How to spend 48 hours in Bangkok

by Travelbag on 05 June 2015, 17:06PM

Bangkok is known for being one of Asia's loudest and liveliest cities and it's the perfect place to spend a 48 hour city break – especially if you're stopping over in the city during a flight transfer window.

But what waits for you in Bangkok? Well a number of things. From beautiful, breathtaking temples and monuments, to exciting nightlife and world-class shopping – this truly is a city with something for everyone.

Take a morning boat trip.

Chao Phraya River runs right through the city, and taking a boat along the city will introduce you to Bangkok in a wonderful way. The cheapest thing to do, is ignore the tourist boats and instead opt for an orange flagged local transport. You should buy your ticket on board and it'll cost you about 15 baht (bargain!). Along the river you'll see the city moving around you, from tourists, to fishermen – it's all along the river.

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We recommend jumping off the boat and taking a stroll around, and grabbing lunch from local street-sellers. Street food is a big part of life in Bangkok and most locals eat from these stands every day. You'll usually be able to spot a 7/11 convenience stores in most parts of the city too – for when you just need a drink or a snack.

Visit the Grand Palace.

This is without a doubt one of Bangkok's most beautiful landmarks and you'd be a fool to miss it. The Grand Palace is the home of Bangkok's most opulent and religious buildings, with some of the most stunning temples you'll ever see located inside. It takes a few hours to explore the Grand Palace and the grounds properly, so aside a whole afternoon for this and make sure you take your camera too.

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It's also worth noting the strict dress code at the Grand Palace, because if you don't adhere to it, you won't be allowed inside. Make sure your clothes cover your shoulders and knees, and that your bare chest or belly isn't showing.

Something to eat.

If you didn't grab some street food earlier in the day, now is your chance to enjoy some of Bangkok's finest street vendors. Try out some roast pork belly from Or Tor Kor market or some local curry from Thanon Charu Mueang. Afterwards, head out into your local neighbourhood and check out some of the local cocktail bars and coffee shops – most stay open pretty late in Bangkok so you'll have plenty of time to play around with.

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Early to rise.

If you wake up early enough, you can get a guided tour out to the Bangkok Floating Markets, and experience the amazing sight before the markets get overcrowded in the afternoon and evenings. The markets aren't usually air-conditioned either – so visiting early (because the midday sun kicks in) is actually a great idea.

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There are plenty of floating markets to choose from, as there are so many surrounding the city of Bangkok – but your hotel will likely be able to recommend the closest market to you – or the market they like to recommend.

At the market you'll find loads of food options and most have street sellers to try out and enjoy – so that's your breakfast and lunch taken care of. You'll also find lots of gift shops, and local sellers – with everything from traditional hats to magnets and spices.

Head back to the city for the afternoon.

When you get back into the city, head towards the beautiful and the impressive Wat Arun. This stunning structure stands tall above the city, and is one of the most iconic spots in Bangkok. Its towering spires are one of the most recognised in Southeast Asia, and you'll have no doubt spotted them on a postcard before actually seeing them in person.

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The towers were constructed during the first half of the 19th century in the ancient Khmer style, and the incredible detailed ornate floral pattern is absolutely breath taking when you get up-close. This is somewhere you'll certainly want to bring your camera!

Enjoy the view from a rooftop in the evening.

Located on the 63rd floor (that's high!) of the Lebua Hotel, Sky Bar is one of Bangkok's most famous and glamorous rooftop bars. If you have the budget to enjoy a few drinks here – definitely put it on your to-do list. Found under the huge dome (made famous by The Hangover) this bar is a favourite for locals and tourists alike – and it'll leave you speechless. The best time to visit is early evening as the sun is setting – that way you can miss the busy crowds that flock to the venue later in the evening.

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