We only had about 30 hours in Bangkok. Thankfully, the city has an excellent public transportation system and we were able to get around easily via the SkyTrain (elevated rail system). We purchased a one-day pass which allowed us unlimited rides for an entire day. It cost about $4 and we certainly got our money’s worth.
The best things about exploring Bangkok by SkyTrain:
-It gets you off the congested streets;
-It eliminates the hassle of dealing with taxi drivers;
-Waiting for the train and being on the train provides opportunities to talk with locals, and we found many people eager to talk with us and practice their English;
-It’s an air-conditioned ride, providing momentary relief from the Bangkok heat!
Now, on public transportation systems in the U.S., you’ll often see signs posted to offer seats to the elderly or disabled. Well, on the SkyTrain, the signs posted are “Please offer this seat to monks”. Seriously, only in Thailand.
We started our long day of sightseeing around Bangkok by taking the SkyTrain from our hotel in the Silom neighborhood to Riverside. From Riverside, we took a boat down the Chao Phraya River, which gave us an excellent view of everything that lies along the river’s banks. From fancy high rise condos near the Sathorn Pier to Buddhist Temples to the Grand Palace.
We took the boat down to the Phra Arthit Pier, then got off and on our way back up the river, disembarked at the Memorial Bridge Pier and explored the Flower Market. There were so many beautiful flowers and the prices were incredibly low. You could buy a whole bouquet of flowers for just one dollar.
After the flower market, we walked across the Memorial Bridge to the Thornburi side.
We then got back on the SkyTrain and went to Wongwian Yai, a residential area off the tourist map which had a lively outdoor food market. For lunch we enjoyed grilled chicken with sticky rice accompanied by Coke in a glass bottle. And for dessert, grilled bananas. Delicious!
Refueled, we got back on the SkyTrain and went to the National Stadium station. From there, we briefly explored the MBK Center, a shopping mall with eight stories and approximately 2,000 stories.
We then decided to check out the next two SkyTrain stops – Siam and Ratchadamri. At Siam, there was high end shopping and dining, and at Ratchadamri, a luxurious neighborhood, complete with a golf course – in the middle of the city!
We ended our day of sightseeing by heading to the Baiyok Sky Hotel to watch the sunset from the revolving observation deck on the 84th floor. The deck provided fantastic 360 degree views of the city. From 84 stories up, you really get a sense of just how large and expansive the city of Bangkok is.
Following the beautiful sunset, we went back to Silom for our last Thai dinner – we opted for Pad Thai and Shrimp Fried Rice. Then, after some last minute shopping at the Patpong Market, we went back to our hotel for a quick shower, then it was back on the SkyTrain to get to the airport for our red eye flight to Cairo. What a day!