Memories of Thailand: A visit to Bangkok is on top of my post-pandemic travel list

Published August 22, 2021, 5:25 PM

by R-Wayne F. Lipardo

One of the last foreign trips I did before the pandemic hit was Thailand in 2019 with friends. I was so excited because unlike my 2018 visit to the Land of Smiles, it was a five-day stay with an outskirt trip outside of Bangkok. I guess like any other foreign tourist, I love Thailand’s unique landscape. Even in their capital, you will truly feel you’re in a foreign country because of the many temples and shrines found side by side with modern structures and buildings.

Here are some of the places we visited and missed so much in Thailand.

Take the trains and enjoy shopping

Upon arrival from Suvarnabhumi International airport, we rode the airport train going to our hotel, which is just beside Punnawithi Station of the BTS Skytrain Sukhumvit line.

I can clearly remember how clean the train stations are and colorful too because of the many Thai advertisements. We had a pleasant ride and conveniently reached our hotel, which is just train stations away from the major shopping districts like the stylish modern malls surrounding Siam Train Station. If you like to shop for great bargains of clothes, watches, and fashion accessories, you will never get bored in Bangkok since the entire city is a shopping haven.

Soak in a grand experience

If the Philippines has Malacanang Palace, Thailand has The Grand Palace, which is a must-visit tourist attraction, especially for first-timers. The Grand Palace is open to tourists every day. You just need to pay for the entrance fee and make sure not to wear shorts, skirts, or sleeveless tops because these are not allowed inside the palace complex. Even it was my second time seeing these unique and elaborate Thai temples, I was still amazed by its architectural beauty, the grandeur of its pillars and roofing, golden Buddhas, and the exteriors and interiors of this intricately designed palace.

Visit tourist spots on a river cruise

If I were to recommend to first-time travelers who want to see the famous tourist spots of Bangkok, I would say to take the ferries or water taxis at Chao Phraya River. The river would bring you to the major tourist spots in Bangkok like Wat Arun (The Temple of Dawn), the Grand Palace, and Wat Pho (The Temple of Reclining Buddha).

You could also visit the major lifestyle malls like Iconsiam and enjoy a relaxing river cruise while watching water taxis, the landscape of buildings, hotels, and interesting local structures.

In our case, we decided to book a hop-on hop-off ferry tour, which you can book online or buy tickets at the ferry terminals. The hop-on hop-off ferry ride will save you precious time as it will go straight to famous tourist spots instead of passing by every station along the river.

Feel the culture at Floating Markets

Another memorable experience we had in Thailand is when we visited the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market located outside of Bangkok. I love this experience because you’ll see how the Thai people sell and buy their fruits, vegetables, and other stuff while riding a boat. It was such a nice boating experience as you will visit alleys of waterways and see people trade goods while riding a small boat. I would also never forget my experience enjoying the delicious coconut ice cream and chicken satay sold by boat vendors while we sail along the busy floating market.

Be amazed at the ancient lost kingdom

The former capital city of Thailand is Ayutthaya, which was built in the 1300s and was destroyed during the Burmese invasion in the 1700s. The kingdom of Ayutthaya was in ruins for centuries and is now considered a UNESCO World Heritage site. If you’re like me who loves historical places, then this ancient lost kingdom is the place to be as it’s like being transported back in time.

We visited so many interesting places across Thailand during this travel. Even the street foods are a gastronomical experience for food lovers from grilled scorpions to the famous Pad Thai. For now, while the world manages the new COVID variants, we can only reminisce at the comfort of our homes the pre-pandemic times of visiting foreign countries with no facemask and no temperature checks.