5 Places to Visit in Bangkok

The streets of Bangkok

It’s very easy to visit Bangkok and limit oneself to the tourist cliches. Yes, One Night In Bangkok can be filled with reclining Buddhas, sequins and show tunes, Singapore slings and slingbacks.

Thankfully, there is much, much more to the real Bangkok than the tired tourist routes. And, thankfully, it’s also very easy to slip away and discover it for yourself.

So, to really get to know the city the tourists don’t see, stick to these five streets, and unravel a city of charm, leafy canals, tiny cafes and hidden sois (the name they give to backstreets in Bangkok!).

Klong Toei

Klong Toei is something of an enigma – central Bangkok’s largest surviving shanty town: looking like a filmset straight out of Bladerunner. It’s situated alongside the Chao Praya River, and is a huddled jumble of old wooden houses, narrow lanes, teeming markets and cheap souvenir stalls. It’s full-on and not for the squeamish, but a real slice of (disappearing) Bangkok life.

New Road

Few other thoroughfares in Bangkok can hold a candle to New Road for its atmosphere. Yes, this Old Town route is on the tourist trail, but the warren of alleyways, hidden courtyards and impossibly narrow streets that criss-cross it are excuse enough to slip out of the slipstream and discover enticing food stalls, gold shops, weird and wonderful merchants selling all manner of esoteric bric-a-brac and locals’ bars where foreigners are made very welcome.

Washington Square

Washington Square fronts onto the south side of Sukhumvit Road between Sukhumvit Soi 22 and Sukhumvit Soi 24, and is rarely on visitor’s must do list. But that’s all the better for you. There’s a nice cluster of (tourist friendly) bars, a crowd of in the know tourists, and an easy-going, laid-back atmosphere which comes as a nice surprise in this frenetic, neon-soaked city. Popular with expats, Washington Square is, we suppose, like Bangkok used to be before all those tourists spoiled the place! So keep this one to yourself…

Phahon Yothin soi 7

Phahon Yothin soi 7 (soi Ari) can be reached by Sky Train, and is the perfect spot to charge up on authentic Bangkok street life, away from the hustle of the tourist-guides and free drink sales people. Walking west on the main soi takes you in the direction of innumerable tiny shops, delightful no-name food stalls and industrious little work shops. The sub-sois, or sidestreets, are crammed with tiny apartments and secret little bars. Great to eek out, and nicely cooled by the overhead canopies of the trees.

Thonburi

The further out of the bustling city center you get, the more the tourist throng thins out. You’ll see very few tourists when you reach the distant suburbs, such as peaceful Thonburi which, apart from Wat Arun, has its share of seldom-visited temples, wonderful – and cheap – restaurants, and quiet side streets, some laced with canals, that handsomely reward the visitor who’s made the effort.

If this has tempted you to visit Bangkok, you can get flights to Bangkok from Netflights and accomodations in the city from hotels.com

Author Bio

This article was written by Ross Fraser who is a travel blogger with a passion for traveling the world and you can read more about his travels at europetraveler.co.uk

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