Transiting through Bangkok, Thailand? 24 hours tab of a Solo Traveler.

Updated: Nov 24, 2018

Whatever your Itinerary or however unusual the places might seem in Bangkok, Thailand, the trouble is, it has been done to death. Some may seem lesser touristic than the other. But they’ve all been done and dusted. It just isn’t one of the top tourist destinations in the world for nothing. Then why this blog? Well, in an eclectic and sprawling city like Bangkok there is never enough time to see every exciting place through to a satisfactory conclusion and most definitely not during a transit period. Nonetheless, it’s a good attempt in making your trip count.

An overview of Bangkok!

Arriving early evening in Bangkok and having 24 hours on hand to explore the city meant putting the cart before the horse. Making it to the hotel from the airport was as smooth as it could be, except for the price haggling and that shouldn’t come as a surprise anymore. Having little idea of where to stay, I placed a safe bet on staying closer to the city center. With limiting time to spare, I desired the Bangkok episode to be a wholesome mix of odd and familiar doing.

Based on the recommendations and research that I had done, one of the unusual places to visit in Bangkok had to be the Airplane graveyard. Located only a few kilometers from Sukhumvit Road, An abandoned plane in the middle of a field that serves as refuge to families, seemed like a welcome idea to begin the trip. Thanks to the ever available taxies, I was taken there safely, not swiftly due to the congestion in traffic. The sky was setting and the lighting was perfect to capture the shot I’d imagined. The field that was surrounded by a fence and a canal by its side and two other photographers were shooting alongside. However, the sight of the area wasn’t as exceptional as it was made out to be. Is it an unusual sight? Sure! Derelict rustic airplanes scrubbed with graffiti art all over them, in an open field, occupied by a family that is raising chicken, dogs, and birds all at the same time, that's not something you wake up to, do you? Surprisingly, they don’t dwell inside the plane, rather beside it, in a hut. You need to bribe them 200 Baht to get into the field, and you could pretty much delve into the aircraft. I could see why it was more of an Instagramable site than to truly live it. Would I recommend it? Not if it’s the only few things on your list, if you are short on time, consider skipping it as Bangkok has far better experiences to offer.

The Airplane graveyard.

Returning to the hotel after a rather dull visit to the airplane graveyard, made me want to kick it up a notch. The weather was perfect, and a drink with an overlooking view seemed logical. It couldn’t have been just about any spectacle, had to be a stunner. Bangkok known for its rooftop bars had quite a few options laid down and I chose Marriott’s Octave Lounge bar for obvious reasons. On top of the 48th floor, with 360-degree electrifying sky scrappers and mind-boggling buildings, one has to be dead from within to not be able to appreciate the best view of Bangkok’s skyline. The young, the old and everyone in-between seemed eager to have a picture taken at this gorgeous setting. Captivating music, daring cocktails, and glaring eyes kept me company throughout the evening by not letting me fade into the dark and not once, did it occur to me that I was by myself. It Felt on top of the world.

Octave Rooftop Bar and Lounge

Cityscape view from the Octave Lounge.

The next morning, knowing, I had a flight to catch later that evening, left me with enough time to visit a couple of places. Beautiful temples are one too many in Bangkok and somehow gave it a miss this time around, instead, my itchy feet dragged me to a shrine dedicated in honor of Goddess Tuptim, a female fertility spirit. Not to be fooled by what it sounds, this isn’t your typical shrine. Tuptim is a phallic shrine in Bangkok, (colloquially known as the penis shrine) located behind the Swissotel near the Riverbank of Khlong Saen Saep. Women visit this shrine when they are trying to conceive, leaving offerings of lotus and jasmine and when their wish is fulfilled, they place Phallus at the memorial as a ‘Thank you.’ Hundreds of small and big wooden carvings of the phallus (Penis) stand decorated with ribbons. I’m guessing the success rate must be higher than that of a fertility center. Is it bizarre? Maybe, but then again, I believe in whatever floats your boat.

The Phallic Shrine.

Offerings of wooden phallus.

Sampling the street food is a quintessential experience in Bangkok. Yes, it can be overwhelming for a beginner, and I consciously stayed away from the inexhaustible street food to have a more finite and particular culinary experience. If it’s your first time in Bangkok, I strongly recommend heading to an authentic Thai fine dining restaurant where you can revel in some of the heavenly servings of the city. Thai food, famous for its spicy and sour tasting dishes is made of chili paste, herbs, vegetables, and soup, featuring sticky rice. Thailand’s national dish is the incredible Pad Thai, a noodle dish made with chewy rice noodles, vegetables, bean sprouts, peanuts, and egg, among other things. Two things about Thai food culture that I could relate to, One, throwing away of leftover food enrages Thai people, as they believe the ‘god of rice’ will cause widespread famine for being disrespectful. Secondly, Many Thai’s, as a general rule think that eating alone could bring bad luck. I don’t know about the bad luck but certainly wished for a company to share and enjoy the sumptuous brunch.

The incredible Pad Thai.

Thai Red Chicken Curry.

Only a higher mortal can refrain from the urge of shopping, and especially in Bangkok. Speaking of lesser mortals like you and I, from high-rise shopping malls to pedestal vintage boutiques, Bangkok speaks your language, mind you eloquently! Being Keen on Vintage stores, decided to check out a popular boutique “The(Un)Fashion store.” That name ought to raise a few eyebrows in question. Contrary to the title, every item was fashionable and very much in style. Located on Ekamai Street, the small decked boutique, owned by a Thai-Japanese, imports items from all over the world. Leather goods found in abundance, can be sniffed from the moment you step into the store. Towards the left is a store for men’s vintage collection and on the right is for Ladies! From bags, shoes, scarves and vintage clothing, this cool boutique is one of the unique finds in the city, especially when it ticks the low-cost box.

With a shopping bag in one hand and a camera in the other, it was now time to head to a cafe before I set out on the swamped streets of Bangkok to the airport. Alongside action, at every turn, it doesn’t take long to realize why the Capital City never ceases to amaze. This Itinerary is a pitiful attempt to encapsulating the broad exposure the city has to offer, in order for you to repeat your transits in the City of Angels.

Travel Related Information:

Currency: Thai Bhat

Visa: On Arrival for Indians

Visa Cost: 2000 Bhat (Approx Rs 4000)

Address and Recommendation of the places:

Airplane Graveyard

Khwaeng Hua Mak, Khet Bang Kapi, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10240, Thailand

Opening hours: 11am to 5pm

Price: $4 - $5 (Approx Rs 200 - Rs 400)

Octave Rooftop Lounge & Bar (Marriott Sukhumvit)

57 Sukhumvit Rd, Khlong Tan Nuea, Watthana, Bangkok 10110, Thailand

Opening hours: 5pm to 2am

Price: $8 - $15 per drink (Approx Rs 600 - Rs 1500)

Chao Mae Tuptim Shrine

1 Lumphini, Pathum Wan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand

Opening hours: Open Throughout.

Price: Free Entrance, ensure to carry a few flowers.

The (Un)Fashion store

10 Soi Sukhumvit 63, Khlong Tan Nuea, Watthana, Bangkok 10110, Thailand

Opening hours: 12pm to 9pm

Price: $15 and above (Approx 1000 and Above)

Picture Credits : @flohwithme