48 Hours in Bangkok

Even with just 48 hours in Bangkok, I didn’t know what to expect before going. I heard mixed reviews of people either loving it or hating it. Wanting to move there or find the first flight out. We arrived late on Saturday night and were greeted with much welcomed humid air, smiling faces and a friendly cab driver who, though his stifled laughter, still couldn’t seem to get us to pronounce ‘hello’ and ‘thank you’ in Thai properly. We eventually got better with the ‘sa wat dee ka’ and ‘khaawp khoon ka’ with time. It was a warm welcome from the city I was so unsure of.
In this site seeing mecca, we hit the ground running the next morning and saw as much as we could in the short 48 hours in Bangkok. Here are my top picks of how to spend even a short time in this bustling concrete jungle.

Markets, markets, markets
One thing I love about visiting other countries is looking through the local markets. Buying or just looking are equally enjoyable as you peruse stall upon stall that would intimidate even the most experienced of shoppers. Filled with textiles, jewelry, bags, sculptures, knockoffs and more, you can find everything your traveling heart was hoping for. In Bangkok alone there are several to choose from, the most popular being the Floating Market and Chatuchak Weekend Market (known to the locals as ‘Che Che’ Market).
No worries though, there are ‘smaller’ markets hiding around every corner of this country and we saw our fair share. The picture taken below is from a market near Soi Rambuttri Street (an amazing bohemian, backpacking haven filled with eclectic restaurants and hostels). The market was several blocks long on either side and was shut off to cars and transportation during shop hours.
Soi Rambuttri Street market bangkok market
Feel the tranquility inside of one of the many temples
Similar to the markets, tourists can find several different temples without even meaning to. In order for us not to get ‘temple overload’ we picked three or four temples that we wanted to see and stuck with those. If you try for all of them, you can literally spend days visiting the 19 ‘well known’ ones in the Bangkok area. We decided to stick with The Marble Temple, Wat Pho and Wat Arun. Even though we still wandered into several others as we were walking down the street.
Another one to check out is the Royal Palace. We didn’t exactly make it all the way into this one. There is a lady standing at the gate and her sole job is to tell everyone passing if they are appropriately dressed or not…while yelling through a megaphone. I was one of the lucky ones blasted for *gasp* wearing shorts. In any temple associated with the government, you must cover your shoulders and knees in order to enter. Don’t worry though, there are garments for rent with a small deposit that is returned when the garments are. After seeing the line to rent these said garments, we turned and walked right back out with the intention of coming another time which unfortunately didn’t happen.
marble temple bangkok temples
The Marble Temple
wat pho bangkok thailand
Wat Pho was definitely my favorite temple that we saw in Thailand. It is the largest temple in Bangkok and is home to a 46 meter long reclining Buddah. I realize it looks large in the picture but it’s nothing compared to seeing it in person. As soon as you walk into the room, your head automatically goes all the way back in order to take it all in.
wat pho bangkok thailand
Wat Pho
 wat pho bangkok thailand
wat arun, bangkok thailand
Wat Arun was another one I was very excited to see. We never made it across the river to go inside but the views from across the way were just as magnificent. When lit up at night, it’s especially beautiful.
Take a ride down the Chao Phraya River
This is one of the best ways to get from one end of the city to the other. You can either take a private long-tail boat taxi or opt for the cheaper way of traveling and hop on one of the many ferries that travel along the river. It’s also a great option to take a tour of the river around sunset and see the coastline come alive with lights as the guide tells you about history of the river and temples that line it.
Chao Phraya River bangkok thailand
Chao Phraya River bangkok thailand
Spend the night sipping cocktails and overlooking the city of Bangkok
from the Banyan Tree Hotel‘s rooftop restaurant and bar. While the cocktails are a bit high for the land of cheap eats and drinks (around $9 for the local beer and on up from there for mixed drinks and wine) the views of the city are well worth it. We decided to make a date out of it and enjoyed the views of the sprawling city below us mixed with the stillness that comes with being so far above it all.
 Banyan Tree Hotel's rooftop restaurant and bar bangkok thailand

We loved the city a lot more than we thought we would and would love to return someday. Even though we both agree that two to three days was enough for us to see and do all that we had hoped to. Any other suggestions on what to see in Bangkok?

  • Karan Mccaughey

    We loved bangkok so much! We spent a week there, prior to a South east cruise, Bangkok to Alaska…..33 days! Your pictures brought back so many memories….

    I also have a travel blog, and would love if you would stop by and say Hi….


    • http://lostintravelsblog.com/ Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      wow! that sounds like such an amazing trip! and you would get to see SO much!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03481775343584575260 Casey Martin

    So glad I looked through your archives… we’re planning a trip to Cambodia and I think we’ll have to go through Bangkok for a couple days… totally going to use some of your advice!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11633002829591046624 Rima

    ooo this is making me more excited about visiting bangkok in September! I will be there for 4 days. For sure about doing these temple hops and market hops!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00051211817434168815 Robert Baker

    I think 2 days is not enough to satisfy your curiosity because there are a lot of good places that you can enjoy in Thailand. And if you want to stay for a longer period of time, you will be needing some Bangkok houses for rent where you can stay.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12090735810562146009 M and L

    You two sound like expert travelers — oh what, you ARE!!! pictures are beautiful! was Bangkok expensive?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03340277403271465452 lost in travels

    i agree! there were amazing purchases around every corner! so glad you’re following along!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08909202849532507950 Dan and Vanessa

    Wow! That first picture is making me drool with color love! No suitcase is big enough for all the beautiful wraps, pashminas, bags, cloths, etc that I would want to buy from there! 😀 Thanks for sharing your adventures! <3, a new follower :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10087254858433773635 Harley

    this looks so insanely incredible.

    Harley & Jane

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08190048508109863004 Corinne

    Wow – sounds like you two really took full advantage of the days you were there! I’ve never been, but have heard mixed reviews (I think it really depends on what mindset you go with) but I’m so happy to hear another positive review!

    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03340277403271465452 lost in travels

      We tried to! It helps that we’re a little ADD on vacation so we enjoy to always be on the go. i would defiantly recommend it!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05022023043718407104 Bonnie Rose

    I loved Bangkok. Great tips about the markets those are a thing I do miss. ESP the flower market.

    Bonnie Rose | The Compass Rose

    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03340277403271465452 lost in travels

      Markets were one of my favorites! I would have loved to have gone to a flower market! I wish we had one close here!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10658029119169352990 Inge Lakawa

    oh wow cool xD very nice tips

    visit my blog ^^

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09051638993135814143 Nicole G

    New follower – from the blog hop! Really enjoying your photos! What sort of camera do you use? Looking forward to following along.


    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03340277403271465452 lost in travels

      Hey! So glad you stopped by! We use a Canon 600D which I think in the states is the same as the Canon Rebel T3i. We also use a 50mm lens.