My friend is a businessperson who has traveled the world to purchase merchandise for her chain of stores. As such, she uses this opportunity to combine business and pleasure because this is a great way of cutting on costs. She recently requested me to join her to Thailand’s Bangkok and I have great memories of the entire three-day trip. I had never done this before and I did not know what to expect in terms of balancing between the business aspect and some time to relax and tour around. Even then, I had looked forward to our travel to Bangkok.
We arrived at the Bangkok International Airport at sunset and we were lucky there were not so many arrivals so we were cleared by the customs department within a short time. One our way to the hotel I noticed the numerous Buddhist temples that are exquisitely decorated with some of the finest craftsmanship that you can ever come across. Also notable were the numerous shopping spots that are ever busy and are particularly popular among the youth and business people.
We had arranged for our accommodation at the Four Seasons hotel that I can definitely recommend to you even though it is suitable if you are travelling for business. Our check in at this hotel was smooth and the rooms were clean and quite comfortable. There is also a restaurant “Spice Market” as well as a lounge at the hotel that made it quite convenient to get meals especially in the evening when we did not feel like leaving our hotel for other restaurants. The food served here was not only good but the price was also reasonable. The hotel staff was excellent and so was the overall service. This contributed to making our stay memorable.
During our three days in Bangkok, we visited a number of places without losing sight of our main purpose of our travel to Bangkok that was business. One of the places we went to is The Grand Palace that is quite popular in Bangkok having been put up in 1782. This complex has numerous magnificent buildings among them the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. While at this temple, we saw the beautiful Emerald Buddha that dates back to the time of American Revolution. The place is massive with so many wall paintings and statues that are well complimented by the beautiful garden outside. You will do well to visit in the early hours of the day to beat the huge numbers that are usually recorded here. Most importantly, be sure to wear long pants, as this is a mandatory requirement for all visitors.
We also went to the Temple of the reclining Buddha (Wat Pho) that is another amazing building whose existence dates back to thousands of years. In fact, it is considered one of the largest but oldest temples in Bangkok. It was amazing to see the big sleeping Buddha measuring about 150 feet covered in gold. Generally, our visit to this temple was well worth the structure, size as well as artistry that are truly breathtaking.
While in Bangkok, you cannot miss to take a walk along Khao San Road that is also the backpacking district as well as a South East Asia traveler hub. This road has numerous raucous restaurants and bars that will expose you to the other side of Bangkok. Amazingly, many late night travelers prefer it even though you constantly have to be on the lookout for anything bizarre. You can shop for so many things in this region even though need to have some bargaining power. Even then, you must be prepared to get sticky and sweaty.
Being on a business trip, we went to Siam Square that is popular for Bangkok’s youth fashion items. This square is surrounded by alleyways of small boutiques as well as huge malls and markets where you can purchase items in bulk. We spent quite a bit of time here acquiring new stock for my friend’s boutique. I totally loved the experience and would definitely recommend that you visit Siam especially if you are interested in a wonderful shopping experience.
The other place that you should not miss to visit while in Bangkok is Siam Paragon that is at the heart of the city and is surrounded by various attractions. We had so much fun while here as we went to Siam ocean world for an unforgettable under sea experience that you too should try when you visit Bangkok. We interacted with different types of sea creatures most of which I had not seen before. In addition, we also were able to catch a movie at the Paragon Cineplex that boasts of a huge theatre after paying up $7 each for the regular seat. You can also get a special seat by parting with $30. Other features of the Siam Paragon include bars and restaurants that are constantly packed with visitors who are eager to sample the Thai cuisine as well as other cuisines like Italian, Mexican and Chinese. We too were not left out as we opted for some great Mexican food before going back to our hotel rooms.
We also made a trip to the populous Ma Boon Khrong Centre where we shopped for more merchandise even as we sampled other attractions. MBK centre as it is commonly known as Bangkok’s most visited mall because it has seven massive floors that have everything for everyone. Whether you are looking for cheap makeup, clothes, electronics, cameras technology gadgets you name it, you can be sure to find them at great bargains. Even then, most of the prices here are not bargainable which was somewhat disappointing. The good news is that the sales people are not pushy thus, you will definitely have ample time as you shop till you drop. If you are going to Bangkok to shop, then I definitely recommend that you visit BMK centre.
Another place that is worth visiting in Bangkok is the Chatuchak Weekend Market that is popular among bargain hunters. It is also famous among other weekend markets in South East Asia because it has over 5,000 stalls that are usually open and you can find anything here. However, you must be prepared to face the heat and noise that are characteristic of this market. Most importantly, you need to know that the market is only on during the weekends alone.
Remember this is a weekend market so if you are in Bangkok on Saturday or Sunday, this makes a great shopping attraction to consider. We had hoped to catch some boxing matches at the Lumpinee Boxing Stadium but time did not allow. If you love to enjoy your drink in a cool and serene environment then you need to visit Sky Bar, Bangkok that has a great ambience that transforms every minute into timeless moments. This bar is one of the world’s highest open-air bars and it overlooks the panoramic view of Chao Phraya River and Bangkok. While here, you can enjoy a wide range of drinks from beverages, finest vintages, appetizers and even cocktails. Our business trip was such a great success because we went to most of the shopping hot spots even though we did not get to sample the nightlife. From this experience, I will definitely consider going back to Bangkok for my holidays in future…