A lot of us fly in and out of Bangkok because Suvarnabhumi is such a regional airline hub. I've found myself there for a day here and there on occasions. So here’s my list of what not to miss if you have one day in this massive, buzzing metropolis.
Brave the traffic and cab it to Ananda Spa in the President Solitaire Hotel (Sukhumvit Soi 11, Bangkok 10110). Expect a serene, beautiful environment and excellent service at prices that are surprisingly reasonable. The Aromatherapy body massage had me going back twice in a busy week.
Take in the immense reclining gold Buddha this grandee of Buddhist temples houses in Rattanakosin district, and then walk around the compound to see the other stupas and shrines that stand tall in their riot of colours. Touristy, yes, but worth it.
Jim Thompson House
The tale of the Delware-born Thompson has turned into a legend. Thompson disappeared in 1967 after spending 22 years in Thailand, leaving behind a beautiful old house on the banks of the Chao Phraya and a thriving silk business. The now prominent Thai Silk Co. has a store (of course) within the grounds of this beautiful wooden complex. Walk around and admire Thompson’s curious collectibles and enviable furniture, and then pick up a few presents on your way out.
With horrific traffic to and from the airport, you’ll find yourself rushing if you try to pack in more in your day. Other contenders for your time could be the Chatuchak market if you crave cheap baubles and bargains, or the expansive Lumpini Park.
Stop by a food court at one of the city’s behemoth malls, Siam Paragon or MBK, for a quick and decent lunch. Green curry anyone?
FOR THE EXAMINER’S LA READERS:
U.S. citizens don’t need a visa to enter Thailand. Thai Air flies non-stop from LAX to BKK, but you can find cheaper options with connections via San Francisco or Hong Kong.
LENS: Brief visitor on multiple occasions