Bangkok, it was lovely to get back to somewhere that was a little more city like. It still had the lovely quirkiness of Thailand with backstreet markets and people living behind their shop front but also modern shopping centres/restaurants and a lot more taxis compared to tuk tuks. 

We had to extend our stay in Bangkok as we were waiting for our Vietnam visas to be completed at the Vietnam Embassy. It was a lot more expensive to have them completed the next day, so we decided to push back the date that we were originally going to leave for Cambodia. We didn't mind this as we could relax more and explore other parts the city had to offer. 


The Big Buddha in Bangkok was not as impressive as the one in Phuket however it was still lovely to see. We organised with our tuk tuk driver that we would go to the Big Buddha and then end up at MBK Shopping Centre. Apparently it was a government holiday and so the government was paying for all of the tuk tuk drivers petrol and all they had to do to collect their voucher for petrol was take us to Thai Fashion, a suit tailor shop. This lovely trip had a very, well to put it bluntly, crappy ending. 
We wandered inside Thai Fashion to 'look' at suits as our tuk tuk driver wouldn't take us to MBK until we looked inside and he got his voucher. The staff looked at Dylan and clearly saw $$ and kept persisting into letting them size him up and choose material for his new suit...never going to happen. Finally after leaving Thai Fashion our tuk tuk driver started to drive in what we thought was the direction of MBK when suddenly his tuk tuk magically broke down when he pulled over. 
Thankfully this mysterious breakdown happened on the street outside where we were staying but unfortunately for us we got this tuk tuk when we were already half way to MBK. So now we were back to square one and had to start our walk to MBK again...which was 8km from our place btw!! 

We gave our tuk tuk driver 20 Baht ($1 Aud) as we felt bad and we thought his tuk tuk had suddenly broken down, this was all before we realised that we were back on our street. You live and learn, but if your tuk tuk driver says "You go to Big Buddha" or "It is government holiday, free petrol for tuk tuk drivers" don't believe them! It is a scam!! 
If you were wondering, we did finally make it to MBK. We were covered in sweat, both had chafe and were both very dehydrated...but we made it. To continue with our fantastic day, we didn't really like MBK as it was extremely cramped and was similar but not as good as Chatuchak Markets that were indoors and 8 floors high. 

If you want to go to some great markets, we recommend going to Chatuchak weekend market. They have everything from clothes to food and all sorts niknaks. It is best to get there by metered taxi, well actually it is best to get anywhere around Bangkok by metered taxi. Make sure when you get a taxi that you ask them to put the meter as some will try and barter a price with you. Around 99% of the time it is a lot more expensive to agree on a price than if they had the meter on. 

The Grand Palace, definitely a must see if you are in Bangkok. The beautifully colourful architecture and intricate detail had us in awe, the creativity and craftsmanship of the Thai people is amazing. The Grand Palace was built in 1782 and for around 150 years it was the official residence of the Kings of Siam, the Royal court and the administrative seat of government. Today, this stunning complex remains the spiritual heart of the Thai Kingdom. 

Important note about the Grand Palace:

A strict dress code applies when you visit the Grand Palace with the Temple of the Emerald Buddha as it is Thailand's most sacred site. Visitors must be properly dressed before being allowed entry to the grounds. Men and women must be modestly dressed with long pants/skirt and shirts with sleeves (no tank tops, no see-through clothes, bare shoulders etc.) If you do show up at the front gate improperly dressed, there are stores across the road that sell long loose pants and wraps that you can cover your shoulders with. 

The Grand Palace

  • Opening Hours: Daily 08:30 - 15:30
  • Price Range: Tickets are sold from 08:30 - 15:30 and cost 500 Baht pp ($20 AUD). One ticket includes your entry to Vimanmek Palace and Abhisek Dusit Throne Hall.
  • Location: Na Phra Lan Road, Old City (Rattanakosin)

Wat Pho (the Temple of the Reclining Buddha), or Wat Phra Chetuphon, is located behind the Temple of the Emerald Buddha and the Grand Palace. This temple is definitely something we recommend that you see if you come to Bangkok, your day might become a little expensive, like ours did (if you have a tight budget) as we went to both the Grand Palace and Wat Pho in one day but it is worth it. We found it easier to go in the one day as they are so close together and also because you need to be appropriately dressed for both temples. 

This is one of the largest temple complexes in the city and famous for it's giant reclining Buddha that is 46m long and is covered in gold lead. It is roughly a ten minute walk from the Grand Palace...twenty minutes on a hot day like ours. 

Wat Pho

  • Opening Hours: Daily 08:00 - 17:00
  • Price Range: 100 Baht pp ($4 AUD)
  • Location: Maharat Road. Close to the river (about a 10-20 minute walk south of the Grand Palace), Old City (Rattanakosin)

Dusit Zoo, these were really the only photos I got at this zoo. It was quite sad as we felt that the zoo wasn't maintained and the animals didn't seem happy. The zoo would be somewhere that we wouldn't recommend that you go. 

Places to shop:

Bangkok has more than enough shopping centres that suit all kinds of lifestyles and budgets. I will list some below that are all within walking distance of each other and that were great to go and see. 

  1. Siam Paragon, Siam (Luxury megamall)
    • Open 10:00 - 22:00
  2. CentralWorld, Siam (Largest in Thailand with the most popular fashion brands)
    • Open 10:00 - 22:00
  3. MBK, Siam (Like an indoor Chatuchak Market)
    • Open 10:00 - 22:00
  4. Central Embassy (Ultra-luxury lifestyle mall)
    • Open 10:00 - 22:00
  5. Siam Discovery (Leisurely shopping experience)
    • Open 10:00 - 22:00
  6. Siam Center, Siam (Numerous international & Thai boutiques)
    • Open 10:00 - 21:00

Places to eat:

Bangkok street food can be stressful at times as the popular places are always so busy and frantic but these will be the best ones. You can go to a humble cart on the side of the road or to a collection or stalls in a local market or even a traditional shophouse that has tables spilling out onto the road...this happens often and there will be mopeds and cars trying to drive past you. Cleanliness was something that we were worried about but the best tip is to eat at the busy places as the ingredients will be fresh. 
Chinatown has some delicious places! Also we recommend that you try Hong Kong Noodle, their crispy pork and noodles is absolutely amazing.