A visit to Bangkok tops my post-pandemic travel list – Manila bulletin


One of the last overseas trips I took before the pandemic was Thailand in 2019 with friends. I was so excited because unlike my 2018 visit to the land of smiles, it was a five day stay with a trip to the outskirts of Bangkok. I guess like any other foreign tourist, I love Thailand’s unique landscape. Even in their capital, you will truly feel in a foreign land due to the many temples and shrines that stand alongside modern structures and buildings.

Here are some of the places we have visited and missed so much in Thailand.

Take the trains and go shopping

Upon arrival from Suvarnabhumi International Airport, we took the airport train to our hotel, which is right next to the Punnawithi station of the BTS Skytrain Sukhumvit line.

I clearly remember how clean and colorful the stations are because of the many Thai advertisements. We had a pleasant journey and easily reached our hotel, which is a few stations away from major shopping areas like the modern and stylish shopping malls surrounding Siam Station. If you like to shop for clothes, watches and fashion accessories at a bargain, you will never be bored in Bangkok because the whole city is a shopper’s paradise.

Immerse yourself in a great experience

While the Philippines has the Malacanang Palace, Thailand has the Grand Palace, which is a must-see tourist attraction, especially for first-timers. The Grand Palais is open to tourists every day. You just have to pay the entrance fee and make sure you don’t wear shorts, skirts or sleeveless tops as they are not allowed inside the palace complex. Even though this was the second time I had seen these unique and elaborate Thai temples, I was still amazed by their architectural beauty, the grandeur of its pillars and roof, its golden Buddhas and the exteriors and interiors of this palace in the intricate design.

Visit sights on a river cruise

If I had to recommend for first-time travelers who want to see famous Bangkok sights, I would suggest taking the ferries or water taxis to the Chao Phraya River. The river would bring you to major Bangkok sights like Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn), Grand Palace, and Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha).

You can also visit major shopping malls like Iconsiam and enjoy a relaxing river cruise while viewing water taxis, the scenery of buildings, hotels, and interesting local structures.

In our case, we decided to book a hop-on hop-off ferry tour, which you can book online or purchase tickets at the ferry terminals. The hop-on hop-off ferry ride will save you precious time as it will go straight to famous tourist spots instead of going through all the stations along the river.

Feel the culture at the floating markets

Another memorable experience we had in Thailand was when we visited the Damnoen Saduak floating market located outside of Bangkok. I love this experience because you will see how Thais sell and buy their fruits, vegetables and other things while driving a boat. It was such a great boating experience as you will visit the lanes of the waterways and see people exchanging goods while riding a small boat. I will also never forget my experience enjoying the delicious coconut ice cream and chicken satay sold by the boat vendors as we cruise past the bustling floating market.

Be amazed by the ancient lost kingdom

The ancient capital of Thailand is Ayutthaya, which was built in the 1300s and destroyed during the Burmese invasion in the 1700s. The kingdom of Ayutthaya was in ruins for centuries and is now considered a site of the Unesco World Heritage. If you’re like me who loves historic places then this ancient lost kingdom is the place to be because it’s like being transported back in time.

We have visited so many interesting places across Thailand on this trip. Even street food is a gourmet dining experience, from grilled scorpions to the famous Pad Thai. For now, as the world deals with the new COVID variants, we can only recall from the comfort of our homes the pre-pandemic times of visiting foreign countries without a face mask and temperature control.



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