When people think of traveling to Asia, one of the first countries that always come to mind is stunning Thailand. The Land of Smiles will greet you with natural beauty, historical richness and captivating culture, and its friendly and lovely people will welcome you into their country as if you have always been part of it. Its energetic and lively capital city of Bangkok is a top destination for many travelers of all kinds, with a wide variety of activities and sights. If you’ve always wanted to visit this beautiful country but never had the time, we’ll guide you through the best places you can visit to get the full Thai experience and the best things to do on this Asian country, even in just 4 short days.
Day one: Temples, Palaces and the Chao Phraya River
Crystal-clear beaches and verdant forests aside, Thailand is well-known for its diversity when it comes to temples and palaces. The Chao Phraya River or River of the Kings, the major river in Thailand, flows through the city of Bangkok, and given its position, it becomes the perfect way to travel and move around. Some of the biggest tourist attractions can be accessed by a simple express boat through the river.
Start your journey through Thailand at the Grand Palace, a magnificent, complex building divided into four parts; the Outer Court, Inner Court, the Middle Court, and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. Once it was the official residence of the Royal Family, but nowadays it is open to the public.
Heading south from the Grand Palace, you find yourself in front of the immense Wat Pho Temple, the largest, oldest and most famous of Thailand, and believed to be the first public school of the country. Soon enough, you will find why this temple stands out, once you come face to face with the Reclining Buddha, a 46-meter long and 15-meter tall golden statue. Along the wall, you will find 108 bronze bowls; drop some coins and make your wishes.
Next, go to the west bank of the river to see the Wat Arun Temple or Temple of Dawn. If you want, you can climb the temple’s main prang, adorned with ceramic tiles and porcelain of various colors, and get the most impressive views of the city.
Last but not least, drive to Chinatown and witness the 6-ton Buddha statue standing in the Wat Traimit Temple, considered the biggest golden statue in the world, worth around $250 million. And remember: wear something that covers both your elbows and knees when you go visit the temples, and if you see the locals leaving their shoes outside, you should do the same. They will appreciate your respect.
Day two: Go Shopping and Get Full of Thai Food
Visiting Thailand and not experiencing the floating market would be a total waste of time. If this is your first time in Thailand, we recommend you stick to the two most popular floating markets: Khlong Lat Mayom and Thaling Chan, both in the capital city of Bangkok. To get your hands on some items first and have an easier experience, getting up early in the morning is a must. You can get a variety of items, such as food, clothes, plants and even jewelry, but you have to pick quickly, as many boats take over the canal, and you don’t want to create an unpleasant water traffic.
When it comes to food, anyone who has visited Thailand will tell you that Thai food is by far the best in the world. Sour, salty, sweet and spicy, the ingredients make a perfect balance of all flavors in every dish and make you feel as if you never really ate great food in your life. A trip to Bangkok wouldn’t be complete if you didn’t eat as much Thai food as you possibly could.
A favorite among locals is the Krua Apsorn restaurant. Standing in Samsen Road, Bangkok, this humble restaurant offers delicious Thai dishes, all at affordable prices. It’s mostly known for its crab dishes, but whatever you pick from the menu is an explosion of flavors, and you will only want more.
Another top restaurant is the award-winning basil in the Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit Hotel. This contemporary restaurant is recognized for inspiring its food on Thailand’s 4 regions: Chiang Mai or North, Isan or North-East, Bangkok or Central, and Phuket or South. These four qualities together make their dishes a whole experience by themselves. If you want, you can even participate in their Thai cooking classes.
Day three: Relax at Thailand’s beaches
After these two days filled with the energy and vitality of the capital Bangkok, you might be craving for some silence and calmness, and what better way to get some rest than a peaceful beach?
Take either a 5-hour bus drive or a 45-minute ferry ride and reach Koh Chang Island, home to fascinating, crystal-clear beaches like the Lonely beach, and the White Sand beach, with its characteristic clear sand; and famous waterfalls like the thin Khlong Phlu Waterfall and the Khlong Nonsi Waterfall, standing at the middle of the island.
Another great option when it comes to relaxing, and only two and a half hours away from Bangkok, is Koh Samet island, where you can enjoy the tropical Ao Phai beach and the verdant Hat Sai Kaew. Dive into any of these crystal waters and release yourself from the weight of the city life.
Day four: Bangkok’s nightlife
Thailand’s capital offers plenty of different activities for different tastes, and there is always something to do, you will never get bored! First, you can find many bars and clubs dotting the city, like the Royal City Avenue, a pretty popular place in the area, or the Khao San Road, for the perfect backpacker hot-spot, filled with tourists attractions.
If you’re not into partying and more into quiet places and breathing easy, taking a traditional Thai massage is the perfect option for you: no oil, no lotion, and no taking off clothes, just muscle rubbing and assisted yoga postures. If you couldn’t get a Thai massage when visiting the Wat Pho Temple, don’t worry, there are lots of other great places in the city you can choose from to take a relaxing end to your trip, like the Perception Blind Massage and the Lek Massage House.
Once it’s nighttime, get your last unique experience at one of Bangkok’s night markets. These night markets are dispersed around the city, excellent places to get what you need, be it food, entertainment or any kind of goods. Visit the biggest one, Rot Fai in Srinakarin, Asiatique for its shipping mall vibe, or Patpong if you want fake brands.
At the end of these four days, you will feel like you did so much you really got to see everything Thailand has to offer, but at the same time, the scenery, people, culture and food will leave you itching to come back sooner than later.
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