Leisure Opportunities in Bangkok
Bangkok is a city where you can do anything. There you can go on a dinner cruise after dark, you can go on a floating market, Bangkok is nice to see from above and there is also the house of Jim Thompson, which is considered to be the most American attraction, where you can visit for lack of other things to do.
Go on a dinner cruise
The Chao Phraya River will, in one way or another, become familiar to all those who thrive in Bangkok for at least a few days. It is easy to explore from a normal cruise ship or by boarding boats for tourists. However, a more glamorous way to see the scenery of Joenranta and especially the beautifully lit Wat Arun are Dinner Cruises. They are nice during the winter season in Bangkok in the sense that the evenings are almost always suppressively humid, but even then the river is blown by slightly cooler winds.
Dinner cruises are not worth going out in the hope of gourmet-level cuisine, as they usually have buffets and the dishes are at most mediocre. Some cruises also have an unnecessary amount of any kind of interference from loud music performances to light shows.
Dinner cruises are advertised in many places, from accommodations to riverbanks, and are organized by accommodations and travel agencies. For example, by going to one of the travel agencies around Khao San Road, you can easily arrange a dinner cruise for yourself, which includes a pick-up from the accommodation if you wish. The normal price for a dinner cruise is 800-3500 baht, and many of them start at 19-19.30 and end at 21-22.
Dinner cruises are a big and lucrative business for outside operators, and individual cruises can be tricky to find out through their own websites. However, Grand Pearl , Chao Phraya Cruise and Manohra Cruises are such that you can access the program through their websites. Manohra is a more glamorous cruise than normal, with food better than a normal dinner cruise.
Relatively unbiased information on various dinner cruises can be obtained from Asia Discovery.
Visit the floating market
Many travelers to Bangkok think that floating squares are there everyday and see one automatically. However, this is not the case and all the floating squares are far from the center of Bangkok, and a visit to them is not as simple as one might think in advance.
On the banks of the canal, Kwan-Riam (or Kwankia) floating market is advertised in many places , which is Sat and Sun from 6 am to 6 pm. It is not very close to Bangkok, but you can arrange a trip there through a travel agency or accommodation and you can also go there by taxi.
The most authentic floating market is Tha Kha, where you can not only watch and buy products but also go on a canal ride and eat well. However, it is awkward and a bit long distance from the center of Bangkok, and it is not worth going there except for those who spend days in the city for a week. You can get here by public but the easiest way is to arrange a taxi ride, and perhaps the best one is to arrange it through an accommodation or taxi service. The market is held Sat and Sun from 6 am to 3 pm but most vendors and the best atmosphere are before noon.
There are many other floating markets around Bangkok, which can also be visited by a hostel or travel agency. It may be the simplest solution, but many floating squares like Damnoen Saduak are completely geared towards tourists.
BKK Foodie presents the floating markets around Bangkok .
See Bangkok from above
Bangkok is a city that has grown in growth, and one of the great amusements out there is getting to see it from above. There are many opportunities, and Bangkok also has many bars and restaurants that are high up and where you can admire the scenery while eating, drinking or listening to the dishwasher.
One of the highest places to go to see Bangkok’s shopping and business district is Baiyoke Tower II, also known as Baiyoke Sky Tower. It is a hotel with a buffet restaurant on the upper floors . It is a 308 meter high building, right next to Ratchaprarop Station and Pratunam Marketplace. Its 77th floor has a Lookout , and its restaurant is located on the 83rd floor. In addition, there is a rotating Lookout on the 84th floor, open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. The 77th Floor Lookout is open until 24:00, and people’s experiences of visiting the tower can be read on TripAdvisor.
If you want to admire the views from the bar, there is one of the easiest rooftop bars, the Moon Bar. It is located next to Lumphini Station (exit 2) and is open from 17:00 until 01:00. It is located at Banyan Tree Hotel , so you can also stay there. The rooftop bar is on the 61st floor and has great views in the dark.
Visit Jim Thompson’s house and story
Americans in particular visit large numbers of houses by the canal known as the Jim Thompson House and Museum. Jim Thompson was the silk architect who built this rather unique building in Bangkok, where he stayed after World War II. He was known for his festivities, which always featured rare western wines in the area, but he also became known for sending uniquely good silks to London, Milan and Paris.
Jim Thompson built his house from old Thai buildings in 1959, and so there are actually several houses. Also noteworthy are interiors and collections of Asian art, as well as objects he has collected himself.
One fact that has made Jim Thompson a legendary figure is that in 1967 he disappeared in Malaysia. The disappearance has remained an eternal mystery, and both of his disappearance can be documented on YouTube. You can read about the disappearance on Wikipedia, and Joshua Kurlantzick has written the book The Ideal Man, the evidence for which suggests that the CIA had something to do with the disappearance.
In the courtyard of the house you can visit different silk qualities free of charge, and you can enter it for an entrance fee of 150 baht. There are a lot of visitors, especially in the afternoons and during busy times, and it is surrounded by a tourist cluster selling trinkets and offering tuk-tuk rides.
The easiest way to get to the house is to take a canal boat to the pier called Sapan Hua Chang, which is close to Siam Square. The house is open from 09:00 to 18:00, and guided tours are obligatory every 20 minutes.