2-Day Itinerary for Bangkok, Thailand | BlogPh.net

2-Day Itinerary for Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok, Thailand's grandiose Grand Palace, magnificent Budhist temples, and lively shopping areas were some of the reasons why I wanted to visit this city. 

2-Day Itinerary for Bangkok, Thailand

Originally, our trip was mapped out for 3 days but with one full packed schedule during the first day alone, it ended as a 2-day itinerary for Bangkok, Thailand instead.

General Preparations


Before planning a trip to this historical city, here are some tips. 

Nothing extraordinary really; just the usual for overseas travels:
  1. passport, itinerary, maps, and other important documents are in one waterproof folder
  2. travel bags containing everything you need to bring to ensure that its within the weight limit
  3. prepare for the immigration interview (if any) 
  4. encash Thai Baht for your pocket money
  5. setup alarms or event planners on the phone
  6. download useful apps such as maps, travel guides, and language translations 
The first bullet is very important; always bring your documents wherever you go. Don't leave them at the accommodation. Your bags should also be within the weight limit during departure. If you plan to buy numerous souvenir items, why not include an additional baggage during the flight booking? 

As for dealing with the immigration officer, specially for first timers, there's nothing to be worried about. But for reference, these related posts are useful reads: 


The immigration officer didn't actually ask for any "show money" but we exchanged USD to dollar to Thai baht (no direct exchange from peso to baht) right at our local airport NAIA (Ninoy Aquino International Airport) so we won't have to worry about it at during arrival, considering the fact that the flight was late. Some suggest getting money exchanged elsewhere for better rates. 

thai baht

Next, you don't want to be late for anything, so alarms are obviously needed. Best to be at the airport about four hours ahead and line up to pay for the travel tax if it's not yet included in your booking (hence, it's better to pay for it beforehand). You can also check-in through an app to avoid the long line. Not sure if other email providers do the same but Google integrates your flight details to the app if you are using Gmail for the booking/airline websites/apps. Delays, change in terminal and other issues are updated on the app. 

Lastly, apart from guides with tips of where to dine, how to commute and what not; translation apps are also vital. Most people in Thailand barely speak English, specially drivers, except those from hailing apps like Grab.  

Now on to the trip..

landing in Suvarnabhumi Airport

Above, it was almost touchdown, the city lights were very lively in contrast to the dark of the night. Before the arrival, departure was delayed (happens to almost every air trip I've experienced so it's no surprise to me). 

Upon arrival, turn on your phone to choose options for mobile data. Our local mobile service providers have partners in Thailand so you'll have signal even when using your local sim card. You can also avail of data promos. The data roaming offer is rather expensive though so I just purchased a Thai sim card with enough data. 

Internet Speed in Thailand 


With data mentioned, I'm sure you'll wonder about Internet speed. Everything is actually fast; from the Wi-Fi at the airport (Suvarnabhumi Airport in particular) to the train stations (and even inside the moving train!) like the Airport Rail Link and BTS Skytrain as well as mobile data and ISPs. Here's a screenshot from our hotel's Wi-Fi:

Bangkok, Thailand internet speed

Accommodations


Speaking of hotel, there are countless accommodation options; numerous are within the Bangkok area alone (either on the old city or the new one) but we chose a place close to the airport. It was a very affordable and clean hometel with generous breakfast, a speedy Wi-Fi and a lake park nearby (Suphan Lake).


Suphan Lake
Suphan Lake


One of the friendly staff is even a Moslem Filipina so we had no problem communicating. They have hailed a cab for us every time we need transport elsewhere and suggested where we can go for dining or tour since we just planned everything on DIY. 

Transportation


As for transportation, taxi cabs are expensive; you will need to pay for toll fees too. Oddly, Grab or Uber are cheaper. Other options include the tuk-tuk for short distances (can still be expensive, tourist price-wise), mini-buses (they look like oversized L300 vans) and air-conditioned buses. You can save more through train rides via BTS Skytrain, Airport Rail Link and MRT (if it applies to your
destinations).

Here's a video of a train ride via the Airport Rail Link:




And onto the actual itinerary...

2-Day Itinerary for Bangkok, Thailand


To sum it up, the tour only consisted of temple visits for Day 1 and a city tour (mostly shops) for Day 2.



Day 1

We were able to cover three major temple groups all in one tiring day: Wat Phra Kaew, Wat Pho and Wat Arun.


Wat Phra Kaew



Wat Phra Kaew or the Temple of the Emerald Buddha is considered the most sacred among over 40,000 Buddhist temples throughout Thailand.


Wat Phra Kaew



I honestly didn't do my research and know nothing about the background nor history of this place. All I'm sure about is how I was in awe of the intricate architecture of the temples --- from the statues, murals, walls, and decorations.

Be sure to wear acceptable clothing though because there is a dress code. It's quite a long list but is the usual in most places with such rules, i.e. no slippers (or open toe shoes), no sleeveless or hanging tops, and no shorts. While you can buy items to wear just across the street, they're quite expensive so it's best to dress for modestly before heading over here.


Grand Palace



The Grand Palace would have been a good side-trip because it's just within the vicinity of the tour's exit but it was closed at that time due to a holiday.


Grand Palace

Related:


Food Trip in Bangkok


The scorching mid-day sun forced us to leave the premises prematurely than planned. The shaded side street offered solace during the brisk quick towards Wat Pho. We were famished so we took a quick meal through one of the restaurants along the entrance of the temple. I'm glad I've tried the sticky mango rice. 😋

More about food tripping in Thailand through this post: 


Wat Pho


Also called the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, Wat Pho is the next ideal destination because it's just 700 meters away from Wat Phra Kaew. It's actually just behind it per se but the main entrance is elsewhere. We headed over here after lunch because the scorching heat during mid-day is worse in Bangkok compared to Manila. 

There are Tuk-tuk drivers available to drive you from Wat Phra Kaew to Wat Pho. We decided to walk instead because the fare is a bit costly. 


Reclining Buddha


Compared with Wat Phra Kaew, there are fewer temples in Wat Pho but the main attraction, which is the Reclining Buddha, a 15 x 46 meter (high and width) statue is definitely worth visiting. 

More about the Wat Pho tour:


Wat Arun


Last stop for the the day is Temple of Dawn or Wat Arun. Some people start here since it's accessible anywhere close to a pier docking by Chao Phraya river. Just ride ferries or boats. The fare naturally varies depending on your starting point. If you're coming from Wat Pho, just walk towards the dock and board a boat. Some tours even offer a dinner cruise, if it's your last temple group to view for the day. 

Wat Arun


While there aren't any structure here as popular as the Reclining Buddha or the Emerald Buddha, the place boasts of the central tower decorated with porcelain of varying colors and designs is worth a closer look. 

Read this:


Nightlife 


You can culminate the night with a good drink from any of the city's bars or pubs. Nana Plaza is a popular spot for this purpose. Although it's known as a red light district, there are still wholesome spots for leisurely drinking or a relieving Thai massage. 

There's also the Vertigo and Moon bar from the 61st floor of the Banyan tree hotel with a breathtaking view of the city.  

We were dead tired though so we just headed back to the hometel after Wat Arun. 


Day 2

Honestly, this can be an open day. Some possible options include:
  • Bangkok National Museum
  • Erawan Shrine
  • Dusit Zoo
  • Lumpini Park
  • Bangkok Puppet Show
  • Jim Thompson House (where the Thai Silk company originated from) 
  • watch a Muay Thai match
  • dine at Chinatown in old Bangkok or eat street foods (must try: mango sticky rice!) 
  • ride a Tuktuk or the motorcycles
  • climb the towering 49-storey Sathorn Unique Tower (if you get pass the security)
  • Songkran or Thailand's New Year festival (if you visit between April 13 and 15)



Shopping in Bangkok


For this itinerary, we actually just roamed around like a city tour trip and had probably visited most of the popular shopping destinations or at least the malls along the city proper. 

From the list of malls, Siam Paragon possibly tops the charts but it's mostly filled with high end luxury brands. Platinum Mall caught my attention as it feels like a flea market inside a comfortable air-conditioned venue.


Chatuchak weekend market


Apart from malls, markets are also worth dropping by for souvenirs. I got most of mine through the Pratunam market. If you travel to Bangkok during a weekend, it's a must to visit Chatuchak with its more or less 15,000 booths to boast.

In terms of item prices, they are no different from the stalls we have in the Philippines, particularly, Divisoria, Greenhills or other tiangge shops. Wholesale prices are available in Chatuchak.


thailand souvenirs
cheap t-shirts, keychains and ref magnets from Chatuchak



Budget 



This is list is just for two people. 

₱20,000 ($375) for airfare via Cebu Pacific
This does not include travel taxes and other airport fees and can be costlier depending on the timeslot, airline company base fare, and the proximity of your booking date to the actual date of travel; the farther, the cheaper.

₱4,000 ($75) for hotel via Booking.com (4 days, 3 nights)
It can be cheaper if you book directly at the hotel's site or from other booking sites, so do compare.

₱10,000 ($180) for food
It's a rough draft on the low-end scale, i.e. fast food chains, local food stalls, grocery, convenience store etc. for 4 days and 3 nights. Fancier food is more expensive of course.

₱4,000 ($75) for transportation
While we saved on the accommodation, it was close to the Suvarnabhumi Airport but far from the city proper so we spent more on taxi/app hailing rides. It was cheaper through train rides but the daily fare may still be more than 100 baht per day.

Shopping/souvenir expenses can be open ended depending on how much you intend to spend
________________________________

₱40,000 +/- total estimate which may still be more or less


Money in Thailand



Make sure to carry Thai baht with you anywhere as most local shops and tourist attractions don't accept credit cards. There are establishments which do accept international cards, provided you have requested your local credit card provider to allow it.

In the Philippines, call your bank prior to your flight for more information. You can opt to open the card for use only at your travel destination at specific dates and extend it if needed. Mind the fees for using the card though.

You can even withdraw money directly through any ATM which accepts the card. See logos like Cirrus, Mastercard, VISA, JCB, AmEx, Diners Club, etc. Exchange rate is based on USD though and the fees are also enormous. 

Bangkok, Thailand 



Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok, Thailand is definitely a lively city worth visiting for its solemn temples, city attractions, modern malls, local markets for cheap shoppers' delight, delectable dishes, and more. 
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