Hi, I'm Jon_Mak_Mak.
Here you can get information on
First a little about me:
I have 3 passions in life -
So, that’s enough about me. Let’s get the pictures and information up and I hope that you find the info to be of some use.
I have a love/hate relationship with
Let me list a few tips to help you deal with
1. Try to learn a little bit of the language. Being able to say no thanks in Thai will make things a lot easier. (See my basic Thai-Language section coming soon!)
2. Never, ever, ever get a tuk-tuk or Taxi that is waiting outside a major tourist spot like the
3. Don’t listen to any person that tells you a place is shut and definitely don’t go with them if they offer to take you to somewhere else. These places can include: Gem shops, markets, other Wats (Wat is Thai for
4. Don’t believe the tuk-tuk’s ‘10 Baht tour of the city’ It’s a scam! In fact, your better off avoiding tuk-tuk’s in
5. Make sure you got change for the taxi! They are not going to change your 1000 baht note.
6. When you are asked ‘how long you been
7. Don’t book all your excursions/taxis/meals with your hotel. This is a bit obvious but you really can get cheaper and probably better deals on your own if you do a bit of looking around. Some of the best food to be had in
8. Beware of
Most tours, coaches or VISA runs booked with Khao San agents will be low quality and will probably be run by one of the Bangkok MAFI. There are many stories on the web so do a search and read up.
9. Don’t insult the monarchy at all, not even for a joke! This is one of the worst things you could do to offend Thais and could land you in jail or dead!
10. Don’t insult Buddhism or ANY Buddha image or statue, not even for a joke! Definitely don’t sit on, point at (with the feet) or damage any thing related to the religion. People have been killed in the street for this sort of thing so it’s pretty serious!
So you have some tips to help you in
The Grand palace, Wat Phra Kaew and Wat Po
These are some of the biggest tourist attractions in
In Wat Phra Kaew is the Royal Chapel which houses the famous Emerald Buddha (It’s actually made of Jade) and is an important temple in
Right next door is Wat Po with its giant reclining Buddha. This Wat is apparently the oldest in
Reclining Buddha - Wat Po
Sanam Luang is a big field next to the royal palace which was used as the royal crematorium. It was also used for royal ceremonies and events. Now it’s used for all sorts and you might find a market one day and an anti-government rally the next!
Wat Arun (Temple of dawn)
This Wat is the other side of the Chao Phraya River (big river running through Bangkok) to the Grand Palace but is easily reached by taxi or if you are feeling a little more adventurous, you can get the boat across from near the palace complex.
Wat Arun is an Angkor-style wat with great views of the river. You can climb up the (steep) steps to the top for some great photos of old
Wat Chana Songkram
Another Buddhist temple in
You can purchase a ticket to the observation deck at the entrance to the hotel and take the glass elevator to the roof. It’s worth a visit day and night and the surrounding area of Pratu
Views from the Baiyoke roof deck.
This is an important monument in
Wat Hua Lamphong
This temple is a lively place but isn’t full of tourist like some others in
Just as the hustle and bustle of the city is taking its toll on you, head to this big green park in the middle of the business district. Best visited early morning () where you can see many of
Dusit is a district in
Dusit Zoo. This is a nice place to escape the smog and traffic for a bit and is apparently the oldest zoo in
Ananta Samakom Throne Hall was also an old parliament building and is made from white marble. It’s a 2 storey building of western (Italian I believe) design and really stands out. Located next to Dusit zoo.
When we bought the ticket to the Grand palace, admission to the Vimanmek mansion was included on the same ticket, so it might be worth visiting the palace first.
Phra Phrom (Erawan Shrine)
Right across the road from the Gaysorn centre & World Trade centre, this shrine is relatively small in size but has an interesting history as to why it was built. (google - Erawan shrine,
In 2006 a mentally disturbed man attacked the shrine and was subsequently killed by bystanders. The shrine has been restored and is once again open to the public.
Ganesha Shrine and Trimurti Shrine
These 2 shrines are opposite each other at the far ends of
Looking at the shopping centre, Ganesha shrine is to the left. This shrine is for accomplishment, wisdom and wealth while the Trimurti shrine is at the other end and people pray here for true love. Now I know why my wife took me here to pray when we first met!!
This is somewhere you wont find listed in many guide books and the atmosphere is all the better for it! Now a public park, the old maximum security prison has been mostly demolished but a few parts of it has been left intact including a section of the outer wall with watch towers and an old cell block. Here you can learn about the prison life, punishments, torture and executions in old
Wat Suthat has been less busy than the
Rama 8 Bridge
The fairly new bridge (2002) that spans the
Wat Ratchanatdaram (Loha Prasat)
Unusually, this Wat has 37 black metal spires and is apparently the only one of its kind in the world! Visually, it stands out from other nearby temples and is architecturally unique. It’s great for exploring the different levels and you are able to climb the steps to the top where you can get some great views of surrounding
View from Wat Ratchanatdaram – Rama 8 bridge in the background
The Royal Pavilion and Memorial Statue of King Rama III
Right outside Wat Rachanatdaram is the Royal Pavilion used to welcome foreign visitors and next to that is the Memorial Statue of King Rama III.
You’re probably a bit ‘Watted out’ by now and I can fully understand. Sometimes the best thing to do in
Here I am going to write about some of the most popular shopping places with a little description of each and my own personal rating of 1-5 with 1 being not very good 3 being average and 5 being great!
Opposite the WTC is the Gaysorn Centre – a much smaller mall dedicated to the top names in fashion. Expect to find names such as Gucci, Prada, Givenchy, Burberry and Hugo Boss. I have no idea if the prices are competitive or not but I know they are priced well over my budget. There is a branch of Bookazine inside which stocks international magazines. Rated 2
MBK Centre is one of my favourite shopping places in
1. It is easily accessible by taxi or sky train.
2. It has two MK restaurants (you really need to try MK in
3. It has about 2000 shops with competitive prices!
Also inside is a massive food hall, an entertainment floor with cinema, arcades and bowling and a huge section specifically for mobile phones and accessories. Rated 5
Across from the MBK centre is Siam Square, Siam Centre, Siam Discovery and the newly opened
Car fish tank at Siam Ocean World
The Platinum Centre - up the road from
Sudan Lum Night Bazaar is
Patpong Night Market, this is a major tourist trap! The market spreads through the infamous Patpong area in Silom. The market its-self is over priced, over rated and FULL of tourists and touts. The market is surrounded with bars and clubs so beware of the touts that will try to steer you to their club or go-go bar, don’t go with them, the prices will NOT be cheap no matter what they say. Rated 2
Khao San Road Market, Just like Patpong market, this is a major tourist trap! Not only can you get stuff cheaper elsewhere in
Chatuchak Weekend Market is the mother of all markets in
Pak Klong Talat (Vegetable/Flower/Fruit Market)
This whole-sale market is near the Grand palace and China-town district and runs along side the
This is the place to go for gold. Thai gold is very beautiful and usually cheaper than in the west.
I think I have covered the best of the main shopping centres and markets in Bangkok and altho there are many others all over the city, like The Mall - Bangkae with its water park or the countless Robinsons Department stores, I'm sure you will have plenty of choice already.
Nightlife, Bars, Cafes, Restaurants and food!
This is going to be a big section. There are a lot of bars, clubs, restaurants and places to eat in
I might as well get this one out the way. It’s not my favourite place to go because it’s rammed full of backpackers and there are so many touts that it gets annoying after 10 minutes. There are many bars/cafes and eateries along Khao San and the service is the same in most of them – Not Good! I don’t blame the Thais who work there though because I have seen some pretty horrific behaviour by westerners around here and have often been embarrassed by them. Soi Rambutti is a better choice just off
Gulliver’s Sports Bar on the opposite corner to the police station is ok for some ‘western style’ food with a beer. At night this place gets packed and turns into a bit of a nightclub with the same American hip-hop (pop-hop) you will hear all over
At the opposite end of
Another place I can recommend is a little restaurant on soi Rambutti. I think it’s called
Buddy Beer is a popular bar/restaurant near McDonalds (yep,
The infamous Patpong area between Silom road & Surawong road has a lot of clubs, bars & restaurants. Everyone knows it used to be the seedy red light district of Bangkok but now it’s just a massive tourist trap! There are still lots of girly bars though, but there are better areas in the city for that sort of thing. Lucifer’s is a night club on Patpong Soi 1, about halfway up the soi. It can be pretty banging on the weekend and they play club, trance and techno music. As the name suggest, the theme of the club is very devilish and expect to be served buy a demon or horned creature.
At the opposite end of the party spectrum is a bar with no apparent name. It’s on Surawong road, opposite Patpong Soi 1. It’s an open bar right on the side of the road and is a great spot for sitting with a bottle of Sangsom and just watching the people go by. The bar is popular with older couples, families and younger people alike and a lot of people that are staying in the nearby Montien hotel seem to come to this bar. There is no air conditioning or toilet here but there are fans and you can use the toilet in the nearby shopping mall. They also serve good food here too but it is cooked on the street up the road and walked down to the bar! Not the cheapest price’s around but the portions are good and the taste delicious! The staff are great too and often recognise my wife and I as we walk up the street. – Highly recommended place!
There is a road next to Patpong called Soi Thaniya that caters to Japanese clients. I haven’t been in any of the clubs but it’s worth a walk down the road to be dazzled by all the neon signs that light the street.
O'Reilly's Irish Pub can be found on Silom road right on the corner of Soi Thaniya. I haven’t been in here loads of times but it seems ok to pop in for a pint.
I can’t recommend any particular go-go bar for a show in Patpong because they are all basically the same. Just be careful of hidden cover fees and don’t go with any touts that offer to take you to see a show no matter how persistent they maybe.
Sukhumvit is a big area in
On Sukhumvit Soi 5 there is another Gulliver’s Travellers Tavern which is similar to the
There are plenty of places to eat and drink in this area including McDonalds, Starbucks, and KFC and various other restaurants and food stalls in the shopping centres. The 2 highlights for me though are the Outback Stake House and the MK Restaurants. The Outback Stake House is on the 2nd floor of the Siam Discovery Centre. It is part of an Australian chain of restaurant specializing in stakes, grilled chicken, BBQ’s etc… Really good food here and good service too. My favourites include the Bushman Shroom’s, Typhoon Bloom (Giant onion rings) and obviously a big, fat stake!
In this area are at least 3 MK restaurants, 2 in the MBK centre and one opposite the
The roadside food stalls and trolleys you will see all over
Here is a little bit about some of the most popular Thai dishes from the street.
Som Tam is an Isan (North East) dish and is usually very spicy. It’s a kind of salad made with papaya and pickled fish or crab. Have plenty of water ready when trying this!
Pad Thai -one of the most popular dishes with visitors- is a Thai style fried noodles dish with shrimp, tofu and chillies. Personally I don’t like Pad Thai myself and would rather have something more tasty but it’s very popular and can be found everywhere especially around Khao San.
Tom Yam Goong is perhaps the most famous Thai dish of all and is very nice. It’s a spicy, hot and sour soup with shrimp (prawns). I recommend you try Tom Yam when in
Khao Pad Gai/Moo/Nua/Goong/Talay – One of my favourite dishes any time of day - Fried rice with chicken, pork, beef, prawns or seafood. It’s as simple as that!
Kway Tiao is very popular with Thais and another of my favourites. Kway Tiao is rice noodles in a soup with mixed vegetables and little round balls of pork, beef, fish or chicken. It’s not usually spicy but like most dishes, you can add chillies, sugar, fish sauce or soy sauce as required.
Ba Mee Moo Deang is like Kway Tiao but made from yellow noodles (egg noodles) and served with slices of red (bbq) pork – Delicious!
Khao Pod or ‘corn on the cob’ as you might know it is a cheap snack at about 10 Baht each.
Geang Kiew Wan, Geang Luang, Geang Phet (Geang Deang), Geang Massaman, &
Pad Gaprao Moo is my favourite dish of all and I cook it weekly in my home. It’s basically fried pork with Thai holy basil and we like to add onion and chillies too - Highly recommended.
Gai Pad Met Ma Muang or chicken and cashew nut (Thai style) is a great dish and usually is coked with dried red chillies but isn’t too spicy.
Pad Brio Wan Gai/Moo/Goong – Sweet & Sour Chicken/Pork/Prawns. When made with fresh pineapple and using succulent green peppers, this is one of the tastiest Thai dishes.
Sapalot is Thai for Pineapple and you can buy a slice from a street vendor for about 10/15 baht. You might get a little bag of red and white stuff with it which is chilli and sugar.
A warning on Ice Cream, Ice, and Water.
I would stick to drinking brand name, bottled water in
There are many other dishes and deserts and things on sticks, and lots of strange looking foods on the streets of