Bangkok itinerary blog — How to spend one day in Bangkok?

Bangkok has always held a particular place in my heart. It was the first Asian city I’d ever seen, and it cast a spell on me from the first second. Even a year of intensive travel around Southeast Asia did not change my mind: Bangkok is the most lively city in my opinion. Nothing compares to the city’s hustle and bustle, majestic temples, the enticing aroma of Thai food on the streets, brilliant neon signs, and friendly smiles of the inhabitants.

The famous Wat Arun in Bangkok

Despite the fact that I’ve visited Bangkok five times, it never ceases to amaze me. There are so many things to see and see that first-time visitors might easily become disoriented and miss out on the greatest parts. So, if you’re visiting Bangkok for the first time, are short on time, and want to get a complete sense of the city, a day trip isn’t a bad way to see the highlights. In reality, roaming the streets or exploring the nooks and crannies of a temple with a local guide may help you make the most of your day.

Wat Phra Kaew in Grand Palace. One of the top places to visit in Bangkok, Thailand
Wat Phra Kaew in Grand Palace. One of the top places to visit in Bangkok, Thailand

I had previously visited numerous attractions in Bangkok, but when Buffalo Tours invited me to join them for a day, I was able to explore new aspects of the city. We went out to explore Rattanakosin Island and all of its attractions:

1. Visit one of Bangkok’s Markets

Our day began with a pick-up at my house. Rodjana, our tour guide, greeted me and said that we were on our way to Rattanakosin island to see the local flower market. I was overwhelmed by the colors and scent of the sea of flowers before me as we entered the market hall. I was given a little flower at a booth, and when I brushed it between my fingers and sniffed it, it turned out to be jasmine. Have you ever smelled fresh jasmine? It’s enthralling.

We also bought a bouquet of lotus flowers to make an offering at a nearby temple. Rodjana demonstrated how to fold the petals to make them appear “in bloom.” In case you’re wondering, yes, the ugly ones are mine.

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Flower chains for offerings
Inside the flower market
Inside the flower market

 

Tom Yam Packages for cooking soup
Tom Yam Packages for cooking soup

 

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Me, doing some serious artwork with that poor little flower

 

And this is the outcome (the left one is mine :P)
And this is the outcome (the left one is mine :P)

2. Discover The Grand Palace

No matter what you do and no matter if you love or hate temples, the Grand Palace is an absolute must. You just HAVE to see it – there’s so much to see that you can get lost and spend almost an entire day there.

This vast complex, located near the Chao Phraya River, is packed with the most magnificent temple structures, Buddha sculptures, and wall murals. It is one of the most sacred places in the kingdom, with generations of Kings having lived there (until 1925). My personal highlights were viewing the magnificent Emerald Buddha and participating in the offering ritual, in which you may obtain a thin gold plate, incense sticks, and a lotus flower for a modest payment. The gold is to be placed on one of the Buddha statues, the incense sticks are to be burned and placed in a container filled with sand, and the lotus flower is to be placed at the statue’s feet.

Full view on the Grand Palace
Full view on the Grand Palace
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Buddha statue covered in gold plates

3. Enjoy some Thai Food

It was time for lunch after our long morning session. I love street food, but every now and again, a more formal setting is a wonderful way to reward oneself! Our dinner included delectable spring rolls, a classic Thai curry, and a Thai-style seafood spaghetti.

Crispy spring Rolls
Crispy spring Rolls

 

Yellow Thai Curry with steamed rice
Yellow Thai Curry with steamed rice

4. More temples: Wat Pho

I’m fairly sure you’ve seen a photo of this temple before. As one of Bangkok’s oldest and largest temple complexes, it is home to the world-famous Reclining Buddha, a stunning 46-meter-long golden figure of Buddha. It’s enormous! Another unique feature is the coin contribution for good luck — for a few Thai Bhat, you may purchase a bowl of mini-coins and toss them into a row of bowls. This is said to bring good fortune. Aside from the Reclining Buddha, this temple complex features beautiful and artistically constructed stupas and other temple structures.

The Reclining Buddha at Wat Pho
The Reclining Buddha at Wat Pho

 

Locals praying for good luck
Locals praying for good luck
Coin donation for good luck
Coin donation for good luck

5. Discover Bangkok’s Street Life

It was time to take to the streets and explore a historic Bangkok neighborhood called Baan Bat. For for over 300 years, residents in this area have been making traditional alms bowls for monks. We were able to observe the manufacturing of these bowls. It takes skill to slab raw steel like that, as this elderly guy demonstrated. Aside from seeing this, I highly recommend strolling about the area: it’s a mecca for street photographers.

This man is crafting alms bowls for monks
This man is crafting alms bowls for monks

 

That’s why I love the streets of Bangkok!
That’s why I love the streets of Bangkok!

 

More street views
More street views

6. Relax with a Massage

I was exhausted by the end of the day – it had been hot, and we had walked a lot! So, what could be better to brighten your mood than a foot massage? We had a reservation at Pai Spa, a lovely massage parlor on Khao San Road, where my tired feet were revived.

What is better than a relaxing foot massage after a long day of sightseeing? Correct: nothing!
What is better than a relaxing foot massage after a long day of sightseeing? Correct: nothing!.

Back at home, I simply got a snack from around the block and promptly fell asleep. I was dead – yet it had been a fantastic day filled with amazing memories! If you’re interested in a Thailand trip or a guide in Bangkok, visit Buffalo Tours’ website for additional information.

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