10 Things You Cannot Miss in Bangkok
Although you may have known or even have tasted lots of Thai Food, check yourself again with this checklist and see whether you have passed these following 10 things or not. You will feel "undone" if you miss any of these items.
Visit Emerald Buddha Temple and Grand Palace
Emerald Buddha Temple and the Grand Palace are the signature landmarks of Bangkok. Emerald Buddha is believed to be the most holy and most important Buddha statue among all others since the beginning of establishing Bangkok as a capital city of Thailand (longer than 200 years ago). Visiting the temple is believed to be ultimate blessing for Thais and foreigners. Please be informed that you are required to dress properly to enter the temple; no shorts, short skirt, sleeveless shirt, or any revealing outfit.
From here, you may walk around 200 meters or take taxi to Tha Pra Chan to find nice Thai Street Foods.
Enjoy Silom Road or Khaosan Road at Night
Both locations are best known for night life but they are slightly different. Silom Road contains more night clubs and bars while Khaosan Road is more like a night market with bars.
As a result, if you enjoy just a stray through night life, night market and Thai Street Foods, go Khaosan Road. If you would like to hang out at night clubs, you're welcome at Silom.
Shop at Chatuchak Weekend Market
Enjoy yourself and feast your eyes by visiting Chatuchak Weekend Market, the biggest open-air market in Thailand and the most well-known shopping place of Bangkok to both locals and foreigners. You will find thousands after thousands of shops and venders selling everything imaginable from handicrafts, wood sculpture, paintings, silver ornaments, furniture, clothing, books, plants, pets, and also Thai food and drinks. Browse through all Sois here will take you an entire day (or maybe more), so make sure you have studied the plan of Chatuchak Weekend Market beforehand.
Have a Mango or Durian with Sticky Rice
Durian and mango are the real pride of Thai fruits. However, many foreigners give up on trying durian because of its acute smell. Be brave and have a bite –you will find a harmonious blend between sweet flavor and creamy texture lying beyond the nose intrusive smell. Mango, in contrast has a pleasant sweet and refreshing scent. It is, undeniably easy to eat than Durian, and you will probably fall in love at first bite with sweet and sour taste. Both durian and ripe mango get along just perfect with Khao Nieow Moon (sweet sticky rice). So, just make sure to have tried either of the fruit with sticky rice.
You can buy delicious Mango or Durian with Sticky Rice at MOF Market (Talat Or Tor Kor), located just across the street from Chatuchak Weekend Market.
Having an "Isan" Full Course
Som Tum (spicy papaya salad) is originated from the Northeast of Thailand or "Isan" Region. It is the most known menu of the region, but Som Tum is just a tiny array of Isan meals. So, make sure you have tried an "Isan full course" in Bangkok, based on Som Tum, Sticky Rice and Kai Yang (roasted marinated chicken), plus Tom Sab (meat spicy soup), Nam Tok (spicy grilled pork salad) and Laab (spicy grounded pork salad). That could complete enough to call a full Isan meal set.
There are several choices of Som Tum to order, such as one with salty crab called "Som Tum Poo", or with fermented fish called "Som Tum Pla Ra". Each of them has strong taste and smells uniquely – not recommended for first-time foreigner. But if you want to try some exotic experience, just order it!
Exciting Yourself with Thai Seafood
Here again, "Tom Yum Koong" has outrun any other Thai seafood dishes. But, only just the dish cannot make you a proud Thai Food intermediate yet. It is recommend you should have a Thai seafood feast with Hor Mok Talay (Steamed seafood curry in coconut), Pla Muek Khai Nueng Manao (steam squid in spicy and sour sauce), Pla Ka Pong Tod Nam Pla (deep-fried barramundi with fish sauce), and Poo Nim Tod Kratiem (deep-fried soft shell crabs with garlic).
There are two types of Tom Yum – with or without coconut milk. The favourite type that is always served in Thai restaurants outside Thailand is usually with coconut milk. Try both if you can. One another tip, get Tom Yum in simmering hot pot if you would like to enjoy a long meal as your Tom Yum will always hot and tasty.
Relaxing with a Thai Massage
Make sure you have tried Thai Massage at massage shops found in your hotel's spa, department stores, or even at the airport. This traditional massage focuses ultimately on relaxation of body, muscles, and joints. There are many treatments for you to choose from, but you may love Thai Foot Massage in specific.
Thai massage was discover and has been inherited for hundreds of years at School of Thai Massage in Wat Pho. If you want to have an authentic treatment, you can visit Wat Pho which is located not so far from The Grand Palace.
Eating Menus at Pad Thai Venders
Pad Thai in Thailand is always available at the same stall as two other menus namely Hoi Tod (crispy pan-fried oyster) and Kanom Pakkard (pan-fried radish cake). Why? We don't know either, but every stall and restaurant just has them all in a common practice with giant pans to cook. Even more strangely, Thais believe that a restaurant excels in Pad Thai also does well with Hoi Tod and vice versa. So, if you manage to find a nice Pad Thai vender, you should try their Hoi Tod and Kanom Pak Kard right away.
There are various Thai drinks that you should try at least once when visit Thailand. This includes, tropical fruit juices, Thai Herbal Drinks, Cha Yen (Thai milk tea), Kafae Yen (Thai iced coffee), and so on. You can find the drinks from drink stalls almost everywhere in Bangkok. And if you are a serious "drinker" wanted to have some serious stuff, Thai beers are also famous with international quality guarantee.
Getting Down to Local Street Food
Foods are available all around the clock throughout Bangkok (or even throughout Thailand). It is a signature of the city, so make sure you get down to the local street and try some. There are many delicious single dishes to try from Khao Khai Jiew (omelette rice), Rad Na (noodles in thick gravy), Phad See Ew (stir-fried noodle with dark soy sauce), Khao Mun Kai (chicken rice), to the most basic Khao Phad Krapraw (stir-fried meat with sweet basil).
It is a great experience to try some at the stalls/restaurants that have long queue of patrons as it could guarantee their excellence.
Alright! Have you checked if you have passed all the checkpoints? We think you might miss some of the essential of Bangkok if you miss some of these. If you did all the list, congratulation, you have become Bangkok intermediate-level visitors.