Video #52 | September 6, 2018
In this video I’m going to try and answer the question; Why visit Bangkok?
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Welcome to the fifty-second video of Bangkok Unmasked! The YouTube channel that helps you get the most out of your visit to Bangkok city! If you’re new here, please consider subscribing! In this video I’m going to try and answer the question; Why visit Bangkok?
Let’s get started.
There are 195 countries in the world. This means that there’s 195 capital cities to visit. So why the capital city of Thailand, Bangkok? What follows are 13 reasons, in no particular order.
Why visit Bangkok reason #1: The food
Whether you’re staying in Bangkok for a day, a week, a month or longer, Thai food is so delicious and diverse that you’ll never have to eat the same dish twice. That’s not all. The International cuisine in Bangkok really is world class. No matter what food you’re pining for, you’ll be able to find it. If you go to any of the top-tier restaurants, the quality will be superb. Greek, Indian, Japanese, Spanish, French, Chinese, Italian and more. It’s all available.
Note. The first Michelin guide to the Thai capital was published in December 2017. Bangkok earned the title of ‘the most affordable Red Guide city in the world’. A lunch at one-star Savelberg will cost around 1,600 baht and two-star Le Normandie serves a business lunch for around the same price – astonishing value for an impeccable meal!
Why visit Bangkok reason #2: The people
From my own experiences, there are friendly locals in most countries. That said, there’s something about Thai people that makes travelling through the country easier than most. The Thai are generally friendly. Sometimes exceptionally so. Bangkok, like the rest of Thailand, to me at least has an overall friendly and chilled vibe to it.
Why visit Bangkok reason #3: The cheap cost of living
Travelling to many capital cities on a budget can really suck. You start running over budget and have to remove things that you really want to do and see from your itinerary. While Bangkok isn’t as cheap as it used to be, you can still do and see most things on a tight budget! Most of the major attractions aren’t overly expensive, and if you want to stay in a cheap hotel, or hostel, this is absolutely possible.
Remember the average salary in Bangkok these days is around 20,000 baht or $600. If you want to live like a Thai, you can do so. That said, if you want to blow serious money you can do this too. It’s really up to you. A case in point; one of my wife’s friends went for a meal with her fiancé at Sirocco and they blew 45,000 baht on a meal for two. That’s pretty much $1,400! New York or London prices. From the Facebook pictures it did look like a very good meal!
Why visit Bangkok reason #4: The weather
Thailand has three seasons. In my opinion, they’re all fine for vacationers. Bangkok’s high-season for tourists is generally during the cool season. That said, Bangkok is also a popular Thailand destination during rainy season, as many other parts of Thailand are prone to flooding during this period. It’s not a good idea to go to most of the Thai islands during rainy season.
One thing to consider; you won’t be cold in Bangkok. Unless you really turn up the air-con of course!
To check out a video I did that goes through Bangkok weather, and the best time to visit Bangkok, please click on the i-icon above.
Why visit Bangkok reason #5: The nightlife
If you like to party, Bangkok is your kind of city! Backpackers should head to Khao San Road to meet with other like-minded travelers, try the laughing gas, and get silly-drunk on the infamous booze-buckets.
If ladies of negotiable affection are what you’re looking for, you’re spoilt for choice. There’s Nana Plaza, Soi Cowboy and Patpong. And this is just scratching the surface. There’s also soapy massage, S&M clubs, blowjob bars and more.
For more refined tourists, there’s a vast number of live music bars, jazz bars and some world-class EDM clubs.
Finally, if art, theater and ballet is your thing, Bangkok has you covered. There will almost certainly be something of interest running during your visit. Time Out Bangkok lists all the major events, and should be your first port-of-call.
Note. While it’s not something I’m overly familiar with, if you’re looking for LGBT-friendly nightlife, you’re also spoilt for choice.
Why visit Bangkok reason #6: The temples
Some of Thailand’s best temples are in Bangkok. I have been told that there are around 400 wats (or temples) spread throughout Bangkok. While most tourists will only visit Wat Pra Kaew (Temple of Emerald Buddha), Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn) and Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha), I suggest that you also consider the following temples. They’re all beautiful and well worth a visit.
- Wat Saket.
- Wat Traimit. (This temple contains the World’s largest solid gold buddha weighing in at five and a half tons).
- Loha Prasat. (Also called the ‘Metal Castle’).
- Wat Mahathat.
- Wat Suthat.
- The Marble Temple. (Wat Benja).
- Wat Prayoon.
Note. Remember to not only to bring your camera, but also to wear long light pants, a tee shirt that covers your shoulders and proper shoes as some temples will not allow flip flops.
Why visit Bangkok reason #7: The adventure
Many visitors to Bangkok think that you need to visit other places in Thailand for adventure. Not so! What follows are a handful of ideas for exciting outdoor activities in Bangkok.
- Muay Thai gyms.
- Bike tours.
- Flight of the Gibbon zipline adventure.
- Diving with sharks at Sea Life Ocean World.
- Wakeboarding at Taco Lake.
- Rock Climbing at Urban Playground.
- Go Karting at EasyKart.
- Surfing at Flow House.
- Bobble Football.
- Extreme Cycling at Peppermint Bike Park.
- Formula Renault Driving at Taki Racing.
- Airsoft and Paintball at Combat Zone 62.
And honestly, this list is just scratching the surface!
Why visit Bangkok reason #8: The markets
Bangkok has got a huge variety of markets. The most famous is Chatuchak Market, or JJ Market. While it’s open all week, you should visit at the weekend as this is when all the stalls will be open. Chatuchak Market is massive! There’re over 15,000 stalls offering an eclectic variety of goods, from antiques through to pets.
If you have time, I suggest that you also visit some of the following markets.
- Pratunam Market. (This is mostly clothing, shoes, accessories).
- Or Tor Kor Market. (The biggest food market, or wet market, in Thailand).
- Pak Khlong Flower Market. (First and foremost flowers, but also fruits and vegetables).
- Amulet Market. (Bustling handicrafts bazaar selling Buddhist amulets, totems, coins & good-luck charms).
- Silom Night Market. (Also known as Patpong Market, this is where you can get all kinds of tourist tat and fake designer goods).
Why visit Bangkok reason #9: The festivals
The Thai love festivals. Seriously. Any excuse to celebrate and have some fun. With this said, some tourists even go as far as to plan entire holidays around these festivals to join in the party and see what all the fuss is about. A great example of this is Songkran (April 13 – April 17). This is a festival where Bangkok hosts the world’s largest water fight!
Other festivals of note are:
- Loy Krathong.
- Chinese New Year.
- International Festival of Music & Dance.
- Wai Khru Tattoo Festival.
Why visit Bangkok reason #10: The Chao Phraya River
Bangkok’s Chao Phraya River has been the city’s lifeline since the very beginning, and it’s one of the best places to escape the chaotic city streets. Riverside hotels, restaurants, dinner cruises and water taxis make this muddy working river an ideal place to enjoy a relaxing day or night. Be sure to bring your camera, because the historic Thai river boats and riverside dwellings are picturesque at all times of day!
Why visit Bangkok reason #11: The cheap healthcare
It may not be the primary reason when you’re asking yourself the question why go to Bangkok, but the affordable and top-notch medical facilities might convince you to visit the doctor or dentist while you’re there! Bangkok is known for its promotion of medical tourism, and when you see the state-of-the-art practices offered for a fraction of western prices, you’ll understand why medical tourists flock to the city from around the world.
Why visit Bangkok reason #12: The rooftop bars
Sky bars and rooftop lounges are all over Bangkok. They’re some of the best places to admire one of the most impressive skylines in the world. Why see the city at eye level, when you can watch its many wonders from above? Note. I suggest you consider one of the following rooftop bars. They’re all awesome!
- CRU Champagne Bar.
- Sky on 20.
- Flûte A Perrier-Jouët Bar.
- Vertigo and Moon Bar.
- Sirocco & Sky Bar.
- The Speakeasy.
- Sala Rattanakosin.
Why visit Bangkok reason #13: The massage
Getting at least one traditional Thai massage is an absolute must when you visit Bangkok. Endure an hour or two of stretching, pulling and pushing on your muscles, and you’ll sleep better than you ever have before. Even better, you’ll wake up the next day feeling rejuvenated and ready for another day in the city. To check out a video on where to get the best traditional Thai massage in Bangkok click on the i-icon above.
Final thoughts on why Bangkok?
Bangkok is home to over eight million people. As you’ll find, the city has a lot of expats from all over the world. It seems that once someone stays in the city for long enough, that they never want to leave. Remember the line from The Hangover Part 2? “Bangkok has him now, and she’ll never let him go…” It really can be like this!
I get why some people get overwhelmed by Bangkok. It’s swelteringly hot, loud, chaotic and quite different from most Western countries. Once you get off the beaten path though you’ll find that Bangkok is a city full of surprises. No matter what you want to do, see or buy it’s available. Temples, red light districts, sky bars, museums, art galleries, parks…You name it, the city has it.
Anyway, that’s it for this video. Expect a new video next week.
For all you techies out there, this video was shot on a Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus and edited using HitFilm Express.
To check out details on arranging a bespoke Bangkok tour with experienced tour guides, please click on the link in this video’s description section.
Finally, please don’t forget to subscribe to this channel through the button below! Also, I’d like to hear from you if you have any questions or comments regarding why visit Bangkok. Maybe you know some great reasons that I missed. Please do reach out to me through the comments section of this video!
Thank you very much for watching. I’ll see you next week. Goodbye.