Oh Bangkok! How Singaporeans love you! Already a city all-too-familiar with many Singaporeans, do we really need another itinerary suggestion? Yes, because other than the usual Chatuchak and Chinatown, there is just too much to cover in Bangkok for a weekend trip. So why not try something a little different with our alternative itinerary suggestion?
Assuming you are going with your friends or family, staying connected in a foreign country is always a good idea. Instead of trying to get free wifi in Starbucks or malls, why not save yourself the trouble and get a sim card? Get this 4G sim card with unlimited data for 8 days at under $9.
- Travel insurance
Many Singaporeans might feel that since Thailand is relatively near to Singapore, there’s not really a need for travel insurance. But we also know that many of us probably opt to travel by budget airlines since the flight time is quite short. Yet, the risk is that budget airlines are well-known for delays. Not sure if you saw the number of delays Scoot had since this year? which probably means it is a good idea to get insurance.
For instance, Directasia’s basic travel insurance pays you $100 for every consecutive 6 hours of delays, up to $1000 per person. If you were caught on that fateful 56-hr flight delay from Greece by Scoot, you’d have claimed back your air ticket price.
So don’t leave your holidays to chance! Oh, did you know that buying your travel insurance as a group of 3 or more also gives you an additional 10% discount?
Since hotels are aplenty in Thailand and it is relatively cheap, it’d be best to choose a hotel near a BTS station. You might also want to check against your itinerary for a hotel that is close to the places you want to visit. Areas such as Siam, Pratunam and Silom are generally popular with Singaporeans.
Unique Activities to do in Bangkok
- Maeklong Railway Market
Many Singaporeans make a trip to the famous Chatuchak weekend markets during their holidays in Bangkok, but the novelty has worn out, hasn’t it? The next time you go to Bangkok, consider making your way to the morn authentic Maeklong Railway market and floating markets instead.
Maeklong Railway Market offers a unique shopping experience like no other. Situated on the train track, the market is interrupted by a train regularly running right through the market space! Tourists often amuse themselves by watching the stallholders scramble to pull in their wares from the tracks before setting up all over again in a matter of seconds.
- Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
Damnoen Saduak is the biggest floating market in Thailand, just about an hour out from Bangkok. It provides a unique experience for a look at a bygone way of life in Thailand. Go with an empty stomach in the morning to avoid the afternoon heat, as well as fill your stomach with cheap and tasty food by the vendors.
- Visit old Siam
The Historic City of Ayutthaya, founded in 1350, used to be the largest city in the world. Yes, in the world, right here in modern day Southeast Asia! It was the second capital of the Siamese Kingdom. It flourished from the 14th to the 18th centuries, but was attacked and razed by the Burmese army in 1767 who burned the city to the ground. It remains as an extensive archaeological site and was declared a Unesco Heritage site in 1991.
If you love old temples, ruins and has a keen interest in history, you shouldn’t miss Ayutthaya. Similarly, it’s probably easiest to book a tour there since the journey out of Bangkok takes around 2 hours. Temple fees are charged depending on the temple itself, and range between 20 to 50 baht. Tour costs about $40.
- Watch a live Muay Thai fight
Muay Thai has gone mainstream in recent years and some fans here are known to join muay thai gyms and bootcamps in parts of Thailand, such as in Koh Samui and Phuket. For those who just want a taste of how a live Muay Thai match looks like, join in the fun at the Channel 7 Boxing Stadium located near Chatuchak Market. The match starts at 230 pm every Sunday but aim to reach around 1 pm for free seats for the foreigners. First come first serve! A paying seat will cost you 200 baht.
- Cabbage and Condoms Restaurant
Known for its seedy nightlife, Bangkok attracts many foreigners to its adult-themed Patpong. But beneath this lies the sad fact that Thailand has one of the highest prevalence of HIV infection in Asia Pacific.
The concept of Cabbage and Condoms Restaurant aims to promote better understanding and acceptance of family planning and to generate income to support various development activities of the Population and Community Development Association (PDA)
You might be surprised by the deco of the restaurant – the use of condoms in decorating characters is definitely amusing to some. Other than that, it is a rather relaxing restaurant to enjoy some authentic Thai cuisine and contribute to a social cause at the same time.
- Have a sip of a 40-year old beef broth
Thai street food is a major love for man Singaporeans. It almost always feels like too much food, too little time to eat on a weekend trip there. You can have a good meal almost anywhere in Thailand – from corners of the street, local seafood restaurants to food chains in shopping malls.
But nothing beats the experience of having a hot bowl of noodles by the streets of Bangkok. What’s unique here at Wattana Panich is that it serves an “old soup” made from a broth that’s been brewing for a few decades. Before you decide to skip it for fear of having food poisoning, the chefs here make use of an ancient cooking method where the soup is kept simmering constantly to allow the rich flavour to penetrate the dish.
- A different kind of Temple
If you have been on a temple tour in Thailand, you’d have marvelled at the huge Buddhist statues made of luxurious material all over the country. But you might not have seen or heard of the Wat Pak Nam.
Located a short taxi ride from the Wutthakat station of the BTS SkyTrain, Wat Pak Nam isn’t quite like the usual temples you’d have seen in Thailand. This somewhat bizarre sacred site, which is nicknamed the “Temple of Space,” comes with surreal paintings on the ceiling of the temple and an emerald pagoda inside it. It also houses an interesting museum and many who have paid it a visit did not regret their time there.
- Have a drink at a themed bar
Bangkok is known for its vibrant nightlife and while you can of course walk into any bars for a drink, why not take the opportunity to visit a theme bar to marvel at some of its lovely decor? For a night of entertainment, try out the Sing Sing Theatre for some cabaret, music and dance. Designed as a Chinese-themed Theatre, expect oriental-looking backdrop and performances by various artists every night.
Another cocktail bar that stands out in terms of its decor is Iron Balls. Located inside Park Lane complex, the concept is a mix of winding iron staircases, dark wood, plush sofas and lots of copper pipes. The gin bar is known to produce small batches with hints of pineapple, lemon and lychees.
- Beach getaway near Bangkok
If you have a little more time, extend your Bangkok trip to go on a little beach getaway at Hua Hin. Just a 3-hour drive out of Bangkok, Hua Hin is home to one of the cleanest and quietest beaches around. None of the noisy bars, restaurants and masseuse touting you to come into their shop. It’s peaceful and a nice way to end your trip in Thailand.
So here you go! No more boring Bangkok trips this year! Of course, you might visit Bangkok a few times a year. If you do so, consider getting an annual plan for your insurance to save you the hassle of getting one each time!