Monday, 26 May 2014

24 Hours in Bangkok

Bangkok, the city that never sleeps, where hedonism reigns supreme. A city so alive you can almost feel its beating pulse as you walk the heady city streets. Welcoming more visitors than any other city in the world, Bangkok is synonymous with extremes and contradictions. Though noisy, hectic and hot, the intensity and excitement of Bangkok gets into your veins, there is little wonder many are enticed back to Bangkok, time and time again.
As Thailand's main port of entry, many find themselves passing through on their way to smaller more exotic Thai provinces. It is also a port of call for those heading to neighbouring countries and a stopover between the South Pacific and Europe.
For those who find themselves with a stopover in Bangkok, deciding what to do in such a short time can be somewhat overwhelming. Here is an intuitive itinerary that encompasses the very best of what the city has to offer for those finding themselves with 24 hours in Bangkok.
Getting There
Getting yourself into the city from Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport is simple, The Airport Rail Link, is fast efficient and cheap. The high speed train runs every 15 minutes and runs from 6am through to midnight. For 150 Baht you will be in the centre of Bangkok (Makkasan Station), in just 30 minutes.
Taxi's are available from the ground floor of the airport, Taxi's are a convenient and cheap way to get around Bangkok. Be wary however that if it is raining or rush hour the drive into the city can take up to, and sometimes over, an hour. Always insist your driver turn the meter on and make sure you have everything with you before you exit the cab.
A Morning Shopping up a Storm
For many, shopping in Bangkok is some of the best in the world. A shoppers paradise you can literally find anything you want, be it the real deal or the very best designer knock off, Bangkok has it all. Experience the thrill of bargaining at a market or the sheer opulence of one of the designer shopping malls.
For those in the know, Siam is Bangkok's ultimate shopping district. Here, mega malls sit side by side housing some of fashions biggest names. You could spend days wandering through the malls in Siam without seeing it all, so for those with limited time Siam Paragon, Central World and Siam Center offer the perfect mix of high street, designer and boutique brands. MBK has an infamous reputation among travellers, however unless you're after cheap junk, we advise you give it a miss.
Platinum Fashion Mall in Pratunam is an absolute must for anyone who considers themselves ahead of the pack in the fashion game. A one stop shop, Platinum is a wholesale shopping mall specialising in fashion clothing. The hive of activity can be daunting for some, but the treasure trove that awaits makes it worth while. The more you buy here, the more you save and remember haggling is all part of the process.
Culture Shock
Take the afternoon to soak up some of the Thai culture. The Grand Palace and Wat Prakeaw is a dazzling example of Thai culture and possibly Bangkok's most iconic landmark. The complex itself homes a 14th century Emerald Buddha. The architectural details and Buddhist monuments make the Grand Palace a tourist attraction no visitor to Bangkok should miss. The cultural heart of Bangkok this fascinating attraction offers a unique glimpse into Thailand's past.
Up all Night
Experience Bangkok's legendary nightlife, an epicureans dream there are an abundance of self-indulgent activities.
Head up Lebua State Tower to watch the sunset, sipping some of Bangkok's most innovative cocktails. Sky bar is set 63 floors above the city and offers the most spectacular sparkling views of the city and beyond. The world renowned bar has been made all the more popular after its starring role in The Hangover Part 2. To avoid getting caught out, men should wear long pants and covered shoes, dress code is smart casual and you will be turned away if not adhering to the rule.
If you're not shopped out from earlier in the day, Patpong Night Market is a must visit destination and an experience you won't find anywhere else. The market is lined with go-go bars and filled with designer fakes, knock-offs and cheap souvenirs. Spend a few hours wandering around the market taking it all in.
For those still on the go, Bangkok's nightclub scene is elaborate and buzzing. Slim & Flix Club is a regular among Bangkok's hip and trendy party goers. Offering live music and an impressive drinks list, it is a must for those who love to party!
Beyond Bangkok
As Thailand's main hub, Bangkok offers travellers the a number options for travelling onwards. The two main airports have daily flights to destinations around Thailand including Phuket, Koh Samui and Chiang Mai.

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