quality hospital and medical attention is cheap in Bangkok! Don’t risk it! Call for help immediately.
Double Side Note: I ended up traveling with this random stranger (pictured below) through 4 different countries and it was AMAZING. He even came to my aid and helped me take my friend to the hospital… when he was on the other side of town during rush hour. I’ve said it once but I’ll say it again, strangers abroad are awesome. Don’t be afraid to make friends! [Thanks again Tom!]
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About Vanessa Elizabeth
Vanessa Elizabeth is a cultural chameleon currently based in London. She enjoys sports (such as CrossFit and dating), cooking, and demolishing her savings account. When she's not busy blogging about her feelings, she works full-time and practices Chinese with her English/German friends.
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