Wat Arun
Asia Travel

Experiential travel in Bangkok – part 1

By on November 18, 2017

Bangkok is my favourite ever City, despite its numerous changes since my initial visit I’ve been fortunate enough to be a frequent visitor and, as such, watched the City change and evolve.

But firstly, what is experiential travel? Google the phrase and you’ll see different and varying explanations. Mine is simple and was how I was actually travelling all those years ago with no concept of it. I love staying in nice places, I’m an insomniac so quiet and comfort is crucial! However, I spend most of my time outside of those hotels immersed in local tradition and cultures that effect and ultimately shape me as a person.

“The future is not in sedentary travel”, says Afar, and it’s not in cookie-cutter package tourism either.

Anyway, I digress so back to Bangkok – well versed in people’s memories due to films such as The Hangover Part – this place is like a cultural explosion from the minute you set foot out of the airport.

I was first here as an impressionable young man, blown away by the colours, smells (there’s a reason why most of the locals carry a sniff stick! the free-flowing alcohol – bucket cocktail anyone? –  and the friendliness of the ladies and boys of the night!

Chao Phraya

Like everywhere there’s been a huge surge in luxury and boutique hotels and you can take your pick from a range of glorious City hotels that’ll cater to your every whim before seeking further adventure.

When you set foot outside the luxury I’d implore you to walk around, go see the sites that are on every forum and Instagram post and reinforced below but walk away from the main part (of course with caution like in any Country!) and explore:

I literally spent hours walking in the blazing heat of the day much to the amusement of Thai friends laughing at the baa farang(crazy foreigner) Heat is no issue for me and walking or running has been how I’ve always explored Cities.

Hours spent walking at the break of dawn, not an issue in a City that doesn’t sleep and where a few beers can easily turn into an all-night secession will mean you see the monks go about their daily routines. A powerful image even for a non-religious European. There’ll be a separate post about the monks and Buddhism, something I’m increasingly leaning towards. More flavour on my experiential travel will feature there.

What did I find when walking? Much more of the real so-called land of smiles, better street food, the busy hub of other areas and hardly any other Europeans, bliss! I also stumbled across Eva air office, a blessing in disguise for a frequent flight changer!

You’ll see my post on Eva air shortly but for now please check https://www.evaair.com/en-gb/index.html if you want a first-class experience.

But back to the main sights of Bangkok that many of you would already be aware of. A link to a solid top 10 is here but here’s the start of mine:


My favourite Bangkok sight is Wat Arun, the Temple of Dawn.

Wat Arun

Wat Arun is the one of the few sights that I actually return to with every visit, one that lives upto its reputation unlike any others. Egypt I’m looking at you!

The towering spires of Wat Arun’s are one of the most recognised in Southeast Asia. It’s simply stunning and a place where I’ve always found peace. Constructed during the first half of the 19th century in the ancient Khmer style, the stupa showcasing ornate floral pattern decked out in glazed porcelain is stunning up close. Apart from its beauty, Wat Arun symbolises the birth of the Rattanakosin Period and the founding of the new capital

The Grand Palace and Wat Prakaew command respect from all who have walked in their sacred grounds. Built in 1782, and for 150 years the home of Thai Kings and the Royal court, the Grand Palace continues to have visitors in awe with its beautiful architecture and intricate detail. Wat Pra Kaew enshrines Phra Kaew Morakot (the Emerald Buddha), the sacred Buddha image meticulously carved from a single block of emerald.


Wat Arun

Stay tuned for the rest in upcoming posts!