Grand Palace

For first time visitors to Bangkok, one of the must-visit attractions is the Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. The attraction used to be the command center of all the kings and government since the early beginning of the Kingdom. Many beautiful buildings and architecture that portray the tradition and culture of Thailand will be found here.  Planning to visit the palace as your first destination is recommend. You will get an overview understanding of the culture through the visit.

When King Rama I ordered the move of the capital to the Phra Nakhon District in 1782, he established the Grand Palace as the new center of the kingdom. Built in the tradition of Ayutthaya palace, it was located near a river and constructed together with the temple inside, in the example of Wat Phra Si Sanphet. In the past, the Grand Palace was the royal house and the palace for the kind to have an audience with his subjects. Presently, it’s utilized for the royal funerals.

The Grand Palace has been the center of Thai art and culture for more than two centuries. It’s the place where many important Thai cultural events took places, and since those were regarded as the model of every branch of Thai art, the Grand Palace became the worldwide famous tourist attraction. Each year, the architecture in the Grand Palace, that reflect the Thai identity, attract millions tourists. The complex consists of Wat Phra Kaew, Dusit Maha Prasat Throne Hall, Aphom Phimok Prasat Throne Hall, Phiman Rattaya Throne Hall, and many more. But the highlight building is the the Chakri Maha Prasat Throne Hall or ‘foreigner with Chada (Thai crown)’, where Thai architectural style is mixed with western architectural style harmoniously.

Grand PalaceDusit Maha Prasat Throne Hall. Photo credit: royalgrandpalace.th/th/home

Temple of the Emerald Buddha or Wat Phra Kaew

Located in the outer court of the Grand Palace, it’s the capital temple which was constructed according to King Rama I, together with the establishment of the Rattanakosin Kingdom and the Grand Palace in 1782. The temple is classified as the supreme temple, the highest temple class in the country. Beside housing the Emerald Buddha, the temple also houses other important statues, and royal ashes of former kings as well. It was also used for performing the important royal rituals.

One of the most remarkable parts of the visit is worshiping and praying to the Emerald Buddha, the palladium which was sculpted from green emerald, was built-in the Chiang Saen-sukhothai style. The Buddha’s clothes are changed seasonally. Additionally, the gorgeousness of the ubosot, whose walls, arch, gates and windows were decorated grandiosely by  master craftsmen of the early Rattanakosin, also adds to the experience.

In the cloisters, is the world’s longest mural, depicting the story of Ramakien in a series of 178 images with accompanying poems. Here you do not want to miss photographing yourself together with the Guarding Yaksha of Wat Phra Kaew, which is one of the important landmarks of Bangkok.

Emerald Buddha ImageEmerald Buddha Image. Photo credit: royalgrandpalace.th/th/home

Temple of Emerald Buddha Guarding Yaksha of Wat Phra Kaew. Photo credit: royalgrandpalace.th/th/home

Best time to avoid the crowd at the palace

The Grand Palace and the Temple of Emerald Buddha is always crowded everyday since it’s a must visit attraction in Bangkok for first time visitors. But if you want to try avoiding the crowds, try visiting the attraction at its opening hour, lunch time where all tourist leave the palace for lunch and the other less crowded period I found was at the last hour before it’s close.  These moments are the ones that the site has less visitors. So plan well!

Temple of the Emerald BuddhaOrdination Hall of the Temple of Emerald Buddha 

Coming to Bangkok and not visiting the Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha? You will miss the cultural highlight of the Thai tradition. Visiting the attraction with a knowledgeable tour guide will give you an overview history of the Thai culture and enhance your experience.  Our knowledgeable tour guides will  present you a tour of the palace and the temple and you will leave the attraction with much more understanding of the Thai culture.

Dress code

Visiting the palace, it’s required that you wear long pants or skirts with knee length and shirts covering shoulders. Using scarfs to wrap around shoulders would not allowed as well as legging pants.

The Grand Palace’s admission ticket is THB 500 per person and is open everyday from 08.30-15.30. It’s never close but sometime it’s close for some royal ceremonies.  If you’re there and it’s close, well! You’re the lucky one!

Bangkok Attractions

This blog is written to promote the hidden historic Bangkok attractions around the old town with the Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha Image as the center. These attractions in old Bangkok are scattered around the Grand Palace and are located off-the-beaten-track. They are easy to get to from the palace by walking, Tuk Tuk or other public transports such as motorbike taxi. The Bangkok attractions close to the Grand Palace that I would like to talk about are Sanam Luang, Bangkok city pillar shrine, Khlong Khu Mueang Doem, Wat Ratchabophit, Chao Pho Suea Shrine, Sam Phraeng, and Wat Ratchapradit.

Sanam Luang

In 1977, the Fine Art Department registered Sanam Luang as one of the important historic sites in Bangkok. As a public space, it has been bonded with Thais’ lives for more than two centuries. As the capital’s center, it is the space where people from every social class could interact with each other.

Sanam Luang has been utilized for many purposes: it was the place for the royal funeral, and the place for the royal Rice Fiedl ritual in King Rama III’s period. It was also the amusement park; the place for kite flying competitions, horse racing and golf. It was the weekend market where there are goods for sale from toothpaste to warships; the place for family picnics; the platform for delivering political speeches and election campaigns; the center of public transit.

Currently, Sanam Luang is rearranged, scenically cleaned, with open and close times for visitors and only available for royal rituals. Although there are less colorful activities than in its old days, Sanam Luang is still one of Bangkok’s most important sports, since it is the location many historical event of Thailand took place.

Bangkok City Pillar Shrine

One of the closest hidden Bangkok attractions to the Grand Palace is Bangkok City Pillar Shrine. The City Pillar Shrine was built at the same time of the founding of the Rattanakosin Kingdom, more than two centuries ago. It’s very important to perform the ritual of the city pillar in the center of the capital, which is regarded as the strategic location that would bring blessing upon the kingdom. The pillars then became the symbol of security, which people could depend upon spiritually.

For Bangkok, there are two city pillars, which is different from other provinces. Since the first city pillar, built in King Rama I’s period, was ruined in King Rama IV’s period. the King then ordered the new city pillar to be built, moved the old one and put them together in the same place.

There is an appropriate order to worship the pillars. It proceeds from: Buddha Hall, Model City Pillar Buddha, City Pillar Buddha, Hal of Five Guardian Angels and finally, ends by pouring oil for Buddha that corresponds to your birthday, and participating in the exorcising of misfortunes ritual. You would receive the same amount of merits as visiting nine temples. Bangkok City Pillar Shrine is located in the northeast of the Grand Palace.

Bangkok city pillar shrineBangkok City Pillar Shrine. Photo credit: bangkokcitypillarshrine.com

Khlong Khu Mueang Doem (Khlong Lhord)

The capital canal consisted of three canals which was named in King Rama V’s period as “Khlong Rong Mai’, “Khlong Lhord’ and ‘Khlong Tald’. It was built in King taksin’s and King rama I’s period. There are two hundred year old iron woods near the canla on the rear side of Wat Ratchabophit, reflection of the old tradition of planting iron woods in the inner area of the capital.

Khlong Khu Mueang Doem is the location of crafworks from King Rama VI’s period. For example, “Saphan Hok”, the drawbridges that were built in the same model as the bridges in Netherland, “Saphan Charoen Rat 31”, “Saphan Charoen Sri 34” and other bridges, whose names were prefixed with ‘Charoen’ and ended with numbers, are beautiful Western-style plaster-works, and furthermore, there is “Uthokatan”, the plaster shrine, where located the statue of Phra Mae Thorani with drinkable water coming from her hair, which was designed by the maser of the period.

Wat Ratchabophit

Not far from the Grand Palace, you will find another unique Bangkok attraction. One of a kind temple design in the city is secretly hidden, Wat Ratchabophit. The temple’s official name is Wat Ratchabophit Sathit Maha Simaram Ratchawora Maha Vihara. The temple was the last one which was constructed in accordance with royal tradition during King Rama V’s reign. It was planned in the style of the Ayutthaya period, with the blended architectural trait that was nicknamed, ‘Exterior is Thai and interior is Foreigner’. The exterior of the ubosot was decorated with handmade Thai golden glazed tiles, while the interior is decorated with Gothic gold in the same design as the Palace of Versailles. The designs at the arc of gates and windows are regarded as master craftwork.  In the Royal Cemetery, there are chedi, prang and vihara (in Thai, Khmer and European style). One of the remarkable features of the temple is the image of ‘Nai Tawarabala’ (the watchman), which is clothed differently, at the entrances.

Wat RatchabophitWat Ratchabophit’s Ordination Hall 

Sam Phraeng

The three princes of King rama IV once lived in the area. A historic neighborhood in old town. This quarter was a prosperous commercial district during the reigns of Rama V and Rama VI. Taking a walk in this quarter and being immersed in the old town’s atmosphere, and sighting the early Bangkok colonial-influenced buildings are recommended. Walk from “Phraeng Phuthon”, you would find the open ground inside the community. The buildings on Khlong Lhord side are well known as the gathering of musical instruments shops. Beside is “Phraeng Nara” where once was the site of “Pridalai Theatre”, Thailand’s first musical theater and then was utilized as Talaphat Suksa School, the beautiful wooden and lime building,  deserted. The last one, “Phraeng Sapphasat”, which is located near the Tiger God Shrine, located graceful old European arch. There are also a number of good food vendors such as Nattaporn Ice-cream, Chotichit Potchana Restaurant, nodle and pork brain soup, glutinous rice with coconut milk, Thai crepes, roast pork and crispy pork with rice, pa-thong-ko (youtia), etc. Satisfaction is guaranteed.

Chao Pho Suea Shrine

Located in Sam Phraeng neighborhood another favorite attraction in old Bangkok for the locals is Chao Pho Suea Shrine. (Suea Godfather Shrine). The shrine is known as ‘Tua Lao Yia’ among Thai people of Chinese descent and is an ancient Teochiu shrine. The original shrine was constructed in the reign of Rama III on Thanon Bamrung Mueang and relocated to the current site on Thanon Tanao in the reign of Rama V. The shrine houses various Chinese icons such as Huangtian Shangdi, Chao Pho Suea, Guanyin, Guan Yu, and Chao Mae Taptim. These gods are venerated by Thai and Chinese alike. It is widely believed that whoever venerates gods at the shrine will be blessed with prosperity. The shrine is often crowded by believers, especially during Chinese New Year and the Nine Emperor Gods Festival.

Chao Pho Suea ShrineChao Pho Suea Shrine. Photo credit: Chao Pho Suea Shrine Facebook Page

Wat Ratchapradit

The royal temple of King Rama IV’s reign, even with its small capacity, contained many valuable Thai art and cultural heritage inside. There are the murals depicting the tales of ’12-month Royal Ceremonies’, the other depicting ‘Solar Eclipse’, and the wooden windows embellished with pearl in the style of Nagasaki craftwork, which is rarely seen even in Japan because the aftermath of WWII. Furthermore, there are Pasan Chedi, Tamnak Somdet, ho rakhang, sala rai, etc. Allo of which reflect the distinct architectural style of the period.

In old Bangkok, beside the Grand Palace, Wat Pho and other main attractions, Bangkok has many historic attractions that you can explore on your own. They are within walking distance from the main attractions. For those who are the travelers not tourists who have time to explore the other side of the city, this blog will help you go beyond the typical Bangkok experience and discover the different perspectives of this lovely city. But if you do not have much time and wish to see as much as possible, try our custom private guided tour. Our tour guides can help you navigate the city and make the most out of the time that you have.

Where to Stay in Bangkok?

I am sure this would be one of the very first questions coming up in your mind when planning your vacation in Bangkok. Your eyes will roll over when searching for hotels on those hotel online booking platforms. This blog is written to help you find the right hotel locations for you to stay. From years of experience being a tour guide, I went around the city to pickup my guests. Because of this part of my job, I can share my knowledge about my best areas for hotels in Bangkok to stay. In my opinion, the best areas to stay for hotels in Bangkok would be around Sathorn Pier, Phra Artit Road near Khao San road and hotels along sky trains and subway.

Sathorn Pier

This is a name of a boat pier along the Chao Phraya River. The pier is also known as central pier where “Chao Phraya Express Boats,” and Bangkok sky train (BTS) intersected. This intersection between the sky train and the ferry allows you to commute to both old and new town easily using the transports.

Surrounding the pier, there are many hotels situated nearby. These hotels have shuttle boat services transporting their guests from their hotels to the pier every 10-15 minutes. It’s so convenient for you to get around and avoid unexpected congestion in the city by these modes of transports.

Bangkok hotels along Chao Phraya River

Bangkok hotels along Chao Phraya RiverBangkok hotels along Chao Phraya River

Chao Phraya Express Boat

The ferry starts servicing from 06.00-19.00 every day. The fares range from THB 15-60 per person. There are a few types of ferry services categorizing by flag color; orange, yellow, green and blue flag. To go to old town for the Grand Palace, Wat Pho and Wat Arun etc, you need to take the orange and blue flags.

Chao Phraya Express Boat and Wat ArunChao Phraya Express Boat and Wat Arun

BTS Sky Train

From the pier, you only need to walk for a few minutes to Saphan Taksin BTS Station. There you take a train heading to “National Stadium BTS Station.” The train will take you to the new town where you can explore the modernity of the city.

Beside the transportation convenience, you will get a beautiful scenery of the river while staying at these riverside Bangkok hotels as well.  Where to stay for hotels in Bangkok? Now you know one area to focus your search on “Sathorn Pier.”

Phra Athit Road : old Bangkok

Located in inner part of old Bangkok, Phra Athit Road is another favorite area of mine to stay for hotels in Bangkok. The area is surrounded by the main attractions such as the Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddah, Wat Pho, Golden Mount etc. Along the road, there are several nice and affordable riverside hotels for you to choose from. These hotels are the ones that I prefer to stay.

Phra Arthit Road, BangkokPhra Arthit Road. Photo credit: crownproperty.or.th

Nearby historic attractions

Staying at a hotel here, what I like the most is the ability to easily walk to many important historic sites within 15-30 minutes. Furthermore, in the evening, you can entertain yourself by walking to Khao San Road, the largest Backpacker hub in the Southeast Asia for dinner and evening relaxation such as massage and drinks

Phra Sumen Fort on Phra Artit RoadPhra Sumen Fort on Phra Arthit Road. Photo credit: crownproperty.or.th

Grab is good to get around

Although this part of old Bangkok doesn’t have sky trains or subway yet, I do not think this is a problem. If you want to go to shopping areas like MBK Mall or Chatuchak Weekend Market, I suggest you use “Grab” transport service if you do not want to deal with Taxi meter drivers who refuse to turn on their meter system.

From my experience taking a taxi from this area to MBK Mall (shopping center) at different times of day, I found that the traffic is not congested at all. If you compare it with congested Sukhumvit area, this area is much better for me.

Boat pier nearby

Or if you would like to enjoy more of the city, take “Chao Phraya Express Boat” and transit to BTS Sky Train at Sathorn Pier to go to new Bangkok. There is “Phra Artit Pier” nearby these hotels where you can walk to within a few minutes. With this way of commuting, you can be sure that you will avoid unexpected Bangkok traffic.

Bangkok hotels along sky trains and subways

As I mentioned earlier in the blog about the use of the sky train, any hotels close to the sky train and subway would be my top choice. These hotels will allow you to get around the city using the transport system.

To get to old Bangkok from the area and avoid traffic. You can do the followings.

Take the sky train to Sathorn Pier and transit to the ferry heading to old Bangkok.

Take the sky train and then get off at National Stadium Station and get a taxi or Tuk Tuk to old town. If you do not want to take a taxi or Tuk Tuk, you can do “Saen Saep Boat Service.” You need to walk to “Saphan Hua Chang Pier” to take the boat to old town. From the station to the pier, it will take 10-15 minutes walking. But this way, I do not recommend because it’s more difficult to navigate for first time visitors. Unless, you have a local guide who know the city accompanying you.

Bangkok hotels along sky trainsBangkok hotels along sky trains

My favorite stations

To give you a better idea of where to stay in Bangkok for hotels in the area, I will give you my favorite BTS Stations that you can use to search for hotels nearby.

National Stadium Station

Siam

Rachathewi

Phloenchit

Ratchadumri

Nana

Asoke

Why my favorite stations for hotels to stay?

Beside its connection to the ferry, the stations are centrally located in new Bangkok. These stations are surrounded by shopping malls, various types of restaurants; Thai, Western, Chinese, and Japanese and Korea and other important sites etc. After a long day tour, you can conveniently go to shopping malls and restaurants to spend your evening close to your hotels.

With all these reasons mentioned above, Sathorn Pier, Phra Artit Road, and hotels along sky train and subway would be my choice to stay in Bangkok for hotels.

After reading this blog, I hope you can narrow your hotel search down and be able to focus on the areas that would suite you the most.

However, if you would like to save and maximize your time efficiently in a big city of Bangkok, getting a private guide and customize your itinerary would help you a lot. Check out our custom tour experience or email us at services@explorenique.com for more information.

 

Best Bangkok Floating Markets

Floating market visit is one of the experiences that all first time travelers put on their itinerary when planning to visit Bangkok, Thailand. The market offers unique experience for both local and international travelers. In and around Bangkok, there are many of them for you to put on your itinerary and they’re all good and unique in their own way. However, which one is the best Bangkok floating markets for one day tour? From our tour guide experience and local perspective, Khlong Lad Mayom Floating Market, Taling Chan Floating Market, and Kwan-Riam Floating Market would be our choices.

Khlong Lad Mayom

The floating market is the number one on our list. Our primary reasons why it’s good for one day tour are because of its easy access and location.

Khlong Lad Mayom Floating Market

Boat vendors at Khlong Lad Mayom Floating Market

Easy access

International tourists who are visiting Bangkok for the first time and not yet familiar with Bangkok transports can easily and conveniently do a round trip taxi to the market on their own. Getting to the market by a taxi is not a problem that travelers (even a local like me) should be concerning with but to get out of the market going to other places from there is a problem that international traveler and the locals need to be concerned. Yes, I say “locals.” Some places in Bangkok do not have many taxi passing by. It’s a problem for the locals as well when there are no taxis passing by that part of the city. But at Khlong Lad Mayom Floating Market, you will find many taxi passing by all day during the its opening hours. International travelers as well as the locals; therefore, can make a round trip to the market with transportation worry-free. By the way, if getting a taxi is not the way you prefer, then I would recommend you do “Grab.” A transport service that is like “Uber.”

Location

The market, additionally, is close to Bangkok main attractions such as the Grand Palace and the Temple of Emerald Buddha, Wat Pho (Reclining Buddha image temple) and Wat Arun (the Temple of Dawn) etc. The market is  approximately 20 minutes away from old Bangkok by car. You can easily add the market to your itinerary mixing it with other Bangkok main attractions.

The location of the market is in Bangkok’ s suburb. The way of life of the locals living around the neighborhood is still traditional. You will experience authentic way of life along canals if you opt for a boat tour there. The boat tour will go along old canals that are used to be the main waterway people traveling around the city. You will experience what Bangkok looks like hundred years ago. Old canal-side communities are one of the highlights for us when visiting Khlong Lad Mayom Floating Market.

The market is situated along Khlong Lad Ta Niao (Khlong in Thai means canals) and divided into 7 areas selling various stuff but mostly food. Along the canals, there will be boat vendors selling fresh local produces such as fruits and vegetable. You will be amazed with various kind of Thai food offered at the market.  In fact, the food here is one of the main magnets that draws the locals people to the market. When you are at the floating market, do not miss the salted-grill fish. It’s one of the most popular dishes at this floating market. You will see that every table, the locals will have this menu on their tables.  This can guarantee you how good the dish is!

Website: https://www.facebook.com/taladnamkhlongladmayom/?ref=page_internal

Opening hour: weekend and holiday from 9 am to 3 pm.

Floating Market at Taling Chan

Another floating market that I recommend is Taling Chan Floating Market. The reasons why I like the market is pretty much the same reasons as I like Khlong Lad Mayom Floating Market. The market comes in the second place on my list is because its size that is smaller than KLMFM. Despite its smaller size, the market is actually closer to old Bangkok than KLMFM but yet still offers unique local experiences in term of atmosphere, food and traditional way of life along canals.

Taling Chan Floating Market

Taling Chan Floating Market: photo by Tourism Authority of Thailand

Traditional music

At the market, it often has a traditional musical band playing traditional musical instrument. This would be interesting for international travelers and really adding to the whole experience while you are there.

In comparison to the Khlong Lad Mayom Floating Market, it has less food stalls but it is good enough for both locals and international travelers to enjoy a wide array of local food originated from different regions of Thailand.

Moreover, if you’re hungry for more floating markets, nearby there is another one name, “Song Klong Floating Market,” waiting for you explore. It’s within a walking distance. Unlike the Taling Chan Floating Market, the market is smaller and quieter with local visitors but I like it because of this reason. The market is in Taling Chan Temple. You can therefore explore the temple and might find some interesting scenes for photography which I did find some last time I visited. If you plan to visit this floating market, I suggest you do this one first before visiting the bustling Taling Chan one. A short visit is good enough in our opinion.

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/TaladNam2Klong/

Opening hours: Weekend from 9 am to 4 pm.

Kwan-Riam: the Floating Market

The market is ranked third on the list is because it’s located the farthest away from old Bangkok. It’s still by the way doable for one day tour with other main attractions on your itinerary. The floating market offer various experiences such as food (lots of food stalls here), canal boat tours, and local performance. What we think is the most highlight of Kwan-Riam Floating Market is the morning food offering to monks along the canal starting around 6 am to 7 am. You can offer monks some food who will be in a boat cursing along canals. This is a monk activity that is hardly seen these days in Bangkok. If you want to experience something unique about the Thai tradition, this would be your opportunity. Moreover, This market has less international tourists than Khlong Lad Mayom and Taling Chan Floating Markets. If your objective is to get away from the tourist traps and surrounded by the locals, Kwan-Riam will be the floating market you’re looking for.

Kwan-Riam Floating Market

Kwan-Riam Floating Market: photo by Tourism Authority of Thailand

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/TaladNam2Klong/

Opening hours: Weekend from 7 am to 6 pm.

Well! Now you know our favorite Bangkok Floating Markets that can easily be on your one day itinerary. So I hope you can make an informed decision which one is suitable for your one day tour. But if you do not want spend time much time planning your Bangkok trip, contact us for our private custom tour experience. With our expertise and experience, we will customize your travel based on your request and preferences.

Have a great day floating!

Growing Up in  Banglumphu, Old Bangkok

As I remembered (30 years ago) when I was a kid, my neighborhood, Banglumphu was once the center of the old Bangkok’s trading area surrounded by historic attractions such as Grand Palace, Wat Pho, Wat Arun, the Golden Mount at Wat Saket and Khao San Road which was quiet back then etc.

The location of the neighborhood, which was believed, has long been a residential area for over 400 hundred years old dated back to the late Ayutthaya Kingdom in the 16th century according to the age of an old temple, Wat Intharawihan, or Wat Bangkhunprom Nok, its original name, located nearby. Temples are another way to indicate the history of local community since they have been used as the center of community for ancient people. This means that wherever this is a temple, there shall be a community.

Banglumphu in the old day was a well known market for the people since it was an important market area located close to Chao Phraya River, one of the most important rivers connecting the country with Gulf of Thailand, which has been used by Thais and oversea merchants for trading and commuting for centuries. Therefore, Banglumphu which is close to the Grand palace, the center of administration back then and other commercial ports along the river, functioned as a product distribution channel selling textiles, clothing, restaurant and street food.

The neighborhood is also the home of royal family and high ranking noblemen who served the Kings of Rattanakosin Era because it is very close to the Grand Palace where the Kings  lived in the past and the Font Palace, the Vice King’s Residence. With a short distance commuting to the palaces, therefore, nobleman and high ranking civil servant were given land by the Kings to live nearby. When I was a kid running around the neighborhood, I saw many big old beautiful houses in traditional Thai house design and many with 18th century European design palaces hidden in back street alleys close to canal and river. These day some of them are changed to modern house and building but many still remain the same.

Additionally, my neighborhood is also home of the traditional Thai Folk song community, traditional dancing performance, gold smith making etc. Over hundred years old passed by, a few families inherit the practice and are preserved and supported by the government.

Khaosan Road is another area in my hometown that is famous for tourists especially for those young backpackers who like to meet and hangout with new friends from around the world. In the Thai language, Khaosan means rice and of course as the name suggested, this street used to be the place selling rice. Thus, the street was named for that reason. The street is  also called the world famous backpackers and has many inexpensive accommodation, restaurants, bars, massage shops and souvenir shops. This street was once the area where civil servants living but after WW I which was when a lot of civil servants were dismissed from the government due to the change of governing regime, many of them moved to Sukhumvit and Thonburi area. Their residences  as a result, were sold to Chinese business men. The street then started to change to commercial trading area.

Another major change to the street and the neighborhood was during Vietnam war when American soldiers based in Thailand visiting the area creating business for the local. This was the start of guesthouse business, restaurants, bars and other relevant business. The local people modified their houses and buildings to accommodate the need of the American soldiers bringing business to the area and its people. Even though, the war was over, these American veterans still came back to visit Bangkok for travelling purpose.

Growing up in Banglumphu is like growing up through the history of Bangkok. Everything I have seen and experienced from my childhood until the present is charming, amazing and unique in its own way and it is even more so when I realize the value of the history written by my ancestors. the history that took hundred years to write. My task from now on is to preserve this history of Banglumphu and Bangkok and present it to the world.

Inspirock Trip Planner

Bangkok Tuk Tuk and Long-tail Boat Experiences

In Bangkok and other parts of Thailand, you will see these strange looking vehicles called “Tuk Tuk” on the street of Bangkok and long-tail boat along the Chao Phraya River. The Tuk Tuk is a 3 wheels opened-air vehicle that are fund to ride. Its local names is “Sam Lor”. The definition of Tuk Tuk is “a three-wheeled motorized vehicle used as taxis” in Thailand. Thai Tuk Tuks have been associated with the society and culture for a long time. Another eye caching vehicle along the Chao Phraya River in Bankgok is long-tail boat. The design of the boat as its name suggest, has a long shape design like Banana with a long propeller. The purpose of the design is to be able to go on shallow water.  The vehicles automatically became the way of life of the people living in Bangkok, and other parts of Thailand as their way of transportation. 

Bangkok Tuk Tuk

There are many different designs of Tuk Tuk vary by the region. The typical design for Bangkok Tuk Tuk looks like the picture below.

Bangkok Tuk Tuk

Bangkok Tuk Tuk 

For Tuk Tuk in other regions of Thailand, they could look like the pictures below.

Thailand Tuk Tuk

Tuk Tuk in other regions of Thailand 

Long-tail boats

A yet iconic boat first created  around 1932-1933 by a civil servant. The boat in the past comparing to the modern day vehicle, is like public bus. When I was young, long-tail boat was used as public boats transporting people around town. Every time I got to take the boat, I was so excited because it was fun to take the boat viewing scenery of both sides of canal and rivers that I cruised along.

Long-tail boat in each region of the country looks different. This is because they have been modified to suite the local situation. For instance, the long-tail boat in the southern region looks like the one in the picture below.

Bangkok long-tail boat

Bangkok long-tail boats

Long-tail at in the southern region of Thailand

Long-tail boat in the southern region of Thailand

Best time to take Tuk Tuk in Bangkok

Morning

For people with first time experience, this might not matter. First time experience is always excited for everyone right? I guess so. It was like me doing it for the first time when I was a kid  going out with mommy taking a Tuk Tuk. For me, my favorite time to take Tuk Tuk would be in the morning and evening. In the morning, the weather is not yet hot. So taking the Tuk Tuk which is an open-air vehicle, will not be hot comparing to afternoon period.

Evening

Doing Tuk Tuk in the evening after sun down would be my best time roaming the street at night on Tuk Tuk in Bangkok. Everything is perfect. No heat. No traffic. Bangkok traffic is horrible during rush hour. If you are struck in the traffics on Tuk Tuk, you can not avoid those pollution from the car. You need to inhale it while in your Tuk Tuk. I do not think this is not the experience you would like to have. I have been in this situation before and know it was not a pleasant experience to have.

You will also experience the beauty of Bangkok at night when the city is light up.

Best time to take long tail boats in Bangkok?

You can ride the boat any time of the day. Staring from sunrise to sundown. These long tail boats will take you along old canals of Bangkok which was once called the Chao Phraya River before the short cut was made. There are no traffic in the river and canals so you do not have to worry about congestion. All you need to do is enjoy the other side of Bangkok that can only be seen by taking the long tail boat only.

Late afternoon

If I have to choose my favorite time to do this long tail boat ride, I would do it in the late afternoon. Late afternoon cruise is my favorite because along those canals I cruise, I will see people hang out near the canal and river. Some are having dinner. Some are just siting, chatting or fishing. It’s a scenery of real local life that I really enjoy it.  However, other time of the day is also nice to cruise the canals and river. I also like it but the late evening would be my top choice.

Bangkok Tuk Tuk Sunset Long-tailed Night Light 

If you are looking for a Bangkok Tuk Tuk tour that has combined these two experiences into one, you might need to check out “Bangkok Tuk Tuk Sunset Long-tailed Night Light.” The tour offers you a mix experience of sunset, Tuk Tuk, long-tail boat, temples, food and market.

In short, I hope this blog about my Tuk Tuk and long-tail boat experience would be helpful for other travelers who plan to visit my hometown, Bangkok in the future. Sawasdee kub.

Bangkok has a lot more to offer than those famous tourist attractions of the Grand Palace, Wat Pho and Wat Arun.On Our tours, you will enjoy a mixed experiences of Bangkok culture, off beaten track, city’s hidden gems, market and culinary all together. So let us show you how to explore these amazing experiences of Bangkok on our creative tours that are purposely developed and designed to achieve these experiences. So Come check out our experiences!!!

Bangkok has a lot more to offer than those famous tourist attractions of the Grand Palace, Wat Pho and Wat Arun.On Our tours, you will enjoy a mixed experiences of Bangkok culture, off beaten track, city’s hidden gems, market and culinary all together. So let us show you how to explore these amazing experiences of Bangkok on our creative tours that are purposely developed and designed to achieve these experiences. So Come check out our experiences!!!

Bangkok has a lot more to offer than those famous tourist attractions of the Grand Palace, Wat Pho and Wat Arun.On Our tours, you will enjoy a mixed experiences of Bangkok culture, off beaten track, city’s hidden gems, market and culinary all together. So let us show you how to explore these amazing experiences of Bangkok on our creative tours that are purposely developed and designed to achieve these experiences. So Come check out our experiences!!!