Having traveled through Bangkok multiple times and spending significant amounts of time waiting for visas to be processed, I have become familiar with parts of the city that most tourists miss out on. When we were contacted to publish an article on the “other parts of Bangkok” we thought this would be a great chance to show a side of Bangkok most visitors overlook.
With flights to Bangkok from all major Asian cities, Bangkok is an easy to access vibrant, sprawling city with an infectious energy that is constantly threatening to bubble over. Combined with the heat and humidity, the city can sometimes be draining and more than a little overwhelming. When it all gets too much, don’t simply retreat to your Bangkok hotel– explore a different side to the city, away from the teeming populous, deafening noise and insistent pace.
Bike Tour To A Hidden Jungle
This might sound like a death trap, given the craziness of Bangkok’s roads (or, more accurately, its drivers!), but this bike tour led by Spice Roads Cycle Tours takes you away from the main roads to a part of the city that most tourists never get to see. After a short cycle to the Chao Phraya River, a longtail boat transports you and your bike across to the other side of the city which, despite its close proximity to it, could not be further away in terms of development and atmosphere. Here you will find a maze of waterways, tiny villages, golden temples, lush jungle, all devoid of tourists. Unless you look back and see Bangkok’s skyline, you could easily be mistaken for thinking that you were in the middle of the countryside.
Visit A Peaceful Teak House
Tucked away down a quiet soi (narrow lane), Jim Thompson’s House is a museum-quality preservation of a traditional Thai teak house. Thompson (who mysteriously disappeared during a trip to the Cameron Highlands in Malyasia) founded a successful silk business and is largely responsible for bringing Thai silk to the West. He was also a huge fan and promoter of traditional Thai arts, culture and architecture and bought pieces of derelict rural houses which he then reassembled to form a large teak house of his own. Set in small but pretty gardens, this is a great escape from the crowds and a way to appreciate Thailand’s art and architecture within a quickly modernising city.
Chill Out in Lumphini Park
Sometimes the best things in life really are free and there are times when all you want to do is stretch out under the shade of a tree and contemplate all you’ve seen and done. With its green lawns, huge artificial lake and leafy paths, Lumphini Park provides a wonderful way to escape the teeming life of the city without actually leaving it. If you can drag yourself out of bed, first thing in the morning is the best time to take a stroll around the park, both because it is cooler and so you can watch the Thai-Chinese perform their t’ai chi exercises – a tranquil way to start the day in an otherwise frenetic city.
Indulge in a Thai Massage
Whether you really splash out and go to the spa in your Bangkok hotel, or spend 100 baht in a small massage centre on the street, you cannot leave Thailand without experiencing a Thai massage and they are a great way to unwind after a hectic day’s sightseeing. Be warned though, that tiny little Thai lady who looks so harmless has the strength of an ox and fingers of steel so let her know if you want a gentle massage!