Hear about travel to Bangkok, Thailand as the Amateur Traveler talks to Michael Desrosiers from the Ear Goggles Podcast about his adopted hometown.
Michael says, “Bangkok is one of the world’s great cities. A lot of people come through Bangkok. Generally, if you’re traveling in Southeast Asia You’ll probably go through Bangkok. It’s one of the busiest airports in the world. But a lot of people just spend a couple of days and then go off to maybe Vietnam or Cambodia. But the city itself has a lot to see. I feel like even though it’s a very visited city, it’s kind of overlooked. That is because people don’t get the chance to experience the real Bangkok. It’s a great city. It’s a city you can never truly be bored in. It’s full of history and amazing food”
In Thailand, there is a tradition that visiting 9 temples is good luck since 9 is a lucky number. Michael starts our visit with a series of 9 temples in a city with more than 400 temples. His favorite 9 temples include:
- Wat Phra Kaew (Emerald Buddha) at the Royal Palace
- Wat Pho (Reclining Buddha) at the Royal Palace
- Wat Arun on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River (which bisects Bangkok)
- Wat Saket, the temple of the Golden Mount
- Wat Mangkon Kamalawat, the center of the Chinese community
- Wat Traimit (Golden Buddha), also near Chinatown with the world’s largest solid gold Buddha statue
- Wat Pathum Wanaram in the middle of downtown
- Wat Benchamabophit, the Marble Temple which unusual for a Buddhist temple has some stained glass
- Wat Paknam where there are currently constructing one of the largest Buddha statues in the world
For getting around the city Michael recommends taking canal boats, the MRT (subway), and the Skytrain. If you have to take a car he recommends using Grab Taxi. He does not recommend taking a Tuk Tuk. They are not used by locals and are overpriced.
Michael recommends getting the Thai Museum Pass and recommends some museums.
The Bangkok National Museum has a great collection of art and artifacts from around SouthEast Asia. It is located in an old Palace. There are tours given in English by ex-pats which Michael recommends. Museum Siam is about Thai culture.
The Jim Thompson House is in the old house of a former spy who revitalized the Thailand silk industry. Thompson was an architect and built this house from old traditional Thai houses. It has a collection of Southeast Asian art. Thompson disappeared mysteriously in the middle of the Cold War. Jim Thompson silk makes good souvenirs.
Erawan Museum is part museum and part shrine. It is topped with a large statue of the mythical Erawan, a three-headed elephant. Michael describes it as an art museum dedicated to religious art.
Michael recommends visiting some of the shopping malls like Siam Paragon, Central World, or Icon Siam. He says they are so over the top and so fancy that they are a tourist attraction. Siam Paragon, for instance, has a Rolls Royce dealership in the mall. A lot of restaurants are in the malls including some good street food at Eathai.
Chatuchak Weekend Market is the world’s largest outdoor market. If you see something you like, buy it because you will never find it again.
We talk about great nightlife and great rooftop bars. We do not recommend Khaosan Road unless you just want to party with backpackers.
We talk about side trips like the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, or a visit to the ancient capital of Ayutthaya which you can reach by train for about $.50.
Bangkok is a busy, chaotic, beautiful, green, and delicious city. Find out why it deserves some of your vacation time. We lay out a week-long itinerary. If you have less time check out a 3-day itinerary for Bangokok.
right click here to download (mp3)
Wat Phra Kaew (Emerald Buddha)
Wat Pho (Reclining Buddha)
Wat Mangkon Kamalawat
Wat Traimit (Golden Buddha)
Wat Pathum Wanaram
Bangkok National Museum
Jim Thompson House
Chatuchak Weekend Market
Jay Fai – Michelin One Star – Review of Raan Jay Fai, Bangkok, Thailand – Tripadvisor
Pad Thai Thip Samai
Suan Pakkad Palace
Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
Travel to the Ancient Capitals of Thailand – Episode 210
Khlong Bang Luang Artist House
Sky Train Jazz Club
Red Sky Bar
Vertigo and Moon Bar
Jeffrey wrote about Travel to Houston, Texas – Episode 729
I am a Houstonian and was looking forward to this episode. Regretfully, I feel like this fell short of what it could have been.
Goode Company is a chain. I’m not saying it’s bad, but these are at the top:
In terms of things to do:
Lots of street art
George Bush Park
Houston proud. Not the prettiest city in the world (or even Texas), but it’s home. What I love the best is the food. We have so much good food that’s not Tex Mex or BBQ. Recently a Malaysian place opened near me and we cannot get enough. There’s also something special about the people here. Like so many others, my family flooded during Harvey and the community was there all the way. Also, during the recent unrest, Houston has been relatively quiet.
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