About Kirsty S
Lives in London, United Kingdom
Since Feb 2015
I have travelled extensively through Southeast Asia. I know Thailand and Malaysia particularly well, but also love Vietnam, Cambodia and Singapore. I travel to this part of the world whenever I can, sometimes on a short trip while on route to Australia, and sometimes for extended periods of time so that I can really get beneath the skin of a particular area – whether I’ve been to that spot before or not. I've spent a lot of time in Bangkok – it's a fascinating melting pot of a city where there's always something new to explore. I also love Hanoi and have explored it both independently and as part of an organised tour. More than anything, I love discovering something new while travelling and sharing it with those who have the same passion for travel as I do. I’m a bit of a foodie and never get bored of the beach.
Sacred & Religious Sites
Sacred & Religious Sites
Flea & Street Markets
Gift & Speciality Shops,
Flea & Street Markets, Gift & Speciality Shops,
Points of Interest & Landmarks
Wat Arun (or the Temple of Dawn) sits on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River. It is one of the most stunning temples in Bangkok, with a unique design made up of colourfully decorated ceramics, which were said to have been donated by local people. Presiding majestically over the water, Wat Arun is a sight to behold and an absolute must-see when visiting Bangkok.
The Grand Palace complex consists of several impressive buildings including Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha). Thai kings stopped living in the palace at around the turn of the twentieth century, but the grounds are still used to mark ceremonial occasions, and the complex remains the spiritual heart of Thailand. It’s enough to marvel at the magnificent Grand Palace itself, but visitors can also gain entry to see the royal thrones on weekdays.
Definitely one for the morning as it closes mid-afternoon, Wat Phra Kaew or the Temple of the Emerald Buddha is regarded as the most important Buddhist temple in Thailand. Located within the grounds of the Grand Palace (see above), it houses the highly revered Buddha image carved from a single block of jade that dates back to the 14th century.
Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market may be more low-key than Damnoen Saduak or Amphawa Floating Markets but if you’re short on time it’s easier to get to – plus there’s a more laid-back, local atmosphere about Khlong Lat Mayom. Arrive around midday and set up camp next to the boat restaurants to take your pick from the many options for lunch. Take a browse around the dry section of the market too, which offers handicrafts and yet more culinary delights.
Siam Square is a shopping hub right in the heart of the city. It’s the sort of place where you can find brash T-shirts alongside tailored suits, and most things in-between. It’s a creative and vibrant spot featuring huge malls and tiny alleyways lined with boutique shops and markets. Head down after lunch and hang out with Bangkok’s students, media types and fashionistas.
If your day in Bangkok falls on a weekend, don’t miss the Chatuchak Weekend Market. Chatuchak is home to somewhere in the region of 8000 stalls offering every item you could possibly imagine. Another must-do in Bangkok.
Bangkok’s Chinatown is open throughout much of the day but really comes alive after dark. Head here as the sun sets to partake in a spot of shopping (and bartering) and to enjoy a pre-dinner snack. It's got everything from dim sum to traditional Thai noodles. It’s a colourful, chaotic, and sometimes even claustrophobic place, but it sure is a lot of fun.
If you’re staying elsewhere, squeeze in a quick trip to the infamous Khao San Road, even if it’s just to find out what all the fuss is about! It’s a heady mix of tourists, street stalls, guest houses and bars. If you’ve had enough of haggling, get yourself a drink and pull up a chair for what will surely be an interesting spot of people watching.
What better way to enjoy your dinner than by combining it with an evening cruise along the river? It’s been a busy day, so sit back, feast on delicious food and enjoy the entertainment as the city lights drift passed you.
OK, so maybe there are a few too many girly bars along Soi Cowboy, but it’s the perfect place to let your hair down after a jam-packed day in Bangkok. This nightlife spot has more of a fun, carnival feel to it than places like Patpong. Expect bright neon lights, lots of ‘go go’ bars, plenty of tourists and... a whole lot of fun.