The secrets of Bangkok

Despite being one of the most popular and famous capital cities in the world, Bangkok can be known as a dirty and dangerous place. Honestly speaking, when I went there for the first time a few years ago I was not very impressed either. However for my last few holidays, I have ended up returning to Thailand twice and I had an amazing time. Having the opportunity to explore the city in three different ways certainly helped make it a better experience. Firstly, being a tourist with my mom, secondly, as a solo traveller and thirdly, as a shopaholic once Chelsea had joined me. There are lots of informative websites giving general advice for which temples and palaces you can go and visit. So I would like to share a few of the unusual places that I found along the way.

On Nut Market
 The food market is located just beneath On Nut Sky Train Station in Sukhumvit. It opens in the evening and fills up fast with a mixture of locals and expats. Along with the food stalls, there is a stage for live music, which is on almost every night and to my surprise there is also a proper bar! On Nut Market was definitely one of the most bizarre bars I have ever been to. It was also the first place in Bangkok where I tried Chang Beer (supposedly one of the best beers in the world- I agree!) So, what can I say! The place was great and I simply loved it!

Chatuchak Market
 These days this is a must visit place for tourists, as apparently it is the biggest weekend market in the world, with over 8,000 stalls. The place is paradise for shopaholics! It is divided into sections, for different areas, such as clothes, accessories, art, home décor, antiques, food and many more. Even though it seems well planned out, you will still find yourself getting as lost as I did. After hours of wandering around, spending Bahts here and there, you can pamper yourself at the cute bistro next to the art section and have an amazing foot massage. If you are in Bangkok during the weekend you absolutely cannot miss this. Make sure you keep at least half a day, to have time to see it properly. Don’t forget to wear comfortable shoes and prepare yourself mentally for the crowd as approximately 200,000 people visit Chatuchak every weekend!

Boat Noodles
 There are a bunch of local restaurants located along the canal, to the north of Victory Monument. This area is a must try for everyone who loves Thai food! The various eateries differentiate from one another by changing the type of noodles and spices that are added to the broth. The bowls are small and do not cost very much (around 20–25 INR for one) so you can follow the local style and try all the flavours by ordering a few bowls at once. Keep in mind that this place is definitely not for vegetarians, as the only choices are pork and beef. You can learn from my experience by being careful with Thicken Noodle Soup…apparently one of the main ingredients is blood, which is used to thicken the broth! I’m just glad I found out about it hours after I’d eaten!

Sky Train Jazz Bar
 A hipster bar, off the beaten track and located on the rooftop close to the Victory Monument. The entrance is squeezed in between two other shops, which makes it a bit harder to find. Don’t be put off climbing the stairs, passing a few floors covered in graffiti. It’s worth it in the end.
 The bar is kept in an eclectic style with books scattered around everywhere and mismatched furniture. It is a perfect place to rest after a long day of sightseeing. Once you enter the bar, you will feel as though you’ve just discovered one of Bangkok’s secrets. It has reasonable prices and great music, which adds to the overall experience.

The most recent two stays that I have had in Bangkok can be perfectly described by the famous and commonly used catchphrase ‘SAME SAME BUT DIFFERENT’. The same city that I had visited just a few years ago had this time left me with totally different vibes. (With the exception to Khao San, which I still think is rather an ugly place.) I appreciated how the city is well maintained and easy to get around, and
 I really enjoyed my long walks around all the different stalls and markets, sampling the various delicious street foods, checking out local spas and hours of constant shopping.

Finishing my Monsoon Holidays series, I will agree on one main thing — Thailand is a land of smiles. I’m sure that I will be back again, very soon.

On Nut Market — plastic tables, street food stalls, fully-equipped bar & live music

Innumerable boots at Chatuchak Market — heaven for shopaholics

After hours of walking through the lanes of Chatuchak Market pamper yourself with foot massage

The old school charm of Boat Noodles

One of the local restaurants in Boat Noodles

Looks yummy but we had no idea what that was

There are few more places worth visit in Bangkok, drop me a line (contact@stylewanderers.com) if you would like to hear about them.


Originally published at www.stylewanderers.com on October 27, 2015.

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