We had decided to spend the last week of our 3,5 months trip in South East Asia in the capital of Thailand, Bangkok. We chose this because Bangkok offers a good transitions between cultures, and an amazing last minute shopping place. We couldn’t refuse any, so we went for it.
Chatuchak market in Bangkok
Chatuchak market, also known as the weekend market (simply because it opens on weekends!) or JJ market (because of the mall next door) is the largest market in Thailand. With 15,000 stalls divided into 27 sections you can be sure of finding about anything you’re looking for… if you have the patience to actually look for it!
The market is very easy to reach by subway, being close to the Mo Chit BTS Station and the Chatuchak Park MRT Station. Count to spend at least half a day there and still expect to do only half of it! Some maps are available online that can help you knowing where to go in advance.
I was feeling sick that day so we “only” spent 3 hours there, time to buy some gifts to bring back home. On the way back home we stopped in a foodcourt for a quick lunch only to have a big surprise when we got outside: it was a huge storm!
Wat Pho in Bangkok
I have been told that if there was one temple to visit in Thailand it is the Wat Pho, also known as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha. Its actual name is Wat Phra Chetuphon Vimolmangklararm Rajwaramahaviharn, but nobody actually expect you to know it! 🙂
It is located next to the Grand Palace and is the most important royal temple. It is mostly famous for:
- A giant golden statue of a reclining Buddha: 46m long and 15 m high! Just the feet are 3 m high and 4.5 m long! Thank you King Rama II;
- It hosts the largest collection of Buddha images;
- It is known as the birthplace of Thai traditional medicine and massage and is home to one of the most well-known school since 1955. You can actually study there Thai pharmacy, Thai medical practice, Thai midwifery, and Thai massage.
Chinatown in Bangkok
Like in most big cities around the world, Bangkok has a Chinatown! Depending on your love of big crowds you can choose to go in the morning or in the evening. We opted for the morning and were able to wander in quiet streets and actually nicely go through the market streets to look at all these products that we don’t even know! 🙂
The flower market of Bangkok
If you get to visit China Town or the Wat Pho, you could make a little detour by the flower market, just for the pleasure of enjoying the colors and the perfumes! The market is actually active all day long with a peak of activity at night when the fresh deliveries arrive!
You should have a look to the beautiful Floral Cafe! It’s quite expensive but you can still go in just for a look around! It is a very nicely designed cafe, that has been redecorated with taste and lots of flowers.
Discovering the malls of Bangkok
Bangkok has many malls! From the messy, bargain-friendly MBK or Platinum, to the luxury, very bright Siam Paragon. Our favorite was Terminal 21, built like an airport with one major city by floor (check out the San Fransisco bridge!), it is also the nicest food court we have tried!
Note: if you want to eat in the Terminal 21 cafeteria you need to get a card that you fill up with money in order to pay at the stalls. No worries, since once you are done you just give back the card and receive the rest of your money back.
Wandering around the streets of Bangkok
As modern as it is, Bangkok is still an Asian city with its share of fun and unfamiliar “things” and “places”! Like those crazy electric cables that we spotted in other cities, this rush-hour jam for the boat-bus, this fancy Hello Kitty taxi, this collector little Cafe, seeing the Pat Pong streets made sadly famous by several movies, enjoying the unique architecture of the city and more…
Celebrating the birthday boy!
It was our last week on the continent and also the week before Silviu’s birthday. I had to find a way to celebrate! My first idea was to go to Eat Gaggan that I discovered on Chef’s Table the Netflix series. Silviu loves Indian food and this was supposed to be one of the best restaurant in Asia, perfect! I booked 6 months in advance, only to realize that they increased their prices by more than 50%… aargh…
In the end I managed to find a great deal that allowed us to taste 3 restaurants! Yep, 3! 🙂 We went to Uno Mas (54th floor) for an appetizer of tapas and sangria, then we went up to the 55th floor for the main dish served with wine at the Red restaurant. We also had a birthday cake offered for Silviu! So nice! Eventually we went of the last floor, on the top of the building for champagne and… another cake! At that point we were full but could not resist this dark chocolate cheesecake with raspberries! So good!!
Our last night in Asia was definitely great! So many memories to bring back with us in Europe!