Back when I began my job as a Flight Attendant all I was hoping for was seeing flights to South East Asia on my flying schedule. In December 2015 my dream finally came true and I was off to Thailand!
From the moment I landed at Suvarnabhumi Airport I knew a magical trip was about to happen. Even though I had been awake for over 30 hours and was jet lagged to the max, I was wide awake and filled with excitement to what adventures this trip would bring.
Our first stop was Wat Pho, the largest Buddhist temple complex in the city just south of the Grand Temple and also home to the Reclining Buddha. The entrance fee is 100 Thai Baht which is approx. 3 USD and comes with a free chilled bottle of water! It is important to dress respectfully when visiting religious sites in Thailand. The dress code prohibits exposed shoulders or skin above the knee, but don’t worry in case you forgot to bring anything to cover up with- there are street vendors in front of the entrance selling skirts, long pants and scarves for very cheap.
Make sure to have enough time planned into your busy itinerary, the temple grounds are quite large and there is a lot to see. They offer guided tours in all kinds of languages (approx. 200-400 Baht), however I went off and explored by myself, which I mostly enjoy more than just following someone around.
I was absolutely mesmerized by the serene atmosphere of Wat Pho and the intricate details and colors of every building and statue.
With more than 1,000 buddha images at Wat Pho, the gold plated Reclining Buddha is the largest one measuring 46 meters!
If you manage to get an early start, you can witness the monks’ chanting at 9 am every morning. Here are some that kindly let me photograph them while getting ready for their morning ritual:
Another highlight of my layover was taking a boat ride to Taling Chan Floating Market about 12 km outside the city. A boat is easily chartered from any pier in downtown Bangkok.
After docking at the market for some delicious local food, we strolled around the markets that sell trinkets and souvenirs for a reasonable price. After getting a bit lost we stumbled upon this beautiful temple that looked like something straight from a postcard:
Moments like these, walking a bit off the beaten path just to suddenly find yourself surrounded by the most bright and colorful temple just a few minutes away from the hustle and bustle of the tourists - that for me is the magic of this city and one of the reasons I fell in love with it so much.
In the late afternoon we then decided to head out on a famous Tuk Tuk, which was an experience to say the least! The incredible speed at which these drivers navigate through the crowded streets are nothing for the faint-hearted. I've never feared for my life and had so much fun at the same time! Just be sure to hold on TIGHT!
We ended the day like a typical first time Bangkok visitor at Khao San Road. A well-known hub in the backpacking district, this street is filled with loud bars and restaurants, markets and if you're feeling adventurous you can even try some fried scorpion and grasshoppers. A great place to meet fellow travelers or simply hang out with friends.
My eagerly awaited Bangkok layover ended up exceeding all my expectations and I cannot wait to go back and immerse myself into the vibrant and fascinating culture of Thailand again very soon!
I hope you enjoyed reading this post!
Be sure to leave your comments below, I'd love to hear about your experience in Bangkok and any tips you might have.