Today’s guest post is from Matt at nomadicmatt.com. A traveler and expat, Matt is currently enjoying the tropical climes of Thailand, part of his never-ending globetrotting adventure. He takes up the slack as stevo enjoys a sabbatical.
Most tourists walk away from Bangkok thinking “There’s not much to do there.” I used to believe that too. Then I lived there and found there is a lot to do in Bangkok. Actually, there are a lot of free things to do in Thailand if you look around. Here are ten things that will keep you busy:
Visit the Grand Palace Though the king no longer lives there, the place is a great place to visit and contains amazing Asian architecture, Buddha, statues, and murals. The royal quarters are off limits though.
Visit Wat Pho Home to the famous reclining Buddha, this temple is located right next to the Grand Palace so you have no excuse to miss it. They even offer incredibly popular Thai massage classes too. (Certificate included!) Visit Wat Arun Located across the Chao Praya River, the temple of the dawn is easily spotted by its four rising spires and its center tower. It’s also located on the back of the Thai money and true to its name it is a great place to see the sunrise. Shop Bangkok is great for shopping. Malls here are more than stores- they are entertainment complexes. You can watch movies, go bowling, drink at bars, and even eat are some world class places (yes, in Bangkok, great dining can occur in malls!). Head to MBK for all the cheap movies, phones, video games, and whatever consumer electronics you need. Head to Pantip Plaza is great for computers. For designer clothes, Siam Paragon has it all. In fact, in Siam Square there are about 7 different malls. Hang with the locals at Santika Santika is a club in the Thong Lor area of Bangkok. It’s packed with locals on the weekend and has live music as well as DJs. If a crowd doesn’t appeal to you, there are a plethora of lounges and bars in the surrounding streets to choice from. Hang with the ex-pats at Cheap Charlie’s Cheap Charlie’s is a local institution and after 20 years, it’s still a popular hang out spot with the ex-pats. Located in an alley off Soi 11, this place is nothing more than a bar and stools. That doesn’t stop it from being busy every night of the week and, on the weekends, crowds flow into the street. Eat in Chinatown Thailand has a robust street food culture. You can’t walk down the street without tripping over ten food vendors. They are open 24 hours a day, every day and Chinatown is no exception. The food here is exceptional. Street stalls line every section of the street and you’ll have hundreds of food options to choose from. The best part of Chinatown is the seafood vendors that line the street around dinner time. Delicious seafood at a rock bottom price. Hang with the tourists on Khoa San Road All the backpackers and few locals spend their nights at Khoa San. Drink at the little beer stands and dance the night away at Gulliver’s or ditch them all and join the locals at Brick Bar, a Thai bar with Thai bands playing every night of the week. Wednesday is ska night. Visit the weekend market The giant weekend market covers a few football fields. You can buy everything from clothes to souvenirs to luggage here- all at discount prices. It’s a great way to spend a Saturday. Watch a Muay Thai match Muay Thai is the national sport and no trip to Thailand is complete without watching a match. The nation’s largest venue is in Bangkok. Every weekend, crowds of people flock to watch their national champs beat each other up. Go and get into it!
In Matt’s own words: I’m a twenty-something vagabond who has been on the road regularly since 2005. I’m a native of Boston, Mass but lately, everywhere has been my home. After a trip to Thailand in 2005, I decided I to leave the rat race behind and explore the world. …more image from: praveenc.wordpress.com