Bangkok may seem like a small capital city on the map, but it has 50 districts and around 180 subdistricts. With its plethora of Wats, markets, night spots, spas, and shopping centers, squeezing all of these in 2 days would require a lot of research and planning. Considering that one could easily spend half a day going through Platinum Mall’s six floors, 48 hours in Bangkok would require a bit of shortlisting and prioritizing. So, we’ve created a flexible itinerary that will allow you to mix and match to get your 48 hours in Bangkok just the way you like it.
DAY 1: MORNING
TAKE ON THE CHAO PHRAYA RIVER FERRY
The best way to see the city of Bangkok is from the meandering Chao Praya. Open from 6 AM to 7:30 PM, take the ferry through Chao Praya River and get off at Tha Tien Pier (N8). Here, you can admire Wat Arun, The Temple of Dawn, from afar, or you can take a cross-river ferry to have a closer look.
THE WALKING TOUR
From the pier, you can make a local breakfast stop at Tha Tien Market before making your way to Wat Pho, the temple of the Reclining Buddha. Although you may not spend a lot of time viewing the giant Buddha, you might want to take a photo walk around the temple complex or get a traditional Thai massage which starts at 250THB.
A 9-minute walk away from Wat Po is the Grand Palace, the home of the Thai King and the Royal Court for 150 years. Among the impressive buildings you will spot in its complex, Wat Phra Kaew, the home of the revered Emerald Buddha from the 14th century, would be hard to miss.
CLIMB UP THE GOLDEN MOUNT
From the Grand Palace, it’s a 28-minute walk to Wat Saket, the Golden Mount. On the way, you can have a foodie stopover at Thipsamai Pad Thai on Maha Chai Road before you cross the bridge to get to the Wat Saket. You can also just hop on tuk-tuk or taxi to save your energy for more walking later.
DAY 1: AFTERNOON
The Yaowarat Street Food experience is perfect for lunch as you gain a bit of your energy before you take on Bangkok’s Chinatown. As it is a 28-minute walk away from Wat Saket, there’s a good chance you might want to take the tuk-tuk or taxi to get here.
DAY 1: EVENING
NIGHT MARKETS, BUCKETS OR SKY BARS?
The evening has a lot of night markets to offer. One of the default places to go would be Khao San Road and Rambuttri, where you can go for a walk through the market in between bucket and foot massage breaks. And, if you are curious about the fish spa, why not give feeding the dry skin on your feet to the fish a go? There are also plenty of good-value restaurants and street food stalls in the center of the backpacker universe.
If you have a bit of a sweet tooth going on and like frills and rainbows, then pay a visit to Bangkok’s Unicorn Café before exploring the Silom by night. To see more of Bangkok at night, the Sky Bar and the 360 Lounge in Silom are highly recommended.
DAY 2: MORNING
THE DAY TRIPPER
There is a possibility that you are now tired of Bangkok and after seeing everything that you planned on seeing, it’s about time you venture outside the city. You can meander through the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, which is an hour away from Bangkok or you can take the 7:50 AM train from Bangkok Thonburi Station to the River Kwai. You can also take a bus to the Ancient capital, Ayutthaya.
THE LOCAL TRAVELER
Whether you are the type of traveler who prefers the less beaten path or a photographer who is looking for interesting local shots, then start with an early day out, around 3 AM, to be exact, to watch Bangkok’s Flower Market come to life. Then, head to the Maeklong Railway Market to catch the arrival of the 6 AM train. You can also take a stroll around the airplane graveyard in Ramkhamhaeng Road. And, if you want to see something dark, check out the exhibits in the Death Museum.
THE AVID SHOPPER
After breakfast, head for Platinum Plaza, where you can explore 6 floors of clothes, shoes, accessories, and trinkets. You can head to the food court on the top floor for a bit of a snack break or make your way to Siam Paragon. For a unique coffee break, you can wander off to the Mermaid Café which is just opposite the Siam Paragon.
DAY 2: AFTERNOON
Explore the themed cafés and restaurants of Sukhumvit. Check out Cabbages&Condoms, a quirky Thai restaurant with a lot of personality and delicious Thai dishes. You can also have a walk around the W District to check out some crazy art installations, take on the myriad of food stalls, and give the brews a go.
DAY 2: EVENING
You can spend the evening shopping for souvenirs on Khao San or Rambuttri or you can hunt for vintage items at the Rot Fai Market, followed by a long walk around the Talad Neon Night Market with its 900 shops that can literally offer you anything, from trendy fashion items to a Thai massage.
WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF YOU HAD 48 HOURS IN BANGKOK?
With so many cool things to write about, let us know if we missed anything.