From its beautiful culture to its historic landmarks of grandeur, there are many reasons why the Kingdom of Thailand is simply amazing. One visit can make you instantly fall in love with it and will make you want to come back for more.
The Kingdom of Thailand is located at the center of Southeast Asia. It’s citizens have always called it Mueang Thai—Mueang referring to semi-independent states in Southeast Asia before the modern times—but outsiders have called it Siam, from the Pali word suvaṇṇabhūmi which means “the land of gold”. The origin of the word was also used to name the airport in the country’s capital, Bangkok City—Suvarnabhumi.
The people and the official language of Thailand are both called Thai while the official currency used is called Baht (฿). The population of the country is almost 70 million, and 95% of the people believe in Buddhism.
Tip: It would be better if you will bring US Dollars with you. Exchange rates vary depending on the denomination you will trade for Thailand Baht. The higher the denomination, the higher the exchange rate.
There are various forms of transportation in Thailand. However, when it comes to long-distance travels, people opt for buses while for short trips in cities, the popular modes of transportation are motorbikes, taxis and auto rickshaws locally known as tuk-tuks. There are also rail rapid transit systems but it would be easier to use the aforementioned vehicles for easier and faster transportation.
When in Bangkok, Thailand, my family and I would usually stay in Khao San Palace by Khao San Road. For us, it is the most affordable and accessible accommodation that is near famous landmarks in the city. The lowest rate for 2 people sharing a room is ฿1,000 or approximately $33 US.
Tip: You can use mobile apps such as Airbnb or Traveloka for a wide range of accommodation options. You can choose by location, by type, or by price range.
Khao San Road is home to different establishments like international fast food restaurants, local restaurants that offer authentic Thai cuisines, convenience stores, bars, and stalls for clothing, accessories, and souvenirs. At night, the road comes alive and becomes a party strip for visitors and locals.
Day 1: Siam Square One, LINE Village and Hello Kitty House Bangkok
From Khao San Road, my sisters and I took a taxi to get to Siam Square One—a shopping mall made up of 7 floors in Siam Square—our first location. Travel time was around 20-25 minutes. When we got there, we visited the LINE Village Bangkok first, found at the ground floor. Inside, items of famous LINE characters can be bought such as keychains, pens, notebooks, phone cases and stuffed animals. However, it’s advisable to visit the indoor theme park first before looking around the shop to buy souvenirs. A ticket to access the indoor theme park costs around ฿1,000 (approx. US $33), but on mobile apps such as Klook, it can cost only for ฿700 (approx. US $23). The theme park has interactive rooms where you can play virtual reality games as well as cute rooms that are Instagram worthy.
Tip: Make sure to prepare your camera or phone storage because you will take lots of photos and videos. Each room inside the theme park is fun, colorful and unique.
Within Siam Square One, you will also find a café and souvenir shop at the first and second floor, dedicated to the renowned and beloved cat—Hello Kitty. Since my sister loves Hello Kitty so much, we joined her inside the Hello Kitty House to enjoy some cakes, pastries, and drinks. I bought my sister donuts that came with a Hello Kitty container as a souvenir.
Prices for food and drinks range from ฿600 ($20) to ฿1,200 ($40). No worries, however. Entrance to the establishment is at no cost. Feel free to look around collectible Hello Kitty items and take pictures around the café as well as the shop.
Day 2: Bangkok National Museum and Chatuchak Market
On our second day, we visited Bangkok National Museum first. It’s just 1 kilometer away from Khao San Road so we just walked for about 15 to 20 minutes. If you are not from Khao San Road, however, you can take a bus or a taxi to get there.
Bangkok National Museum stands on the former Wang Na (The Front) Palace of the 18th century. It was founded by King Rama V to house the private antiquities owned by King Rama IV, his father. This museum is considered to be the largest in Southeast Asia, and my sisters and I only found out when we got there.
- ฿200 ($5) – National Museum only
- ฿350 ($12) – Includes National Museum, National Museum of Royal Barge and The National Gallery
Visiting the museum is a must for me because it actually helps tourists to get a glimpse of the country’s royal history as well as its rich culture.
Tip: Get a glimpse of Bangkok National Museum by visiting its virtual museum through this website.
From Bangkok National Museum, we traveled around 40 minutes by Taxi to get to Chatuchak Weekend Market, the largest in the world. It has 15,000 stalls that offer products of wide variety. So, if you’re looking for a place to buy local items and souvenirs for your friends and family, this is the place for you! Expect to find better deals here because the prices are lower compared to other shopping establishments. You can also bargain items at a lower price. Just don’t forget to smile and ask politely.
For a change, I did not bring home keychains and ref magnets as souvenirs. Instead, we found this shop in Chatuchak called Longa. What you see in the featured photos are not fruits nor vegetables; flowers nor ice cream; they are actually fragrant soap! I highly recommend you visit their store and take home something different for yourself, your friends and your family.
The whole market is open only on Saturdays and Sundays from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM. If you will be including Chatuchak in your itinerary (which you should), make sure it will fall on a weekend.
Tip: Learn more about Chatuchak by reading the Tips and FAQs page on their website.
Day 3: River Cruise Bangkok
On our third day day—for my birthday—my sisters surprised me tickets to a river cruise. We headed to the River City Shopping Complex, situated by the Chaopraya River. The fastest way to get there is by Taxi, which will take you under 10 minutes to get there. However, you can also walk 5 kilometers or take a bus that will take you around an hour.
There are numerous companies that offer dinner cruises on Chaophraya River and you can find their ticket counters inside the mall. For our cruise, my sisters chose the White Orchid River Cruise which included a dinner buffet, a live band and a 2-hour river tour where you will get to pass and see famous Thailand landmarks such as the Rama I Bridge, Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn), Wat Pra Kaew (The Royal Grand Palace) and Rama VIII Bridge.
The dinner cruise program starts at 7:45 PM and ends at 9:45 PM for White Orchid River Cruise. Below is the program for the cruise:
- 7:30 PM – Check in at The White Orchid River Cruise Counter
- 7:45 PM – Departure of ship at Chaophraya River
- 8:00 PM – Thai Classic Dance and Dinner Buffet (Thai/Western Cuisines)
- 9:00 PM – Live Band
- 9:45 PM – Arrival at River City Pier
Tip: You can look for other companies that offer river cruises and their programs as well as buy tickets on the Thai River Cruise website.
Day 4: Ayutthaya