If you are looking for your next solo adventure, I highly recommend checking Bangkok, Thailand off of your list. This city offers so much to do – from visiting temples to trying on different Michelin-starred street food; from watching puppet shows and theatrical plays to going on a one-day shopping spree…everything you imagine you want to do on your day-off is possible in B A N G K O K.
Day 1-2: Go on a Shopping Spree
Anyone in the retail/wholesale industry knows that Bangkok is the place to go for unique and affordable clothing finds. Huge shopping malls line the streets of Ratchatewi and Pratunam Districts, each offering a different vibe for consumers of different backgrounds.
Below is a list of malls I visited on my first and second day in the country: (I have also classified them according to their profile for your convenience. Most of the budget malls, however, sell relatively low prices only for wholesale purchases. Definitely great for business!)
- Chatuchak Market
- Victory Mall
- Platinum Fashion Mall
- Krung Thong Plaza
- The Palladium
- City Complex
- Central Plaza
- Big C
- MBK Center
- Siam Paragon
- Siam Center
There’s a long list of shopping malls in Bangkok, Thailand. Unfortunately, my itinerary only allowed me for a 2-day shopping spree so the list above is pretty much limited to malls found within the same districts. Despite that though, I could say these are the malls frequently visited by the locals and tourists around the area. You’re welcome.
P.S. Watch out for stalls and small boutiques found behind or beside BTS stations. They are usually affordable than malls.
Day 3-4: Temple-Hopping
The rich culture of Bangkok is clearly evident in its gold-spired Buddhist temples, invariably leaving all tourists in awe. In fact, most Southeast Asian countries are known for their ancient temples which differs in architectural styles and symbolisms. Since Thailand is a predominantly buddhist country with a monarchical form of government, much of its temples or locally referred to as “wat”, manifests a relatively grandiose and sophisticated vibe, making it unique from the type of temples found in its neighboring countries.
How to visit temples?
The Grand Palace has been the official residence of the Kings of Siam since 1972. It is undoubtedly the most famous landmark in Thailand, which explains the relatively high-priced entrance tickets…at THB 500 (approximately PHP 780!) Note that this is not the only temple you are to visit in Bangkok, so if you don’t want to spend so much on one palace, the huge garden beside it offers a magnificent view of the royal halls inside.
Just a few kilometres from the Grand Palace is Wat Pho or also known as the “Temple of the Reclining Buddha.” From the name itself, this temple is most famous for the highly impressive gold-plated buddha reclining Buddha which is 46 metre-long and 15 metre-high. It’s feet and eyes are engraved with pearls which illustrates the auspicious characteristics of the true Buddha passing into a state of nirvana.
Take a quick boat ride across Chao Phraya river and you’ll arrive at the famous Wat Arun. Known as the “Temple of Dawn”, Wat Arun is distinct for its porcelain-designed structures which you will only appreciate upon entering the temple itself.
Solo Photography Tips:
Set your camera or phone’s timer to 10 secs. If you forgot to bring with you a stand, just leave your camera in a pedestal, set your desired angle, and find the right timing. Or better yet, look for kababayans willing to take your photo. Take their photos too in exchange!
For a complete list of temples in Bangkok, Thailand, feel free to visit this link! It also has a complete guide on how to go around the city.
Tip: If you prefer to ride a bus going to your destination, download ViaBus from Google Play or App Store for bus routes/schedules. Similar to Japan and other first-world countries, buses in Bangkok are numbered. However, it doesn’t have a definite schedule of departures/arrivals. Just make sure you are riding the correct bus number. You can also visit this site for more info!
Day 5: Food trip!
I know a lot of people who hates eating by themselves. I have nothing against them, I mean, if possible, I’d also like some company. But I’m lucky enough to enjoy food even when I have to have it solo. Which is why I make sure to go on a food trip every time I visit a foreign country, irrespective of circumstances. Besides, the only true way to experience a country’s culture or way of life is through its food.
When in Bangkok, make sure to search for michelin-starred street food in Pratunam and Chinatown for dinner. Not only will you be able to have a taste of authentic Thai food but you will also get to save money for these stalls, despite their popularity, sell affordable meals!
MUST TRY! Chinese Noodle Pork Soup somewhere in Chinatown (the name is in Thai script, it’s a Michelin-starred stall in Chinatown that serves roll noodles with pork innards – a great source of Vitamin B!)
You should also try the following:
- Mango Sticky Rice
- Thai Green Curry
- Banana Roti (my fave!)
- Thai Milk Tea
- Pad Thai
I really had a great time in Bangkok. It’s a place where you can be secure about yourself and have fun at the same time. Most activities are good for solo travelers, I’ll be back as soon as the world heals from the current crisis – COVID-19 pandemic – we are on today. For now, I’ll be spending some time reminiscing all the good memories I had traveling.
P.S. If you are looking for activities in Thailand and Korea, click the banner below: Enjoy!