Ready to explore lesser-known trails? Bangkok, the buzzing metropolitan capital of Thailand, has so much in store for those wanting to skip the tourist attractions. It’s a backpacker’s first stop on their travels, but there are plenty of things to explore right here before venturing on forth.
Once you’ve arrived and adjusted to the smell and heat of Bangkok, acquaint yourself with the marvelous Skytrain to get around. Bangkok has notoriously terrible traffic, and while the cute tuk-tuks are a novelty to ride, drivers charge exorbitant prices for foreigners. The Skytrain, on the other hand, is much cheaper, easier and connects to other rail systems. It zips through tourist hotspots like a spaceship and has heavenly air conditioning. In order to best experience Chao Phraya River and sightseeing spots along its waters, plan to go by express boat. They have different “lines” of stops; one with less stops for commuters in a rush, or more stops for travelers. Taxis are OK for short stints.
Make your way towards the area popularly known as “the center of the backpacking universe,” Khao San Road. Neon lights, street shops, and budget to mid-priced lodging abound in this short 1km strip. Here you are bound to find many other backpackers with whom to swap stories and advice over large pub glasses. But be advised in recent years many large dance clubs have developed in this area, attracting partygoers en masse. Check out the Banglamphu area for a quiet backpackers’ alternative.
A couple places should be avoided to evade tourist mentality of the city. Tourist hotspot Rattanakosin should be experienced to some degree, as it hosts many beautiful historical sights and cultural monuments, but make it a short day or half-day venture. Skip Siam Square, a mecca of westernized shopping centers. Go really green and opt for Bang Krachao over Lumpini Park. Called “the green lungs of the city,” the peninsula of Bang Krachao is a massive undeveloped thicket of mangroves and orchards. You can have a bike tour organized here, but you can also rent a bike and explore on your own.
Once you’re ready to explore outwards, consider the following beautiful getaways. Once a glittering trade hub, the ancient city of Ayutthaya used to be the largest city in the world until it was burned to the ground in 1767. Nowadays travelers go there to explore the ruins of palaces and Buddhist temples. Rent a bike to best explore the city, and be sure to see Wat Phra Mahathat, a famous spot where a tree engulfs the Buddha’s head. Ayutthaya is located just north of Bangkok, making it an easy day trip. For the cheapest and most scenic trip, take the train there.
Next, take a quick flight or leisurely boat ride to beautiful Koh Chang, 310 km from Bangkok. Even with recent tourist development, the island is a relatively remote backpacker destination. White sand beaches, waterfalls, and scuba diving are all worthwhile attractions here.
Bangkok is a beautiful city popular with both western and Asian travelers. Do check out one of our favourite Bangkok tour package on our website which can be found at www.parbhattravels.com