I should preface this post with, “I’m no expert on Bangkok,” but our friend Jamie, who planned out our itinerary while we were there (she was the bride–major props to her for planning her wedding AND her guests’ week), is very familiar with the city and knew exactly what we should do in our three days there.

1. Get a Massage — This was literally the first thing we did after we got off the plane. After a full day of travel, nothing sounds more amazing than this. We decided to get a fancy one in our hotel (The Royal Orchid Sheraton) because really, we were just too tired to leave the building, but we know we could have gotten a ridiculously cheap one if we would have ventured out. Some others in the group went to the Royal Thai Massage School and truly enjoyed it.

Massage table at the Royal Orchid Sheraton
2. Khlong Boat Tour — Bangkok is often referred to as the Venice of the East–its khlongs, or canals, were used for floating markets and transportation. While many of the khlongs are filled today, some rather large ones still exist. We went to a dock right outside of our hotel and paid 1,000 baht (or $31) for a man to drive us around on his boat through the canals. We passed crumbling (yet still lived-in) shacks, which were next to mansions, a man bathing in the water (which was most definitely contaminated with sewage), past children swimming and locals sitting outside, waving and smiling to tourists passing by them on boats. I filmed some of our ride so you could experience it with us:

3. Asia-tique — This outdoor shopping pavilion is right on the riverfront so the views are amazing. We ate at a restaurant right on the river. Not feeling too adventurous at dinner, I went with the old standby Pad Thai. It tasted just like the take-out from my favorite NYC Thai restaurant. Yum!

I did branch out and eat something other than pad thai on a dinner cruise one night.

4. Wat Arun — The thing about this extremely beautiful temple is that if you want to see the view from the top of it, you have to climb up the steepest stairs ever. I’m not afraid of heights at all, but I have never been so afraid in my life. And climbing down was even worse. But the experience was worth it (and that view!! Just look at it!)

A panoramic view from the top of Wat Arun.

Wat Arun

5. Siam Niramit — During our last night in Bangkok, we went to this theatrical performance which explained Thailand’s cultural heritage through music and dance. There was a legit river on stage and an elephant that walked down the aisle! It was pretty cool.

A performance during the pre-show outside.
We got really into the spirit. 

As I mentioned yesterday, I’ve never been much of a traveler, but I’m really loving exploring all these places abroad. We’re planning to do more big trips this year since we’re closer to everything and we both have more time to do so. What places do you recommend we visit next? We’d love your input!