Bangkok is a must-see when visiting Thailand, but I wouldn't stay more than a weekend here. The reason I say that is because it is extremely crowded and everything you would want to see you can pretty much see in a day or two! It is pretty dirty for the most part, but don't let that deter you from seeing the magnificent temples here and beautiful city skyline at night. The architecture here is so different and cool looking! There is a lot of street shopping, shopping malls, and of course delicious street food. You can even get a tasty tarantula, scorpion, or larva on the street!!! I'm not even joking... I can't say I even tried it, but besides that, the food is actually amazing.
We only stayed two nights here. We were able to see all of the temples that we had wanted to see AND attend the Miss Universe competition.
BEWARE OF SCAMS. We fell for this one the first day... our Tuk Tuk driver LIED about there being a Buddhist Holiday, saying that the temples wouldn't open until 4:00 PM. He said he would take us to a few places to kill time which was just a scam to try to make commission! He then took us to the pier where we could take a boat to the temples we wanted to see (Wat Arun & Grand Palace) and it was neat but it was honestly a rip-off. They charged us 1500 baht each ($45.98 USD) to take the boat which honestly took forever. We only got to see one temple before dark. Come to find out its only a 25 minute Tuk Tuk ride to the temples! Don't fall for this one.
What We Did
Wat Intharawihan: otherwise known as The Temple of the Standing Buddha. The Standing Buddha is over 100 ft tall! The surrounding temples are very beautiful.
Floating Market: after we got scammed we ended up here at the floating market. Honestly it was pretty neat! It was LITERALLY a floating market! People sold items (mostly food) out of small boats. There was also a larger market connected to land that sold mostly souvenirs, plants, food, and dessert. There was a traditional Thai music band playing with all kinds of instruments. The floating market is not something I would tell you to go out of your way to see, however, if you do plan to take a boat to the temples and it is on the way, you might as well if you have extra time!
Wat Arun: This is a MUST SEE! Entry to the temple is 100 baht ($3.07 USD). If you do not have anything to cover your shoulders (remember shoulders and ankles should be covered), you can rent a scarf cover-up for 50 baht ($1.53 USD) with a 100 baht deposit. At the entry of the temple you can even rent a Thai costume for 200 baht ($6.13 USD), but you cannot wear it into the temple.
ICONSIAM: This was the nicest (and biggest) mall I have ever been to. There are a ton of really nice restaurants to eat at here. The shopping ranges from Louis Vuitton to H&M. The prices here turn out to be virtually equivalent to that in the United States. There are six floors of shopping at this beautiful mall! They also have free wifi, which is wonderful if you do not have an international cell phone plan.
MBK Center: This isn't the nicest mall ever, but this mall has GREAT FINDS. This mall has almost 2,000 shops at 8 stories high! This is where all my money went this trip (oops). They carry a lot of high fashion items at AMAZING prices as well as jewelry. I asked what the secret was... and they said Korea! Sadly I was too distracted by all of the glorious items to take any photos here. TRUST me when I say this place has great quality items for low cost!
China Town: China Town Bangkok is absolutely nuts. If your are at all claustrophobic... this place is not for you. Its shoulder to shoulder crowded. However, there are some really unique and interesting shops here! They had some really fun stores. This is the BEST place to get jewelry! I bought some gorgeous pageant dangle earrings and some stunning stud earrings that actually reflect like diamonds. I could estimate the earrings that I bought would cost about $55-$80 in the US, and I got them here for what was equivalent to a few cents each.
Grand Palace: The Grand Palace is absolutely breathtaking! From the magnificent buildings to the small details, you can't miss this! The Grand Palace is DAZZLING. You won't want to forget your camera (or iPhone) for this one!
TALAD Neon Night Market: This night market is similar to most I have seen in Thailand but it is in downtown Bangkok. They have live bands, bars, food, and market stalls. They sell art, clothing, and souvenirs here. They had some fun deserts and some very interesting food as well...
Miss Universe 2018
The whole reasoning behind this trip was to come to Miss Universe 2018, hosted at the IMPACT Arena Bangkok, to cheer on our very own Miss USA Sarah Rose Summers (She ended up placing in the Top 20!). This was an awesome experience to be there at the show LIVE not only to see the pageant but to be in the same building with every nationality and culture in the WORLD! If you don't know much about Miss Universe, there are 94 different nations represented. I love the Miss Universe competition because it showcases all different kinds of beauty from the outside in! It was emotional to see our girl Sarah up there on the Miss Universe stage! I was proud to carry my USA flag. :)
I learned that the Thai people are CRAZY about pageants! I've never seen people lose their minds that much ever.... hahaha. It was so fun to watch!
Not to toot my own horn or anything but... we look GREAT for 5:00 AM! Yes, the pageant aired at 7:00 PM Eastern Time Sunday, Dec 16 which was 7:00 AM Monday, Dec 17 in Thailand.
Dress: Sherri Hill Shoes: Chinese Laundry Earrings: China Town Bangkok
Where We Stayed
Casa Nithra Bangkok
We chose Casa Nithra because it was halfway between IMPACT Arena where Miss Universe was to be held and downtown. It was a 30 minute drive either way. The hotel was nothing special, but we didn't need anything fancy for our short time here!
Our Room: Our room here was just a standard Double hotel room. No complaints.
Price: This hotel was only $63.56 a night for two people.
Breakfast: You can include breakfast in your stay, but we opted out this time. The breakfast place next door was spectacular and even had matcha shakes, which are my favorite!